Weekend Adventures: Temecula – Balloons, Wine and Anniversaries

So I eloped last year. 

The Boy and I eloped after moving to Los Angeles. We had a twenty minute ceremony in a courthouse near LAX, with a few wonderful people who came for the event, and then drove back to Santa Monica – to Coast in specific – for a great dinner, some drinking and some pretty awesome speeches.  We ended off the night by going on the ferris wheel at the pier, and our guests accidentally heckling another couple in the dark (to that couple – so sorry!) 

So, this past weekend was our anniversary. 

Which is weird, since, it doesn’t feel like we’ve been married for a year. Or really, married at all.* 

I am not sure what “married” is supposed to feel like, or if it’s supposed to feel any differently than anything else, but we’ve been together for so long (over a decade!), it just feels …natural?

Regardless, we decided to do something to mark the occasion. 



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So … we did.

First off: Temecula. 

Temecula is south east of SaMo, a wine country and a great place with rolling hills, friendly people and, as it turns out – hot air balloons.

California Dreamin’ is the hot air balloon company we went with. They were amazing! We met up with them at Vindemia Winery at 5:30am, then we were bused over to a flat(ish) spot where they unfurled the balloons and started airing them up.  We were off as the sun rose. Climbing higher and higher – did I mention I have a horrible fear of heights? Well, apparently, it’s manageable! I’ll let the pictures explain why:

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Dawn about to break.

Fitting the balloon on

Fitting the balloon on

Lighting it up

Lighting it up

View of the inside

View of the inside

Is this not surreal?

Is this not surreal?

Was a really gentle ride

Was a really gentle ride

Even when we got higher, we barely noticed, it was so gentle and easy

Even when we got higher, we barely noticed, it was so gentle and easy

Orange trees! We grazed the tops of those!

Orange trees! We grazed the tops of those!

Almost touching ...

Almost touching …

Our pilot, Matt, is also a science teacher, and was beyond awesome!

Our pilot, Matt, is also a science teacher, and was beyond awesome!

So high.

So high.

How high? About 3500 ft

How high? About 3500 ft


After the balloon ride, we hung out in Temecula – which meant wineries and Old Town. We found some great wines that I highly recommend, and some really great gift items at the farmer’s market and antique places – seriously, if you like antiques, Temecula is where to go. 

South Coast Winery, it should be noted, has great food and great wine! They’re definitely our favourites now!

Bread!

Bread!

So, so good.

So, so good.

Icing on the cake. Such good creme brulee.

Icing on the cake. Such good creme brulee.

Then yesterday we decided to be low key and Santa Monican – we just went off to the beach, wandered around and then went up the pier and took a ride on the ferris wheel – this time completely sober and in the daylight. 

Nearing sunset

Nearing sunset

Towards the pier

Towards the pier

Under the pier

Under the pier

Here we go again ...

Here we go again …

So high.

So high.

But what a view!

But what a view!

Perfect.

Perfect.

And somehow we got home in time for The Boy to watch the Patriots kick off, because of course that would have  been baked into travel time. Also, I made a game day platter … which I realize, after having been told, is missing any kind of meat … ah well?

With raspberry-jalapeno jam. Yes.

With raspberry-jalapeno jam. Yes.

To many more anniversaries, my love.

What do you usually do for your anniversaries?

 

* We think it may be that we didn’t have a traditional “wedding” – but we will be having a traditional-like reception in December, so I will report back after that! 

 

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