01/01/2014 12:05 pm ET Updated Mar 03, 2014

Love Letter To Coronado

A recent UCLA graduate, Nile Cappello is lucky enough to spend her days producing travel deals for Travelzoo (and feeding her wanderlust). She lived in Coronado for 8 years before moving back to Los Angeles for school -- but she loves being driving distance from her oasis of a hometown.

Dear Coronado,

I know you might be surprised to hear from me. I'm sure you know how excited I was to leave after senior year of high school, or how little I choose to make to drive home to you. I'm sure you've heard me complain about not being able to go to the grocery store without running into at least 20 people I know, or the 'zonie' tourists that invade our beaches during the summer. But when it comes down to it, Coronado, I love you.

Coronado, you might be about as close to paradise as it can get. Your beaches, with the dunes that spell out 'Coronado Island' and sand flaked with gold, are a notch above the rest. There is no feeling quite like crossing your bridge, and seeing the water sparkle around your 2-mile wide island land. And when I drive down your main road, the only one with stoplights, there really is nowhere I'd rather be.

Not only do you house all my friends within biking distance, you put us all in the same school system. Your mayor was my history teacher, and we know all the cops by name. When the Fourth of July rolls around, the entire island shuts down for a parade and fireworks to celebrate.

I know that when I come home, I can count on Holland's to fix my bike, Tartine to fix my hunger, and Mootime to fix my sweet tooth. I know that if I want a slice I can go to Village Pizzeria, and that there's a 95% chance I know the person working the coffee cart.

I'm just as proud as you are that your claim to fame is partly the Hotel del Coronado, and partly the North Island Navy Base. I'm proud you are only one of two places that our government trains Navy seals, and that all the boys in school knew better than to mess with their daughters. I'm proud that we have the oldest hotel on the west coast, and thankful that the employees were kind enough not to call our parents when we snuck into the Jacuzzi on summer nights.

I'm sorry for throwing water balloons at the Arizona tourists that invade our island over summer. And I'm sorry for really not being that sorry. I'm sorry for complaining that there's no Trader Joe's or Target, and I'm sorry for getting annoyed that one time I got in trouble for riding my bike on the sidewalk. Most of all, I'm sorry that I didn't appreciate you as much as I should have.

Coronado, your beaches, your hotel, your bridge, your people and your shops have won me over. Every holiday season, I'll be back to see the Christmas parade, drink hot chocolate from 1134, and take advantage of holiday-inspired free parking meters. Every summer, I'll be there for the Fourth of July fireworks, Sunday concerts in the park, and beach jogs. Coronado, you can count on it, just as I have always been able to count on you.

Love you more than Stretches soft serve,