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Old 07-25-2012, 05:32 PM   #76
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Love the flower pix!

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Old 07-25-2012, 07:21 PM   #77
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Great pictures Sherry.
How's your foot after all that walking?
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:39 AM   #78
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Thank you, PHX & Wendy!


Surprisingly, my foot is no worse than it was pre-Catalina! There was, indeed, a lot of walking. I know the things I like to do when I am in Avalon, and I knew that I would have to walk a lot. There's no way around it. I walked up the incline and up all of those steps to the Wrigley Memorial. The side of my foot that appears to be injured was hurting quite a bit at that point, but I forged ahead. I walked from one end of town to the other end - from the backside of the Casino (where the dive park is) - almost to Descanso Beach - all the way to my favorite Pebbly Beach Road/Lovers Cove bench/spot that is supposed to be closed to visitors. My foot was still hurting in that one spot.

So I thought that when I got home, my foot would be even worse than it had been prior to this little jaunt, because I was walking on it while it was hurting. I thought that I must be doing more damage to it. But it seems to be okay. It still hurts a bit if I put pressure on that one area on the side of it, but it is definitely no worse than it was before Saturday!
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #79
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Although I'm sorry you were in pain while walking, the fact that it didn't hurt more or get horribly swollen or painful afterward is a good sign. Maybe not the way you'd like to find out, but it bodes well for your recovery!

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Old 07-30-2012, 11:02 PM   #80
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I have begun my Catalina Photo Report, over in the California Trip Reports section, where I'm not sure anyone will even see it!

I am already 14 installments in - I am mainly just posting photos and not writing much. I am saving most of my writing endeavors for my in-progress holiday 2011 TR, as PHXscuba knows.

Catalina Island/Avalon - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12

I will continue posting more Avalon photos tomorrow - there will be lots and lots of them!
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:49 PM   #81
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Courtesy bump for Sherry to keep it from falling off the list ... so people know about the free birthday ticket.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #82
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Thanks for bumping this, PHX! I appreciate it. I was shocked to see that the thread has climbed to over 10,000 views. I remember when it was 500 views!

I definitely need to keep this on Page 1 of this forum - the free birthday boat ride offer extends all the way through April 2013 (if not longer than that), so there is plenty of time for people to take advantage of it if they have birthdays coming up before then.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:26 AM   #83
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This is a great thread. We are going during my birthday week (and anniversary week) but won't be there the day of my birthday (darn!!)

I was wondering what you think the crowds will be like on Labor Day on Catalina Island? Also, where is the best point to take the boat over. We were thinking Newport Beach (we are staying in Anaheim).

I am trying to plan out the week between Disneyland, San Diego and Catalina Island all in one trip (and a a little touring of LA during our fly in and fly out days as well) which is Saturday through Saturday.

TIA :
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by sunny45 View Post
This is a great thread. We are going during my birthday week (and anniversary week) but won't be there the day of my birthday (darn!!)

I was wondering what you think the crowds will be like on Labor Day on Catalina Island? Also, where is the best point to take the boat over. We were thinking Newport Beach (we are staying in Anaheim).

I am trying to plan out the week between Disneyland, San Diego and Catalina Island all in one trip (and a a little touring of LA during our fly in and fly out days as well) which is Saturday through Saturday.

TIA :
Hi, sunny45!

I'm so glad you found this thread. I know I referred you to my Catalina photo-heavy trip report a week or two ago (in the thread about viewing the Hollywood sign), but I was amazed to see that this thread about the Express had been revived!

Okay, first of all - about which boat to take. Here is what it boils down to for me, and this is why I stick with the Catalina Express (which runs out of Long Beach and San Pedro at its closest points): the Catalina Flyer (out of Newport Beach) simply does not have anywhere near as many departure and return times. The schedule is really limited. The Express (especially out of Long Beach, which is maybe 20 or 25 minutes from Anaheim, with no traffic) has a lot of departures and returns - especially on a holiday such as Labor Day. This allows more flexibility for visitors to plan activities for their day.

