weekend

Temecula Toyota and Tranquility Our Weekend Getaway #Sponsored @ToyotaLatino #Prius #LetsGoPlaces

Posted on June 10th, 2017 by & filed under Blog Venture, Events, Everything Miz Meliz, sponsored, Travel

Temecula, Toyota, and Tranquility, Our Weekend Getaway

Let me tell you about my experience at the Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival sponsored by Toyota Latino #LetsGoPlaces #VayamosJuntos…A huge thank you to Toyota Latino (check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ) for hosting me and Lito on this amazing weekend getaway and giving me the opportunity to review the Prius Four! Please see my disclosure for details on why I post articles like this on MizMeliz.com. It was my pleasure to share my experience with you, all opinions are entirely my own (with some input from Lito.)

I am excited about getting away for the weekend! Let’s go!

Temecula

It was time for a romantic weekend getaway! Lito and I have lived in Southern California all our lives. We have been married twenty-five years. Can you believe we have never been to the Temecula Valley? It is just a short three hour drive from our home in Los Angeles (depending on traffic) and we have heard about how amazing it is, but we had not been there. So, when we got a chance to get away for the weekend and check out the 34th Annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, it sounded like a dream!

Driving out to the festival felt like getting away from it all!

The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is the perfect combination of many of my favorite things. Lito and I had a great time there! I felt like a kid when I walked through the gates! It was like a fairytale.

Taking the drive in the 2017 Toyota Prius Four was magical from the start. I had fun driving it. Lito took the pictures and we posted on Snapchat along the way. After a long day of doing errands around town, stopping at the dentist – which happened to be the only thing we couldn’t reschedule that day, grabbing lunch and making our way to Temecula, we finally were on the road to the festival. It was a long and windy road. (giggles) It was! Imagine it, a beautiful sunny and warm day, great music, a fun car to drive, my hunny by side and I am on my way to enjoy the best wine, listen to live bands (Bush, The Gin Blossoms) and see giant helium balloons light up the night!! It was a dream for me!

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If you have a chance to go to the annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, I highly recommend it. There is plenty to do there, even camping by Lake Skinner within walking distance. (Actual walking distance, the same as you would do from the parking lot – not hiking or having to take a shuttle, the campgrounds are right there.) I mention this because I wouldn’t have thought of a Balloon Festival/wine event as a family outing at first. However, there is plenty to do for the whole family. The festival part did not disappoint. The food and entertainment, craft fair booths, live music, and of course The BALLOONS would keep the kids happy and occupied while you taste wine and beer from the region to your heart’s content. Everything was clean, beautiful, well controlled, and very well organised.

The vineyards and estates that lined the road on the way to the festival were breathtaking!

There are two stages with bands playing almost non-stop over the three days of the festival. There are balloon ride packages available. There are wine tasting packages or you can have a single taste, all purchased separate from the admission ticket. There are plenty of options for meals. Make sure you have cash! Although most of the booths and vendors accept credit cards, the remote location has some limitations with internet connection. This made it difficult for the card readers to work, and the ATM machines also could not function in some spots.

Cheers!

I have to admit, I’m not that in to wine these days. In our younger days Lito and I did our fair share of wine tasting and enjoyed learning about wine. I can’t drink a lot of wine now because of dietary restrictions, or shall we say…lifestyle choices. I found it very easy to have a single taste while at the festival and there were volunteer stewards there to help me choose just the right thing. For my celebratory selection, I went with a peach champagne. It was c’est magnifique! If you are a wine aficionado, this would be a great place to try all the wines of the region in one location. Every winery in the area was represented. It was impressive. Check out the website for more details.

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

37701 Warren Road

Winchester, CA 92596

Toyota

I was so excited to have the opportunity to experience the Prius Four – with an EPA-estimated 54/50 MPG. With advanced materials, an innovative design, Prius promised to deliver the perfect drive. It turned out to deliver much more!

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Even though I had driven the Prius all day on the way to the festival, it was on the way out of the parking lot that I really got acquainted with all the features this model has to offer. We sat in the car for over two hours as the thousands of automobiles were slowly ushered out of the multiple parking areas through that one windy road we came in on. We looked at it as a positive since we had a great vehicle that was equipped for this kind of thing, we were actually charging the battery as we sat listening to music, reading the manuals, and playing with all the buttons and dials! We didn’t have to worry about turning off the engine, wasting fuel, or putting out emissions. It was pretty cool.

