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My friend Cindy & I met in Palm Springs years ago and although we are both very happy to live by the ocean now, we decided to spend some time in the old town which holds so many happy memories for us.

Her favorite place is the Korakia, where she also shot the exteriors for her fashion website Not Just A Wish. In low season (Summer) the rooms range from $223-$292 per night and include breakfast, bicycles, and free Wifi, all without any “resort fees”. The Inn is tucked behind the main street, but within easy walking distance to everything, the main entry and side gate both welcome guests with a Moroccan inspired style. There are actually two parts to this hotel, one being Moroccan and the other more Mediterranean which is connected across a side street. We stayed on the Moroccan side.

The side gate allows direct access to the pool area.


There is a nice courtyard behind the main gate where they serve breakfast at outdoor tables which surround the fountain. The check in area is like a foyer with a huge container of complimentary citrus and mint flavored water for guests. They also serve (cold) tea in the afternoon.

The pool area is directly behind the lobby with a nice fountain adding the gentle sound of flowing water to the ambiance. It is a wonderful place to meet fellow mellow guests like the couple Pam & Steve, with whom we talked about our shared interests of food, music, and travel.


Complimentary pool towels, magazines, and sunscreen are provided in a basket between the pool and the fountain.


There are both shaded and sunlit areas with cushioned daybeds on either side of the pool.


As well as a wall of showers that face a large cushioned seating area.



We chose the Adobe room which was originally the owner’s suite.


The air conditioning was a welcome relief from the 102 degree dry heat outside, and although the bathroom was small, it was clean and offered nice orange blossom toiletries. Besides a nice tub, a nice feature in the bathroom was the window that actually opened to allow air circulation. It would have been great to have some wall or door hooks for the towels, but otherwise everything was functional in the small space.


There was also a nice little kitchenette area with a small refrigerator with an ice compartment which had a filtered water pitcher we very much appreciated having in our room. Oranges were also in a bowl in our room and added a nice refreshing accent to the decor. Quality coffee was a welcome touch, along with a corkscrew and glasses.


Breakfast is included in the rates and served from 7am-11am in the courtyard. Coffees and teas are available in the lobby and once you get your hot beverage, you are served freshly squeezed orange juice and a meal made as soon as you are seated. We had Huevos Rancheros during our stay, and while the eggs were tasty, I can not say I the meal was good. Breakfast was made with obviously store bought beans topped with unmelted cheese and the eggs were not completely scrambled underneath the salsa topping.


It was a friendly, relaxing place with very personalized attention. We were served chocolate truffles and pieces of chocolate at our room as afternoon snacks, and when I brought back used pool towels to the reception area, I was told thank-you, but it is ok to leave them by the pool because they would be picked up from the chaises. The beds were very comfortable and there was absolutely no noise, so it is a perfect peaceful retreat for anyone seeking a small private inn experience without intrusions like televisions, phones, or room service (although they will order food delivered to you poolside for lunch or dinner). Wifi is free but was very weak, so don’t plan on being online during your stay. After all isn’t the point of a getaway to unplug?

>Sheri’s Resale in Encinitas, is one of those rare shops actually owned and staffed by the owner! It is tiny for a shop and huge for a closet, so be prepared to wade through some tightly packed clothes (just like most closets) to find your treasures.

There is a range of everything from name brands like Tommy Bahama, to casual Gap clothing. Prices are in the medium range for consignment stores ($20-$50), but Sheri will negotiate with you on anything you love and must have at a lower price. She will even let you know when something in your style or size is due to come in to the store.

I have a shoe obsession, like most women, and saw some high end CFM heels that I loved but unfortunately they were a size 9 (like Carrie Bradshaw, my shoe addict alter ego, I wear a 7 ); Sheri told me to come back next week because she was expecting some size 7 heels during the week-end. Personalized information goes a long way to getting repeat business from loyal customers, and that kind of service is priceless.

Sheri’s Resale in Encinitas, is one of those rare shops actually owned and staffed by the owner! It is tiny for a shop and huge for a closet, so be prepared to wade through some tightly packed clothes (just like most closets) to find your treasures.

There is a range of everything from name brands like Tommy Bahama, to casual Gap clothing. Prices are in the medium range for consignment stores ($20-$50), but Sheri will negotiate with you on anything you love and must have at a lower price. She will even let you know when something in your style or size is due to come in to the store.

