catalina island.

on saturday, before the sun was even thinking about waking up, a. woke me up and filled me in on a little secret.  we were heading on a surprise date.  he had taken the liberty to plan a day trip, packed us a bag and told me to dress casually for lots of walking and kayaking.

as we headed north on the 5, after much anticipation, he filled me in on his plan.  we were heading to catalina island.
the interesting thing about san diego for a. and i is, despite all the time we've lived here (cumulatively) we've never been able to explore this state as we have the others we've lived in.  so this surprise getaway was not only a much needed adventure, but a great way for us to start really exploring this new home of ours.
we left out of dana point and headed toward avalon, the main town on the island of catalina.  about 30 minutes into the ferry ride, we hit a huge blanket of fog that socked us in for the remainder of the commute.  when we arrived to avalon, the town was just waking up and the blanket of fog created a cold and cozy atmosphere throughout the sleepy town.  we warmed up over breakfast and set off to explore.
as people started waking up and filling the streets, the fog never really lifted.  instead, the sun stayed tucked away and the fog got thicker and thicker.  determined to enjoy everything catalina had to offer, a. and i rented paddle boards and set out for the sea.  this is when i wish i had known where we were headed, because a waterproof camera would have been amazing!  but alas, those few hours of still water, dolphins and seals, and the crystal clear depths of the sea will stay with us only in memories.
after a nice long lunch on descanso beach, we continued to explore avalon by foot and walked for miles up and down the streets of the small town (you can literally see the entire town in about an hour) people watching and window shopping.  we found a rocky beach where we searched for rocks and finally, still trying to beat the chilly weather, decided to head back into town to warm up over drinks.
the catalina brew house offered up some amazing locally crafted beer (from san diego and los angeles) & we sat there for the remainder of the day talking, and dreaming and hashing out some things we've been working on for the past month.  as we waited out the last hour on the island, the fog finally started to clear and blessed us with beautiful blue sky and a colorful sunset.
catalina is such a magical place.  so much so that we're already to make plans to go again before the year ends.  this spontaneous trip was exactly what we both needed.