Wednesday, July 31, 2013

June 17, 2013 - Inland Empire and Dana Point

After a restful night at Comfort Suites Barstow, we were once again on the road a little before 8:30. The hotel was a respite in an awful location.  

Interstate 15 entering the Inland Empire

 Wow! Surprised to find Victorville so large and only 20 minutes down the road. Hesperia had big chain hotels, would probably continued on had we realized how close we were.
As we drop down into the basin we lost sight of the mountains for the first time in over 2 weeks.

Driving into Norco from Ontario, it's a far cry from the town full of dairies it was when we lived here 30 years ago when they began building this freeway and we moved back to Orange County.  Temescal Valley, right outside of Corona on I15 is a town that didn't exists with Anthropology, Sur La Table, wow,the Inland Empire has sure changed!  

The mountains behind Candace and Kevin's home and garden, in Murrietta, looked beautiful as we stopped by for a quick visit.I have to remember to get the recipe for the lasagna garden in the fall. We will enjoy the bounty of apricots, arugula and squash from her garden when we get home!

Lake Elsinore from Highway 71, Lookout Road House

After leaving Candace's we headed for Dana Point over Highway 71.  This was a regular drive I remember taking with my parents and Aunt Lib.  We'd make a loop from home through the Santa Ana Canyon, a 4 lane road, over the Ortega Highway and  home.  We'd  almost always make a stop at Foster's Freeze in Corona for a frosty cone.  In later years I went to summer camp and church at the Lazy W, a Methodist Camp along the same road.  Not much has changes once you get into the hills, until approaching San Juan Capistrano.

We decided to stop in San Juan Capistrano for lunch.  Parking was a chore, we had to drive to the other side of the rail road tracks to find a spot that wasn't in a parking garage.

Amtrack crossing in San Juan Capistrano

We had lunch at Sarducci's Cafe, right along the rail road tracks in downtown San Juan Capistrano.  

Patio at Sarducci's Cafe

We were late enough to get a table alongside the fountain.  Setting was wonderful, food was ok, beer was great!

TV adjacent to tub?  Really wasted on us!

We had reservations at the Best Western Dana Point.  I don't think I realized it was right on PCH.   Other than the noise if you open the window the room was fine.  The bathroom was enormous with a spa tub and a TV on the wall right next to it.  The biggest down side to this hotel was that it had a parking garage, so the truck and camper had to be parked on the street, luckily we found a spot each time we left and returned.

Wonderful reunion with our friends and family from the Greece Cruise along with Greek Food at Paul and Colleens this evening.

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