Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Bit of a Moisture Situation

It doesn't rain very often 'round these parts, so things like "drainage" and "proper sloping" don't really occur to people much. As a result, this is what happened after a couple of days of not-even-Texas-style storms. I mean, if you can still walk upright and the umbrella still keeps you basically dry, it is just not that big of a deal.

Try telling that to our yard.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Peony Chinese- the restaurant, not the flower

This is a picture of some peonys, because I've never taken any photos at Peony Chinese Restaurant here in Temecula, and I always like a snazzy photo for my posts.

Peony's is in the Albertson's shopping center on Rancho California Rd. and combines the speed and ease of a fast food joint with the service and freshness of a sit-down restaurant. You order at the counter and take your number to your table, but then they serve you your drinks and condiments and bring your food to your table, offer refills, and basically take really good care of you. The ingredients are obviously fresh, and everything is made to bins of food under warming lights or anything gross like that.

Now, I saw a Yelp! (maybe it was some other review site, but you get the idea) review written by someone who must love MSG and pre-packaged, frozen ingredients (which was, incidentally, filled with spelling errors) who said that the problem with Peony is that it is run by Mexicans, and although "Mexicans are nice people" they "should not go into Chinese food business". That is about the lamest thing I've ever read. You know, because apparently, in their mind, your ethnic heritage dictates how good of a cook you are, and your ability to provide excellent customer service. Well, Nick A. of Murrieta, CA, not only do you have bad taste in Chinese food, you are also a turd. Is it okay to use the word "turd" in a restaurant review?

Anyway, it's not traditional Schezuan style. It really is a SoCal type of Chinese food, which most locals will love, including my hubby. If you are used to Texas Chinese food, it will not be what you expect, but it will still be delicious. It's more expensive than the food-in-a-bin joints (a la Panda Express or Mr. You's) and I definitely prefer it over Pick Up Sticks (call me crazy, but I like eating off of a real plate). Their lunch portions are enormous, which I would call their best value. Try the lunch curry chicken. OMG. Yum.

Peony Chinese Cuisine
30520 Rancho California Rd
Temecula, CA 92591
(909) 695-1878

Monday, January 11, 2010

Riley's Farm Fall Field Trip

As you may be able to tell, we're not really sticking with chronological these days. With so much to catch up on and not too much happening in January, I figured no one would mind. Now this is not so much a post about something to do in Temecula, but instead something you could easily go and do were you to, say, be a resident of Temecula. In the fall, our Brownie Girl Scout troop and another big girl Girl Scout troop crammed ourselves into a couple of large vehicles and scooted over to Riley's Farm located in Oak Glen, right near Yucaipa. If you peek at their site now, you won't see much about some of the things mentioned in this blog, because it's the wrong time of year (you can't press fresh apples into cider or choose pumpkins from a pumpkin patch in January....not even in Southern California!), but they've got other fun things scheduled that I'm sure everyone will still enjoy.

Our first hands-on learning opportunity was pressing freshly picked apples into cider using a real old timey cider press. It takes 100 apples to make one gallon of cider...didja know that?!?! Or that the difference between apple cider and apple juice is....hmmmm, perhaps I should let you research that one yourself ;)
Then it was off to a little history lesson about the western migration, covered wagons, log cabins, working hard, and doing without:

Now comes my favorite part: hay ride through the woods!

Followed by making our own candles:
(sorry about this lame photo. The gal is passing out long whicks with a tiny starter candle on the end, and the girls proceeded to dip them into the hot wax repeatedly to increase their size. Making a full-sized candle back in the day was a tedious process!)

After a much needed lunch break, it was time to select our very own pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. This is in contrast to most "pumpkin patches" in Temecula itself which have piles of pumpkins available, but none of them are in the spot that they actually grew. The Riley's farm pumpkin patch (it was called something else, but I can't remember now. I'm sure if you can them a ring, they could help you out!) was a patch. Of real pumpkins. Growing on their vines. It was so fun. And check out the gorgeous views!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Old Timey Time In Old Town Temecula

For Halloween, the bigger little people and one of their sweet friends decided to dress up as their American Girl dolls. Mom of the sweet friend had the fab idea for us to go to Old Town for a mini photo shoot before going trick-or-treating. Yay for wholesome, free fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Professor Pennypickle's Children's museum

Stop the presses! She's back!

Wow, seriously....where does the time go? I'll tell you where it goes- it goes to writing and editing the PTA newsletter. It goes to doing freelance proofreading work. It goes to managing the facebook pages of some former/current employers. And taking care of 3 kids. And managing the hubby's business. And being pregnant (!). And sewing little patches onto 10 little Brownie Girl Scout vests. And every now and then doing a little sleeping. But only just a little. But that's enough of that, because what mom isn't insanely busy? No real mom, I tell ya what.

Anyhooooooo, I realized it had been almost a year since the last post on here and I said to myself I said "Self, you cannot let an entire year go by without a post. People are gonna think you've died. Or Temecula has imploded. Or something else weird." So, I'm back to chat about the totally adorable, super-fun Professor Pennypickle's Children's Museum ( in Old Town.

First of all, if you don't have a SmartCard (, get one. Among many, many other fab discounts, tickets to P.P.'s are buy-one-get-one-free. You don't even have to be a super-cheap-skate to like that discount!

Alright, after parking in the plentiful and FREE parking behind the museum, and entering the totally cute, old-timey building and being advised that you are allowed to...nay, expected to touch everything in the place, you can enter one of many, many fun rooms. This is the library:

....with this whacky whirly-gig chair that rotates as you spin some other whacky whirly-gig contraption.And then you can go into the fireplace of the library (true story) and enter a crazy, dark black-light-lit maze, which even the baby found fun and not scary. Or into this "kitchen":
...and do any number of fun, silly experiments.

And although the entire place was fun for my littlest dude, there was a special room just for the under-4 crowd, which the under-4 crowd found to be very entertaining:

And don't forget driving the potty! What little boy doesn't want to drive a potty? I mean it combines "driving" with "potty". A veritable dream come true, I say.
And the not-so-spooky cellar of recycling:
followed by the crazy musical-instrument room of crazy musical instruments:

and this guy, who wasn't that educational or fun for the kids, but who made this mama laugh:

and some kind of gear thing? That's educational? Probably?In all, we had a crazily super fun time. Everyone, from 2 to 92, will find something to love here, even if it's just the cheap tickets. Which it won't be, but could, I guess, if you don't love fun, but are a cheap-skate.