Catalina Express offers a birthday promotion of a free ride to Catalina Island as long as you travel there on the day of your birthday. You can stay for as long as 30 days.
Since visiting the island with friends last September (see post here) I have thought about taking advantage of this offer. So I made the decision, booked a hotel room and requested my free ticket.
Rather than pay the $34 parking fee for two days, I decided to make the trip to San Pedro by public transportation (Expo Line to Silver Line). There are some things I learned the hard way but I made it just in time to run on to the boat… fortunately on an off-season Monday morning the boat was less than full! Next time, hopefully, I will know not to get on the wrong bus!
As it was my birthday I figured I would treat myself to fish ‘n chips. Many years ago I remember ordering this dish at the same restaurant on the pier and was very happy.
Well, nothing remains the same. I was not expecting fish rolls and shoe string potatoes… not quite my idea of fish ‘n chips!
But I couldn’t complain about the view (see photo at top of page). Although the island was experiencing typical “May Grey” (or May Gray, depending on what dictionary you use) I was feeling the magic of Catalina nonetheless, and sucking in the fresh sea air.
This fellow came over to say hello. Or so I thought… Suddenly there was a flurry of wings and next thing I knew one of the fish rolls, the container of tartar sauce and several of the shoestring potatoes disappeared as I was looking at the backside of the gull flying off. I should have known better!
I really didn’t mind that I lost half my lunch but I did feel bad for the seagull. With that kind of diet on a regular basis he would not be looking forward to a long, healthy life.
Compared to my photos from the last trip, these look pretty murky. But, nothing I could do about the weather. I’ve been to Catalina in every season and never before seen it without the sun.
Because it was off-season (I believe the season begins next month in June) I was able to book a nice room for a great price at the Hotel St. Lauren. If you look at the top floor you will see a deck that is for the use of all guests with a view in all directions. I would have no problem staying there again.
Out in the bay you can see the cruise ship Carnival Imagination. Too bad the passengers had to experience Catalina on such a dismal day.
I walked around with my little point & shoot camera snapping a few photos here and there. Even without the sun, I always feel like this is my special, private island and I was more than happy to be there.
Click on an image below to start the slideshow:
Part Two coming up when I have had a chance to look at the photos from my other camera.
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