I was sitting at breakfast when my 15-year-old daughter took a break from watching “Breaking Bad” on her iPhone and said, “Mom, we should take a girls’ vacation.”
After patting myself on my back for doing something right while trying to act like a sane Mom to four daughters, working full-time, and finding time for my spouse, I set my plan into motion.
With the skills only an experienced multi-tasker could possess, I moved into planning mode. I have always been jealous of friends who were better at balancing career and family time, particularly when they would take time to vacation in Coronado Island. I felt like I was missing out on some secret, some exclusive location where only the financially sophisticated and elite were allowed to vacation.
So I decided this was my time to shine, my daughters and I would discover for ourselves what lures so many Arizonans to Coronado Island. After a quick search, I landed at the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website (sandiego.org). I wanted to explore Coronado, to figure out what makes Coronado such a unique destination. I wanted adventure, to discover things to do that were off the beaten track, and also to learn a thing or two about the island along the way.
We decided to stay at the Glorietta Bay Inn, which was once the home (OK, mansion) of sugar baron John D. Spreckles – also the original owner of the Hotel Del Coronado. The boutique inn, restored to look as it did in the 1920s, has 11 spacious mansion rooms in the main building for adults only, in addition to 89 contemporary rooms and suites. Our one-bedroom suite came with a full kitchen, separate bedroom off the living room (with a fold-out couch), TV with DVD player. The Glorietta Bay Inn also provides complimentary snacks each day off the grand music room, with lemonade and gingersnap cookies. Each morning, they provide a complimentary breakfast, and guests may sit inside in the dining room, or outside on the patio. The staff is incredibly helpful. The Glorietta Bay Inn is also located across from the beach.
Our first activity was a two-hour Discover Coronado Biking Adventure from Where You Want To Be Tours. Husband and wife team, Darlynne and Marc Menkin were quick to point out that every house on the island is unique. We rode along the newly opened bike path that parallels the Hotel Del Coronado. We stopped by Spreckles Park and learned how on summer concert evenings, it becomes a large family-like picnic ground. We took in the downtown San Diego skyline from Ferry’s Landing (you may take your bike on the ferry over to San Diego), and rode along the Glorietta Bay. Water and light snacks are provided, along with trivia questions along the way.
The next morning, we met up with Crystal at Tourlands Park for a stand-up paddleboard lesson with SUP Coronado. Tourlands Park was on the other end of the island, (the Glorietta Bay side), and it worked out perfectly that we had done the bike tour the evening before, because the directions made sense, and I knew where I was going. Crystal gave us a brief 5-minute lesson on the basics of paddleboarding, and we were off into Glorietta Bay and out into the water like a gondolier in Venice. We paddleboarded under the Coronado Bay Bridge, ducked under a catamaran, and learned much more about the culture of Coronado.
Of course, we couldn’t go to Coronado Island, without visiting the infamous Hotel Del Coronado. A girls’ weekend is not complete without facials, so we went to the Del for spa treatments. The Spa at the Del features 21 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy tubs, steam rooms and its own private beachfront terrace with a vanishing edge pool.
For a vacation that was somewhat impromptu, I am thankful for the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website that easily allowed me to plan an off-the-beaten-track vacation, which turned out perfectly. The best part was the weekend came when my 15 year-old showed me a website she built in computer class. Under “My Favorite Places” she wrote – Coronado Island and the Glorietta Bay Inn. This time, I owe my Mother of the Year Award to Coronado Island.