Temecula Wineries Tasting Trip : Part 2

 Doffo Winery, Yuan Restaurant and Old Town Temecula

Wine in the vineyard at Doffo Winery. #temeculaIn case you missed yesterday, today’s post is Part 2 of my wine tasting trip to Temecula. Take a minute and go back to read Part 1.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait…

VisitTemeculaValley.com helped me put my trip together and I couldn’t be more grateful. I want to remind you that all opinions are my own!

Wine Tasting in Temecula in an antique pink cadillac. So let me catch you up (this is the “Previously on the Real Housewives…” part of the post). At this point in my Temecula trip, we are two wineries in, we’ve had a fantastic lunch and we are being driven around Temecula in an Antique Pink Cadillac. I highly recommend hiring a car when you do your wine tasting. That will ensure that everyone has an amazing time and be the safest for everyone, everywhere. It was so nice to have a car waiting for you to take you on to the next location and of course with Sergio, you get so much more. Sergio knows a ton about Temecula and the wineries themselves and is super nice.

Doffo Winery is a family owned and operated winery with amazing red wines and great ambiance! #temeculaOur last winery of the day was Doffo Winery. This is one of the smaller wineries but has a big reputation. Whenever we mentioned that we were heading to Doffo as part of our day, everyone nodded their approval. This family owned and operated winery is awesome. And it all started in this garage. What started as a retirement project for Marcelo Doffo turned in to a business that the entire family is a part of.

Doffo winery is passionate about wine and motorcycles. #temecula. Oh yeah. And there are LOTS of motorcycles around. What does this family love as much as wine? Racing motorcycles. And they manage to blend the two in a really great way. And the staff at the tasting room was awesome.  Again, I fell for and bought a bottle of red wine which really surprised me. But t was delicious and I knew I wanted to bring it home with me to share with my husband. 

Moto Barrel Room at Doffo Winery #temeculaAfter our tasting, we headed over to where the work happens. This was also our first glimpse of the absolutely stunning grounds that make up and surround Doffo Winery. We were greeted by Damian Doffo who told us a little bit more about his family’s business and the wines that he is in charge of producing.

Classical music is played to the grapes at Doffo Winery. #TemeculaWe also got to finally see the speakers which we had heard about all day. Marcelo plays classical music to his grapes! To soothe them. I freaking love that! And that view would not suck to look at every day.

Concrete casks in the wine making area of Doffo Winery. #temeculThere are vintage motorcycles mounted everywhere. And the while some of the winemaking equipment looked similar to stuff we had seen at previous wineries, some of it was totally unexpected. That terra-cotta colored, egg-shaped tank was certainly something we didn’t see anywhere else. The family’s Italian/ Argentinian heritage is part of their overall wine making process and influences not only the wines that they make but also how they are made. 

Stomping grapes at Doffo Winery. Just like Lucy did... #temeculaAnd then we got to get our feet in to a vat of grapes. Damian told us that this is only something that tourist’s do and I was totally fine with that. How many people get to say they’ve gotten to do that?! And don’t worry, these grapes were not going to be made in to Doffo Wines. My feet will not be part of your wine drinking experience. This was us trying to instagram the perfect photo. I was being super careful because I had this horrible feeling that I was going to drop my phone in the grapes and juice. And yes, the bottom half of our legs were pink for several hours…And it was totally worth it. So thank you, Damian, for making that happen! 

Doffo Winery barrel room. #temeculaThen we walked through the Barrel room. Stacks on stacks of barrels of sweet, delicious wine. 

Classic motorcycles in the barrel room at Doffo Winery. #temeculaWhile one side is filled with wall-to-wall barrels, the other side is a mix of barrels and vintage motorcycles. I love that they are able to mix their two biggest passions. That is what life should be about. 

Motorcycle and barrel room at Doffo Winery. #TemeculaThey have this huge, gorgeous Italian made cask aging a Cabernet Sauvignon. It was super interesting to hear about how differently the wine making process with this oversized beauty compared to normal barrels.  

