Monday, October 27, 2008

In vino veritas

Ah, wine. The very lifeblood of civilisation.

Today, Sunday 26th October (ignore the "official" post date and time recorded here which is in GMT, or in fact probably BST, it's a little after 10.30pm on Sunday here in San Diego, Southern California, as I start to type this) we visited the Callaway Winery near Temecula. Took the (free) tour and heard the story of how the wine is produced, and how Ely Callaway founded the vineyard in 1969 before becoming even more famous as a maker of expensive golf bats (a good walk spoiled, some say). And sampled 6 different wines ranging from pretty good to very good!

Before hitting the winery though we stopped in the town of Temecula. Actually I think it's a city, but it didn't seem all that big so looked more like a town. Didn't stay for all that long, and didn't do much except have breakfast (crepes and coffee) and visit an antiques centre where plaster representations of Winnie the Pooh and the late Emperor Julius Caesar (or G. Cesare as the inscription says, which means Guilio Cesare we have worked out by means of research on t'InterWeb) were procured. The crepes and coffee were good, but served a bit randomly one plate at a time with a gap of a few minutes between each.

Next, and final, stop was a picnic area at Lake Wohlford, where chicken bits and tuna sandwiches were consumed, and a football (of the American version) was thrown around for a while.

This evening I had a long overdue, and very welcome Skype conversation with RE who is in New Zealand. She will be arriving in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing her again and spending some touristy time together.

While in Temecula today, and on all the roads round about here, huge numbers of Harley Davidson motorcycles have been very much in evidence, and to be truthful the more of them I've seen, the more I've realised that I don't buy into the culture of that particular make of machine. I've no problem with anyone who does, and I still think they sound great (although apparently they handle like shit on anything except a straight road), but I've never had a desire to ride one in the UK and have felt pressure to hire one while here only because it's probably The Thing To Do, so over the course of today I've pretty much come to the decision that I'm not going to bother hiring one while I'm here. Sure, it's great biking weather, and if I had a BMW like my own at home (the link isn't to my actual bike, incidentally, just to the same model) then I'd happily head out there, but the San Diego BMW Motorrad dealer doesn't advertise rentals on their Website, and when I did some research before coming out here I saw some BMW's for hire at a price far above what I'd deem reasonable, so to Hell with that!

So tomorrow, we haven't quite decided what to do. Golf has been mentioned, but it remains to be seen whether my brother will put up with a non-player accompanying him and hacking his way round the course to everyone's amusement and probably irritation. Also, I don't look good wearing Pringle sweaters.

Did I mention that last night we ate at Joe's Crab Shack? Very nice too. Almost bought a tee shirt proclaiming My waitress gave me crabs, but didn't!


  1. I've always wanted to see Temecula. One summer we took the kids on a trip to S. Dakota. We were visiting the national parks, but while we were in the neighborhood, we couldn't miss the famous Sturgis (Harley Davidson) ralley. Pretty rough crowd, man. An artsy co-worker of mine and her husband are die hard BMW drivers. They take that thing way out west. I'm not a biking enthusiast, but the Harley crowd (to me) seems to be more about the attitude (or lifestyle) than the actual bike itself. Glad to hear you're having fun. I've enjoyed reading your posts these past few days.

  2. The Harley thing is completely about the lifestyle, as you say.

    What struck me as most strange was that most of them cruising up and down the street in Temecula, and elsewhere, looking like they'd come straight off the set of Easy Rider, or maybe Any Which Way But Loose, were probably stockbrokers or dentists or something the rest of the week!

    Glad you've enjoyed the posts, I've been enjoying the holiday!

  3. Well, the wine sounds wonderful, dear boy!