Google+ Badge

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Colibri Ridge Winery near our Placerville B&B

Colibri Ridge Winery & Vineyard is releasing 2 of their latest premium wines this weekend and they are just a short drive from our Placerville bed and breakfast, in beautiful El Dorado County.

In this release they have the latest vintage of their award winning El Dorado Zinfandel (2004) and the latest vintage of estate grown Fair Play Primitivo (2006). Both of these wines will pair nicely with most pastas or lighter meats.

As a tidbit of superfluous information DNA fingerprinting has revealed that it Zinfandel is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, which found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century. DNA fingerprinting has also confirmed that Primitivo and Zinfandel are clones of the same Croatian variety that was traditionally grown in the "heel" of Italy, where it was introduced in the 1700s. Comparative field trials have found that "Primitivo selections were generally superior to those of Zinfandel, having earlier fruit maturity, similar or higher yield, and similar or lower bunch rot susceptibility.” Now you can taste these 2 wines side by side to determine which one is your favorite.

They currently have some of our 2003 vintage wines on sale for 50% off. These include award winning 2003 El Dorado Zinfandel ($9.25 / bottle), award winning 2003 El Dorado Syrah ($9.50 / bottle) and award winning 2003 Fair Play Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.50 / bottle). Quantities of these sale wines is limited so hurry in to take advantage of great deals on spectacular wines.

Colibri Ridge Winery & Vineyard
6100 Gray Rock Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
Phone & Fax: (530) 620-7255
Open Fri. - Sun. 11:00 to 5:00

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stay with us for Christmas or the weekend after...

Book and stay with us two nights mid-week during Nov or Dec 2008 and receive a gift certificate for $50 towards a stay with us for your next visit or use as a gift for someone else! Certificates will be valid through December 15, 2009. New bookings only and must mention Cabbi. Can not be combined with other offers. Gift certificates have no cash value.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Red Hawk Casino opens about 5 miles from Placerville

Last night was big for Shingle Springs and the Red Hawk Casino....they officially opened their doors to the public.  Located just minutes from our bed and breakfast, we are excited to try their facilities, including a number of restaurants.

We will be visiting in the next few weeks to let you off our experience with the staff, games and especially the food, so you will have even more things to do on your next trip to our bed and breakfast.

This is off the News10 site:
Red Hawk Casino Opens to Public
Posted By: Jason Kobely 7 hrs ago

SHINGLE SPRINGS, CA - Northern California's latest Indian casino is finally open for business.

The Red Hawk Casino owned by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians officially opened to all customers Wednesday evening.

VIPs and other invited guests got the first shot at playing the slots or blackjack in the new 278,000-square-foot casino off Highway 50 during a private opening early Wednesday.

"It's going to stimulate the economy locally because everybody's going to want to stay in hotels and motels and use restaurants and shops," Red Hawk general manager Peter Fordham said. "We really believe this is a win-win for this whole area."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fun Theater in Sacramento

This weekend had a chance to go see a wonderful production in Sacramento of Cinderella--very, very funny and not just for little ones!

Below is a portion of the SacBee about the show.

"The Sacramento Theatre Company's production of "Cinderella," which opened during the weekend and continues through Jan. 4, is the perfect kind of holiday entertainment – fun for the kids and not just endurable but actually fun for the adults as well.

Performed in the British panto style with men playing some women's roles, it's anything but a drag. Cinderella is still a lovely young lady (Morgan Cook at the performance reviewed here but played by Hilary Wells at other times) – nobody would mess with that. But the stepmother and two stepsisters are played by men."

Not a bad drive from our Placerville bed and breakfast and it was so good we might have to make it an annual trip just for this show. Click here for tixs.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wofford Acres has Paul signing bottles today and Sunday. Come and join us just a short drive from our Placerville bed and breakfast.

Holiday Fun at Perry Creek!
December 13th & 14th, 11-5: Enjoy traditional Mulled Wine and cookies along with a great selection of holiday gifts and wine specials. Santa will arrive at 3pm both days! Reservations and more info at

Oakstone Winery's Port and Chocolate Festival
December 13th & 14th, 11-5: Oakstone will hold its eighth annual Port and Chocolate Festival in the barrel room. They will be featuring their new 2006 Merlot Port and current and historic Ports from both Oakstone and Obscurity Cellars, including the Oakstone 2005 Petite Sirah Port, 2006 Obscurity Tempranillo Port and a barrel sample and futures on a 2007 Obscurity Malbec Port (some older Ports will be available for limited sale; others for tasting only). They will again feature the "Tower of Chocolate"--a fountain of liquid chocolate, with strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels and 'nilla wafers for dipping! As always, everyone is welcome and there is no charge for this event.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Murder Mystery Weekend January 24 and 25

Imagine spending a quiet weekend in Beautiful Historic Placerville “Hangtown” located in California’s Gold Country.

All of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of a murder!!! It’s up to you to solve the crime before any else!

Who was the victim? Who wanted them dead? What is the history behind the brutal murder? What are the facts that will solve this case? It’s up to you to find out!!!!

Are you up for the challenge?

Murder Mystery Weekend Placerville, Ca
A Weekend of Mystery in California’s Gold Country.
The Murder Mystery Weekend starts January 24, 2009. Your ticket will include the Friday nights “Murder Mystery Dinner”, Saturday nights dinner, ice cream social on Sunday where the murder is solved and the best sleuth of the murder mystery weekend is announced. And two nights stay at either the Albert Shafsky House B and B or another of the local B and B’s or hotel is also included. This package is $395.00 and covers 2 people.

For Reservations, call our pals at "What's The Scoop?" Ice Cream & More 530 - 621 - 4400

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Only in Placerville?

A horse of a different color? A new/old way to get your shopping done....
The Safeway not far from our Placerville bed and breakfast had this method of transportation in the lot the other day....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Join us for Prohibition Day and Celebrate the Repeal! Free tickets/with booking and 20% off your stay!

Lets celebrate! Some of our favorite wineries will be pulling out special wine selections in honor of the historic repealing of prohibition. Come and party in period style as you travel back in time to visit these rebellious wineries while enjoying fine wines. Proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to Mother Load Rehabilitation Enterprise of Placerville. Vintage cars and costumes encouraged.

Participating wineries: Boeger Winery, David Girard Vineyards, Gold Hill Vineyard & Wofford Acres Vineyards $15/per person or $20/couple $5/designated driver.

Check in at the Albert Shafsky House B&B by 3 p.m. on December 5th, and we will comp your tickets to this "historic" event. It promises to be a night of fun and frolic.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some of our favorite restaurants near the Placerville B&B

Here are some of our favorite places for a night out...and their weblinks so you can drool about what you will have for dinner after Rita's great breakfast at the Albert Shafsky House B&B.  All but Zachary Jacques is just a short stroll from the inn.

Cafe Luna, a cozy, friendly place--with big house salads and outstanding food.  They do not have a traditional website, but have started a blog with menus and recipes. 

Heyday is a small family-owned-and-operated restaurant established in January 2007, in the gold rush era town of Placerville, California. Their aim is to provide a relaxed, friendly gathering place for locals as well as visitors to our foothill community.

Sequoia is a beautifully restored Victorian, with fine dining and sense of history. 

Zachary Jacques
With all the charm of a French Country Inn you will feel right at home while you indulge in the robust flavours of French countryside cooking.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apple Hill and tourism

Good article in the Sacramento Bee about Apple Hill sums up the need for tourism in El Dorado County.  Our bed and breakfast, and many others in the State, rely on agritourism to keep us going--wineries, orchards and the rivers.

Tour shows off El Dorado’s farm bounty, need for tourists
By Diana Lambert
Published: Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008 | Page 3B
El Dorado County farmers can't survive without tourist dollars.

That was the message delivered by speaker after speaker Friday to a bus carrying more than 50 government officials.

The tour of the county included a ride down tree-lined country roads, lunch served on a hill over crimson vineyards, an olive oil sampling, a visit to historic sites in downtown Placerville and a hayride and apple doughnuts at an Apple Hill ranch.

But it was serious business.

The tour was part of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments' Rural-Urban Connections Strategy.

The program's goal is finding ways to support and sustain the economy, environment and quality of life in rural areas.

"It brings us together to get a comprehensive look at the entire region," said Lincoln City Councilman Tom Cosgrove, chairman of SACOG, which provides transportation planning and funding in Sacramento region.

The rural-urban project includes tours of agricultural land and open space in the six-county region. The group toured Sutter and Yuba counties in April, Yolo County in September and plans to tour Placer and Sacramento counties.

Each county has different assets and challenges.

In El Dorado County, about "75 percent of farm products produced are sold directly to the consumer," said David Bolster, a farmer and member of the county chamber of commerce's Agriculture Council.

