Thursday, October 20, 2016

About Our 50th Anniversary & Trip

A part of the April 2016 trip was obviously our 50th anniversary.

From a business perspective, we needed to do some market research and discover accommodations, amenities, services and facilities that  truly first class establishments provide: those things that make them first class versus the also ran upscale establishments.  During our three week research visit in Europe there were several places, things and services that clearly were heads above the also ran upscale establishments that we encountered. Some were provided us during our visit to their establishment and a few we just witnessed while walking the sites.

The dominate feature of the truly first class places was their quality. Quality of their products, services and amenities. Bed linen was the most obvious and foremost on our research list. 1,200 thread count sheets were nowhere to be found, even at the JW Marriott in Venice, Italy (where we spent our anniversary night). Their linen was nowhere comparable in comfort to the Micro-fiber sheets we use on all our beds. Micro-fiber fabric is used everywhere in Europe as part of there cleaning chores. That fabric is soft for using to cleaning precious surfaces and itself is easily cleaned for reuse. That is why we use the micro-fiber in all our towels and robes. It is soft for those precious surfaces known as our guests and yes it is also Eco-friendly as it is easy to clean and dries twice as fast as Turkish towels or Terry robes. On that point we are first class and have been for many, many years.

The king-size bed in our junior suite at the JW Marriott in Venice, Italy

While on the Emerald Star cruising up the Rhine River from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland, we enjoyed top notch, first class service from all levels of the crew responsible for pampering us. Of course we paid through the proverbial nose for those services.  They provided every request we had: another beverage, something different than what is being served at meal time, please come back later to clean our suite and what is in the villages along the river.  The little things like name plates for dishes being served that are not obvious as to what they are made the cruise more comfortable.  We picked up lots of tips and ideas from the cruise from recipes (received an autographed copy of the Emerald Waterways cookbook), and learned many ways to fold napkins, and numerous other ideas.

Name placards for dishes on-board the Emerald Star.

Here at Lucinda's we have prided ourselves on doing the extra little things that make your stay more comfortable for you. Not everyone wants coffee only at 9:00 at the breakfast table. We have the Kreuig coffeemakers in the suites if you want coffee at 5:30, as our guests want as I write this. We don't have staff like the Emerald Star or JW Marriott, but Daryl and I have been doing a first class job of giving you the best service.

In the far corner at the doorway is the coffeemaker where coffee can be made anytime.

I mentioned earlier that we discovered new ways to fold napkins. The way we have been placing the napkins on the tables is one of those styles, but neither I nor Daryl knew those folded napkins we have done for 12 years was a special fold for first class dining. Daryl has mastered several different styles that he now uses for the first class breakfast table and the occasional dinners.

Daryl has named this style of the folded napkin "The Flower".

On a personal note: 50 years ago we stopped at a jewelry store in Reno on our way to Twin Falls, Idaho to buy our wedding bands. After we were home about two months after our wedding vows Daryl and my brother, Roy, were playing basketball at my parent's house. Daryl made a left handed hook shot and the ring flew off his finger, never to be found. Last March, on one of our visits to our rental property in Reno, I made a secret visit to that same jewelry store to buy another band. I knew it wouldn't fit, but I wanted it to give Daryl on our 50th anniversary. We returned to the store after we got home and had the ring resized.
 The wedding band I gave Daryl at the JW Marriott in Venice, Italy.

'Til Next Time .....


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Lots of Exciting Things Going On

Water is still a major concern, but we had a good rainy season this year so the biggest problems of low water have subsided.

The exciting thing is there are several things I need to bring you up to speed on.

Last spring we traveled to Europe to celebrate our 50th anniversary. It was really a great trip of a lifetime. During that trip Lucinda's was selected to be part of the Diamond Collection. We are fortunate because there are only about 400 places selected by out of their 10,000 members. They are the world's largest internet directory for finding B&B's for travelers. There was an extensive inspection and evaluation of our facilities, operation and our reviews. So I really appreciate all the fantastic reviews you folks have written about us.

During the inspection, right before our trip, we invited two couples to be here at the Inn. The inspector was impressed we did that. The two couples are our most frequent guests. One couple has stayed with us the most times, 35, and the other more nights (I haven't counted the nights because they stay two or three nights at a time, but they've stayed 32 times). The inspector pointed out we have two # 1's. Both couples have become family.

LUX Magazine & Travel Guides is the world's premier luxury publication for the upscale traveler. They just named us their Most Relaxing Country Inn, in their category Hotels & Spas and in their Hospitality category we were named Best Upscale Bed & Breakfast and LUX Recommended Wine Country Getaway. WOW! Being awarded one thing is a big deal for a worldwide travel guide, but three is unbelievable. Again, I really appreciate all the great people who stay with us; you're the ones who make Lucinda's the place it has become. Thank you are too small words but says it all.

August 27th we hosted our first Fair Play Fair2Fork Dinner & Stay. Farm2Fork meals use ingredients from farm & ranches within 100 miles. We used seven farms, two local stores and a farm in Amador County, just 20 minutes away. 10 wonderful people enjoyed spring lamb from Deaver farms, fresh produce from several local farms and music by Tamra Godey, our local musical star.  People started singing with Tamra. Everyone had a great time.  Two more are scheduled, September 24th and October 29th. Keep your eyes on your inbox.

I've decided it's time to offer Sean's Custom Catering Recipe dinners on a limited basis. They won't be available all the time, but we'll do them for four people or couples when the time is right. We'll send you an email after you make your reservations to stay to let you know about the dinners. So many of you enjoyed Sean's Custom Catering dinners we just had to bring back dinners featuring his recipes.

We're working on another Murder in Fair Play - Fair Play Gold. You guessed it--it has something to do with the Gold Country and history of our magnificent slice of the Sierra Foothills. Just remember to get your group of 6 to 10 people and have us set a date for your fun filled two days here at Lucinda's. There are the French Connection and the Mob Connection to select from if you just can't wait for Fair Play Gold.

Be Back Soon ...


PS: We shall NEVER FORGET Flight 93, the Pentagon, and the Twin Towers.