It wasn’t planned. After all, i am not, as often stated, a fan of mandated holidays. Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorites. i don’t like some mysterious something directing me to express my love for folks, especially my wife. i mean i do that quite enough, thank you, without direction.
And i should have taken photos, but i was into the day, the experience, being with her, and stopping to take photos just didn’t quite fit for me. Besides who would like to look at a chubby, bald, old man in a selfie (of which there are very few…intentionally), even if he is on a beach with a beautiful lady.
It was after a lovely breakfast, during which i said i had not done anything for Valentine’s and she replied she had not realized it was that day. Good for her.
As i was washing the breakfast dishes, i asked if she would like to go for a walk. She, thinking i meant around the neighborhood, or perhaps the walking trail around the park at the bottom of the hill, said yes. i upped the ante. i said i was thinking about the Coronado Beach. She, somewhat surprised i think, said yes.
Somewhere around ten, we left. We drove through some of the neighborhoods on the island looking for plants that might go well in our continual rehab of our exterior (yeh, it’s one of her passions). Then we parked about a block from the beach. And took a walk.
My parking spot was near the beach gate into Naval Air Station, North Island, the most frequented Friday Morning Golf rendezvous. i’m very familiar with this area.
i’m pretty familiar with Coronado. When i returned from a 1979-80 deployment, i lived in a two story, two bedroom apartment on Eighth and E. Many legends were created there, most with JD Waits. i would run the island at night after work through neighborhoods not yet overcome with overbuilding behemoth proclamations of financial success, but small neighborhood homes, a small town gone wealth crazy.
But it’s still a beautiful place, and barring intelligent financial responsibility, it would still be my first choice for living the rest of my life.
Today, it did not matter. Maureen and i walked the beach from the beach gate for the base to the Hotel del Coronado. Not quite high tide. i don’t wish to brag about it because of family and friends across the country are getting hit pretty hard with nasty, cold weather, but the walk was in mid-60’s weather, clouds almost nil, surfers bobbing beyond the wave crests, young children playing in the water, and the magnificent Hotel Del Coronado looming in front of us, and Point Loma jutting out into the Pacific behind us.
We walked through neighborhoods i remembered from when i lived here. Small, comfortable 50’s bungalows now overcome and replaced by mausoleum-like Taj Mahal wannabes on postage stamp yards. But it is still Coronado. Bikes, rider propelled and motorized, with boom box music, disturbing the ambience. Eateries, those with enough outside space to stay open swamped with tourists, from all over and lots from just over the bridge.
But not on the beach. No, not on the beach. So after our walk, we retreat to our go-to in South Park in the heart of the city. A late brunch at The Rose Wine Bar.
But all of that was not the big thing.
Two lovers, ne’er 39 years, holding hands on the beach they have walked many times before, remembering.
It is nice to remember.
And we didn’t even consider it was Valentine’s Day.