The county crop report showed its gross crop value to be $53.2 million in 2007. Timber brought in $18.6 million and livestock $8.7 million.

The rest comes from farms that average 27 acres.

"In order to be economically viable, we have to sell at the highest amount of dollars. … So, we press apples into cider and grapes into wine," said Valerie Zentner, executive director of the El Dorado County Farm Bureau.

High Hill Ranch in Placerville exemplifies the strategy. There are apples, apple cider, caramel apples, apple pies and other apple commodities for sale, but also stall after stall of outside vendors, hawking products from jewelry to sushi rollers.

A stop at David Girard Vineyards offered another glimpse into the county's agritourism business. David Girard said he expects to produce about 4,000 cases of wine this year but also hopes to profit from marketing the winery as a wedding site and corporate meeting venue.

"Ninety percent of our members must work full time or be retired to support the insanity that is farming," said Maryann Argyres, president of the Apple Hill Growers Association, which represents more than 50 fruit ranches.

The SACOG board members seemed to understand the message.

"They have to be able to make a profit, or otherwise you get mass housing and development," said Kevin Hanley, a SACOG member and Auburn councilman.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Apple Hill adventures in October

 Headed to Camino (about 10 minutes from the Albert Shafsky House B&B) to go to Apple Hill with some friends today.  First stop was Rainbow Orchards for the wonderful Apple Cider Donuts....yummy...
Also went to Denver Dan's and watched the apple peal and core machine work it's magic.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It is that time of year when Rita and I like to start thinking about the California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns annual conference for new and experienced innkeepers.  We love going to see old friends and make new ones.  Once again I am speaking about blogs and social networks and will be encouraging others to "join the conversation".

Won't you join us for the 2009 InnSpire Conference and Trade Show in beautiful Monterey, California where the famous 17-Mile Drive meets 17 years of CABBI's dedication to educating innkeepers?

The 2009 InnSpire Conference and Trade Show will take place February 1-3, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort & Spa, located at One Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, CA 93940.

The Innkeeping As a Profession (IAP) workshop is being held January 31 and February 1, 2009, also at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort & Spa.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Best B&B Breakfast award to us!


Placerville, CA -- The Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast of Placerville ,CA, was selected as one of the BEST BREAKFAST winers in the annual Best of Awards, 2008-2009. The Best of Awards are based upon a qualitative and quantitative review of the nearly 50,000 independent reviews submitted to, the leading online B&B directory and reservation network worldwide.

"We know how important independent reviews are. We're delighted that inngoers concurred that Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast is a favorite among those seeking the B&B experience," explained's Sandy Soule, one of the most highly recognized authors and a spokeswoman for the B&B industry. "It's clear that the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast earned high marks from inngoers for their fine accommodations, breakfasts, amenities, and wonderful hospitality and service," commented Soule.

"We are pleased that we were chosen for a Best of Award and are proud that our guests posted reviews that resulted in this award," stated Rita Timewell. "It is gratifying that our attention to the details that make a difference to guests were recognized by inngoers who took the time to write reviews of the Albert Shafsky House B&B," commented Timewell. Here's an excerpt from one of our reviews: "Completely, totaly, singularly, fully, all encompassingly outstanding. Rooms and home were inviting in every way, Lily was the cutest, breakfast and wine were to "dine" for. Thank you so much for a stay that was better than home away from home."

About the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast: A unique Bed & Breakfast experience awaits you at the historic "Albert Shafsky House Bed & Breakfast Inn" in the heart of California's fabled Gold Country--Placerville California. Warm hospitality, comfortable and tastefully appointed guest rooms, and a fabulous homemade breakfast you'll not soon forget will draw you back again and again. Stay at the Albert Shafsky House B&B Inn in Placerville and be treated like GOLD

The Best of Award winners are not ranked but are listed alphabetically by state or country within each category. The 2008-2009 Best of Awards went to:

Best Breakfast
Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast Inn, Placerville, CA
Judge Porter House Bed and Breakfast, Natchitoches, LA
Cocoa Cottage, Whitehall, MI
Cornerstone Victorian B&B, Warrensburg, NY
Granbury Gardens Bed and Breakfast, Granbury, TX
Amid Summer's Inn Bed & Breakfast, Cedar City, UT
Grace Manor Inn, Richmond, VA

Best Family Friendly Inn: The Hideaway Ranch and Retreat, Bluff Dale, TX
Most Romantic: The Foothill House, Calistoga, CA
Best for Special Occasions: Chestnut Hill on the Delaware. Milford, NJ
Best Beds: The Inn at Peralynna Manor, Columbia, MD
Best for Animal Lovers: Tie: Anderson Creek Lodge, Bellingham, WA & WhistleWood Horse Farm Bed & Breakfast, Rhinebeck, NY
Best Pet Friendly: Dream Horse Guest House, Kinsman, OH
Best for Dogs (and their humans too): The Homestead at Rehoboth Bed and Breakfast
Best on the Beach: Harrington House Bed & Breakfast, Holmes Beach, FL
Best Value: Jersey City B&B, Jersey City, NJ
Best for Weddings: Taylor House Inn, Banner Elk, NC
Best for Elopements: South Court Inn B&B, Luray, VA
Best Gardens/Grounds: B&B at Roseledge Herb Farm. Preston, CT
Best Organic/Chemical-free: Park Lane Guest House, Austin, TX
Best Urban B&B: The Intown Uptown Inn, Washington, DC
Best Spa: Beach Spa Bed and Breakfast, Virginia Beach, VA

For a complete list of Best of winners, and thousands of perfect choices for your next B&B getaway visit, the leading online bed and breakfast directory and reservation network worldwide, listing nearly 7,000 B&Bs and inns. Travelers can make reservations online, purchase The Getaway Gift Card from, welcomed at nearly 4,000 B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada, and read up-to-date trip reports on the blog, read and write independent reviews, and post questions on expert-hosted message boards.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lovely day in Placerville, CA

Ahhhhh  still warm here in town and nice in the evening to sit and sip a glass of wine...walked to town today to see them get ready for the antique street faire in the morning. We always love to stroll down Main St. from the inn.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

1st day of Fall in the Foothills

Yes, it is true, we are hooked on Apple Hill.  Had a craving for some fritters so went to High Hill Ranch in Camino this morning.  Rita inhaled hers before we left and I showed slightly more restraint so I could get a photo of the dinner plate-sized tasty treat.
They are really big as you can see, but who can resist?  And as you can see we also tried the cider--like drinking a bite of apple!

Was a fabulous day for an outing just a few minutes from the B&B.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Innkeeping in Placerville

Some days this is such a small town....we can't walk down historic Main Street without seeing at least 4 people we know....we usually run into folks at the grocery store...and Home Depot....and the restaurants we dine at....and the local events (be they charity or fun!)....our friends even comment on how many people we seem to know in Placerville and we are not locals.

Arriving just over 6 years ago and taking over the inn we did not know a soul here in town - though we had stayed at the inn down the street from us (now a private home) and our existing friends all thought we were nuts to move away from our careers, home and friends--turns out they were right in part--you have to be a bit nuts to run an inn.  But, they (and we) had no idea at the time how much Placerville and our neighbors would come to mean to us (and I hope we mean a lot to them too).  

Some days this is such a small town...and we would not have it any other way....

Sunday, September 07, 2008

September Splender!

Yes, fall is in the air in El Dorado County.  Cooler nights, and still warm days....

Enjoy the fall splenders of beautiful El Dorado County. Spend a few days at the Albert Shafsky House B&B and take advantage of 25% off a two night stay or 10% off a one night stay. This special is for new bookings only and ends September 30, 2008.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cool nights and cool events

Lots of fun things are happening near the inn this weekend or very soon.

The 30th Annual Butterfly Concert on the green at the Fairgrounds will be held on Sept 7. The Sierra Symphony will be playing a pops concert featuring "Music of the Movies"
Gates open 4 pm and concert starts at 5:30 pm. Many preconcert activities for kids and adults. We had a table at this wonderful event last year and had a great time.

Our friends winery: Wofford Acres Wines is turning 5 this
Saturday, September 6,
11am to 4pm
and help us help them Celebrate
5 Wonderful Years!

And for you planners later in the month....Art in the Orchard will be Sept 20th at the cider donut place....Rainbow Orchards that I mentioned the other day.  Live music, dance, poetry and of course artists...and it is all FREE from 10-4 pm.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Apple Hill is open for the season

The time for apples is here!  Cooler nights and warms days in Camino means that the apple orchards are now ready to serve donuts, cider, turnovers, pie slices (whole one's too), etc.  I am going to head up this morning and have a dozen apple cider donuts at Rainbow Orchard---just because they are open today and they are located just about 15 mins from the inn.

