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Friday, December 28, 2007

A friend of the Albert Shafsky House B&B in Placerville comes up with a great idea to help seniors

From yesterday's Mountain Democrat

Serving up joy and with each senior meal
By Rosemary Revell Democrat staff writer December 26, 2007 16:54
Photo by John Zachry THERESA ZACHRY organizes a program to create placemats for seniors. The placemats brighten the meals the seniors receive from the Home Delivered Meals service. One day in mid-December, placemats were spread out everywhere - 195 of them to be exact, all representing the art work of students in kindergarten through sixth grade at Gold Trail and Sutters Mill Schools.

The placemats were arranged like a sea of many colors, shining due to lamination, and they were all over the floor of the front lobby of Minuteman Press in Placerville. As well as having many colors, they also presented a variety of form and subject matter.

Since the placemats were destined for holiday, many had a Christmas theme while others were snowscapes or winterscapes, and some were smiley faces guaranteed to warm the heart of any senior recipient. Some placemats bore the name of the artist while others were inscribed with messages such as 'Hi, I hope you have a nice day.'

The placemats are the brain child of Theresa Zachry, 10, of Placerville, daughter of John and Carolyn Zachry. Theresa generated the idea as a project for the Girl Scouts of America Bronze Award, so she arranged for the art work and raised the funds that paid for laminating. She then engaged in distributing the placemats to seniors as a Christmas gift from the kids of El Dorado County.

Hot idea

The idea for Christmas placemats began one very hot July day.

'Over the summer, I was doing Home Delivered Meals with Rita Timewell (co-innkeeper of the Albert Shafsky House), and on one of the very hot days I made snowflakes to keep the seniors cool,' Theresa explained.

In a cooler time of year, Theresa was faced with the challenge of coming up with a project of worth.

'My mom and I were talking about what I needed to do to earn my Bronze Award for Girl Scouts. For the Bronze Award, you have to have a certain amount of badges in (specific) areas and then a project that spans 48 hours. Then we thought of placemats for seniors.'

The placemat project entailed quite a number of executive tasks for the Gold Trail School fifth grader. Theresa's first task was to arrange for the art work and placemats.

'I talked to the principals of Gold Trail and Sutters Mill, and they thought it was a wonderful idea,' said Theresa.

The principals talked to their teachers, and the teachers arranged for their students to draw or make a picture on placemat sized art paper.

'Most of the kids in the schools except for the 7th-and 8th-graders made a placemat,' Theresa said.

After acquiring the mats, Theresa's next task was to raise money to defray the cost of materials and labor for lamination.

'I raised money from Kiwanis, Network El Dorado and the Community Foundation - Steve Healy. I got $800 all together. I collected the placemats and my dad had them laminated,' Theresa said.

'I charged her for it, though. It took one employee all day,' said John Zachry, 50, owner/operator of Minuteman Press.

Theresa's remaining task for the Bronze Award was to make sure the placemats reach the target recipients.

'Everyone who does Home Delivered Meals is take some placemats, and my mom and I are passing them out at senior centers,' she said. 'The project took a long time. It was pretty hard.'

'Theresa already has a sense of community. My wife and I have been volunteers and on boards of directors, so she has seen that in her parents. She thinks of others first,' said John.

Zachry also said Theresa has natural entrepreneurial instincts as well as artistic tendencies.

'Whenever she spends time at Minuteman Press, she does artwork and sells it to customers. She's a rather persuasive little salesperson,' he said.

Theresa's art specialty is making refrigerator art for adults who do not have kids or grandchildren to make it for them.

'The ultimate goal of this Bronze Award project is to lighten up the day of a senior at one of the senior centers or the folks who receive Home Delivered Meals. The placemats are for them to keep and to remind them that our kids today really do care,' John said.

The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn. It requires her to learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on her community.

A group of Junior Girl Scouts themselves actually instituted the Bronze Award in 2001 in Savannah, Ga.

The four requirements to be eligible for the Bronze Award are: to earn two badges related to the project; to complete one of the Girl Scout Signs found in the 'Junior Girl Scout Handbook;' to earn the Junior Aide Award or the Junior Girl Scout Leadership Award or two other awards; and to complete a project specifically for the Bronze Award.

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Lovely gifts for celebrating women!

Here’s To Good Women! This site is all about celebrating women and encouraging women to celebrate themselves. They provide ideas and inspiration along with a variety of gift items to help you celebrate, relax or just bring out your inner “girly girl”. We especially loved their Social Light decorative lighter. Use the promotion code ALBERT at checkout and you will get a 15% discount anytime you like, on any item.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ed Dorado County Winery Passport weekend

If you are coming for Passport weekend, where wineries open their doors and special deals are available, tasting is plentiful and food abounds, look no further than a stay with us at the Albert Shafsky House B&B as we have rooms open for the first time! Only on the first weekend of the event, but we still have rooms and can probably get you tickets for the event too! This memorable event has limited tixs and sells out every year in just one day. So come to the foothills for the last weekend in March and get your "Passport" stamped by the wonderful wineries in the foothills.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

California B&B Annual Conference& Trade Show 2008

It is that time of year again....the annual B&B conference for California bed and breakfast inns will be January 27-29 2008 and Rita and I will be in attendance once again. This is a great chance to learn about innkeeping, from experts in their field and network with innkeepers from around the state. We hope to see you there!

Annual Conference& Trade Show 2008
Innkeeping AsA Profession
Take a Look BackAnd be InnSpired!
Sunday - Tuesday, January 27-29
Hyatt Vineyard Creek - Santa Rosa, California
Innspire 2008
Please join us for InnSpire 2008, California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns' (CABBI) annual Conference & Trade Show as we celebrate 16 years of growing stronger together in this year of partnering with the California Hotel and Lodging Association.
Don't miss out! This is the ONE industry conference that every innkeeper should attend.
In these competitive times, it is vital that innkeepers stay informed about all aspects of the hospitality and tourism industry, from business strategies to culinary skills, from Internet marketing to property improvements.
Combining educational workshops, networking with other innkeepers and industry professionals, plus social and relaxing activities, this 3-day experience will rekindle your passion for innkeeping.
Register Now Online or Download a Registration Form (PDF)
Our popular annual Trade Show is the place to meet over 40 vendors who supply you with products and services for your business. See, smell and touch the amenities that make your guests feel so special. Talk to the bankers, loan officers and realtors who work in the B&B industry.
Concurrent Workshops - Learn about the latest Internet marketing tools, laws that apply to B&Bs and consumer trends from workshop leaders, industry professionals and seasoned innkeepers. Let your creativity flow at the hands-on gardening workshop, and get fresh ideas from a gourmet chef, plus tips on chic and thrifty decorating! Click on Event Schedule for more details.
Innkeeping as a Profession (IAP) Workshop Sunday & Monday, January 27-28, 2008
CABBI offers a two-day workshop for Aspiring Innkeepers. "Education is key to success when people are thinking about purchasing a bed and breakfast inn," explains IAP facilitator Teri Mattson. "We provide a comprehensive insider's look at the industry.and the support aspiring innkeepers need to pursue their dream."
InnTouch Appointments - Schedule one-on-one appointments with the tech experts who can tell you how all the new technology can help you with your operations and demonstrate just how it all works to better your business.
Guest Management Software User GroupsInvite your staff to attend the User Group to learn the latest in guest management software and about other tech products. You will reap the rewards with a well-trained staff and your staff will appreciate the education and knowledge.Network & Mingle with Friends and ColleaguesNetwork with California innkeepers, industry vendors and professionals, and CABBI and CH&LA staff. Stay over in Santa Rosa and explore nearby Napa and Sonoma counties' beautiful wine country, quaint shops and countless attractions. And have FUN!Wine, Dine & RelaxWe have plenty of opportunities planned for you to enjoy yourself! Don't miss out on our opening Wine Country Reception, Teatime with exhibitors, delicious breakfasts and lunches, and CABBI's 16th Anniversary Dinner Dance. These will be perfect times to catch up with old friends and make some new ones!***For some additional relaxation, the Hyatt has extended a 20% discount to conference attendees, on spa treatments offered at the hotel*** Click here for information on treatments at the Vineyard Creek Spa.
Visit Santa Rosa and enjoy its unique shopping, local culture, the Charles Schulz Memorial Park and Historic Railroad Square, all just minutes from the hotel.
"InnSpire was a marvelous introduction into the world of innkeeping. As a new innkeeper it was THE PERFECT industry crash course. Informative and diverse seminars, quality networking and real advice from genuine B&B professionals. InnSpire offered comprehensive insight into my new venture and delivered tools that allowed me to evolve my diverse skills into a fulfilling lifestyle." Marjorie Woodbridge, Casa Tropicana, San Clemente, California
After the CABBI ShowBookingCenter is sponsoring a Green Packaging Tour of Sonoma County on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 from 4:40-7:40 pm. This is a FREE tour, limited to 35 registrants.Join us for this fun and educational tour on Green Packaging from leaders in the industry. Learn about the EcoRing, a unique green packaging model in Sonoma County, and bring ideas back home to your local community.We'll stroll through the redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods and learn about packaging environmental tours to promote greater appreciation and preservation of the natural and cultural resources in your area. Next we'll visit Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, a green spa with beautiful gardens and learn first hand about green business practices and packaging spas with B&Bs and Inns. Local, premium wine will be provided by MAS Wine Company.BookingCenter will provide round-trip bus service from the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. Register online or call 707-874-3922 x 204 to register.
Hotel Room Reservations
Contact the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa directly for your hotel reservations at 800-233-1234, and ask for the CABBI Conference rate of $129 sgl/dbl. The Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa is located in Northern California's wine country, at 170 Railroad Street in Santa Rosa, within walking distance from the Historic Railroad Square District. Reserve your room with the hotel directly before the CABBI special rate ends on January 11, 2008.
A new transportation option to attend the conference is now available. Horizon Air recently introduced several daily flights to Santa Rosa from San Diego and Los Angeles. For information on fares and availability, click here.
For ground transportation from San Francisco or Oakland International Airports, contact Sonoma County Airport Express, 707-837-8700 or

