Short Trip And Loads Of Fun! Watch The Movie
We are celebrating being retired for four years and married for many. It's a short jaunt to Catalina and we always wanted to dine at Mt. Ada... The Wrigley Mansion.
Did You Know? - One of three southern Channel Islands, Santa Catalina is 21 miles long, 8 miles wide at its widest point and lies just 20 miles off the coast of Southern California. The island is named for Saint Catherine, as the island was "discovered" by the explorer Sebastian Viscaino on the eve of Saint Catherine's Feast Day of 1602.
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of inhabitants from as far back as 7,000 years ago. While not much is known about these early residents, historians can place Native Americans who had migrated from Nevada, Utah and other parts of California to the island at approximately 1000 AD. They utilized the island's abundant ocean and plant resources and maintained contact with the mainland and neighboring Channel Islands using large, plank canoes. Their villages were located at the sites of today's Avalon, Little Harbor, White's Landing and Empire Landing and Two Harbors.
The famous Catalina buffalo greeted us as we departed Long Beach
Did You Know? - In December 1924, 14 buffalo were turned loose on Catalina island for use in filming the motion picture, "The Vanishing American," early the following spring. After the picture was completed, it was agreed that the buffalo could remain on Catalina and they were again turned loose to live off the land.
In October 1927, one of the buffaloes was shot at Little Harbor, and police officers questioned two boats of suspects, but were unable to link them with the shooting. It was also reported that four other buffalo had been killed the previous month, but apparently that report was never verified. During the following seven years, however, there were no further reports of killings and by 1934 eight of the original buffalo, plus eleven others that were born on Catalina, still roamed the Island. In the fall of 1934, nine buffalo were imported to augment the herd of 19, bringing the island population to 28.
The buffalo continued to thrive and multiply, and by 1969 it was estimated that there were approximately 400 buffalo on Catalina Island. Then, in December of that year, because it was felt there had been too much in-breeding and new blood would improve the herd, 15 bull calves, approximately eight months old, were brought to Catalina from Gillette, Wyoming. At that time a program was begun of culling the herd each year and periodically introducing new bulls.
Our fleet was in and ready to go
Hollywood Paul is ready to depart
The GPS information was displayed in the Commodore Lounge
We Are Off And Running
The Queen watches the activities
Patiently awaiting his free drink
Catalina in the distance... It was a 65 minutes crossing at about 32 knots
The island was extremely green because of all the recent rain
We Made It... 11:10 AM
If it wasn't... It is now!!
The Portifino Inn and Restaurant of the left-side of the street
Our next Catalina destination
Avalon's New Waterfront Dining
The Avalon Grille came from the Catalina Country Club
Open five days a week for lunch and dinner with a lively, central bar and open air dining. The Avalon Grille's winter hours are from 11:30am to 3:00pm and from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. This new waterfront restaurant features American regional dishes with a seasonal approach, paired with a world class selection of wines, micro-brew beers and cocktails in a casual and fun "al fresco" atmosphere overlooking Avalon Bay. The Avalon Grille boasts a fabulous new menu including BBQ beef brisket with cheddar mac n' cheese and our famous brussel sprouts. No reservations necessary.
We did make reservation for our group at the upcoming dance.
A glass of wine before going to the mansion?
Great view right on the waterfront
The manager was very helpful
Lunch At The Inn On Mount Ada (aka The Wrigley Mansion)
Did You Know? - William Wrigley, Jr. bought 99% of Catalina Island in 1919. He chose the setting for his new home on Mt. Ada (named after his wife, Ada) because it received first sunlight in the morning and the last rays at sunset. The Inn is 350 feet above the town and harbor. The building of the Wrigley's home was started in 1920 and completed in 1921.
The couple enjoyed their home together through January 1932, when Mr. Wrigley died. Mrs. Wrigley continued to visit until 1947, when she suffered a stroke and lingered in a coma in Pasadena for 11 years. She died in 1958. From 1921 to 1932, the Wrigley's entertained a number of famous guests at their island home, including Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, and the Prince of Wales.
Long Beach view from our table! 26 miles across the sea
The menu had veggie selections
Did You Know? - Mr. Wrigley also owned the Chicago Cubs professional baseball team, and invited them to hold their spring training on the island. Following Mrs. Wrigley's death, the home was owned by the Santa Catalina Island Company and used as a tourist attraction. In the 1970's, the home was given to the University of Southern California to be used as a conference center.