Rainbow Orchards (#10)
2569 Larsen Drive
Camino, CA
Season: September 1 - December 11 (Fri., Sat., Sun.) 9am - 5pm
September 16 - November 13 (Daily 10am - 5pm)

For more great places to shop and fill you car with apples and other fruit, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Looking for property for your dream house (or inn)?

We know a few great realtors in Placerville that can help you find the perfect home in El Dorado County.  Your dream house might just be found by our friend Cathy Dean of ERA.

Cathy has worked as a Realtor for over 11 years in both El Dorado and San Mateo Counties. Her previous experience includes 26 years in customer service, sales, training and management in the medical diagnostic industry. Since relocating to the Placerville area in 2002, she joined the Chamber of Commerce and participated in National Night Out as a block captain for her neighborhood and served on the planning committee with the Police Department (which is how she met us at the Albert Shafsky House B&B).  

Tell her the "Shafsky gals" sent you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cool nights means the Apples are coming.....

There has been a definite cooling trend at night here in the foothills, but the days are still warm and sunny.  So nice that we rafted last weekend with our friends and webfolks, Wowizowi.  They had never been down the American before so we all did the "Gorge Run" of the South Fork.  Everyone of course got wet!  Hope to have a photo from Carolyn and Roby soon, showing how much fun it was.

But back to the cooling off in the means that Apple Hill season starts soon--Labor Day weekend and there will be apple everything to tempt you.  I know I can't wait for the first apple cider donut up at Rainbow Orchard!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tour de Vine with EDWA

For those of you needing a wine related reason to stay with us at the Albert Shafsky House B&B....On Sept. 13-14 the El Dorado Winery Association presents the “Tour de Vine” Wine Harvest Fest, celebrating the magical cycle of winemaking with tours of vines, crush pads and cellars at 20 wineries throughout our colorful county. Wine lovers, vineyard viewers and novice grape crushers will be treated to a variety of unique harvest experiences, wine and light food pairings.
Get more details about your harvest experience — and buy your ticket now!

Let me spin you a yarn.....

So by some amazing luck, fortune, kismet we know folks who know folks and then it turns out we know more folks and have more in common than we first thought....

Rita's dear friend Joyce wanted to make us some socks...not just any socks, but very special socks mind you. So she goes online and finds a spinner/dyer/sock yarn person near us as she is in Burlington Iowa. She then sends us the contact information and we made arrangements to go "pick out the yarn" at Lisa Souza's. She has the most beautiful selection of all kinds of yarn.

To wrap up this tale, we now have new friends in Placerville and if you are into hand dyed, handspun yarn, sock yarn, etc. we will be happy to have you stay with us and spend time with her too! As a bonus, her husband is into trains--so we had lots to chat about.  And one of her customers stays with us every Thanksgiving!  Small world...

Here is the photo of us cuddling our soon to be "socks" as she has shipped our yarn to Joyce already.  

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Placerville Makes A Great One-tank Trip For Visitors

From a recent article I posted....

Placerville is a great destination for California or NV travelers seeking a getaway that fulfills a long distance desire. Here you can find great wines, shops, restaurants, & starting in September, Apple Hill orchards just minutes away in Camino.


PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 05, 2008 – Placerville, Calif. -- Placerville is a great destination for California or Nevada travelers seeking a quick getaway that fulfills a long distance desire. Here you can find great wines, unique shops, mouth-watering restaurants, and starting in September, Apple Hill orchards just minutes away in Camino.

Placerville is well-known for having a colorful Gold Rush past. It started in Coloma in 1848 when James Marshall discovered gold flecks in a sawmill and carries on through today as Hangtown remains the hub of the Mother Lode. Named after the Placer Gold deposits found in its river beds and hills in the late 1840’s, Placerville’s rich mining history and lore includes the infamous Hangman’s Tree.
The historic downtown area of Placerville is filled with antique stores, tasty restaurants and specialty shops to tempt you. And since you do not have to drive a long distance, you can spend more time enjoying your vacation, than worrying about the high cost of gas.

Fall in Northern California is not truly fall until it is Apple Hill season in Camino. A bounty of privately-owned farms, set among the rolling foothills, showcase old family recipes of homemade fritters, ciders, apple wines, and hand-crafts. Sample apple cider donuts at Rainbow Orchards, the crisp cider at High Hill Ranch, and the late-summer peach pie at Hooverville Orchards.
Making your home base Placerville will allow you to also experience the beauty of South Lake Tahoe, just an hour away. Or you could spend some time in historic Sacramento, exploring the waterfront shops and Railroad Museum.

Many of the historic homes in Placerville have been converted into lovely bed and breakfasts. For instance, the Albert Shafsky House is a stunning Queen Anne Victorian, known for hearty breakfasts and great innkeepers located just a block from Main Street. You may be treated to Apple Hill pancake, or their “gold nugget” eggs when you stay, along with yummy banana bread and juice.
A traveler from Redwood City had this to say about the Albert Shafsky House, “The weekend was the best ever. The inn is very well maintained and the innkeepers do everything to make you feel at home. The food is out of this world. The rooms are comfortable and inviting. Had the best time ever. We enjoyed everything abot the inn and enjoyed walking around Placerville”.

Research shows consumer interest in wine and food travel is growing, with more people seeking unique wine and food experiences. Current news outets confirm the trend for one-tank trips as travelers try shorter, close-to-home, and more frequent vacation experiences because of current economics and higher gas prices.
# # #

Take a step back in time as you explore the beautifully restored property. In the heart of California Gold Country, Historic Placerville, CA, this lovely Queen Ann Victorian Bed and Breakfast is the perfect setting for your El Dorado County escape.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Artist "drawn" to our Placerville bed and breakfast

Randall J. Peterson has completed his first drawing of a California bed and breakfast, the Albert Shafsky House in Placerville, CA. While he has been commissioned a number of times in the midwest this is his first pointillism piece located in CA.


PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 01, 2008 – Award-winning artist, Randall J. Peterson has completed his first drawing of a California bed and breakfast, the Albert Shafsky House in Placerville, CA. While he has been commissioned a number of times in the midwest this is his first pointillism piece for an inn located out West.
His artwork has been featured in "Lighthouse Digest Magazine", "Good Old Boat Magazine" and the book "Majestic Lights - The Apostle Islands and Lighthouses" by Jim Merkel. He uses stippling or pointillism, in the artistic tradition of the French artist Georges Pierre Seurat to express the beauty of the historic structures he is so fond of working on. Each drawing takes Peterson 25-50 hours to complete.

The owners of the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast in Placerville met Peterson at the Professional Association of Innkeepers International conference in March and fell in love with his work and style of drawing.

After commissioning the artist and sending numerous photos of the California bed and breakfast, it was up to Randall to get busy. In just a few weeks the art was in the mail! The result is simply stunning and the innkeepers are thrilled to be able to use his beautiful drawing on everything from notecards, to book marks as a nice reminder to their guests of their time in Placerville at the Albert Shafsky House B&B.

For more information about the Albert Shafsky House visit and for information about the artist visit

# # #

Take a step back in time as you explore the beautifully restored property. In the heart of California Gold Country, Historic Placerville, CA, this lovely Queen Ann Victorian Bed and Breakfast is the perfect setting for your El Dorado County escape.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some events to consider or near Placerville

Need and reason to get away?

AUGUST 10th, Craft Faire, 8AM - 3PM. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association. For info call (530) 672-3436.

AUGUST 16th, Girls' Night Out, 6PM to 9PM. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association. For info call (530) 672-3436.

SEPTEMBER 28th, Antique Street Faire, - 8AM to 3PM. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association. For info call (530) 672-3436.

OCTOBER 5th, Hangtown Jazz Jubilee, 11AM – 5PM. For info call (530) 622-8186.

OCTOBER 18th, Art & Wine Festival, 6PM – 9PM. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association. For info call (530) 672-3436.

OCTOBER 31st, Trick or Treat on Main Street, 4PM to 6PM. For info call (530) 672-3436.

NOVEMBER 28th, Festival of Lights, 5:30PM – 8PM. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association.For info call (530) 672-3436.

NOVEMBER 28th & 29th, Merchants Open House, Extended Hours. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association.For info call (530) 672-3436.

DECEMBER 7th, 31st Annual Christmas Parade, 1PM. on Historic Main Street.Sponsored by Jim & Cathy McIntire.For info call (530) 621-5885.

Of course you can contact us at the Albert Shafsky House B&B in Placerville to arrange a room at the inn.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

August 9 & 10 wine events....near our Placerville Inn

This from an email we just recvd at our Placerville B&B....."The four wineries located on Slug Gulch Road (Colibri Ridge, dkcellars, Oakstone and Obscurity Cellars) in the Fair Play American Viticultural Area will hold an event on August 9 & 10 from 11-5 featuring wines made from grapes grown along this famous trail to an old gold mine. Slug Gulch Road has a unique microclimate which provides the wines with exceptional depth, color and vibrancy. Over the one-half distance mile spanned by the four wineries, the elevation varies from 2300 to over 2700 feet, and the temperatures grow warmer as the higher elevations are reached. As a result, grape varieties which rarely ripen at these altitudes reach unusual levels of flavor and balance, and the wines made from them reflect that richness.

Wines from grapes grown in this area have won over twelve gold medals and double gold medals in competitions this year, including Best of Class awards for several varieties and Best Red Wine of the Sierra Foothills at the California State Fair. Each of the four wineries will offer special snacks, including a cold chicken, asparagus & feta salad with a sweet Dijon mustard dressing at dkcellars, mini tri-tip sandwiches at Colibri, and Susan’s stuffed grape leaves will complement the wines from both Oakstone and Obscurity in Oakstone’s barrel room.

People who visit all four wineries will be given a commemorative corkscrew with the SlugFest logo. In keeping with the tradition of Fair Play at the Slug Gulch Wineries, there is no charge for this event and everyone is welcome. For more information, visit any of the wineries’ websites:,,,"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Are you dreaming of running an inn?

So many of our guests think that they would like to run and inn some day....when they retire....

Here are some books you should read if you think you want to run a Bed and Breakfast Inn--whether is is a California property or elsewhere.

Keep in mind that while you may "retire" to run an inn, it is still a profession and does involve work...and more laundry than you can imagine! Innkeeping as a profession is a great, wonderful business, that will demand time, energy and effort--all to make it look effortless!

That being said, visit your library or local book store to see if they have copies of
" So... You Want To Be An Innkeeper" by Mary Davies, et al.
" How To Open And Operate A Bed & Breakfast", by Jan Stankus
" Start & Run Your Own B&B Inn", by Ripley Hotch and Carl Glassman
For a lighter, but still very serious look at innkeeping as a profession try the Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed and Breakfast, by Susannah Craig and Park Davis.

We read all of these books and more before jumping in with both feet at the Albert Shafsky House in Placerville.

And feel free to ask questions here....We are always happy to answer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interesting: take children to an inn?

Many people associate inns with antiques and peace & quiet, but there is certainly no "rule" about this. Our policy at the Albert Shafsky House B&B is that only 2 persons are allowed in the room if you want to bring your daughter or son, and that means there are now 4 in your would need to rent 2 of our rooms. That is certainly fine to do, and if you are bringing your son or daughter as a single traveler, we would be delighted to have the 2 of you stay with us....

Here is the article in the paper that prompted me to post this....

Travel Q & A: Why are children not generally welcomed at bed-and-breakfast inns?

Article Launched: 06/23/2008 11:38:39 AM PDT in the San Jose Mercury News.

Why are children not generally welcomed at bed-and-breakfast inns? I would like to understand the rationale behind this rule. And it would be wonderful if you could write about inns that are kid-friendly.
- Kim Nguyen, San Jose Imagine all the couples sitting at B&B breakfast tables right now, reading this and choking on their freshly baked orange-currant scones at the very prospect of a rug-rat invasion!
But before banishing you and your little darlings to a campground, we decided to check with the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns for a little history and a policy update.
"Historically, B&Bs have been associated with romantic getaways and offer quiet, quaint retreats from the hustle-bustle of life," said Stacy Rollo, spokeswoman for the California association. "Many inns still cater to this customer and want to be known as a quiet haven."
But, like others in the lodging industry, B&Bs have had to change with the times. Parents increasingly want to take their children along on long-weekend getaways, and many crave a civilized inn experience.
In fact, for the past five years, Rollo says, the industry has heard from more and more families who want to shun the high-rise hotel experience.
So now, 25 percent of the California association's 300 inns are family-friendly.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Madrona Vineyards release party on July 13th from 12-4

Join us up at Madrona Vineyards for the Nebbiolo release party on Sunday, July 13 from noon til 4 pm. Taste the Nebbiolo, their classic Italian wine and enjoy Pasta Putenesa lunch, fresh Olive Oil and top it all off with true Italian gelato! Just $5 per person. For more information call Madrona at 530-644-5948

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

6 years at the inn....

This month brings warmer days to Placerville but some very cool events!

Also, we have a new adventure for you to try: balloon rides over Coloma and El Dorado Hills by Give them a call at 888-FLY-0484.

This month also marks our 6th year here in Placerville at the inn. Thank you so much to all of you for supporting us!

Your Innkeepers, Rita and Stephanie (and Lily!)

Some great events in July and beyond....

We still have water to raft the american if you want to cool off during the hot summer day. Another place to stay cool are the many nearby mines...always an even temp, no matter how warm it is outside.

July 13, 2008 Wine Release * Madrona Vineyards in Apple Hill invites the public to its Nebbiolo 2005 Release party also featuring pasta, cheese pairing, gelato and more. Cost of this Italian event is $5 per person.

July 19, 2008 Third Saturday Art Show * Historic Main Street galleries and merchants in Placerville stay open late for shopping and evening art shows every third Saturday of the month.

July 27, 2008 Summer Wine Fest * At this Farmers' Market style event, Madrona Vineyards in Apple Hill invites the public to sample fresh fruit, veggie and cheeses from local growers and merchants. On site will be BBQ ribs, fresh peaches and the 2006 Zinfandel.

Sunset Sippin at Boeger Winery June 6-August 22, 2008 from 5-8 pm (Excluding Friday, July 4th)

Apple Hill season kicks off Labor Day Weekend

Apple Hill is a wonderful place to get some apple, try some cider, and lots of apple related goodies and do some unique gifts. Running thru Nov, Apple Hill is extremely popular and we book up well in advance for the weekends, so make your reservations soon.

The Apple Hill® Growers Association, located in Camino, CA, was once a fledgling association comprised of 16 original ranches. Today it boasts more than 50 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, a micro brewery, Spa and vineyards. (Apple Hill Growers Office: 530-644-7692).

Come to the Apple Hill® ranches and find a day filled with old-fashioned fun. Plan a picnic on the lush land that surrounds these exciting ranches. Their doors are open and the growers have gone the extra mile to ensure your family a day that they will remember.

The view from Wofford Acres Vineyards, worth a stop on your Apple Hill travels.

More Apple Hill info

Spotlight on: Sequoia

Next time you visit us, be sure to stop by the Sequoia Restaurant just a block from the inn. This restored Victorian mansion serves wonderful cuisine in lovely surroundings.

Occupying the historic Bee-Bennett House, Sequoia offers a variety of seating options. Seating in the Main Dining Room is clustered around the original 1853 fireplace. Through the stunning wisteria blooms of the stained glass window, you can peer into the tree shaded outdoor Patio. From the Entrance Hall, you will find the Main Bar with its historic fireplace, elaborate mirrored back bar, and jeweled leaded glass window. Or, you might be seated on the spacious Veranda. Here on a warm, summer evening you can enjoy a view over the activity of Bee Street just beyond herb garden, as the soft water playing from the fountains mingles with the chatter and bustle of those gathering for their special event in the Empire Ballroom.

Read on...

Some Like It Hot!!!

When the temp goes up, take a break in Placerville. We are usually cooler here in the foothills, but take advantage when we are not! 10% off when the temp goes between 80-85, and 15% off if it goes higher (during your stay in July & August)....Monday-Thursday. New bookings only.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lily the wonder her Hug a Dox harness

Lily the wonder dog.  Some days I wonder how we even ran an inn without an adorable dachshund!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Kindle books and innkeepers

I have now had my Kindle for about 3 months and have to say "I Love It", best product I have purchased in a long time.

What is a Kindle? It is like an IPod for books, and yes, it can "read to you" if you like to listen to books on "tape". I find reading very relaxing and is something that I am always asking our guests..."What are you reading?". Now I will have to start asking, "What's on your Kindle?"

In the short time I have had it, I have downloaded a number of books, via the FREE whispernet feature that works with Sprint's cell phone coverage, and have downloaded a large number of classics for free via the computer.

You can find great tips for books in many spots online like the Kindle Reader, or the Kindle Guide, or from Amazon's Kindle blog.  Just yesterday I wanted to look up a passage from "The Prophet" by Kahil Gibran and had the whole book on my Kindle in under a minute and for less than $5.  All while sitting on our back porch!  How cool is that.

The reason I think the Kindle is so great is that I have run out of places in the bed and breakfast for more books and so this way, I can read all I want, when and where I want without having to worry about where they will be stored later.  Plus it is better for the planet to not cut some many trees down....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Time to go rafting, winetasting and more....

