Mirror Mirror…

ha! who was that?
said i to the mirror
from the corner of my eye.
look me in the eye
said the mirror
and i might tell you.
oh no you wont,
you sly thing said i….
you never do.
ok then said the mirror
who would you like it to be?
why, me of course.
you? said the mirror..
you are more than i know
and less than you think.
so what does that make me?
said i to the mirror, utterly perplexed.
show me your heart said the mirror
and i might tell you.

Just one of those things…

It was diluted, the day.
Walking,
rows of vines between us
and the summer haze.
Washed out skies
and pale silhouettes
of mountains
and things…
withered, robust.
Drifting closer
and apart
the crunch of soil
beneath our feet
and the mad clamor of our souls
reaching,
reaching for one another.

Ponte Vineyard Inn

After rather a hectic few days, we spent two very beautiful and peaceful days in Ponte Vineyard Inn.

Ponte

Located about 15 minutes from Old Town, Temecula, Ponte Vineyard opened its doors to its guests in 2012.

It has an elegant charm with its red roof, porticoes, cypresses and stucco exterior.

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This beautiful stairway leads to additional rooms on the top floor.

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And this one, to….

The Cellar Lounge , a bar/lounge/restaurant, which has live performances on Saturdays. And their rice croquets and veggie flatbreads are delicious!

{Sorry I do not have any photos for the Cellar Lounge because, unfortunately, it was too dark for my cell phone camera.}

It has two other restaurants…

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The Bouquet‘ located within the main building with an outdoor and an indoor seating….

and…

 ‘The Restaurant at Ponte‘, located behind the winery, next to the ‘Barn’, where they sell their wine and host wine tastings.

{I do not have any photos for ‘The Restaurant at Ponte’ either because we did not dine there and I quite simply forgot to peek in to take a photo.}

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The Barn.

The inner courtyard of the Ponte Vineyard is perfectly stunning with its little garden, its pond, and willows, the mountains in the distance and rows upon rows of grapevines. It was very quiet under the willows, and cool. It was a perfect spot for me to catch up on some reading while gazing, every now and then, upon the grey blue of the mountains.

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The rooms are marvelous too! Very spacious.

Ours opened out onto a small patio surrounded by grapevines replete with sleepy little dragons (well, tiny little lizards really).

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Sipping coffee on the patio the next morning, we saw this pretty sight.

Hot air balloons!! Taking off into the morning light! Wish we had known about this before. We might have hitched a ride into the skies!

But instead we settled, very happily I might add, for conversations with a winged one….

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while we each sipped on the nectar of our choice.

Temecula, San Diego

I know in my last post I said we were off to Palmsprings next but I believe I was quite asleep when I typed that because our next stop was Temecula. We took the Sunrise Highway, a National Scenic Byway, through the Cleveland National Forest,  on our way to Temecula and boy, was it worth the extra drive!!! It was a long and winding road with absolutely stunning views!! And I saw my first orange trees along the way! That was so exciting!!

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The photos really do not do them much justice.

The drive was over too soon and we found ourselves in Old Town, Temecula. It is a sweet little town with a main street filled with old style shops, plenty of restaurants, also an olive oil tasting company, a wine tasting place, a science camp place for kids, antique shops. We stopped in at the Sweet Shop because our son’s sweet tooth had gone into overdrive.

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The owner of the store was so sweet that when he heard that I had never had a pop rocks candy, he treated me to one. Isn’t that sweet??

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And after buying some fresh strawberries, nuts and oranges from a local produce store, we went in for some wine tasting at the Temecula Valley Cheese Company.

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It was so windy!! But it was a wonderful cool windy. And with an old guy strumming on his guitar, crooning old Beatles songs, chilled glasses of wine and yummy cheeses teasing our palates and a fabulous view, we did not mind the wind at all! It was all fabulously mellow.

And its only going to get better at our next stop ~ Pointe Vineyards.

The itty bitty about the nitty gritty ~ San Diego

I had such lofty dreams before beginning our California trip. That I would post many photos, include many more details than I have been, wax poetic about what we see….but, as it happens, I am barely able to keep up with a simple posting what with the super slow WiFi and it taking upwards of 5 minutes per photograph, and me barely staying awake after a long days travel. Buahhahaha…

Anyway, a little bit about the city of San Diego. We simply fell in love with it. The energy, the sunshine, the soft cool breezes, the pretty houses with pretty gardens, the food….everything!!!!

We stayed at the Wyndham Harbor Lights in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown. Its a good hotel with big rooms. The extra pull out bed can easily sleep 2 small children. The laundry is in the basement and keep in mind that each cycle takes 45 minutes and there are only 2 washers and 2 dryers and they will give you detergent at the front desk.

