Returned to a favorite place to spend a few nice days, San Diego, and courtesy of the better half, who was presenting at a program on negotiation for lawyers, the time is being spent at the Hotel del Coronado, a charming place that needs no instruction in how to charge but which overcomes all shortcomings when you gaze out at the breakers on the ocean in one direction and the sailboats in the sun on the bay in the other.
I've been coming out here since I was a teenager and I even remember when you could only get to Coronado on the ferry. Biggest surprise was driving over what is now the free bridge that rises way up on the bay. I've been at this hostelry a few times previously, always for conferences or the like. It's one of those places where you're not surprised when you run into someone you haven't seen for years who's attending a different conference.
The weather now limits beach enjoyment to walking on the beach, which, with the La Jolla Shores, might be one of the choicest spots to engage in beach jaunts. As usually occurs, timing was off for cultural opportunities: Rigoletto just finished at the San Diego Opera and a new musical based on the life of Princess Diana (titled creatively, Diana) opens the day after we depart. However, last week I caught a rehearsal at the National Symphony in Kennedy Center which began with the glorious Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, and that makes up for quite a few missed shows.
There's also good dining to be had in San Diego, and even in Coronado outside the Del. That means there are nice spots that offer a somewhat better price than the Del's stratospheric scale. Clayton's Coffee Shop is a satisfying place to start the day with one of the most comprehensive breakfast menus around. And the night before we left, there was a delightful group dinner at Buck's Fishing and Camping following a reading at Politics & Prose by Eileen's old friend from Boston days, Elinor Lipman, who had read from her new novel, Good Riddance.
There's also the Road Runner Sports headquarters and clearance stores up near Miramar which offer not only the most cutting-edge running shoes but salespeople who know how to make sure the shoe fits. It even makes me feel when I'm there that in some way, shape, or form I'm actually still running races instead of walking. Since I need all the encouragement I can get in this direction, it's also great to find that there still are a good number of laid-back folks out here on the Left Coast.