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January 10, 2017 /

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.



Leave a Comment
  1. cindy knoke / Jan 10 2017 5:51 pm

    Happy B’day and lovely photos too!

  2. snakesinthegrass2014 / Jan 10 2017 6:24 pm

    Happy Birthday! Send some cheesecake my way, please! – Marty

  3. cornfedcontessa / Jan 10 2017 6:37 pm

    Happy birthday! We love San Diego!

  4. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Jan 10 2017 7:01 pm

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

  5. Ann Coleman / Jan 10 2017 8:35 pm

    I am following you, but your post don’t appear in my reader! Sorry if I have missed some, I’ll see what I can do to fix it!

    • / Jan 11 2017 1:05 pm

      That has happened to me too (although with some blogs I follow via email). I’ll check my side to see if it’s something I need to fix. Thanks for the follow and the heads up!

  6. Liesbet / Jan 10 2017 10:25 pm

    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! 🙂

    • / Jan 11 2017 1:11 pm

      I love to wander around without much of an agenda, and my husband indulged me completely. It was so much better than any wrapped gift I could have received.

  7. Debbie H / Jan 10 2017 10:43 pm

    Great way to spend your special day and a delicious looking cake too. Happy days!

    • / Jan 12 2017 8:36 am

      Who needs wrapped gifts when you can spend a day where you want, with who you want, doing just what you want? The cake was indeed delicious… and no calories (OK, maybe not that part).

  8. Maggie Wilson / Jan 11 2017 5:16 am

    Belated greetings – that cheesecake looks yummy – all the more so since it was made by hubby.

    • / Jan 11 2017 1:13 pm

      I think just about anything tastes better when I don’t have to make it myself, but you are right, the cheesecake was especially yummy.

  9. Denise / Jan 11 2017 5:21 am

    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.

    • / Jan 11 2017 1:15 pm

      I keep trying to convince him to do all of the cooking, but so far no luck. I guess as long as he makes me this cheesecake for my b-day every year, I’ll be happy.

  10. Ally Bean / Jan 11 2017 6:17 am

    Happy Birthday! A day near the ocean with sunshine and cheesecake. What a perfect birthday present!

  11. Kate Crimmins / Jan 11 2017 6:40 am

    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!)

    • / Jan 11 2017 1:19 pm

      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!

      • Kate Crimmins / Jan 11 2017 4:22 pm

        Unlikely that husband will make it but the orange part looked good. Here in the east, it’s mostly berries or apples on top of cheesecake.

        • / Jan 11 2017 4:25 pm

          I’ll email it to you. If you make it, you may or may not decide to share it with your husband. Personally, I’d hide it well in the back of the fridge.

          • Kate Crimmins / Jan 11 2017 4:27 pm

            Not a problem. He doesn’t like cheesecake! (another reason to love him…)

  12. Lynn / Jan 11 2017 7:15 am

    Happy Birthday Janis! Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your birthday!

  13. rporter610 / Jan 11 2017 11:23 am

    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.

  14. Terri Webster Schrandt / Jan 11 2017 12:15 pm

    Happy birthday! Your photos are amazing! I’m glad for rain in California too, but does it have to come all at once? The cheesecake looks yummo and I hope you had a beautiful day!

    • / Jan 11 2017 1:28 pm

      Your photos of Coronado in a recent post helped me to decide where I wanted to go. It was between there and La Jolla – both are beautiful, but Coronado was calling to me.

      • Terri Webster Schrandt / Jan 11 2017 2:17 pm

        How cool, Janis! And Coronado always seems less foggy in the summer, but I do love La Jolla.

  15. Anabel Marsh / Jan 11 2017 12:16 pm

    What a wonderful day – glad you had such a great birthday treat (including that scrumptious cheesecake).

  16. writerinsoul / Jan 11 2017 3:03 pm

    What a wonderful day! The pictures really give me a strong feel for it. That is just the kind of day I’d want too.

    • / Jan 11 2017 3:24 pm

      The gift of time spent together is the best gift of all… except maybe the cheesecake, that was a pretty good gift.

      • writerinsoul / Jan 11 2017 3:31 pm

        And I really liked that you meant your *husband* is your best friend.

  17. laura bruno lilly / Jan 11 2017 3:12 pm

    Wow – hubby made that caramelized orange birthday cheesecake? I am impressed!
    Happy Birthday, Janis!

  18. Joanne Sisco / Jan 11 2017 5:17 pm

    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 ❤

    • / Jan 12 2017 8:39 am

      It really was a special day. Now that we are retired, we spend a lot of time together but not usually like this. It was nice to take a day and just wander around without an agenda. The perfect gift!

  19. susan@onesmallwalk / Jan 12 2017 8:43 am

    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

    • / Jan 12 2017 8:44 pm

      Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living where you can actually eat outdoors in the middle of winter! A few brave souls were also playing in the surf in bathing suits… not me!

  20. Tom Sightings / Jan 12 2017 8:55 am

    We were there once, a few years ago. A memorable place. But the biggest prize is … the day doing exactly what you wanted!

  21. patwdoyle11 / Jan 12 2017 1:16 pm

    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!

    • / Jan 12 2017 8:50 pm

      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.

  22. Still the Lucky Few / Jan 12 2017 4:39 pm

    A beautiful love story, Janis! Wonderful that you are so happy!

  23. betsysbeat / Jan 12 2017 7:42 pm

    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!

    • / Jan 12 2017 8:56 pm

      What a great story! The Hotel del Coronado is magical – what a lovely place to spend your wedding night. We had our senior prom there and I think many of us felt like royalty.

  24. Green Global Trek / Jan 14 2017 12:30 am

    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.

    • / Jan 14 2017 7:58 pm

      The cheesecake tasted a bit like an orangecicle… but way better. Next year, I plan to pick another special place to explore, and request that he make the cheesecake again. I figure why mess with perfection?

  25. jena c. henry / Jan 14 2017 11:54 am

    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!

    • / Jan 15 2017 3:52 pm

      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!

  26. Dr Sock / Jan 17 2017 2:03 pm

    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.


    • / Jan 19 2017 5:42 pm

      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.

  27. lisadorenfest / Jan 22 2017 1:58 am

    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!

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:38 am

      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.

  28. GDUSanDiego / Feb 9 2017 4:53 pm

    That is one amazing cheesecake! San Diego is gorgeous and you picked a lovely town to hang your hat up!

    • / Feb 9 2017 5:38 pm

      I’m afraid I can’t claim credit for landing here… my parents moved here long before I was born. And, yes, the cheesecake was amazing!

  29. Agness of Fit Travelling / Feb 17 2017 3:27 pm

    Great adventure! San Diego looks amazing, so does this cheesecake!

    • / Feb 17 2017 4:50 pm

      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!

  30. Dixie Shaw / May 24 2017 4:08 pm

    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!

    • / May 27 2017 3:02 pm

      The Hotel Del is such a special place, and it was such a beautiful winter day. Happy late birthday to you too! Thank you for commenting – I’m off to check out your blog!

  31. Dixie Shaw / May 25 2017 8:22 am

    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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