In 1985, the present innkeepers secured a long-term lease of the property and created the successful business known today as The Inn on Mt. Ada. For the past 18 years in a row, the Inn has been awarded the Mobil Travel Guide 4-Star rating, a rating awarded to only the top 2% of lodging properties in the entire US & Canada.
Life must have been tough - The living room
Looking into the dining room from the living room
The magic mirror.... Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the handsomeness? "PAUL!!"
From the living room looking through the windows
The "bar" area
The sun porch overlooks Avalon
Did You Know? - The home was finished in December of 1921 just in time for the Wrigley's arrival in January of 1922. The home named by William Wrigley Jr., Mt. Ada (after his wife, Ada Foote Wrigley) included six bedrooms, a drawing room, billiard room, sunroom, dining room, office, and terrace porch. According to an article published in The Catalina Islander on January 3, 1922 "Mr. & Mrs. Wrigley and party arrived on the Island Wednesday, and were immediately taken to their home Mt. Ada on the East Avalon terrace.
The house is 350 feet above the picturesque bay and, standing at any of the front windows, or on the porch, Mr. Wrigley Jr. has a wonderful view of the Island coast line as far as Long Point, the entire town of Avalon, the golf links, the baseball park, the mainland, etc." Mr. & Mrs. Wrigley made two annual visits to the Island in the summer and winter, lasting between four and ten weeks.
Breathtaking views of the harbor
330 feet above the city
Great place to lounge during the summer
From the den into the sun room
Upstairs is where the bedrooms are located
The font door looks out onto a circular driveway
Another sleeping area is connected to the mansion via a bridge
One more look back into the living area
The views are great even walking between rooms
Living room view into the dining area
Pour your own... We liked that
Coming from Long Beach
Joe Duncan Gleason (1881-1959)
Did You Know? - Joe Duncan Gleason was born in Watsonville, California and was one of the few maritime specialists working on the west coast during the first half of the 20th century. Although he traveled and worked periodically on the East Coast, his studio was located in Los Angeles. He was also a popular studio artist for MGM and 20th Century Fox, where he created the production designs for many of their classic seafaring motion pictures. A world class gymnast and accomplished sailor, Gleason based the majority of his works on first hand observation.
Avalon Bay 1924
His view from just above the Holly Hill House; visible in the central foreground; shows Avalon still with both the excursion pier; now gone; and the steamer pier with both S.S. Catalina and S.S. Avalon at their berths. Sugarloaf rock on what is now Casino Point is gone and the Grand Casino; the second to stand on this site; is evident on the upper right. The still popular landmarks of the Tuna Club and Yacht Club are shown near the center of the composition. An interesting detail is the (now) classic runabout motor launch approaching the anchorage at high speed in the far right of the painting.
A cup of Joe before going "down the hill"
Goodbye for now
Let's Go Outside While The Taxi Cometh
Nasty old' rain is on its way
Looking into the dining room from the porch
Saddleback in the distance
Home is almost due north
Green everywhere but wait about six months...
Sue could get used to this
Cold hands.... Time to move
No! Time to sit... Nappy time
Awaiting the taxi
Tough life but someone has to do it
Country club and golf course are located in the valley
It's a little cool here
Perhaps a little over reaction???
Notice the shirt...
Through the portal and 27 miles is Santa Ana
Rain does the cactus well
The famous Catalina Talking Cactus... requires four glasses of wine first
Beautiful flowers everywhere
Did You Know? - Several eucalypts are among the tallest trees in the world. Eucalyptus regnans, the Australian Mountain Ash, is the tallest of all flowering plants (Angiosperms); today, the tallest measured specimen named Centurion is 99.6 m (327 ft) tall. Only Coast Redwood is taller and Coast Douglas-fir about the same; they are conifers (Gymnosperm). Six other eucalypt species exceed 80 metres in height: Eucalyptus obliqua, Eucalyptus delegatensis, Eucalyptus diversicolor, Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus viminalis.
An essential oil extracted from Eucalyptus leaves contains compounds that are powerful natural disinfectants and can be toxic in large quantities. Several marsupial herbivores, notably koalas and some possums, are relatively tolerant of it. The close correlation of these oils with other more potent toxins called formylated phloroglucinol compounds allows koalas and other marsupial species to make food choices based on the smell of the leaves. For koalas, these compounds are the most important factor in leaf choice.
Poor man's servants quarters and garage
Below the dining room
Still waiting for the taxi