Special Italian casks at Doffo Winery. #TemeculaAnd then we got to taste some.  I loved getting to taste the wines at different points in their well thought out lives. It’s a combination of science, taste, heart and magic that the wine makers need in order to know when a wine is ready to release to the public. It truly is an art. And I wish you could see the front of Damian’s shirt because it was stained with grape juice and sort of looked like tie dye. It is really making want to craft with wine…

Damian Doffo gave us a tour of the Doffo Winery vineyards. #temeculaDamian took us on a tour of the vineyards and talked all about how the family is involved. It was never the intention for wine making to be a family business. But everyone stepped in as they realized they were making something really special. And I love that Marcello makes a special wine for each grandchild. While each winery we visited was family owned, Doffo really makes you feel like you are part of their family. And while we didn’t meet Marcelo we heard all about how this winery came to be and about the historic school house, that used to be on the property, that reminded him of his own school back in Argentina (and seen in their logo).

Gorgeous view at Doffo Winery. #temeculaI’m sure it was partially the time of day, but these vineyards were the prettiest yet. I could have plopped a chair right here, with a glass of wine, and stayed for hours. 

Gorgeous vineyards at Doffo Winery. #Temecula Truly magnificent. 

Doffo Winery with gorgeous views and fantastic staff! #temeculaWe were really lucky to see places, at each winery, that are usually reserved for Wine Club members or invited guests. The view from a hill-top patio was just incredible.

Love locks at Doffo Winery. You can purchase these locks to put in the vineyard for special occasions like proposals and anniversaries! #temeculaAnd LOVED hearing about the Love Locks that you can purchase in the Doffo Tasting Room. Since this gorgeous spot has been the location of many proposals and anniversary celebrations, the family decided to sell these love locks that you can engrave your name on and then lock in one of several beautiful spots on this hill. And then throw away the key. 

Love locks at Doffo Winery. #temeculaThey say that many of their guests return year after year so they thought it was a good way to provide a physical reminder of their special life event. So sweet! We absolutely adored our time at Doffo Winery.While I really want to try out other Temecula wineries, I really want to go back to these 3. The way they welcomed us and opened their doors to us was totally unforgettable. It was the perfect first wine tasting experience. 

Hand painted tuxedo shirt worn by limo driver in Temecula Valley. Sergio of Antique Pink Cadillac.And over our day we got to know Sergio a little bit better. His hand painted tuxedo shirt had delighted me all day long so we had to get a picture. 

Sergio of Antique Pink Cadillac. He's super knowledgable about the area and he used to be a bull fighter. Fun touring Temecula Valley with him. Then we noticed his belt! That was Sergio as a bull fighter in Mexico in his younger days. 

An antique pink Cadillac. A really fun way to tour Temecula Valley. We got back in the pink cadillac for one last ride and headed to the Embassy Suites.

Lobby of Embassy Suites Temecula.The lobby of the Embassy Suites is so pretty with design touches reminding you of your proximity to wine country. While there are several large resorts in the thick of the wineries, they can be really expensive and booked (especially on weekends) well in advance. I loved how close this hotel was to the wineries as well as Old Town Temecula. There is a sports bar, on site, that offers dining and happy hour specials.  And the hotel offers complimentary breakfast in the morning. If you want to get out and stretch your legs, there are TONS of dining options within walking distance from the hotel.

Embassy Suites Temecula is a perfect place to stay for Temecula Valley wine tasting trips.We checked in to our room to freshen up very quickly before heading off to dinner. I couldn’t wait to lay my head down on that pillow!

Yuan Restaurant in Temecula. This hidden gem is tucked back in a strip mall and serves AMAZING food! It's fusion with Asian influence and everything they served us was exceptional. A must try for sure! #temeculaSince I knew my friend Tori lived in the area, I invited her to join us for dinner at this hidden gem of a restaurant the gals at VisitTemeculaValley.com set up for us. Yuan Boutique Bistro and Dim Sum is located in a strip mall.  But that shouldn’t deter you from trying it out when you visit Temecula.

