Exploring the Beauty and Charm of Temecula, California
Located in Southern California, Temecula is a charming city known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and thriving wine country. Nestled between the Santa Ana Mountains and the Temecula Valley, this city offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From exploring local wineries to hiking through picturesque hills, there is no shortage of things to do in Temecula.
History and Culture:
Temecula has a fascinating history dating back to the early 1800s when it was inhabited by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. The city’s name derives from the Luiseño word “Temecunga,” meaning “the sun that shines through the mist.” Today, visitors can learn about the area’s indigenous culture at the Pechanga Cultural Center and Museum, which features exhibits on traditional art, music, and dance.
One of Temecula’s biggest draws is its award-winning wine country. With over 40 wineries, visitors can enjoy a variety of tasting experiences, from intimate boutique wineries to sprawling estates. Some of the most popular wineries include Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Ponte Winery, and Wilson Creek Winery. The area’s Mediterranean climate, with warm days and cool nights, makes it an ideal location for growing grapes.
Temecula is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The Santa Ana Mountains offer miles of hiking trails, with stunning views of the surrounding valleys and vineyards. The Santa Margarita River Trail is a popular route, offering a scenic 6.7-mile trek through the lush wilderness. Visitors can also go horseback riding, hot air ballooning, or take a hot air balloon ride to get a bird’s eye view of the area.
Old Town Temecula:
For a taste of the city’s historic charm, visitors can head to Old Town Temecula, which features restored buildings from the 1800s. The area is home to antique shops, restaurants, and boutiques, and is a great place to wander and explore. Visitors can also catch a live performance at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, which hosts a variety of shows throughout the year.
Food and Drink:
In addition to its wine country, Temecula has a thriving food scene. From gourmet farm-to-table cuisine to casual street tacos, visitors can find something to satisfy any craving. The area is also home to several craft breweries, including Refuge Brewery and Garage Brewing Co. Visitors can enjoy a cold beer and a bite to eat at one of the many outdoor patios in the area.
Overall, Temecula offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that makes it a must-visit destination in Southern California. With so many activities and attractions to choose from, visitors are sure to find something to love about this charming city.
Day 52: still getting after it, and other updates!
It’s day 52 of my workout routine, I’m still getting after it – even if I’m not updating you fine folks on a daily basis.
Today’s workout was 45 minutes and consisted of 4.1 miles on the stationary bike over the course of 20 minutes. I also worked the bag with punches kicks and knees. I lifted some weights and did some push-ups.
I’m still nowhere near where I want to be as far as my weight goals go, but I have lowered my blood pressure significantly over the last few weeks.
When I first became aware of my consistently high blood pressure, it was February 6th and my blood pressure reading was 175/102 with a heart rate of 86. This morning March 15th, my blood pressure was 125/77 with a heart rate of 66.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve done a stress test and an echocardiogram at my cardiologist office. I don’t really know anything about the results yet, but I do have a follow-up appointment next Thursday where I hope to get some details. Of course, I will share this information with all of you – be it good or bad. I’m hoping for good!
Roasted corn salad recipe
After reading a bunch of takes on roasted corn salad / salsa, I put my own spin on this dish. I didn’t use any red onions, because one of our friends hates raw onions. I added deglazing the pan with some poblano liqueur for an extra zip. I also added some tajin, because I think it is a fantastic flavor with corn.
I made this side dish for a gathering of friends this past weekend and by all accounts it was thoroughly enjoyed! Specifically, one of our friends asked for the recipe, so I had to write it out. Since I made the effort of writing it out, I figured I’d share it with all of you wonderful folks.
This dish can be made any time of year since it calls for using organic unsalted canned corn as opposed to fresh corn. Of course fresh summer corn grilled over a mesquite barbecue would be the best – but depending on where you live and what time is year it is, that might not be feasible.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. If you make this, please take pictures and tag us on instagram (@billgould & @yenej). Don’t hesitate to share this recipe with family and friends.
1 can organic corn (no salt preferably)
1 juicy lime (2 tablespoons of juice & pulp)
1/2 orange bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup poblano liqueur (tequila blanco could work)
1/2 teaspoon tajin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon course sea salt
Rinse and thoroughly drain the can of corn. Add olive oil to a 12-in skillet and get it hot, but not smoking. Add the corn in and cook it until you start to see a few char marks on the corn (2-3 minutes), then deglaze the pan with poblano liqueur. Once the alcohol is cooked off, turn off heat and put corn in a medium sized pyrex bowl to cool. Add cumin right away to hot corn and mix. Let rest.
