In my experience, the best adventures happen by accident. I had just such an adventure last weekend. My daughter is working on a wildlife project for the University of California. She is living near the small town of Georgetown in the mountains between Auburn and Placerville. I did an Internet search and came across The American River Inn; a Victorian style hotel/boarding house originally built in 1853, now housing a bed and breakfast.
I have never had occasion to stay in a B&B, so I booked and crossed my fingers. We arrived Friday afternoon and were warmly greeted by the innkeepers. Will and Maria Collin, a charming couple, run the place. They have “retired” here by way of Beverly Hills and San Francisco. Both have traveled the world, most recently returning from a trip to China. Will is a grand storyteller and would make a great blogger. We were escorted to our room and invited to wine and snacks at six.
Our room (number 6) is great. The first thing that you notice is the bed. It‘s huge! I believe it is two full beds pushed together, fitted with custom linens. Add some runway lights and you could land jets on it. The Victorian style has always seemed a little feminine for my taste, but there are plenty of masculine features here. The rough-hewn flooring, clawfoot tub and the toilet with chain pull make for a unique experience.
We headed off to explore Georgetown. This old mining and logging town is home to some salt of the earth folks. Pickup trucks and four wheelers are prevalent. Not the shiny, never been off the road kind that populate the town where I live. These are dusty, rugged, and used for work that needs four-wheel drive. A lot of the trucks have a dog or two in the back. These same dogs hang out in front of the many bars in town while their owners quaff a draught or two on Friday evening. One gentleman wearing a pith helmet, accompanied by a dog with a circle around his eye (like Petey from the Little Rascals), is hosting a trivia contest on the sidewalk fronting a particularly rough and tumble looking bar near the firehouse.
While exploring the town my wife decides to entertain a group of local teens who are sitting on the steps in the middle of town. She hangs up one of her “hot mamma” platform shoes and does a stop; drop and roll maneuver to the collective gasps of the teens. Like a skating routine gone wrong, she recovers, bows and gives the thumbs up sign to the crowd. With hoots and cheers the group gives her a 9.5 on the judging scale.
Back at the Inn it’s time for wine and goodies. A selection of varietals and hot and cold noshes are laid out on a bar in the patio area. We meet our fellow guests and relax in advance of dinner plans. The innkeepers have menus from the local restaurants and will make reservations at your chosen spot. The wife loves Chinese so we’re off the Royal Dragon. There is a buffet the locals seem to love. We order an appetizer and an entrée to split, having started the evening at the Inn’s reception. Crab and cheese filled wontons and asparagus beef both rock! Our food with two glasses of wine and a diet soda is under twenty dollars before tip. Good food and at a great price – you’re going to love it!
The next morning breakfast is waiting in the dining room. This isn’t your cold muffin and coffee buffet; it’s a full on, tasty, country style breakfast served on real china. I could stay here everyday.
There are plenty of activities to partake of in the area. Visit a goldmine, raft a river, hike, bike, fish or more. What we did was mainly hang out at the Inn. We played ping pong, looked at the aviary full of show birds, soaked in the huge hot tub and enjoyed the relaxing patio and yard. This is a great place to unwind and escape the rigors of city life. In the words of our Governator “I’ll be back”.
American River Inn
Georgetown, Ca. 95643
Royal Dragon Restaurant
6326 Highway 193, Georgetown, CA Tel: (530) 333-2868