Dinner at Yuan restaurant in Temecula with Frangipani wine pairings. #temeculaThe interior of the restaurant was so pretty! It had great stone walls and sparkly light fixtures. It felt upscale without being stuffy and was really comfortable. And since it IS wine country, our courses were loosely paired with wines from Frangipani Winery

Sushi rolls at Yuan restaurant in Temecula. I have to say that I am not a fan of sushi but will always give it a try. These tuna rolls were phenomenal. What was especially cool about this dinner is that my trip planners told the owner to have the chef do whatever he wanted and we were wowed with things that were not on the menu. We did ask if people can request this type of meal when they visit and he said yes. It was a really great way for the owner and chef to show us what the restaurant is all about. While the dishes are Asian influenced, for sure, they are a fusion or all kinds of different flavors and were very inventive. 

Delicious Basil Chicken at Yuan Restaurant in Temecula. This Thai Basil Chicken was a highlight for me. 

Sea Bass from Yuan. #temeculaAs was this sea bass in a Szechuan sauce.  This is the second restaurant for owner Howe Bao whose first location is in Aspen. It was a phenomenal dining experience and I am so glad that I got to try this amazing food. And then it was time to turn in for the night. One thing I realized was that for a wine tasting trip, we didn’t really drink a lot of wine. We tasted bunches but didn’t get a chance to go back and enjoy a glass of the ones we really enjoyed. But trust me, I wouldn’t trade the tours and behind the scenes look at each winery for anything. I just know that I want to come back and revisit some of the wines in more detail. :)  

Old Town TemeculaAfter an awesome night of sleep at the Embassy Suites, I decided that I couldn’t leave without checking out the Old Town Temecula area. I didn’t spend much time there as I needed to get back to reality but I saw enough to know that I would like to see more. 

Old Town Temecula. There are fun, murals painted on walls.  There are old-timey decor that made it feel world’s away from the city I live in. The atmosphere was awesome and I can only imagine what kind of night life can be found in this great little area. 

Old Town Temecula is a cool place to check out! Can't wait to go back to explore it some more! I had an amazing time in Temecula and can’t wait to go back! If you haven’t been wine tasting and you have wanted to, you absolutely should do it!

I can’t thank Wilson Creek, Lorimar and Doffo Wineries enough for the amazing hospitality they showed us and it was truly an experience I will never forget.

HUGE thank you to Embassy Suites and Antique Pink Cadillac for keeping me comfortable and in style while in Temecula.

And this experience wouldn’t have been possible without Marlene and Annette from VisitTemeculaValley.com. I can’t say enough great things about how valuable a resource their website is. It is the first place you should go when planning your trip to Temecula. And if you happen to live in Temecula, it is a great resource for finding excellent local businesses.

Now, who wants to go back with me? And if you haven’t read Part 1 of my trip yet, you can read it here.

