26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is awaitin’ for me…..Santa Catalina,  the Island of Romance! Well, this was our destination last week  to share in the engagement celebration of our son J.J.! It was a surprise proposal that he planned for his sweetheart Tiffany, which also happened to be on his birthday (that way, he figured, she would not expect it). img_1650-copy

J.J. invited my hubby and I, one of his best friend’s, Brian,…..


…along with several of Tiffany’s girlfriends from College, her mom and dad, and aunt and uncle. We boarded the Islander Express and headed 26 miles across the sea to the charming Island of Catalina.img_1785-copy

J.J. and Tiffany took an earlier boat over and we took the another about an hour later….(remember it was a surprise for Tiffany!).


Just before we arrived, J.J. had rented a golf cart to take Tiff on  a scenic drive overlooking Avalon Bay….


He was searching for the perfect romantic spot to ask his sweetheart for her hand in Marriage….as he rounded the curve he came upon the Bell Tower landmark and lookout point….ahhh, perfect!


It was here that J.J. got down on one knee and ask Tiffany to be his wife…


The long awaited sweet moment made even sweeter when a very nice couple was driving by and took a picture just as J.J. was proposing and offered to email them the photo…that is so awesome! 


She said YES!


Meanwhile, we arrived and walked toward town to meet them later at a restaurant. The view was breathtaking. The town is so charming and full of family memories of  so many summer vacations spent right here….


It doesn’t seem that long ago that J.J. and his brother Dusty and sister Ashley, along with their cousins, played on this very beach, building sand castles, wiggling toes in the cool wet sand, and splashing at the water’s edge. My father-in-law, known as Boppa to my kids, owned a vacation home with Grammy Sue,  right here in the hill above the beach…..a home that was previously owned by Mrs. See of Mrs. See’s Candy Company (no there weren’t stashes of chocolates in the cupboards…I looked!).  We spent our 4th of July’s here for several years with my hubby’s extended family. We even participated in the Independence Day hometown parades each year. We always had a theme and decorated our golf cart accordingly…one year our theme was “Gilligan’s Island”, I was dressed up like “Maryann”, wearing gingham and carrying a pie…my hubby was the “Professor”. Those were the good old days for sure!img_1772

It seems so fitting that J.J. would choose this romantic place, that is so dear to our hearts, to ask his beloved to spend the rest of  their lives together….a beautiful place to begin their love story.



This Victorian Cottage was built in 1889 by Peter Gano, it is the third oldest building in Avalon. Unfortunately, it took him two years to build it for his fiance’ and by the time he was finished she found another love. Poor Peter! The story is told that Peter felt so scorned that he vowed  “no woman shall ever step foot in my cottage”. I heard this tale during a tour of this house many years ago….and there was a lot of women walking through the rooms…good thing Peter wasn’t there!img_1657-copy


The Wrigley Mansion sits on top of the hill…the owners were the Wrigley Spearmint Gum family.


Back to the “Engagement Story”……Tiffany called her mom to tell her the exciting news “Mom! J.J. proposed! I’m engaged!”. Little did she know her mom and all of us were  just minutes away from congratulating her in person…img_1663-copy

Mama Rose did not let on that we were all there…..


This is the whole crew,on our way to the restaurant to surprise Tiffany and celebrate  this wondrous occasion. In this photo we are saying  “Show us your bling Tiffany!”.img_1668-copy



We all gathered here at  Antonio’s, our old hangout, and waited for J.J. and Tiffany to arrive….img_1678-copy

There was a whirl of emotions as they walked in….


The happy couple! (Tiffany’s daddy smiling in the back ground)


Mama Rose swooning over the ring..


Mama Ruthie, so proud of her son! (you did good honey!)


Tiffany’s parents, Rose and Jim…I could not ask for more wonderful and loving in-laws for J.J., they love him like their own son, I’m so thankful for that!img_1652-copy

Tiffany’s friends made these buttons for her and J.J……so cute!



Girlfriends admiring the bling!


Me and my future daughter!


After lunch we played our traditional round of miniature golf. Gary, JJ and I had an advantage since we’ve played this course so many times through the years!


We were ready for some refreshments and decided to stop at Jack’s Cafe’.


Ahhhh! Sweets for the sweet!


There were lots of nostalgic art pieces on the walls at Jack’s, this one summed up the day perfectly!


We are so thankful that the Lord brought Tiffany Rose into J.J.’s life! She is a dream come true and an answer to our prayers.



(Oh honey!)

Ever since J.J. (Jason James) was just a wee little boy we began to pray for his future and the girl he would someday marry. We prayed that the Lord would bless her, protect her, and raise her up to be a loving, compassionate, and joyful girl.


(Oh honey again!)

We prayed that she would love the Lord with all of her heart. Of course we also prayed for our J.J., that he would become a man of honor, of strong character, responsible, loving, respectful, with a good sense of humor and a heart for the Lord.  God has definately answered our prayers!


It’s a wonderful thing….they are so good for each other…their future home is going to be filled with lots of love and laughter!


The Island of Romance…..a place of wonderful memories…old and new!


A funny thing happened during my trip to California….I bumped into a dear blog friend! Maryjane from The Beehive Cottage! We had never met in person, only on line.  I was at In ‘n’ Out Burger (the best hamburgers EV-AH!) and she recognised my hubby and thought I must be there too…sure enough!  She came up to me and said “Ruthann! I’m Maryjane from Beehive Cottage!”  Wow! how fun was that! She is a doll! Her blog is just as adorable as she is…please go say “Howdy” and tell her I sent ya!


I also got to spend some time chatting with my other dear friend Sara from Sweet Magnolia Farm. We used to chat at a nearby Antique Mall, this day it was Barnes and Noble. She is one creative gal, oh my goodness she creates the most adorable farm-inspired goods for the home!  You know I LoVe anything farm-y! Please stop by her farm and have a look-see at all of her fabulous farm-girl goodies! Yee Haw!

Thanks Sugar Pies for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Catalina Island!

Blessings and Hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

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