Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My hometown tour!! :-)

So here I was on my way home from my friend's house, after hearing all about the hometown tour that Melissa was going to be hosting!!! Now I'll admit that I wasn't sure that I would participate in this one, it sounded time consuming...... BUT on my way home I hit a few "must" talk about places, so I started shooting with my trusty camera, and this is what I came up with.... It was really fun and I must say that I actually came across places that I haven't visited in a long time, and I think it's time to go back!!! So please follow me through a tour of Lake Elsinore, a small town nestled at the bottom of the Ortega Mountains, with a distance of about an hour to just about anywhere!!! ;-) Lake Elsinore is town that continues to grow, it is now at a population of just over 50,000.Because of our location at the bottom of the mountains, and because of the glare of the lake.... sounds good doesn't it??? ;) we sometimes get the most amazing sunsets, people who know me well know that I have a VERY big appreciation of sunsets, these next few pictures were taken at various locations, while I was on my "picture" tour!!! arent' they AMAZING???

Just look at those clouds and that AWESOME afternoon sky!!!

Lake Elsinore is a small town off the 15 fwy in Riverside County, it serves as the "entryway" for different communities in the area, one of the most popular is Canyon Lake, I didn't make it up there though, but I did make it to the farm, that is another small community in the outskirts of the country!!! can you tell??

This Lama had to be in here as a landmark, because I pass it EVERYTIME i'm on that road, and everytime I think that it's the oddest "billboard" I've ever seen, well maybe not as odd as the cardboard family that sits in the fields on the way to Hemet!!! hahaha!!! ;)

Lake Elsinore is one of the most popular places for people to go skydiving! I would love to do this one day, but I have a terrible fear of heights.... Maybe one day I will work up the courage and ACTUALLY go through with it before I get cold feet!

Lake Elsinore is home to the Lake Elsinore Storm a minor league baseball team that is affiliated with the San Diego Padres, I think, at least that's who they used to be affiliated with years ago!!!
The stadium is used for all kinds of other things throughout the year, I t hink once a year or maybe it's twice they have the circus come out, they also hold farmers markets, I found this out while taking pictures!! ;) and this year they're going to be hosting the wagonwheel festival, it's a bunch of country music artists that will perform during the weekend, it's the first time they will be doing this, so we will see how it turns out!!!

A ginormous baseball, I apologize, but I had too!!!!

Lake Elsinore also has it's own casino, and even though I've never actually been in it, I heard today that they serve a mean steak for dinner, and that their lunches are pretty good too, maybe I'll have to go check it out! And YES people do win big here!!! at least that's what I was told.
People from surrounding cities come out to Lake Elsinore over the weekends to ride their boats, The seaport boat launch is where they come....

Lake Elsinore's main street is part of the famous Route 395
Our City is also known for its famous outlets, recently they opened a Pottery Barn and a guess outlet here, something that made people in the community VERY excited!!! :)

This is the famous four corners, I tried my best to get a good picture, but I didn't really do that well!!! Four corners consists of a chevron gas station on one corner, an auto zone and random other shops on another, followed by an AM PM on the third corner, and a liquor store, nail place, tattoo shop, and restaurant on the other..... Anyone who grew up in Lake Elsinore knows exactly where four corners is.....

And what is a hometown tour without a few "favorite" places to eat??? I will start with Vista donuts, a favorite of our host, Melissa, and the rest of her family and friends. If you've ever visited with us, chances are you've had a vista donut, they are heavenly!!! and very conveniently located on the main road!!
The next place is Pizza Bowl, I still remember this being my brother's first job, and man did we enjoy ourselves!!!! Their pizza is good and I think they have the best ranch I've ever had!! Definitly a place to visit!
And last but certainly not least, my most favorite palce is this little mexican restaurant that serves the BEST shrimp ceviche tostadas EVER!!! I could eat one everyday!!!
And since I was already there taking a picture of the establishment, I decided to treat myself to a tostada!!!! why not.... right???? ;)
I mentioned we are nestled at the bottom of the ortega mountains, I remember as a kid raking this road into orange county a lot to go to the beach, on the way back or sometimes on the way there my parents always stopped at the lookout point so we could rest, play, and enjoy the scenery. I decided that my hometown tour would not be complete without taking you for a drive up there, so off to the middle/top of the hill I went...... I think it's about 15 minutes up, or maybe it was less??? I don't know...... so here we go... Jessica and Melissa the Windmill picture was taken in your honor, it rests at the bottom of the mountains in the middle of nowhere, literaly, but it was VERY good looking, I appreciated it myself as well!!! :)
..... and here we are, at the lookout! a long time ago it used to be a restaurant, then it was something like a gift shop, now it just sits there empty, or maybe it was jsut the time I got there??
The view is AMAZING the picture below shows how developed our town has gotten, I know I have pictures that we took years ago, when it wasn't nearly as developed as this, but I'm not sure where they are now.... If you look in the middle right side of the picture you'll notice the new highschool that was build jsut a few years ago..... and my house is sort of behind it and to the right.... now that I'm writing this I wish I would of circled it on the pic..... Oh well next time!!! :)
The lake
I actually caught a boat in the picture!!! :) what a beautiful day to be out on the lake too!
and how funny that while I was up there BY MYSELF taking pictures this car of people pulled up, I guess they had the same idea!!! and the one guy decided to take his picture with me!!! hahaha!!! He said they were from Kuwait, and they came out to Lake Elsinore to go SKYDIVING!!! they were on their way to Laguna Beach, and they told me that skydiving was amazing, and that I should give it a try!!! what are the odds that I would run into someone who had actually planned their vacation to come out to "beautiful Lake Elsinore", that's what they called it, and after driving around town I must say that I agree..... The scenery is perfect!!!
Now a solo picture of me..... Your tourguide!!!
and a group picture with my new friends from Kuwait!! :)
might as well do another solo, with the lake as the background!!! it was windy up there.... can you tell??
This concludes my tour of Lake Elsinore, I hope you enjoyed taking the tour as much as I enjoyed taking it!!! :) Thanks again for coming along!!!


mbkatc230 said...

What a fun tour! Your sky shots are beautiful, I love sunset pictures the best. And how fun to meet travelers from Kuwait! Looks like a great place to live, especially if you love being outdoors. (Oh, and love the windmill shot - we have ALOT of windmills in Texas and I just love them) Thanks for the virtual vacation. Kathy

jessica said...

OMG! i'm am still laughing of you in the pictures with your "new friends!" hahaha! only you maria, only you. good tour around! :)

its so very cheri said...

Thanks so sharing - it was a wonderful tour

Saad said...

Hi there I'm the guy who were with you in the first pic. "The Kuwaiti Guy"
by the way nice blog =D

Kim said...

I live in Menifee & rarely get to Lake Elsinore. I did go to a Storm game once. And I love to shop at the Pottery Barn Outlet. This has been great fun getting to see everyones home towns.

B is for Boring said...

Hahaha I love it... you are now my favorite tour guide of all time!

Thanks Memak