A Spectacular Time On A Dime - On Beautiful Catalina Island!
 
We were so excited as we made our way onto the Catalina Flyer, (1.800.830.7744). We were greeted by a friendly and helpful staff ... Travel was smooth, comfortable and exciting ... we saw whales, seals, hundreds of dolphins and tiny baby dolphins on our way to the Island!  For accommodations I wasted no time snapping up a room at the Hotel St. Lauren online  (1.800.645.2496) for an easy $76 a night.

  

As we waited for a table at Jacks, (1.310.510.1308) we made friends with a local pup named Linus who gave me a lick on my neck as I hugged him!  Breakfast turned out to be a hot deal.  The aloha ambiance made me feel right as home as I slid into my booth.  Travel by sea always ignites my hunger so I ordered; 2 pancakes, crispy hash-browns and a cheddar cheese omelet all for under $11.  A lot of food, but I ate every last delicious bite!
    

Afterwards my daughter and I played a very competitive 18 holes of minature golf  (310.510.1200) A very pretty and well maintained course - and an affordable activity.  Afterwards we walked to the beach, just past the casino and went swimming.  It was so much fun to swim amongst the beautiful and colorful fish!  We felt like mermaids!

For dinner we made our way to the infamous Lobster Trap. (.310.510.8585).  Where several  locals pointed me - and for good reason.  The place was packed which is always a great indicator for me... good food at good prices and a good vibe.  I ordered the clam chowder ($6). After my first piping hot spoonful I knew lots of love had to have gone in it.

Finally we took a stroll over to the Wrigley Memorial.  Which has an extensive botanical garden and beautiful view points.  We loved taking lots of pictures and enjoying the fresh air.

The next day we satisfied our Island lunch appetite with a very good, cheap eat!  A piping hot slice of hot cheesy pizza. ($3).  Antonios's (1.310.510.0060) hit the spot. 

Next we took a ride around the Island on the Inside Adventure Tour! (1.888.317.3576)  I had done this tour years ago and I had enjoyed it so very much that we had to fit it in to this girls trip!  We saw a heard of bison.  Took in the gorgeous scenery, and wild birds.  And made a pit-stop at the Airport In The Sky for one of their famous freshly baked cookies which we dipped in milk.

    

And of course my favorite highlight of the tour was seeing the tiny little fox named Tachi - no bigger than a house-cat.  The story is she was abandoned by her mother and adopted by a family on the Island.  She now serves as an adorable ambassador for her endangered species.  Get more info on her here!  If you want to come away from Catalina with a historical understanding of it - this is the tour I would recommend.  We really had a great time!

Photography credits: My beautiful and talented daughter, Arapapane.