Valentine’s Day is over but lest we forget, I decided to write a blog post about our recent trip to Santa Catalina, California—The Island of Romance. Most of you will probably remember that catchy song from 1958 written and sung by the musical group known as the Four Preps. “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waitin for me … the island of romance, romance.” It was a top ten hit when I was a teenager and some place I hoped to visit one day. Over fifty years later, I finally got to go.
Charles and I boarded a high speed catamaran in Newport Beach for the hour long journey across the sea. The island was shrouded in fog and mist and appeared very mysterious as we approached. After docking, we boarded a bus to tour the island. The sign said, “This bus will take sharp turns, and the roads are very bumpy.” I survived the choppy waters of the Pacific by eating ginger chews for motion sickness, so I swallowed another one as we headed out. Now I had to conquer my fear of heights. Our destination was the “Airport in the Sky.” In his early flying career, Charles had landed a single-engine plane on that small landing strip 3,000 feet above sea level on top of Catalina Island. It couldn’t have been any more death defying than the journey to get there by bus. The quaint city of Avalon disappeared from view as we began our ascent. Around one hair pin turn after another, I hung on to Charles for dear life as we climbed higher and higher. I guess I thought if we plunged off the cliffs we would go together. Now wasn’t that a romantic thought?
A breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean was visible after every turn. An hour later we reached the Airport in the Sky. It was good to get my legs back on solid ground. People who had flown in were eating $100 hamburgers in the small café. That’s a pilot’s joke about how much aviation fuel it takes to fly somewhere for lunch. After a photo shoot, we headed back down to Avalon, and my idea of a romantic time. We found lots of interesting shops and a Mediterranean café with delicious sandwiches and pastries.
I am so very thankful that we both still have the health and ability to share new adventures. I am humbled that God enables me to reclaim the years of my life that I lost to liver disease and allows me to experience some of the desires of my heart. The Bible verse in Lamentations 3:22-23 expresses my feelings. “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.”