Temecula Wineries Tasting Trip : Part 1

Wilson Creek Winery and Lorimar Winery in an Antique Pink Cadillac

Wine Tasting in Temecula. This trip was put together for me by VisitTemeculaValley.com and included a tons of behind-the-scenes tours and tastings! #temeculaWith all this talk of Life Lists I decided to also write a Bucket List. And since I’m focusing on living a more full life (especially offline) I thought it made sense to complete a Bucket List item too. I reached out to VisitTemculaValley.com to help me make my first wine tasting trip happen.  I gave them my budget and they were able to put together a crazy memorable day for me, including an overnight stay, to some of the best of the Temecula wineries. So while some of the days activities may have been comped or discounted, of course, all opinions are my own. And you know I have a lot of opinions. Wine Tasting in Temecula.I had to split this post in to two parts since there is so much I want to share with you. You know when I share my trips, I share a lot of detail. But for me, sometimes that is where the magic is. I only live about an hour away from Temecula Valley, home to a bunch of amazing wineries, but have never been before! I am a wine lover but have never been to a vineyard. By the end of my trip, (which was really about 24 hours) I was kicking myself for not having checked it out sooner. Have you been? I’m already dying to go back. Embassy Suites TemeculaI decided to do the wine tasting trip on a Monday so that the wineries wouldn’t be quite so crowded. I know they have a tendency to get crazy crowded on the weekends. And while of course I once had my own bachelorette party, bunches of loud women are no longer my jam (Temecula seems to be a premier location for bachelorette getaways. But don’t get me wrong, I will return on a weekend. I just didn’t want that for my first trip).  I left my house and headed straight to Embassy Suites Temecula Valley Wine Country where I would be staying for the night. I met up with  my girlfriend, Michelle, and the car that would be touring us around for the day. Wine tours in Temecula in an antique pink cadillac.THIS car! How fun, right?! We got to be driven around on our wine tour in this Antique Pink Cadillac by Sergio Weingarten. This rad car is available for hire for anything from weddings to nights out on the town and, of course, wine tours. Sergio is a character. And he KNOWS Temecula. He had a hand in which wineries we would be seeing he was absolutely professional and amazing. He just may know everyone in town. Map of Temecula Valley Wine Country.We jumped in the car and headed off to our first winery.  This was my first look at the Temecula Valley and it is absolutely stunning! Aside from wineries, Temecula also has Brewery tours! If your husband is anything like mine, he would much prefer to tour breweries…I can totally see another visit to this area to check them out. There is also an Old Town area with restaurants and many of the wineries also have tasting rooms, complete with entertainment there too. Although it wasn’t on the agenda for this trip, I could tell that Old Town would make for a really fun night out.  Michelle and I wine tasting in Temecula.My buddy, Michelle, came along with me.  Michelle has been tasting in Temecula before and knows a lot about wine. I knew she would be the perfect person to bring along. She was able to give me even more insight as to what other wineries in the area, that we weren’t going to visit this trip, were like. And really I just love her company so I knew we would have a blast together.  Wine tasting at Wilson Creek Winery in TemeculaOur first stop was Wilson Creek. The only thing I knew about them prior to the visit was that they make a delightful Almond Champagne. But I quickly found out they are so much more than that!  The grounds are so pretty and there is even a family friendly area under big shady trees near a little creek.   Part of the Tasting Room at Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula.We looked around their tasting rooms and I got to see what wine tasting is all about. On the weekend, these rooms would have been packed. But on a Monday, they mean you get much more space and attention if you really want to learn about their wines and wine making process.  Trust me, it wasn’t empty! There was still a crowd of people at each place we visited. Wilson Creek Winery is known for their Almond Champagne but they are SO much more than that!  But it IS delicious! We skipped the sparkling wines and headed straight for a White Cabernet! It was this glorious blush color, very light, not even a rose. It was sweeter than expected and not tannic from the absence of the prolonged contact with the skins  (at least I think that is the right word – you know I learned A LOT about wines this day…but there was also some tasting…so…). And then it was about to get fun. We met up with Greg Pennyroyal, the enologist and viticulture expert (his card says coordinator but he is clearly an expert) for Wilson Creek Winery. He’s the grape guy. He’s responsible for deciding when the grapes are ready to be picked. And he’s quite possibly the most interesting man on the planet.  It's crush season in Temecula! We got to see what happens to the grapes when they come off the vines! #temecula. We came at exactly the right time to witness this process that is the very start to making new wines. While this process, I believe they call crush, usually happens at night, Wilson Creek has one area in their vineyards that, due to the grade of the hill, has to be harvested during the day. Greg rushed us over to their processing area so we could see this! It was here that our lessons started. Behind the scenes wine tour at Wilson Creek Winery. Greg had us taste the skins and the seeds and explained how they reach the different parts of your mouth and how you must find the perfect balance to create a great wine. Pretty dang cool.  Tasting chardonnay straight out of the barrel at Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula. AND THEN we got to meet Wilson Creek winemaker, Gus Vizgirda, who let us taste a chardonnay straight from the barrel. So cool. And delicious, even though it wasn’t quite ready for bottling.  