Matthew Lickona 2:45 p.m., Dec. 10
It's no secret, I live to travel. To experience new surroundings and cultures, food, wine, and everything in between. There's nothing quite like it. So, when I'm prodded to do so on someone else's behalf, I rarely turn down such an opportunity. And when that someone else is the lovely Ms. Anthropy, It's a guarantee that I'm going. It was on a Thursday morning when she picked me up. Not knowing what to expect, what I did know was that we were both heading to Catalina Island. Purchased in 1919 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr, the island was so named by Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino in honor of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. With very little traffic present, we made our way to Dana Point. The boat ride to the island lasted an hour and a half. Once we arrived, I was surprised to see that only a small percentage of the island was inhabited. The rest was virtually untouched. The main strip was a bunch of shops and restaurants located a few feet from a beach front. Across the island, there was the large and ultra-modern Catalina Casino, which was also a movie theater and a historical museum. Seeing many boats docked across the beach and the style of architecture of most of the buildings and homes, Catalina had a very nautical feel to it. Arriving at our hotel and having a quick glass of wine, we wasted little time indoors as Ms. Anthropy was anxious to see the rest of the island. Walking from our hotel and down the main strip, our first stop was the large rock dubbed 'Lover's Cove', located on the island's opposite end. From there, we paused a moment and watched several seals frolicking in the water. We then continued on, following a trail called 'Wrigley Road' which lead to the highest peak of the island, Ada Mountain Peak. The upside was the stunning visuals once you reached the top. However, the trail was over nine miles and most of it was uphill. Therefore, it came as no surprise to me to see most people passing us by on golf carts, the preferred method of transportation there. Walking down Ada Moutain Peak, we came across a small graveyard which was actually a pet cemetery. Wanting to go in, I was stopped by Ms. Anthropy who said that she had something else planned for the evening. Knowing that I was essentially there for the ride, I complied. Back on the main strip of the island, I was informed that we were going to be on a glass bottom boat tour. "Was this what was planned for the evening?" I wondered. The tour was a 45-minute trek up and down the island's coast from which onlookers were treated to a first-hand look of several species of fish through transparent glass on the boats bottom. While I was disappointed that I didn't see any seals or sharks, it was enjoyable none-the-less. Again on the main strip, we both decided that it was time for dinner. Going up some stairs to a local steakhouse, we both indulged in some of the best seafood I've ever had in my life. Feeling that we were finished for the day, I proposed that the two of us retire back to the hotel when Ms. Anthropy, once again, told me that the night was still not over. Taking me by the hand, we then walked to the Catalina Casino. Within moments of our arrival, we were met by someone who turned out to be a tour guide. It seemed that Ms. Anthropy, knowing my penchant for the macabre, booked us on a ghost tour. Pleasantly surprised, I had no idea the island was haunted! For a little over an hour, a small group of us walked to and fro upon the backstreets of Catalina. While there were many strange tales, my favorites revolved around a grizzly murder of a woman at the Casa Mariquita Hotel and a tragic scandal at the Catherine Hotel. The end of the tour finally put an end to our activities for the day. The next day, while we waited for the boat to take us back to the mainland, we decided to again visit the Casino. We were told in the ghost tour that a man plunged to his death during the Casino's construction. Going to the Casino's museum, I didn't feel any ghostly presence. But, I didn't mind because the museum itself was very informative and interesting. The boat ride back was pleasant, as was the whole trip. Hopefully, if Ms. Anthropy gets the urge to spontaneously travel again, she'll know who to call.
More like this:
- Ghost tour and Haunted Grand Horton Hotel in Downtown San Diego — Sept. 9, 2013
- Ghosts in Julian? — July 2, 2013
- La Jolla Cove — June 28, 2013
- The Queen Mary... Haunted? — Oct. 30, 2012
- A World Away on Catalina Island — July 28, 2011