September 7, 2014

Catalina Island, Part 1

A truly timeless getaway just 22 miles west of LA.

On me: Everlane shirt, Billabong shorts, Daniel Wellington watch, Electric sunglasses.
On Kyle: Everlane denim shirt, GAP shorts.

Time stands still on Catalina Island; the waves billow, the locals stroll, the sun shimmers. The air is breezy and the sounds of the island were soft and subdued to the whirring of golf carts, the call of wondering sea gulls, and a distant horn of one of many native boats. Coming upon the island by the Catalina Express gave us a magnificent view of Avalon, a hilly seaside town splashed in Mediterranean pastels, resembling the gems of European oceanfront along the Amalfi Coast. It was a quick and comfortable one-hour ride from the bustling Long Beach port where the Queen Mary lives, that led us to our unforgettable getaway.

The Catalina Express dropped us off at Avalon harbor and not five minutes later on foot, Kyle and I arrived at the beautiful Pavilion Hotel for our overnighter. With a lush, tropical garden, massive fire pit, and an ultra-cozy seaside room, the Pavilion Hotel is a worthy contender for staying in and never leaving. We were tempted to do just that because of our hectic week at MAGIC tradeshow, but we'll save that for the next time we visit. The shining sun and twinkling blue waters were calling us.

The first stop on our agenda was the walking tour of The Catalina Casino, a gathering place rich in history and architectural beauty that would become a great first activity to learn much about the island. It was truly special and nostalgic, standing in the old art-deco ballroom and theater built from the dreams of hosting Hollywood's glamorous elite. You could feel the life that went on when all the windows and ceiling-to-floor doors stood wide open, letting in the serene, cool breeze of the island.

After some delicious seafood back in the main street, we hopped on a shuttle to our next and craziest activity. Ziplining for Kyle and I is no small deal - we're both deathly afraid of heights. But I did sneak away from MAGIC tradeshow in Vegas to zipline through Fremont Street with Mai just the day before this, so I luckily got some first-hand experience on the procedure. But looking 70 feet down to Fremont Street and 300 feet down into the Catalina canyons was a noticeably, frightening difference. It wasn't any matter though, because the instructors we had were so down-to-earth, patient, and knowledgeable about everything Catalina Island and ziplining and they made sure we were always safe, secured and having fun. After the first nerve-racking zipline, it became easier and easier and by the end, we were practically doing backflips (not really because we're not allowed to, but we did go one-handed!). It is one of the most beautiful and exhilarating ways to see the island at its entirety, with a gorgeous ocean view from above.

To finish our exciting day, we winded down by the beach and indulged in an incredibly savory dinner at the Avalon Grille. The relaxed, upscale atmosphere provided a great retreat following an afternoon in the wild and the hospitality from the entire restaurant team contributed towards one of the most phenomenal dinner experiences Kyle and I ever had. Sitting windowside allowed a spectacular view of the sunset against the horizon, while listening in on the waning sounds of the town getting settled into the night. Our first day in Catalina Island was more than I've ever done most days in my life and it set a precedent for an unbeatable adventure to come. 

Oh, and we are far from done. Read Catalina Island, Part 2 here!


  1. Wow you have amazing hair! These pictures are gorgeous, hope you had a lovely time :)

  2. Makes me want to go!!

  3. Looks like so much fun!

    brand new fashion/lifestyle blog!
    check me out! it would mean a lot!