Tony appears to be stumped by what happened here.
This November has been an exceptionally beautiful one from the standpoint of the weather and we were closely watching forecasts for the weekend since we had planned the Great Train Robbery
, an outdoor mystery dinner event. Plans were set with music, food and an interactive mystery experience with a full house as well as additional tickets sold. It was Thursday night and we were sitting in the house when, suddenly, the wind came up pretty fiercely.
We’ve had wind storms here at the Featherbed and we followed procedure to notify our guests to park away from the trees since there is always the chance that a tree limb can cause damage to their vehicles. But the wind got stronger and stronger to the point that it became distressing. Then the power went out around 6:30 or so. Phooey. This was getting serious. At that point Tony moved the ’61 Corvair Lakewood from it’s parking spot by the park to a safer spot in front of the house where no trees were.
We have guests who were in town to get married and were in the process of moving but they were not back from their day’s adventure just yet. And the wind was getting stronger. And noisier.
A few weeks back our main tree guy, Dennis Dickey, had climbed all over the trees and had done a bit of trimming. With winter approaching this is normal maintenance that we do around here. Unfortunately, our swing tree was deemed to be in need of a heavy trim and the swing had come down, along with several big branches from that tree. Otherwise Dennis had given the trees an a-ok for health. We had planned to look for a new place for the swing.
Fall's colors at the Featherbed Railroad
Fall is one of those great times of year to visit the Featherbed Railroad. The daytime temperatures still can hit the 80s with night temperatures dropping down into the low 50s - perfect snuggling temperature. You drive around and smell the wineries crushing grapes which is such a beautiful perfume in the air. It's funny to think of even writing such a post because when I lived in Southern California there were two seasons - summer and not summer. That was it.
With this Fall business we get to do things like go in corn mazes at the local farm, watch the vineyards change from a lush green to an incredible golden rust color. It's really pretty. While our summer availability is pretty tight, we've got plenty of rooms available in the Fall - even weekend reservations are usually no problem.
Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the editors of USA Today once again cast the specter of fame on the Featherbed Railroad as they announced our being one of the 10 Best Places to Sleep with a g-g-ghost
. Does that make us a haunted bed and breakfast?
Some folks think that all this talk of haunting and spooks is a bunch of ridiculous nonsense. Indeed we have hundreds of people who stay in our popular Celebrations room every year, and nobody mentioned seeing anything out of the ordinary.
The Featherbed Railroad has been a popular spot for group getaways for some time; however, we've really picked up on the number of groups that come stay with us recently. In response, we've stepped up our own game to improve the experience our group guests have.
Just this past weekend two groups stayed with us - a car club and a family reunion. This gave us a chance to exercise some of Tony's decades of experience in the event planning business.
We are able to arrange some nifty packages and journeys and even group discounts. We've got some great ideas for keeping your group entertained while they're here.
Furthermore, if you're doing a team building or business getaway we are thrilled to work with you to put together team building exercises either right here on the property or around the area.
Many guests remember the vintage 1890s Velocipede that used to grace the front of the Featherbed Railroad. This yellow rail bicycle was a fun fixture for picture taking. Unfortunately a tree limb bent the frame in half in winter of 2012 and we had to take it off the rails for safety reasons. That's when a bet was made.
You see, we're good friends with some of the folks from the Skunk Train
and Jim Baskin, knowing how Tony will wait until the last minute to do some things, bet him that the velocipede wouldn't be repaired any time soon. Tony, feeling confident, said that it would be in running order in time for the Willits Kinetic Carnivale.
Funny thing - the bet was made at New Year's Eve and the Kinetic Carnivale was just this past September 7-8. Jim does know Tony. But Jim doesn't realize the true power of beer.
On a number of pages on our website we've talked about the farm-fresh ingredients we use whenever possible. Recently local farmers Troll and Joelle brought us a basket of goodies that was so beautiful, we had to take a picture. In fact, it actually looks fake in this picture but, take it from our taste buds, these fruits and veggies were very real. And delicious.
Troll and Joelle operate a farm called Les Jardins du Bateau which means
the boat garden. They both speak French, what with Joelle being a native of Belgium, so the name fits. The garden is five acres in a flood plane so it's completely submerged for a very short time of year but grows glorious produce the rest of the year.
Essentially, our arrangement with them is that they just bring whatever they grow and we figure out how to incorporate that into what we serve here. It's always organic and Joelle even keeps her own seeds so no GMOs here.
These aren't the only farmers we work with, either. We love the fabulous red strawberries from Saecho farms, a family-run business. Seely's farm stand is a great source of what's local as well. Our honey comes from Dollar Mountain Apiaries
in Lower Lake.
There are also great farmer's markets around the Lake where you can chat with the farmers themselves and get the inside track on what's now and what's coming soon.
Have you ever slept on a yacht overlooking a cliff, or overnighted in a jet airliner hanging out over a ravine or even slept in the belly of a 40' elephant? We know one thing you're most likely to have done - slept in a caboose - and that's how the Featherbed Railroad got mixed into all the unusual spots mentioned on Escape Travel's blog about the most unusual hotels in the world
We're always so surprised and happy when someone finds our little resort nestled among the oak and Redwood trees here on the shores of Clear Lake and we're especially tickled by the fact that the author of this blog comes to us from across the country as blogger Jessica Holmes finds spends the days she's not traveling eating her way through New York.
