The ladies take on Santa Catalina Island and celebrate some birthdays!

I had the chance to head down to southern California and spend the weekend with some of the greatest ladies I know last weekend.  Three of my friends just happen to have been born in succession, Jan 6th (Ramona), 7th (Lauren), and 8th (Erin).  They let a couple of Emilys join them for a weekend of backpacking and shenanigans.

We met up in LA on Thursday and explore Redondo Beach.  I am not going to brag, but I may have schooled Erin Kelly in some Skee ball that day.  We combined our skee ball tickets to acquire the purple snake, Lucille.

Ramona’s sister, Raquel, and Raquel’s partner, Tom, were kind enough to let us crash at their house Thursday night.  They also had a delicious cake to kick off the birthday celebrations!

Birthday #1, Ramona

We jumped on the ferry to Santa Catalina Island on Friday morning.  Ramona wears the ceremonial purple snake, Lucille.

We arrived at Two Harbors, after a two hour ferry ride, ready to put on our packs and get going.  Did I mention that this was a backpacking trip?

Our hike on the Trans Catalina Trail started out steep and muddy, but quickly offered some amazing views!

and Bison!!!

It turns out, some bison were brought to Santa Catalina Island in the 1920s to create some ambiance for a western film.  They left 14 when they finished filming and now there is a population of about 140 that graze across the island.

Our campsite was on the beach at Little Harbor.

Birthday #2, Lauren

We woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of the 17-mile aid station for a 50 mile trail run across Santa Catalina island.  The race had started at 5am and runners were still looking pretty strong!

We hiked back up into the mountains to the airport in the sky, where we stopped for a midday beer.

We made it to camp early enough to hike a couple more miles to an ironwood grove.  On the way back, we caught a nice sunset.

and we found a tire swing!

Birthday #3, Erin

The next day was our longest day on the trail and it gave us so many  beautiful vistas!  Beware of the prickly pear.

We arrived in Avalon that afternoon and explored the town a bit and grabbed some dinner and beers.

Final Day, no more birthdays 🙁

We woke up to a rainy day morning and packed things up one last time before jumping on the ferry back to LA.

We had enough time to shower back in Redondo Beach before hoping on our flights and scattering back to our respective homes.

Thanks ladies for an amazing weekend!  It was so nice to escape the cold weather for a couple days and hang out with such a fun group!

Christmas Back East

For the holidays this year we went back to Rhode Island and New York.

First stop was Newport and Lyn and Peggy’s lovely home.  I took a timelapse from their backyard.

We had a great time on Christmas with the Duncan’s.  Thanks Santa for the fish eye camera lens for my phone!

Next was on to Comfort Christmas.  Sunny and Dana were great hosts and fun was had by all.

Next was Cousins dinner.  Thanks again to Drew and Cat for hosting.  What a great time (no photos).  Got to walk around Sharon and Andrews property which was quite a treat.

Sleepy Hollow to watch some high intensity family paddle and enjoyed the awesome view of the Hudson from there.

American Yacht Club where Emily spent her childhood summers.  What a cool spot!

Next was on to New York City which was so much fun exploring and eating great food!

Grand Central Station is such a cool building!

Natural History museum to get some culture!

Couple of arty shots from in the city.

A sculpture exhibit in the Garment District.

And finally a run through Central Park

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Then back to Newport for New Years!  What an exhausting but very fun trip!