IMW Sails to Catalina: Team Bonding with Food, Fun, and Golf

Chris Bretschger

August 31, 2018

If you and your team have the chance to gather in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island for a day of fun, do it. Not that it should take much convincing, but just in case, here’s a breakdown of our recent excursion.

Catalina Fun Fact #1: The Chicago Cubs trained on Catalina Island from 1921 to 1951. The Wrigley family is still involved with the island.

Our team gathered at 8 a.m., which was easier for some of us than others. We huddled near the entrance of the dock to the Catalina Flyer on Wednesday, August 15th, munching various pastries and breakfast burritos as we awaited transport to an island some of us had been to before, but all of us knew about: Catalina.

After an hourlong boat ride, we docked at Catalina, jumped in a few golf carts, and toured the island. We saw wild deer, tons of birds, and tons of interesting architecture that had been carved into the island over time. We swung by the field where the Cubs used to practice and the Wrigley Gardens, before venturing toward the top of the island where we took in several views of the harbor.

Then: Lunch.

Catalina Fun Fact #2: Catalina has served as the location for over 500 films. The island has stood in for North Africa’s coast, Tahiti, Atlantis, and the home of Jaws.

Almost… It’s possible that a few of us stopped by a local watering hole for a drink. Maybe.

Eventually all 13 of us plopped into a booth at Antonio’s Pizzeria & Cabaret. We didn’t see any cabaret, but there was plenty of pizza. Delicious pizza. And wings. And fried zucchini. And chicken pot pie. It was all delicious—all of it.

With our bellies full, it was time to golf.

Catalina Fun Fact #3: Catalina has its own signature drink called Buffalo Milk: Crème de cacao, Kahlua, crème de Banana, and vodka are mixed, poured over ice, topped with half and half, and finished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. (No actual buffalo milk.)

Well… It’s possible that a few of us stopped by another local watering hole for another drink. Perhaps.

Competitive miniature golf! The group was split into three teams and we were off, displaying how truly wonderful (or terrible) we are at golf. After 18 holes, the rewards were distributed for lowest score, highest score (wah wah), and lowest team score (my team won, just sayin’).

With the day ending our team stopped by a local ice cream parlor for a bit of sweet and/or coffee decliousness before heading back to the Catalina Flyer for a ride home.

A beautiful island, fun people, lots to do, and even more to eat. Not bad for a “work” day.