The days are warm and the river is flowing, Placerville has a birthday, and wine tasting is always in season.

Time to raft the American River

It is that time of year when Rita and I enjoy a good trip down the South Fork of the American River. Exciting for experienced rafters and a great introduction for first- timers too!

There are many raft companies to take you down the river...give us a call for some suggestions.

Check out one of our favorite outfitters, who offer our guests 10% when you stay with us.

Some upcoming events in Placerville

Friday, June 6 from 6-8 and Saturday, June 7 at the Bennett Gallery on Main Street from 2-7pm is a special exhibit with Ashely Bennett-Stoddard.

Saturday, June 7 bring Coloma Blues Live to Henningsen Lotus Park · Lotus, CA Gates open at 10:00AM · Show Starts at 11:00AM Los Lobos, The Tommy Castro Band, Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings, Albert Cummings, and Curtis Salgado. Food, wine, beer, cold drinks available

June 7, 2008 Placerville Founders' Day & Hwy 50 Wagon Train * Historic Main Street in Placerville closes to traffic in celebration of more than 150 years of Placerville history. Hwy 50 Wagon Train arrives 2pm. Family- oriented event includes living history exhibits, gold panning, fire engine displays, dunk tank, contests, music, wagon rides, working saloon, antique farm equipment, decorated banners display, & more; 2- 6pm, free to the public. Street dance, free, from 7- 10pm, 530-672-3436.

June 28, 2008 Bell Tower Brewfest * Historic Main Street in Placerville closes to traffic for entertainment by the "Delta Wires," "Aftershock," and "The Bayou Boys," 6- 9pm, with samplings of more than 35 micro-brews; tickets $30 from local merchants, through or 530-672-3436.

Spotlight on: El Dorado County Historical Museum

Next time you visit us, be sure to stop by the wonderful museum near the Placerville Fairgrounds. Take an informative tour, wander among the historical artifacts, or research a family ancestor. The El Dorado County Historical Museum is the place to learn about the fascinating history of El Dorado County, one of California's original and most historic counties.

Some Like It Hot!!!

When the temp goes up, take a break in Placerville. We are usually cooler here in the foothills, but take advantage when we are not! 10% off when the temp goes between 80-85, and 15% off if it goes higher (during your stay in July & August)....Monday-Thursday. New bookings only.

phone: 530-642-2776

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recent reviews of the inn

These are some of the wonderful comments our fabulous guests have made to us via Tripadvisor this month.

"I think that this is the best option in town, particularly if you are on vacation. Was actually in town for the business. Was looking for nice, quiet place. Good B and B, has only three rooms. Got to meet some interesting people who were staying there. Cookies in the evening were delicious. Unfortunately, had to leave early in the morning both days, so could not partake in the 9AM breakfast, but sounded really good. I had the upper bedroom. Nicely decorated, everything worked well. However, if you need a big desk and other things to do business work, this is not the place. Remember, this is a B and B. The only other thing, which is minor, is that house at corner of the street, and there are cars going by. However, very few cars after 10PM. Will only be problem if you are very sensitive to noise."

We thank you all for your comments and look forward to hosting you again at our Placerville bed and breakfast!

"Very charming old Victorian home. Rita was so kind and served up some wonderful breakfasts! Will stay there again if we are in the area. Felt very comfortable there."

"We just spent three days at the Albert Shafsky House B&B in Placerville and had a wonderful time! The house is a registered Victorian, beautifully restored inside and out. The innkeepers, Rita & Stephanie, live in the house, which has only three rooms available for lodgers. Our room, the Gandy Dancer, was upstairs and adjacent to a busy road so traffic noise was noticable with the windows open. The room was very clean, the decor nicely done, and the bed quite comfortable and elegant. The breakfasts were really a treat: always delicious and far from ordinary fare. Our favorite part of our stay? Meeting and becoming friends with Rita and Stephanie. They were so welcoming and cordial that we soon felt like we'd known them for years! The bent over backwards to help us with dinner reservations (at wonderful restaurants they suggested) and anything else we needed. We highly recommend this B&B.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yes, the inn is haunted!

The team also found this out about our bed and breakfast in Placerville.

Now let's see what Robert's FINDINGS and CONCLUSION are. Did Robert's team capture EVPs or any photographic evidence? Let's see, Robert take it away:

ROBERT REPPERT: There was a great amount of voice phenomena in the kitchen area, and also in the area where the piano once was. The voice phenomena was extremely audible on the stairs, and it is clear that you can hear Albert Shafsky say "Christmas party" which was interesting in itself, as he was Jewish. He speaks of a "holiday party" for the children, his and his friends, keeping them upstairs until the downstairs is ready for them to see. He also says the word "Memorial". Both these are clearly heard when he was on the stairs, and in the kitchen his voice is heard as well, as is his wife 'Kitty'. We will do further work on getting those words clearly off our equipment, this is a preliminary finding.

There was a great amount of orb actrivity at the bottom of the stairs where the unseen steps go under the building, as well as in the Albert Shafsky bedroom. Shadows appear in the kitchen, stairs, and living quarters which will need further investigation. As we go through the voice phenomena with a fine tooth comb, it is clear there are other words. This is truly a haunted building.

One more thing. Nancy was able to identify that there was a piano in the living room, and was surprised it was on an outside wall. She was concerned as she plays the piano herself, and knows that all pianos must be kept on an inside wall so as not to allow for moisture. However, she has a clarification for the door next to the piano. On first observation she thought it was opened with shelves inside and perhaps some brass parts for instruments. Upon looking at it closer she is certain at 100% that what she thought was shelves, was WOOD PILED UP SIDEWAYS, making it appear to be shelve like. The shiny objects are at the end of what appears to be a wood holding device, so the opening next to the piano held firewood, and the cabinet led to the outside of the building.

This is a truly haunted Victorian building with wonderful clear and happy energy. We do not have Brian or Rodney's findings on their equipment as yet. We intend to come back and spend our anniversary here in November with Stephanie and Rita over a glass or two of wine, our two new friends, seeing what else may be going on.

Robert Reppert

One more thing, let's see what our Evidence Analyst Brian Abeel and Technician Rodney Roberts have to say:

BRIAN & RODNEY'S NOTES (found at this link):

Photos of the Shafsky House can be found here:

For more information on Gold Rush Ghosts please visit

Paul Dale Roberts, GRG Paranormal Investigative Reporter, Ghosthunter
WPRT Paranormal Radio - Content Editor
Paranormal Cellular Hotline: 916 203 7503 (for comments on this story).

Copyright © 2008 Paul Dale Roberts, GRG Ghostwriter/Gold Rush Ghosts/Nancy Bradley Copyright © 2008
all rights reserved.

Haunted happenings at the inn

As promised here is more of the finding of the Gold Rush Ghost folks from their visit at the Albert Shafsky House B&B.

From Paul Dale Roberts:"After gathering all of the history about the Shafskys, I wanted to know the experiences of Rita and Stephanie. I wanted to know what the guests also felt in this spacious bed and breakfast. While I was getting the information from Rita and Stephanie, Nancy sensed their was a ghostly fuzzy white dog and a ghostly tabby cat that was still roaming around in the premises of this home. As the interview continued, I learn that Rita and Stephanie owned the home for 6 years, they absolutely fell in love with the enchanting personality of this home. They have both experienced hearing heavy footsteps on the second floor, books being flown off the shelves, lightbulbs being unscrewed. They will also find pennies laying about the house. Mrs. Shafsky was known to save pennies. Nancy was feeling the presence of a small child in the neighboring room. Later she feels that two kids are playing. Could this perhaps be the children of Albert & Kitty? Rita and Stephanie at times hear piano music playing in the lounge room. Sometimes they smell cherry pipe smoke from 7:30pm to 8:30pm in the evening. On this very night, the cherry pipe smoke aroma filled the room for a matter of a few minutes during the interview process.

I learn that during storms, the activity seems to increase, as if the entities may be drawing energy from the ion particles in the atmosphere. Guests have seen a man on the stairs, it has been suggested that the man is Albert Shafsky himself. Shoes have been placed in order underneath the bed by an unseen force. We later learn that Kitty Shafsky's mother Thora Bean died in this home. Nancy conducting a psychic reading of the house, discovers that Albert Shafsky and his wife Kitty are here in this home. She also feels Alberta, Boyd and Bernice are still here. Nancy feels that it is Kitty, who is playing the piano in the lounge area room. Nancy picks up the fact that two dogs are buried in the backyard and the ghostly presence of the fuzzy white dog and tabby cat are also in this home. There was one more entity that Nancy picked up on, she said that Marian Wing a former resident of this home is still here making her haunting presence known.

