Posts Tagged ‘Coronado California’

Summer in San Diego

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

We’re in San Diego for a while to visit my parents and siblings who live here. Before I met Tim, I lived in San Diego for years, so visiting always feels like coming home. One of our favorite San Diego traditions is the Fourth of July Parade in Coronado. My sister “A” wakes up at 4:30 AM to secure us a spot curbside, competing with the large crowd of similar-minded locals who also are jockeying to claim parade-viewing real estate by throwing down blankets and setting up chairs. When the rest of our family saunters up hours later and sits ourselves down in the primo location my sister has claimed, I think of her waking before dawn to ensure that we—and our kids especially—experience July Fourth front row and center.  Thank you again, selfless sister of mine.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the beach, where Mateo endured his first brush with a jellyfish. I spent my childhood swimming in the Atlantic, where we dodged jellies all the time, but I’ve never sighted one in West coast waters. We administered vinegar (a trick we learned in Australia), and Mateo recovered quickly. The close encounter didn’t dampen our spirits, though: While I alternated between actively boogie boarding and passively being hypnotized by the sound of the crashing surf, the kids darted up and down the beach moving wet sand in buckets, and running from breaking waves. There are few places on earth as endlessly engaging as an oceanfront.

My parents are at the age where more health challenges are beginning to reveal themselves, and I’m glad we can be here together, while we can. More than ever, each day feels like a gift.


San Diego, Part 4. Water world

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Yesterday morning, while Olivia and Tim stayed home to struggle with my daughter’s math enrichment homework–a long story for another day–Mateo and I took a walk on the beach. At that hour, on a Thursday in April, the flat stretch was almost deserted. I strolled while Mateo skipped ahead, stopping every few feet to examine the thousands of rocks and shells that had washed up on shore. Neither of us could remember ever seeing so many.

On the way home, we spied two sweethearts kissing in the shallow water. In the sand, one had drawn a heart with an arrow through it, proclaiming his love. Mateo asked me to walk ahead, then wrote his own proclamation, shown below. If I could have, I would have cast his drawing in bronze. As an alternative, this picture.

Afterward, the kids decided they wanted to go swimming, so we headed for a public pool. If you ever wonder why a large number of athletes who compete on the national level live in San Diego, here’s why: Local municipalities and their residents dedicate substantial funds to athletic facilities, like this public pool, open to non-residents willing to pay a day rate. Wonderful. Tim and I took turns watching the kids and alternated swimming laps. Everyone got a work-out.

After an afternoon playing in the sun, pizza sounded good. Thus ended another beautiful day in San Diego. 


Kids in a [fill in the blank]

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

After the Fourth of July parade, as we drove down the main street in Coronado, Mateo spotted a candy store through the car window. Ever since then, he has asked, about once an hour, to go. 

Being a conscientious mom, I explained all the reasons we shouldn’t, including tooth decay and sugar bugs, and the disappointment sure to be felt by his dentist, whom we are scheduled to visit next week, after we return home to San Francisco. To strengthen my argument, I did what I always do when Mateo is relentless is his jonesing for sweets: I opened my mouth to show him my back fillings. “This is what happens to people who eat too much sugar,” I said. “Cavities.” 

But we’re on vacation and it’s a candy store. What kid can resist that? 

So I made a deal. If they ate breakfast and got themselves dressed, hung up their beach towels and put their clothes in the laundry, brushed their teeth and got in their pajamas—all things most kids do anyway, but that’s another story—maybe we might go to the candy store. We’ll see. 

On Tuesday afternoon, we went. Olivia, who doesn’t even like candy, saw the bins filled with every magnificent color and shape of sugar and carbohydrate, and literally danced with joy. Mateo scooped samples with both fists. As I watched them dart from pecan turtles to chunky fudge, I realized there’s a reason why the expression “kid in a candy store” has been passed down throughout the ages. 

Twenty minutes later, we left with each kid clutching a bag of treasure. Out on the sidewalk, they skipped a few steps ahead of me, close enough that I could hear them discussing the details of their stash. I pretended not to notice they had already broken their promise not to eat a single piece before dinner.



Sunday, July 4th, 2010

I can’t imagine a parade with more spirit of Americana than the one in Coronado, California on Fourth of July. My sister, Adrienne, arrives before dawn to reserve a prime viewing spot. The rest of us sisters, nieces, and nephews arrive later, decked out in red, white, and blue. Because San Diego County contains military bases for the Navy and the Marines, representatives from both branches march. Other participants range from the Pearl Harbor Survivors to Miss Rodeo California, and the Canine Companions for Independence to the Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band. 

The first year Olivia came home, 2004, a local TV crew filmed the parade, and a reporter pulled us out of the crowd for an interview. Somewhere at home, I have a VHS tape of me holding a two-year-old Olivia as the reporter refers to my daughter as “America’s newest citizen.”

The theme of this year’s parade was “Salute to America’s Heroes.” On the Fourth of July, we remember them with thanks.