Catalina Island Vacation Part 2

I know this is long overdue, but it felt like if I wrote the final recap of our vacation then it would really be over. I just haven’t quite been able to admit we’re back to real life. But it’s been over a week now, so time to pull up my big girl panties and move on! Plus, the Pacific Crest half marathon is Saturday and I want to have plenty of blog space to recap what will surely be an awesome weekend!

I already told you all about my first experience with SUP, the battery powered bikes, chill time on the beach, my favorite things about the island and a little lesson I learned (you can read about them here, here and here if you missed out). What else could there possibly be?? Um, well, an 8 mile hike and my stud of a husband get his rope climbing skills on at Muscle Beach!

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I’ll start with the hike… There are several hiking trails on Catalina Island and one of my bro-in-laws is pretty into hiking so me, Brandon and 2 of the bros got up early one morning to hit the trails. We chose the 8 mile trail, the longest, because we’re beasts like that. I though for sure I’d impress my hike-loving bro and my gym-rat bro with my super fit legs (running and cycling have given me some pretty solid quads). What I didn’t count on is the first 2 miles of the hike being straight uphill and my mountain goat of a brother-in-law setting the pace at (what felt like) a slight jog. At first, I kept up pretty well and if I was breathing hard, well, I’d just try to suck in my breath as quietly as possible to not sound like I was dying. Surely the terrain would level out soon and I’d have a chance to catch my breath before anyone realized I’m not as fit as I thought I was. That worked for about the first half mile…

But the terrain never leveled out, and my breathing started sounding like an asthmatic elephant and I gasped and wheezed and tried in vain to keep up. Curse you, legs!! All those high resistance, uphill portions of Cardio30 should make you stronger than this! You run a half mile straight uphill to get home at the end of a 5 mile run. What is WRONG with you! Finally, I couldn’t even see my brothers anymore, they were so far ahead, and I no longer cared if my loud, ghastly-sounding breathing scared off the other hikers and any wildlife that happened to be nearby. My dear, sweet husband, who comes to my Cardio30 class mayyyybe once every 4 months and who has been on a run once in the last year, slowed down to keep me company. Seriously, though, how is it even fair that I worked out regularly and I was the only one dying??

Finally, we reached the top and the trail flattened out. As I gasped and wheezed in relief, I looked out at the view to see if my near-death experience had been worth it.

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It was! The weather was really overcast (something I was super grateful for as I had sweat clean through my t-shirt even without the sun shining), but it was really cool to see the bay and all the boats from such a height. That really huge ship is a Carnival cruise ship that docked at the island for the day. We were all amazed at how massive that thing looked in comparison to all the other boats.

We hiked along the top of the island for awhile, hoping to see buffalo. From what we heard, several buffalo were brought to the island for a Zane Grey film in the 1920s and we’re just left there when the filming was finished. We saw tons of buffalo poop but, alas, no buffalo. I’ll spare you a picture of the poop… Not that exciting. There was a lot of cactus, though. Something I didn’t expect on an island.

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The rest of our hike was either pretty level or downhill (almost as bad as going uphill… But not quite). There’s a series of zip lines on the island, so we got to see those on our way down. I also got some pictures of different views of the island.

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After the hike, we were pretty much exhausted. My mother-in-law asked us how the hike was when we walked in the door and I’m pretty sure no one answered her because we were all half dead. I was grateful for the extra miles towards my half marathon training, but I’m pretty sure my butt is still sore from those 2 uphill miles.

On our last day of vacation, we boarded the ferry to head back to the mainland. None of us were quite ready to leave and we started planning our next trip right away.

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We arrived in LA several hours before our flight had to leave, so we rented a car and explored Muscle Beach and Santa Monica pier.

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The boys decided to show off their rope climbing skills and my monkey of a husband reached the top in no time.

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(Instagram)

He then proceeded to slide down the rope and get a nasty case of rope burn. Bummer.

We didn’t have much time to play in the water or lay on the beach, but it was fun to walk around and actually be on a beach that isn’t freezing cold (the Oregon coast requires layers and a windbreaker all year round).

It was a great vacation! A perfect blend of relaxation and adventure! We talked about going back next year over the 4th of July because we heard that they have some awesome fireworks. Plus, Brandon’s birthday is July 7th and you get a free ferry ride on your b-day! Who knows if we’ll actually go, but the whole family loved the trip and agreed that Catalina is a place worth visiting again!

Where’s your favorite place to vacation?

What’s been the highlight of your week so far?

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