While the corn cools, dice up the bell peppers and the jalapeno, removing the seeds. Chop up enough cilantro for 2 tablespoons, set aside. Measure out the other dry ingredients and put into a small bowl.
After the corn has cooled off (should be cool enough by the time you’re done dicing the peppers and measuring out everything else) – mix the peppers with the corn. Add in the remaining dry spice ingredients and 1/2 the cilantro and mix thoroughly. Add the sour cream, cut and squeeze in the lime (include some pulp) and mix thoroughly.
Place in a serving bowl, use the remaining cilantro as garnish.
Great in tacos, burritos, on top of empanadas or with tortilla chips!
The Saga of Krave Vegan Jerky
A few months back Jeney and I visited Sprouts Farmers Market and purchased a pack of Krave plant-based jerky. To say that it was not as good as their competitors is quite frankly an understatement. The product itself was incredibly firm, lacked flavor and just wasn’t great. I let them know if my discontent.
What WAS great, was their customer service department. When I wrote them an email explaining that I did not enjoy their product at all, someone got back to me within a couple of hours, and apologized for the product. They let me know they were formulating new products that were plant-based and would let us know when they were available.
So to my surprise, I received a package from them containing their new plant-based snack stick. This product is meant to be similar to ‘slim jims’.
I was excited to try it, however that’s where the excitement ended.
Whereas the original product was incredibly firm, almost to the point of being like cardboard, this new plant-based stick was squishy – yet crumbly. They provided us with three flavors, Korean barbecue, smoked chipotle and cracked peppercorn.
The cracked peppercorn was soft, crumbly and the least flavorful option. Determined to give them all a fair shot, we tried the other two as well.
Next up was smoked chipotle. While it was a little bit more firm, it was still crumbly and didn’t really pack too much chipotle flavor.
Although our pallet was unenthused, we valiantly preceded onward to the final destination, Korean barbecue. This flavor was definitely the best out of the three. It still was not as firm as you would expect a snack stick to be, and it was still crumbly. I will say that it had a more distinct barbecue flavor that set it apart from the other two.
Overall, as much as I enjoy their customer service and the nice letter that they wrote to me, I cannot endorse this product. I certainly hope that they continue formulating their product and make it better. If anything, their customer service will entice me to give them another shot.
Out and about in Riverside County – Arcade Coffee Roasters
This place has been a fave of mine for quite a few years now. I was turned on to it by a friend of mine when we had a meet up here shortly before the pandemic started. Since then, every opportunity I’ve had to stop in, I made sure to do so.
First and foremost, their coffee is dank af. Smooth roasted flavors of a wide variety, from around the world. A favorite of mine is the Lomas Atlas decaf. As you may have read in prior posts, I’ve been restricted from drinking full caffeine coffee. This is one of the finest decaf blends around. I highly recommend it.
On another note, their kitchen does produce some tasty bites. They have a variety of vegetarian and carnivore options. Today I had their avocado toast which includes a massive pile of avocado on top of some tasty crusty bread. It’s topped with some seeds, preserved lemon and some awesome radish.
They have three locations in Riverside. I always end up going to the one on Chicago. You can visit them on their website for details about their locations and their menu at: https://www.arcadecoffeeroasters.com/
Day 38: did not want to work out, but I did…and other important stuff!
Unfortunately, today was one of those days where I just did not feel like working out. Most days, I kind of look forward to it. Some days, I absolutely look forward to it. Today, I just wanted to eat chocolate, drink decaf coffee and work from home. That’s the honest truth. 🤷♂️
I suspect that part of my lack of motivation is environmental. It’s been rainy and cloudy in Southern California for what seems like forever now. It’s been almost 2 weeks since it’s been over 65°. For a kid that grew up in Southern California, that’s a freaking eternity. The other part of my lack of motivation is probably stemming from the fact I went extra hard yesterday and I was just quite frankly sore and tired.