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dec. 8 & 9 was the holiday tour

Last weekend our Placerville bed and breakfast participated in the 12th Annual Holiday of the bed and breakfast inns of El Dorado County. We had a number of folks thru on the tour and a good time was had by all.
Here are some photos for those who missed the tour, or missed our inn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blogs and travel (and bed and breakfasts)

In this months issue of Lodging Magazine there is an article titled "Hot Blogs: Tracking the influence of the Internet on travel planning" which states that "Two thirds of active travelers now go exclusively to the Internet to obtain information when planning vacations, and four out of 10 now report "regularly reading" visitor critiques and opinions online", which is why it is so important to spend time each day keeping an eye on your website and elsewhere that you might be mentioned.

As an innkeeper who loves marketing, I enjoy posting on our bed and breakfast blog, but also surfing the web to find interesting places to list our B&B or just read comments about other inns and what they are up to. I also try and keep track of some favorite sites on the Internet like,,,,,,,, and

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Finds in the foothills....our Placerville bed and breakfast makes the news.

Surfing this morning brings this gem from Business News ....about our Placerville area and our bed and breakfast.

“There’s Gold in Them Thar Bed & Breakfasts!”

Laguna Beach 12/06/2007 08:00 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Almost 160 years after gold was discovered in California you can still explore the original site now called Marshall’s Gold Discovery Historic Park in Coloma as well as tour the Gold Bug Mine, a once rich mother lode, and learn all the fascinating history at the El Dorado County Museum. And yet there is so much more that commands your attention in this magnificent region of California. It remains the land of adventure with white water rafting, hot air ballooning and always a comfortable bed and breakfast with hospitable innkeepers welcoming you at the end of your busy day.

Down the road in the center of historic Placerville is the elegant Albert Shafsky House Bed & Breakfast. Rita and Stephanie have created romantic period rooms with a bit of whimsy plus every modern need, from individual A/C controls to wireless Internet access. After a comfortable night’s sleep head out to explore Placerville which is full of mining lore and of course the site of the famous Hangman’s Tree. Take a ride through the spectacular countryside and visit some of the over 50 wineries in the Sierra Foothills, many offering wine tasting as well as scenic spots for your picnic.

For the full article.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Agency hears bed-and-breakfast debate

Agency hears bed-and-breakfast debate in Hawaii
By Laurie Au

The issue of bed-and-breakfast and transient vacation rentals in residential areas was as clear as yellow and white yesterday.

More than 200 residents swarmed a city Planning Commission hearing, giving heated testimony on proposals to change the city's handling of vacation housing.

Bed-and-breakfast supporters held yellow signs while residents upset with vacation housing held white signs.

The city administration has proposed bills that would require more information be disclosed by vacation-rental owners and allow more units in neighborhoods -- the first changes since 1989.

In a 3 1/2-hour hearing yesterday at the Blaisdell Center Pikake Room, the Planning Commission, an advisory body, heard from dozens of residents on the bills. There was not enough time to hear from all the attendees, and the Planning Commission will schedule another hearing before making a decision.

The City Council, however, has the right to decide which bills it will consider, regardless of the commission's opinion. The Council has proposed its own set of measures on the issue.

The white-sign carriers, mostly residents who live near vacation units, complained about traffic and loud noise from visitors in vacation rentals that turn their neighborhoods into commercial zones.

"I want to live with residents," said Stu Simmons, a Kailua resident for 15 years. "If I wanted to live with tourists, I would live in Waikiki. Vacation rentals deprive us of the neighborhood feeling."
He recalled one Halloween when there were few nearby homes to take his children trick-or-treating because they were vacation homes.

Their opponents, those carrying yellow signs, say they deserve a right to run bed-and-breakfast units and rentals, and they support new city regulations.

"This is our livelihood," said Susie Bryson, of Kailua, who owns several vacation rentals and makes customers sign a contract. "We want regulations so when there is a problem, that rental unit is shut down. Don't let a handful of bad rentals ruin it for all of us."

The bills introduced by the city Department of Planning and Permitting, as instructed by the City Council two years ago, propose that owners of vacation rentals list more information about themselves, including their license number and the address of their units, in all advertisements -- even those online -- to make enforcement easier.

"We have had problems with enforcement," said Henry Eng, planning director. "It would provide additional power. If (owners) list their address, we could do an inspection to find whether they have a permit and issue a violation if they don't. Right now we have to catch them in the act, which is very difficult."

But many owners said it could pose a safety problem since vacation rentals are unattended most of the day and would be targets for criminals. "I think it would expose that particular address to would-be criminals," said Don Maxwell, who owns a vacation rental on the Waianae Coast.

The city also is proposing additional permitting of B&Bs -- which has not been allowed since 1989, raising objections from residents afraid of additional growth.

This weekend Dec. 8 & 9

Christmas in Coloma
Annual old-fashioned Christmas, with period crafts, strolling musicians, historic trade demonstrations, 19th century children's games, and wreath making. A visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus is a colorful highlight of the day. Vendors offer hand-crafts aswell as a variety of foods. Snow is guaranteed! 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, 8 miles north on Highway 49 from Placerville in Coloma. The admittance fee is only $7.00 per vehicle, everything else is free (except $3.00 cost of photo with Santa). Children can visit Santa for free without a photo. For more information contact: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, call the events line (530) 295-2162

Annual Historic Country Inn Holiday Tour
Tour 12 inns decked out in seasonal finery, meet the innkeepers and enjoy Inn specialties and refreshments. Weekend tickets available, good for both Saturday and Sunday.Portion of proceeds benefit local charities Each day from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is a self guided tour going to the Historic Country Inns located throughout El Dorado County. $15 in advance or at the door. Tickets are available at every member inn or or call Historic Country Inns 8772624667

Friday, November 30, 2007

Placerville bed and breakfast

November 2007
Albert Shafsky House B&B NewsletterHappy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from our home to yours. We hope you have a wonderful season and be filled with good cheer, not just now, but well into next year!

