Home from Catalina Island (Our Trip!)

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We’re home from Catalina Island! We left home on the 20th and just returned late last night. Ah, what a vacation it was.

We went on a new hike each day (to Wrigley Mansion, the zip lines, botanical gardens, Wrigley Memorial, the campgrounds, to the golf course, Hamilton Cove, and all around Avalon), took naps, played games (miniature golf, Uno, Heads Up), layed by the beach, went to the movies (Jurassic World), ate amazing food (Steve’s was #1), enjoyed ice cream (Big Olaf’s), walked to get our yummy $.50 coffee’s each morning (Loyd’s), and hung out at Descanso Beach most days.

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We cooked at home several times and other than that we enjoyed the food of Catalina. We ate at Bluewater (this photo – an Ahi Salad), Steve’s Steakhouse (my favorite – see toward end of post), Antonio’s (amazing pizza – order the tomato basil), Mi Casita, and a little burger stop near the arcade. Oh, and we definitely had a nightly visit to the arcade with Marco’s cousins competing in air hockey. I got to be a kid again!

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I took just enough pictures to have some good memories, and other than that, I left my phone inside. I’d say my phone was tucked away in our Catalina bedroom for about 90-95% of the trip. I basically only jumped on my phone to answer a text from a friend, or post a picture every other day or so to instagram. It was so nice to be completely unattached to it.

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This is the grassy area at Descanso Beach where people sneak off to eat their own packed lunches :). Otherwise, they don’t let you bring your own food. We sat here with Marco’s fam on one of the first couple days as the kids were having a picnic and throwing a ball around.

If you look closely, you’ll see a Carnival Cruise ship tucked away behind the tree’s on the right hand side. On Monday’s and Tuesday’s (I think!) they stop in Catalina and let people spend the day there. I’ve never been on a cruise – thoughts?

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Here’s a picture that Marco’s grandpa sent me yesterday :). He said “at this time last week you were enjoying Catalina!”

Another thing I was completely unattached to the entire trip was my makeup bag. I only get fully ready when I’m at home 1 or 2 times per week anyway, but on our trip, I literally left my makeup bag packed 100% of the time. I never touched it, and it felt so good.

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We got sun everyday, which made us happy :). There was hardly any fog while we were there. Last time we went (see post here) there was fog every morning that would burn off around noon. This time, there was only fog on the last two days. The fog doesn’t bother me at all, in fact, it’s almost nice when you’re out hiking in the morning, but it was nice to have such hot weather for the beach.

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Another view from Decanso Beach :). Only downside – you have to walk through all of these rocks on your way down. Ouch!

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I enjoyed several different drinks on vacation. I had: a mojito, a mai tai, margarita’s, and buffalo milk. My absolute favorite was this “Buffalo Milk” from the Descanso Beach bar. It’s got a coffee, chocolate, banana spin on it… and it’s DELISH. I wasn’t in the mood for my regular vodka soda this trip, which was a fun change up :).

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Marco and his cousin Will :). He stole my glasses for this picture because he “couldn’t see a thing.” 🙂

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Marco and I. Photo courtesy of Marco’s aunt Leslie :). This was a day where I didn’t take my phone, and Leslie just text me a few pictures. Another reason why it’s so easy not to have your phone – everyone else will take the pictures for you (haha)!

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Here’s a photo I took on one of our hikes over looking Hamilton Cove. Ah, it was beautiful!

I will say – as I took this photo, I was thinking about just how pretty Catalina truly is and also, how we never get the WHOLE picture of a trip just from someone’s pretty picture. I talked to Marco about this and how we sometimes just get such the wrong idea from scrolling through instagram, reading blogs, etc…

Our vacation was GREAT because we had time off, we got sun, moved around when we wanted to, napped when we felt like it, read, talked, laughed… and we ALSO drove each other nuts sometimes, annoyed each other, talked things out, couldn’t decide where to eat some nights, etc…

I want to point out to all of you, that when I (and probably most other people) come to a blog to post, we’re sharing our best parts. It’s so fun for me to come home from a vacation, sit down at my computer, and reminisce over my favorite parts of that time with you. But what I would also like to share, is that my family vacation is probably more similar to yours that you might think.

So, whether you’re reading my post or someone else’s, you can feel confident while celebrating a fun time with us, that there is no need to feel envious over something that may look perfect because I can assure you, NOTHING is perfect. Can we call a truce there? Is this true for you? I hope the realness I’m aiming to share here is helpful/encouraging/relieving.

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Okay, so now I’ll continue to share my favorite parts of our vacation :). Friday or Saturday night (now I can’t remember) we went downtown to listen to live music. THAT was fun. The live band was great and played so many oldies songs, which I love!

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The very last day, Marco’s grandma sent Marco and I on a lunch date at Steve’s. She told us to sit near a window, which would overlook the ocean.

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It sure did, and it was so pretty. It was also one of the warmest days, and this window seat was the coolest seat in town. We were mighty thankful for that :).

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I ordered sea bass on the last day, which had been caught IN Catalina at 4:00 AM that morning. Talk about eating local! I thought that was pretty cool.

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Marco got the burger, which was so yummy (& so were the fries!), but even said he should have ordered the sea bass because it was just that good. The sea bass was covered in lemon, caper, butter, and mushroom sauce and served with rice pilaf…. yum!

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Our vacation continued when we arrived back to Ventura after Catalina. On Monday, Marco and I visited our niece, brother, and sister in LA. Mama was babysitting, so we got to spend some special time with her too. Ah, baby girl Sofia… I love her to PIECES.

After our visit, we stopped by In-n-Out for lunch, which we hadn’t had in ages. I got a cheeseburger “protein style” and french fries. This is actually my favorite (tasting) way to order their burgers, because the lettuce is so crispy and fresh and I can really taste the burger.

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When we got home Monday, Marco went to the gym with his buddies and I got to spend some special time with my Dad hiking in Ventura :). He told me stories from when he was growing up, about riding his bike through California, hitch hiking, and being a spontaneous 17 year old. I loved it :).

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I know this isn’t SUPER clear, but can you see the ocean? And spot the Islands (not Catalina, which is out of LA)?

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And here, can you spot Two Tree’s? Those two tree’s are historic in CA. There’s also a hike up to the tree’s but it’s actually illegal (private property) and I guess Ventura is really regulating it now. Sad, that used to be a fun one!

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The last photo I’ll leave you with is our dinner last night, which was made by Papa Burton (aka, my Dad, who I have many names for). Chile Verde Tostada’s. Yum! We ate with Mom & Dad and enjoyed their company before heading back home.

All in all, it was a wonderful vacation and I am feeling so relaxed and refreshed. It was just what I needed :).

What would you like to hear, through blog posts, about Catalina &/or vacations? Leave a comment and let me know.


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