Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4th of July in Catalina

We decided to do something new for the 4th this year and ended up in Catalina. We were fortunate to be able to rent a friend's vacation house for a few days, and since we now have the means to cross the ocean, it was an easy choice! We called to invite our friends the Milams, and they didn't hesitate to join up on another Grillo-Milam adventure.  Even though I have been to Catalina many times, I somehow managed to avoid being there on what is probably Avalon's busiest weekend. What a blast it was! From the Parade, to the drinks on the beach at Descanso, it was all good.

Since this was one of those goofy years that the 4th falls squarely in the middle of the week, I elected to take Thursday and Friday off and make a nice long 5 day weekend out of it. The plan was that Joel and I would take all the gear and the big kids on my boat, and the wives would ride the Catalina Express with the babies. We departed for Avalon early on the 4th, leaving from the marina around 8AM.

The "big kids" - ready for the three hour tour!

The crossing was nice and smooth. We made it to Avalon in about 50 minutes, not counting the two stops mid-channel to watch the dolphins. It really is amazing how excited kids get over seeing dolphins swim by! We had a bit of time to kill until the parade, and since my brother had reserved a spot for us at Descanso beach, we decided to take advantage of that. A few destroyers later, we headed into town for the parade. The parade was fun to see, complete with the USC marching band. We posted up in front of Luau Larry's, and the kids collected all kinds of candy that was being thrown by the parade. After that, it was back to Descanso for some more quality beach time. Joel had no problem getting used to the island life!

After the beach, we headed back to the house to get dinner going.The Milams insisted on bringing the food for the trip, and it sure was nice. They brought a well marinated tri-tip to BBQ, and it was delicious! Joel was the master BBQ man.

If there was one negative of the trip, I would have to say that the fireworks were pretty bad. Of years past, my parents tell of amazing fireworks shows that you could see directly overhead from where we were moored in front of Descanso beach. Not so much this year. Apparently due to budget cuts, the city of Avalon did a super budget show off the end of the pier in the main harbor that wasn't visible at all from where we were. We occasionally saw a flash of light from over the Casino, but that was it. Needless to say, the kids were rather disappointed.
Thursday brought another beautiful day at Descanso. We again had a prime spot on the beach, directly in from our boat, which made swimming back and forth a lot of fun. At one point, I pulled my dinghy ashore, and it became a makeshift playpen for the little kids.

Our day was spent hanging out on the beach, and occasionally the boats. We were moored next to my Dad's sailboat, so we got to spend time with my parents as well. My brother Alex was also there, and took Gabby out for a paddle board ride.

An excellent trip, and something I look forward to doing again soon! 

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of using a row boat as a beach playpen. I included that, and some other DIY pool and beach playpen ideas, here: