Christmas 2011 At The Riverside Mission Inn

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ~Mary Ellen Chase

Time To Visit The Mission Inn....12/28/2011

Allow yourself to be swept away by more than 3.6 million+ brilliant lights transforming Riverside's historic hotel into pure magic. The annual festival begins the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, November 25th with a celebratory lighting ceremony featuring a full fireworks display, and continues through Sunday, January 8th.  With live entertainment, seasonal touches throughout, including horse-drawn carriage rides, freshly fallen snow and special appearances by Santa Claus and his reindeer, Festival of Lights is a beloved Southern California tradition not to be missed.


An amazing concrete ediface!

Did You Know? - The property began as a two-story, 12-room adobe boarding house called the "Glenwood Cottage" built by civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876. In 1902, Miller's son Frank changed the name to the "Mission Inn" and started building obsessively, in a wild variety of shapes, until he died in 1935.

Miller's vision for the eclectic structure was drawn from many historical design periods, revivals, influences, and styles. Some are Spanish Gothic architecture, Mission Revival Style architecture, Moorish Revival architecture, Spanish Colonial style architecture, Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, Renaissance Revival architecture, and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture.

With one section over another, addition upon addition, the result is an enormously complicated and intricately built structure, comparable to the Winchester House. It contains narrow passageways, exterior arcades, a medieval-style clock, a five-story rotunda, numerous patios and windows, missing gargoyles, castle towers, minarets, a Cloister Wing (with catacombs), flying buttresses, Mediterranean domes and a pedestrian skybridge among many other features.

Part of the complexity is an unexpected change of scale as Miller tailored certain portions of the property for his short sister. Another reason for the complexity is the variety of architectural styles.


A Pagoda sits on the street corner next to the Mission Inn


We have arrived


Santa is trying to get in

Did You Know? - The property began as a two-story, 12-room adobe boarding house called the "Glenwood Cottage" built by civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876. In 1902, Miller's son Frank changed the name to the "Mission Inn" and started building obsessively, in a wild variety of shapes, until he died in 1935. Miller's vision for the eclectic structure was drawn from many historical design periods, revivals, influences, and styles.

Some are Spanish Gothic architecture, Mission Revival Style architecture, Moorish Revival architecture, Spanish Colonial style architecture, Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, Renaissance Revival architecture, and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture. With one section over another, addition upon addition, the result is an enormously complicated and intricately built structure, comparable to the Winchester House.

It contains narrow passageways, exterior arcades, a medieval-style clock, a five-story rotunda, numerous patios and windows, missing gargoyles, castle towers, minarets, a Cloister Wing (with catacombs), flying buttresses, Mediterranean domes and a pedestrian skybridge among many other features.

Part of the complexity is an unexpected change of scale as Miller tailored certain portions of the property for his short sister. Another reason for the complexity is the variety of architectural styles.


Amazing iron work surrounds the front of the Inn


Amazing displays around the outside


Looking down upon us

Did You Know? - In 1932, Frank Miller opened the St. Francis Atrio containing the "Famous Fliers' Wall," which was used to recognize notable aviators. On March 20, 1942, WWI ace Eddie Rickenbacker was honored at the Inn, becoming the fifty-seventh flier added to the monument. Today, 151 fliers or groups of fliers are honored by having their signatures etched onto 10-inch-wide (250 mm) copper wings attached to the wall.


The group assembled and the timer worked


Super lighting

Did You Know? - Frank Miller died in 1935 and the Inn continued under the management of his daughter and son-in-law, Allis and DeWitt Hutchings, who died in 1952 and 1953 respectively. The Inn then went through a series of ownership changes and some of its older rooms were converted to apartments.


Nice sidewalks and walking areas surround the Inn

Did You Know? - The hotel was later acquired by the Carley Capital Group and was closed for renovations in 1985 at a cost of $55 million. Newly discovered structural problems cost more than expected and caused the company to fall behind on loan payments to a New York bank. Just weeks before its planned opening in December 1988 as the Omni Mission Inn, work on the nearly completed hotel was halted as a result. In December 1992, the Inn was sold to Duane R. Roberts, a Riverside businessman and lover of the Inn. Roberts completed the renovations and it was reopened to the public shortly thereafter.


We are getting ready to dine


Nick always gets the pretty girls


OK... We are going Inn


A view from our nice and cozy outdoor table

Did You Know? - For 125 years it has been the center of Riverside, host to a number of seasonal and holiday functions, as well as occasional political functions and other major social gatherings. Pat and Richard Nixon were married at one of the two wedding chapels, Nancy and Ronald Reagan honeymooned there, and eight other US Presidents have visited the Inn: Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Gerald Ford, and George W. Bush.


