Coronado

img_5264 The Crowned City

After visiting Balboa Park, we cross the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge and head to Coronado.

img_5350 sandiegorealestate.nefla.com

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img_5348 coronadotimes.com

Coronado is a resort city across and around the bay from downtown San Diego.

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Geographically Coronado is a tied island connected to the mainland by a tombolo, an Italian word derived from the Latin tumulus, meaning “mound”.

A tombolo is a deposit of sediments, soil, and rocks that accumulate layers and connect to a land mass.

The Silver Strand is the tombolo connecting Coronado to San Diego County, creating the tied island. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

img_5350 sandiegorealestate.nefla.com


In 1886, 3 ambitious investors, Elisha Spurr Babcock, Hampton L. Story, and Jacob Gruendike purchased the land and organized the Coronado Beach Company to create a resort community.

With the construction of the Hotel Del Coronado in 1888, the city grew into a popular retreat. The hotel is affectionately known as The Del. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

img_5357huffingtonpost.com

img_5356thousandwonders.net


In 1969 the San Diego-Coronado Bridge opened as a quicker route for accessing this resort town of almost 33 square miles. Prior to the construction of the bridge, visitors had to rely on bay ferries and State Route 75 along the Silver Strand. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

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So… As its web page at sandiego.org beckons, “Welcome to Coronado, just across the bridge and a world away”

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This 1907 craftsman bungalow below is for sale.

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The asking price is $2,988,000.00! Another house for sale up 1st Street facing the bay is only $2,875,000.00!

The U.S. Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) commences at the end of this street.

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The  U. S. Navy started developing North Island prior to and during World War II.

On the southern side of Coronado is the Naval Amphibious Base where Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) are trained. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

img_5360coronadochamber.com

From 1st Street we backtrack to Orange Avenue, the main street in town, lined with restaurants, galleries, and exquisite shops.

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We turn south and catch glimpses of Hotel Del Coronado while we flow through traffic, searching for an access to the Pacific Ocean.

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As Orange Avenue turns into Silver Strand Boulevard, we turn west onto Avenida de las Arenas within the beachfront condominium community of 10 luxury high rise towers. For $550,000 to $3,000,000 you too can live here! (coronadoshores.com)

We find public parking and access to the beach. I’m wearing flip-flops that I leave on boulders before sinking my feet into the sand.

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Jeff chooses to not remove his New Balance shoes and socks.

The rocks shine in the sand and the  gently rolling waves sparkle in the sunshine.

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As the waves roll in and out, Jeff and I venture closer to the ocean until the frothy waters caress my feet and soak through Jeff’s socks and shoes. Squish, squish!

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Further north lies the beachfront of The Del and the sand dune art spelling out the name, CORONADO.

img_5351Tia International Photography 

With 2 pairs of feet, 1 dry and 1 soggy, we return to the car and head back to Lake Elsinore and a more affordable lifestyle.

Here is my last glimpse of The Del…

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and the bridge…

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and the other side of San Diego Bay…

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A Walk in the Park – Part III

img_5227 Balboa Park… Desert Garden

As we saunter and meander on a warm day of sunshine and blue skies, we make our way across the pedestrian bridge over Park Boulevard and head to the Desert Garden nature path.

img_5326  balboapark.org

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Walk with me as we discover a park within a park.

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ENJOY…

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Several benches hold a bouquet of flowers all tied with a bright green ribbon.

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So touching and humbling… Happy Birthday, Jeremy! You’ve touched my life now because you are remembered and loved. You remind me to savor each precious, beautiful, and fragile moment of life. I silently thank Jeremy’s family for sharing his memory with us.

The scenery continues to amaze…

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…and delight…

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I mean, look at this beehive-like trunk!

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Prickly…

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Priceless…

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A Walk in the Park – Part II

img_5212 Balboa Park Gets Its Name

According to the official San Diego website and Balboa Park website, the name City Park was changed to Balboa Park in 1910 as a result of a naming contest. Mrs. Harriet Phillips submitted the winning entry with her suggestion to honor the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the first European to view the Pacific Ocean from the coast of Panama. (sandiego.gov and sandiegohistory.org)

img_5321 sandiegohistory.org

However, according to The Journal of San Diego History, this account is an alternative fact, a colorful myth… not true.

img_5322sandiegohistory.org

Nancy Carol Carter summarizes the real story in her article published in The Journal of San Diego History.

img_5324 sandiegohistory.org

You can access her full 12 page article at Naming Balboa Park: Correcting the Record by Nancy Carol Carter.


What is true is the influence of Spanish colonial architecture throughout the park…

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And the beautifully landscaped botanical gardens reflecting the cultural diversity of 2 world fairs: The Panama-California Exposition of 1915-1916 and The California Pacific International Exposition of 1935-1936.

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During both World Wars Balboa Park was taken over by the military and then reverted to use by the museums and cultural institutions we see today.

img_5325 balboapark.org

A Walk in the Park – Part I

img_5213 Balboa Park

January ushered in cooler than normal temperatures, overcast skies, rainy days, and a new President. Even though the rain was needed and welcomed, it was getting old and depressive. And the new presidency? Well, that didn’t help lift our spirits either. But I digress, as this is not a political blog. Suffice it to say, however, that the past 11 days has left me stressed and perplexed.

So, as the skies morph from gray into blue and a yellow orb sends out rays of warming comfort, Jeff and I decide to head south to San Diego for a change of scenery and mental health realignment.


Downtown San Diego, CA is about an hour away from Lake Elsinore. You can’t visit San Diego without stopping at Balboa Park with its over 1,000 acres of gardens, museums, international cultural associations, shops, restaurants, and recreational activities within minutes of downtown.

img_5317 drodd.com

As per our MO, Jeff and I drive through and around the park before picking a spot to start our exploration.

The Google Earth car drives by…

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The San Diego Zoo is here too.

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The homes surrounding the park aren’t too shabby either.

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We decide to park on Village Place by the Morton Bay Fig Tree across from theNAT, the San Diego Museum of Natural History.

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This tree is huge! Note the 2 small figures of adults standing to the upper left of the sign in the lower left portion of the photo above. According to the sign, the tree is over 90 years old. It is 80 feet high with a trunk girth of 42 feet and a canopy spanning some 145 feet. It is a native of eastern Australia and was planted here in 1915.

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We walk across the street to the Spanish Art Village. The shops in this colorful square double as artists’ studios.

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We wander into a sculpture garden.

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And then, like Goldilocks, I discover…

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Balboa Park History

A fore-sighted group of citizens convinced the city of San Diego to set aside 1,400 acres of land from pueblo lots as a public park in 1868. Known as “City Park”, this preserved site consisted of hilltops, canyons, and steep gulches.

In 1892 Kate O. Sessions asked the city to lease her 30 acres of the park to grow plants. In return for this favor, she promised to plant 100 trees per year throughout the park. (sandiego.gov)

img_5318 sandiegohistory.org

Her ingenuity transformed dirt and brushwood into tree-shaded lawns, flower gardens, and nature paths. In 1902, with the hiring of Samuel Parsons, a landscape architect, the park began evolving into what it looks like today. (sandiego.gov)

img_5320 sandiegohistory.org

One of the few existing copies of the original 1905 plan for Balboa Park by Samuel Parsons. Courtesy of Nan Sterman

One of the few existing copies of the original 1905 plan for Balboa Park by Samuel Parsons. Courtesy of Nan Sterman at agrowingpassion.com

Check out Celebrating Balboa Park – Part II: Planning a Park on Nan Sterman’s website, agrowingpassion.com for more history, facts, and details.