Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Decadence Package - Avalon Hotel, Catalina Island

Have you picked a honeymoon spot yet? Let me recommend the Avalon Hotel on Catalina Island and their "Decadence Package." It's not a honeymoon special, per se, but it is a romantic package that makes a great honeymoon. And the Hotel is top notch, winner of the "Best for Romance - United States,TripAdvisor 2008 Travelers' Choice awards."

The "Decadence Package" goes for $795 plus tax per couple, and includes the following:

transportation aboard Catalina Express's high-speed fleet
one night in a balcony room
gourmet chocolates
rose petals
a couple's 50-minute massage

Catalina Island is, of course, the "Island of Romance," and plays host to weddings and honeymoons all year round. Catalina Express, the provider of boat service for this package, offers trips to Avalon from San Pedro, Dana Point and two ports in Long Beach, downtown and at the Queen Mary.

The honeymooning couple will have a plenty to do on the island, from snorkeling to scuba diving to birding to golfing to renting bikes and exploring the island. I definitely recommend a tour on a glass-bottom boat.

For reservations to the Avalon Hotel, call (310) 510-7070 or you can email them at:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pismo Beach Wedding - Great Views - Inexpensive

I visited Pismo Beach a couple weekends ago and found a really great wedding venue for a pretty reasonable price.

The Best Western Shelter Cove Lodge is located on the northern end of Pismo Beach, away from the center of town and all the tourist activity. It's also a part of Pismo Beach where you get cliffs and a more craggy ocean view - which makes for some pretty spectacular wedding photos.

Shelter Cove Lodge has two venues they rent for weddings, both with awesome views:

The Wedding Garden offers a wedding ceremonial arch, as well as seating for up to 80 guests. You can rent this venue for a two-hour wedding ceremony for $700.

The Panoramic Gazebo offers stunning ocean views, as well as standing room for up to 25 guests. you can rent this venue for a one-hour ceremony for $250. (You will have to arrange for your officiant)

You can get more particulars by emailing them at

Pismo Beach is really a lovely location for a wedding, not only because of the ocean views, but also because it's super close to several different wine country areas: San Luis Obispo; Arroyo Grande and, a little further drive north, Paso Robles. Be sure if you have your wedding there to pick up some bubbly from Laetitia Winery, just south on the 101 from Pismo Beach. And, definitely have dinner at Rosa's, which is just a couple miles south of the hotel.

I snapped this shot of the two different wedding venues. The wedding garden with the arch is on the left, and you can see the gazebo on your right.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Wedding Chapel in Palos Verdes, California

Looking for a beautiful wedding location in Palos Verdes? Consider the Wayfarers Chapel, a church without a membership, welcoming people of all faiths.

The Chapel itself was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, and sits on 3.5 acres of gardens, offering a stunning ocean view. Visitors are treated to a forest garden, rose garden, extensive lawns and an outdoor amphitheater.

The contribution for the Chapel and wedding service is $1,800 Monday through Thursday, and $2,300 on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. This contribution includes the use of the Chapel for two hours, the Chapel Minister, wedding staff, recorded music, and candles on the altar. You may also choose to hire The Chapel Musicians at an added expense.

Weddings are performed at the Chapel in 2 hour blocks Monday through Saturday on even hours from 10AM to 8PM, and from 2PM on Sunday. The Chapel seats a maximum of 100 guests. There are no receptions allowed, although they will give recommendations of places in the general vicinity of the Chapel for your reception.

The minister who will perform your service is ordained by the Swedenborgian Church. If you desire, and at your expense, your Minister, Priest or Rabbi can also participate in the service.

A reservation can be made in person or by calling 310-377-1650. For more info go to


Wayfarers Chapel
5755 Palos Verdes Drive South
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

I'm Disappointed in You, California

Well, California, you really screwed up by passing Prop 8, which bans Gay Marriage in California. Marriage between consenting adults should be celebrated! As Whoopie Goldberg said today on The View: If you don't like gay marriage - don't marry a gay person!

Just because someone is gay and married does nothing to lessen your marriage. It doesn't impact mine! If it impacts yours, then your marriage is already in trouble.

I know there are passionate people on both sides of the debate. There was the same passion decades ago in many parts of America when interracial couples were not allowed to marry. Then, as now, children were used as the rallying cry. "Think about the children" they pleaded. I wonder how those people would feel now to see the child of an interracial couple as our next President Elect. If the people had been allowed to vote on it back then they would have overwhelmingly voted not to allow interracial marriages, thus preventing the "tragedy" of a Barack Obama being born.

Of course, that's why people should not vote on matters of civil rights. That's why courts have always had to step in to protect minority rights from being trampled by the majority. The majority doesn't like to share! Never has. And, as our past history of civil rights struggles has shown, the majority has often been wrong.