Please enjoy the holiday gift we have included at the bottom of this newsletter.

Holiday Tour on Dec. 8 & 9
Noon-5 p.m.
Yes, it is that time of year again when the inn is all decked out with holiday finery. And time for the holiday tour which is just days away now...Dec. 8 & 9th. Tickets available here by calling or on tour dates. $15 per person and are good for both dates of the event.

We still have rooms available for the weekend of the tour if you would like to stay with us.

Are you stumped for a gift?

We have Albert Shafsky House B&B gift certificates (any amount), robes or mugs for giving, no matter the season and whatever the reason--and they don't expire! Call to personalize.

Not visiting Placerville soon? We also have gift cards that are redeemable thru good at nearly 4,000 bed and breakfasts with no hidden fees, no blackout dates, and no expiration dates.


Your Innkeepers, Rita and Stephanie (and Lily!)Albert Shafsky House B&B

Save $50
Bring this newsletter for $50 off any room, any night Dec-March 15, 2008. (New bookings only).

Why not come for a visit, cut a tree, do some holiday shopping, sample award-winning wineries, recover from the holidays, or just take a well deserved break. How about a massage? Bottle of wine? Give us a call and we can create your own special getaway package.Not redeemable for cash. Subject to availability. Two-night min. on weekends & holidays. Not valid with other offers.

Offer Expires: March 14th, 2008

Monday, November 26, 2007

Repeal of Prohibition Day! Wednesday, December 5th from 4-8pm

$5/per person
Boeger Winery, David Girard Vineyards, Gold Hill Vineyard and Wofford Acres Vineyards

Let’s celebrate! Wineries will be pulling out their ‘vintage’ wine selections in honor of the historic repealing of prohibition. Visit the participating Speakeasies and use your password to get in the door. Party in period style as you travel back in time while visiting these Rebellious Wineries.Choose any of the four Speakeasies to begin your evening. Hosts will discreetly provide you with a password to get into your next speakeasy of choice. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Mother Load Rehabilitation Enterprise of Placerville. Artwork created by M.O.R.E. clients displayed at each winery.

POKER RUN!!*Collect poker cards at each winery. Best five card hand wins. Vintage cars and costumes encouraged. Raffle prizes for Designated Drivers. *Two cards will be drawn at Wofford Acres Vineyards

Vintage Costumes Encouraged!
Questions? Contact Judy at David Girard Vineyards 530-295-1833

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Looking for great millwork and furniture?

No matter where you live you can get some great wood work and wood furniture, mantels, cabinetry, etc from our friends at TND Millwork and Furniture. Located at 333-1 Industrial Dr, in Placerville, CA 95667. Or call their shop at 530-642-1855 and ask for Don or Bennett.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stop by Wofford Acres Vineyards when you come for your tree! and stay in Placerville

LetWAV help you with your holiday shopping!

Paul will be signing bottles November 23 and 24 (the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving) and Saturday, December 8. Show someone you were thinking about THEM with a bottle personalized with their name and a message from you. It's unique, it's fun and it saves a trip to the Mall!

They have more 2005 Iowa Hill Red and 2005 Redbird Canyon Red! Plus- they just released the 2006 Port- it's made from the same grapes as last year, but a different blend (and a little lighter style.)

Holiday dinners at WAV end with Mike's "Port in Chocolate Cups" and some Bleu cheese for Ann!

Roll out the Barrel for El Dorado Wine tasting

On January 26-27, 2008, 18 El Dorado wineries are inviting wine enthusiasts to step inside their cellars and sample distinctive wines straight from the barrel.

The vintners will offer an inside look at winemaking, future sales, light food pairings, and demonstrations, providing tips on how to discern the magical alchemy that goes into each barrel. Novice tasters as well as seasoned veterans will be welcome to dream of the future by tasting great young wines.

Advance tickets for the El Dorado Barrel tasting weekend are available for $20 through January 22. Or, you can skip the convenience fee by purchasing tickets at participating wineries through Jan. 4. A limited number of tickets will be available for $30 at wineries during the event weekend.

Price includes a commemorative glass.
Make plans to attend with friends and purchase your tickets today! Come and learn more about wine by the barrel at the family-owned wineries and stay at the Albert Shafsky House B&B for the weekend.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Snowline Hospice of El Dorado County.

Participating wineries: Boeger Winery, Busby Cellars, Colibri Ridge, Conti Estate/Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards, Crystal Basin Cellars, David Girard Vineyards, Fitzpatrick Winery, Gold Hill Vineyards, Granite Springs Winery, Holly’s Hill Vineyards, Jodar Vineyards, Latcham Vineyards, Lava Cap Winery, MadroƱa Vineyards, Miraflores Winery, Mount Aukum Winery, Perry Creek Winery, and Sierra Vista Vineyards.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

El Dorado County Wineries A-Z (okay, W)

As innkeepers it falls to us to know great places to visit in the area, and one of the reasons people visit use in El Dorado County is the local vinyards that have sprouted the last dozen or so years. Yes, some are older, but there has been a wine boom in the last several years....

With so many vineyards to taste at, you could easily spend a week in El Dorado County tasting to your hearts content. There is sure to be something to please you palate! Why not use Placerville and our bed and breakfast as a home-base and explore the new "gold" in the foothills--above the fog and below the snow. El Dorado wineries are about a one hour trip from either Sacramento or South Lake Tahoe, and about 2 hours from Reno or the San Francisco Bay Area. El Dorado has familiy-owned wineries, friendly tasting rooms and great views. Many times you will be served by the winemaker or their family members, all while enjoying great views of the foothills.

Arrastra Vineyard
2399 Kingsgate Road
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 626-3377

Auriga Wine Cellars
3500 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-8078

Boeger Winery
1709 Carson Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 622-8094

Busby Cellars
6375 Grizzly Flat Road
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 344-9119

C. G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery
5200 di Aire Road
Mt. Aukum, CA 95656
(530) 620-6500

Camino DiVino Winery
3500 Carson Court
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-1884

Cantiga Wineworks
5951 Mt. Aukum
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 621-1696

Cedarville Vineyard
6320 Marestail Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-9463

Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards
8221 Stoney Creek Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-3467

Chateau Rodin Winery
4771 Green Hills Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 622-6839

Chateau Routon Inc
2800 Omo Ranch Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-5818

Chevalier Winery
5720 French Creek Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 677-1676

Colibri Ridge Winery and Vineyard
6100 Grey Rock Road
Fairplay, CA 95684
(530) 620-7255

Crose Family Vineyard
3720 Wilson Loop
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 644-4488

Crystal Basin Cellars
3550 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-1767

7380 Vineyard View Drive
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-1132

Fenton Herriott Vineyards
120 Jacquier Ct.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 642-2021

Findleton Estate & Winery
3500 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-4018

Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge
740 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(800) 245-9166

Fleur de Lys Winery
7696 Perry Creek Rd.
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 620-2246

Gold Hill Vineyard
Cold Springs Rd. & Vineyard Lane
Coloma, CA 95613
(530) 626-6522

Gold Note Wine & Noel Christmas Trees
7600 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-4758 (800) 585-6635

Granite Springs Winery & Vineyards
5050 Granite Springs Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-6395

Holly's Hill Vineyards
3680 Leisure Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 344-0227

Illuminare Estate Winery
3500 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-1894

Iverson Vineyards and Winery
8061 Perry Creek Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-7474

