Sunday, November 10, 2013

Let's Visit the Island ....

For such a small town Avalon has a huge history and a lot to offer. What I have always loved about Catalina is it's diversity. There are so many things to see and do for all ages. Join me as I share with you an adults view.
On Wednesday Tiffany, Joe, Betsy and I rented a golf cart for a three hour tour! Yep, I was the driver and the guide so jump in the back seat and I show you some of the sights!
 First stop Mt Ada. 
 This beautiful manor house was built in the early 1920's by William Wrigley Jr. For his wife. It sits atop Mt. Ada, named after his grand-daughter who had quite a "cowgirl" reputation on the island. It has been said Ada, an accomplished horse woman had ridden every corner of the island and was very instrumental in the conservation of the islands natural resources. She passed in 2010 still an island resident. Today the mansion is a Bed and Breakfast open to the public. Many weddings and receptions are also held in this beautiful vintage home.

The steps leading up to Mt. Ada
The historic Casino is directly across Avalon Bay from Mt Ada. Built in 1926 at the expense of Mr. Wrigley this soon became home to the Big Bands like Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller. The upper floor housed a 180 degree grand ballroom! The lower level is an ornate Movie theater. In it's hay day many films were previewed here to the stars appearing in the films.
A ground level shot of the casino ....
A view from the casino across the bay - The Wrigley mansion sits atop Mt. Ada on the far left. Follow the white wall to the right and you will see another home in the direct center. This was the Wrigley's guest home. It's also HUGE!
As I mentioned in my previous post we visited the cemetery to visit my deceased friends. Many of the older graves are  above ground. At one time the under ground water levels were so high they couldn't dig too deep.  Notice the ones in the back row ... this family plot has dirt in the center to allow flowers to be planted. I have never seen anything like this before! Many graves dated back to the late 1800's!
Do you remember Zane Grey books! I sure do, he wrote several western novels and a few were turned into films and yes ... one was even filmed on the island. Zane Grey loved the island so much he built this beautiful Spanish style home high on a hill across from the Wrigley's Mt. Ada. Many years after his death his home was converted into a hotel and remains so to this day.

The back side of the Grey Pueblo ...   
Just a few feet away from the Grey Hotel is St. Catherine's Bell Tower. This Spanish styled tower chimes every 15 minutes and can be heard throughout the city. Featured on the bell tower roof are some of the tiles created on the island at the pottery factory.
I stole this picture from Tiffany's Facebook page! I wanted to share with you the picture of us starting our golf cart adventure! The other picture is another shot of the cemetery, aren't those gates beautiful?
After our tour we went home for a much needed nap. You know golf cart driving on narrow winding roads can be exhausting. After nap time was over we headed over to Luau Larry's for a Buffalo Burger and Buffalo Milk ... oh yum, this is a Luau Larry specialty!
Cheers Tiff!
Tomorrow I will share the history of WWII and the island of Catalina.

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