Rojoe 2010-2011 travel blog

Notice that this woman is in street clothes as she paddles herself...

On the Catalina Express we met Elizabeth who was celbrating her 21st...

The City of Avalon and Avalon Harbor on the east side of...

The Pavillion Hotel beautiful courtyard.

We had a nice view of the ocean from the courtyard which...

Another nice area for relaxing with good conversation and enjoying a little...

We stopped for a couple of Margarittas and nachos at the Catalina...

The Casino is a dance hall and movie theatre but never had...

We saw a pod of 3 pilot whales. It is always difficult...

Wine and cheese time.

Mt. Ada, the home of the Wrigley's was built in 1921 where...

We had lunch at Mt. Ada which is open to the public...

350 feet above the waters of Avalon Bay, this is the view...

Pretending to play the piano was a real treat. I wish that...

A female and male California grey pelican out on the ferry dock.

Caleb, the owner of the Lobster Trap Restaurant, showed us a female...

Saw an Acorn Woodpecker on a palm tree by Mt. Ada.

The Acorn Woodpecker had her family with her on an adjacent palm...

Another view from the balcony of Mt. Ada.

Part of the Oprah Winfrey film crew reportedly filming a woman that...


Monday, January 24 - It was a short day to the Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes Preserve in Menifee close to Sun City. There are canals that meander through the park so many of the campsites are on water and campers feed the birds. We chose a larger site off water with a few trees. There are many different birds along the canal including the Little Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Coots, and of course ducks and geese. The humming birds found our feeder right away and even some kind of sparrows come for their drink from the feeder. The canals used to be stocked with catfish and others but with the December rains came flooding and run off from the farmer's field. Many fish perished and algae started to grow in the water. After the park takes care of the algae, they will restock the canals for fishing again. There is a huge cattle farm next to this park so we parked as far away from that as we could get. If you get too close to the farm, the odor can be sooooo bad as to sting your eyes and almost take your breath away. I can't imagine what it is like for the cows to be living in that mud, day after day. I don't think there are any "Happy California Cows" in that muck. I am sure they would rather be a "Wisconsin Cow."

Friday, February 11 - On Wednesday, we took the Catalina Express Ferry from Dana Point to Avalon on Catalina Island. It was a 20 mile trip and took us about 1 1/2 hours. What a wonderful and romantic place to visit. We stayed for 2 nights at the recently renovated Pavillion Hotel. Our room was $109 per night because we were visiting on the off season. We faced the beautiful courtyard and when in the courtyard could sit and watch the activity on the ocean. Every afternoon at 4:00, our hotel had a wine and cheese social in the flowering courtyard. There were no plastic cups at this hotel, but we enjoyed a variety of wines each night from long stemmed crystal wine glasses. Usually there was a white and red wine with appropriate shaped glasses and Joe and I could usually have enough time to have 2 glasses in the half hour. The variety of cheese and bread was a real treat, also. We met a lot of people and had a great time. The staff was top notch. We would highly recommend the Pavillion Hotel for anyone who is visiting Catalina Island. You could stay at the B&B Mount Ada, the Catalina home of the Wrigleys, but the rooms start at $400 a night and I believe that is the off season rate. We met some people at the hotel and went to the Wrigley House for lunch on our last day on the island. Wow! We had 3 hours to pretend the lower portion of the house was ours. There were snacks and drinks (champagne, a variety of wines, beer, non alcoholic beer, perrier, tea, soda, candies, nuts, cookies and much more) provided for our taking as we enjoyed the views and lounged on the decks overlooking the historic Casino, the city of Avalon, the Avalon Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. We could even see the California coast and snow capped Mount San Bernardino. I sat down at the grand piano and pretended to play but did hit a few cords. We were served lunch in the dining room with windows that gave us another spectacular view. After lunch we sat out on the beautiful decks and soaked up some of the sun. The views were amazing and literally took our breaths away. This was a real treat that we shared with some new friends from New Hampshire, Don & Chris.

One of Oprah Winfrey's filming crew stayed at our hotel for one night. They were doing a story on a mother who had been reunited with her 3 daughters. We took pictures of them taking pictures but no one knew when the story would air. It was fun to be part of the excitement. We took a couple of pictures but did not stalk them.

We rented a golf cart and were able see Avalon from the top of the cliffs and get some nice pictures. We did a lot of walking, too. We had dinner at the Lobster Trap one night and met the owner, Caleb. He is only 26 years old and owns two restaurants on the island. After dinner he took us out to the pier where his other restaurant is and showed us some of the lobsters that he trapped. One large male and female. Now we know how to tell the difference. :)

While we were walking along the shore, we saw 3 Pilot Whales, some seals, some dolphins, cormorants, pelicans and the Golden Garibaldi fish of Catalina.



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