I have a shoe obsession, like most women, and saw some high end CFM heels that I loved but unfortunately they were a size 9 (like Carrie Bradshaw, my shoe addict alter ego, I wear a 7 ); Sheri told me to come back next week because she was expecting some size 7 heels during the week-end. Personalized information goes a long way to getting repeat business from loyal customers, and that kind of service is priceless.

>I don’t have any children, but since nearly all my friends are parents, I keep an eye out for shops they might like and I found a treasure, Chateau Tresor, which literally translates to Treasure Castle. It’s a children’s resale shop, and a great idea for a store in today’s turbulent economic times. Why not buy great quality at a discount when all children will eventually grow out of everything?

The salesperson was friendly and very laid back, actually allowing me to browse without asking the dreaded, “May I help you?” question. I was impressed by the selection of children’s clothing, toys, games, books, and strollers; some of the items are brand new with tags still attached, including a pair of pink embroidered Cinderella pants by Disney for under $20 and a stuffed Mumbles penguin for under $4. This is not your average resale shop, all the items are in great condition and the presentation is very spacious and feels high end. If you happen to be shopping with children, there is even a small children’s play area in the back for them.

Even if you don’t have children, this is a great shop for gifts for relatives and friends who do. You might even find something like a Chutes and Ladders board game, or a copy of the favorite bedtime book, Goodnight Moon, to make the child in you smile.

I don’t have any children, but since nearly all my friends are parents, I keep an eye out for shops they might like and I found a treasure, Chateau Tresor, which literally translates to Treasure Castle. It’s a children’s resale shop, and a great idea for a store in today’s turbulent economic times. Why not buy great quality at a discount when all children will eventually grow out of everything?

The salesperson was friendly and very laid back, actually allowing me to browse without asking the dreaded, “May I help you?” question. I was impressed by the selection of children’s clothing, toys, games, books, and strollers; some of the items are brand new with tags still attached, including a pair of pink embroidered Cinderella pants by Disney for under $20 and a stuffed Mumbles penguin for under $4. This is not your average resale shop, all the items are in great condition and the presentation is very spacious and feels high end. If you happen to be shopping with children, there is even a small children’s play area in the back for them.

Even if you don’t have children, this is a great shop for gifts for relatives and friends who do. You might even find something like a Chutes and Ladders board game, or a copy of the favorite bedtime book, Goodnight Moon, to make the child in you smile.

>San Diego has grown into a major metropolis, but there is a part of it that remains small. Coronado Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge from the north and a narrow strand of land from the south, so it remains part of the city without being swallowed by massive development and traffic.

If you didn’t know the homes were worth millions (and pretty much only passed on within families), you might think this was a small quaint community that has steadfastly stuck to its’ small town ways out of stubbornness (instead of because of ordinances that strictly limit growth). All this just makes it more of a haven for those who love walking (or biking) from the Hotel Del Coronado (or the Del as most people call it) at one end of town to the Marriott, at the other end of town. Most people know the Hotel Del from the movies and television shows that have been shot here, so it is the official local landmark, and a good place to start your exploration of Coronado. Start inside the hotel itself, the lobby with its’ massive mahogany bar, immediately transports to you another era. Go have a drink at the sunset bar on the terrace overlooking the Pacific, then head over to 1500 Ocean and have a lunch of kona kampachi (hawaiian yellowtail sashimi) with kumquat, radish, serrano, lemon oil, avocado mousse, and handmade black truffled pappardelle, with pancetta, morels, pea tendrils, mushroom buerre fondue. Both appetizers are more than enough to make a fantastic lunch; if you are here on a Sunday make sure to try the brunch at the Crown Room (reservations are a must). Make sure you have enough time to enjoy a walk around the hotel to explore the nooks and crannies that wind around the property from the pool to the beach before you leave.

Once you leave the property, you can either head towards the beach or town, so get some exercise as you explore by turning left out of the hotel and walk along Orange all the way to the other end of the island to the Ferry Landing shopping area. At a leisurely pace it will take about an hour if you don’t stop along the way to check out the bookstore, clothing shops, and assorted restaurants along the way. Walking is my favorite way to really get to know a city because when you drive past a place, you will rarely stop to take a look inside, but walking by, you tend to stop and it’s the only way to truly get the feel of a place. There are bike rentals available throughout the island, so if walking is not your style, rent a bike and enjoy the flat terrain and streets with almost no traffic.

