On Saturday Oct. 25.my wife and I flew to San Diego to visit our Grandson. We drove to Coronado, checked into the Navy Lodge, and got settled. Everyone at the Lodge and on the Base were great. They greeted you as they walked by and helped if you looked like you were lost. If you get a chance to stay at the Lodge try to get Oceanside and 5th floor or above for a great view of the BUD’s Training area. Be prepared for Reveille and the National Anthem each morning played on the PA system plus early morning yelling coming from the Grinder and Beach area. You’d think the Instructors would go deaf with all that noise. We were across the Strand with one window open and could hear not only what the guys were yelling but also the Bell when it rang 3 times. That makes you sad.
After checking into the Lodge my Grandson took us to North Island to get a pass for the car so we could leave and enter the Base without when he couldn’t be there. It also gave us a chance to drive around and see where everything was located and get an idea of where he went for meals and other things he’d mentioned. I walked around the Base quit a bit and it was interesting to see all the building and where the different commands were located.
Then it was down to Imperial Beach to visit our Grandson. It was a short distance to go but on the first drive I though we were never going to get there, we wanted the drive to be about 30 seconds not the long, long, long 10 minutes. He, his Girlfriend and the dog seemed very happy to see us. Everyone was in good spirits. He had some rest and was ready to visit and show us around. We returned to the Base to get ready for dinner and also called frogman80 to let him know we made it safe and sound. He told us to stay put and he would be at the Lodge in 20 minutes to visit and show us around the base. After driving to a few places of interest he crossed the Highway and we were in the BUD/S Training area. First stop, the Grinder. We meet everyone on the Quarterdeck were issued badges and off to the Grinder. We saw the painted outline of Flippers where the guys line up and of course the Famous Bell. Then it was back toward the beach area where the boats were stacked and we spotted the Smurff boat first. The Conference room was interesting with incredible pictures and plaques on the wall. Next was the O-course, some of the guys were out practicing and frogman80 told us what they were doing wrong and right as they learned the form to master one of the obstacles. Driving by the SEAL Team Building was interesting and I wish I had pictures. Next was to the Barracks. Along the way we saw several guys walking around and frogman80 stopped to ask each one what Class they were in and the main question he asked everyone “Why do you want to be a SEAL”. Their answers varied and were interesting. We crossed the Coronado Bridge to San Diego, drove through different military areas, Point Loma and the old Naval Base area. He spoke to his wife and decided we were all meeting for dinner with his family. I called my Grandson to ask if he’d like to join us. Frogman80 wanted the phone to give him direction and said he wanted to meet him. The best I could tell most of the answers most of the answers from the other end were “Yes Sir”. It took about 20 minutes for him to get to the restaurant and we began about a 2 hour eat and greet. I didn’t understand most of what frogman80 was talking about but my Grandson knew and they talked non-stop. If you go to the area you have to go to Devine Pastabilities for a meal, it was great and quite unique. The restaurant had to tell us we were the only table they had not cleaned (it was past closing time) so we had to leave. It was a great time and my Grandson has talked about it every since.
Then it was off to bed (early because our bodies were on a different time zone) and before we knew it we heard Reveille and the National Anthem over the speaker systemso another day had begun. My Grandson took me to The Diner in Coronado for Breakfast. Wow what a plate full of food. It was large enough to last my body all day. He went for a haircut and we prowled the stores in Coronado. We looked mainly at the bicycles used all over the island. The only way to describe them is to say they remind me of the one I had as a kid. No souped up 20 gear racing models, just plain bicycles like those back in the 60’s. Then back to Imperial Beach for a visit until he went to the base to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 barracks, get some equipment, and a new blue Helmet. On his way back from the Base he’d stopped to pick up a Pizza. It is hard to explain the Pizza so I have a picture. Check the size. That’s a 2 liter soda bottle. It’s somewhere around 36” wide and barely fit through the front door.
After eating (and trust me, we came nowhere close to finishing the whole thing) he unpacked all the equipment and cleaned it for several more hours to make sure everything was in good order. I am not sure how exact the Numbers and Name have to be positioned on the Helmet but I watched him put the decals on and take them off for about an hour and a half until he was satisfied with the way it looked. Then came lots of homework. We headed back to base for some R & R.
Monday he had to be at the Base at 0330, I did not get up to see him before class. When we finally got up it was off to Imperial Beach for some shopping and a visit. Then back to the Base where a friend stopped by. We visited with him and went to the NEX to pick up a few things. After he was off duty we all went to dinner at The Coronado Brewing Company. When we returned to Imperial Beach it was time for more homework and we left so he could finish and get some sleep. (He had to leave for the Base at 0400 Tuesday.) Back to bed for us and again we were greeted by Reveille and the National Anthem the next morning.
We spent most of the Tuesday at the Viet Nam Memorial and driving around the Base. After he finished duty we went for a quick Sushi dinner. He was tired and had more homework so we left early so he could concentrate. We headed back to the Lodge and off to bed to wait for Reveille and the National Anthem.
Wednesday we packed our bags and headed for the Airport. Had a nice flight home and arrive back at DFW about 1800.
We had a Great Time, met some wonderful people and had a special visits with our Grandson. If you have a chance to go to Coronado anytime your Loved One is there GO! You will enjoy your visit and your Loved One will be thrilled to see someone from Home. In our 44 years of marriage we have been blessed with the ability to travel to a lot and see the sites of interest and history around the world but this was absolutely the best 4 day trip we have ever taken. It ranks 100 times higher than driving 2 weeks through Europe.
I would like to take a minute to say a special thanks to frogman80 for the tour and the support he has given us and our Grandson. Also I would like thank those of you on this site for helping us get through Boot Camp, Pre-BUD/S and now BUD/S. This community helps all of us understand a little of what the guys are going through how important their work is to this country. Lastly, I would like to Thank all the Past, Present and Future Classes for their desire and commitment to join the Navy in whatever position they choose. While some areas of the Navy get more attention than others every single sailor is important. Their positions support everyone in the Military. No job is small or unimportant. America could not be what it is today without each and every individual in the Armed Services. The success of those jobs ensure our freedom to go where we want, say what we want, and write messages like this when we want.
If anyone has question about going to Coronado please contact me and if I can answer them I would be glad to help in any way.
God bless our Troops and God Bless the United States of America.