San Diego. From the time the plane was landing I knew I was going to like it. Through the tiny windows, it looked like a tropical island (or at least Mexico) with the palm trees and mountains and rows of houses on the hill (Side note: one of the boys remarked it looked like the city in The Incredible Hulk = the slums of Brazil?)
We stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado. They sent a shuttle to pick us up from the airport and the very nice old driver gave us an unofficial tour of San Diego and "the island."
The hotel and was beautiful:
We stayed in the Ocean Towers, steps from the beach and the boogie board rental station. We rented them for hour-long periods, which it turns out is exactly how long the boys could stay out boogie boarding at a time:
The water was freezing, not at all what I expected (we might as well have been in Gloucester). I got a lot of beach-laying done, and there you could actually stay out in the sun for hours and enjoy it (unlike here where after 10 minutes you are soaked from sweat). There was also a "heated" swimming pool (still way too cold) and jucuzzi with a zillion lounge chairs for when the beach got old.
For breakfast and lunch, we walked about a block away into the quaint little town. The main street, Orange Street, was filled with restaurants and gift shops and ice cream shops and coffee shops, all kinds of shops. Each night, we'd walk back down Orange to this little pizza and pasta place for dinner then take off our shoes and walk back home along the beach. I love the beach at night, and from this one you could see the coast lit up all the way to Tijuana.
On the last day, on the way to the airport, we stopped at the USS Midway, a carrier ship turned into a museum. We went straight up to the top to see all of the helicopters and planes. There were Veterans volunteering, all very nice and so eager to talk to you about their experiences on the ship. It was interesting, but a little sad.
We went for four days, which in my experience is just long enough. Time to get away and explore, but not long enough to get restless (especially with kids).
Now, I am packing for New Orleans. I am so excited, I haven't seen my family since Mardi Gras! We are driving there Friday with the boys, who've only met my parents once before, for a combined birthday party and Fourth of July celebration.