The Ferry Landing, is as the name implies, where the ferry from the mainland lands (duh!), and it is a mini mall of sorts with restaurants and shops that have unique and kitschy things to suit every taste. Peohe’s restaurant has a great view of mainland San Diego from it’s outdoor patio, so come right before sunset and watch the lights of San Diego light up over the bay. The menu has a little of everything, but come for the view, not the food. Since this post is on July 4, it’s worth mentioning that this is a fabulous place to watch fireworks with the San Diego skyline in the background!

When it’s time to retire for the night I like the Marriott, right next to the Ferry Landing. Yes, it’s a big chain hotel, but that means you’ll earn points for your stay (or be able to use ones you’ve accrued), and this hotel was once the five star Le Meridien, so the original expenses put into the hotel have simply been polished by the corporate veneer. The rooms are spacious, the decor is understated, and the service is efficient. They usually offer a week-end getaway rate, so check before you book for any special offers.

At the end of your stay, take a drive down to the small hidden gem, Coronado Sunset Park, a three-acre patch of green on Ocean Boulevard near Naval Air Station North Island ‘s Gate 5. This park offers a fabulous view of sunsets over the Pacific, a fitting final scene as you leave this San Diego island.

San Diego has grown into a major metropolis, but there is a part of it that remains small. Coronado Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge from the north and a narrow strand of land from the south, so it remains part of the city without being swallowed by massive development and traffic.

If you didn’t know the homes were worth millions (and pretty much only passed on within families), you might think this was a small quaint community that has steadfastly stuck to its’ small town ways out of stubbornness (instead of because of ordinances that strictly limit growth). All this just makes it more of a haven for those who love walking (or biking) from the Hotel Del Coronado (or the Del as most people call it) at one end of town to the Marriott, at the other end of town. Most people know the Hotel Del from the movies and television shows that have been shot here, so it is the official local landmark, and a good place to start your exploration of Coronado. Start inside the hotel itself, the lobby with its’ massive mahogany bar, immediately transports to you another era. Go have a drink at the sunset bar on the terrace overlooking the Pacific, then head over to 1500 Ocean and have a lunch of kona kampachi (hawaiian yellowtail sashimi) with kumquat, radish, serrano, lemon oil, avocado mousse, and handmade black truffled pappardelle, with pancetta, morels, pea tendrils, mushroom buerre fondue. Both appetizers are more than enough to make a fantastic lunch; if you are here on a Sunday make sure to try the brunch at the Crown Room (reservations are a must). Make sure you have enough time to enjoy a walk around the hotel to explore the nooks and crannies that wind around the property from the pool to the beach before you leave.

Once you leave the property, you can either head towards the beach or town, so get some exercise as you explore by turning left out of the hotel and walk along Orange all the way to the other end of the island to the Ferry Landing shopping area. At a leisurely pace it will take about an hour if you don’t stop along the way to check out the bookstore, clothing shops, and assorted restaurants along the way. Walking is my favorite way to really get to know a city because when you drive past a place, you will rarely stop to take a look inside, but walking by, you tend to stop and it’s the only way to truly get the feel of a place. There are bike rentals available throughout the island, so if walking is not your style, rent a bike and enjoy the flat terrain and streets with almost no traffic.

The Ferry Landing, is as the name implies, where the ferry from the mainland lands (duh!), and it is a mini mall of sorts with restaurants and shops that have unique and kitschy things to suit every taste. Peohe’s restaurant has a great view of mainland San Diego from it’s outdoor patio, so come right before sunset and watch the lights of San Diego light up over the bay. The menu has a little of everything, but come for the view, not the food. Since this post is on July 4, it’s worth mentioning that this is a fabulous place to watch fireworks with the San Diego skyline in the background!

When it’s time to retire for the night I like the Marriott, right next to the Ferry Landing. Yes, it’s a big chain hotel, but that means you’ll earn points for your stay (or be able to use ones you’ve accrued), and this hotel was once the five star Le Meridien, so the original expenses put into the hotel have simply been polished by the corporate veneer. The rooms are spacious, the decor is understated, and the service is efficient. They usually offer a week-end getaway rate, so check before you book for any special offers.

