Sunday, May 24, 2015

Checking In: Julian Gold Rush Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

I'm often asked what I like most about living in San Diego.  That isn't a difficult question to answer.  I love that I live just minutes from the beaches and bays to the west and north, and the mountains just 1.5 hours to the east.  Since early childhood, I'd always been fascinated with the sight of mountains.  Living in Virginia did that to me.  Now I have fond memories of those long-ago camping trips with my extended family to the Laguna and Cuyamaca mountains when my kids were just kids.  Being in the mountains brings back those carefree days.

Over the past couple of years, I've had that yearning to be back in the mountains.  One day, I noticed a Groupon deal for a one night's stay at a historic hotel in Julian, a premier getaway in the beautiful Cuyamaca Mountains.  The deal went for $89 for a one-night's stay, an afternoon tea service, a full complimentary breakfast and a gift card to the Julian Pie Company (a $14.95 value for a pie or anything else up to that amount).  Seriously, what a deal!  I hemmed and hawed at the thought of purchasing the deal because I didn't think Gerry would be too keen on doing this sort of thing.  By the time I approached Gerry with the idea, the deal had dropped down to $80. He was game, to my surprise, and I clicked the button "Book". Here is a pictorial of our wonderful stay at the Julian Gold Rush Hotel and Bed & Breakfast.
The hotel is an 1890's nationally historical national landmark.

Hotel lobby
Part of the library

The best part of the library was this little notebook.  PCT stands for the Pacific Crest Trail, a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail that runs from Mexico to the U.S. Canada border. The trail aligns with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.  If you watched Reese Witherspoon's film "Wild", you'd know what I'm talking about.
I took a peek in this box, and it included clothing left behind by other hikers.  The clothes are laundered by the hotel staff to pass on to hikers staying for a recovery period, and in need of new clothing.
This is what you see at the top of the stairs on the second floor.  There are two rooms with private baths at this end of the hall with a public toilet off the hallway.
Upon arrival, we were given a choice of three available suites to choose from.  After investigating, we chose room #8, which was at the end of the other hallway.  The room had its own little hallway, which made the room quite private.

Our room was quite small, but this is a very old, historic building, and that's just how it is.  Small room means small bed.  We have a king-size bed at home, but you don't notice how small a double is after you've been out all day long into the evening, and are tired to the bone.  You're just happy to lie down no matter how small the bed!
Our room came with complimentary wireless internet access and individual heat and air conditioning.  It is furnished in the Victorian tradition with the American antiques and vintage decor.

The courtyard in the back of the property is large and tranquil.
The breakfast and tea room.
The Tea Room included a boutique in which you could select jewelry, accessories and trinkets to purchase.  Items are made by local artisans.

I found this awesome replica of a Sears Roebuck catalog in the Tea Room.  So cool!
Complimentary breakfast included Eggs Florentine, fresh fruit and yogurt, a thick slice of raisin bread, orange juice, and coffee and tea.  It was delicious!

Our stay at the Julian Gold Rush Hotel, Bed & Breakfast was just what we needed for some rest and relaxation after two weeks in Europe.  You know, needing a vacation after the vacation!  

Avoid booking a room here or any other hotel in Julian on Mondays through Wednesdays.  We found several businesses to be closed, as were the museums.  It's a few days off  to rest for these folks after a busy weekend entertaining out-of-towners.  There is no bank in Julian so come prepared with your credit/debit card and cash.  You will not find an ATM anwhere!  To fully enjoy the country town without a mass of people, I suggest arriving on Thursdays and Fridays.  Saturdays and Sundays are popular days for tourists, and that's when the town comes alive.  It's always a happy day when you come to Julian any day of the week!

2032 Main Street
Julian, CA  92036
(760) 765-0201

Disclaimer:  The Julian Gold Rush Hotel did not solicit my review of their property.  I will always share with my readers any hotel that I find worth writing about simply because I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.  

Happy Travels!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Travel Barometer for 2015

Whenever a new season approaches, I'm often asked, "Where's your next adventure taking you?".  I just returned from the British Isles, and that was such a fantastic whirlwind of a trip that I'm just going to settle down for a few months.  Until late summer, that is! Then I'm off to Memphis again for some bonding time with my baby granddaughter, Presley.

Enough about my travels, though!  I want everyone who suffers from wanderlust to just declare they're going to find every way possible to go somewhere.  According to ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) here are the top picks from a survey of 400 travel agencies.  
Big Ben & Parliament at night.

Afternoon in Rome, Italy

London and Rome tied for the top spot.  Here are this summer's most popular vacation spots and the percentage of travel agents who selected each as the top destination.

The Loggia della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
Top 10 International Destinations 

1.    London (7%)
2.    Rome (7%)
3.    Paris (6%)
4.    Cancun (4%)
5.    Punta Cana (3%)
6.    Barcelona (1%)
7.    Florence (1%)
8.    Venice (1%)
9.    Dublin (1%)
10.  Riviera Maya (1%)

Standing on the Red Stairs in Times Square, NYC.
Top 10 Domestic    

1.    Orlando (17%)

2.    Las Vegas (13%)
3.    San Francisco (4%)
4.    New York City (3%)
5.    Miami (3%)
6.    Los Angeles (2%)
7.    Anaheim (2%)
8.    San Diego (2%)
9.    New Orleans (2%)
10.  Washington, D.C. (2%)

Happy Travels!