Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yosemite & Groveland: Recipe Research 2009 update

Dear Friends and Guests,

As I write this I can hardly believe that our Research trip was only a few weeks ago, the memories fade fast! But our guests are enjoying our return with some new recipes and presentations. We are very much back into the swing of things and look forward to your return visits this year!

Recipe Research Recap: A cruise is a fantastic way to spend time learning new tricks-of-the-trade and broadening horizons from the view point of international visitors. Each day's itinerary had no less than 3 presentations under the kitchen or party planning theme including some high-end cooking classes of which we both participated heavily earning nicknames such as Trouble and Toast from our hosts. We enjoyed topics from mixology to plating, flower arranging, fondue, chocolates and coffees from around the world and a whole lot more. When life allows, we will put together a presentation for the web on our experiences, including the story of the level and the Bed and Breakfast for sale on Charlottes Sound in New Zealand..

A very special treat was our stop in New Zealand where Victor met his lamb.
Winter-Spring room specials: You can't afford not to come! Through April 2nd we are offering a special designed to match any travel schedule.

1-2-Free: Stay 1 night, any night and get a 10% discount. Stay 2 two nights, any two nights and we will discount the rate by 20%. Take a bigger break and stay 3 nights and the third night is FREE! This is an internet offer only and must be mentioned at time of booking. !

Charlotte Winter-Spring Entertainment Schedule: Our calendar is filled with many great activities this season, we hope you have signed up for your favorites. Those who don't live in Groveland should consider our stay and play packages with rooms from $79 when paired with one of our entertainment programs.


Reservations: 209-962-6455

Having ourselves traveled many of the freeways, byways and out-of-the-ways in and beyond Groveland, we are well prepared to help plan your trip to our little town and points beyond. Feel free to browse our handy Itineraries!

We look forward to welcoming you (Again!)

Lynn & Victor

Hotel Charlotte

PS: Readers of our newsletter get a really great special this month. We pick up the Tax. That is an 8% savings on top of the great offer already mentioned in this newsletter. Both specials must be mentioned at time of booking and valid for stays completed by April 2nd, 2009

Sunday, March 1st: Chianti & Crab Feast, Caesar Salad, all-you-can-eat Ciappino, Garlic bread, 1/2 a bottle of Chianti & Tirimasu for dessert. $29.

Mondays starting March 2nd: Mensa Mondays, a continuation of last year's game night, with Trivia as the cornerstone featuring custom questions, great prizes and a menu with choices from $9.99. While playing is not required, having fun is guaranteed so come on down and let us warm you up with good food and lots of giggles.

Sunday, March 22nd: Sipping El Dorado, the last of the Sipping through the Sierra Series with our sommelier of the night, Nicole Darracq and delicious menu featuring Lobster, Caviar & Champagne (and a whole lot more, just $64 out the door, dinner, wines, tax and tip included)

Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th: Pine Cone Players Gala Dinner-Theatre for the world Premier of Groveland's got Talent. Guests will enjoy a multi-course dinner at the Charlotte, then walk down the block to the theater and reserved seating. Following the show our guests return for red carpet interviews, dessert & champagne toasts with the cast.

A Final Performance! Sunday, April 5th and Sunday April 19th, Cabaret Charlotte with Dennis Brown & Friends, an all new show spanning 5 decades of musical favorites. We will enjoy solos, duets and original ensemble pieces. Priced at $59 pp, this musical night is a winner! Join us for what will be our final release of the Cabaret Charlotte.

We have arrived

So, the airport, nothing special there exept that one of our party announces that she will not be going Sunday night if we can't get business or first class. I admire her schuzpah. but also recognize that not getting on the plane requires us to repeat the 4 hour process of getting to the airport, signing in, waiting and waiting and holding your breath all over again. I don't mind a crap shoot, but not lots of them. We decide that we are going no matter the seats given us.

As luck will have it, we are given 5 seats in the back, Victor and I board, the rest of the group decides to wait until the next day--our original flight date which we changed because it was too booked up for us to get on anything decent. We hope they make it on the plane today.

Sydney is a trip, we wish we had the concierge services of Hotel Charlotte near by to help us through the confusion!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vancouver pre-olympics

Vancouver has long been on our list of places to visit especially with its reputation for fantastic food. Our timing, just a few months before the Olympic Games has been a smart move. Flowers are in place, buildings nearly all built, windows washed and the city seems to be booming economically. Thgy should be...prices for everything seem rediculously high. Far more than the 4.5% differential in the value of our dollars...

We explore our new neighborhood and find a little wine seller shop. Prices here are incredible. A wine we buy for the Hotel Charlotte at $7 a bottle is being sold at the wine shop for $24.5o. We are unaware of any import/duty exhanges between USA and Canada, but with Canada's budding wine industry, perhaps this is exactly what has happened to boost sales of the Canadian wines.

We start the dining experience at a little place called La Bodgea, just a few blocks from where we are staying. Our host recommended it as an authentic Spanish Tapas restaurant. We agreed it was authentic, the food was fair, not outstanding, the ambiance was entertaining and refreshing.

We shared everything, a green salad, marinated artichoke hearts, seasoned shrimp, calamari and lamb shank, all small plates, but not too small. With a simple bottle of wine, the price was just under $100, tax and tip included.

