Catalina Dreaming. A 4 Hour Tour to Beautiful Catalina Island.

Catalina IslandMy parents recently bid on a package at a local charity event for a day trip to Catalina Island. The package was a four hour tour of Catalina island, including round trip air transportation from Air Options Aviation and lunch at the Inn on Mt. Ada for four people. My husband and I were my parents’ lucky guests for the day.

Departing from Palomar AirportOur flight departed from Carlsbad, Palomar Airport. We simply drove up to the private hanger and were whisked aboard the small plane. No tiny 2 oz bottles. No waiting in line. We felt like celebrities. The flight there only took about 30 minutes. The airport on Catalina Island is actually perched on top of a mountain with a bird’s eye view of the island. The view from the flight there and from the airport was amazing. From the turquoise water to the peaceful looking harbors.

The Avalon HarborFrom the airport we took a local taxi to the city of Avalon, about a 30 to 45 minute journey through the mostly uninhabited island. The island is also home of a variety of wildlife, including buffalo that roam the hills. And our cab driver gave us an unofficial tour and history of the island as well. The island was purchased by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1919 and his influence is still seen there today. Everything from the areas of the island devoted to education and the preservation of the land to the winery.

The Inn on Mt. AdaOur next stop was the Inn on Mt. Ada, the former Wrigley mansion turned inn and business venture.  Mt. Ada was named after Mr. Wrigley’s wife. And they chose the location for their home because of it’s wonderful sunrise and sunset views. From the moment we set foot into the lobby of the inn we felt right at home.

Sipping bubbles on the porch at Mt. AdaIt was so amazingly peaceful and serene. And it didn’t hurt that they had champagne waiting for us! We enjoyed a scenic lunch on the patio and took in the breathtaking views of the mainland and the harbor of Avalon. If not for the scheduled return flight I think we would have stayed for days!

Air Options AviationWe hopped back in the taxi and journeyed back to the airport. Our pilot and guide, Joshua, gave us an aerial tour of the island as we left and I even got to sit in the co-pilot seat. That was truly amazing to experience. From the technical instruments to the dialogue of the air traffic control tower and the pilots. Not to mention the views.

Thank you Mom and Dad for inviting us on your tour of Catalina, it was something I’ll never forget. And thank you to Joshua of Air Options Aviation, our taxi driver and the crew at the Inn on Mt. Ada for making our brief visit one to remember. In fact we are feeling very inspired to sail there for the jazz festivals this summer and make it a longer stay next time. We didn’t have to go far at all to feel like we were on vacation. Catalina is definitely on our minds!The Inn on Mt. Ada


I Don’t Do Dirt Work……

There is a famous story in my family that when I was  a little girl I told my Mom that I couldn’t help her in the garden because “I don’t do dirt work.” Well look at me now Mom! I not only tore apart our whole flower bed, I even planted flowers today.

Today was a perfect 60 degree SoCal day for planting some spring flowers. Yes it is February and the rest of the country is still in a deep freeze. But that’s why I live here! We moved into our new home last April and life has been too busy for any work in the front flower bed. Until today!

Beautiful ranunculus

One of my favorite flowers is a ranunculus. And they are in season from now until May. I was so excited to plant them on our front yard, but when we moved to Carlsbad last April it was the end of the season for this flower. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw them for $2.90 a gallon container at Evergreen nursery in Vista! We loaded up the trunk with at least 8 containers!

Our front flower bed was a boring sight to see. It just had some flax plants and beach grass of some sort. Which is very low maintenance, but not very colorful. We spent some time last weekend ripping out the old plants and putting down some compost just in time for a week of SoCal rain! So the ground was nice and soft today for planting. I also had to add some amendment to the soil, nothing like clay to stunt flowers without some help!

The before.....

I’m not done yet though. Stay tuned for the next wave of planting, a rock border and some mulch for the complete transformation! I guess I do dirt work now!

Almost done......

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Welcome Miss Daphne!


Our new sweet girl

Ok, so it has been too long since my last post but once again I have a great excuse. Not only have I been loving my new job and our new life in North County, we also welcomed into our lives a new family member, of the four legged kind. Miss Daphne joined us last week.

New friends

New friends

She is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. She is 6 and a half years old and is the sweetest little girl. But do not let that sweetness fool you, she actually has become top dog around our home; little Miss Hayley follows her all around. They have been getting along great, although Daphne has more interest in food than she does in playing with energetic young Hayley. Daphne’s family was moving and could not take her with them. And although I am sure she misses them she seems to have adjusted quickly and quite happily to her new home. We are so happy to have Daphne’s sweetness and calm demeanor in our home and Miss Hayley is loving having a friend around while Steve and I are at work all day.

Please join us in welcoming Daphne! Wondering how life is with 2 dogs now? Great, but I am sure I will have twice as many stories to share!

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