Trip one: EXPLORING Catalina via Kayak
We excitedly bounced onto the Catalina Express Ferry equipped with enormous backpacks filled to the brim with camping ‘necessities’ (ok and Matt brought his straightener).
We spent the day setting up our big camping adventure for the following morning, but still leaving a bit of time to explore the tourist town overlooking Avalon Bay. While we enjoyed our ice creams, we strolled through the shops, stopped at the beach to admire the marina life and popped in and out of bed and breakfasts trying to find the perfect stay. Unfortunately the locals aggrandized the fact that the island is haunted and built on an ancient burial ground – a notion that put my 250lb meathead boyfriend into a frenzy, so we ended up staying in the most modern hotel we could find: Hotel Vista del Mar. The hotel was comfortable and luxurious, but lacked the charm I was craving.
The next morning we rented our kayaks from Catalina kayaks, and took off for the few mile paddle around to the secluded campsites. Hours later, I was near tears and Matt was hollering at me as we finally pulled up to the inlet we would call home. I love adventure and fitness, but kayaking in the ocean as a first timer was much more challenging than I had anticipated. As the sun quickly set, we scrambled to build a fire and put together our tent. Before long, we had decompressed and were enjoying smores over the fire. It wasn’t until 9ish that the panic ensued as the waves crashed up onto our tent and put out the fire. We moved up into the brush, which had us spooked because of earlier ghost stories AND the fear of wild animals. Secluded is one thing, but this was too much. We spent the night shivering, soaked and scared. And when the sun finally peaked over the mountain I brushed the bugs and dirt from my hair, jumped back into my kayak and took off as fast as my swollen arms could take me.
That night, staying at Hotel Vista del Mar was more than spectacular – it was absolutely perfect. The next day we scuba dived with the legendary Ron Moore, rented a golf cart to cruise the town, and dined on fresh fish until the sun began to set. Then we hightailed it to the ferry and took off for Beverly Hills!