Nancy picks up more energy signatures that indicate that Boyd had some kind of breathing problem and she could see Kitty beating on a rug outside on the porch. She said that Kitty was always concerned on the condition of her floors, she wanted the floors cleaned and tidy. Going through some old notes on the Shafsky, I found something comical. When Albert Shafsky was a little boy, he was on a ship with his father, he wanted to know what the time was and picked up an English dictionary to say "what o'clock is it?" and instead accidentally said "son of a b****".

The entities of this home, seem to be completely benevolent, they mean no harm to the owners and only want to make their presence known at certain times. Since little children are seen, this home probably has a combination of residual haunting activity in which an act replays itself over and over again. Case example, the children playing in the adjourning room. The children could possibly be the children of Albert & Kitty Shafsky. There seems to be some intelligent activity with the books flying off the shelf, as possibly one of the entities is trying to make a statement or let the owners know that he or she is around. With this beautiful bed and breakfast there is absolutely nothing to fear. If you ever stay at this bed and breakfast, you will even be greeted by the cutest miniature dachshund named Lily. Lily has detected presences in this home too. She will bark at an area where there is nothing there to be seen.

The Shafsky House is pretty popular, since established people of Hollywood have stayed here. Such as the location scouts for the movie Memoirs of a Geisha and the Director of the movie trailer Pirates of the Caribbean has stayed here too. Steve Hanks the well known artist has comfortably stayed the night at the Shafsky House to rejuvenate from his travels. If there was a haunted home I want to live in, the Shafsky House is right there on my list! "

Is the Albert Shafsky House Haunted?

Yes, we have been wondering that very thing for a long time ourselves.  When Rita and I first moved in there were a number of things that we could not explain and chalked up to being in a new house, exhaustion from moving and learning to be innkeepers....but we also felt like there was more going on....and we were right.

We recently had the experience of having Nancy Bradley and her team of "Gold Rush Ghost" hunters visit and record their experience with us and the home of Albert Shafsky.  Below is a portion of their preliminary report...more to follow.

Submitted by Paul Dale Roberts
"Sometimes when I go to Blockbuster Video, I pick up a few horror movies, like Thirteen Ghosts. That was one scary movie, in which every ghost is hideous and is an imminent threat to the guest's well-being. come I never run into Thirteen Ghosts that will scare the living daylights out of me? Case example, I get a call from Robert Reppert - Head Investigator of Gold Rush Ghosts and his lovely wife Nancy Bradley - Celebrity Psychic. They run down a story to me about a preliminary investigation that Robert Reppert, Rodney Roberts and Catherine Noble did at the Albert Shafsky House B&B. The story is intriguing. Robert wants me on the official investigation. Robert has me hooked, because he also mentions an Indiana Jones meets the Winchester House type of discovery. Robert discovered a stairwell in the basement area that leads to nowhere!

When I arrive to Nancy's home, the paranormal investigative team gathers: Robert Reppert - Head Investigator, Nancy Bradley - Psychic Extraordinaire, Rodney Roberts - Technician, Brian Abeel - Evidence Analyst and of course me, Paul Dale Roberts - Ghostwriter. We gather all the equipment that we will be using this evening of Sunday - May 18, 2008, which includes: thermal reader, digital audio recorders, digital cameras, video cameras, temperature gauges, EMF Readers. We all pile up in the official GRG Truck and head over to the Shafsky House - / 2942 Coloma Street, Placerville, CA 95667.

We are greeted by the owners Rita Timewell and Stephanie Carlson. Two very sweet ladies that have stories to tell. Nancy and I, conducted the interviews for her show Journey into the Paranormal. With the interviews, I learn that Albert Shafsky and his wife Dora Shafsky aka Kitty came to Placerville in 1901. Albert was a dry goods salesman and opened up a department store on Main Street. He was the first man to have glass show windows and he had a milliner who made lady's hats. He built a beautiful home for his wife Kitty and their 2 year old daughter Alberta. He later had 3 more daughters, Verah, Bernice & Jeane. He was to later have a son named Boyd, born in Oakland. Albert became well known in the community and was elected City Council Member from 1906 to 1910 and Mayor of Placerville from 1906 to 1908. Albert and his three brothers came from Kishinvev, Moldavia. His daughter Alberta lived for 103 years. Albert Shafsky is descended from Kopel Yarashafsky of Modavia. "

I will post more in a few days.....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Upcoming Events near our Placerville bed and breakfast

June 4th
The Sequoia Comedy Night which is just a block from our bed and breakfast has great comedy nights.
The Sequoia presents a comedy showcase evening Doors open for Comedy Night at 7:00 pm; the show begins at 8:00 pm. Sequoia Restaurant at the historic Bee-Bennett House, 645 Bee Street, Placerville. For more information contact: Sequoia (530) 622-5222

June 6th
El Dorado Hills 2008 Summer Concert Series - Hot for Teacher - Van Halen Tribute Band
Great times, great tunes and high energy is the theme for this summer series. Tantalize your senses with songs from the 80's. Bring the kids, pack a picnic, potluck or stop for pizza and come on out for our summer concerts. Sponsored by Comcast, Wells Fargo, Sierra Fine Living Magazine and Marble Valley Center for the Arts 7:00 - 9:30 pm. El Dorado Hills Community Park Free For more information contact:

June 7 & 8
25th Annual Fair Play Wine Festival
This festival features 20 wineries all located within a 5 mile radius in southern El Dorado County. The festival will feature special events, gourmet faire, barrel tasting, live music, demonstrations and wine tasting. 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. both days Fair Play wineries $35/person and may be purchased at Fair Play wineries in advance or at the door during the event or online at

June 12-15
2008 El Dorado County Fair - Paws in Placerville
More details to come Thursday - Noon to Midnight; Friday & Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to Midnight; Sunday - 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Buildings & Exhibits close @ 10:00 p.m. El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville. General (13 years & over) -$7. Youth (7 - 12 years) -$4; Children (6 & Under) - Free everyday; Senior - (60 & over) - $5; Parking - $4 or free shuttle service For more information contact: El Dorado County Fairgrounds (530) 621-5860

June 14 & 15
Fathers Day Weekend Cherry Festival at Boa Vista Orchard
U-Pick Bing & Rainier Cherries, fresh Cherry & Blackberry Pies & Turnovers. BBQ Tri-tip sandwiches, fresh summer fruits & vegetables, apple wine tasting. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Boa Vista Orchards, 2952 Carson Road, Camino no cost for admission but cost for goods For more information contact: (530) 622-5522

And soon Imagination Theater will have tickets for it run of the Wizard of Oz which is sure to sell out. Nov 14-Dec 21

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gas, Snacks and Slug Gulch Red

Gas prices are going up and one of the El Dorado WIneries close to our Placerville bed and breakfast wants to help you out. Over the Memorial Day weekend for 11-5 in their tasting room they will be releasing Slug Gulch Red for $9 (case and club discounts apply) and if you bring in a receipt for gas or diesel purchased during the Sat-Mon they will add an additional 5% discount to your wine purchase at Oakstone Winery.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Visits from other inns to our Placerville B&B

We had a lovely visit from our pals at the Olallieberry Inn located in Cambria, just minutes from Hearst Castle.  We love this place!!!!  And it is even painted the same colors as our Placerville bed and breakfast.

For great breakfasts on the central coast, there is no place we would rather stay than the Olallieberry Inn.  Tell them we said "hello" if you happen to go.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kindle and bed and breakfast innkeepers

I have found a solution to the problem of space for my personal collection of books-- the Amazon Kindle.  This wonderful little devise can hold 200 books on it, and since I love to read, it is practically perfect for me.  There are still a number of books that will stay in the guest area of the inn--in fact nearly all, but my collection will be e-books for now.  Plus Rita won't know how many I have purchased!!!

I am not suggesting that innkeepers get rid of their books that guests enjoy, but if your personal collection is getting too big for the space in your quarters, you might want to consider purchasing a Kindle and having "more room at the inn".

The Kindle has made living at a bed and breakfast so much easier, and since you can download and read a new book without leaving the bed and breakfast, it saves us time and gas as the nearest large book store is about 20 minutes away (a lifetime for some innkeepers).

Monday, May 05, 2008

Wine tasting in the foothills

Saturday found us wine tasting at some of our favorites spots with some innkeepers from the Casa Tropicana in San Clemente who decided to getaway to our Placerville B&B.  It is always fun to host other innkeepers---and play a bit in our backyard, showing off the fun to do in the area.

Our first stop was to Boeger where we of course had to try the Barbera in the tasting room with Sarah.  As you can see they had other goodies to taste along with the award winning wines.  When you stop in, tell them the Shafsky gals said hello!

