Sunday, February 22, 2009

Treasure Island

Day Two on Catalina started with a hearty breakfast at The Pancake Cottage (118 Catalina Avenue, Avalon).
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People start drinking damn early here. The place was extremely busy, and it took a long time for us to get our food. Maybe we should've had a drink, too.
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When the food finally came, though, it was delicious. Mr. Monkey had crepes with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and powdered sugar ($7.95), as well as a side of corned beef hash ($4.95).
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I chose the spicy chorizo fried with three scrambled eggs with refried beans, rice, homemade salsa, and flour tortillas ($11.95). What a way to start my day!
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If you have the patience, The Pancake Cottage is worth a visit.

Bellies full, we headed to our next activity. On the way, we passed a fountain and a somewhat awkward-looking wedding set-up.
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We met our guide Fred at the Catalina Island Conservancy for our Jeep Eco Tour.
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Having lived on Catalina for 46 years, Fred was not only well-versed in the island's history, but he also knew every single local we encountered. Fred taught us a lot about the island's colonization, flora, and fauna.
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It's a good thing that we had the big breakfast because Fred took us on quite the extended tour -- much longer than the tour for which we paid!

Afterward, we explored some more on our own.
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We went back to the hotel to rest awhile before we embarked on our evening adventure -- a nighttime Santa Catalina Island Company undersea tour.
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The inside of the semi-submersible was disco-like.
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Whereas our daytime undersea tour on Day One was like going to the zoo (i.e., the wildlife was abundant and right in front of us), the nighttime tour was like going on safari. We had to hunt for California spiny lobsters on the ocean floor. Tougher but still fun! The only drawback was that it was practically impossible to capture this with my camera. Alas.

Here is a poor-quality video from my point-and-shoot, complete with a crying child and an excited Mr. Monkey rattling off every creature he sees.

Spotting lobsters in the dark made us hungry. Mi Casita was our next stop.
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Jamaica and lemonade. Frequently refilled.
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We started with an appetizer of grilled panela cheese topped with grilled chorizo, tomatillo sauce and tortillas ($8.95).
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This was my favorite part of our meal. Muy delicioso.
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Our meals came with a choice of soup or salad. Here's the mediocre creamy chicken tortilla soup I had. Bland. Not hot enough.
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Mr. Monkey ordered the pork ribs slow-roasted and marinated in adobado sauce accompanied by frijoles de la olla, fire-roasted corn-on-the-cob, tortillas, salsa, and tomatillo sauce ($18.95). This was fairly tasty. The ribs could've been more tender, but their flavor was enjoyable. The corn-on-the-cob was the standout on the plate. Charred and sweet.
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My chicken flauta and beef taco combination ($13.95) was just sad. Flavorless. It was really too bad because the food's texture was perfect. It just didn't taste like anything. Boo.
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Action shot!
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I don't recommend Mi Casita. You can do better, even on Catalina Island.

Believe it or not, there is still one more Catalina installment to come. Stay tuned.


  1. people drink early because there isn't much to do! ;)

    I think I spied the area where we stayed on our 7th grade catalina trip - too funny!

  2. I loved too many pics to list. The animals were awesome and the signs were great too. I need that "9ish" one for my office.

    As for La Casita, I'm certain that to a tourist from the midwest that is the best Mexican food in the world!

  3. Your trip looks so fun! I love reading your blog b/c it opens my eyes to how much Los Angeles has to offer. DH and I complain there's never anything to do, yet you know better! Great photos btw.

  4. i love the first picture!!! looks like you and the mister had such a fun time!

  5. dude...i love the ones of the buffalo looking at you suspiciously. those are AWESOME.

  6. oh, and i have to say: midwesterners (at least some) know mexican. we have a huge mexican population here, actually, and there are lots o good restaurants with authentic mexican cooking. yum!

  7. I didn't realize how large Catalina Island is! Loved the photos.

  8. I love the buffalo and eagle photos!

  9. Looks like a fun way to spend your day...eating, sight seeing, and eating again.

  10. awesome pics, dude.

    makes me want to go to catalina - it's been years.

  11. i love the buffalo pics! he's a cutie.

  12. Pretty pics! The bald eagle makes a much better mascot than the turkey. Ben Franklin was such a moron.

  13. Wow, WM, your pics are really stunning! Love the eagle ones especially!


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