Monday (Day 2)
We left La Jolla exhausted yet keyed up from our kayaking experience. A couple of hours in grid lock on the freeway cured that!
We arrived at Embassy Suites in Temecula and found the hotel easily (it really is right off the highway). I was amused to see the Marie Callendars restaurant in the parking lot. I thought she just made frozen pot pies!
I was a little anxious as I had read some bad reports about the ES. Still in my swim suit and cover up, I approached the desk for check in. The manager on duty explained to me that they had a complimentary upgrade for me to the executive suite.
We drove around to the door closest to our “wing” and made our way up to the 4th floor. Our suite was huge! We could easily host a party for 20 (don’t get too excited, we didn’t throw any wild parties!).
A welcome note, two bottles of water, some pretzels and a gift card for $30 in free gas was waiting on the desk. Score! While checking out the room , some poor slob was getting pulled over in front of the hotel. All we could hear was the cops yelling at him over the loud speaker. Later, when we found out Andy Dick was in town, we laughed that it was probably him getting arrested.
I needed to check my email (I was technically working) but couldn’t hook up to the internet. I called the front desk to ask how to use the complimentary internet access I had been provided and they offered to send their tech guy up. Everyone was super friendly!
I had just sent my friend down to the bar to snag a couple of drinks (the manager’s reception was just about to end) when George the tech guy arrived. He sat down and fidgeted with my computer for about an hour but couldn’t get it work. Even though he was determined, it was not happening. I slipped him some $$ and thanked him for trying. I figured I would just email my boss and let him know that if anything urgent came up, he should email my personal address (I could access that from the business center).
We left to see where I needed to be the next day but first we made a quick stop through In and Out Burger. After a cheeseburger animal style and fries well done, we attempted to find the business park. The numbering was odd and I determined that I would just have to call them the next day for better directions.
I was wiped out, so after unpacking, I hit the bed. When I woke up the next morning, I trudged down to business center to send my emails and called my boss to check in. When I got back up to the room, my friend told me that George had stopped back by after I had gone to bed and fixed whatever issue it was and I could now freely use the internet in the room. What service!
Tuesday (Day 3)
The breakfast was good and I was off for training. My friend spent her morning trekking into Old Town and the afternoon by the pool. I was done with work by 3:30 so we had time to explore one winery. As we drove towards Wilson Creek we were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the area was! We both agreed that it was very Mediterranean looking.
The grounds were beautiful but steer us towards the wine tasting! We wandered around a little and thought the wine server was a little cold to us. I had gotten some BOGO coupons in the mail but had forgotten to bring them. The port wine in the chocolate cup was fun (actually it was port wine topped off with almond champagne). I purchased a four pack of almond champagne to take home for my girl’s club and off we went. The next stop was Ponte and I sampled several varieties but purchased a bottle of sweet wine as a gift for my mom. I will admit I liked the wine better at Ponte.
We headed back to the hotel and hit up the manager’s reception. They had mini egg rolls (La Choy anyone?) and onion rings (along with an assortment of chips & dips). I spotted two guys from class so we sat next to them and chatted while enjoying our snacks and wine.
After meeting a group of environmental engineers staying in the area (scouting locations for a nuclear power plant in this area seemed almost criminal) and chatting for a bit, we headed upstairs and ordered room service. We split the roasted chicken with asparagus and a decadent desert! The food was very good and cake even better but it was off to bed for me (darn work getting in the way).
Wednesday (Day 4)
Since I got a long lunch (an hour and a half), I zipped back to the hotel to pick up my friend. We headed into Old Town so I could go to the olive oil company. I needed to pick out some gifts for a friend back home. $40 later (2 jars of jalapeno stuffed olives, some soap and a bottle of blood orange olive oil) we crossed the street to try Rosa’s Cantina. This place is amazing! We both ate and shared a large drink for under $10. The food was delicious but I needed to get back to work.
On the way back to the car, we spotted the beef jerky store. I had to stop here because my son LOVES jerky. I picked up a variety pack that included ostrich, kangaroo, alligator and an assortment of other “odd” dried meats.
After training, I picked my friend up again so we could try to squeeze in another winery. This time we tried Callaway where I purchased a few bottles of wines. Everywhere we stopped looked like a photo op and we got some great pictures.
The nice clerk at Callaway gave us directions to Pachanga Casino so we could try our hand at some gambling! The casino was easy to find and laid out nicely. We wandered around and gambled a bit before deciding that we needed dinner. I was craving red meat so we headed back to the hotel and the Black Angus restaurant directly across the street from ES. I got the 6 ounce filet (and added prawns), my friend got the prime rib special. $70 later, we were both full and ready to relax..
Thursday (Day 5)
Our week was flying along quickly so we wanted to make the most of the rest our week. We were enjoying Temecula more than we thought we would. I picked my friend up for lunch again and we headed into Old Town to try out Mad Madeline’s for their famous hamburgers. We split a giant cheeseburger with came with their hand cut fries. Yum!
After class, we headed back into wine country. This time we explored Leonesse. I bought more wine. I was a little worried about how I was going to get all my loot home on the airplane but didn’t let that stop me. We drove around a bit and tried to find Briar Rose (just to see the cottage). It was hidden VERY well but we managed to get our pictures and head back to the hotel for happy hour.
We had a few drinks then headed for the pool. The hotel had a nice big pool and hot tub. I saw a couple of girls from my class and enjoyed chatting with them before heading upstairs to pack up for our departure the next day.
Friday (Day 6)
We were up early so we could get to Glen Ivy Hot Springs when they opened. We finished packing and made our way down to breakfast. After filling up, I spotted George in the lobby and thanked him again for all he had done to help me. I also made sure to let the manager know and filled out a nice comment card for him.
It was a quick trip to Glen Ivy and we quickly changed and made our way to the sulfur pools. After a 20 minute soak, we headed over to club mud then the grotto. After an hour and a half, we were ready to dress and head out for Coronado Island! By the way, my skin felt like butter!
The rest of the report can be found on the San Diego site.
Thanks for the great reports, they are fun to read! We almost went to Temecula this month but decided on Laguna Beach with the kids instead, they were wanting to surf. :)
syrahgirl - the kids would enjoy Old Town (if they were tweens and under). I am not sure how much there is to do for teens and the under 21 set though. Winery row was beautiful though! I would have loved to have had time to check out some of the restaurants but my job kept getting in the way!
My son lives in Santa Monica and I am hoping I get a chance to check out laguna beach my next visit!
Hi, glad you enjoyed ES. See didn't I tell you it wasn't as bad as was stated by other posters?! Glad you enjoyed Temecula isn't it a great place? You enjoyed 2 of our favaorites as well Ponte and Wilson Creek. enjoyed reading your review. I'll check out the San Diego portion as well. Happy travels!
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