At the end of your stay, take a drive down to the small hidden gem, Coronado Sunset Park, a three-acre patch of green on Ocean Boulevard near Naval Air Station North Island ‘s Gate 5. This park offers a fabulous view of sunsets over the Pacific, a fitting final scene as you leave this San Diego island.

>Havoc is a designer consignment shop in Laguna Beach that offers high end labels at department store prices. Looking for a Louis Vuitton handbag that looks brand new? Find it here for about 30% of what you would pay retail. They have couture pieces from Thierry Mugler and Versace for several hundred rather than several thousand dollars. When you want the label, but not the sticker shock, browse the racks here (especially the 50% off rack in the back) and steal a designer deal without any guilt.

On Peppertree Lane in Laguna Beach there is a clothing and accessory store called Sutton Place that almost always has one or two sale racks with unbelievable deals. I have bought silk dresses there for $20 that normally retail for $100; and they have burned out velvet pashminas in beautiful spring colors for only $35 on another rack. Everything in the store is colorful, from long evening gowns in every color, to scarves and earrings to complete your outfit, they have it here. Peppertree Lane also has a nice gelato and chocolate shop, so you can enjoy a sweet treat after you make your purchase.

Purse hangers have been used in Europe for years, but most of my friends here have never seen or heard of them. Considering what some women pay for their purses, keeping it off the ground should be considered important (in some cases so important they prefer to hold their handbags in their laps rather than set it on the ground). A purse hook is a metal hook that allows you to hang your handbag off a table, but hooks are cumbersome and some do not fit in purses, so the preferred solution is a purse hanger that folds. These are small round disks that unfold to become a hook with a small disk on top that secures it to a table (or any flat surface). Most hangers will hold up to 15 pounds, so it is not for a laptop briefcase; if your purse weighs more than 15 pounds, you should really consider buying a rolling luggage piece instead of carrying that weight on your shoulder. Purse hangers sell for anywhere from a few dollars to fifty depending on the design (if you want real swarovski crystals you must pay for it). On Ebay, New York Company Store sells folding purse hangers starting at only 99 cents (plus $6.99 shipping) with the swarovski crystal hangers selling for under $20. Even if you usually put your purse on a chair or table, a purse hanger will give you more space while keeping your purse handy; who knows, you might want to offer your extra seat to that handsome stranger who has been flirting with you from across the room.

Havoc is a designer consignment shop in Laguna Beach that offers high end labels at department store prices. Looking for a Louis Vuitton handbag that looks brand new? Find it here for about 30% of what you would pay retail. They have couture pieces from Thierry Mugler and Versace for several hundred rather than several thousand dollars. When you want the label, but not the sticker shock, browse the racks here (especially the 50% off rack in the back) and steal a designer deal without any guilt.

On Peppertree Lane in Laguna Beach there is a clothing and accessory store called Sutton Place that almost always has one or two sale racks with unbelievable deals. I have bought silk dresses there for $20 that normally retail for $100; and they have burned out velvet pashminas in beautiful spring colors for only $35 on another rack. Everything in the store is colorful, from long evening gowns in every color, to scarves and earrings to complete your outfit, they have it here. Peppertree Lane also has a nice gelato and chocolate shop, so you can enjoy a sweet treat after you make your purchase.

Purse hangers have been used in Europe for years, but most of my friends here have never seen or heard of them. Considering what some women pay for their purses, keeping it off the ground should be considered important (in some cases so important they prefer to hold their handbags in their laps rather than set it on the ground). A purse hook is a metal hook that allows you to hang your handbag off a table, but hooks are cumbersome and some do not fit in purses, so the preferred solution is a purse hanger that folds. These are small round disks that unfold to become a hook with a small disk on top that secures it to a table (or any flat surface). Most hangers will hold up to 15 pounds, so it is not for a laptop briefcase; if your purse weighs more than 15 pounds, you should really consider buying a rolling luggage piece instead of carrying that weight on your shoulder. Purse hangers sell for anywhere from a few dollars to fifty depending on the design (if you want real swarovski crystals you must pay for it). On Ebay, New York Company Store sells folding purse hangers starting at only 99 cents (plus $6.99 shipping) with the swarovski crystal hangers selling for under $20. Even if you usually put your purse on a chair or table, a purse hanger will give you more space while keeping your purse handy; who knows, you might want to offer your extra seat to that handsome stranger who has been flirting with you from across the room.

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