Today I got in a 40 minute workout. I spent 15 minutes on the stationary bike for a grand total of 3.1 miles. After that I punched the bag and then finished off with 70 modified push-ups. 70 push-ups is definitely the most I’ve done since I started this health journey. 💪
I recently had a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist. I was hoping for the all clear, you’re good to go, everything is great since you started working out. 👍
I did not get that. 😐
Instead, he had concerns about my premature heart contractions, my off and on tachycardia and my high blood pressure. Although my blood pressure is lower than it was, it’s still not where he wants it to be. Since I started working out, I’ve had less premature heart contractions, and less tachycardia – but it’s not gone away completely. 👎
So this Thursday I go for a stress test. They’ll hook me up to a bunch of wires, I’ll get to run on a treadmill and hopefully they’ll learn some interesting things about how my heart is working. Then a week or so after that I go in for an echocardiogram so they can get a sonogram of my heart. ❤️
I’m hopeful that what they learn is: I’m doing better than I could be if I wasn’t exercising and if I continue on this path I’ll be fine within a few months. I certainly want them to not find anything structurally wrong with my heart or my arteries.
Any of you out there who meditate, send good vibes, pray, or whatever it is you do for your fellow human beings; I would appreciate any positive energy you can send my way. 🤞
My follow-up appointment with the cardiologist is later in March, where I’ll get the results of all these tests. Of course, I will update you all. Here’s hoping for a positive outcome! 🤘
Now it’s time for a bunch of water, and some vegan tacos!
Have a terrific Taco Tuesday my friends. 😁🌮
Non-alcoholic beers: these ones actually taste good!
In my continuing series of reviews on non-alcoholic beers we have four new contenders: The Guinness 0, Stella Artois liberté, Heineken 0.0 and Bravus blood orange IPA.
The Guinness beer is pretty much exactly what you would think it to be. It has the little nitrogen thing on the inside, it comes in a 14.9 oz can and tastes like Guinness. If you don’t like Guinness, you will hate this beer. But if you like that creamy smooth coffee-esque flavor, you’re going to like this a lot, and you’re not going to get a buzz at all.
As for the Stella Artois liberté, it is also pretty much exactly what you would think. It has absolutely no alcohol in it, only 59 calories and is refreshing. This variety is actually brewed in the USA. Definitely a solid option for a light beer. I see myself definitely drinking this beer again.
On the other hand, the Heineken 0.0 is an imported beer, has absolutely no alcohol in it and 69 calories. It definitely has that classic Heineken skunky flavor. Some people don’t like it, some people love it. I found it to be perfectly okay. I would probably prefer the Stella a little bit more. But for an alcohol free beer, absolutely serviceable for those not wanting any alcohol in your system whatsoever.
My absolute favorite (so far) of all of my non-alcoholic beer samples is Bravus Brewing Company blood orange IPA. They are located in Anaheim California – and according to their label they are a “brewery dedicated solely to the production of non-alcoholic craft brews”. It’s obvious that is all they do, as it really comes through in the flavor. Although a little lighter than other blood orange ipas I have had, it was delicious. It comes in at 0.5% alcohol and 90 calories, but totally worth it. I would absolutely drink this beer again.
Day 35: after a rest day, I’m tired now…
Took a rest day, and now after my workout this morning I am Mr jelly arm LOL. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes.
I got in 20 minutes on the bike for a total of 4.3 miles. Then I did some arm weights, hit the bag for a little bit and then finished off with 50 push-ups. I’m getting there.
I’m kind of at a weight loss stall though, so that kind of sucks. But I definitely feel better, so that doesn’t suck. It’s a trade-off I guess. 🤷♂️
Day 30: one month of exercise!
Today is one month of my exercise routine. Hard to believe it’s already been a month. But also it seems like it’s been 6 months because the first couple weeks were damn brutal.
Today when I weighed myself, I gained a full pound from yesterday. It kind of pissed me off because I was so close to my weight goal. Sure I know, muscle weighs more than fat, sometimes your weight fluctuates daily, yada yada yada. Still pissed me off. So I took it out on the punching bag. The bag didn’t stand a chance. LOL.
I got in a full 30 minutes of beating the hell out of that bag with aggressive punches, kicks and knees. For good measure, I threw in quite a few elbows too. I was on the stationary bike for 31 minutes and got in 7 miles. Finished it off with 45 push-ups!
Now it’s time to eat a proper breakfast. Have a fantastic week my friends!