Jodar Vineyard & Winery
4103 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-3474

Latcham Vineyards
2860 Omo Ranch Rd.
Mt Aukum, CA 95656
(530) 620-6642

Latrobe Vineyards
4861 Memory Lane
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 676-0108

Lava Cap Winery
2221 Fruitridge Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 621-0175

Madrona Vineyards
High Hill Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-5948

Mining Camp Winery
4801 Rock Barn Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 677-6510

Mount Aukum Winery
6781 Tower Rd.
Mount Aukum, CA 95656
(800) 591-WINE

Narrow Gate Vineyards
4282 Pleasant Valley Road
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 644-6201

Oakstone Winery
6440 Slug Gulch Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-5303

Perry Creek Vineyards
7400 Perry Creek Rd.
Somerset, CA 95656
(530) 620-5175

Primus Winery
2875 Larsen Drive
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-9463

Sierra Oaks Estates
6713 Mt. Aukum Rd.
Somerset, CA 95656
(530) 620-7079

Sierra Vista Winery
4560 Cabernet Way
Pleasant Valley, CA
(530) 622-7221

Single Leaf Vineyards & Winery
7480 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-3545

Sogno Winery
3046 Ponderosa Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 672-6968

Stone's Throw Vineyard & Winery
3541 N. Canyon Rd.
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 622-5100

Stover Oaks Vineyard & Winery
5241 Nashville Trail
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 626-9463

Toogood Estate Winery
7280 Fair Play Rd
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-1910

Van Der Vijver Estate
7451 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-3210

Venezio Vineyards & Winery
5821 Highway 49
Coloma, CA 95613
(530) 885-WINE

Windwalker Vineyards
7360 Perry Creek Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-4054

And last, but not least!!!
Wofford Acres Vineyards
1900 Hidden Valley Lane
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 626-6858

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mandarin Festival in Auburn this weekend

Today we headed over to Auburn, about 45 mins. from our Placerville bed and breakfast and went to the Mandarin Festival held at the Placer County Fairgrounds. Quite an event, with lots of goodies to try, including mandarin oil, juice and shakes.

Here is what has to say: Mountain Mandarin Festival In Auburn Celebrates the Start of Holiday Harvest: Nov. 17-18
When autumn days in the Placer County foothills are warm and the nights are cold, mandarin orange growers anxiously await the first blush of color on their fruit. Just before Thanksgiving, samples are eagerly tasted for sweetness and then long hours are spent hand-snipping each stem to bring in the first crop of the season for the Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn, California, November 17 and 18.The sweet and tangy citrus scent of Mandarin oranges permeates the crisp November air during the two-day Mountain Mandarin Festival held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. The Sierra Foothills, long-known for the discovery of gold in California, are also known for their golden treasure, the Mandarin orange. The Festival celebrates the start of their harvest. The Mountain Mandarin Festival attracts 30,000 visitors who savor the juicy fruit, which is available only late November through January. Most growers offer the seedless Owari Satsuma variety, often called the zipper fruit because it is so easy to peel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apple Hill is still going on near Placerville, CA

Those who have left the highway and driven through the orchards, vineyards and forests above Placerville know what Apple Hill is all about... Take the drive... the kids will love it! Located in Camino, CA, Apple Hill was once a fledgling association comprised of 16 original ranches. Today it boasts more than 50 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, and vineyards. Free to the public. You will find many tasty treats to tempt you and unique gifts for the holiday season.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Upcoming events near our Placerville bed and breakfast

There are many events upcoming in our little town of Placerville, or very near. Why not make a weekend getaway, get your tree and do a little relaxing at the same time.

Nov16 thru Dec 16
Imagination Theater presents Lil Abner A family musical Call Box Office for times on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Dr Adults $16; Seniors (over 55) $13; Children & Students $9. And there are group rates available. Business hours of the Box office are Tuesday thru Friday 3:30 - 6:00. For more information contact: Box Office (530) 642-0404 or call us at the Albert Shafsky House to book a room and a show 530-642-2776

Nov17 & 18
Chili & Chocolate Holiday Celebration at Sierra Vista Winery Come join in and taste …more detailed information to follow for more details, visit their website or call them $10 per person includes logo wine glass, and chili and chocolate samples For more information contact: (800) 946-3916 Yummy!!!

Third Saturday Art walk is back!!Art galleries and merchants stay open late to host changing art show. Wine, hors d’oeuvres, demonstrations, and entertainment. Sponsored by local galleries and merchants. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Historic Main Street, Placerville. Free to the public. For more information contact: Placerville Downtown Association (530) 642-0177

Festival of Lights The old-fashioned festivities will close Historic Main Street. There will be music, entertainment, Santa, stagecoach rides. Holly Jolly Trolley rides (to outlying parking lots). 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tree-lighting around 6:00 p.m. Historic Main Street, Placerville Free to the public. For more information contact: Placerville Downtown Association (530) 672-3436

Nov.23 & 24
Merchants Open House on Historic Main Street merchants welcome visitors with coffee, cider and seasonal goodies. Enjoy hometown holiday shopping and hospitality in one convenient setting. Free parking, entertainment, stagecoach rides and visits with Santa. Extended Hours. Call each store for more details about their hours. Historic Main Street, Placerville. Free parking. For more information contact: Placerville Downtown Association (530) 672-3436

Dec. 01
Shakespeare Club's Elizabethan Family Celebration 15th Annual family celebration will be held at the Shakespeare Clubhouse. The holiday event will feature Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, minstrels, jesters, tumblers, children's games and lots of Yule music. There will be a grand entrance paradeaccompanied by festive bagpipe music by Scotsmen arrayed in full regalia. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Placerville Shakespeare Club, 2940 Bedford Avenue, Placerville $30 for adults, $18 for teens 13 - 18, $7 for children under 12 For more information contact: For more information and to purchase tickets call Merrilee at (530) 676-3749

Dec. 01
Christmas in the Cellar at Madrona Your invited to the cellar of the winery for a day of no-stress shopping merriment. Music by Dickin's Carolers, Christmas Tree, delicious food, holiday vendors and of course,Madrona will have specials on several wines to prepare you for your holiday feasts. 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Madrona Vineyard, 2560 High Hill Road, Placerville Open to the public and free of charge, come relax and enjoy For more information contact: (530) 644-5948

Dec. 08 & 09
Christmas in Coloma Enjoy the Annual old-fashioned Christmas, with period crafts, strolling musicians, historic trade demonstrations, 19th century children's games, and wreath making. A visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus is a colorful highlight of the day. Vendors offer hand-crafts aswell as a variety of foods. Snow is guaranteed! 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, 8 miles north on Highway 49 from Placerville in Coloma. The admittance fee is only $7.00 per vehicle, everything else is free (except $3.00 cost of photo with Santa). Children can visit Santa for free without a photo. For more information contact: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, call the events line (530) 295-2162

Dec. 08 & 09
Annual Historic Country Inn Holiday Tour Tour 12 inns decked out in seasonal finery, meet the innkeepers and enjoy Inn specialties and refreshments. Weekend tickets available, good for both Saturday and Sunday.Portion of proceeds benefit local charities Each day from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is a self guided tour going to the Historic Country Inns located throughout El Dorado County. $15 in advance or at the door. Tickets are available at every member inn or calling. For more information contact: Historic Country Inns 877-262-4667

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lily the wonder dog

So many of our guests just love Lily. So to honor the little "innkeeper" here is a whole post about her...
This is the very first we saw of her, on our breeder's website. Lily is on the left. The other picture is Lily at 4 weeks, when we went to visit to see if we would be good parents for her and to meet the breeder. And the photo in the grass is her first days at home, at about 8 weeks old.
She has only gotten cuter!!!! We sometimes wonder if our guests would like the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast as much without Lily!

