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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Catalina Island Getaway

The Pavilion Hote

Many Californians, like me, have said, "Some day I want to go to Catalina Island." That some day came for Everett and me this week. We spent three relaxing days and nights at a lush green garden hotel in Avalon on a Sports Leisure tour.

The two story Pavilion Hotel in the heart of Avalon on the bay has rooms scattered through a lush green garden providing privacy and the illusion of having your own private patio. A fire-pit, bay front wine bar, complementary wine and cheese parties and continental breakfast make this a truly tranquil place to let go of worry and cares.

Chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley bought the island in 1919. He brought his baseball team, the Chicago Cubs to the island for spring training. The film industry discovered the island in the 1930's. A herd of bison roam the hills. Fourteen of them were brought to Catalina in 1924 by a film crew which left them to fend for themselves after the film ended. The Wrigleys'  gave more than 42000 acres of the island to the Catalina Conservancy.

On Monday we boarded an old bus which took us on the Inland Island Motor Tour. It was a wild ride on a mostly one-way road to the Conservancy airport at the summit. We had a wonderfully memorable driver named Freddie. He had lived on the island since he was a young boy. He loved it and his enthusiasm was contagious. We saw a bison up close, something Frankie said seldom happens.

The third day we toured the fabulous Casino. The twelve story circular building, built in 1929 has a huge theater and a 20,000 square-foot ballroom. Casino is an Italian word for "gathering place.' No gambling in this casino.

 Later that day we took a ride in an observation submarine where we saw fish large and small in their habitat. On the fourth day we boarded the ferry late in the morning headed home. We got home about 10 o'clock, tired but with many treasured new memories.

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