The next day we spend traveling the water front with our Auqua-Ferry all day pass, $12 each. We head first from the Hornsby ferry pier to Granville Island and have a delicious breakfast, sausages, eggs, tomatoes and bagel, with Coffee, $18 tax & tip included.

We are earlier than the markets open and get on the ferry to the next stop which is called Monks, a seafood restaurant overlooking a marina and False Creek. Looks nice, but not open. They say there is a downtown area here to explore, but we don't see it and continue the walk along the shore to the next ferry pick up location. This takes us back over to the otherside and we explore a bit of Yaletown, looking for the perfect dinner destingation. The architecture of the whole town appears to be steel with floor to ceiling windowns all of the lightest teal, pale blue green color. At first it looks cheep and unkempt, like tarped boats in the nonrainy season. But as time goes on, the look begins to appeal.

Our next boat stop is ironically, the casino. We go in to see what it offers differently from what we get at our little casinon in Tuolumne. They don't have any fun video poker machines, no variations on the traditional game. Lots of pennies and some very busy blackjack tables, even though it is still morning. I try my luck at the boring video poker and win $6.50 on my $20 investment. This feels good and we cashout and head back.

We wait and wait for the ferry and none is forthcoming. Perhaps it is lunch time for them and they all take an hour off. Whatever the reason, we decide to head back to Yaletown on foot and off we go.

For to follow, must go back to bed!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ship to shore to Groveland

So, Jack and Jeannie were in last night for with Herman and Joke and they spent the evening recapping some of our funniest trip memories and I have to buckle down and do this blog. So, that is how I am spending my day. More to follow!
Let's see, here's a brief outline:
Hovel Hotel in Darling Harbor, Sydney
When is a hotel not for overnight guests?
The Level
Clock stories
Blind Taste Testing
Looking at Bed and Breakfasts for sale in NZ
The Bag Left on the Boat saga
The second hand store
The jeweler
Decorating our stateroom
The isn't Business Class Flying grand—except for....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh renting a car abroad....Tasmania

Today you get a special blogged treat, an actual entry! I have so many to do, that it is going to take some time to organize everything. Traveling on a cruise does not give one much free time to stay on top of things like blogging.

So today we landed in Burnie, Tasmania, an island off Australia a days float from Melbourne. It was warm today, but I imagine tomorrow to be about 25 degrees worse as we will be in Melbourne. Perhaps that should be a stay on the boat day. I don't fancy 110 degrees!

Okay, so here we are in Burnie and we rented a car so we could drive along the coast. Odd that we would choose to do this, we have been coastal for nearly two weeks now. But that is what we did—stuffed 5 adults tipping the scales on the larger side of the scale for our heights into a Toyota something or other. The front folks seemed comfy but the back was miserable with knees not fitting, sunlight blaring on our bare necks and heads and hardly able to see. But we were stoic. VERY Stoic! And endured!

We drove to a cute little town called Stanley on an isthmus with 5 fishing boats, a marvelous little sea-creature museum, (can't think of the right word) but we got to hold the crabs, big buggers and a lobster...very cape-codesque mixed with Inverness and Drakes Beach, Scenic and Charming, a place to go for a month and write a book. Sadly, it appeared all the books have been written and the authors have gone home. Most of the place seemed vacant, many little ocean front holiday cabins and charming inns-hotels. It was perfectly sparkling clean and fresh and very inviting, but this is their high season and they appeared to have no visitors in town at all except those of us that ventured this way from the Cruise ship. This doesn't bode well for what we can expect in Groveland this coming summer for tourism, but that is a thought that can wait another week or so before I start to dwell in that direction.
Jack did a marvelous job in getting us from point to point. From what I counted we only had 5 or 6 mistakes and none of them really fatal even with driving on the wrong side of the road. All in all, a good day's journey.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Food

The most notable thing about the food is its availability and quantity and it is always fairly good sometimes it is even GREAT. I do miss the use of seasonings and spices. Everything seems to be spiced to appeal to a massive public and I like to dine a bit more on the edge.

I will get some daily notes updated into the blog, but just wanted to get these down before we had to run again. We come into these little ports, check out the town and then look for an internet cafe to check emails. A very affordable 7 cents a minute compared to the boat at 75 cents a minute...but never enough time to get the job done. I will start posting to my lap top then when we find these cafes I will log on and publish them from there. Then I can write all night...or whatever.

Victor and I are on separate schedules. He gets up between 5:30 and 6 am and I don't want to get up before 9. I like to stay up later than him too. But we get a nap each afternoon...just like home.

Victor took a cooking class yesterday and it was so good some of the people almost missed their scheduled tours. We are going to try out the fancy dining room for my birthday. Will note back on that later.

See you soon!

Yes we are here!

So we are here and Jack reminds me on a daily basis that I am way behind on my blogs. This is very true. Every day is so full of activities and like freshmen in their first years of high school we are signed up for all of them. I did skip the cupcake decorating class though.

As rookie cruisers (this is our very first) we are finding everything very exciting and each day is full of newness. This is also very resorty compared to what we do each day at the Hotel Charlotte. We get towel wrapped shapes on our freshly turned down beds each evening. Yesterday was a stingray shape and a scorpion before that. They even have a book you can buy to learn all the shapes. Maybe we will buy it and have a custom Hotel Charlotte shape laid out on the beds every night. I think we would only need 7 shapes, one for each day.

See you soon!