Manifest Destiny 2015

“Real” San Diego

Today I felt like we really got to see the real San Diego. Yeah the zoo was cool the day before, but that’s like saying you’ve been to Orlando when you’ve stayed at Disney World the whole time. Who would want to see real Orlando? Nobody, but you get the point. We started the day with another breakfast and then set out to Coronado Island. We parked the car on Coronado Beach and walked out on the sand. It was so soft compared to east coast beaches. Walking through sand in Plum Island or Salisbury is like getting an uncomfortable pedicure. But on Coronado, it was like stepping in clouds. Clouds that still get stuck between your toes when you’re done walking through them, but clouds nonetheless.

We reached the water and dipped our toes in. Matthew was the only one that went all the way in. But just by touching the water, I can say that I’ve been in three out of five of the world’s oceans. Now to find a thermal swimsuit so I can visit the Arctic and Antarctic


From the beach we walked up to the Hotel del Coronado, a famous resort built in 1887. Disney enthusiasts like myself would recognize this as the building that the Grand Floridian is modeled after. Also, everyone in my group knows this now, because I didn’t shut up about it. It was funny that the outside looked almost identical to the Grand Floridian, and then the inside looked completely different. It was all dark wood paneling and old crystal chandeliers. It was really pretty to walk around, and do a little shopping.

After loading everyone back into the car we drove from Coronado Beach to the Cabrillo National Monument and Tide Pools. The monument commemorates Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo, the Portuguese explorer who discovered and began the Spanish colonization of California. Further down in that area were the tide pools, which were kind of just a series of precarious cliffs with some water in them. Matthew was in heaven. He found a crab that crawled all over him before jumping back into the sea. A later crab would pinch his finger when Matthew stuck his hand into the crab’s house. Well yeah, I’d do the same thing if I saw a hand coming at me.

On our way back to the hotel we drove along a scenic view that included many pretty Mediterranean style houses, as well as some modern ones. I started picking out the ones I thought were the prettiest. Then I realized that those ones all looked like Olive Garden. Coincidence? I think not.

After changing and refreshing at the hotel, Grampa, Memere, Mom, Lynn and I went to Balboa Park for dinner and a show. We ate at El Prado, which apparently is the fancy kind of restaurant where the waiter puts your napkin on your lap. How classy. I got a steak for dinner, and for dessert asked the waiter which was better, the lemon cake or the orange creme brûlée. I think I would have liked the lemon cake better. Regrets. There was also a wedding going on in the courtyard of the restaurant, (which Memere spied on: “The bridesmaids are wearing peach…”) which looked like a model convention. I went to use the bathroom, which was the same as the one for the event venue, and I felt like I had walked into the Barbie aisle at the toy store. I almost wanted to explain myself: “Hi, I’m a 4’11” brunette from New Hampshire, I like fried food and shopping at Target. Go Sox. Those heels look uncomfortable.”

From the restaurant, we walked through Balboa Park to the Old Globe Theater, a “replica” of the Globe Theater in London, where Shakespeare debuted his plays. Turns out it wasn’t a replica on the inside, especially considering it was a completely enclosed theater without an open roof and stacked balconies, but it was still cool. We went to see Kiss Me Kate, which was one of those musicals I’ve heard of, but I knew nothing about. After seeing it, I now consider it one of my favorites. The music was so-so, but the dancing, costumes and the acting were fantastic. I’d love to see it again someday, though I should probably wait until the hype of this performance has died down.

San Diego overall was an awesome stop. I felt like I only scraped the top of the iceberg of cool stuff to see, so someday I would love to return. Adios San Diego, off to Anaheim.

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