If you were to, for example, try the Flying Fish tour (which I highly recommend), that tour takes place after the sun goes down (the fish come out at night!) and you would not be able to do it if you were taking the Catalina Flyer out of Newport. You'd have to either take the Catalina Express back at night or you'd have to be staying overnight on the island to do that tour,

I really only recommend the Flyer out of Newport if you are spending at least a couple of nights on the island. If you are just making a day trip, and you want to be able to have the time do a lot of things, the Flyer's limited schedule will not afford you that time. The Express will.

If you don't want to stay very long in Avalon and maybe just want to rent a golf cart and take one tour or something, then the Flyer should be okay. Its return time (back to Newport) will be in the mid-afternoon range, if I recall correctly.

I am one who likes to take the earliest boat out on the Express (which is usually in the 6 a.m. hour during the summer months, through Labor Day) and the latest boat back at night (which is usually in the 9 p.m. hour on summer weekends and holidays) so I get the most bang for my buck, take a lot of photos, etc.

As for crowds on Labor Day - there will probably be a lot of people who travel to Avalon on that day, as it is a holiday and the end of the summer. It's been a long time since I did a Labor Day trip to the island but I remember that it was more crowded when I did.

However, unlike a Disney park or other theme park, crowds in Avalon are not necessarily problematic. Because there are so many water activities available on the island, as well as zip lining and all of that, a lot of people are off doing those things and not necessarily crowding the streets of Avalon at every moment. Where the crowds might come into play is if you want to rent a golf cart and zoom around in the hills without waiting. If it is a crowded day and you take a later boat out (like the Newport Flyer boat), you would possibly have to wait for someone to return a golf cart before you could get one. If it's not a crowded day and if you take an earlier boat, you'd be sure to get one of the very first carts!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:58 PM   #85
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Hi, sunny45!

I'm so glad you found this thread. I know I referred you to my Catalina photo-heavy trip report a week or two ago (in the thread about viewing the Hollywood sign), but I was amazed to see that this thread about the Express had been revived!

Okay, first of all - about which boat to take. Here is what it boils down to for me, and this is why I stick with the Catalina Express (which runs out of Long Beach and San Pedro at its closest points): the Catalina Flyer (out of Newport Beach) simply does not have anywhere near as many departure and return times. The schedule is really limited. The Express (especially out of Long Beach, which is maybe 20 or 25 minutes from Anaheim, with no traffic) has a lot of departures and returns - especially on a holiday such as Labor Day. This allows more flexibility for visitors to plan activities for their day.

If you were to, for example, try the Flying Fish tour (which I highly recommend), that tour takes place after the sun goes down (the fish come out at night!) and you would not be able to do it if you were taking the Catalina Flyer out of Newport. You'd have to either take the Catalina Express back at night or you'd have to be staying overnight on the island to do that tour,

I really only recommend the Flyer out of Newport if you are spending at least a couple of nights on the island. If you are just making a day trip, and you want to be able to have the time do a lot of things, the Flyer's limited schedule will not afford you that time. The Express will.

If you don't want to stay very long in Avalon and maybe just want to rent a golf cart and take one tour or something, then the Flyer should be okay. Its return time (back to Newport) will be in the mid-afternoon range, if I recall correctly.

I am one who likes to take the earliest boat out on the Express (which is usually in the 6 a.m. hour during the summer months, through Labor Day) and the latest boat back at night (which is usually in the 9 p.m. hour on summer weekends and holidays) so I get the most bang for my buck, take a lot of photos, etc.

As for crowds on Labor Day - there will probably be a lot of people who travel to Avalon on that day, as it is a holiday and the end of the summer. It's been a long time since I did a Labor Day trip to the island but I remember that it was more crowded when I did.

However, unlike a Disney park or other theme park, crowds in Avalon are not necessarily problematic. Because there are so many water activities available on the island, as well as zip lining and all of that, a lot of people are off doing those things and not necessarily crowding the streets of Avalon at every moment. Where the crowds might come into play is if you want to rent a golf cart and zoom around in the hills without waiting. If it is a crowded day and you take a later boat out (like the Newport Flyer boat), you would possibly have to wait for someone to return a golf cart before you could get one. If it's not a crowded day and if you take an earlier boat, you'd be sure to get one of the very first carts!

Hi Sherry-


Thanks for the info re: The Flyer and the Express-I think we would rather do the Express for the reasons you mentioned.