Its a wonderful location if you want to spend a lot of time in the Gaslamp Quarter. There are tons of restaurants and bars within walking distance. And it was simply hopping on a Friday night replete with Hare Rama Hare Krishna Yogis. There are many bicycle rickshaws zipping about and you can hire those anywhere. They play loud music and you can sing/scream along and sometimes the crowd joins in. I think they cost anywhere from $15 to $30 but don’t hold me to it.

Its a brisk 25 to 30 minute walk to Embarcadero, the Maritime Museum and the Midway Museum which are along the port area.

Its about a  20 minute drive from the San Diego Zoo ie The Balboa Park.

Its also about a 15 to 20 minute drive to the Sunset Cliffs.

Now the parking! OMG!!! There are many garages around the area and I believe they charge an average of $25 to $30 a day. But we were told that we could park on the streets after 6 pm until 10 am for free BUT, here’s the catch….the street sweeps work from 3 am to 6 am and they alternate which side of the street they work on on weekdays. The parking meter tells you which days are no parking days but keep in mind if it says no parking on Thursday, it means Wednesday night since Thursday technically begins after midnight Wednesday night (they sweep in the am). I know, it gets really confusing. So if you are going for this, read the sign properly and then read it again. We learned the hard way and had to pay fines. :P

Well, that is all from San Diego!!! Thank you for listening in! Next stop, Palm springs!

Richard Walker’s

Breakfast time and Richard Walker’s beckoned with their HUGE Belgian waffles and apple pancakes and melting crepes.

 

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(The interiors are inspired by the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.)

Well, I might have braved their apple pancake because I have a thing for apple pies and this promised to taste like one if not yummier if it weren’t for the fact that they are really really HUGE and we are traveling and leftovers become a challenge. (I couldn’t simply throw all that yumminess away!!!?) So, I settled for their fresh French strawberry crepe, our son had the chocolate strawberry crepe, and my husband had the diced ham and 3 egg scrambled eggs.

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Let me tell you, the food was DELICIOUS!!! The crepes simply melted in our mouths. The strawberries were sweet and there was this heavenly lemony, orangey drizzle that I couldn’t get enough of. So much so, that I polished off all three of the crepes <shhh..you didn’t hear that from me. ;)>. My son wants me to mention that the chocolate was exceptional too and tasted like it was made from the best dutch cocoa. In short, it did not taste like melted Hershey’s. The eggs too were light and fluffy, the orange and grapefruit juice freshly squeezed. 

All in all, we were more than satisfied and walked away happy and satiated.

P. S. Look for the bunny on the menu. That is the house favorite. It seems the bunny is a symbol of hospitality.

Maritime Museum and Midway Museum.

MARITIME MUSEUM

The Maritime Museum is just fun!!! You get to walk on board 4 different ships and 2 submarines.

The ships – Star of India, Medea, Berkeley and the HMS Surprise.

The Submarines – B – 39 Submarine and the USS Dolphin Submarine.

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Star of India

It is one of world’s oldest sailing ships.

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HMS Surprise and behind that, the Berkeley.

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HMS Surprise was used in the Hollywood movie, Master and Commander: The far side of the world.

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Inside the Berkeley.

Inside are the Maritime offices, workshops, a museum shop, a research library and a huge special events room that is gorgeous.

What really blew my mind was all the riggings, all those ropes going here, there and everywhere. The sheer science of it and the enormity of the sails and all the hard work it entailed! Wow!

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The Submarine.

The B – 39 is a Soviet submarines was used in the Cold War.

The Dolphin is the world’s deepest diving submarine.

(Claustrophobia in a metallic nutshell.)

MIDWAY MUSEUM

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The Midway

It is the longest serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century.

It is GINORMOUS!!! And it is nothing short of a miracle that it even floats!! The main deck extends for what seems like forever! And has many many many service airplanes and choppers on display. You get a recorded tour with earphones that leads you through the upper deck, the below deck and the main deck. There are 66 tour ‘points’ and it takes about 3 to 4 hours to go through all of them. I did not take any photos because we did not have much time and I wanted to see as much as I could.

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It was truly truly awe inspiring. And THAT is a gross understatement. I had a chance to talk to a World War II veteran who was in a camp for a year and half, one amongst thousands, and was present when General Patton arrived to rescue/release them. It was so very humbling talking to him. I shook his hand and thanked him the best I could because honestly words failed me. We owe all those men and women an eternal debt of gratitude for their selfless sacrifice. For saving the world from unimaginable atrocities. Though I felt the inadequacy of my gratitude, he seemed to understand. He looked into my eyes, nodded his head and smiled. Its alright his smile seemed to say. Its all alright.

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A few words to ponder.

And on a lighter note….

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Unconditional Surrender

This 25 foot (?) sculpture, based on a famous World War II photograph, is in the Port of San Diego right outside the Midway. I thought it was cute. :)