Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our Little Corner of the World...Paradise across the Sea!!!

On the other side of the Catalina Casino coastline lies a charming little beach...
...that pretty much rivals more exotic beaches around the world!!!

Less crowded than the beach by the pier and the center of Avalon...

...and a few well placed palm trees!

 Then there's the requisite bathing beauty...

...and a few impressive boats moored just off the beach.

A little different perspective of the Casino...not the normal photo view.

OK...this is by far one of my all time favorite photos!!!

Building sand castles...

...and one of the best beach side bars!!!

Sand, sun, ocean, grand kids, and a Mai Tai...
Life is Good!!!

But you can only spend so much time at the beach...
...so a bit of golf is in order...
pretty awesome style, eh???

Getting psyched to try his hand at golf...

The crowds are watching this awesome, unique golfing form...

Sometimes you have to walk the course to know what's ahead...

...and don't forget to check your equipment.

Colton was the official scorekeeper...

"How do I do this again?

Colton's scorekeeping left a bit to be desired...
...we have no idea who won...
...but we all got participation awards!!!

Click on the images below to visit more little corners of the world!!!








Thursday, August 11, 2016

26 Miles Across the Sea...a Little Corner of the World is Waiting for Me!!!

"26 Miles across the sea...
...Santa Catalina is a waitin' for me!"

 Addison waiting patiently to board the Ferry.

Oh!  And by the way...fair warning...
the youngest grand kids rock this blog post!!! 

Colton's glad to be aboard, but not all that sure what that means!!!

Leaving the port of San Pedro...

Tim...or otherwise known as Dada...and Colty were up on deck looking to see if they could see the island!

Addie getting a hand navigating the stairs on the Ferry.

The Smith family entertaining themselves on the Ferry! 
Boy...cell phones sure cut the boredom of an hour long ferry ride!!!

In our nifty little island vehicle...commonly known as a golf cart...
the troops set off for the condo!

Lunch at Antonio's Pizzeria overlooking the water!

I warned you...
Colton is just too darned cute...

...and such a happy boy!

"Where's your tummy???"

Addie is showing how she does her "big sistering"!

Now...you really do have to admit...
these kiddos are pretty darned cute!!!

Have you ever been to Catalina Island?

Catalina is a small island off the coast of California, about 22 miles from the Los Angeles ports.
(Contrary to the song 26 Miles by the Four Preps...Catalina is only about 22 miles across the sea.)

The island was purchased by chewing gum Mogul William Wrigley in 1919.
Wrigley loved this little island paradise and invested millions in the infrastructure and 
in developing attractions to bring people to his little island.

One of the attractions he built was the Catalina Casino.
Now you might think that building a Casino in 1929 is a bit of poor timing...
...but the Casino was never used for gambling.
Apparently, the word Casino comes from the Italian word for home, more particularly, 
a little house or country house and is much like the Spanish word casitas.
It also means a gathering place...in particular for friends and family.
The gambling connotation came along later...probably in connection with 
the association of the Italian Mafioso and gambling, but that's just an assumption!

The Casino has a movie theater and ballroom...
The movie theater was actually the first movie theater built specifically for movies with sound!
The ballroom became well known in the 30's for their Big Bands and dancing...

My Dad used to go to the Catalina Casino to dance to the Big Bands...
(He never admitted it, but I think it was before he met my Mom and he was looking for girls!!!)
He was a really good dancer, and could really "cut a rug"!

You may have heard about the Catalina Island pottery?
Quite a popular line of dishes and artisan pieces including tile was
manufactured on the island.  Apparently, the soil is a very fine and sturdy clay,
perfect for good quality pottery!

One of the fun things to do on the island is a glass bottom boat!
Do you see the flash of Orange in the upper left and upper right corners?  
Those fish are Garibaldi...the state fish of California!
They're protected...and they know it!!!
If you're diving off of Catalina...they have a tendency to come up to you and nibble on your snorkel!!!

Catalina is a stop for some of the short, 3 day cruises...
and occasionally for the longer LA to Cabo cruises.
If you want to avoid the crowds of ship tourists...don't go on a Monday or Tuesday!!!

Catalina is a destination for fishing boats and sail boats...
...and occasionally a yacht or two!!!

The glass bottom on the glass bottom boat got a little tedious as the hour wore on!
The view off the side was pretty though!!!

Back on land...
we drove towards the Catalina Botanical Gardens looking for the Cubs Spring practice spot...
...but on the way...LOOK!!!  Deer on the golf course!!!
Addie and her Dad got out to get a closer look!

Sneaking upon them as quietly as they could...

Drat!!!  They got spooked and took off!!!

I'll bet you didn't know that from 1921 to the early '50's,
the Chicago Cubs used the island for their spring training!
Wrigley owned the Cubs and the Island so I guess it was a perfect "marriage"!

Tim is a huge Chicago Cubs fan so of course, seeing the monument was a must!!!

To visit more little corners of the world...click on the images below!