Living in Coronado as a child is one of the most sheltered--and blessed--experiences one can have. I was fortunate to live that and know that as a child. Having recently returned from there with my two boys for the 4th and the 20-yr class reunion (!) it brought more perspective and introspection than I anticipated.
It was something about the combination of watching my kids playing and loving it there last week, and my schoolhood friends surrounding me in present day, thinking of my own childhood experiences, and walking through the island's streets with David that brought it all on.
Pardon my stream of consciousness word vomit to follow, but the memories flooded back in profound ways:
-The annual carnival at Tidelands Park
-My brother Brion's little league games, also around Tidelands and that snack bar, where hot dogs and cracker jacks ruled
-Green, Yellow, Red flag days you'd scan for when approaching the beach (our recent trip was all red, meaning rip currents/danger galore--we still bodysurfed happily)
-Morey boogie boards and DuRay's--now Island Surf
-31 FUCKING FLAVORS--after the beach I lived for this place, now a memory. Thank you MOOTIME, cuz you're pretty darn tasty, too, just a tad expensive.
-The mixed scent of coppertone and chlorine, while laying on my stomach on the warm, wet conrete at the side of the Municipal Pool. The water would spill over from splashing kids and heat up the shallow puddles. Loved em.
-The diving board at the pool! Back flips from the lo dive, and straight dives off the high dive, which I always dreaded but challenged myself to jump from. Still not a heights lover.
-My fear of the heights off the Coronado bridge, even just while riding in the car across to San Diego. Zach has inherited the same inhibition. I still white knuckle it driving over it (and the Tacoma Narrows bridge).
-Esprit clothing. So 80s! We'd buy them in town on Orange.
-Village Theatre. So 40s chic, now closed. Booooo! Don't tear it down.
-91X, the radio station that satisfied my new wave/alt/reggae and oldies cravies on a single frequency. I loved your Del Mar Fair concerts and promos!
-My favorite stately homes from Ocean Blvd, to my grandparents Americana rambler on J with the back house.
-Sunday dinners on 510 J where mega course feasts with the extended family put us in a food coma. My gramma is now 92 in the same house, with caregivers and she can't cook for herself. I love her dearly.
-The lovingly tended backyard garden at 610 10th where my other gramma lived, sweet peas and roses scenting the place and the box hedge, squared off I used to run my hands over.
-Chez Loma and Marco's. CL looked so historic and Euro, and Marco's had the hanging twine bottles and cheesy rubber grapes hanging from overhead, with Sofia Loren-looking oil paintings on the wall and canal scenes.
-Clayton's, where mom would send Brion and I when she had dates.
-The Halloween costume parade and competition on Cutler field, we're going WAY BACK now.
-The presidential fitness tests. Do they still do those? Gym/PE in elementary school in California was for real back then. No fucky fucky! No wonder everyone was still fit at the 20-year; we kickstarted our metabolisms early!
-Goofing off through the catacombs of the Del
-Scaling the rocks on Ocean Blvd, and tidepooling near the del
-Fancy brunches at the officer's mess at the Amphib base with my grandpa, and playing on the green just beyond trying to fathom how the soldiers trained on these contraptions!
-My grandfather Fowler's salute and stern look entering the bases; he'd explain his USMC colonel rank commanded a long salute and as long as he held it, the underlings had to hold it, too.
I love that Coronado has sooo many sidewalk bistros today and wish they'd get more espresso indie places. Starbucks is not the end all and be all! And Kassie, it isn't worth an hour in line, except for catching up with old friends! :)
I'm going to stop here. If there was any way I could afford that quality of life for my family, I would do it for them in a heartbeat. Coronado was a blessing.