The places we keep company with on this blog include some really unusual spots including a giant boot in New Zealand called, obviously, The Boot
. This B&B is nestled among hazelnut trees and, as the name details, it's actually a giant boot that guests vacation inside of. We don't know what kind of planning it takes to get an unusual building built in Australia, but we can imagine that it's quite a "feet" to do something like this. Sorry, the pun just wrote itself.
We've shared media with Hotel Costa Verde in Costa Rica
the past. This place is actually a retired 727 that overlooks the jungles of Costa Rica where you spend time relaxing in this retired aircraft. We see this place as something that's rather fancy, rather than just "plane." For those of you still reading, congratulations - or condolences.
While we're pretty happy with our repurposing of vintage railroad cabooses for our property, we can only imagine what it takes to repurpose a cruise ship for a hotel. But that's what it looks like the Sun Cruise Resort
has done in South Korea. We know that you can easily lift a 50 ton railroad caboose with the right crane but we don't know how in the world you lift a cruise ship onto a cliff. Never mind that, this place is pretty neat. We don't have a pun for this one, unfortunately, and there is also the chance that this was purpose-built rather than being an actual cruise ship. Okay, we really do have a pun but we can't wait so we're moving on.
The last place detailed by the blog was the Kumbuk River Eco in Sri Lanka. Before you click on the link, please be forewarned that there's a tropical drum beat constantly going on on their website. We don't like music on websites so consider yourself warned.
Now, the place. It's actually a hotel built to resemble a large elephant
or wooly mammoth, to our eyes. The best part is, apparently, the bell staff are extraordinarily adept at dealing with trunks
. We warned you that we were excited about this pun, but you may be saying 'tusk, tusk' to yourself about now. Anyhow, if you ever find yourself in Sri Lanka this looks like quite the place. Although we're kinda partial to the boot, ourselves, and it looks like a great place to tie one on
When Tony found out that someone he really
admires was writing a book and was looking for some input, he jumped right on the confuser and submitted a few tips about how a staycation can save a bunch of money for the traveler. He had no idea that someone he really looks up to, Clark Howard, would turn that input into five pages in his new book Living Large for the Long Haul
But even more, it turns out that Clark Howard was really interested in what Tony had to say about staycations and how they can be a real savings so he arranged for an interview with Tony that lasted some 10 minutes. Now the value of 10 minutes of air time on a nationally-syndicated radio program is probably equivalent to the combined value of all the vintage and modern cars on the Featherbed Railroad property, so we're really grateful for this opportunity.
Who is Clark Howard?
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We've all seen those television shows where someone brings a vintage item they've had for years and suddenly discover that it's worth a small fortune. And we've all wondered about that vintage item in our back room - is it worth a lot or is it just old stuff?
We've been friends with Laurence & Sally Martin for many years and they're experts on this sort of thing. In fact, they're so highly regarded they've been featured on TV shows like Storage Wars as appraisers of some of the more unusual treasures.
Three years ago, Laurence & Sally got their own show - Baggage Battles - and travel the world finding old stuff and assessing its value.
Here is your chance to have Laurence give your treasures a look and see what they're worth - is it gold or is that just junk in your trunk?
Saturday, August 3 Laurence Martin will be at the Featherbed Railroad from 2-5pm and will give your items a look to see what he thinks. Who knows - if it's a great item he might even buy it! But he will give you an idea of what it's worth at the very least.
This will be a fun afternoon and spending time with Laurence is always a hoot. There is no charge to have your items looked at and, perhaps, that rusty gold could be a vintage treasure! We encourage you to make an appointment in advance but you're also welcome to just bring that item by and have it looked at. Call us today at (707) 274-8378.
We hope to see you on Saturday, August 3 from 2-5pm to see if your vintage items are worth a fortune - or just worth donating to charity. After all that junk in your trunk could be worth quite a hunk!
Since the first summer we spent up here, Tony & Peggy have really enjoyed the county's Wine Adventure
every year. This passport event allows you to try wines from a variety of Lake County wineries over a two-day period and has always been a lot of fun along with a great opportunity to try a huge
variety of wines.
But we've always also wanted to host a stop here at the Featherbed Railroad, too. This year that vision became true as we partnered with Red Lava Vineyards
to host their wines here.
One of Sophia Serhan's beautiful jewelry creations.
At the same time, we're going to be enjoying the jewelry artistry of Sophia Serhan while her husband performs music live outside in his one man band performance style.
The official map of Lake County Wine Adventure 2014 featuring over two dozen wineries pouring wine with music and food to boot.
Bud Lawson inspects one of Red Lava Vineyards fine red wines.
Of course we're going to do our stop up right with Tony making his award-winning peanut butter and jelly chili
while Peggy brings cream cheese and apricot-topped pretzel crisps to the table. Oh, we know that sounds weird but, trust us, it was great during our tasting with Bud & Kristi from Red Lava Vineyards.
They will be bringing their 2010 Tempranillo, their Red Hills Syrah and 2011 Red Hills Sauvignon Blanc.
We hope you have a chance to enjoy this fun event with a designated driver. With over two dozen wineries serving wines, food and music of all sorts this should be a very fun day. And don't forget to mark your map for stop number 20, the Featherbed Railroad. We look forward to meeting you and sharing some wine, chili and pretzels topped with cream cheese and apricots. Trust us on the last one.