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Two hours northeast from my home in San Diego nestles the quiet town of Claremont. My eight- year-old daughter Anna and I took a road trip there recently and I could not help but be impressed with the beautiful trees on the main drag. I wondered why many of my friends from San Diego had no idea where Claremont and became interested to see what this town was really about.
After two hours in the car with my crazy kid, we were ready to get started with our adventure. We checked into the Double-Tree and were greeted with warm delicious cookies; which Anna devoured in about two minutes. Then we were off to the pool; she needed to cool down and burn off some energy.
From there we went swimming and then had dinner in town. Like I said before, the first thing that struck me when driving into Claremont Village was how beautiful the trees are. They line the streets, along with shops and restaurants. It was pretty cute, lots of people were out and about. Anna was starving, so my choices for dinner were limited to whoever had the shortest wait time. I was kind of bummed because I noticed a place called Cheese Cave that definitely piqued my interest because I love cheese and I really love wine. This place looked authentic. They actually have people there called Cheesemongers, who help you choose your cheese and are extremely knowledgeable on the subject. It helps that all the wines are boutique and the beers are local handcrafted -- Mommy needs an adult trip here!
We decided on the Mexican place not too far away. Epiau’s Restaurant was busy but so big that there was no wait. I have to say, coming from San Diego, it wasn’t my favorite. The chips were good, but the food was more like American Mexican. But Anna was happy, so I was happy.
The best thing in Claremont is in the evening as it starts to get dark, the musicians come out and play on the streets! We walked, stopped and listened…walked, stopped and listened and we loved it. The people were warm, friendly, and talented. It was a really nice community.
Another noteworthy restaurant is Viva Madrid. The food was alright, but I was just in Sevilla last April so the memory of how amazing the food over there is still fresh in my mind. With that being said, the décor was fabulous! I felt like I was in Spain, and the music and wines were comparable.
On our last day there, we were all about ice cream and gardens. Not far from the village lies the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens. My picture does not do the garden justice. We took a lovely hike following winding paths. There were lots of different beautiful flowers, trees, and birds. We liked reading about the plant life and taking breaks on the benches.
After an invigorating hike through the gardens, we needed to cool down and get some ice cream. Anna is sure that Claremont is home of the very best ice cream ever made, Bert & Rocky’s Creamery is amazing. Fresh and tasty. My favorite flavor would be the chocolate orange. Anna’s too.