Long Beach Dan has no clue where we are going. All he knows is what to pack, and how long to pack for. Keeping him in the dark is pretty fun. Our flight is to Long Beach, an unfabulous destination. The cab ride from the airport to the massive cargo yards of Port of Long Beach keeps the mystery going. Finally he figures it out at the heliport and the "Catalina" sign! Oh yes, we are catching a helicopter to Catalina. The choice is between a two hour boat ride while Dan feeds the fish, or a 15 minute helicopter ride. We choose the quick heli-hop.

Fatalon After dropping our bags off at the B & B we walk around the cute town… and OMG, everyone is FAT! What's up with that?? All we can do is rename Avalon to Fatalon. Enough about that.

Prickly Pear The next morning we go hiking. There is a trail that goes straight up to the ridge. It levels out and meanders over the town. The views are pretty spectacular: Fatalon on one side, and the Pacific ocean on the other. It makes the steep climb worth it. There are prickly pear plants all over the place. Dan explains how tasty the fruits are: they are juicy and sweet and yummy inside. It is hot; we are hungry and thirsty; there's a plant right off the trail; it has a big fat ripe red prickly fruit on it; Assana spots the fruit and noooooooooooooooooo! Before Dan can reach her she grabs it. Doh!! Scene folds. Next scene, two hours later: Assana is still picking prickles out of her fingers. It feels like wearing a pair of gloves made out of fiberglass!

Nothing To Do We visit the Botanical Gardens which are, appropriately, full of succulents. Everything is prickly to varying degrees of hug-me-ness! Dan keeps a close eye on Assana to make sure she doesn't touch anything else. Poor Assana! Other than the hiking and the gardens, there really isn't much more to do in Avalon. We visit the old Casino, which happens to be hosting an art show this weekend. Take a walk up the hill thru the residential neighborhoods for great views of the harbor, and basically goof around the one little stretch by the harbor.

Fire On the last day we wake up to a funky fire smell. Hmm... what is burning? Turns out it is San Diego county that is burning up. Doh! By the time we are up'n running the air is super smoky and the visibility, she is super slim. We find out that San Diego's Airport was shut and so they were sending people up to LA area's airport. Ayy! We quickly heli back to the mainland and try to catch an earlier flight out of LAX. Full flights! Back to Long Beach for our original flight which is now cancelled. The waiting game starts... we eventually get out hours later. At least the fires give us a beautiful sunset!

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