Monday, May 28, 2012

Coronado, California

I returned a week ago from a fun week long trip to Coronado, California to visit my sister, whose husband has been deployed for the last 7 months and is due to return home in a couple of weeks. It was just us two. I would say we had no schedule, but that would be untrue because weeks before I arrived she had already emailed me a copy of our itinerary for each day of my stay. Anyway, I wanted to write about what we did each day, because things are already starting to get a little fuzzy. I have a terrible memory and know that if I don't write about the details, they'll completely fade from my memory. I also know that this was the last opportunity for a while for Mandy and me to have the opportunity to spend time having fun alone together. So, here goes...
Tuesday, May 15:
-Arrived in San Diego at 3:40ish and Mandy met me at the baggage claim. Must hurry to get swimsuit bottoms and get to the beach before it gets dark or too cold!
-2 story Target!!!
-Beach time, but only for a little while because it was already getting chilly and I was starving.
-Taco Tuesday. Had delicious tacos in Old Town.
-Strolled around Old Town for a bit and Mandy found a new bag.
Wednesday, May 16:
-Woke up at 5:30 because my body was all crazy from the time change. Went for a little stroll to the beach through the bunny field. There were literally hundreds.
-Stopped to smell the roses on the way back. The flowers everywhere were just gorgeous and grew so huge.
-Went to downtown San Diego for a yummy breakfast of champions before we headed to Sea World for the day.
-Ran to Seaport Village for sandals and then saw this awesome statue.
-Sea World was a blast! Talked Mandy into sitting in the soak zone for the Shamu and dolphin shows. And, did we get soaked!!!
-Had dinner at a pizza place by the bay in Coronado, then had a chocolate chip cookie cheesecake cupcake at a cupcakery nearby. It was our mission to have cupcakes at the three cupcake shops near Mandy's home during my stay and the first was pretty good.
Thursday, May 17:
-Bible study at Mandy's church and got to meet her sweet friends. What a blessing that was. They were all so sweet and welcoming and made me feel right at home. It was cool being around so many wives of men in the Navy and seeing the camaraderie between them.
-Walked to a yummy Mexican restaurant called Miguel's in Coronado. And then walked around some fun little shops in town.
-Visited the beautiful Hotel del Coronado, or the Del as I was instructed to call it by my sister. Had cheesecake and chai tea latte by the beach. It was an overcast day, but that made the feel of the hotel, which was built in 1888, even eerier. Saw an amazing sand castle that was build by someone who calls himself the Sandcastle Man.
-Cooked filet mignon, sweet potatoes, and salad as practice for the meal Mandy will make Zach the night he comes home from deployment. Very tasty.
-Walked on the beach and then decided it was 8:30 and we needed to go do something besides go to bed because I didn't have children with me. So, we went to an Irish pub called McP's (I think) and had some bread pudding. I later learned that is one of the restaurants on the island that the guys training to be SEALS cannot go until they graduate. Pretty sure there were some old SEALS sitting right next to us, probably telling awesome stories.
Friday, May 18:
-Mandy made me run. To the beach. A mile and a half. At like 6:30. On my vacation. But, it felt good after I was finished.
-Then she took me to Mexico. Well, not really, but almost. Mandy wanted to go shopping and starting freaking out the closer we got to the border because she was afraid we were going to accidentally cross over and never get to come back to America.
-After that experience, she took me to Imperial Beach for seafood on this amazing pier that was like half a mile long and the restaurant was on the very end. We watched surfers and ate crab cakes.
-Went home, changed into our swimsuits, and went back to Imperial Beach (or IB as I was told to call it) to check out the farmer's market and lie on the beach.
-Left, got dressed, and met up with Mandy's friends, Kim and Leann, to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and go to the movies to see What to Expect When You're Expecting. I laughed and cried.
Saturday, May 19:
-Drove to Torrey Pines for an awesome, but very steep, hike. Beautiful views and a funny little lizard.
-Sandwiches on the beach for lunch.
-Found Sprinkles and had a strawberry cupcake. Moist, but dense. Better than cupcake number one.
-Went to La Jolla and saw the sea lions. Got crazy close to them while on the beach. People were snorkeling and swimming with them, but they were super stinky. And, kinda feisty.
-Went home, got swimsuits, and met up with Kim and her little girls to head to the beach in front of the Del. This beach was just named the number one beach in the country because of it's beauty, the sparkly sand, and the gorgeous hotel. Got lots of sun.
-Mandy took me to an unforgettable dinner at a place called Hodad's in Ocean Beach. It's a burger joint with a line out the door at 4:30. Knew they had to be good. The feel of this place was much different than the touristy, beautiful, family friendly Coronado. Crazy people. Lots of tattoos, big gauge earrings, pit bulls on leashes, loud motorcycles, surfers, cigarettes and weed, loud music, dancing, dreadlocks. Not really somewhere I would want to be after dark. Great hamburger, onion rings, and strawberry shake. Really loud 90s rock music in the restaurant. We sat at the bar so we could be seated sooner. Our waiter was drinking a Red Stripe behind the counter. All the other waiters were drinking, too.
Sunday, May 20:
-A walk on the beach and searched for seashells for Ansley and Heidi.
-Church with Mandy and then cooked lunch at home.
-Planned to go to Point Loma for hiking, but decided to stop by Seaport Village on the way for a cupcake at the shop there. There were lots of people and vendors and it was lots of fun. Had a bubblegum cupcake and it was great. Got a henna tattoo.
-Heard music and followed it. Found a 50s prom (not really, that's just what we called it). There were a lot of older people dancing to music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s and one hilarious man in particular that was tearing up the dance floor. The more we laughed, the crazier and more flamboyant he got. He acted like he was going to high five us twice, but burned us. So funny. I was asked to swing dance by a 70 year old man and did. Mandy laughed like crazy and couldn't believe I did that.
-Left Seaport Village and headed to Little Italy. Found an Italian festival or farmer's market. Not sure which. Ate yummy pasta and salad for dinner at a little restaurant. Walked to the mall and a series of unfortunate events occurred that I'm sure I'll never forget because they were so sad, they were funny.
Monday, May 21:
-Got up super early again. Put on swimsuit and dress because we were planning on going to the beach after our hike at Point Loma. Bad idea. It was like 50 or 60 degrees outside when we got to Point Loma and the other people there were dressed like eskimos. They said they bet we were cold. Took some pics, visited the really old lighthouse, hiked with the rattlesnakes, and walked down to the tide pools. This stuff was kinda dangerous. We're thrill-seekers.
-Visited Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on the way out. Absolutely breathtaking.
Went home and ate lunch, then headed to San Diego for our two hour boat ride around the bay. It was very interesting to see all the Navy ships and learn about them.
-Went back to the taco restaurant because I just had to have the shrimp tacos once more before I left and they did not disappoint.
Tuesday, May 22:
-Left at 9:30 San Diego time and returned to DFW around 3:50 Dallas time. Worn out. Really hungry. And beyond excited to see my sweet little girls.
It was a great trip full of so many wonderful memories. Thanks, Mandy, for being such a great hostess and allowing me to stay with you for a week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Photo update via Instagram

Our sweet Ansley:
And our precious Heidi: