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Monday, August 29, 2011

Anniversary at the Mission Inn

Snuck away last week to spend a night at the Mission Inn in Riverside to celebrate our 42nd anniversary and have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Sevilla.  If you've never been to the Mission Inn, it's worth going just for the tour of the hotel and chapel. It's a beautiful OLD hotel that's been refurbished but not too modernized.  The door to our room was enormous and heavy -- lots of "niches" in the walls, but comfortable and upgraded to modern standards for bathroom, TV, A/C, etc.  Always love going to Cafe Sevilla and usually have the same food -- tapas -- white sangria -- it never disappoints.  We've been to all four Cafe Sevilla locations (the one in Carlsbad is gone); Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego was our first, Long Beach right after it opened, but Riverside is our favorite.  When we weren't eating, enjoying a cocktail or relaxing, UC Riverside has a Museum of Photography on the walking mall adjacent to the Mission Inn that's always interesting and there are a handful of shops that are fun.  The best is Mrs. Tiggy Winkles which is just across from the Mission Inn.  If you like Halloween, you'll love this store.  The entire back room is HALLOWEEN decorations -- great stuff!  They also have wonderful gifts, clothes, greeting cards, jewelry, on and on...I could easily have spent a fortune, but only picked up my favorite cologne which is getting hard to find and a cute drinking cup for my bathroom because I know I'll be going back before Halloween...Some other interesting shops within a block or two of the Mission Inn; antique mall, toy collectibles, clothing, etc. and a few places to eat breakfast or lunch.  Riverside is usually at least 10 degrees hotter than Orange County, but last week it was SO hot at home we hardly noticed.  Midweek was a good choice, we missed the weekend traffic.  You can make it to downtown Riverside from Orange County in less than 45 minutes if you leave after 10 am on a weekday with time to eat, shop and get home in just a few hours.  I highly recommend it as a shopping excursion if you are looking for an extra-special gift, Halloween inspiration or Christmas goodies.  Metered parking (you can use a credit card) on the main street and free parking in lots a block small businesses!

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