Every year for Angel and I’s wedding anniversary, we end up doing something a little less extraordinary. One year we spent our anniversary painting (and quite painstakingly, I might add) our bedroom. It really did need it, and it was our attempt at creating a more tranquil and relaxing place for us to spend our nights.
One year we bought a desk for the office.
The point is, for the last couple years, our anniversaries have been kind of boring, and I vowed last year that this wouldn’t happen next year. Next year had arrived, and the dilemma was what the heck to do with ourselves, so we chose to spend a weekend in the local wine country of Temecula, CA. It ended up being the most relaxing vacation that I have ever had! Ya know, not one of those where you need an extra vacation to recover from the first.
First, we set out on our journey, that is about a one hour trip to Temecula from our house in Moreno Valley. We have some friends from Italy, who told us about this Italian Pizzeria and Delicatessen called Spuntino, so as far as I was concerned, that HAD to be our first stop! We had a Bruscetta pizza(which was awesome!!), and bought some meats and cheeses from the deli to take back to the hotel with us. We were particularly fond of this spicy salami that they had. It had such a kick to it!
We get to our hotel, Inn at Churon Winery and were treated like family instantly. We got a free tasting while our room was prepared, and got to know some of the lovely staff! Our room was finally ready, so we went up to check it out.
We were beat from staying up late the previous night, so we decided to take a little nap, and then headed down to the “wine reception”, which was kind of like a happy hour for the guests of the inn. Free wine for an hour? Who can say no to that?
There was this lovely couple at the reception, who were celebrating their anniversary as well. They seemed to be regulars at this place. They brought a huge plate of shrimp coctail to share with all the guests there. Truly a testament that this place is full of local charm. The end of the reception has come and gone, but Angel and I weren’t quite done yet. We bought a bottle of their Old Vine Zinfandel, and sat out in their courtyard, which was absolutely beautiful!
The day ended with an exquisite dinner at a different local winery.
We had the best night of sleep EVER, and I think it was due to the absence of 4 furry little animals who like to pounce all over the bed in the morning. Today, we were going to hit Old Town Temecula, and then do that whole wine tasting thing. The night was to end with a lovely 5 course dinner paired with the Inn’s wines. So, we’re up and we hit Old Town…
…and we take the obligatory tourist pictures while visiting their cool shops.
There was this awesome outdoor garden shop, that had these:
I really want one of those someday when we get our back patio put in!
There was this wooden staircase around the corner from the shops, and the light was fabulous, so Angel and I took some portraits:
Those photos were taken right before the Manhattan incident. The day wouldn’t be quite the same.
The Old Town Spice Merchants… what can I say about this place?!? I swear it was HEAVEN in that store! See how happy I am?
We procured many eccentric things from there… my favorite being this: Black Truffle Sea Salt!
I swear, I’ve looked for pink peppercorns everywhere, but have never been able to find them.. UNTIL NOW!!! I’m sooo making a pink peppercorn sauce to go over a sweet cut of filet mingon someday real soon.
Earlier in the day, one of the store owners gave us some insider information that Tori Spelling was shooting an episode for her show at the local root beer shop. As we were leaving, we decided to pop into the shop, just to see if by chance she was there. I see a short, and very VERY thin blonde, and started joking around to Angel, “That’s her! That’s Tori Spelling!!” I’m not really a great fan of hers, so I was indifferent on the whole situation. We get closer, and it IS her after all! We said hello, and informed her that her film crew was in the vicinity about an hour ago, so maybe we helped the girl out. I still can’t get over how tiny she was! We didn’t get any pictures with her though.
Much of our afternoon was spent shopping, so we had to high-tail it to some wineries to get our tasting in. I saw this place the previous day, and I knew that was the one place I had to stop:
Best Gewürztraminer of California? HELL YES!
On our way to the next winery, we thought it would be a great idea to take a picture of this:
We were loving life, I tell ya.
Keyways was the second winery we stopped at, which had lovely grounds, lovely bar, all around high-class tavern like ambience.
Had to get a picture of their baby grapes!
Our third and final winery was a both frightening and awesome experience. We had to drive through a swarm of bees to get to the place. They were on the asphalt on the road up to the place, about the size of a man-hole cover. Strange. The winery itself, was beautiful, just like every other winery in Temecula!
We got back just in time for our Inn’s wine reception, and shared with them some of our italian meats, and special cheeses we bought from Old Town. We met some great people – a photographer and social worker, whose names I can’t remember, another young couple who were vibrant and full of life, and a rockstar who sings backup for Warrant and Ozzy. His girlfriend was there, but I guess she didn’t like him talking to people, and pulled him away from us quite rudely. Oh well, can’t please ’em all, right? I don’t remember anyone’s names. I’m horrible with names. I’m going to blame it on the wine this time. 😉
The wine-paired dinner was great, although it had to be cut short because I had reached my limit. With that, we will end the story right there, and I will leave you with a shot from our room’s balcony. It was absolutely serene.