Sunday, December 23, 2012

Island time...

Noell and I have birthdays that are close together (me 11/27 and her 12/10; go ahead and start planning what to get us next year).  For our birthdays this year, we decided to go on a little trip to celebrate together and we planned it for the first weekend in December.  Thanks to it being the off-season for Catallina, we decided we would take advantage and head to the island.  Noell found a screaming deal on Groupon and we  booked the weekend.

The week leading up to the trip we were both really stressed and busy.  It really didn't seem like we had time to go away for one of the few precious weekends left before Christmas.  I was thinking of all that needed to be done to prepare for Christmas, to finish for school, and prepare for Noell's parents to come for the holidays.  Noell was busy with her new business space and her clientele was increasing by the day.  We didn't really talk about these feelings beforehand but we both felt it.  The tension in the house was obvious to both of us.

During the drive up to Dana Point, we already started to decompress.  We actually had time to chat and catch up on things that we were so busy we had glossed over lately.  We got on the ferry to head to Catalina and about one hour later, this is what we saw...



It was beautiful.  The fog was just lifting, the cute little town of Avalon built into the side of the island was so cool to see as we pulled up.  We got picked up by the hotel shuttle and settled into our room.  We checked out the happy hour at the restaurant bar in the hotel and then headed into town to check it out.  We got some Chinese food the first night, and walked around enjoying the Christmas lights and decorations.


Hot and sour soup.


Avalon at night.


The next day we got up and went for a hike.  We walked over to the Conservancy on the island and got a map of hiking and camping spots for future use.  We walked up to the botanical garden and the Wrigley Memorial.



Fuzzy cactus.

From the top of the memorial monument.



Us at the top.


We had a nice dinner that night, and then headed over to a different restaurant for a nightcap.  We played cards in our hotel room both nights, this isn't the first vacation that we have played games.  We seem to be in the mood to just spend some quality time together while we are away.  We don't always seem to find the time for that at home.

Nightcap: Cider for me, whiskey for her. 

Cozy bar seating.


The next morning we got up and had breakfast at our hotel, it was delicious!  French toast and omelets, yum! Then we headed back down to catch the ferry back to the mainland.


Waiting for the ferry.

At first this trip seemed more like a hassle than a getaway but in the end it was really a great time for us to relax and re-connect right before the holiday busyness.


And here is a little holiday goodness for you to enjoy if you haven't already seen it!