Gift cards for the holidays

Looking for a perfect, gift for the holiday season? How about a gift card to use at a bed and breakfast? We have gift cards for you that are welcome at nearly 4,000 bed and breakfasts (including the Albert Shafsky House B&B in Placerville) with no hidden fees, no blackout dates, and no expiration dates. And you can choose the amount to give. Gift cards are great for any resaon or season. Just give us a call at 530-642-2776 for your gift card or a gift certificate for the Albert Shafsky House.

For a complete list of inns that accept gift cards, click here.

Innkeeping 101 or our tips about running a B&B

As an innkeeper for over 5 years (average life style in running B&Bs is 7 years) we can say that it is a wonderful way to interact with guests and to host the traveling public. The most important thing we offer at our Placerville bed and breakfast is us. We are the ones who provide the personal, friendly service at our historic Queen Anne Victorian.

There are as many ways to run a B&B as there are B&Bs. That is not to say that any way is better or worse, professional or more of a hobby. Each B&B is different, thanks to the unique tastes and styles of the those who are the innkeeper.

For instance at our bed and breakfast, the previous owners had a rule about taking your shoes off upon arrival. They provided slippers to make you feel you were at home. Once we took over the bed and breakfast, and the innkeeping duties we changed that. We figured if you want to leave your shoes on you can...that to us is more welcoming. Our guests are free to wear shoes, slippers, socks or go barefoot. It is your stay, and your choice.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

InnSpire Annual Conference & Trade Show 2008

InnSpire is coming back to Santa Rosa and of course the Albert Shafsky House B&B innkeepers are going. This is one great conference and promises to be even better now that the
California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns' (CABBI) is partnering with the California Hotel and Lodging Association (CH&LA). This event offers innkeepers, and aspiring innkeepers, a chance to network, and stay informed about areas of the hospitality and tourism arena and learn from the many workshops.

Whether you have been in business for one year, or ten, this conference offers something for you. Take the time to stay updated on industry trends and learn new innkeeping skills--you will get a chance to recharge your innkeeping batteries and host the next guests at your bed and breakfast inn.
Register Now Online or Download a Registration Form (PDF)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Albert Shafsky House in Placerville Voted Reader's Choice Best Bed & Breakfast

What makes the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast in Placerville number one?

"Maybe it's the warm greeting guests receive from Rita Timwell and Stephanie Carlson who have owned the inn since 2002. "I try to sit down with guests when they arrive and make them comfortable" said Timewell. Guest walk into the 105-year-old home with mellow wood paneling, comfortable chairs, an original chandelier and plenty of books. A carafe of Boeger wine or another cool beverage is always available".

For the full article, click here.

Thank you readers and guests!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Guests at the inn...wanna be an innkeeper?

We always have wonderful guests at the bed and breakfast. It is one of the reasons that makes being an innkeeper so rewarding. Many of them have become dear friends and come back to us annually and in some cases every few months.

One of the best parts is being able to "catch up" with them on what they have been doing and hear about their other travels. And it is always fun when they notice changes at the bed and breakfast too!

Since some guests have stayed with us in Placerville before, they will ask for some the recipes or a favorite cookie or breakfast, but don't let that stop you from asking if it is your first time with us.

And, we do have recipes on our website, under the dining page.

As, always, just ask us any innkeeping questions you might have....

Seasonal Sampler time at Boeger Winery on Nov 17th from 11-4

Why not sample some possible wines to grant as gifts for those on your list this holiday season? Boeger Winery, just 10 minutes from our B&B is holding their annual holiday sampler of wines paired with traditional holiday fare. They are offering seasonal sampler packs featuring wines that go best with traditional holdiay meals.

Boeger is one of our favorite places to go for tasting and relaxing with a picnic on their lovely grounds. Be sure and tell them Rita and Steph sent you!

Here is a photo of the old tasting room on the property taken by our pals at Wowizowi, who redesigned our website earlier this year.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Want to be an innkeeper?

So many of our guests at the inn have asked us if we love our jobs. In fact, nearly every one of our guests asks us. This question is always interesting, because of course you have to say yes, even if you know that right after your chat, you have to clean two rooms, go to the store, do some marketing, iron eight sheets, set the table, well, you get the idea.

That is not to say the answer is no. In fact it is a yes, we do love our jobs as innkeepers and certainly would not still be running the inn if we did not. It is just such a hard question to answer, because you can't say all the above stuff and not have the guest be shocked at the answer, (and maybe ruin their dream of what an innkeeper does). It is in fact hard work to make running a bed and breakfast look easy--that is the real trick.

If you have questions about what it is like to really run a bed and breakfast inn, ask. We will answer you--at least via this blog.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

LA Times mentions Placerville B&B

The B&B gets a nod in the LA Times!!! Thank you!

Planning your trip to Placerville, California
By Mija Riedel, Special to The Los Angeles Times September 14, 2007

In Placerville, nuggets of California's Gold Rush history
From LAX, Southwest, United, Delta fly nonstop to Sacramento. United and US Airways offer connecting flights (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $98. From there, Placerville is an hour's drive.
Albert Shafsky House, 2942 Coloma St.; (530) 642-2776, Beautifully restored bed-and-breakfast. Doubles from $135.

Holiday Memories Tour Dates have changed to Dec 8 & 9

The annual tour of the Bed and Breakfast Inns of El Dorado County is now scheduled for December 8th & 9th, 2007 and of course the Albert Shafsky House B&B is on it. Participating inns will be open from noon-5 p.m. both days. New decorations and holiday treats await!
Make it a weekend to remember.
Elegant Victorians, quaint cottages, cozy log cabins and rustic lodges are all dressed up for the holidays - warm and inviting on a cold winter's day.
Peek into our guest rooms and see wonderful collections of vintage clothing and quilts, original artwork, and antique furnishings. Each inn has its own special and unique personality with beautiful gardens, tall trees, small trees, crystals and snowflakes, teddy bears and antique glass. Santa Claus and his reindeer and families of snow people to delight young and old.
Ring in the season with traditional Christmas music, sip hot cocoa or cider or warm yourself by the fire. Sample delectable treats, like home-baked brownies, gingerbread cookies and other culinary delights.
Please join us in celebrating the season December 8-9 from noon til 5 pm. Tickets are $15 per person and are valid for both days (allowing you to visit all the inns one time), with a portion of sales going to support a local charity. For ticket purchase and more information, call 1-877-262-4667.
Note: The Black Bear Inn will be open at 11:00 a.m. for your convenience.

Haunted for Halloween in Placerville


California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns
Publishes List of Haunted Places to Stay
Just in time for Halloween, we were in a press release from

SACRAMENTO, CA – October 31, 2007 – Looking for a spooky way to celebrate Halloween?

The California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) recently surveyed hundreds of inns throughout the Golden State … and unearthed some spine-chilling stories.

If a hair-raising experience is on your list this Halloween, try one of the following haunts:

Albert Shafsky House B&B Inn (Placerville): Albert Shafsky built his home in 1902 – and it appears his ghost has decided he will never leave. According to the innkeepers, he sometimes locks guests out of their rooms, leaves pennies in strange places and has even been seen standing at the foot of one guest’s bed.

Our Placerville B&B now and long ago

Our wonderful neighbor found these photos of our house and street from now and long ago. We hope that it will inspire you to try and find an older photo of your own house.

That is the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast peaking out of the trees on the far right--now it is blue and white.

If you live here in town, the museum at the Fairgrounds is a wonderful place to start looking for older photos and information about your street and home. If not, try your own local library or see if there is a historic society in town.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Photos of Alberta's Attic aka the Suite

We finally have some great photos of the re-decorated room that was the Lighthouse Suite and now is called "Alberta's Attic", our two-room suite on the 2nd floor. The suite’s Sitting Room offers comfy reclining chairs-dive into a good book or just kick off your shoes and put your feet up after a day of adventuring. Alberta’s Attic offers privacy and warmth and is an ideal spot for celebrating a special occasion.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How about golf in the El Dorado Foothills?