I think we may attempt going on Labor Day. I don't want to go to DL on Labor Day (we'll be doing that Sunday, one day mid-week and Friday at the end of the week to optimize the parks hours) and I don't know if I want to drive to San Diego and back on Labor Day (that's going to be a one day trip too) and there are a few things there that I have noticed aren't open on Labor Day.

I don't mind if it's crowded, just not ridiculously so. I like the idea of the Express having many different departure schedules in both directions.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:02 PM   #86
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Quote:
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Hi Sherry-


Thanks for the info re: The Flyer and the Express-I think we would rather do the Express for the reasons you mentioned.

I think we may attempt going on Labor Day. I don't want to go to DL on Labor Day (we'll be doing that Sunday, one day mid-week and Friday at the end of the week to optimize the parks hours) and I don't know if I want to drive to San Diego and back on Labor Day (that's going to be a one day trip too) and there are a few things there that I have noticed aren't open on Labor Day.

I don't mind if it's crowded, just not ridiculously so. I like the idea of the Express having many different departure schedules in both directions.
Sounds like a good plan! I think that the crowds kind of 'move' differently around Catalina/Avalon than they do in Disneyland or California Adventure so even when there are a lot of people visiting the island at a given point it might not be as big of a deal. At Disneyland, it's all about waiting in line for rides and attractions, staking out spots for fireworks or other shows, etc. That's when the crowds can seem ridiculous. On Catalina it is a bit different because there are so many people taking tours inside the island (going over to the other side, where Two Harbors is) or renting boats, parasailing, zip lining, taking some of the water tours, hiking, etc. So everyone kind of spreads out and doesn't necessarily stay congregated in one place.

Endy (Wendy) - who you probably saw some posts from in this thread - went to Catalina over 4th of July a couple of years ago, and she didn't seem to indicate that crowds were immensely bothersome.

Have you ordered the free Visitors Guide for 2013? I posted a link for it in the first post of this thread, although it was for an older version of the Guide. I would imagine that the link is still valid, though.



I wanted to mention, also, that earlier in this thread I was talking about some of the great shows that local TV personality Huell Howser did about Catalina, and that occasionally there will be a "Catalina Week" on Huell's primary public television channel out here (KCET), which features 5 or 6 of his shows about the island.

Huell, very sadly, passed away from cancer a couple of weeks ago (which is going to be a great loss for many reasons), but before he did he left his entire body of work and every single show he has ever done to Chapman University in Orange County, California. He wanted Chapman to be able to digitize all of the shows and make them available for free to everyone, for research and educational purposes.

My 3 absolute favorite Huell Howser/Catalina shows are the ones that I most want to include in this thread - the Flying Fish tour show, the Casino tour show and the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden show. And...not one of them has been digitized and loaded to Chapman's website yet! Those 3 shows really showcase some of the iconic parts/attractions of Catalina that many visitors would be interested in seeing.

From what I have been told by Huell's production company, all of Huell's shows should be turned over to Chapman in the course of the next 6 months (they only have a portion of them right now), and by the end of the year all of the episodes should be loaded.

So that means that the 3 Catalina shows I really want to share with everyone here could pop up next week...or they could pop up in December! There's no telling - it's an ongoing, laborious process.

In any case, even though these are not the shows I was specifically seeking, here are links to a few of the Catalina-related shows that Huell did that have been digitized thus far (again, these are all totally free to everyone!):

California’s Gold #9003 – Catalina Arabian Ranch - January 2007

California’s Gold #6004 – Catalina Cubs – January 2004

California’s Gold #709 – Camels and Bison – January 1996

California’s Gold #504 – Wings Over California – December 1994

California’s Gold #403 – Islands – December 1993
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:30 PM   #87
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Just a heads up to anyone who may be silently subscribed to or following this thread -

It was in March last year when we found out that the Catalina Express Free Birthday Boat Ride was being extended for a second year (through April 2013). Since March is almost upon us, and the current wave of free birthday boat trips is due to end on April 30th, I would expect that we should find out in the next 2 or 3 weeks if Catalina Express is going to extend the birthday promo for a 3rd consecutive year (starting in May).

