Birthday Trip to Catalina Island: Part 1

view from my Hamilton Cove apartment

THIRTY. YEARS. OLD. Wow!! This is a huge milestone especially for women. I expected life to be quite different at thirty from my current reality. The whole cliche of having settled down with a husband, at least one child and stable career. But to be honest, I haven’t had the most vanilla cookie cutter life. I honestly don’t think that’s what God intended for me. I am miracle baby and my name literally means the work of God…and God isn’t vanilla lol. I most definitely was not going to have a basic 30th birthday celebration either. Oh no! After how painful and confusing my twenties were, I owed it to myself to celebrate and embrace this new decade of my life. The year 2020 tried it with the pandemic and banning Americans from travel. My original plan was to spend a few days in Italy and then go on a missions trip to Uganda. But I am The USAfrican. So with the help from my sister, we decided to move the trip to Santa Catalina Island, a paradise off the coast of California. I partnered with Love Catalina Island and Catalina Express and ended up having one of the best birthdays ever!

How I got there…

It was a smooth and comfortable ride as we sailed from Long Beach to the city of Avalon. My family and I relaxed in the Commodore Lounge of the Catalina Express boat where we were provided complimentary beverages and snacks. Since there is a pandemic still, all passengers had to wear face masks while onboard. Of course in the tradition of Wikina Family Vacations, the beginning of the vacation was met with excitement. A woman passed out in our lounge and my sister was one of the few that went to the rescue! There’s more to this story! But other than that, an hour of smooth sailing, we were welcomed by the mountains of Santa Catalina. If you’re lucky like we were, you can even spot several schools of dolphins just swimming along!

Where I stayed…

There are 24 hotels and resorts in Avalon, the main city of Catalina Island. Of course, there is also the home rental option. Those are fine and dandy, but if you really want a lush Mediterranean style experience, then Hamilton Cove is the place for you. Hamilton Cove was my family home for three blissful nights. Waking up to the sun rising over the calm Pacific ocean and going to bed with the sound of crashing waves…TAKE ME BACK! It is a private community secluded from town with it’s own private beach, gym, tennis courts, golf carts per units. I personally wouldn’t stay anywhere else on the Island…unless I’m camping.

Where I played…

What I mean by play is where to find things to do on the island. If you’re not enjoying at the Descanso Beach Club, you’ll most likely find all other activities in Avalon. But more on those activities on the next post. If you do end up on this paradisaical island, I do suggest checking out Descanso Beach. I spent my actual birthday there drinking mimosas, laying in the sun, eating delicious nachos and wings, and swimming in the ocean. My first time swimming in the Pacific and MY GOODNESS! It felt so much nicer than the Atlantic! There’s something in that water! Either that or I was just elated by the mimosa filled birthday vibes. My brother and I waded the water to a rocky area for some photographs because that’s the kind of stuff we do. There was a particular spot that actually felt like a spa as the currents came in and out creating bubbles. Zen!

Back in the cabanas, the group next to us bought me more drinks and played birthday music for me to dance to! They were super friendly and awesome company. And by chance, they were the party with the woman who passed out on the boat ride to the island! What happened? They decided to try edibles for the first time and she in particular had one too many! Hey mom, how did the trip go? HAHAHA!

That’s all for now folks! I’ll give more details about the island, where I ate and what I did on the next post. In the mean time, go ahead and start booking your trip to Catalina. Check out Love Catalina Island for everything when booking!


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