Next stop for some Old World Port was Madrona Vineyards.
We also enjoyed the lovely view of the vines and snow-capped Sierra from just outside the tasting room door.  They are holding an Open House at Madrona on May 24 & 25 for the release of their 2006 Shiraz-Cabernet where you will be able to purchase it by the case for $10/bottle.

Our last stop was to our pals at Wofford Acres Vineyards.  What a great view they have!  And fabulous wine too!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lily the wonder dog and our trip to Amador Flower Farm

Our faithful, adorable friend Lily can always be counted on to play with guests or sit in the sun...She recently turned two and was upset that it was not blogged about so here is a photo to make up for it.

We also took a trip to get some new plants last weekend to the Amador Flower Farm, which is about 30 minutes from the bed and breakfast.  It was a lovely, warm day and while Lily went with us, she had to stay in the car while we picked up some new plants for the inn.  All in all, a lovely day, with many plants to choose from--come stay and see the latest!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fair Play Wine Happenings

The wine region of Fair Play is just about 20 minutes from our B&B. Here are some events you might want to come and stay for.....

Tickets currently available for two dates:

Saturday, May 10
Saturday, June 21
If you haven't experienced a Fair Play Wine and Poker Run, you are in for a fun day! Where else are you invited to sample superb wines from five different Fair Play wineries, choose your favorite bottle from each and take it home with you, then end the day enjoying a gourmet meal in the beautiful foothills among vineyards and gorgeous views? The short answer is no where except here! Each winery you visit will present you with an envelope containing a playing card. At the end of the day, you will have at least five cards to create your hand. The grand prize, awarded for the best hand, features prizes such as a night at Fitzpatrick Lodge Bed & Breakfast or other comparable and valuable prizes. Many other gifts are also awarded for the lesser poker hands (including the worst and a few not so fabulous hands). Click here for tickets and information.

Fair Play Wine Festival

June 7-8, 11am - 5pm
Meet the winemakers of Fair Play at the 25th Annual Fair Play Wine Festival! The 20 participating wineries are planning some exciting festivities, including gourmet fare paired with exceptional Fair Play wines, live music, bottle signings, barrel tasting, art, demonstrations, discussions with the winemakers, and much more. More intimate than the typical wine festival, this is a great way to introduce your friends to us, and also makes a perfect office getaway or birthday gift for your favorite wine lover. Tickets are $35 until May 31, and $40 after that. Tickets are limited, so purchase yours online or from a participating winery today! Click here for tickets and information.

Come to Placerville and celebrate Mother's Day with us

Come to Placerville and celebrate Mother's Day at the Placerville B&B and Boeger Winery

May 11th, 2008
It's mom's special day so bring her to Boeger Winery. Try the newly released Muscat Canelli and White Riesling with a selection of locally prepared jams and jellies from Lavender View Farms. Each mom that visits the tasting room will receive a flower and complimentary Reserve Wine Tasting.

And they have new wines being released.

2007 White Riesling
This wine begins with wonderful aromas of dried pineapple, pear and a hint of lemon. The fore-palate consists of dried apple with a delicate honey finish. Serve this off-dry Riesling as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to an array of spicy cuisines. $15/bottle

Hangtown Red lot 36
Enjoy this wine's aroma of cherry and spice. This wine is a blend of 13 varietals, with Cabernet sauvignon and Cabernet franc as the two primary components. Moderate tannins and balanced fruit make this a great wine to enjoy with your favorite BBQ. $11/bottle

Carson Peak Cabernet Sauvignononly$93 a case!
The 2004 Carson Peak Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of fresh bell pepper with hints of caramel and spice. This Cabernet was aged for two years in oak barrels making it very drinkable. Mellow tannins and balanced acidity make this an excellent food-pairing wine!

2006 Pinot Gris only$10 a bottle!
This wine has delightful aromas of ripe apples and melon with a slight hint of spice. Light and silky on the palate, this wine is best served with light summer fare.

With the Albert Shafsky House just minutes from Boeger, how can you go wrong?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Vineyards are sprouting up all over El Dorado County

Vineyards are sprouting up all over El Dorado County and today's SacBee had a nice article about some of our newest players in the El Dorado Wine region. It is really great for us as there are so many good ones for us to try and pass on to our guests at the bed and breakfast.

"Dunne on Wine: El Dorado wineries are sprouting like vines
By Mike Dunne

Aside from wine enthusiasts, no one may be happier with the growing number of wineries in El Dorado County than the guy who prints the map for the El Dorado Winery Association.

Every time a new winemaker joins the group, the printer must get a work order to run off a new batch of maps.

And new vintners look to be showing up in El Dorado County at the rate of one every couple of months.

We recently took advantage of the association's 17th annual Passport Weekend to catch up with a few of them.

Iverson Vineyards & Winery
Pedigree: Eight years ago, Mike and Melodie Iverson were living in El Dorado Hills and working in the power business, he with Pacific Gas & Electric Co., she with the California Independent System Operator.

She's still on the grid, but he's now working full time in their vineyard and cellar, on a ridge along Perry Creek Road in the Fair Play area of southwestern El Dorado County.

They bought the property in 2000, and today tend 8 acres of grapes, all for such red wines as primitivo, sangiovese, zinfandel and barbera.

They planted malbec, too, but won't be making any wine from that plot in the near future. "Raccoons ate all the malbec this year," says Mike.

The Iversons opened their winery a year ago. Their winemaker is Rich Gilpin, formerly of nearby Windwalker Vineyard, now with his own winery, Lavender Ridge, in Calaveras County.

Why El Dorado: On wine-tasting treks into the Sierra foothills, the Iversons became especially keen on Windwalker wines.

On one of their visits they noticed a "for sale" sign on a 32-acre spread that included a house and a barn, the latter of which they've replaced with the structure that now houses their tasting room.

Focus: "We want very drinkable wines. You can take any of our bottles and drink it on the patio; you don't have to have anything with it," says Mike Iverson. "Nothing we have is big, thick and chalky. You don't need a steak to enjoy them."

Don't miss: With its alluring strawberry smell, note of pomegranate in the flavor and austere structure, the Iverson 2007 Sierra Foothills Grenache Rosé ($18) is suitable for patio sipping as well as pairing with shellfish. The Iverson 2006 El Dorado Barbera ($22) has been in the bottle less than two months and starts off tight, but with a little time in the glass it blossoms into a zesty representative of the varietal. Also check out the Iverson 2005 El Dorado Merlot ($19) and the Iverson 2005 El Dorado Syrah ($22).

Particulars: Iverson, 8061 Perry Creek Road, Fair Play, is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday and by appointment; (530) 620-7474.

Sierra Oaks Estates
Pedigree: Jim and Toshi Brown's infatuation with wine began innocently enough with a home winemaking kit they bought some 30 years ago.

"We liked it, and went on from there," says Jim, at the time living in Marin County and working as a manager with Pac Bell.

By 1994 they'd bought a 40-acre parcel of bare land in the Fair Play area and had begun to plant what now amounts to a 10-acre vineyard, doing all the work themselves.

They were content to sell their grapes, but when Jim became convinced that the merlot he was making as a self-taught winemaker was better than the merlot that a Napa Valley winery was making with his fruit, he decided to start his own operation.

That was 2001. Because of a "private-road issue," the couple's winery isn't open to the public. As a consequence, five years ago he opened a tasting room at the junction of Fair Play and Mt. Aukum roads.

Why El Dorado: While living in the Bay Area, the Browns belonged to a wine-tasting club that spent one weekend a year in the foothills, customarily Calaveras County.

"We went to Amador County one year and liked it pretty well, but we couldn't find a parcel the size we wanted," says Jim.

Their continued exploration brought them across the Cosumnes River into the Mount Aukum and Fair Play area, where they found the sort of spread they envisioned.

Focus: Full-bodied wines without the gritty tannins. "We work real hard to get ripe fruit without harsh tannins," he says. "I grew up liking cherries and berries. I like to see that in wines."

he couple, now assisted by consulting winemaker John Montero of Napa Valley, makes only red wines.

"I have no passion for whites," says Jim.

Don't miss: The couple's signature wine goes by the proprietary name Zinzabar ($19). It's a slightly smoky, slightly spicy and youthful blend of zinfandel and barbera. The current release is a mix of zinfandel from the 2005 harvest and barbera from 2006, a decision Jim made when he couldn't find any 2005 barbera that he liked. We also liked the Sierra Oaks 2002 Fair Play Zinfandel and the Sierra Oaks 2002 Fair Play Merlot, but they're sold out.

Particulars: The tasting room of Sierra Oaks Estates, 6713 Mt. Aukum Road, Fair Play, is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; (530) 620-7079.

