Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Wine Tasting in Temecula, CA, a Cool Sunset Cruise and it's time for some Football! October 19-22, 2023

Well, I'll start off with a little sob story.   I have a group of girlfriends with whom I get together to chat quite regularly, one of which is a very experienced blogger.  As I had taken some rather lovely trips and had written some rather well thought out blog posts lately I was hoping that my friends were getting notifications when I posted.  Anyway, with some research I discovered that not only are my "followers" not getting an email notification when I post (with the exception of my mother, who seems to get my whole blog by email), but I do not have a functional "Subscribe" button anywhere on my blog.  So no one can follow me.  Actually the "Follow" button just puts my blog into a reading list on blogspot or something, so if you don't go to your reading list, you don't even know I posted.  Basically, if you are my friend on Facebook, you get to see my blog because I post to Facebook, but you can't subscribe.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that it needs a complete overhaul.  I write this post about my recent experiences in San Diego with a heavy heart realizing that most of this hard work has just been for me.  My girlfriends and I were going to get together and have a "tech summit," with the plan of my getting back on track.  It's too far gone--I am hoping for a morning soon with my friend that we can just grind through my issues.  I may need a whole new platform.

Also really need a new name and a new vision.  My current name does not reflect my current concept as now my kids are grown and hardly ever do we all go somewhere together, and the whole goal is not sticking to a budget.  Anyone have creative thoughts??  FB message me--as you FB friends are the only one seeing this apparently 😭😞😞

OK sick of my whining yet.

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in just about my favorite city, San Diego!!! We go here a fair amount.  My daughter was in school here until May 2022, and my brother in law lives here, so we always have somewhere to stay and someone to see, but we had not visited since May of 2022, when my daughter graduated.  We thought it was time to make another visit so three of us (me, my husband, and my oldest daughter) decided to make a three day four night trek down there.  Whenever you go to a city you have visited many times, finding new things to do can be a challenge.  This time we took a day to go wine tasting in the Temecula Valley, hopped aboard a sunset cruise, and cheered on our favorite football team in a Pacific Beach bar/restaurant.


Temecula, or more accurately the Temecula Valley, as Temecula is a town and Temecula Valley is a wine tasting region, is about an hour drive from the coastal cities of San Diego.  Interestingly, Temecula is actually closer to some of the eastern cities of what I consider to be the LA area, such as Riverside.  It is also considerably hotter in the Temecula Valley than on the coast so bring your water and dress for warm temperatures.

There are nearly 50 wineries in the region, all for the most part within a reasonable distance from each other.  All charge a pretty significant tasting fee now-remember the days when you could taste wine for free?--ranging in usually the 25-30$ range for about 5-6 pours, which are chosen off a fairly extensive menu.  Though of course I wish tasting was free again, I do notice that in these paid settings you usually get a little better attention than you would with the free tastings.  Pours tend to be more generous and you might even get a table and a personal server.  Often if something is open, the server will go "off menu" and pour you a little extra something.  We find that with these substantial pours, a group of 3 or so (probably easier if you are family) can pretty much try most of what is offered on a menu simply by switching glasses with each other.  If you are not much of a wine drinker, or are even deemed by some to be a "lightweight" it is also possible to share a tasting, so the 5-6 tastes are consumed by two people from one glass, same price.

Many of the wineries in the Temecula Valley are lavish estates, many offering restaurants, spas, extensive gift shops and sometimes even hotel rooms.  Very few require reservations, and most are open from about 11 until 5 or 6 or sometimes later depending on the day of the week. Because of the presence of served food on the premises, many wineries will not let you bring your own picnic, so just be aware.  Really the best thing is to find yourself a nice map on the internet, maybe like this one, do some internet research, and get yourself a little game plan.  

We visited three wineries.  Gone are the days of visiting like five or six in a day.  Really with the pours and the fees and the driving, kiddos, it's impossible.


35960 Rancho California Road

Wilson Creek is fabulous!  This is where we started our day and the only winery to which we returned following our first visit to the Temecula Valley late in 2021.  Tasting is $25 for 6 pours.  Wilson Creek has lots of area for wine tasting in a bar type setting.  The menu is extensive and deciding on 6 to try was hard!  They have a variety of sparkling wines which can be served straight or in a champagne cocktail fashion and an abundance of tasty whites, including the cutely named "Yes, dear Chardonnay" and the Golden Jubilee.  The reds are scrumptious.  Our server, John, kept pulling out more and more options--Barbera, Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Malbec.  And if you are ready for dessert, there are more options, including the "Chocolate Decadence."

