Rosemary McClure's May 5 article on Avalon turning 100 was outstanding ["Still Shining"]. Another way for visitors to experience Avalon's golden days is to have breakfast or lunch at the Inn on Mt. Ada, [William] Wrigley's home, completed in 1921. By calling (800) 608-7669 up to one month in advance, you can book a breakfast for $25 or lunch for $33, both plus tax and tip.
Guests are served their meals in the family dining room. All first-floor rooms are open to view. Upstairs is available only to overnight guests of the inn. The food is excellent, views spectacular, and for a short time you can live like a Wrigley.
The article in Sunday's Times is misleading. It is not the 100th anniversary of the founding of Avalon; it is the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Avalon. Not that big a deal, and just a Chamber of Commerce promotional event.
Avalon was founded in 1887 by George Shatto, who developed it, and a family member named it. Avalon was a very popular summer vacation spot in the late 1890s.
Jo Anne Sadler
McClure's Catalina article brought back strong memories. In the fall of 1941, I was sent to Keith Vosburg's Catalina Island School for Boys, a private high school in Toyon Bay midway between Avalon and the isthmus. I was a freshman. Academics were intense and superior, as were athletics. Life at the school was Spartan; everything, from food to mail, came from Avalon twice a week by boat. In the event of storms, when no boat could make the trip, we'd hike up 1,000 feet to the road in driving rain, bringing supplies down like bearers. Regardless, we loved the place. On Sunday, Dec. 7, we were out on surfboards to greet the Catalina steamer from the mainland when someone came running down the pier shouting that Pearl Harbor, which none of us had ever heard of, was in flames, that San Francisco was under attack and so was Seattle. We were given 10 days to pack up the school and get off the island, sailing to the mainland aboard the Catalina, through submarine nets already put down at the harbor's entrance.
Priced out of El Encanto
It was with dismay, sadness and disgust that I read the review of the new El Encanto ["Into the 21st Century," by Christopher Reynolds, April 28]. We used to go to the charming old Encanto in Santa Barbara; it was very special and affordable.
Well, hooray for the wealthy. Another place taken over by corporate interests and turned into a über-luxe haven for the rich, as all the posh hotels in Santa Monica. Just where do us peons go?
I was disappointed to see such a glowing review without even a nod to the rest of us who will not be going to El Encanto. It did briefly mention there are alternatives, but writing reviews such as this one seems to say; "Hey, hoteliers, let's just have big, expensive, poshness and forget the little people."
When we could no longer afford staying at El Encanto, we did go for a delightful brunch on the terrace, but $75 a head? For brunch?
Nice review of El Encanto. As a Montecito "old timer" who was a regular at the old spot, the restaurant is definitely not ready for prime time..
San Ysidro Ranch, Lucky's or Downey's beats 'em hands down.
Some nice pieces of Legoland Hotel
Loved the review of the Legoland Hotel ["Staying Power," by Christopher Reynolds, April 28], although as an adult unaccompanied by a child, perhaps not the venue of choice.
The next time I'm at Legoland, I'll stroll over and check out the dragon; it looks marvelous!
Beryl E. Arbit
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