On Wednesday, when asked if I could take a last minute trip to San Diego, my answer was obviously YES (caps lock intended). In my Resolutions post, travel ranked as my number one goal for 2017. While I love, LOVE, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, I realized that I need to get out and about a bit more. Fast forward to today, Saturday, and my first trip of the year is off to a spectacular start.
I have never been to San Diego before, so I spent most of yesterday asking colleagues, Uber drivers, random strangers, etc. for recommendations for what to do this weekend. When I arrived, the Seattle weather had clearly tried to follow me – the quintessential Southern California sun had been replaced with hazy grey clouds – so I didn’t have high hopes for catching up on my Vitamin D absorption while I was here. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning, and the forecast of clouds turned into a perfectly sunny day.
I made my way from my hotel near the office, down to Coronado on the recommendation of one of my colleagues. They didn’t steer me wrong, as I absolutely loved my time hanging around Hotel del Coronado. I arrived around 11am, and spent a little while exploring the grounds of the hotel, admiring both the Victorian architecture of the hotel as well as the beautiful landscaping.
The hotel has been host to Presidents and celebrities for well over a century, and served as inspiration for Disney World’s Grand Floridian Hotel, which may explain the child-like glee I felt while exploring the grounds. Everything was so beautiful, and so well thought out. The lobby took my breath away, as the contrast between the sunny, bright exterior and the dark, rich interior was very unexpected.
As I made my way through the lobby, I exited through double doors out into the courtyard. Sets of flamingo pink lawn furniture were shaded by cabanas, set in the midst of lush green grass and gardens filled with palm trees and birds of paradise. I was definitely not in Seattle anymore.
As I made my way through the hotel, I found myself out at the beach. I didn’t have many plans this weekend, but hanging out at the beach was the one thing I knew I had to do (no matter what the weather was like). This beach experience was quite different than what I can find at home – no rocks, driftwood, or seaweed for as far as the eye could see.
I came across a bike rental as I walked down the beach, and decided to take a beach cruiser out for the afternoon. I biked a total of 14 miles, taking the Bayshore Bikeway down about 5 miles and back, and then meandered through the residential streets along the golf course, making a mental list of all the homes I’d love to live in along the way.
After the bike ride, I settled in at the beach-side bar at the hotel, and ordered a Spicy Mojito to sip on in the sun while I read. I passed the time this way – reading, sipping, people watching and sunning – for a few hours until sunset was upon us.
I frantically took photos of the shore while soaking up those last rays of sunshine. Sandy, salty, and a bit sunburned, I walked away from the surf and back toward the hotel ready to go back to my own hotel for an early night in. I certainly was a bit too windblown and damp from wading in the waves to get the shot I didn’t quite feel appropriately dressed for dinner at any of the beautiful seaside restaurants at The Del. All in all, I feel as though I packed the activities of a whole beach vacation into one day, and am so happy that I was able to take some time to relax in the sun. I can’t wait to come back on my next trip, and would love to stay at The Del next time I’m in San Diego for a weekend!