So much of a temptation to join the wine club here.  Oooooo, hold me back!  But at the end of the day, remembering our carry on limitations, we bought the Cab-Zin, the Grenache, and an Angelica Sherry.  Looks like we are just going to have to come back...

Enjoying ourselves at Wilson Creek!!


35055 Via Del Ponte

The folks at Wilson Creek recommended Wiens Cellars.  The fee at Wiens is 30$ for 6 tastes.  Wiens has more of a sit down experience in which a server comes to your table with whatever you choose from the menu. The wines at Wiens were also very good.  There was a large selection of unique whites, the likes of which we don't see so much in Northern California:  Albarino, Pinot Grigio, Fiano, Vermentino, and signature white and rose blends aptly named "White Crowded" and "Pink Crowded."  The reds include a Refugio Cabernet, a Sangiovese, a Barbera, a "Merrytage," and a signature red simply known as "Crowded".  Of course these lists are not complete.  Several sparkling wines and dessert wines are also available.

Wiens had good service and good wines.  They also let us eat our picnic lunch on their grounds.  We did not buy any wine here but it would not stop us from going back.

A more relaxed sit down tasting at Wiens Cellars


36084 Summitville St,

Quite frankly, I'm not sure how we got here because it is kind of out there on the outskirts, but Chapin Family Vineyard has a deck with a lovely view on which you can enjoy your 5 tastes for 25$.  The gentleman who served us here was very pleasant, and once again, the area was not crowded.  Slightly unfortunately, by the time we got to Chapin we were getting a bit wine boggled and I sort of felt like it was hard to get through more wine at this point, so Chapin got an unfair view from us I would say.  Chapin also has some unique reds including a "Tannat," a Montepulciano, and an Aglianico.  Whites include a Fume Blanc, a Sauvignon Blanc, and other varietals unique to the region.

I highly recommend a day wine tasting in the Temecula Valley.  I can hardly wait to return!


We were looking for something to do on the water Saturday night and this little adventure popped up on TripAdvisor. Cruise San Diego runs a nightly 1 hr and 15 minute sunset cruise out of Mission Bay.  

Check in is in a little shack on Quivira Road in the Mission Bay Harbor Marina.  It is advised to be on the boat 30 minutes in advance as the best seats do fill--learned this the hard way--don't even get me started.  Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on board as are light snacks.

The tour is scenic and pleasant.  Staying on the bay gives you a relative amount of protection from high surf or wind.  In October, with only a denim jacket, I was quite comfortable.  The staff is pleasant and informative.  

We had a nearly perfect sunset the night we went.  At 40$, it is quite a steal and a great way to spend a Saturday night, or any night for that matter.  Sportman's Seafood Fish and Chips   is a great place to pop in for some more substantial food or just a pitcher of beer before or after your cruise.

Some friends watching the boat go by!

Enjoying the cruise so far!

How's that for perfect??


Now this is something that Pacific Beach does right.  Many of the bars in the area play "host" to one football team.  When that team plays, the big screens and the audio are tuned to that game. This is definitely done for NFL teams on Sundays but we got the vibe that bars tend to do this for certain college teams as well.  

Where were we on Sunday at 1pm?  We were at Break Point, located at 945 Garnet Avenue, where the TV's were tuned to the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Los Angeles Rams.  Black and yellow clad members of Steeler Nation snacked on pierogies and other Steeler themed menu items such as the Roethlisburger and the Pittsburger.

Fun to be in a crowd with every one cheering for the same team.  Food and drinks were tasty and the staff was attentive.  One thing I will say for this place is that you probably should get there early and get your food order in.  There came a point at which the servers ceased to take any food orders for about 30-45 min as the kitchen was too far backed up.

Anyway, the Steelers won this game, which was cause for a round of "victory beer."  Budweiser served in red solo cups, on the house.

Break Point also has bowling and I hear their college team is OSU, or at least their schedule is on their web-page.

All TV's tuned to the same game!

Well, that's that!  I won't be traveling for a bit now, but hopefully before I post again I can get my poor blog into a little better shape!!

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