I’m in love
It is a sad fact that, as a three-year-resident of Southern California, I have not yet ventured from Los Angeles down to San Diego. Thank God I was propelled by a mixture of boredom, shame and my typical thirst for adventure yesterday: I’ve now discovered the spot I will one day move/retire. But before I bore you with how much I personally loved the seaside town of Coronado, let me assure you that love is indeed in the air, and that the men (that I encountered, at least) are absolutely, freakishly beautiful.
I must give credit where it’s due and admit that my aunt, Amy, discovered that Coronado had been recently named America‘s best beach in “Dr. Beach” professor Stephen P. Leatherman‘s annual survey. Given that it’s the first time in over twenty years that any sandy spot in California has been given the honor, I was intrigued. Plus, I’m a beach whore. Everyone knows that.
So I made my way down with my beach bag of dreams, singing my heart out to mixed CDs full of Robin Thicke, Madonna and other such bouncy top-40 pop that I would be embarrassed to be caught listening to at home, all prepared to get my tan on in paradise. What I hadn’t factored in: shitty weather. “Seriously, SD?” I thought to myself. “If I were to take a picture right now and caption it, ‘Where in the world is Carmen San Diego‘, no one would have a clue.” I would, in fact, be a national woman of mystery.
So it is a testament to Coronado that I was completely charmed anyway.
The ‘city’ is actually an island, and rests on 32.7 miles of land just over five miles away from downtown San Diego. It is perfectly, preciously picturesque with quint boutiques, darling restaurants and ritzy hotels.
Sure, this might sound like a tourist trap a la Solvang, the Danish village I recently visited north of Santa Barbara, and it might be. During the day I did see a fair amount of elderly shoppers and wealthy middle-aged women. But what I predominantly saw on a Friday afternoon on the 1st of June were men. Lots of them. Everywhere. And they were HOT.
You’ll find guys floating around North Beach, the number one surfing spot in the area. You’ll find them wandering around Orange Ave eating and drinking at restaurants or bars like The Coronado Brewing Company. You will even find them at Starbucks, where my puffy-lipped, heavy-lidded barista looked like he had stepped off the pages of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog cover.
And if you like men in uniform, this is prime retail. The Navy still operates the Naval Station North Island, a training center for SEALs, on the south side of the island.
Should you stay over night (and you really, really should) and plan on being a gal on the prowl, hit Danny’s Palm Bar & Grill, The Little Club or McP’s Irish Bar for some serious eye candy.
Speaking of overnight stays (and not speaking of sex…yet), you might want to check yourself into the infamousHotel del Coronado. In addition to being considered one of the best resorts in the world, it’s also been featured on film many, many times over. Marilyn Monroe got sultry here in Some Like It Hot, while Peter O’Toole got an Oscar nod for his work in The Stunt Man, which was also shot at the resort.
I discovered a boutique here that predominantly sells expensive items plastered with Audrey Hepburn quotes. It was called Charisma. I think that sums up this city — and its occupants — to a T. On that note, I will leave you with a few pieces of wisdom from Ms. Breakfast at Tiffany‘s herself, the first of which describes how I feel about this ‘The Crown City’ (Coronado literally translates to ‘the crowned one’ in Spanish): “If I’m honest, I have to tell you that I still read fairy tales…and I like them best of all.