They were ice skating on the beach at the Coronado today...! It seems its an annual tradition--but a bit mind blowing none the less. The Coronado, in general is a bit mind blowing as well--in the Southern California tradition of doing things dramatically, big and bold. The Hotel Del Coronado is in the same spirit as the Greenbriar and other big eastern resort hotels (the Otesaga in Cooperstown, the Mohunk Mountain House in New Paltz, The Fountainbleu and the Biltmore in Miami or even the Eden Roc). The thing the Hotel Del Coronado has over all these other places is that it is smack on breathtaking beach with all sorts of things that blend the hotel with the beach from it's own strand with bikes, a big pool with striped canvas cabanas (a la the Biltmore)) a gigantic hot tub bigger than most pools, with little restaurants and bars with signature cherry red roofs tumbling out from the various activity places. Even the outdoor restaurants had places for blazing fires for chilly al fresco dining. The main lobby had the same terrific shock as the Biltmore when one came in from the brilliant Southern California sun to deep dark wood paneled, multi storied spaces with victorian turnings and panelling. It was dark and cool, a gracious cool hand to a hot brow which even on a winter day was welcome. I loved the marine tree they had in one of the coffee shops that opened out onto the beach. There are ideas in this marine tree that may evolve into something for Steuben. There are ideas here...and people totally love seashells, seahorses, coral, nautiliuses all year long--why not at Christmas. Somehow seems more appropriate than Santie Claus or Saint Frosty.
The area around the Coronado was very Miami like--in the massing of the neighborhoods, the types of stores and shopping and the way the water and the land seem to wrap one into the other.
Lunch at a surfer type place--the combo sandwich/liquor store concept. We amused ourselves with looking at the Mexican sodas and beers and all the crazy tequila labels and graphics as our sandwiches were made. Totally humorous.
Then, back in the car and back to Hermosa Beach where we will be staying 2 nights at the Beaches hotel (glam) --right on the strand with hot cider in the lobby and fireplaces in the rooms. A is working with his new longboard, R. is discovering and the girls are internetting...and drinking tea. It's nice to have a break from vacation!