Last Month's Getaway to Long Beach
by Kit Murphy
What can I say about the last Weekend Getaway? We had a great time with old and new friends, exploring Avalon and the Queen Mary, and the weather was perfect! September is definitely the best time to go to Long Beach! Low 80s, light breezes, virtually cloudless, even at night it was wonderful. Some of us spent a lovely evening on the bow of the Queen Mary, enjoying the starry night, a copious amount of wine, the night time lights of Long Beach, and the best of conversation. Life is good.
The Queen Mary is a historical gem, celebrating her 80th birthday this year. She is still the world’s largest collection of original art deco and holds the all-time record for passengers in a single crossing. Recommissioned as a troop carrier during WW II, she brought home over 15,000 soldiers in one crossing! With tours, restaurants, pubs, shops, and so much to do on the ship, there is never enough time to experience it all.
On Friday we visited the Pacific Coast Aquarium, which has a fantastic array of specimens. One of the most exotic collections are the “dragons” from Australia. They are a type of large, “lacy” seahorse and I don’t believe any of us had ever seen them before. The size of the aquarium is deceiving from the outside. It has multiple levels, outdoor displays, an inside Café, and of course, the gift shop. The Pacific Coast Aquarium itself was worth the trip to Long Beach.
Catalina Island is timeless. Saturday’s ride on the Catalina Express brought us right into the Avalon Harbor. The new Harris Museum gave us a historical overview of the island.
The annual outrigger races were in progress. A funny note is that they use to have the men race the first leg (from the mainland to the island) and the women race back. Not anymore. They found that the guys would race over and then “trash” the town partying!
No matter how many times you go to Catalina, there is always something new or different to enjoy.
As the holidays will soon be upon us, our next getaway will be after the first of the year. There have been some requests to return to Death Valley or a trip to Las Vegas. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.