Friday, July 8, 2011

a 4th of july in catalina.

the 4th of july is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  i love seeing people's national spirit and i especially love the fireworks!  this year's 4th of july was extra special for me because i got to spend it on catalina island with anthony's family :)

we (me, melissa, joel, and charlie) went to catalina to watch anthony perform with the USC marching band, but it ended up being an even bigger adventure than just supporting him.

the morning started bright and early.  i woke up at 5:30am to get ready and be at anthony's mom's house by 7am.  we departed for newport beach, where we took the catalina flyer to get to the island.  the boat ride was super relaxing.  charlie and i both slept the whole way there!  luckily we woke up just in time to see the boat nearing the island, which was a beautiful sight.


once there, we dropped off our bags at the hotel and grabbed a decent lunch at el galleon.  the food was decent, but the music was ear piercing.  there was a man singing with his mic volume turned up wayy too loudly!  annoying at the time, but something funny to laugh about now :)



after lunch, we sat down outside to watch the annual catalina 4th of july parade, which the trojan marching band was performing in (for the 20th year in a row).  luckily, we were able to snag great seats... we were able to see anthony perfectly!


not so fortunately, we all ended up with pretty bad sunburns from the sun beating down on our backs for so long.  but it was still totally worth it to see antppny!

after the parade, we watched anthony perform with the band yet again at wrigley plaza.  it was another great performance by the trojan marching band!


finally, we got a few hours of down time.  anthony got to hang out with us (me, melissa, joel, and charlie), so we spent a while enjoying the summer sun, relaxing on the sand down by the water.  we also got some yummy ice cream to cool us off from the heat :)


when it came time for anthony to go get ready to perform again, joel, melissa, charlie, and i went back to the hotel to get ready for the night.  we killed some time before dinner back down at el galleon, where we listened to some good country karaoke!  my country lovin' dad would have appreciated it very much.

we then went to the casino, a very beautiful, old building, to have the 4th of july barbecue dinner.  the casino was absolutely gorgeous and i would love to go back to catalina sometime just to tour it.  the dinner took place in the ballroom of the casino, a large room with a stage up front.  for dinner, we had scrumptious barbecued chicken and ribs, with great baked beans, corn, biscuits, and salad.


(the little building in the picture is the casino)

although the food was great, the performance by the USC marching band was even better!  they performed up on the stage in the front of the ballroom.  of course, melissa and i made sure we had prime seats to see anthony :)  the music was great and a lady even donated $1000 to charity to conduct the band!  it just goes to show how wonderful the trojan marching band is.


after dinner, anthony was able to join us to watch the fireworks from the balcony of the casino, the best firework viewing location on the entire island!  we watched them from directly across the pier, where they were launched.  it was a beautiful show and i'm glad i got to watch it with my antp.


after the firework show ended, we went back to wrigley plaza, where the trojan drumline was having a drum circle.  charlie and i even participated, taking turns playing various percussion instruments.  it was tons of fun!


anthony and i finished the night with some of the best pizza i've ever had, from antonio's pizzeria.  i went to bed with a nice, full stomach, exhausted from the day's events, but excited for the next day's events.


the next day was great.  we (me, melissa, joel, and charlie) had a yummy breakfast, followed by an amazing ride on a semi-submarine!  it was a great idea, suggested by charlie.  we got to see beautiful fish and clear blue waters.  i also developed a newly found love for kelp.  it looks so gross when it washes up to shore, but seeing it from the submarine made me feel like a mermaid living in an underwater world.  it was so beautiful and enchanting!

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the super cool part about the semi-submarine ride was that we got to "turbo blast" food from the submarine out into the water, which made the fish swim right up to our window.  it was so cool!

after the ride, i stopped by the boating docks to say goodbye to anthony (his boat was leaving four hours earlier than ours).  joel, melissa, charlie, and i then rented a golf cart for an hour and toured the island's scenic route as we drove around.  it was great fun!


we had a yummy lunch at a mexican restaurant, mi casita.  charlie and joel then swam in the water for a bit, while melissa and i got a place in line for the boat ride home.  the boat ride home was less relaxing than the ride there, but it was still a pleasant end to a great trip!

i'm so glad that i got to spend more quality time with anthony's family and, of course, antp himself :)

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