I think I am a California person.
I’m not sure if it’s because they have heat without humidity.
If it’s because I love Palm Trees more than most things on this earth (and with it, the oceans they tend to accompany).
Or because the mountains and hills that litter the landscape are such an incredible reminder of the vastness and the wildness of the creation we live in.
But truly, I love California sick.
The purpose of this trip was twofold: To attend a wedding in Temecula for some dear friends, and to spend some time with Mads and her husband Jonathan. Mads is one of my dearest friends and she has been living the West Coast life for a few years now. They were actually a part of the wedding we were attending and so we got to spend the entirety of the weekend together.
Making time as an adult can be so hard, and truly Marcus and I are so lucky that those two let us invade their lives completely for the holiday weekend.
There was a great deal of incredible stuff we ate on this trip that just never made it in front of the camera. The fish tacos at Hole Mole. The To Die For Japanese Dinner at Kappo Honda. My Animal Style In-N-Out Burger.
Why California Is Wonderful, Exhibit A: The Hot Sauce Bar at Hole Mole.
I just know that we can all agree about this.
The evening before the wedding, Mads and Jonathan let us use their car while they were at the rehearsal dinner to do a little bit of adventuring. Our mini-tour took us about a half-hour south of Temecula to Escondido where Stone Brewing Company is based out of. We are fortunate to get a few Stone beers in Minnesota, but y’all know that beer always tastes better at the source.
So we had a few pints at the bar in what was a very verdant California-style beer garden.
And when I say verdant, we are talking tall grasses, Palm Tree-type arrangements, a water feature and a giant granite slab of a bar.
We were NOT
at a taproom in Kansas anymore!
Apparently the food is also quite delicious, but in the battle of Restaurant v. Taqueria, it isn’t even a fair fight. Since we were officially in San Diego County, there was really only one way the night was going to end.
Yelp ended up directing us to Kennedy’s Karne which is a mercado with a food window that also happens to be the 16 time Carne Asada Champions.
I ordered three carne asada tacos and a pork tamale. Marcus ordered a veggie burrito, a beef enchilada and a chicken tamale.
Our grand total ended up being $18 and half of the food ended up becoming a lunch of leftovers the following day because OH MY GOD THERE WAS SO MUCH FOOD.
For real I have no idea as to how anyone ends up in Escondido, but much in the same way that most of our food adventures have gone, if you are there PLEASE GO.
I remember that once upon a time I used to post snaps of all of the weddings we attended. The decor, the food, etc.
And then like 50 weddings later it was like…Eaten that. Seen that.
Amy and Dik’s wedding was BEAUTIFUL. She is a California native and he is originally from Georgia so they incorporated peaches into their outdoor festivities. In the bouquets, for the name cards, at the biscuit buffet and in the jars of homemade jam we got as favors.
In all of the weddings we have been to, I have always hoped we would get the chance to attend an outdoor wedding with the twinkle lights and the lanterns and the outdoor chandelier.
It happened, kittens. It happened. And it was just perfect. A true fairytale wedding. We laughed, drank more champagne than could ever possibly be appropriate and actioned some of the most exuberant dancing I have seen in a long time.
If you’re in Temecula for a wedding and you don’t go wine tasting, shame on you.
We were there on a holiday weekend near harvest time so every winery, vineyard and tasting room we visited was a madhouse.
It was to be expected. We probably could have gotten going a bit earlier, but the sweet freedom of going to bed without setting an alarm was just too much to bear.
The vineyards we stopped at were: Wiens Family Cellars, Ponte Family Estate, Hart Family Winery and some other horrible place that I cannot remember to save the life of me. But just trust me. You wouldn’t want to go there anyway.
Through our tasting, we learned that the Temecula area is known for their Zinfandels.
Honestly, I was not super overwhelmed by the quality of any of the wines. They were good, but not overwhelmingly so. That being said, it was definitely nice to be able to do some onsite tasting since Minnesota wineries are terrible. We can’t all be Cabernets in Napa and I get that.
But I had always wanted to see California vineyards at harvest time and this accomplished exactly that for me. There were vines weighed down by grapes for miles. It was such a charming and perfect way to wrap up our time in Temecula before we headed back to Los Angeles.