Wine tanks at Wilson Creek Winery in #temecula.We tasted our way through their facility and learned SO MUCH about wine, the wine making process, and so much more on our tour. I didn’t really care what happened the rest of the day. Getting to learn about wine making this close up was something I never dreamed of. It really enhanced my appreciation for wines and all that goes in to making them. We talked about the bio physical chemistry and more importantly how to slurp – or the process of drawing in air as you are tasting the wine to bring out the flavors and help draw out the different flavors you are tasting as you drink the wine.  With Greg, Enologist and Vinticulture expert at Wilson Creek Winery. And it made me want to spend WAY more time with Greg. He’s so super knowledgable and was able to share it with us in an easy to understand way. He has a true passion for the craft of wine making and for his part in putting out great wines at Wilson Creek. I will definitely be back to learn more from him! Ravioli at Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery, Temecula. We sat down to a quick lunch at Creekside Grille on property at Wilson Creek. Delicious! While at the winery we were lucky enough to meet Bill Wilson. It was cool to meet a member of the Wilson family and get a feel for how proud they are of all they have accomplished through wine.  Outside Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula with Annette of VisitTemeculaValley.comOver lunch we got to talk with Annette, of VisitTemeculaValley.com, about the great family and food & wine events Temecula puts on throughout the year. Be sure to check the calendar before you plan your visit to see if you can make it to any of them! And how pretty is the outside at Wilson Creek! It would be a lovely place to hold a wedding or just bring a group of friends to hang out and relax. Wine tours of Temecula in an antique pink Cadillac. We were sad to end our time at Wilson Creek but loved getting to hop back in the pink Cadillac to move on to our next stop. Lorimar Winery in Temecula.We pulled up to Lorimar Winery and instantly felt like we were in another country. The building is gorgeous and the landscaping on the property was really pretty. It felt warm and inviting from the moment you walked up those steps. Chatting with Penny of Lorimar Winery about how smart grapes are. Loved learning from Penny! #temecula #sponWe got a quick peek at the tasting room before we were whisked off for our first tour with Penny Delgado. Oh and we started off with a sparkling wine that was just delicious. Penny was full of fun stories and great information about the grapes and wine making in general. You can tell that she loves what she does and I think we could have hung out with her for days. Gorgeous grounds at Lorimar Winery in Temecula.The grounds of Lorimar Winery are beautiful and there are several great spots for weddings and receptions on the property. One of the things I loved most about this place was their love of music which I probably should have guessed from their music note logo. This is the place to go to enjoy live music, in a gorgeous setting, with delicious wines. I’m sure that on the weekends this place is very lively with people really enjoying themselves. Touring Lorimar Winery in Temecula. Next Patrick McIlvain, General Manager, put us in to the Polaris and took us around the vineyard. Maybe it was just the perfect time of year, but vineyards are absolutely wonderful to look at. These tours are available to the public, they just require advanced reservation. And I highly recommend it! Overnight accommodations are available for rental at Lorimar Winery in Temecula.Patrick took us to look at Lorimar Winery’s new rental space, for overnight guests, called the Coach House. I’m dying to get a group together to stay here. We didn’t get to go inside but I found these images of the interior and it looks NICE. Event space at Lorimar Winery, Temecula. The Coach House sits right next to one of the event spaces on the property. This room would be perfect for a small wedding or special event. The room is set up like a barrel room and is a little bit rustic, but pretty at the same time. This patio would be perfect for more tables or dance floor. Gorgeous Lake View outside of event space at Lorimar Winery, Temecula.And this is the view out in front of the event space and Coach House. It was so pretty and unexpected to find this little lake right there! I want to have a glass of wine in that there hammock. Lorimar Tasting Room and Art Gallery. #TemeculaWe went back inside and saw the larger tasting room which is also an art gallery. That was one of the things I thought was so cool about Lorimar. They really work to fuse music, wine and art together. That speaks to my soul. We headed up front to purchase a delicious bottle of red wine (I fell in love with their 2011 Trio wine. I’m WAY more of a white wine drinker but loved this blend. I knew that if I just tasted a few reds, I would find ones that really appealed to me the way this one did). And then we got to meet one of the owners, Mark Manfield.  He was super nice and it was a great way to end our time there. What struck me about this winery was how down to earth they all were. While they love making wine, and they make GREAT wine, they aren’t snobs and don’t want anyone to feel like they don’t know what they are doing when it comes to tasting or wine knowledge in general. The atmosphere was fun, casual and I wanted to stay all afternoon. AND we talked about how they do specialty cocktails, with wines, at some of their events! You KNOW I loved that on account of my wine cocktails series.  I loved that while wine is their focus, they aren’t afraid to mix it up and do something a little bit differently than the other wineries. Wine Tasting at Lorimar Winery in Temecula.Can you believe this was just the first half of my day in Temecula?! Even after the first winery visit I was asking the question, “why haven’t I been here before?” While Napa and Sonoma may be THE place to do the wine tasting thing, Temecula is no slouch.  It was accessible and warm and totally my speed. If you haven’t been, you need to go! I can’t wait to share part 2 of my Temecula Valley wine tasting adventure tomorrow! And I can’t wait to go back and check out more Temecula wineries.

