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Welcome to my weekly update for April 16, 2023!
We went up to Catalina Island and spent one night last weekend. It has a couple of tiny little towns but we only visited the bigger one, Avalon, named after King Arthur’s Avalon in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, Idylls of the King. It’s a beautiful island, especially after all the rain California has had this year. Everything was green and blooming. There was a lot of fog and mist while we were there so I kept thinking of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s book, The Mists of Avalon.
On our first day, we joined a driving tour of the town area. Then we walked and explored on our own. You might notice the large, white circular building on the far side of the bay in the first picture below. It’s the Catalina Casino but it’s not a gambling hall. Casino used to mean “gathering place” and that’s how the term is used here. It’s a beautiful building and we wish we’d made time to tour the inside.
The next morning we downloaded an audio tour and walked around a bit more before catching a shuttle up to the Airport in the Sky. It was a glorious, sunny day up there above the low clouds and it was legitimately hot! We were shocked! We connect elevation with cooler weather but I guess getting above the clouds and away from the cool air on the ocean makes things work differently on Catalina. We had lunch at the little airport restaurant then rode our rented bikes the ten miles back into town.
Catalina has a small herd of bison, if you can believe it. They were brought over in the 1920s to film a movie–either The Vanishing American or The Thundering Herd (both based on books by Zane Grey, who had a home on the island)–and left to go wild. We saw two of the descendants as we rode our shuttle up to the airport. One was just resting in the shade and the other had found a small pond that it had decided to treat as its personal hot tub. It was just standing there enjoying the sun and the water. That one was close to the road but luckily it had moved on by the time we rode by on our bikes.
We finished our bike ride, picked up our luggage, and went to wait for our ferry. While we were on the dock, we saw maybe two dozen dolphins feeding offshore! They were jumping clear out of the water! Neither of us remembers ever seeing such active dolphins before! Then we caught our ferry back through the mist to the mainland, wishing that we had more time to explore Catalina.
All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2023
- Looking down on the little town of Avalon on Catalina Island
- The entrance to the Catalina Casino. The mosaic and murals were gorgeous, as were all the Art Deco details
- The bison in its “hot tub”
- A Western Tanager
- Common dolphins
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo: Book Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Punching Bag by Rex Ogle: Book Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I didn’t finish anything this week.
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend
The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan, read by Robbie Daymond
I honestly don’t know at this point. I feel like I might be breaking out of the slump that’s left me reading fun series books though.
What did your week look like?