December 11, 2006

A birthday sweeter than wine

Monday, December 11, 2006

I had a fabulous birthday weekend visiting Temecula and it's vineyards and casino. Despite the phone calls and presents, it didn't feel like my birthday though, because for my entire life it's always been cold and December-like on my bday. However, here I was wearing a tanktop, stretchy capris and flip flops in the morning when I met my friend Nicki for breakfast before heading on my trip. It was surreal. After all, on December 4th last year in Manhattan it had already snowed and I had blogged about seeing a guy build a snowman.  

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Without traffic the drive to Temecula is only a little under two hours. We had traffic going there but sailed back on Sunday. It was a perfect quick getaway, because by going that little distance it felt like we had entered another state. The mountains were cool and the leaves were changing and falling there, it was quite different than LA of course.

We visited the up and coming South Coast Winery and Temecula's original Callaway vineyards, which my mom's previous company, Allied Domecq, had owned at one point.  The tour at South Coast cost $20 but was very personal and included a wine and cheese tasting and a souvenir wine glass. The Callaway tour was free and interesting, but more to the point, you had to pay for the tastings too and received four samplings and a free wine glass for a total of $7.50. We of course bought wine and champagne at each place. We also ate and stayed at the Temucla Creek Inn and lost at Blackjack at the Indian casino Pechanga, but gained our money back at least at craps. Instead of dice though they use cards at the craps table, it was weird but interesting. 

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