My recent roadtrips this past Spring to Carmel and Sedona have widened my senses of inspiration and defined the world my soul rejoices in - a world of untouched nature, clear, starry nights, and wonders that steal your breath. Rediscovering the glittering constellations that shined from horizon to horizon in Sedona invigorated my soul and left me speechless - nothing could describe the profound beauty that had once been before my eyes when I was a child in a small town in North Carolina. Magical destinations like these have motivated me to get out of the city with Kyle and set ourselves on the road to discovery. Hoping to make this a monthly feature, we will journey and share with you places on the less-traveled path that will bring you back to an awe-inspiring world.
On me: Everlane shirt, Joe’s Jeans shorts, Wildfox sweater, Mary Grace one-piece, Patricia Nash backpack, Chloe sunglasses.
Waking up to the golden sun and blue waters of Catalina Island is a dream-turned-reality, a gratifying feeling I can’t believe I’ve denied myself for 12 years as a nearby SoCal neighbor. What surprises me is that most of LA’s born-and-bred whom I’ve questioned have yet to visit the island themselves. And that’s what I hope to change when I’m exclaiming at the top of my lungs to choose Catalina Island as your next weekender. You don’t even need to take a vacation day to feel like you’ve gone to paradise.
The next morning started off so sweet and mellow with a lovely, fresh breakfast in the tropical courtyard. Kyle and I packed away our travel essentials in our sturdy Everlane weekender bag and after we checked out of the Pavilion Hotel, we hit the boardwalk for some morning ice cream to beat the heat at Lloyd’s, a must-stop for amazing rocky road. We stroll a little easier to our daytime cabana at Descanso Beach, taking in the sights and sounds of Avalon on our last day here. So many little boutiques and fun, colorful restaurants are passing us by that we haven’t had the time for, which makes many more trips back a reasonable idea. The white, soft sands of Descanso Beach await us with a roomy cabana to lounge and lunch in and as soon as we settle, two refreshing strawberry daiquiris were set on the table. Free wifi is dangerously available on the beach, making this cabana the coolest office space Kyle and I have been in. But only a teensy bit of work was on the agenda, alongside a whole lot of relaxation. It’s a great place to snorkel and see the untamed wild in the super clear waters, but we’ll save that for next time because we were sunk into the lounge chairs and not getting up. Descanso Beach is like a little piece of Hawaiian paradise, except it’s 2,460 miles closer and easily accessible for even a day trip.
I hate to admit that we were enjoying life so much that we were debating on making it to our next and last activity, the Dolphin Quest. It was a little bit of having too much fun on the beach, a bit of having a sniffle from a hectic week, and mostly of denial in concluding our vacation with the last of our itinerary. But we were crazy to even think of missing out on the Dolphin Quest, especially in hindsight after an incredible breathtaking experience. We ran across Avalon to the docking pier and made our way into the speedboat and because we were the only ones to make it in time, it unintentionally became a private tour for just Kyle and me. We softly drifted through the harbor, passing yachts small and large and once we passed the quiet zone, the driver picked up the speed and turned up the volume to some heavy metal rock that made our saddle-seat experience like riding the mechanical bull in the sea (read: suuuper fun). The Dolphin Quest is literally as it titles itself - an adventurous tour to seek the graceful creatures that live along the coast of the island. We’re speeding, we’re seeking, and we’re rocking out, until we see in the distance a splatter of dots jumping in and out of the blue horizon. The driver zips us over there and my eyes widen at the beautiful sight that unfolds: a pod of 50-60 dolphins, many of them mother-and-baby pairs, majestically leaping through the water. As we get closer to the pod, they begin to move with our boat, swimming and leaping directly beside us like the playful beings they are and the splashes and the whistles were an awe-inspiring affair to witness. We followed along as they traveled along the coast of Catalina, letting Kyle and I explore other shores we’ve yet to see. The immensely moving experience of being able to frolic with the dolphins in their natural environment lasted for an hour that passed too quickly. But it was the most heartening way to end our trip and to leave us coming back for more.
Catalina Island is a dazzling, special place to experience the best of island life, not so far from home. For Kyle and I, this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment that couldn’t have gone any other way to have been a more perfect, relaxing and thrilling vacation. Could we summer here? That’s a question we asked ourselves after every activity, and our decision is making its way to the top of our priority list next year. It’s the perfect destination for the LA noncommittal, because it’s only an hour and one comfortable boat ride away and the weather is beautiful year-round, just like we’re used to here. Take note that the Catalina Express offers free rides on your birthday from ports near Long Beach and Dana Point, and everyone is remarkably sweet on your birthday (when they see your special birthday ribbon). If you’re feeling like you need to get out of the city, but you don’t know where or you can’t go too far, set your sights on Catalina.