When I did the free birthday trip last year (see blue link to Trip Report/Photo Report in my signature below), one of the clerks who worked in the Bay of the Seven Moons shop (which gave out free birthday trinkets) told me that the Avalon City Council and/or Catalina Visitors Bureau and/or Chamber of Commerce wanted to keep the birthday promo going and going, indefinitely. However, many of the island's vendors were not gung ho on offering up free goodies (cups of coffee, ice cream cones, etc.) for a third straight year.

So IF Catalina Express is to renew the birthday boat ride promo again, I don't know what other freebies will be available, if any.

Personally, as much as I would love to have another chance to get a free boat ride to Catalina this year, I cannot see how the Express could afford to give away another year of totally free birthday trips. They had been allowing people to claim the birthday offer more than once - in other words, the folks who claimed the offer in 2011 could claim it again in 2012! That was amazing and unexpected! But I have to think that IF they renew the promo again and begin it on May 1, there would at least be some new limitations to it, i.e., anyone who has claimed a previous offer cannot claim it again, etc. Or, perhaps they might do a free one-way trip instead of a free round trip. Who knows? I just keep thinking the previous offer was too good to be true and couldn't possibly keep going.

But...as I mentioned above, in 2 or 3 weeks we should find out what - if anything - Catalina Express has up its sleeve for this year in the way of promos. I will be sure to report on it here, and revise the thread title accordingly!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #88
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Hello, everyone!

As I mentioned in my previous post (from over one month ago), there was a possibility that the Catalina Express would renew the "free birthday boat ride" promotion for a 3rd consecutive year , and if they did we would probably find out about it in March.

The current free birthday boat ride ends on April 30th.

Well, a few days ago (while we were still in March) I checked the Catalina Express page on Facebook and didn't see any announcement to indicate that there would be a 3rd year of free round trip voyages to Avalon.

However...sometimes you find out information by reading posts from other people. I happened to read a comment by someone else on the Express' Facebook page, and Catalina Express replied to it by saying that, as of May 1, we will be able to start registering for our free birthday trips again!

That's right. You read correctly.



THE CATALINA EXPRESS FREE BIRTHDAY BOAT RIDE IS
BEING EXTENDED FOR A THIRD YEAR, EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 2013!!!


Apparently the Express decided to renew the offer in conjunction with the city of Avalon's 100th birthday.


So we have at least one more year (probably extending to April 30th, 2014) to enjoy a free boat ride (and the boat rides are not inexpensive, so it is actually a big deal that Catalina Express is doing this for a 3rd year) to the magical island of Catalina and the charming seaside town of Avalon for some birthday fun in the sun!





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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014

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Old 10-11-2013, 01:15 AM   #89
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For the Avalon/Catalina fans and/or potential visitors and the foodies out there:

There is a brand new episode of Chuck's Eat the Street running on the Cooking Channel this week, and it's all about the food in Catalina! This is basically what happens in the show:

1. Chuck goes to Avalon on Catalina Island. As he walks along Crescent Avenue He gives a bit of background about the Island. He heads to Lloyd's (which is a place that is known for its salt water taffy) and learns how to make... caramel/candy apples. Why he didn't learn how to make the taffy that Lloyd's is known for is beyond me;


2. Chuck then heads to Steve's Steakhouse and learns how to make... some sort of stuffed swordfish dish! At least I think it was swordfish;


3. Chuck meets up with the lady who runs Cafe Metropole, which serves a lot of healthy Mediterranean fare. They get in a golf cart and go foraging for fennel (which grows wild in the hills). They come back to Cafe Metropole and make a fresh, healthy, fennel-ish side dish and some cole slaw!; and


4. Chuck finally ends up on the iconic Green Pleasure Pier, at what used to be called Rosie's but it now called Avalon Seafood. Chuck learns how to make... fish & chips!



So this wasn't a travel show, per se, although I caught glimpses of the Wrigley Memorial and other areas I know around Catalina. This is more a show for the foodies out there! If you like Chuck, or can at least tolerate him, check your Cooking Channel listings for Chuck's Eat the Street Catalina Island episode! There are not too many shows solely about Catalina Island or Avalon except for the travel shows done by the late Huell Howser, so it is a rare event!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #90
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Thanks for the heads up! I found it using the online guide and it's set to record! Our Catalina excursion is still tentative...still waiting to see how my sister in law will feel that day (she's undergoing weekly infusions and has good days and bad days)...she's lived in Reseda for over 10 years and has never been!
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