Busby Cellars
Pedigree: Elliot and Sherrie Graham were working in Sacramento and living in Rocklin – he was in sales, she was in advertising – when in 1999 they bought a 34-acre chunk of the landmark Meyers Ranch along Grizzly Flat Road just east of Somerset.

A sagging barn dating from the 1930s dominates the site, but now it's flanked by 14 acres of wine grapes. It's a diverse vineyard, planted to 15 varieties, though zinfandel forms the single largest block, 8 acres.

"We do everything ourselves," says Elliot, who learned home winemaking under his father's tutelage. "It's a hobby gone wild."

Since building the winery in 2003, he's been making about 2,000 cases a year, almost all of which is sold directly out of their tasting room, though at times the Sacramento restaurant The Waterboy has stocked Busby wines. "Busby," incidentally, is Sherrie's family name.

Why El Dorado: The couple spent three years scouting the foothills for suitable vineyard property.

Focus: "We're definitely into small-lot batches," Elliot says. "We make too many varietals, but I like so many types of wine.

"Our focus, however, is zinfandel; why fight it?" he added, referring to the region's long-standing reputation for zinfandel.

Stylistically, he's aiming for "well-rounded, fruit-forward wines with backbone." Their vineyards tend to give wines a spiciness suggestive of pepper and clove.

Don't miss: The Busby 2005 Fair Play Zinfandel ($18) carries its high alcohol (15.6 percent) well, the heat not at all intruding on its blackberry, licorice and peppery highlights, though its sturdy tannins suggest it be laid down for a few years. Also check out the Busby 2005 El Dorado Tempranillo ($16); the Busby 2005 El Dorado Petite Sirah ($16); and the nonvintage Busby El Dorado Apparition, a Bordeaux-style blend based largely on cabernet sauvignon ($18).

Particulars: Busby, 6375 Grizzly Flat Road, Somerset, is open 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday; (530) 344-9119.

Miraflores Winery
Pedigree: For three years, Yuma pathologist Victor Alvarez and his wife Cheryl scouted Arizona for potential vineyard land before they happened upon the Pleasant Valley area of El Dorado County.

That was in 1992. They liked the look and feel of the area and ended up piecing together a total of 254 acres, which they started to plant to vines nine years ago.

Today, they're cultivating nearly 40 acres of grapes, much of it syrah, zinfandel and petite sirah, but including cabernet sauvignon, viognier and muscat canelli.

In 2005 they created the brand Miraflores, at first making wine in leased quarters. A year ago they opened their own monumental facility, rising like a Tuscan villa amid poison oak and throw rugs of daffodils 2,000 feet up the Sierra.

Why El Dorado: "We didn't come here to build a winery. This place is so beautiful. It was meant to be a retirement place," says Alvarez.

One thing led to another, with their small vineyard expanding and their growing confidence in the quality of their grapes.

When local consulting winemaker Marco Cappelli urged the couple to hold on to their fruit and use it to start making their own wine, they began to stake out a site for the winery.

Focus: To Alvarez, Miraflores clearly is meant to be a "New World" winery, turning out big and brassy wines. He wants them packed with rich fruit, and he isn't leery of saturated color and high levels of alcohol, though he also wants his wines refreshing.

"We are an American-style winery, with wines with lots of flavor and fruit," he says.

Don't miss: Marco Cappelli, the former winemaker at Swanson Vineyards in Napa Valley, is recognized for crafting wines of clarity, balance and elegance, which at Miraflores is shown especially in the 2006 El Dorado Syrah Rosé ($15), the 2006 El Dorado Viognier ($18), the 2005 El Dorado Zinfandel ($20), the 2004 El Dorado Syrah ($30), and the 2005 El Dorado Petite Sirah ($22).

Particulars: Miraflores, 2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, is open 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily; (530) 647-8505."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our nearest winery...Boeger

We are lucky to have so many great wineries just minutes from our Placerville bed and breakfast. Beoger is a great place to spend the afternoon as they have lovely grounds, and a wonderful group of staff in the tasting room. In the three decades since Boeger Winery was founded, they have been committed to only one standard: quality. They have built on their education and experience to produce exceptional wines. They are able to control the quality of our wines because they grow over 90% of our grapes. They are small enough to allow full attention to detail.

Boeger is committed not only to making the highest quality wines, but to pushing the boundaries of winemaking as well. Greg Boeger was one of the state's first producers of a varietal Merlot when it was virtually unheard of in California. Today he is a pioneer of innovative blends, drawing from over twenty-five varieties of grapes grown at the estate. Boeger is quickly becoming known for bringing new and uncommon varietals to the market place. They look forward to your visits!

Open for wine tasting 10AM-5PM, daily

Tell them the "Shafsky House" gals sent you!

Professional Innkeeping

Rita just returned from the 2nd bed and breakfast conference we thought we should attend of the year...PAII in Anaheim.  We figure that if you are going to run an inn you should belong to whatever learning association you can, so as to stay current with trends.  That is why you will always find us at the state (California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns - CABBI) conference and this year we added to the toolbox by going to PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International).

And while you are attending innkeeping conferences, if you can get one good idea, it usually translates into the cost of the conference and your membership for the year...or at least that is what we have found to be true.


We are pleased to announce that the 2009 InnSpire Conference and Trade Show will take place February 1-3, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. We hope to see you there!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Innkeeping with the history theme this month - gold rush in Coloma

Near to our Placerville bed and breakfast is the place that started the gold rush to California - Coloma, CA.

From the State site:"James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the valley the Nisenan Indians knew as Cullumah. 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. 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.

The purpose of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is to secure for the people and to make available for their observation, inspiration, and enjoyment, the gold discovery site and its environs as an accurate portrayal of the story that unfolded at the time of the discovery and Gold Rush. The park's interpretive program primarily embraces the period from 1847 through 1852, but also shows the town of Coloma as it developed.

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is the place where James W. Marshall found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for himself and John Sutter. This discovery in 1848 changed the course of California's and the nation's history. See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits.

Visitors have the opportunity to try panning for gold in the American River and enjoy hikes and picnics under the riparian oak woodlands. Overlooking the beautiful river canyon, where the gold discoverer rests today, see California's first historic monument, the statue of James Marshall pointing at his gold discovery site .

Throughout the year the park provides daily interpretive programs at the sawmill replica. Participate in special events, exhibits and "Live History Days" planned regularly throughout the year; contact the Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center for details."

This is a great place to spend the afternoon strolling thru history.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Since I have been posting about the history of the Shafsky family and our Placerville bed and breakfast, I thought I should mention a great place for research.  The County Musuem.
Next to the El Dorado County Fair Grounds is where you can find the El Dorado County Museum
104 Placerville Drive
Placerville, CA 95667
Phone: (530) 621-5865

Take an informative tour, wander among the historical artifacts, or research a family ancestor. The El Dorado County Historical Museum is the place to learn about the fascinating history of El Dorado County, one of California’s original and most historic counties.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More Shafsky Family history

On May 24, 1873, Aaron Yara Shafsky was born in Kishinev, Moldavia, near Odessa above the Black Sea. He arrived in California in 1889 with his brothers and changed his name to Albert Shafsky. Together, they started a dry goods business in Fort Bragg, California, first selling their merchandise to the men at the nearby lumber camps, and then establishing their first store in Fort Bragg in 1892.

While brothers Harry and Samuel Shafsky operated the store, Albert with horses and wagon traveled all over the coast, taking orders, selling goods and establishing the name of the Shafsky Brothers. In 1898, Albert was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco and married ("Kitty") Dora May Smith. They had five children, three born here in Placerville.

Albert Shafsky left Fort Bragg in 1901 and settled in Placerville, where he opened a department store downtown, first in the Douglas Building, then moving in 1909 to a new building on the old Kunkler lot on the Plaza. The store was known for having the first glass show windows and a milliner who made ladies' hats.

Albert was a Placerville City Council Member from 1906-1910 and Mayor of Placerville from 1906-1908. A copy of the Shafsky genealogy was kindly donated to the Inn by the Shafsky family, and guests are welcome to read more about this fascinating family while staying at the bed and breakfast. These as well as many other interesting books are available in our ever-expanding book collection.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trains close to Placerville and our bed and breakfast

Located just a short drive from our Placerville bed and breakfast is one of the nicest museums in California and one of the best railroad displays anywhere. 
Old town Sacramento is home to the California State Railroad Museum and it is a favorite haunt of ours when we are not being innkeepers. 
From their site "Widely regarded as North America’s most popular railroad museum, there is something here for everyone! Throughout the year, experience lavishly restored trains, engaging exhibits, and unique special events. Every weekend April-September, ride behind a steam locomotive on the Museum’s Sacramento Southern Railroad. What's happening at the Museum? Click here!"