At 1 PM we are off to find the landing for the Catalina Express and the trimaran that will take us to Santa Catalina Island in just over 1 hour. The sea is generally calm with a bit of chop as we near the island. Settling back in the Commodore Lounge we toast over Bloody Marys this next portion of our adventure. Since neither of us have been here before, we are enchanted with our first views.
The Pavilion Hotel is situated right on Crescent Street across from the water. It is lovely with an outside patio and nicely landscape green areas for lounging. After settling in, we head off to the Catalina Island Conservancy office to arrange for a several hour jeep tour the following day. Then we explore the restaurants that have been recommended: Steve's Steakhouse, Bluewater Seafood Restaurant, The Lobster Shack, and the Avalon Grille. The latter restaurant is owned by the same folks who own our hotel and The Casino. While mulling over our choices, we walk along Crescent Street to the Casino to check on tour times. Then, back to the Avalon Grille for a complementary glass of champagne and rich crab and artichoke dip appetizer. The decor and ambiance are perfect as we leisurely watch the dusk turn to darkness. So relaxed, we opt to linger longer over a shared meal of perfectly grilled filet mignon with mushroom bordelaise & seasonal vegetables, followed by a rich, warm flourless chocolate cake with Cabernet-soaked berries . . . yummy!
A bit of window shopping before we head back to the hotel since we have an early morning rendezvous with our Conservancy naturalist.