So, on the way to the hotel, we went to the grocery store right on Rancho California and got supplies. We got beer and cheese and bread and this imported goose pate that looked good. I was looking forward to consuming this stuff.
So we got to the hotel and checked in. It was weird, because you couldn't see the hotel buildings from the lobby. What I thought from the description on the internet was that it was like villas, kinda more spread out by the golf course. It wasn't. It was like a motel - entrance on one side, balcony or window on the other. We could have had a balcony for $30 or $40 more, which, from one that I saw seemed worth it...I talked about upgrading, but we didn't. Instead we went to the pool. On the way there, we saw this cute little white gazebo that we could sit in later.
So, what we were hoping for, no kids, mostly old golfers that don't like to be at the pool because they were out in the sun all day on the golf course, was accurate. When we got to the pool, there was only one lady who was sitting by the pool reading. So we cracked a beer, swam a little, laid out in the sun. It was nice. Then this couple, maybe around our age came and they were kinda loud. Well, loud compared to us. They had their outdoor voices, and they were horsing around in the pool. So the old lady left after a while. I think they were disturbing her.
So then this couple had ordered room service by the pool, a burger and a club sandwich. They seemed so happy to be eating by the pool! The Food Pimp said to me how they were acting like this was the Four Seasons. I think the lady heard, because she looked right at us. So we went and sat in the whirlpool. Then we went back to the room and left the other couple to their privacy.
So I think I took a nap. Then we showered and decided to bring the wine, cheese and pate to the gazebo. But when we went by, there was a family there! So we walked the other way, we figured there had to be some other nice spot to hang out. And then right next to our building, we found a little pavillion, next to a tent for special events. So we got a table and chairs from the tent and set it up in the pavillion, next to the manmade babbling brook. It was silly, but it was nice. No one walking by, peaceful. And we had our gorgonzola, our Palumbo wine, and that very creamy and yummy goose liver pate from France. And the funny part, was that the bread was from Bread & Cie. I've never been to the one in Hillcrest, so the first time I taste a baguette from there, I'm an hour north of Bread & Cie! It was good though. We consumed everything. Then we weren't sure if we should still go to dinner.
And we made the mistake of going to dinner at the restaurant in the lobby. Only mainly because Cindy at the winery told us it was good, and because the FP had been obsessing about getting prime rib.
So unfortunately, I don't have pictures of this ungodly waste of money. First of all, our drinks were bad! I had some sake ginger vodka cocktail and it was mostly vodka taste, in a bad way. The FP had a vodka tonic with like Kettle or Grey Goose or some good vodka, but it was flat, I think and no lime. Don't ask why we didn't complain. We try not to complain!
So then, I thought all the sushi was half priced for happy hour. I didn't ask, I had just seen it somewhere. I just got two rolls. I don't know why. It didn't seem like a good place for sushi, but they had a sushi/oyster bar, so I thought, why not. Also, I didn't like the look of the rest of the menu. So I got a spicy roll, which was just bland. And I got some cucumber roll with tuna or whatever, which turned out to not have rice. That sucked! No rice!!!!!
So the FP got his steak. It was terrible! I mean really. For like $5 more, he got a sauce with it - peppercorn brandy, for steak au poivre. God it was awful. It was like reduced french onion soup with peppercorns added. It was way too salty and tasted like beef base. I think the steak was overcooked too. I believe it was medium, but he had asked for rare. Then the sides. I don't even remember one, because it was so unforgettable. But the other. Souffled mashed potatoes. It was like the crusty mashed potatoes that form when there isn't much left in the bottom of the steam table, mixed with egg and overbaked so that it becomes tough. Really. I'm not exagerating. The FP was particularly horrified by the souffled mash potatoes. So yeah. Then we got out of there as soon as possible. We were done. We went back to the hot tub for a while, but then this other couple younger then us showed up. We stayed for the obligatory 15 minutes, then we left, so it wouldn't seem awkward. That was okay, because I was ready to fall asleep in our nice comfy two double beds pulled into one king.
The next morning, we checked out pretty early, and we headed south for lunch. Ashoka buffet. It was delicious! Sometimes they haven't been that great, but that day they were on! The samosas were nice and seasoned and not dried out. The chicken makhani (I think that was what it was) was good, the lamb was good, the spinach also, the veggie korma, good. And then also, we tried the rice pudding and the carrot pudding. Both good consistency, the rice was properly cooked and the spices and pistachio powder was just enough! Yum! And it also seemed like the price might have gone down. It was under $20 for both of us, but I could have sworn it used to be $22 or $23 or $24 or something.....
So besides the disastrous dinner, it was a great anniversary weekend!