GratiTuesday: A Most Perfect Day

My husband and I stopped buying each other special occasion gifts a long ago. Not only would we rather purchase items as they are needed, but, like so many people our age, we are more interested in getting rid of things than acquiring them.

What I can’t buy for myself – but certainly need more of – is quality time spent hanging out with my best friend. So, when my birthday rolled around a few days ago, I asked my husband for a day doing exactly what I wanted: a day spent with him, exploring one of our area’s most beautiful cities – Coronado.

We’ve been having an unusual amount of rain in Southern California this winter. It has come in waves… a few rainy days interspersed with cloudy days, then rain again. Because of our persistent drought none of us are complaining, but every so often, in between the rainstorms, we get a day that just sparkles. And, two days after my birthday, they were predicting one of those days – a perfect day.

It wasn't exactly on my birthday... but it was Elvis's birthday so it rocked.
It wasn’t exactly on my birthday… but it was Elvis’s birthday so it rocked.

Coronado Island, a small beach community just west of San Diego’s downtown, is home to the North Island Naval Air Station and the headquarters of the U.S. Navy Seals, but is probably best known for the historic Hotel del Coronado. You might recognize it if you’ve ever see the 1958 movie “Some Like It Hot” (starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon), which was filmed on its grounds.




Surrounded by San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, Coronado’s beaches go on for miles and the views are breathtaking.

Looking towards Point Loma.
Looking towards Point Loma.
The view of downtown across San Diego Bay.
The view of downtown across San Diego Bay.

After spending the day strolling on the beach, enjoying lunch in a lovely outdoor courtyard, admiring the gorgeous views, and exploring the grand Hotel del, we headed home… where the Caramelized Orange Birthday Cheesecake my husband made for me was waiting.

Worth every calorie.

I am so grateful for being able to spend this most perfect day in the most perfect way.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

69 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: A Most Perfect Day”

  1. What a perfect day. And what an absolutely delicious-looking cheesecake!! Happy Birthday Janis!!

  2. What a lovely day, Janis! It certainly is the best way to spend a birthday or a belated birthday! A few years ago, I wanted and received exactly that, spending the day with my husband in a cute Caribbean town and doing what I wanted, all day long. Walking, swimming, eating out, ordering a cocktail and smiling! 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday. I’ve only been to Coronado once, but loved my time there. Lucky you to have a husband who makes you a cheesecake. Wow.

  4. Happy birthday! That was a perfect day. My bd is Saturday and I want to spend it with my husband too. You’re right about gifts. I can buy what I want in the right color and size. What I can’t buy is someone else’s time. Since you are getting rid of things, you can pack up the remainder of that cheesecake and send it my way! (The least you could have done was post the recipe!)

    1. I know that you have an early January birthday too… I hope you have something special planned. I’m afraid that after tonight the cheesecake will be history. If you really want the recipe, I can email it to you so your husband can make it for you!

  5. Wow! What a wonderful birthday. You are one of the luckiest women I know to have found a guy like your husband. So glad you had a great day together.

  6. It sounds like it was a perfect birthday Janis! Wonderful … I’m going to have to remember that when it’s my birthday. I can’t think of a better gift than time together ❤

  7. Writing about celebrating your January birthday in an outdoor cafe is a worthy enough present (but you also got a yummy desert afterwards – lucky girl.) Happy days – Susan

  8. Happy Birthday! What a lovely way to spend it, too.

    Your desire for the gift of time spent together made me wonder if you’ve ever explored the 5 gifts of love language? Everyone is more likely to have a different hierarchy of showing love/affection and seeing it shown to them. Words, Touch, Time Spent, Acts of Service, and Gifts are the 5. Time spent is my top one; my hubby’s is acts of service. So I know when he makes me dinner, it’s his way of saying I love you. For both of us gifts is last, although I have a good friend who has it as #1. I always need to remember to get her a trinket from my travels!

    1. That’s very interesting! So many times we judge the action of others based on what we’d do or what we want. People show their affection in different ways and receive love based on their values. I am going to explore this concept some more.

  9. Fabulous! My husband and I spent our wedding night at The Del and our first weekend married in Coronado. My dad was stationed at North Island when I was in 2nd and 3rd grades, and I used to wander through The Del thinking it was the most magical place ever, so it was a dream come true to honeymoon there with my love. Happy Birthday!

  10. Happy Birthday, looks like you celebrated in the best of ways! Your husband made that perfect looking cheesecake? wow!! How did it taste? It will be a hard act to follow for next year.

  11. Happy Birthday and thanks for the lovely post and photos. Husband and I have San Diego on our list. Our nephew is turning 40 and has invited his cohort to celebrate with him- we are hoping he includes the older gang of the family, too! I am new to your blog and so happy I found you as we are in the throes of retirement too!

    1. I hope you are able to make it to San Diego! There is so much to do and normally the weather is pretty good (it’s been a bit rainy lately, though). Thank you for the comment and the follow… I’m off to check your blog out – we retirees need to stick together and learn from each other!

  12. Janis, that sounds like a perfect birthday! Years ago, I made a six-week camping trip down the west coast and back with my kids. We went from northern BC to San Diego, and ended up spending about two weeks in San Diego because we loved it so much. One of our visits while there was to the Hotel del Coronado, truly an iconic place.


    1. That sounds like a wonderful trip! We used to camp a lot as a family when I was growing up and I continue to love to take road trips. I bet you got to see a lot when you were here – two weeks is a good amount of time. The Hotel del Coronado is definitely a stop that I would encourage any visitor to make.

  13. Happy belated birthday Janis! What a wonderful way to celebrate. I like you opted to spend money on experiences rather than stuff and have never looked back. I was just over on Liesbet’s blog saying that I have been doing a lot of California Dreaming lately – I feel that is where I want to end up after this sailing adventure is over…although The Captain has his heart set on Hawaii. But it is a few years from now before we settle into a land life. In the interim, I have your pictures (and Liesbet’s and Terri’s) to keep my California dreams alive. Coronado is gorgeous!

    1. California is a beautiful state, but I can see why Hawaii might call also! I’m glad to know that it will be a few years in the future, though. I am enjoying your adventures and your photos and would hate to see your sailing life end too soon.

    1. There is so much to do here, it was hard to pick a place for “my day.” On the other hand, it was not hard at all to pick what type of cake I wanted for my birthday. Fortunately, my husband indulged me in both. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  14. I too ,celebrated a birthday on January 5 this year and reached the aged of 73. I loved the photos of the Hotel Del. In 1962 , my husband and I graduated high school in San Diego. You have wonderful photos. We still love San Diego, though we now live in Fort Myers, Florida. I also am enjoying retirement and writing positive thoughts about aging.

    Happy birthday late and keep up the good work!

  15. P.S. I forgot to mention in my comment above that we went to our high school prom at the Hotel Del in 1962. We didn’t see each other for 20 years and now have been married 33 years. It is a magic place.

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