Yep, we have that too. In addition to great wineries, Apple Hill and gold rush history, we also have some great golf courses for you to play when you stay in Placerville with us.

Try Apple Mountain for some spectacular scenery. Apple Mountain Golf Resort is located in the heart of Apple and Gold Country in the historic foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Apple Mountain offers a convenient, year-round escape for Northern California golfers looking for that unique mountain experience. Carved through towering stands of pine, cedar and madrone, the golf course offers some of the most amazing scenery anywhere. Snow-capped mountain views complement a challenging layout to capture golfers' attention throughout their round. This truly championship course offers breathtaking views full of wildlife and the wonders of nature. Located just 10 mins from the Albert Shafsky House B&B.
About 15 mins from the Placerville Bed and Breakfast you will find Bass Lake Golf Resort where Rita and I learned to play the game--before the puppy came along and we had more free time...
Bass Lake Golf Course is tight, tricky, and requires accuracy and the use of every club in the bag. The course was originally designed with nine holes by architect Gene Thorne, and enlarged to 18 holes in 1999. Bass Lake Golf Course owners Alex and Sabrina Ho have invested millions of dollars in improvements. Amenities include a 30 stall driving range, practice greens, a pro shop, and a full bar & restaurant.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Main Street Placerville, CA

Just steps from our Placerville bed and breakfast you will find Historic Main Street, Placerville, CA. You can still see it's colorful gold rush past in the building facades that line Main Street and the Bell Tower still announces special events (and gets all lite up for the holidays). You know you are in small town America, when the Fire Department helps string the lights!

From the Placerville Downtown Association pages:

History of Placerville and Downtown Main Street
Placerville is a charming California "gold rush" town named after the placer gold deposits found in its’ river beds and hills in the late 1840’s. The City of Placerville is centrally located between Sacramento, the State capitol, and South Lake Tahoe, world- famous recreation center. Situated above the fog line and below the snow line, Placerville boasts an ideal climate with four distinct seasons. Accessibility to Placerville is via State Highway 49 and U.S. Highway 50, along one of the most traveled corridors in California. Placerville’s treasured heritage is reflected in the historical, nineteenth century architecture of it’s downtown core. In addition, Placerville is the County seat and the center of financial, commercial, civic, and Government activity.Serving as a "hub" for many nearby destinations and activities, Placerville is well situated. Premier wineries, Apple Hill Ranches, Historic Coloma, the American River, and the El Dorado National Forest are all located within minutes of downtown Placerville. The future of Placerville’s business economy will continue to be strengthened and infused by these established and newly developing areas of opportunity surrounding the hub. Within the hub, local merchants, property owners, and Government officials are striving to insure economic vitality for Placerville. These groups are working together on business improvement and revitalization projects to preserve, promote, and enhance the quality of life for all in the community. Location, climate, a rich heritage, and a high level of commitment and pride has allowed Placerville to emerge as "the destination" in El Dorado County. The history of Placerville began with the "rush for gold" to California in the 1840’s. The highly publicized discovery of gold in the tailrace section at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma (only 10 miles from Placerville) in 1848 resulted in the migration of thousands of fortune-seekers to Northern California in the mid 1800’s. The town of Placerville was named after the placer deposits found in the river bed between Spanish Ravine and the town plaza. During the gold rush, Placerville became an important supply center for the surrounding mining camps.
Placerville was also known as "Hangtown" in its’ early days. Although many stories exist on how this name was acquired, the most famous story involved a colorful event that occurred in January of 1849. A gambler named Lopez gained a lot of attention for his big winnings at a local saloon. After he retired for the evening, several men tried to overpower him. Lopez fought back, and with the help of others, the robbers were captured. During their "flogging", three of the robbers were also accused of being wanted for a murder and robbery.With no more evidence than that, a short 30 minute trial took place and a unanimous "guilty" verdict was given. The crowd demanded that the men be sentenced to "death by hanging" and the rest was history. The famous hanging tree once stood in Elstner’s Hay Yard, next to the Jackass Inn. Today, the original stump from the old tree remains in the cellar of "The Hangman’s Tree" tavern on Historic Main Street.Throughout history, several famous entrepreneurs have conducted business on Main Street. Phillip Armour (meat packer), Mark Hopkins (railroad financier), John Studebaker (auto maker), and Snowshoe Thompson (mail-carrier through the Sierras) were among the well-known shopkeepers on Main Street. An important historic landmark that still remains on Main Street is the Bell Tower, standing as a monument to the city’s volunteer firemen. The Bell, placed in the tower in the plaza in 1865, was used as an alarm system to call out the firefighters. This tower has watched most of Placerville's history pass beneath it for well over I 00 years. It has been remodeled, relocated, and most recently, renovated. Today it proudly stands as a monument to honor our city's volunteer firemen. The history of the Bell Tower began back in l856. Three fires that year in April, July and August, claimed most of Placerville's business section. The need for an alarm system to call the volunteer fire department was obvious, and a bell was ordered from England. Cast in 1860, the bell arrived in Placerville in 1865. The city gave it's approval to place the bell in a tower in the plaza. All this was done at a cost of $380.00. Today, the Bell Tower serves as a gathering place for parades, celebrations, and other Historic Main Street events.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Placerville Founder's Day and Wagon Train

Next Saturday, June 9th, 2007 will see the wagon train arrive in the street of "Old Hangtown", Placerville, CA. Historic Main Street will be closed to traffic for this annual affair which includes vendors, musical entertainment and a street dance.

Fall is apple season and that means Apple Hill

Ahhh, Fall at Apple Hill. The days are warm, the nights turn crisp and the donuts come out of hiding (well, not really). What could be better than a fresh apple donut, maybe a hot apple fritter?

With so many orchards to choose from you will have to pace yourself to enjoy all the treats to be sampled. And there are craft vendors in the Fall at most of the farms so you can seek out that special, one-of-a-kind gift.

For a list of the orchards in Camino. Our inn is just a few minutes away from most of them and is a relaxing place to stay after a day looking for the perfect treat.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Real Innkeepers take on InnLove with Tori...

The Albert Shafsky House made the Fallbrook paper today, regarding "Tori and Dean: Inn Love". I would not want anyone to think the are depicting how an actually bed and breakfast is operated and shared my views with the paper.

"After the recent undercover story on Chateau La Rue (‘Actress hasn’t bought Bed and Breakfast,’ in the April 26 issue of The Village News) gained national attention, many bed and breakfast facilities across the nation have voiced their opinion in regard to the Oxygen network reality television show ‘Tori and Dean: Inn Love.’ Innkeepers have communicated to The Village News that they feel what has been portrayed on the show is not a true reflection of the day to day activities at a professional bed and breakfast. They also hope this Oxygen show is not deterring future bed and breakfast guests.

Stephanie Carlson, owner of the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast, attended The California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns convention back in January 2007. She claimed that she was extremely pleased to see Tori Spelling and her husband at the conference, taking in all valuable information, especially for new innkeepers.

“They did give us the impression that they purchased the inn [Chateau La Rue],” said Carlson. Aside from saying she realized the reality show about the inn was nothing more than a ruse, Carlson said running a bed and breakfast is a professional business and not one that is done on a lark.

“The owners of Chateau La Rue are not giving a positive depiction of how hardworking and hospitable innkeepers truly are,” said Carlson."

Click here for complete story by Christina Macone-Greene of the Village News in Fallbrook, CA>

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Marshall Gold Discovery Park is a great reason to visit Placerville

One of our favorite places to go for the day is the Gold Discovery Park in Coloma where gold was found in 1848 at Sutter's Mill on the South Fork of the American River by James Marshall.

