You know you’re on vacation when you start your morning relaxing in the hot tub. As we kicked it in the Jacuzzi, my friends and I charted out our plans for July Fourth. We all agreed on a drive over to Coronado Island with plenty of time to enjoy the beach and fireworks in the evening.
First things first, sustenance was in order. I headed to our refrigerator to make a tofu scramble, and discovered that everything was clammy and lukewarm. The refrigerator was not working, and all of our groceries from home and from a shopping trip the evening before weren’t looking their best. The chickpea salad was smelling funky and had to be let go. We adjusted the temperature on the refrigerator and decided to chance it on the tofu. I made a scramble topped with avocado very loosely based on the one in Veganomicon.
With brunch finished, we grabbed our swimsuits and towels and hit the street.
The long bridge to Coronado Island is about two miles from downtown San Diego. From the bridge one can see San Diego on one side and Mexico on the other. Although lots of people were heading to the island for the Fourth of July 15k Run/Walk and parade that day, we were able to find parking in one of the neighborhoods. Art-in-the-Park happens the first and third Sunday of every month in Spreckels Park. We meandered our way to the center of town and walked along the park admiring the paintings, photographs, and artwork. Families were picnicking in the grass and waiting for a concert that was happening later that evening in a gazebo in the middle of the eight-acre park.
The island is only about a mile across, relatively flat, and easy to maneuver by foot. We walked along Orange Avenue to the ocean and the world famous Hotel del Coronado. The hotel was built over 120 years ago and boasts shops, restaurants, and a spa. We took a peek inside, and then made our way to Coronado’s Central Beach for some fun in the sun. Children were building sand castles and throwing balls, while teenagers soaked up some rays. The beach was busy but very clean. In fact, I saw a little girl drop a wrapper onto the sand, and immediately her brother, who looked about eleven or twelve, ran up to her, picked it up, and told her not to litter. Even though I live in Los Angeles, it’s easy to let weeks and then months go by without ever seeing the ocean. That’s too bad, though, because there’s little else more calming than sitting by the water with friends, talking, laughing, and watching the waves hit the sand.
Eventually our stomachs got the best of us, and with no picnic to satisfy our appetites, we wandered back into town along the well manicured streets, chatting with friendly locals along the way. Although, there aren’t any strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurants on the island, most of the restaurants displayed their menus in front of them, and there were plenty with veganizable options. We wavered between Chinese and Italian, but settled on a cheeseless veggie-laden pizza, bruschetta, and salad before making our way to the evening’s fireworks over Glorietta Bay. From the Bay, the skyline of downtown San Diego was a backdrop for fireworks lighting the night sky.
Back at the hotel that night, I called to the front desk about the refrigerator, which was still not working. Someone came up to look at it and said the freezer had frozen the pipes, making it impossible to cool the main part of the refrigerator. He advised us to move our food to the freezer and turn it down to thaw the pipes.
With that, I climbed into bed dreaming about the strudel that awaited me the next day from Stephanie’s Bakery. Sweet dreams indeed.