Brekkie at the Del
We all went here for breakfast this morning. Isn't she beautiful? She's the Hotel del Coronado, and we have heard (though haven't verified) that she is the biggest wooden building in the world. She looked truly splendid this morning, with her flags fluttering in the breeze and everything spruce and ship-shape.
The Del, as she is known, is right on the beach on Coronado Island — a peninsula, really — just a short drive from downtown. You can see the island in the background in this pic I took from one of the highest hotels downtown, looking almost directly south.
The pic also shows the famous Coronado Bridge, which swings across the San Diego Bay in a wide arc. Apparently, if the bridge was a certain length, the city could attract federal funds to help pay for it, so the designer put a big bend in it to be sure it qualified! It is also incredibly high — so aircraft carriers can pass beneath it — and you can see south into Mexico from up there. It's only a few minutes to the border from downtown.
The Del is one of our favourite places to take visitors to San Diego, as much for the excellence of the $20 all-you-can-eat buffet brekkie as for its spectacular look. At this time of the year, there's an ice-skating rink out on the beach in front of the hotel. Imagine! You can skate on ice in the bright Southern Californian sunshine while the waves crash on to the sandy shore right in front of you.
This is a picture I took here last year, with Max and Halina, who were here with their parents, Dace and Konrad, for most of December. I thought of you guys this morning, as I crunched on my bacon!
:: In between sightseeing, parties, dinners at the Bondi (above), and reading and snoozing in this blissful post-Christmas week, Lily has been playing lots with Devon's double-screen mini-Nintendo.
When they were kids, living next door to each other, they'd spend days in the holidays playing Zelda on the big Nintendo, plugged into the telly. I think Lily has been reliving this all week, playing another Zelda game and calling Dev over to help her when she needs a new heart, or a new sword, or to beat someone ...
:: Yesterday and today, we've been cooking up a storm, getting ready for our sojourn in the snow, at Big Bear. We're making big helpings of meals and freezing them to take with us, so we have as little to do as possible while we are on holiday. Yesterday, I made chili con carne for twenty, and a sticky-date pudding. David made a massive double serving of bolognese sauce for spaghetti — one half of which we had for dinner. Today, Lily has added a pot full of very spicy mulligatawny, and a wonderful chickpea curry, which is so delicious that I have persuaded her to let us have half for tonight's dinner, with roast chicken and couscous.
:: Tomorrow, the last day of the year, is Lily's last day at home. She'll drive back to Olympia with James and Dev from Big Bear. I'm already sorry at the thought of her return to college. I so love having her home with us and it's all gone so quickly.