This event led to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and was the spark that ignited the spectacular growth of the West during the ensuing decades and led to California becoming a State. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill, in present day Coloma, California is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation.

Daily Park Hours 8:00 am to Sunset
Museum Hours: April 1st through June 30th - 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
July 1st through March 31 - 10:00 am -3:30 pm
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.

For more information visit Marshll Gold Discovery SHP.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

South Fork Rafting for Whitewater on the American River

Here are some outfitters that we would suggest for your adventure on the river. Remember, this is not Disneyland, you WILL GET WET, and have fun...

Action Whitewater Adventures - Action Whitewater Adventures, AWA, one of the most respected names in whitewater rafting in Idaho has had a presence in California since 1989. They offer our guests who raft with them 10% off their raft trip.
Adventure Connection - It is a journey for the mind. Adventure Connection is happy to offer Albert Shafsky House guests a 10% discount of American River trips. A great family river, perfect for the first-time rafter, and a quick weekend-get-away.
All Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting - A wonderful rafting company for the American River. Offering our guests 10% their trips. Guiding people on California rivers for over 40 years.
American Whitewater Expeditions - The ultimate California family adventure. Experience the fun and excitement of American River Whitewater Rafting. They are thrilled to offer our guests a special rate when booked in addition to your stay at the Albert Shafsky House.
Beyond Limits Adventures - With over 50 rapids along its scenic course through California's historic gold country, the South Fork of the American is tough to beat for an all around excellent river trip. They offer our guests 10% off rafting trips on the American River.
California Whitewater Rafting - Information on commercial and private trips on California rivers.
Mariah Wilderness Expedition - A great rafting company, offering Albert Shafsky House guests 10% off a trip on the American River. They have been offering whitewater rafting trips on California whitewater rafting rivers since 1982. Raft with them on the South Fork American, Middle Fork American and North Fork American Rivers, close to the Gold Rush towns of Placerville, Auburn, and Coloma, where the California Gold Rush began.
Mother Lode River Center - Whitewater Rafting with the assurance of over 30 years of experience. They are one of California's original whitewater rafting outfitters with the industry's finest safety record.
OARS - OARS welcomes our guests with a 10% discount on South Fork and Middle Fork river trips. A river for everyone, running warm and white amidst mountains, sun-kissed skies and the ghosts of gold prospecters.
Tributary Whitewater Tours - Whitewater Tours has been guiding California whitewater rafting trips since 1978 and offers something for all levels, from family California rafting vacation trips suitable for kids, to extreme California white water rafting adventures for the expert. They offer our Albert Shafsky House guests 10% off trips too!
W.E.T. River Trips - Another great rafting company established in 1978. They offer our guests 10% off trip costs on the American River. From the first melt of Spring to the final trickles in the late Fall, the whitewater rivers in California give an overwhelming joy to those that enjoy river rafting.

See, we all stayed in the raft. Of course, that is the idea!!!

Whitewater on the American River

Something we look forward to every year--time to go rafting on the South Fork. The South Fork of the American River boasts the most popular stretch of whitewater in California. The roughly 20-mile run from Chili Bar to Salmon Falls features over 20 named rapids and countless waves in between. Our favorite run is the lower half of the South Fork, but we have done both and Steph has run the Middle Fork once. Most folks run the river with a commercial rafting company, but some rent or bring their own rafts. The outfitter provides the equipment, experienced guides, plus life jackets and other gear, so that you can enjoy the outdoor adventure without the worry of getting your own stuff, and the guides are very helpful and know the river. It is a great way to spend time on the river, with friends and we try to go at least once every season. Give us a call to set up a trip, or send us an email. If we are free, maybe we will go with you. And yes, that is us in the visors!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wine in El Dorado, the new gold!

Yes, it is true, El Dorado Makes Wine, Napa Makes Auto Parts!

Seriously, there are a number of great wineries in El Dorado County and for the most part not only is it still pretty much free to taste, but you are likely being served by the winemaker or family member here in El Dorado County.

There is an association of wineries called appropriately enough, the El Dorado Winery Association, aka EDWA, but there are a number of wineries that are not members that are just as good to visit and sample. EDWA wineries have to produce a certain amount, so some wineries are too small to join. EDWA currenly has 24 member wineries, but there are nearly 50 wineries now in the county.

Why not come up for the weekend and sample some (without the traffic of Napa wineries)?

Top Ten Reasons to visit Placerville

Need a reason to visit Placerville? Here are ten reasons to come to the heart of gold country:

1. Wine tasting with one of the wonderful wineries in El Dorado County
2. Whitewater rafting on the American River
3. See where gold was discovered in Coloma
4. Taste a variety of apples & baked goodies at Apple Hill in the Fall
5. Stroll Historic Main Street Placerville
6. Visit unique antique shops
7. Pan for gold at Gold Bug Park
8. See artists and their wares during 3rd Saturday Art Walk, or visit the galleries anytime
9. Fabulous dining at Sequoia, Cafe Luna, Heyday Cafe, Tomei's on Main and more
10. Stay at the Albert Shafsky House and be treated like gold!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Not their thing...or their inn....

Just found this article but am not sure if they have the correct info about the lease, etc. I know the Fallbrook paper is doing their homework on the inn.....

canada.comPublished: Monday, May 07, 2007

Canadian actor Dean McDermott and his wife Tori Spelling will spend another season sharing their life with American television viewers.
The couple’s reality series, Tori & Dean: Inn Love, has been renewed for a second season by US cable network Oxygen. McDermott and Spelling are both co-stars and co-executive producers of the show.
The network has ordered 10 new episodes of the series, which follows the couple as they run their California bed and breakfast Chateau La Rue and raise their newborn son Liam Aaron.
Oxygen claims Inn Love is its second-highest-rated original series. To date, no Canadian broadcaster has picked up the show.
Spelling and McDermott do not actually own the bed and breakfast featured in the show. Owners Christopher and Patricia King have listed the property for $2.6 million (U.S.) and are renting it to the famous couple.

Monday, May 07, 2007

More "Reality" on the way for Tori and Dean--and viewers

I just found this online via the Hollywood Reporter....looks like we will get to see Tori and Dean continue their trials and tribulations of "running an inn" for another season. Perhaps they will take the time to actually purchase the inn, or mabe we can be treated to what the owners think of what Tori and Dean have done to their bed and breakfast. I am sure there are some other innkeepers out there who would like to hear about this experience from Patricia King's point of view.....Or maybe the next season could show real, actual innkeepers staying at the inn and giving them tips on hospitality, cooking, cleaning, painting, gardening, making reservations, etc.

By Kimberly Nordyke Mon May 7, 3:22 AM ET
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Women's cable channel Oxygen has renewed its reality series "Tori & Dean: Inn Love" for a second season.
The show, starring Tori Spelling' and husband Dean McDermott, will return in the third quarter with 10 new episodes. Season 2 will follow the couple as they continue running Chateau La Rue, their bed and breakfast in Fallbrook, Calif., while juggling the demands of being new parents to son Liam Aaron.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Real Life Innkeeping Reality vs. Myth or TV

To demonstrate that while some of what is displayed on "Tori and Dean: Inn Love" is true:

Yes, B and B's make breakfast, usually it is very organized.

Yes, sometimes guests bring children that they have NOT told you about, you deal with it.

Yes, sometimes you may accidently double book guests, or cancel some one in error and then it is your responsibility to find them a place to stay--but NOT generally your own quarters, with your stuff still in place--how about springing for another inn or even, gasp, a hotel as it was your mistake.

Yes, sometime innkeepers are in fact also pregnant, and they still manage.

And, yes, sometimes innkeepers have emergencies and have to leave, but they always have someone take over first, and then leave.

Odds of all this occurring on the same night--fairly unheard of...

