Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mommy and Me

You know how they have classes for toddlers and preschoolers called "Mommy and Me" time?  I never invested any time or money in them when my kids were little, usually because I had more than one "Me" I was toting around. ;-)

Now that my oldest is turning 11 (tomorrow!), I decided to take a few days and spend some special Mommy and Me time with her.  I asked her where she wanted to go and we would see if we couldn't make it happen.  We've been planning this for a year now, btw. ;)  She loves the beach and anything to do with the ocean so it was no surprise that she picked going to the beach. 

A few months ago Hubby and I decided we needed to make some plans and reservations if this was going to happen.  Since I was just ending my months of HG, I didn't have a lot of gumption to plan anything beyond my next breath.  Fortunately, Hubby had enough gumption for us all and made me sit at the computer and figure it all out.  He knew that October would come quickly and if I hadn't planned anything, I would be mad at myself for disappointing E. 

We knew we were going to go to the beach, but what beach was the question.  Having frequent flyer miles on Southwest made getting there, wherever there was going to be,  easy.  We thought of all the different beaches in CA.  Should we go to one we've been to before, try something new, go to one by an Aquarium (I'd love to take her to Santa Barbara's aquarium ).  After thinking about it, we decided to try to go someplace where we wouldn't need a car.  I can drive on CA freeways but I don't want to if I don't have to! LOL 





I started researching Coronado remembering when I stayed there years ago (can it really be 20???) with some girlfriends.  I remembered we didn't have a car and were able to get around the area and even venture into San Diego w/ little effort.  I wanted to stay at a place within walking distance of the beach, the stores and the restaurants.  There is, of course, The Hotel del  Coronado or "The Del" as it's known to locals.  But, that one is a little out of our price range.  

Even though we couldn't afford the Del, we could walk around the beautiful grounds and lobby!

There were no trees on Coronado at the time the hotel was built.  All the lumber to build the hotel came from trees up in Northern CA and floated down along the coast to Coronado to build this incredible hotel

Inside the lobby
A close up of the ceiling

We were told to check out the Crown Room if it was open.  They were having meetings the time we were there so we never got to see it in person.  But, we did see a picture of it on their digital picture frame!  Very cool.  Here's a link to some interior pictures, including the Crown Room.  the ceiling is all carved, curved wood.


The Dragon Tree, planted at the turn of the century



I found an ad for a hotel that got great reviews right across from the Del, Glorietta Bay Inn.  They had some specials for mid-week and we decided to stay there for our Mother/Daughter get away. 


    Front of our hotel

Glorietta Bay Inn is the original home of John D. Spreckles a sugar baron.  The hotel has since been renovated and more rooms added on, unattached, to the original mansion.  We were able to get a room in the mansion, which was really neat.

Here are some pictures from the hotel:


E. wanted her picture taken by the rose. :)

 


Our Window/balcony (you couldn't go out on it).  The window you can just make out on the side was our other window.

Marble staircase going up to the rooms


This is at the landing of the stairs.  You can see it in the last two pictures.  There was no access to this spot, you might be able to tell that it's about 5 feet higher than the landings floor.   I don't know what it was originally used for.

The following are pictures of our room.  My 7 year old wanted to know what it looked like.

Here are those two windows I was talking about from the exterior shots.

This shows the old "ventilation" system.  See the transom over the door? :)  I love these old houses with all the great architectural detail.  Huge ceilings, lots of moulding, carvings, etc.  It's so beautiful and incredible craftsmanship.

The Bathroom

The bathroom skylight.  E. took this picture by laying on the floor.  I love the rounded ceiling treatment.
The skylight outside of our room.


These are pictures from the "parlor":



The ceiling treatment.
Zooming in on the carvings.  Isn't it incredibly intricate?

They had a player piano that would play in the afternoons.  E. was disapointed that she couldn't play her piano pieces.  She loves to play any chance she can get, a grand piano is always a nice bonus. :D


The main thing E. wanted to do was hang out at the beach.  I convinced her that she would also enjoy going on a Trolley Tour that would take us all around Coronado and major tourist areas in San Diego.  Knowing she would be back in time to spend hours on the beach later, she was all for it.  We really enjoyed the tour.  The guides were awesome, entertaining and educational all rolled into one 2 hour ride.  We decided to get off at Balboa Park and go visit the Science Center.  We spent several hours there, E. running all over from one exhibit to another and me trying to keep up. LOL 

Balboa Park is such a beautiful city park that has so much to offer.  I love looking at all the architecture and was able to take a few pictures as we walked to the Science Center and before the trolley took off again to take us to Old Town.  When we go back to San Diego I've convinced Hubby we need to explore Balboa Park.  He's looking forward to it.




Originally built in 1915 for the Worlds Expo, all these buildings were supposed to be temporary.  Obviously, the decided to keep them and they have all been renovated and brought up to current building and earthquake codes.  Thank goodness!  It would have been a shame to have all this destroyed. :)












When we first arrived and checked into our hotel, we headed out to get lunch.  We ate at a great seafood restaurant.  E. ordered shrimp.  They were the largest shrimp I've seen.  They looked more like giant prawns.  She could only eat a couple of them!




After our late lunch we walked over to a bookstore a couple of doors down.  Bookstores are probably E's favorite place to hang out.  The library is a close second. :D


Yes, she's in the little kids section.  She still loves touch and feel books! LOL  It's that sensory thing, ya know. :)  However, the book she picked out to buy was The Mysterious Benedict Society (which she finished in a few days).  Definitely not a little kid book. ;-)


So, finally, after lunch, the bookstore and the store for some water, we hit the beach!  We spent a lot of time at the beach.  These are all a mixture of the two days we were there.  The beach in Coronado is rated as the best family beach in the country.  The sand was incredible.  Even finer and nicer than the sand on the Gulf Coast.  We had a blast playing in the waves, looking for shells (we found tons of sand dollars), digging in the sand and just playing around.  E. really enjoyed our moon shots. ;) 


The Beach, FINALLY!!

Playing in the sand with The Del's famous turrets in the background
She liked making "quicksand" and sinking in as the waves buried her feet deeper and deeper.






Here we are goofing around:

She may be small for her age but my, she sure is strong. ;)
Holding up a Cruise ship!
The moon!
She wanted to see if I could hold up the moon too. ;)
One finger even.







The moon coming up over The Del.


We had a great time while we were away.  Traveling with one and that one being old enough to do things for themselves was such a novel experience!  LOL  No naps, no diapers, no whining from being overtired.  It was fabulous.  It was actually relaxing.   We had time to just talk and joke together.  We both enjoyed ourselves and it was difficult to leave.  I know that we will both look back with many fond memories of our special time away together.