Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Catalina Island: Soaring Over CA


My phone woke me up the other morning, it was my friend Matt calling to ask if I wanted to go flying.
He explained that our friend Jake had just gotten his pilot's license and wanted to fly over to Catalina Island for the day.
Immediate thoughts...this sounds terrifying.
Not only will I be in a tiny propeller plane, but we will be flying over the ocean and my newly licensed friend is basically doing a test drive 5,000 feet above the ground.
OH, and it's raining outside right now.
But I knew if I passed up this opportunity I would definitely regret it, so I put on my big girl panties and headed over to the airport.

Not your typical airport



There she is, the little 4-seater beauty called, Sensa.
And when I saw her I was scared to death, especially because there were 4 of us all going to pile in the tiny aircraft (2 of which were pretty big guys).
The smallest plane I had ever flown in before was a 20-seater on the way to Nice, France which isn't even that small but even that terrified me when it hit strong turbulence over the alps...however that story is for another time.
While I was mentally preparing for the inevitable doom adventure that awaited me, my friend Jake (the pilot) was conducting the pre-flight safety inspection.
This gave me some piece of mind, but I still wasn't fully convinced we would make it back alive, no offense Jake!




Preparing for lift off...


Exactly.

Being in such tight quarters made the take off a lot more exciting compared to a commercial flight.
I got to hear Jake talk to the airstrip patrol guy directing him when there was a break in the incoming planes and it was safe to takeoff.
It was also fun watching him press all the buttons and flip the switches.
There were so many knobs and thingy-ma-bobs!
Before I even knew it, I looked down and we were in the air, flying over the emerald green hills.


It was raining when we took off, but once we flew high enough and broke through the clouds it was all sunshine and smooth sailing.
We started out about 40 miles inland and made our way to the ocean.
The thing about small planes is they are incredibly shaky and unsteady, which I soon found out as the plane would casually drop altitude out of nowhere.


Disneyland from above, managed to fit all that Disney Magic in one picture!


California Adventure, I spy Flo's Cone Motel in Car's Land. See it?


Gotta love that California Coast








Land Ho!

After flying over the Pacific Ocean for awhile we finally spotted Catalina Island in the distance!
Although, my whole life, I have lived a short boat ride (or flight in this case) I had never been to Catalina, time's they are a changin'.






Avalon: The Main Harbor






We circled the island before landing and the views were breathtaking.
I couldn't believe this little paradise was so close to where I lived.
The water had so many shades of blue and green and the island is surrounded by secret little coves that are only accessible by boat, the perfect place to forget about the rest of the world and just soak up the sun and the sea.
Once we landed we got out of our trusty little plane to take a look around the Island and stop for lunch.




The guys pushing the plane into its parking spot, the little guy doesn't have reverse



There are actually a herd of wild buffalo that roam the island.
Rumor has it that they were first imported to the island in 1924 for the silent Western film The Vanishing American. However, the 1925 version of "The Vanishing American" does not contain any bison whatsoever and shows no terrain that even remotely resembles Catalina.
::cue suspicious music::
So the mystery remains, and nobody is exactly sure how they got there, maybe they're good swimmers?
Either way, I know they taste good because I had buffalo chili for lunch.
However, the island is famous for its bison burgers, I'll have to go back to try one sometime.
After a tasty refuel, we headed back to the runway and said our farewells to the mysterious island.





We saw a rainbow dip into the ocean on the way home, I'm guessing that's where a pot of gold treasure chest is buried...

79 comments:

  1. ugh! so so beautiful! this is why we can't wait to move to LA :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm excited for you guys to move to LA too and I don't even know you haha but from what I can tell you will love it [=

      Delete
  2. Ohhhh my gosh, what an awesome experience!!!! I so want to do this some day :) Looks absolutely breathtaking, and so fun!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you definitely should! Next time I;m up in the air I hope it's in a helicopter, I've never been in one before!

      Delete
  3. This looks like such an amazing experience!!
    xoxo

    www.cakeandcouture.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll def never forget, hope i can go flying like this again sometime. Everyone should try it at least once!

      Delete
  4. I'm not sure I would have gone along -- but I'm so glad you did! The Disney images are fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I thought it was pretty cool to see the whole park at the same time, especially because commercial flights don't fly over it that low

      Delete
  5. SO exciting . I am glad you didn't leave it , it's just soooper . The snap shots are tempting.
    Noor @ Noor's Place

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, wonderful pictures, exquisite flight, I love that place!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I want to go back and explore the island more, it is so vast, I couldn't believe it.

      Delete
  7. I would have been terrified too but seriously gorgeous!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was, next time I will spend more time there and hopefully go camping on the Island!

      Delete
  8. Gorgeous pictures!! I am so jealous! I totally would love to do that, especially over Disney World :)

    xo,
    Sincerely Miss Ash

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ashley! I would probably do it again actually, it was scary but fun!

      Delete
  9. Awesome views but I would have been terrified! Ahhh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was holding on for dear life, but it was worth it. especially on take off from the short airstrip on top of the hills. Scared. to. death.

      Delete
  10. Ahh my god! I hate flying but this is a whole different experience - it looks amazing!

    http://lasaloperie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. okay, WOW! that would sound scary but it was obviously worth it! i'm obsessed with these views and the amazing pictures you got! take me next time! xo
    the well-traveled wife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK! you can hop on in with us, i'll save you a seat =]

      Delete
  12. beautiful photos! such a awesome experience!!!! Would you like to follow eachother?
    xx
    daniella
    simplybeautifulelegant.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll go check out your blog right now!

      Delete
  13. Amazing photos! So jealous you got to do something like that.

    I have a friend who's licensed, but from what others have told me, he enjoys scaring people to death, so a definite no-no for me!

    Hmm maybe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahah that is kinda funny! I wouldn't be thrilled if I was in him plane though! haha

      Delete
  14. omgosh how fun!!! i've never been to catalina and couldnt imagine being able to get there the way you did xx
    www.vicariousLA.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely want to go again, maybe by boat next time haha You should go if you get the chance!

      Delete
  15. absolutely breathtaking shots, especially for me, because I didn't see the inside of a plain yet. I'm dreaming of flying away, to see the world like a flying bird, to be part of the sky and to fly away.
    those pictures enhance my dreams.
    hopefully your happy and contended of this fascinating experience.
    your pictures fascinated me. thanks a lot!
    the are so natural.

    kind regards
    matthias

    matthiasdengler.blogspot.de


    ps: take me with you on your next flight ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh thanks! &Deal, you show me around Frankfurt and I'll take you flying next time =]

      Delete
  16. These photos are amazing! I love pictures taken from plane windows. I'm terrified of flying I don't I would be able to sit in such a tiny plane, I might faint.

    Jo

    Peonies and American Honey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love plane window pictures too, it gives everything such a different perspective!

      Delete
  17. Wow
    Wow wow!
    I'd be kinda scared to get in there too! But what an amazing experience!!
    Great pics!
    Kallie But First, Coffee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kallie! It was an adrenaline rush for sure, i definitely recommend it if you come across the opportunity =]

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Thank you Vanessa! gona go check out your blog right now [:

      Delete
  19. THIS IS EVERYTHING! You are so lucky to have experienced this, and the views are amazing. Oh, I just can't stop dreaming about this.