*A big thank you to VisitTemeculaValley.com for making this trip possible. When I reached out to them I had no idea where to start or which places to consider visiting. They planned my trip for me and did a magnificent job! I highly recommend their site for planning your own visit.

*And a huge thank you to Michelle for helping me to take some of the photos. On account of me being so type A I didn’t give up my camera very much but the pictures she took were fantastic! It is hard to tell exactly which ones she took but if I had to make it simple, I would say the photos that I am in or the ones that are really well composed were her doing. Now, when are we going back for more wine tasting, Michelle?

Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana Point

Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana PointCan’t stop, won’t stop. As you know, I recently worked on a series of posts with ZICO Coconut Water on creating and completing items off my ‘life list.’  It has been amazing. I’m trying new things and making changes to my life that are really letting me live more purposefully. One of the things I recently completed was trying out a Pilates class. I had always wanted to try out a class, using a reformer, so I reached out to my friend, Dottie of Reformer Fit Pilates in Dana Point and headed in for a class!  Located down by the marina, the location is gorgeous and it got my mind right as I headed in to my class. 

A reformer machine for pilates. Reformer machines look a little bit like torture devices.  I was pretty nervous. 

Pilates at Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana Point. Reformers work off of a series of springs that allow for various levels of resistance. Since I haven’t worked out in, like, forever, I hoped she would go easy on me. Pilates is designed to build strength and flexibility and is great for all types of people and fitness levels. She assured me I would be ok. 

Pilates class at Reformer Fit in Dana Point.We got started and Dottie walked me through some beginning stretches. I immediately knew that I would really like using the reformer. And I wouldn’t say that she went easy on me, but she recognized my limits but still had me push through. 

Trying out a reformer for my first time! It took a lot of focus and tightening and breathing. But I loved how it felt. It wasn’t long before I felt my muscles shaking…

My first pilates experience. Pilates is hard. Especially when you haven't worked out in years. Like here. Dottie had me doing leg circles.  Only my legs wouldn’t do it. So what you are seeing here is NOT good form. It is me dying. Muscles burning. And laughing because Dottie says, “five more!”

Private pilates lesson at Reformer Fit Pilates Studio in Dana Point.These cool pulleys and straps are used for arm and leg exercises and the exercises felt really good. You could feel your muscles working but there was no impact. I really fell in love with Pilates.

Plank on a pilates reformer.Until we did ab work. I watched Dottie do a plank first and wondered if I would be able to do it. I had visions of collapsing on to the reformer but I managed to do it! And then I managed to do the pike exercises where you use your ab muscles to draw the board back towards your feet, buns in the air. I was pleased with myself. 

I am so grateful that Dottie shared her gift with me and let me try out my first reformer class! I’m dying to start classes regularly! And thank you to Lauren for taking the photos!

Find out more about her studio: Reformer Fit – 24901 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Ste. A 110, Dana Point, CA  92629. (949) 614-3604. Email for more info info at reformerfit.com!

Organic Tree Juice in Dana Point. And when you are done, head right next door to Organic Tree Juice Bar. The staff is super awesome and, like the pilates studio, the space is bright and comfy. 

