2013 Jun 24 | Fairmont Vilebrequin VB, Catalina Island

Looking at their website, it's interesting how you can figure out most English words without the vowels.

Cool trike.

Someone left their sunglasses on the parking meter.

Eating at Father's Office, which is supposed to be really good. It was OK.

Ghostbusters-painted car.

Palm trees lining the road.

Likes dogs and flies? Or maybe flies dogs around?

Saturday I got a team together for the Fairmont Hotel / Vilebrequin volleyball tournament we did last year.

However, our first opponents could really play. Juanita and I trying to block the ball.

Good hits by some other teams.

A hit and a block.

Another one.

Emily McGough was in charge of the tournament this year.

Nice beach chairs set up.

People who got sunglasses from the Silicon Beach Fest.

Everyone was cool and a good sport.

Team strategy time.


Emily keeping an eye on the game.

Tips over the net.

These two guys were on the winning team, the one we lost to at the beginning. Really good serves.

Afterwards we went up to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

Free appetizers and drinks.

Our team digging in. s

Sunday we went to Catalina Island. This was a boat in the same harbor as ours.

Interesting sphere thingy.

Our ferry, the Catalina Flyer.

All of the luggage goes up front.

"Jump off ship."

We were outside on the top. It's summer in LA, but it was still pretty cold this day, so I closed my hoodie and drnak hot chocolate.

Betty using my legs as a blanket.

We're here!

Palm trees, statue, house up on a hill.

A beach.

Dirty car.

The Casino.

Grabbing lunch.

Lots of scuba divers.

We went snorkeling.

From above.

And below.

Tons of fish.

A fin and some fish.

A big one coming right at me.

Little blue fish.

Shadow of a palm tree.

The beach north of the casino is all rocks near the ocean; the sand is farther up.

Tons of little shops.

Signs telling you what's up each road.

This ice cream shop was really popular, and I haven't had bubble gum ice cream in a long time.

Almost everyone drives golf carts.

Golf cart only parking.

There is a really cool mini-golf course. All of the holes are based on some island attribute.

A lot of the holes have multiple levels.

This spiral was really fun, too.

Wow, that's complicated. You almost need an engineering degree to figure out which hole is the best.

Another cool hole.

A book in our motel with quirky facts about the island. The reason everyone drives golf carts is you need a permit for a car, and the person at the top of the list for one submitted their application in 1989.

Flowers and fruit of some sort.

Air hockey.

We only won enough tickets for two Tootsie Rolls.

An "out for lunch" sign at one place advertising for another.

Lots of houses.

Our motel room.

Ooh, a jacuzzi.

You need a permit to hike on the island.

A map. We took a shuttle from Avalon on the bottom right to the Airport In The Sky in the middle. The shuttle is normally $21 each way, but there is a hiker's special at 7:30am that's only $10. We were the only tourists on the shuttle; the two other passengers were employees and told us a ton of facts about the island on the way up.

The airport.

The hanger.

An airplane landing.

A history display.

Used to say "Ranger."

A store and grill at the airport.

They sell buffalo jerky.

And giant cookies.

Funny sign about not feeding the squirrels.

Checking out boat prices in a magazine; you can get one for around $50,000, not too bad.

And you can dock it here for around $5000 a year.

10 miles to Avalon. At least it's mostly down hill.

A stream of ants across the road.

A sign warning of animals on the island.

Buffalo. There was actually one standing by the side of the road, only 10 feet away from the van, when we drove up, but he wasn't still there when we hiked down.

Sharp spines.

A cactus leaf shaped like a heart.

A nice lookout shelter.

Built as an Eagle Scout project.

A view of a little port.

This van had broken down over the weekend.

A buffalo a bit closer.

Pretty trees and grass.

A car passed us about once a minute or so. This guy asked us if we wanted to rent bikes for the rest of the way down, but we said we were good.

Halfway there.

A little park.

The road was pretty curvy in some areas, so there were mirrors to look for other cars.

The road below us.

A crow eating some food a driver threw for him.

You need a permit to drive or hike beyond this gate.

The zip line.

The beach that was beyond the casino from above.

The Avalon harbor.

Oh the ride up we had a really great view of the city. I didn't see it coming down, and it turns out we drove up on road to the west of the arrow and hiked down the road to the north of it. Oh well, next time.

Some fish.

It was really hot waiting in line for the ferry back. One guy pulled out his giant umbrella.

People were pretty tired on the ride back.

A mechanical bull dressed up as a shark.

Funny sign.

This person was in front of me forever with her blinker on. There was plenty of space to go over between cars, but she kept waiting for a huge one. Ah, she's from Florida.

Two blimps over downtown; you don't see that very often.

One is the Goodyear but I can't figure out what the brighter one is.

Even with a faster shutter speed to darken it a bit I can't quite figure it out.

Time to use a zoom lens... ah, it's one of the minions from the Despicable Me 2 movie.

Shaved ice.

We went to The Boiling Crab for dinner.

Fun place since you can make a mess all over the table.

I couldn't figure out why the waitress put a "Q" on my drink; Betty figured out it was a cherry for Cherry Coke.

Aw, this dog wandered into our office.

It didn't have a tag or collar, so I grabbed some food for it. My friend Rhina came over, picked it up, and kept it for a few days until she could find someone to take it.

I remember when you had to have a big old box to get TV on your computer; now it's a tiny USB drive.

A patient with a foreign body in his cornea.

Brain: "You might wanna take the spoon out before you pour the milk. Otherwise the milk could hit the spoon and fly all over." Me: "Shut up, brain, I can do this. I'll just pour the milk on the side that doesn't have the spoon." Brain: "You were saying?" Me: "I don't need your negativity and criticism this early in the day."

My apartment door had been pretty dirty and scraped up.

Some painters came by and painted them all.

Nice and clean.

One of the new Teslas. My favorite part is the door handles; you press on them and they pop out.

Cool windows.

A lot of Meetup groups are front for businesses, like this one. It's interesting they ask you to leave a Yelp review.