    Brigita,
    http://lostinpattern.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just found your blog - I really enjoyed reading this because I'll be visiting California very very soon and am so excited! Will have a browse through your blog for tips : ) already saw the laguna rooftop bar post - we already had that on our list to do too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I;m really glad to hear you like it. And yes, I love the rooftop. A word of advice, my friend went and said they stop serving food at 8pm, so get there really early if you want to eat there, otherwise it's only drinks =]

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info- good to know. I'll keep on reading for more ideas! : )

      Delete
  21. So cool pics!! I'm so jealous!!
    You look beautiful!

    caughtinvogue.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. that is soooo cool!! and terrifying!! i've blown over Disneyland and Catalina and i'm so excited every time!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amazing post!Your blog is so lovely!!!! Would you like to follow each other on bloglovin' ? xxx

    Gleaming Spire * Bloglovin'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! yeah just followed you =]

      Delete
  24. Awesome Post and amazing photos! Thanks for your comment and follow. I'm following you back on bloglovin. Have a sweet day and stay in touch.

    noradulce.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. awesome!!!:)






    http://style-squared.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thats soo awesome! And the views are amazing!!


    www.lettersimpromptu.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. wow! I'm so jelous righ now !

    + would you like to follow each other?

    www.izabielaa.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Amazing!!! I hate the fact that Im terrified of flying... I still fly, but not like this!!!
    xoxo

    novelstyle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love flying but not in a small plane like that. Brave of you.

    / Avy
    http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com




    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow,amazing pics...I like your pretty blog.^^
    Maybe follow each other on bloglovin?
    Let me know follow you then back.
    Lovely greets Nessa

    ReplyDelete
  31. that is soooo cool!
    great photos
    xx
    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  32. Amazing view and great pictures as well! love seeing disney like that from a height!
    Haven't been a small plane in so so long. So cool!

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }

    Xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Such amazing photos! Sounds like an amazing trip.
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

    ReplyDelete
  34. Really amazing pics darling! Thanks for your comment in my blog, would you like to follow each other?:)

    http://julesonthemoon.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Giulia! Thank you =] I am actually already following you!

      Delete
  35. What an awesome opportunity, Catalina looks beautiful! Totally worth the shaky plane ride ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha it really was worth it, I'd do it again actually!

      Delete
  36. oh wow! what an amazing day out! so jealous of being able to see Disneyland from above!!

    http://capturingthewanderlust.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  37. such an amazing experience !!! wow!!!
    followed you
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  38. This makes me miss California so much!!
    Awesome!!

    www.wanderwings.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. wow, i wish i can travel by plane too~

    Regards, www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Beautiful photos, well done for being so brave! I promised my husband that for his 50 th birthday we'll do a helicopter ride over home on the Amalfi Coast...I figure if w wait till he's 50 at least we will have lived...if anything bad happens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! haha that is funny and a really sweet idea! especially over the Amalfi Coast, it is such a gorgeous area =]

      Delete
  41. That is an amazing view. The closest to this I got was when I lived in Vancouver and we flew over to Victoria Island. Stunning views !

    ReplyDelete
  42. great photography!
    looks fab, very jealous
    i love your blog and followed you on bloglovin
    A
    www.23ofashion.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love that you called this "soarin over california"
    brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
    I don't think you could have done a better job capturing how beautiful socal is.

    -love,
    one insanely jealous blogger.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Wow - looks incredible! Loving the Disneyland photo, it looks so neat & tidy from up there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! yeah, I know can't see all the crowds!

      Delete
  45. I love that you did not let this opportunity pass you by Courtney! What an amazing adventure! I love all the photographs from your view in the sky! Really puts thins in perspective!

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

    ReplyDelete
  46. What an incredible opportunity!!! I'd love to do that one day. It looks so beautiful out there! xx

    ReplyDelete
  47. I looove that you flew over Catalina Island. I went there for the first time just over a month ago and stayed in Avalon and I really wanted to see it from the sky. I always love seeing places from the sky :) What a fabulous day you had (and congrats to your friend for getting his pilot license. What a dream!)
    http://myfroley.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I looove that you flew over Catalina Island. I went there for the first time just over a month ago and stayed in Avalon and I really wanted to see it from the sky. I always love seeing places from the sky :) What a fabulous day you had (and congrats to your friend for getting his pilot license. What a dream!)
    http://myfroley.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Okay, I'm done talking now it's your turn =]