Daddy and Son....

Did You Know? - Social leaders that have stopped at the Mission Inn include Susan B. Anthony, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Collis and Henry Huntington, Albert Einstein, Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Hubert H. Bancroft, Harry Chandler, Booker T. Washington, Helen Keller and John Muir.


Robin and Bob have made their selections


Herbie watches on....


Bob got a new Nikon camera and Nick must try it out


Your cheerful hosts enjoying the evening


Horse drawn buggies.... We be going!!!

Did You Know? - Of its seasonal functions, the Festival of Lights is well known for its nearly three million Christmas lights, and over 400 animated figures. Although the Festival lasts all throughout the holiday season, the day after Thanksgiving is the lighting ceremony. On this day city officials and the owner of the hotel, Duane Roberts, give speeches before fireworks light up the sky and nearly 25,000 people attend annually to view the unique hotel and its holiday decorations. During the festival of lights, decorations including musical angels, carolers on the balconies, and a Santa Claus climbing the chimney are featured.


Pouring is such sweet sorrow! Nope.... Where is Greg??


Great friends


The heat lamp was fantastic

To The Carriages

Did You Know? - A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually horse-drawn; litters (palanquins) and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles.

The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use and for comfort or elegance, though some are also used to transport goods. It may be light, smart and fast or heavy, large and comfortable. Carriages normally have suspension using leaf springs, elliptical springs (in the 19th century) or leather strapping.

A public passenger vehicle would not usually be called a carriage – terms for such include stagecoach, charabanc and omnibus. Working vehicles such as the (four-wheeled) wagon and (two-wheeled) cart share important parts of the history of the carriage, as does the fast (two-wheeled) chariot.

Did You Know? - The word carriage (abbreviated carr or cge) is from Old Northern French cariage, to carry in a vehicle. The word car, then meaning a kind of two-wheeled cart for goods, also came from Old Northern French about the beginning of the 14th century; it was also used for railway carriages, and was extended to cover automobile around the end of the nineteenth century, when early models were called horseless carriages.


Sue jumped right in


Hang On Herbie Hang On... Lyrics to a song I think

Did You Know? - A carriage driver sits on a box or perch, usually elevated and small. When at the front it is known as a dickey box, a term also used for a seat at the back for servants. A footman might use a small platform at the rear called a footboard or a seat called a rumble behind the body. Some carriages have a moveable seat called a jump seat. Some seats had an attached backrest called a lazyback.


Zeus was 1700 pounds of draft horse and SMART


We trotted through the streets seeing the sights and singing


Herbie does a real mean "Jingle Bells"


The bridge connects buildings


Many carriages are out this evening


Sensors broken.... Seven humanoids (counting Herbie)


ASA 3200


Every balcony had moving figures


1,000,000 lights easy


What we sounded like


Beautiful.... Someone does a lot of work


The commander is happy with her idea


Herbie wanted to same money and go with the inexpensive carriage... We voted him down


Sue said "No!"


"... but Sue, we could ride in the red carriage!"


Herbie gets the dreaded "Sue look!"


Mission Inn Boulevard


Everyone sings


Everyone laughs


Nick would NOT ride in the fantasy carriage (just wait a few years)


Great lighting


Everything is covered in lights


Nick... Get ready to jump onto this carriage....


We will walk these very streets in a few minutes


"So Herbie, make a Christmas Wish!"


TMI


Now the serious carollers begin to wail


We are cool cats


Paul tries to remember the next verse


Oh oh... He did remember


Zeus knows the way through the streets of Riverside


Hard to take pictures when the horsey is clippy-clopping


We were really shaking when Zeus got into full trot


We came around the corner on two wheels

Robin Takes Us For A Walk Inside The Hotel Grounds


Dwarfs or Elves everywhere


Great lighting


They bring presents


...and other things


On donder and blitzed


"Please continue to move clockwise"


The pool was even decorated


The man who started the Inn

Did You Know? - Frank Augustus Miller (June 30, 1858 - June 17, 1935) was the owner and chief developer of the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, United States. He was also a civic leader and one of Riverside's strongest promoters.


The plants were magnificent with the special Christmas lighting


The Shootist


The courtyard was ablaze in lighting


Nick and Robin


"Hey Nick... Hope Santa was good to you!"


Animated figures everywhere


The founder of the Mission Inn


Ouch! A lot of climbing needed here


Camera doing double duty


The main entrance was on fire with lights


Now boys....

Time To Walk Around The Outside Of The Inn


The reindeer


Ice skating


Bob's new camera flashes green

Walk Down The Street


Great antique stores


See you next year


Bye bye... See you tomorrow at Club 33


On great Silver Bullet....