Monday, April 30, 2007

More on Tori and Dean and "reality" TV

A good buddy send me this recent article from the Fallbrook Village News about Tori Spelling's B & B and it turns out Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott DO NOT actually own Chateau La Rue. Which means that all that stuff the media bought from the duo about them taking Tori's pithy $800,000 inheritance from Aaron Spelling and investing it in a B & B is not true.
Reporter Christina Macone-Green writes:
A trip down to the San Diego County Assessors office on April 19 proved to be quite interesting. An assessment clerk, Ms. Lerma, easily pulled up the Chateau La Rue property address and reported that there had been no activity since 2004. There was no new document number and/or transaction for this residence.
"Nothing new has been recorded with the County of San Diego," Lerma said. The assessment clerk explained that the computer systems were up to date, having only a three-day lapse for transactions.
So who are the property owners of this Fallbrook bed and breakfast? There is no one new. "Christopher King and Patricia King are still the owners," asserted Lerma.

Very, I guess the King's are getting a nice piece of change for not running their inn and the "fame" of having Tori and Dean there...explains why they are staying in a trailer...

Friday, April 20, 2007

New and cool at the Placerville B&B

Well, last Saturday I took my ham radio test and got my Tech license. To be more precise, I got my "ticket" and my call sign is listed today, so now I can transmit. Our neighbor is also a ham and may put up an antenna so next time you are going to stay with us and you are a ham, bring your rig.

My new call sign is KI6JFO.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Some very cool events on May 20th in Placerville are the Hangtown Classic Car Show on Historic Main Street, Placerville. Participation is limited by the number of spaces availablefor pre-1972 classic cars. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Main Street, Placerville For more information contact: For information and pre-registration call Mike at (530) 622-1731

and if cars aren't your thing also on May 20th is the 9th Annual Garden Tour - "Springtime in the Foothills" brought to you by the City of Placerville Community Pride Committee. Twelve unique and picturesque privately owned gardens can be viewed on this self-guided tour. The selection committee has worked to bring participants a wide variety of garden types from roses and perennials to oriental, organic, and alpine gardens. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. rain or shine. Tickets are $15 per person. For more information contact: Michael Hendren (530) 344-1981

these are both great events that we have attended in years past.

Bed and Breakfast inns for real

Opposed to what you see on Tori and Dean's show "Inn Love", running a bed and breakfast is hard work, and many of us do that work ourselves. We do not have someone to run it for us, nor do we call someone or give up at the first sign of trouble.

Rita and I have painted several of the rooms in the inn ourselves, in addition to the decorating, cooking, cleaning, furnishing, gardening, etc. only leaving the wiring, and exterior painting to professionals. It we had a one story house, we might have even done that ourselves.

There is not "someone else" taking reservations, staying up to greet late arrivals, or making breakfast, shopping, etc. It is us--and Lily helps too.

While it is most certainly work, doing what you love, innkeeping is a passion as well.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Here is some big news that just went out to all innkeepers in California.

The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) and the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) today announced that the two organizations have entered into a partnership to provide their respective members with greater access to legislative, marketing, educational and professional development benefits specific to the lodging industry. This newly formed relationship will strengthen the voice of California’s lodging industry across all market sectors, while providing property owners with the tools to operate a successful lodging business in California.

"This is a great step toward unifying the California lodging industry," said CH&LA Chairperson Tony Bruno, vice president of Disneyland Resort Hotels & Downtown Disney. "This partnership gives the industry a stronger voice at the capitol and integrates CABBI into the largest lodging association in California."
"This partnership is another positive sign for the California tourism industry and only strengthens our collective voice," stated Caroline Beteta, executive director of the California Travel & Tourism Commission. "Congratulations to CH&LA and CABBI on a giant step toward unifying the tourism industry."

This strategic partnership will allow CH&LA to concentrate on critical legislative, economic and educational issues pertinent to the California lodging industry, while CABBI focuses intently on developing and implementing targeted marketing opportunities for California bed and breakfast inns. A CABBI Council, largely
comprised of the CABBI Board of Directors, has been created within CH&LA to direct CABBI programs and services. CABBI members will receive CH&LA and AH&LA member benefits, in addition to CABBI’s current programs and services.

"We are pleased to partner with the most influential state lodging association anywhere," said CABBI Board of Directors President Stephen Willey. "CH&LA will significantly broaden program resources available to CABBI members. In turn, CH&LA members who own B&Bs will benefit from CABBI’s niche industry expertise. We are looking forward to a long and successful relationship."

About CH&LA
The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) is the largest state lodging industry association in the nation and a Partner State Association of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Its 1,900 members, which comprise approximately 175,000 guest rooms, include all segments of the lodging industry. CH&LA is the leading resource for communicating and protecting the rights and interests of the California lodging industry. CH&LA was established in 1893. CH&LA is on the web at

The California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns is California’s largest association of professional innkeepers and certified bed and breakfast inns. CABBI is a marketing-driven organization designed to create awareness among consumers of individual CABBI members and the benefits of choosing a CABBI-certified inn for overnight accommodations in California. CABBI was established in 1991. CABBI is on the web at

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Inn Software for your bed and breakfast

If you are looking for some reasonable software to manage your property that is very easy to set up and simple to navigate look no further. I recently put My Inn Reservations thru some testing am found it to be all of the above.

Here is a sample screen shoot from their homepage.

The software was designed by a bed and breakfast owner and they created it specifically for small inns and bed and breakfasts using Windows XP or Vista. The advantages over pen & paper are many:

Track reservations.
Keep a database of customers.
Create invoices.
Easy to change and update rates, services.
General tax reports.
Revenue Reports .
E-mail confirmations.

I was very happy to see how easy the progam was to use, and had it up and running my bed and breakfast in about 10 minutes. I loaded the guests from March and played with their rooms, email confirmations, ran reports, and added services to their room stay. I loved how simple the navigation was and the calendar, seen above, that makes it so easy at a glance to see what rooms are booked for the day.

The software can be used on a trial basis to see if you like it and if you decide to keep it, they email the registration key to "unlock" it for permanent use. At only $299.95 it is very reasonable, compared to some other programs that have been marketed to innkeepers. If you are still using pen and paper, think about upgrading and the advantages you will have. At least try it out--you may get hooked.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Innside Innkeeping and what is happening soon in Placerville

Lest you think it is dull in Placerville, or at our bed and breakfast, let me assure you we have much to look forward to in the coming months.

Whitewater Rafting! Whoo hoo! Can hardly wait, as the guidebooks arrive to go get WET on the American River. Why not come to Placerville and have a great day on the river and then stay the night?

Or how about one of these events:
May 20 & 21 the Annual Renaissance May FaireThis event is being put on by Cedar Springs Waldorf School. This event is a family event with fun for all ages. Vendors, Performers, Personal services, Central amusements, Games, andFestivities begin with a townie procession lead by Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth and Her Royal Guards [God Save the Queen] Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville, CA

Renn Faire not your thing? How about the 8th Annual Garden Tour on May 20th - "Springtime in the Foothills"The City of Placerville Community Pride Committee presents this event. Twelve unique and picturesque privately owned gardens can be viewed on this self-guided tour.The selection committee has worked to bring participants a wide variety of garden types from roses and perennials to oriental, organic, and alpine gardens. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. rain or shine Local Gardens all over El Dorado County. Tickets are $15 per person. For more information contact: Michael Hendren (530) 344-1981

Think Lily is cute? We do! And on May 27 & 28 we will probably go to the AKC licensed all-breed Dog ShowHangtown Kennel Club of Placerville at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Included in the show are Conformation, Obedience and Rally competitions. Best in show will be judged at approximate5:00 p.m. There will be a trophy presentation or the high score in obedience as well. Kennel members will be conducting dog show tours as well. Go and enjoy the show. 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville Parking only - $3.00, subject to change. For more information contact: Cathy (530) 622-6909