Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in California

I am coming to the end of my drive, I think, having arrived in Desert Hot Springs, California.  Staying with my friend Sandy, I am finding this place a bit of a mind game. I see the palm trees, feel the warm sun, gaze at the beautiful sky, but the mountains are in the ocean’s space. I have no place to kayak, improve my beach stoop in search of the perfect shell, or a place to watch the pelicans dive for their delectable fish lunch.
Last week I drove to Fallbrook, CA, the avocado Capital of the world, to spend Christmas with my friend, Donna and her husband, Gerry. Dinner was delicious. Thank you, Donna. Where their house is located, flowers blossom all year. The lavender plants are gorgeous, the roses radiant in color and the flowers along the highway sway in the gentle breeze deliciously scenting. Who could not live in such a beautiful place? 
On Saturday, desperately needing to see and feel water, I drove to Oceanside. It shocked and amazed me how smooched together the beach houses are, you could cook in one neighbor’s kitchen while sitting in the living room of the other. But I got what I wanted, I wadded in the FREEZING Pacific Ocean, saw kayaks, people sitting on the beach, and bodies surfing. Now that's California. This desert thing is not my beloved Taos or Santa Fe, New Mexico; there I expect to find dirt, dust and dry relentless winds, here it's suppose to be green and flowers. This place, like I said, is a mind game. Then again Palm Springs, Palm Desert and the other areas are truly beautiful in their landscaping.
Sunday I went to Temecular for wine tasting. Temecula is bordered by Murrieta, home of the Murrieta Hot Springs, and the Pechanga Indian Reservation where the Pechanga Resort and Casino is located. This is largest casino in the Western United States, and one of the largest in the world. For all you golfers, the golf course at Pechnags is a72 Par, 7,219 yard Arthur Hills designed Championship 18-Hole golf course open to the public. There are7 miles of cart paths and the carts are equipped with a GPS system with course tips and narration by U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain Corey Pavin.

The Temecula Valley is a Viticultural Area southern  Riverside County, California where over 200 years ago, winemaking made its debut at Mission San Juan Capistrano where the padres being the first wine makers. Today, the tradition of winemaking still exists 18 miles east in Temecula, where mission vineyards were established in 1820. I tasted wine at the Callaway Vineyard, the Founder, Ely Callaway, gained his fame and fortune in the world of golf with his namesake company, Callaway Golf.
Happy New Year
My Dad and I thank you for your donations