Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Biking Coronado Island

This is my first visit to San Diego, and at first blush, it's fantastic! Absolutely perfect weather (mid-70s all week), gorgeous scenery, cool art deco buildings and a lively night life.

I'm here on behalf of a client for the international BIO convention and will be working the show to set up booth interviews with reporters.

I'm staying in the Gaslamp Quarter right next to Horton Plaza, which is an outdoor shopping mall (yessssssssssss). Hilariously, I think the historic district's name has something to do with a feisty, red-haired call girl Ida Bailey from the late 1800s. Love my fellow gingers.

I flew for pretty much most of the day yesterday and got to my hotel around 3 p.m. PST. I checked in, put my bags in my room and then grabbed my suit and hit the pavement to catch the ferry to Coronado Island, which was only a 15-minute walk away. My friend Kim from work visited San Diego a couple weeks ago with her hubby and gave me lots of tips for places of interest and restaurants, and she said Coronado Island was a can't miss.

I had a blast! I caught the 4 p.m. ferry (stopped for ice cream while I waited...yum) and immediately rented a bike once I got to the island. I opted for an old school "cruiser" bike because it looked so ridiculous and even got hooked up with a basket for my garb.

The bike path was great
and maneuvered along the boardwalk of the island, so my ride was almost always right next to the water. I haven't ridden a bike with brakes on the pedals in forever, so I may or may not have been the cause of a near three-way collision with a golf cart and another bicyclist. I'm not telling. I rode past parks, a golf course and even a pick-up softball game, which I totally would have joined had I not been sporting flip flops (or been absent a glove).

My trip from one side of the island to the other was about two miles and ended at the famous historic Hotel Del Coronado that celebrated its 120th anniversary earlier this year. I parked my bike in a rack and then walked the beach and stumbled upon the end of a wedding, which was great. All of the wedding party and guests were in formal wear without shoes...my kind of party.

I gave myself a tour of the hotel shops and lobby and perused a c
ool display about the history of the Del. In 1958, the Del was the backdrop for "Some Like It Hot," starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The resort has also seen a steady stream of celebrity visitors - from Charlie Chaplin and Humphrey Bogart to Brad Pitt and Madonna.

Since many of you comment on your curiosity about how I get random people to take my picture for my posts, I thought you'd appreciate that the first couple I asked to snap a shot of me on my bike said no. It was really funny!

While the ferry leaves San Diego on the hour, it departs Coronado every half hour, so I took the 6:30 p.m. one back to the mainland. Since I had dinner plans at 7:30 p.m., I had to book it to get back to my hotel and get ready.
I'm happy to report that I arrived on time even after a minor directions snafu.


Dinner at Trattoria La Strada was delish, and I scored with a cheesecake
martini and spinach ravioli with a rich gorgonzola sauce.

Heading to the show shortly and then have a date tonight with the sister of my friend Vikki from work who lives here. Mandi offered to give me a walking tour, and I can't wait.

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