Jan 31, 2009

A history of Avalon and my plans for the "Isle of the Blessed"


In Arthurian legend, the fabled island where the sword Caliburn (later renamed Excalibur) was forged. This is also where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after his epic battle with Mordred, his inbred-bastardized son. Arthurian legend also makes specific reference to the quality apples on this island. Even the word Avalon itself derives from the Celtic word Abal, meaning apple.

We now change course and bring ourselves back to the current world. I chose not to say “real” world as there are some, I am sure, who believe that every legend has its roots in reality. So to those who choose this particular direction in thought, I do not slight you.

Avalon, whatever form it may take, is an “Isle of the Blessed.” It is desirable and being there is rejuvenating and healthy. Sounds pretty good to me.

Now lets look at our own, real-time Avalon. It has its own zip code. As far as I can tell, if the United States Postal Service (a federal agency) recognizes Avalon as a real and tangible place, it must be real. So armed with this information, I have done a little research in preparation for my arrival.
As far as I can tell, Avalon is a beautiful place. It’s a small town, located on the Southeastern side of Santa Catalina Island. Catalina is part of the chain of islands known as the Channel Islands, which are all part of California. There are two main areas inhabited on the Island, Avalon and Two Harbors (which as far as I can tell only has one harbor, so I don’t know why they call it that). Generally, the rest of the island is uninhabitable. It’s also all protected. There are very few cars on the island, and main modes of transportation are walking or golf cart.

Activities: a little sight seeing (I hear renting a golf cart for an hour is a decent thing to do), shopping, eating and diving.

It’s the last two I plan to take advantage of. First off, diving. My good friend Iver got me into the sport. I have to say, I am addicted. There is a whole different world underwater. The normal sounds of general life don’t go under the surface of the ocean. Instead, there is ambient sound from the ocean, something you don’t hear on the topside world. The sound of your breathing is amplified, as well as the exhale through your SCUBA unit as the bubble start getting bigger as pressure reduces on the airs ascent to the surface. Kelp forests and Garibaldi fish. Star fish and grouper fish. Its another world, and its worth every effort to see it.

Now, on to food. The way I see it, there is no point in going to a exotic location and going to McDonald’s for lunch. No way. I enjoy good food. I love to try new things in different places. I enjoy food that is native to the surrounding area. So my choice, after several recommendations from others, is Steve’s Steakhouse. If there is one thing I know, diving builds an appetite. So I posted to a SCUBA forum and the response was generally unanimous, Steve’s. So off to Steve’s Wife and I go.

This adventure begins on Sunday when we fly to Southern Cal. The boat itself sets sail Monday evening. While on Catalina, I don't exactly plan to eat any apples. I do however, plan to take advantage of whatever else is there.

We’ll be posting more as the opportunity arises.

Thanks for tuning in.


  1. The last time we were there we rented the golf cart, visited some shops, and found a nice little restaurant with water side seating. It was nice and relaxing. Our visit to Catalina was delayed by a storm that made the harbor at Avalon less than hospitable. We hung out during a rain/hail storm, then headed south. Our day at sea was traded so we refreshed and calmed ourselves in Avalon on the last day (Thursday) of the trip. You and Delia will enjoy, I am sure. -- Dad

  2. Have a great time... I'm going to have to put a hold on my gym going... I've strained some joint near my ribcage (it has a really long name that I've already forgotten) and have to stay on limited activity and round the clock motrin for a few days to try and get it healed up.

  3. I love the picture.
    Heard today from your parents about you winning this trip...have a great (and relaxing) time!!!


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