Here are my Five Favorite Things About the Prius Four:

  1. It Feels Like a Car – I never drove a hybrid before this and it wasn’t at all what I thought. It felt like a car. It didn’t feel like an electric golf cart. It was sturdy, great to drive, it had power, I loved the steering and handling, and I felt safe in it. The doors are heavy, the base is solid. It did have that “whirrr” sound when accelerating like a ride at Disneyland, which was strange. I usually drive a Jeep Wrangler, so nothing about that sounds cute! I liked that this Prius did not need to be “plugged in” to charge. It was everything I would expect from a vehicle, with more ways to save energy.
  2. Light Leather Interior – Living in a part of the country that gets temperatures of 80-100 degrees most of the time, I appreciate a cool interior. I also love leather. The two together are usually a disaster on a hot day. Not so with the Prius Four – I imagine it was the color that made the difference. It was very stylish with white on black. The dashboard was very modern and state of the art – futuristic even! I liked the crisp angles and large lettering and numbers. The design was fresh, from the fabric, to the little touches of metallic edges infused into the design that gave it a retro feel.
  3. Blind Spot Assist – The design of the Prius Four creates a big blind spot and Toyota has a great feature that I was skeptical about at first. I like to look over my shoulder and see what is next to me and behind me. It didn’t take long to get used to the indicators on the side-view mirrors that let me know if there was something in my blind spot. That really helped.
  4. It’s Roomy – The Prius Four is a hatchback with lots of cargo space. It also has a lot of leg room and felt comfortable. It is a small, mid-sized car, yet I would enjoy having it as a commuter car that I could use for long trips as well as family outings.
  5. It’s Sporty and Cute! – Not just because the Prius Four that I reviewed was “Hypersonic Red” but the design is pretty cool. It’s sleek and sexy. The tail lights have a unique design. Lito called it my spaceship! We definitely enjoyed all the features the 2017 Toyota Prius offers!

Tranquility

 Toyota thought of everything when they treated us to this little getaway. We stayed at the Pala Casino Spa and Resort.

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After all the driving, balloons, and wine tasting, we were ready for some rest and relaxation! I’ve heard of some other Indian Reservation casinos in the Temecula Valley area before but I was not familiar with Pala. It was off the highway a bit, but that added to the adventure. It is a smallish hotel and casino and reminded me a little of “old Las Vegas.” Lito and I got some ice cream and walked around the gaming tables and slot machines after we got back from the wine and balloon festival. We thought about trying our luck. We ended up not playing because we really feel like winners already! We were very lucky to have this fun weekend together with all the activities, transportation, and lodging provided. We felt truly blessed. I didn’t want to risk losing any of that!

In the morning we walked around the beautifully landscaped grounds of the resort. We checked out the pool and cabanas. We took a little peak in the spa gift shop. I did a Facebook Live tour (see below) to share the experience. It was a very nice morning. I enjoyed my stay and would return to Pala anytime. The room was luxurious and spacious. Next time, I will try the spa services!

They have live bands perform in the center of the resort, as you can see them setting up in the video. This would be a great all inclusive destination for any occasion. It is especially nice because it is close to the Temecula Valley wine country and Oceanside, which is a beautiful seaside town in North San Diego County. We ended our trip with brunch in Oceanside and took some beautiful photos with the pier in the background. It was a great day!

Listening to ’80s music all the way home, played on Sirrus XM by Richard Blade, brought us back to our younger days for sure. The entire weekend in Temecula, with Toyota, gave us just the tranquility we needed to recharge our battery and enjoy the fun summer ahead!

Pala Casino Spa & Resort

Pala Casino Resort & Spa

11154 CA-76

Pala, CA 92059

A huge thank you to Toyota Latino (check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ) for hosting me and Lito on this amazing weekend getaway and giving me the opportunity to review the Prius Four! Please see my disclosure for details on why I post articles like this on MizMeliz.com. It was my pleasure to share my experience with you, all opinions are entirely my own (with some input from Lito.) I was under no requirement or obligation to post this on my blog, nor did I receive any compensation for doing so. I was invited to drive the 2017 Toyota Prius Four for one week. We were treated to an overnight stay at the Pala Spa and Casino Resort, received a gift of $150 in Visa gift cards for gas and expenditures and two (2) general admission tickets to The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. #ToyotaLatino #Prius #VayamosJuntos #LetsGoPlaces 

 

Fantabulous Friday

Posted on February 4th, 2011 by & filed under Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

It’s a “Fantabulous Friday” according to the kids that make morning announcements at the school where I work.

Urban Dictionary ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/ ) defines fantabulous as  . . .  Sort of like “fabulous” but much more fabulous than the word “fabulous” can convey. Like supercalifragilisticexpialidocius but shorter and easier to spell.  It is an adjective which describes something fantastic and fabulous, generally beyond belief or expectation. Fantabulous is an adjective meaning something is of the highest quality. It is a combination of fantastic and fabulous, which was commonly used in London in the 1960s and 70s to describe various aspects of pop culture and fashions. It was especially popular with Chelsea girls like Joanna Lumley. It is still in use in England today, but not as much as it used to be.  (TMI?)

