Friday, June 5, 2009

I Love Coronado

Spending three days with my friend Margot reminded me how great it is to have old friends. No matter the distance or time spent apart, you can always pick up where you left off...
I just returned from a three-day trip to Coronado and I must say, I loved it there. It felt like I was in another state outside of California. I took the train (for the first time) and was so impressed by the whole experience. We stayed with Margot's family at the Hotel Del, which is AMAZING. You should go to Coronado just to venture through it. Its history dates back to 1887 and is one of the oldest and largest all-wooden buildings in California.

Between the train stations and the Hotel Del, I was in vintage-heaven. There are really neat 1920s wooden bench seats at Union Station that are just asking to be photographed!! Sounds crazy, but as I was walking up the train platform, I really got a feel of what it must have felt like to live in the 1920s-1930s. For a brief moment, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach that made me wonder if I ever hopped on a train to ride to a Victorian beach resort in a past life. I imagined the opening scenes from Anna Karenina (the movie -- not the book, hehe).

Coronado itself is delightful... it's like an upscale, small beach town. Orange Street is lined with little souvenir and surf shops and there is a plethora of Mexican and seafood restaurants. It's the perfect destination for people with children or a romantic getaway for adults. If you are hoping to spend most of your time at the beach while you are on vacation, forgetaboutit. We spent the least amount of time on the beach. In fact, the ocean seems like it's just scenery there. My biggest peeves were the Marine Layer (that clouds up the sky every day until noon or 1 PM) and sand fleas. Los Angeles county beaches are dirtier, but they do not have sand fleas.

West Coast beaches look pretty, but they leave a lot to be desired. I'm still an East Coast/Jersey Shore girl at heart.

This was rather interesting though... I was searching Google Maps at our hotel and came across this:

A closer look:
My first thought was Coronado knew Google Maps was coming to town, so they constructed this giant sand sculpture but after further Googling, I discovered that the GIANT letters are a permenant fixture. In fact, guys in bulldozers maintain the letters, which are about four feet high. Whoever started this even planted/rooted sea grasses on top of the letters to help preserve them and make them easier to read from the sky!! I just wish there was an observation deck somewhere to see all the letters and, more importantly, photograph them. ;)

I RECOMMEND:
For Breakfast: Beach-n-Diner, 1208 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA
For Dinner: Swaddee Thai Restaurant, 1001 C Ave, Coronado, CA
For Adults: Beach, boating/kayaking, a Romantic stay at the Hotel Del, shopping along Orange Street, Old Town, San Diego, and there are tons of activities in nearby San Diego.
For Kids: San Diego Zoo, Sea World or Legoland.

Link to the review I wrote about Swaddee.

View from the train heading back to L.A.

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