Organic Tree Juice in Dana Point. I tried the “Oz” green juice, with extra ginger, and it was awesome! I’m not a fan of most green juices, but I really enjoyed this one! Next time you are in Dana Point be sure to head here! I headed home with my juice feeling really great. And my muscles only stayed sore for a few days…

 

Knott’s Berry Farm 2015 Season Passes

Pumpkins and roller coasters at Camp Spooky at Knott's Berry Farm. #campspookyCan you believe it is almost Halloween!! Where has the year gone? Ever since Party City started playing their Halloween costume commercials on TV my kids have been asking me when we can go to Camp Spooky 2014.  They LOVE to go to Knott’s Berry Farm during October to see how the park is decked out and participate in really fun activities.  And I am only ok with them going because it is a non-scary, family event. I’m a total scaredy cat and do NOT do haunted things… What is even more awesome is that Knott’s has just released some really great deals for their 2015 Season Passes. Aside from having the lowest price of the year right now, when you buy your season passes for 2015, it also includes one visit during 2014 so you could bring your little ghouls to the Camp Spooky event. AND if you purchase now, you get discounts on Halloween Haunt tickets.

I love that Camp Snoopy has non-scary events in Camp Snoopy for families during Halloween! #campspookyWhich I already mentioned I won’t be attending. I DO, however, really appreciate how Knott’s decorates Camp Spooky (Camp Snoopy – if you didn’t pick up on that yet) for Halloween.  It is festive but kept very kid friendly. And they add a ton of holiday themed things to do in this kid-focused area of the park. Every weekend in October, your family can visit and get a chance to celebrate the season with activities geared for ages 3 – 11. There is no extra cost for all these fun extra activities. It is included with the price of regular park admission. Knott’s puts on great family activities throughout the rest of the year as well in Camp Snoopy. 

#CampSpooky at Knott's Berry Farm. To celebrate Halloween, the kids get to wear costumes!  And they can be in a costume parade and contest where they can win some awesome prizes. The Peanuts Gang stars in a special themed stage show where you can be entertained by your favorite cast of characters. There is a Mini Monster Maze for the kids where they can win sweet prizes. I assure you this is NOT like one of the Halloween Haunt mazes…I would probably pass out if it was! But if you like that sort of thing, purchase your Season Pass now and then use your Halloween Haunt discount to come and get scared silly. I’ll stick to the Kool-Aid mixing Potion Station in Camp Spooky! (a small extra fee applies for this station).

Rides and costumes at Camp Spooky at Knott's Berry Farm. #campspookyAnd of course there are the rides.  And there is nothing cuter than seeing your tiny Spiderman riding the rides. Along with all the rides in Camp Spooky, The Calico Mine Ride has been enhanced for Halloween in a not-too-spooky way. I know my boys will want to check it out. And cling to me and my husband for dear life…So if you purchase your Season Passes now, you can use your 2014 visit during this year’s Camp Spooky and then experience it as a Pass Holder next year!

It is super easy to purchase your Season Passes online. And there are several options to choose from. So if you want your pass to also include visits to Soak City, you can. Want to include a dining package? You can do that too!  And you can pay for your Season Pass in  9 payments instead of one big chunk. A fantastic idea! Don’t miss out on the lowest price of the year!

Family Vacation to Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs

The gorgeous property at Rancho las Palmas in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs.How gorgeous is this property? My family got the opportunity to stay at Omni Rancho Las Palmas, in Rancho Mirage, this summer. Disclosure: they let us stay one night for free and one night at a discounted rate. All opinions and memories are my family’s.

You already know of my love for Palm Springs. Well my family loves it too.  We try to get one family trip in to the desert each summer. But this time we wanted to stay somewhere that we have never stayed before. I’d been hearing about Omni Rancho Las Palmas for years and decided we should check it out. Especially because they are very family friendly and have their own water park! And seriously, how gorgeous are those grounds in the photo above? Yeah, that was the view from our room.  Not bad at all.

The lobby of Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs. We pulled up to the front of the hotel to check in. Immediately walking in to the lobby I was impressed. How had I never been there before?! The furnishings were very nice and the atmosphere was really welcoming. It felt much higher end than I had expected. [Read more...]