August 21, 2017

Catalina Island Adventure with DayTripper Tours

20934104_10213844941903887_4037607621268565630_oSaturday comes and you think you can sleep in but you hop out of bed at your usual time of 0400 and get ready and fly out the door at 0510… and it is still dark out… as usual. But that is okay because today you have Retirement Practice with DayTripper Tours and Tour Director Keri. Wahoo! Climbing aboard the bus we take off to pick up more passengers and eventually Shawn points the bus north to Newport Beach. Never been there before but it is a cute little town or at least the part of it that I saw as I was standing in line to catch the double hulled Catalina Flyer. So excited! I had been to Catalina a couple of times before so I was familiar with the island but still did my homework and researched what tours were available and what I was going to do. I wanted to take an outback tour and was happy to see that the company was on the boat. Made it very easy to make my reservation.

When we left Newport Beach, it was dark and cloudy. By the time we got to Catalina, it was sunny and a beautiful day. I had some time before my tour left so Keri and I picked up a sandwich at the deli. While sitting on the bench, enjoying our lunch, we watched some kids swimming and enjoying the floats. Off in the distance, we saw the submarine taking some folks on an undersea tour. Later on I would see some folks snorkeling and parasailing, trying their hands at stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking and would pass by the zip line. Lots of folks were just walking around or sitting on the little beach relaxing or checking out the stores, restaurants or bars.

20914342_10213844935623730_305225505519293941_nNot me, not today, I was way too excited to head out on my Safari Island Adventure, “An Outback Journey”. I knew it was an open air truck and I would be traveling to places on the island I had never been before. I once rented a golf cart but this truck was made to go where no golf cart had gone before (with a nod to Star Trek). So, I’m waiting and here comes one very huge truck. Now, I’ve ridden in the back of a deuce and a half many times in the Marines, even got to drive one once with my military issued only on the base driver license. That was cool, but here was it’s much bigger cousin, the 5 ton and I was ecstatic. How cool it was to be in the back of one of these. Sure this one was different, there was padding on the seats for civilians. Yet, even with the comfortable seats, I was still in for a bouncy and you better hang on ride. We traveled up the tree lined old stage coach road from sea level to the airport at 1604 feet. It was here that we took a break and I talked to Jeff, the driver. I explained how exciting it was for me and about my time in the Corps. Then I asked THE most important question of the day. “May I please ride in the front on the way back?”. Well, that just wasn’t done. Folks just didn’t sit in front. He tried to dissuade me by telling me that it wasn’t comfortable, there were knobs all over the place, it was really noisy and I wouldn’t be able to hear his commentary. I think he sensed my excitement and then said “sure”. And like I had done many times in my younger years, I scrambled up into the seat. I was ready! I could still hear him and was able to take some fantastic pictures. We even saw some bison and ravens! I had a blast in the truck and in my mind of the memories of years gone by.

21015712_10213844939423825_7327919531842342704_oThe day could have ended there and I would have been satisfied but there was still time when I got back to make my way down the street and over to the miniature golf course. I played that course a few years ago, I was familiar with it and thought it would all come back to me. Well, it didn’t. Keri took score and that was a good thing cause I can’t count that high. Who is so bad that even when she picks up the ball and rolls it (self-admitted cheater) still gets a 10 on the hole? Seriously? Yup, she won. We had fun though.

20901453_10213844935423725_1737913840707956807_oI still had about 30 minutes left before I had to line up for the boat and I was so close to the beach and the ocean that I just had to do it. I had to take off the shoes and socks, grab my sandals and get my feet wet. Had to. And I did and with a smile on my face and sand between my toes I got on the Catalina Flyer for the ride back to Newport Beach. We met back up with Shawn and the bus and headed south. We were so close to San Diego and it was a long day, that we didn’t have a comfort stop on the way back but that didn’t matter to me. I was soooo tired I probably would have stayed on the bus anyway.

What a fantastic day! Now I have another trip on my list of repeat trips. I can’t wait to go back to Catalina with DayTripper Tours, Love this company and their Tour Directors. They take the time to do the research on where we are going and what we will see and what to expect. They take care of everything! All I have to do is show up and get on the bus. I try to go on a trip every month. This being my birthday month, I’ve also scheduled a trip to Los Angeles for the “Tribute to the Music of Motown”. Yes, I am that young. If you ever want a daycation, send me a PM. I’ll tell you how you may be able to save some money on your first tour. Come on… let’s go on one together!

20934141_10213844936383749_2099194860491307577_oDayTripper Traveler Donna Grover
Tour: Catalina Island Daycation Getaway

Date: August 19, 2017


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