Monday, November 12, 2007

San Diego

I just returned from a business trip to San Diego and I am happy to say that I got back home safely, on time, and WITH my luggage! :-)

This was the first time I'd ever been to California and I had never seen the Pacific Ocean, so it was very exciting to me. We stayed at an old hotel called the Hotel Del Coronado. It is beautiful and has tons of character. It is one of the few surviving wooden Victorian beach resorts.

The Hotel Del has an interesting history . . . it even has ties to Indiana. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article about the hotel . . .

"On December 19, 1885, Elisha S. Babcock, retired railroad executive from Evansville, Indiana; Hampton L. Story, of the Story and Clark Piano Company of Chicago; and Jacob Gruendike, president of the First National Bank of San Diego, bought all of Coronado and North Island for $110,000.A 24-page prospectus titled "Coronado Beach. San Diego, California" asserted that "The Coronado Beach Company has been organized with a capital of One Million Dollars . . . ." The officers were Babcock, president, Story, vice-president and Gruendike, secretary-treasurer. Also involved with the company by now were three men from Indiana: railroad baron Josephus Collett of Terre Haute; lumber merchant Heber Ingle of Patoka and John Inglehart, a miller, who later became famous through the development of Swansdown flour. The men hired architect James Reid, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, who had practiced in Evansville and Terre Haute. Younger brother Merritt Reid, a partner in Reid Brothers, the Evansville firm, stayed in Indiana but brother Watson Reid helped supervise the 2,000 laborers. Construction of the hotel began in March 1887 and was finished just 11 months later in February 1888 at the cost of one million dollars. Labor was provided largely by Chinese immigrants from San Francisco and Oakland. The hotel was built as a premier resort for the wealthy. It is one of the oldest and largest all-wooden buildings in California and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977."

The Hotel Del is also famous for a few other things . . . Some Like it Hot (with Marilyn Monroe) was filmed there and L. Frank Baum (author of the Wizard of Oz books) was a frequent guest at the hotel and even penned some of his Oz books while there.

The most unique aspect about the hotel is that it is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan who came to stay at the hotel to meet her estranged husband and when he didn't show, took her own life . . . at least that is what they say. Strange happenings have been reported in the room she stayed in, both by guests and hotel staff alike. I'm not sure how much I believe in all those things - but I do know that the power of suggestion is more powerful than I'd like to admit - and I had trouble sleeping once I heard about those stories!!! :-)

It was a cool experience and my room looked out on the ocean. Although I do not like being away from my family - it was nice to be in my room at night and hear the ocean right outside.

If you ever get the chance to visit San Diego, I recommend at the very least, taking a tour of this hotel. It was beautiful, the staff was amazing, and the food . . . I can't even think of another splendiforous descriptive word this early in the morning. ;-)

Can you believe that November is already half-way over? Where does the time go?

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