Let's just wine about it...

Normally, I don’t tend to blog about trips to So. Cali, after all for my husband it’s just going home. We did have an ominous start timing our drive into DIA with only the 3rd tornado to ever touchdown within a stones throw of tarmac.  We were physically stopped on Pena Blvd like sitting ducks waiting to be swept-up to Oz. Meanwhile, a schoolgirl friend I ran into after check-in mentioned that she was forced to go to the restrooms/shelters. She was quite disgruntled having just been served her wine, much ado for having to slam her libation.

Needless to say we finally boarded the Frontier plane, soon to find out that even though I spent extra for assigned seats because I didn’t check-in 24 hours ahead, run the 400m under 5 minutes and shuffle, shuffle step ball change and turn, I was given the prime seating of the very last row. I do believe the next gouging of US flights will be to charge us to use the loo. (‘Course we don’t want to give them any ideas, do we.)

Landing into San Diego Airport is always more pleasant than many other airports. Pick-up was a breeze and I am now thankful my kids are old enough to fly cattle class; I am bound and determined to afford First Class where available from here on out. One highlight, I finally met the most well known of my husbands relations; SteveMariucci. My cousin in-law’s hubby pretty much looks like his pictures and is really quite a nice guy. This is really only notable because he’s the only cousin I had yet to meet since snagging my hubby almost a quarter century ago.

My husband is a local and that means local beaches not resort beaches. Which also means sea kelp and sand flies. The kids had loads and loads of fun, barely aware of the growing trend for canopy beaching. My husband was quite disgruntled by all the tent cities popping up by those needing to establish their beach territory. While I sun-tanned and dove into the book Game of Thrones, daddy dove into the rolling surf and taught the munchkins the fine art of boogie boarding. We did see a pair of dolphins and a dune-weasel. At least some wildlife is surviving our in-human-e onslaught.

Next was Disneyland. Each and every time we vow we are done with the “happiest place on earth”. And we probably would have gone to Legoland or some other amusement locale but we had bought hopper passes at the Berthoud Bash school fundraiser. This really will be our last time for at least 5 years, and even then we’d probably just drop our kids off and run for the Beverly Hills (until closing time that is). It’s an overcrowded blight on our environment. We did visit California Adventure for the first time, hoping for a new experience, only to discover it was ineptly named and should be called Pixar-tropolis. The most notable event was the family ride on Mickey's "Fun" Wheel. More like Puke Wheel. The “swing” gondolas look innocent enough until they start moving and sliding and swinging like the giant swing/boat carnival rides. Not recommend for the innocent or weak stomached.

Our main purpose was a friend's wedding. We left our kids at the in-laws for grandparent quality time and headed to our primary purpose, the union of our friends to join the ranks of the ball-and-chain gang. Located in Temecula Wine Country. Our accommodation was at Ponte Family Winery and is an oasis of comfort, civility and high quality wines. The breakfast menu was superb however the gourmet coffee was mediocre at best. The wedding dinner was disappointing both the chicken and pork were dry and the table lacked salt and pepper. But that was the worst of our mini-getaway experience. The wedding itself was beautiful, the bride was radiant and the groom beaming. A lovely backdrop and made of most fairytales. To top it off each morning hot air balloons floated over rows and rows of grapevines nearly bursting at the seams with quintessential bunches-of-green sweetness and all this graced our deck-view.
We also visited Lorimar Winery, were a bridal party felt it was socially acceptable to be loaded and start a water fight with cups of complimentary lemon-water. We both enjoyed the white-merlot after the drunken girls departed. Then we joined forces with more of our group and visited WilsonCreek, another nice winery known for Almond Champagne. Our favorite was their Petit Sirah Port. If you are not associated with a wedding, I would suggest not traveling to wine country during the blissful high season. It was very crowded in general and the groups (other than our 40+ crowd) are more about the party than the location.