Monday, September 24, 2012

Mike's Surprise 60th Birthday Get-Away Week-end

I had  been planning a surprise get-away for my husband Mike's birthday for awhile.    Since he was turning the big "6-0" on September 23rd I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary.   He said he didn't want a party or anything special but I definitely wanted to do something for him, but what to do?  I couldn't make long weekend plans for a far destination as he had work commitments and he wasn't sure if he could even take off on Friday.

Finally, with some helpful ideas from friends I developed a plan for short getaway close by and something special for the day of his actual birthday.  He was ultimately able to take half a day off work this past Friday so the adventure began on September 21.

We left home from Long Beach about noon.  It was about 85 degrees here.
Our destination was Temecula California.*

 It took us about 1 1/2 hours to arrive to Temecula and the closer we got the hotter it became. By the time we had lunch it was 106 degrees outside.  Mike asked if his birthday surprise was a trip to hell and back as it was just getting hotter and hotter as the day went by.  Later he would joke that for his 70th birthday I would probably take him to "Death Valley" (another nearby desert town).

Once we checked in to our hotel,  we headed to the Northeast section of  Temecula which is home to over  30 wineries which dot the nearby hillsides.

There were two wineries on our list for our first day of touring. They were Renzoni and Leonesse.

First stop-Renzoni Winery a small Italian family winery.

After our tasting we walked up a small hill on the Renzoni property to the picnic area. We passed the rows of grapevines and grapes.

We head back to the car to visit "Leonesse" winery which is just down the road.

Leonesse has a nice  tasting room and is set in a lovely area landscaped beautifully.

Pretty patio dining is available with cooling rooftop misters.

Time to head to our hotel and then off to explore "Old Town" Temecula.

Old Town Temecula consists of several blocks of shops (many of which are antique stores), restaurants, museums, cafe/pubs and galleries. The town certainly retains a feeling of the old west.  Some of the original buildings from the early 1800's still stand.  Other more recent stores and restaurants have retained the theme and feel of the original buildings.

Streets are filled with cars, and sidewalks filled with young people. Nighttime on the weekends are a real party scene here.

 A lively street scene but we seek solace in the beautiful city hall with its

surrounding peaceful lit walkways and fountains.

Time to call it a day. Tomorrow we will see the local Farmers Market and take in the History Museum of Temecula tour. Then of course the afternoon will be some touring of local wineries.  It's back to the hotel we go...

Temecula is a city in southwestern Riverside County. It was incorporated   on December 1, 1989. Temecula is bordered by Murrieta on the northwest and the Pechanga Indian Reservation  on the south, with unincorporated areas of Riverside County on all of its other borders. It is served by Interstate 15  ,Insterstate 215 and  California State route 79   (Winchester Road to the northeast and Temecula Parkway to the southeast).
With neighboring  Murrieta, Temecula forms the southwestern anchor of the Inland Empire  region. It is almost equidistant to San Diego,Los Angeles, and  Orange County California. 

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