Friday, January 1, 2010

SoCal "Must Do": Mission Inn Riverside

Submitted by Linda
I know that I joke about living my life in a 2 mile radius, but sometimes, we Southern Californians can miss out on local gems. Last December, I read an article in the L.A. Times about the extravagant light display at the Mission Inn in Riverside. We meant to go, but a broken hand and a trip to the E.R. kept us local.

This year, I was determined to get there. About 3.5 million lights depict toy soldiers, elves, gifts, snowflakes, Santa, etc. The hotel takes up a city block and looks like a combination of California Mission and European villa, with grounds that include courtyards, a bell tower, a clock tower, a rotunda, chapels, fountains, restaurants and a spa. Many famous guests, including 10 presidents, have graced the premises and have added to the quirky history of the hotel. The picture below is the entrance before dark......
And here it is, lit up with tons of lights!Craig really liked these palm trees. They were wrapped with white lights on the trunks, with tons of red lights on the palm branches.
Horse and carriage rides are available in these beautifully lit carriages. One of the carriage companies was "Cinderella Cindy's Carriage Rides". It really looks like a fairy tale!
Here are Craig and I in the lobby in front of a very tall tree.
The "Festival of Lights" goes through this Sunday, January 3rd. But if you miss out this year, put it on your calendar for December 2010!

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