Monday, April 2, 2007

The Nescafe Castle

Last night an invitation was accepted to have dinner with friends Mercedes and Fernando. They are from Spain but live and work in the USA.
Temporarily they live in a nice cottage on the property of long time friends John and Beverly.
It was expected to have this dinner in the cottage but at 18.30 hours a luxurious limousine appeared next to the brave Fuso Santek for elegant transportation to a castle.
In this castle the dinner would take place.

A castle in the USA?

Over the years the Temecula area has become wine country.
There are plenty of vineyards and wineries.
Tourists come to do wine tours.
They go from winery to winery to do tasting.
An opportunity to drink nice wines and to get in a good mood.
And some people like to stay a whole weekend in the area.

Louie and Sherry had the idea to build a castle and have a “Bed and Breakfast” there.
A very good idea because people want something exclusive and different.
You don’t want to spend your romantic weekend in wine country in a Motel 6, right?

For a European to see a castle like the one in Temecula is the difference between an Italian Espresso and a cup of Nescafe.
The jungle tiger and the copycat.
But this opinion is of no importance whatsoever.
Rooms in The Castle go for 250 USD a night: people enjoy the experience and many weekends The Castle is booked full.

Besides a façade that has vague suggestions to castles, inside the rooms to rent are all made in a specific style.

For example, the Venetian style:

The Medieval style:

The French Country style:

The English Tudor style:

The dinner took place at the long dining table in the enormous hall.

There were about 15 people and Mercedes and Fernando had made tapas and paella.

Louie and Sherry, the proud owners of The Castle, have been met before many years ago and it is amazing that many Americans have this skill to remember instantly names and when was a meeting before.
Welcoming was with a glass of red wine bottled more than 34 years ago.

When having dinner the pleasure of it not only depends of the quality of the food.
It is also decided by who is sitting next to you.
On one side long time friend John was sitting and on the other side a beautiful woman whose husband has a chain of fish restaurants.

Now it might be known that wine makes people feel and speak more freely compared to more normal circumstances.
So a dinner with good food, nice people and plenty of excellent wine is the perfect place to ask questions.
Suspecting an interesting answer the question to the lady sitting on the right was, how did you meet your husband?

“It was 23 years ago and I was a student in Fresno and I had this party the night before when my friend asked me to come to another party.
I was not in the mood but she insisted and said there would be many Europeans.
So I decided to come and it was a great party.
All these interesting men and with such good and elegant manners towards ladies.
I met this professor from Turkey and he was so interesting and fascinating.
He invited me to dance but then while dancing he started to bite in my breasts.
It was painful and quite inappropriate so I left him and the room and went into the bathroom. There was a large window and I leaned from that window for fresh air and the view.
But suddenly my legs were grabbed, lifted up and it seemed someone wanted to throw me out of that window!
I screamed and then I heard laughter behind me.
It was Leonardo from Spain and he just played a joke on me.
Soon after we married”.

Another question was what one does to make this world a better place.
A lady replied that she always picks up toilet paper left beside the toilet bowl in public toilets. And that she wished that one day a video camera would tape this Samaritan activity of hers to put her in the spotlight and make her an example as a very good citizen.

Mercedes also made the dessert. Tiramisu. The best ever.

To learn more about The Castle in Temecula, California, USA, click on

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