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Monday, April 28, 2014

Okei Memorial

This is a very cool spot in El Dorado County...and most people don't even know it exists....but we do.  And now you know too!

From our friends at "For a few years, Gold Hill was the site of a small Japanese settlement. Encouraged by a German soldier of fortune named John Henry Schnell and a samurai named Lord Matsudaira, up to 26 Japanese — apparently the first Japanese group to settle in California — arrived here in 1869 to establish the Wakamatsu Tea Colony. Grandly, Schnell planned for extensive production of silk and tea. However, the relatively dry climate and investor difficulties doomed these crops, and the colony faded away. Schnell ran out of money, selling his land to Francis Veerkamp. A young Japanese girl, Okei, had arrived with the Schnell family as a nursemaid. She stayed on, working for the Veerkamp family until she died at the age of 19. She is buried on a lonely hill on private Veerkamp property close to Gold Trail School. Her story became the subject of a best-selling novel in Japan. A shrine next to the school honoring Okei was dedicated years ago by Ronald Reagan, then governor of California. Today the shrine remains a favorite California destination for visitors from Japan."

If you happen to be out tasting this way, or visiting Coloma State Park, stop by here and take a moment to enjoy this peaceful spot.

Monday, April 21, 2014

From today's Mountain Democrat! 105 years ago....

From the Mountain Democrat....
April 24, 1909
The Last Chance Mine to Have Another Chance

The famous old Last Chance mine at Coloma, which paid such fabulous sums in years gone by, is to be opened again by Messrs. L. N. Strickler, J. F. Owen and Albert Shafsky, of this city. This mine produced a pocket of $60,000 when owned by Messrs. Peterson and Nicolison, and a number of smaller pockets were taken out later by the same men. It has been operated by different parties since with varying results, one company working it eight months without any indications of further deposits of the yellow metal. It was abandoned for a year, when a couple of strangers bonded the property, and within ten feet of where the others quit work, took out something over $4,800. It has been worked since, but not systematically, and if Messrs. Shafsky, Strickler and Owen prove as lucky in their second mining venture as in their first, we may look for great things from the old Last Chance. Mr. Strickler is related to the Petersons, first owners of the mine, and we trust may be as fortunate. Operations will be under way by the first week in May.

I is for Illuminare Winery

Another favorite spot of ours up in Camino...tell Aaron we said "Hi" when you stop by to taste.

From their website....The Hill Family invites you to have an “enlightened” experience with the wines of Illuminare. We are a boutique El Dorado County winery specializing in small lots of very limited production wines. From our tantalizing “Seeing Red” label to obscure varietals such as Pinotage, our wines are unique and exciting. Our winemaking style strives for maximum extraction and intensity that is showcased in our wines. Join us in the celebration of family, friends, and of course, wine.They can be located in the Camino Wine Plaza Building in the heart of Apple Hill. Situated with 3 other boutique winery tasting rooms in the building, they offer a unique tasting experience. To find them, go East on Highway 50 from Placerville and turn left on the Carson Rd. / Apple Hill Dr. Exit. An immediate Right on Carson Rd.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

B&B Mythbusting...Albert Shafsky House style

A while back my pal Jay Karen from PAII aka the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) wrote a bit about myths and bed & breakfasts. The title of the 27-Apr-10 article was "The Top 5 Myths About Staying At A Bed And Breakfast Inn". While the article certainly pointed out common misconceptions, some of them were once true (and maybe still are in parts of the country!).

Myth 1: B&B decor is limited to lace doilies, paisley wallpaper, antiques and patchwork quilts.

At the Albert Shafsky House B&B there is the occasional doily, I will admit it.  But there are also books, trunks, and trains.  We do live in a Queen Anne Victorian, in a historic part of town....and there is still some wallpaper.  That being said, I don't think our inn is very is just not us.  We are more MIssion style furniture people, where it is comfortable, not dainty. 

Myth 2: You have to share a bathromm with other guests.

Not at the Albert Shafsky House: All of our guest rooms have private baths. 

Myth 3: You have to eat breakfast with total strangers and eat whatever the innkeeper prepares that morning.

Yes, you will meet new people at breakfast, but the innkeeper at the Albert Shafsky House will take your special food allergies into consideration when making breakfast.  Vegan/vegetarian/we want you to have a memorable stay and that includes breakfast....just please tell us ahead of time so we can prep something for you.

Myth 4: You have to adide by a curfew set by the innkeeper.

All of our guests have their own key to the front door and while it is locked at all times, you are free to come and go as you please.  

Myth 5: B&Bs are only for couples and strictly prohibit children and pets.

We are happy to welcome all ages, and relationship status.  We are unable to have your pets stay with us though as Lily is Queen of All She Surveys!  We are happy (and so is she) to have you pet her all day if you are missing your furry friends.  

Monday, April 07, 2014

H is for Holly's Hill Vineyards

Another of our wonderful foothill wineries...are we spoiled here or what?  Holly's Hill Vineyards is a short 20 minute drive from our bed and breakfast....from their site....

Visit Us
The Holly's Hill family has created a serene retreat in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Holly's family artfully crafts small batches of distinctive wines. Come and relax with Rhône varietal wines while overlooking the Cosumnes River canyons.

Tasting Room Open Daily 10am to 5pm
3680 Leisure Lane Placerville, CA 95667

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April 11th, 2014: Girls Night Out

6PM to 9PM. This fun, Friday night event focuses on activities that appeal to women. The 7th Annual Girls Night Out will feature a fun new theme (TBA)! Come out and discover Historic Main Street. Merchants stay open late to showcase all the great things they have to offer. Check in at the Bell Tower to pick up a program or a Scavenger Hunt card. Activities include entertainment, games, trunk shows, prize drawings, scavenger hunt, health and beauty specials, massage, restaurant specials, dance instruction, sales & promotions, food, chocolate, olive oil samplings, and much more. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association. For info call (530) 672-3436.