I would say that I am verging on feeling fantabulous.  I am no longer sick, thank goodness!  I have my energy back.  It is sunny and beautiful here in SoCal.  We managed to stick it out through the cold (freezing for a California girl like me) weather this week.  I refused to put the top up on my Jeep as long as it wasn’t raining.  I expect to be rewarded with mild temperatures this weekend.  I love my life!
It’s Super Bowl weekend.  We were invited to two, possibly three, parties this year.  I haven’t committed myself to anything yet.  I promised Lito that I would make some of his favorite “Super Bowl Food” if we stayed home.  He likes to watch the game on our tv.  No surprise since he isn’t much of a party-goer.  I think he enjoys watching the game with the boys and my brother.  It wouldn’t be fun watching it alone.  For years my Dad would come and watch it with him and the kids.  We miss that!  This year Julian and Colin both have been invited over to their friends houses for the game.  I think it makes Lito sad that the boys have their own “lives” now.  Even Roman wishes he was invited to a party.  I can already see Lito and I as empty-nesters.  It doesn’t look pretty.
After being sick, I can think of many things I should do around the house this weekend.  I know I will be happy if I am at least somewhat productive.  Since I am on the verge of feeling fantabulous I want to have some fun!  Doing housework and completing projects are not exactly my idea of fun.  Maybe I can come up with something that will make it a funtabulous weekend! (Look that up @urbandictionary!)
Now I ask myself, what should I do?  I am almost caught up on all the Oscar nominated movies that I want to see.  I still want to see True Grit (http://www.truegritmovie.com/?gclid=CPK-07u676YCFQYnbAodRUkLEA ) and The Kids Are Alright ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgwjTy_cohg .)  But since I have seen many movies recently, going to the theater doesn’t sound so funtabulous to me.
Here are the nominees for Best Picture:
  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

I will need to see 127 Hours (http://www.foxsearchlight.com/127hours/ ,) Winter’s Bone (http://www.wintersbonemovie.com/ ,) The Rabbit Hole ( http://www.rabbitholefilm.com/index.html ,) and The Town ( http://thetownmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/ ) if I want to be completely informed.  Maybe a DVD movie fest is in order!

It is no coincidence that I began writing about the Super Bowl and ended up writing about the Oscars!  The Academy Awards Show is my Super Bowl. There are 23 days left until the big event.  I love it!  I always know what my plans are on Oscar Night.  I make everyone leave me alone.  I make a nice dinner and stay in.  I like to watch it uninterrupted, live, from the beginning of the pre-show and red carpet interviews, to the last “what were they wearing” and “the winners” talk shows! (Big sigh!  It’s still 23 more days!)

Since I am expecting a sunny and warm weekend ( http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/boatandbeach/weekend/91311 ) I want to do something outside, at least go somewhere that requires a drive.  Tomorrow I am taking Roman downtown to a rehearsal at the Music Center.  (http://www.musiccenter.org/?gclid=CNihhYnq76YCFQRvbAodaA2GEg ) He is going to be performing with his school choir in a production of Noye’s Fludde with the LA Opera ( http://www.laopera.com/production/0809/flood/synopsis.aspx ) We are very excited for him!  It is a great opportunity.  Tomorrow he finds out if he will get to operate a puppet.  The choir is performing as the animals on Noah’s Ark.  We are imagining something similar to the animals in The Lion King’s stage performance.  But we really have no idea what it will be like.

While Roman is in rehearsal, I will have some time to hang out in the downtown area.  I used to work there, so I know my way around and I have some favorite hang outs.  There is so much to do there!  I might go to Olvera Street and grab lunch at Phillipe’s.  Or, I might go to the Central Library ( http://www.lapl.org/central/ ) and see the Forty Years of Sesame Street Illustration Exhibit.  I could swing over to MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art.  ( http://www.moca.org/index.php )   Every time I went there when I worked downtown it was closed.  It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.   My friend Victoria and I would go to lunch at the Arco Food Court and then stroll through the MOCA gift shop.  I would love to go to my favorite restaurant in that area, Ciudad.  But I just found out that it has closed!  I am so sad, that was a terrific restaurant!!  It is now a Border Grill owned and operated by the same people,  ( http://www.ciudad-la.com/ ) so I might check it out.  However, in the same location as the Border Grill ( http://www.bordergrill.com/bg_dtla/bg_dtlawel.htm ) is one of my favorite lunch spots, La Salsa.  If I end up in that part of town, I am certainly having some Mexican food.  It’s ironic that I would go to Phillipe’s ( http://www.philippes.com/ ) if I hang out  at Olvera Street ( http://www.olvera-street.com/html/olvera_street.html ) which is a little village with a traditional Mexican style plaza area full of shops and restaurants.  But I love Phillipe’s Original French Dipped sandwiches!  I am partial to the pork sandwich with blue cheese, double dipped of course!

That sums up my potentially funtaboulous weekend. I may end up doing laundry and watching tv, but the very fact that I have options and the ability to do these things makes me very happy!  Have a fantabulous weekend my friends!