28 July 2008

Hotel tour - Petrified Forest - Geyser

Another gorgeous, sunny, cool morning... We walked across the street for a tour of the hotel from Marta. She's a student from Warsaw (Poland) here on a summer internship thing in business management. And she's been the manager...she said she has never met the owners. They've been on holiday in Spain since before she started. She's here for 2 months, returning in mid-September.

Apparently, she's not the first intern they had...there was the one who was here before her that messed up our reservation. She must have arrived not long before we did.

The hotel has 20 rooms, 3 of them are suites. All of them are similar but uniquely appointed. Downstairs in the lobby is the 'cafe' where coffee/tea and pastries are served in the mornings. All around the outside are seating areas, small tables, vines/hedges/landscaping to provide quiet and privacy for the rooms that open to the outside. In addition to our cottage, there's a house next to the hotel that has a couple rooms in backand the front 2 stories area 2 bedroom set up similar to ours, only on 2 floors. There's also a small Airstream trailer and the 1 bedroom Alice's Nest. The owners are looking to add more properties around the hotel.

Part of the attraction is that it's a very picturesque part of town near the historic downtown area. There are a number of other hotels in Petaluma but they're chains out on the interstate. This is the only hotel actually in town. And it's a wonderful location. We've walked to all our meals. If we'd stayed at one of the other hotels, we'd have had to drive to eat anywhere but our hotel restaurant.

We asked what our cottage should have rented for...$150. We paid $85.

After our tour, we headed north out of town and stopped at the casino restaurant for breakfast. It was good food at a reasonable price. They gave us 2 $10 gift certs to use on a future visit...not that we were going to be able to use them.

Alan was intrigued by the blackjack. They're playing by rules he's never run across before and he spent giddy time calculating odds and bonuses according to their rules. California law says the house can't pay, so one player at the table has to be the bank. They bank for 2 hands ...paying wins and collecting losses...and then the banker role rotates. In addition to this, the house collects a fee from each player and provides special bonuses...for example, if you get three 7s in one hand, you win $777.

After breakfast we headed north to the Petrified Forest...wonderful! They had very nice trails and labling for a self-guided tour. They'd left some covered with moss and lichens as they were originally found but most had been pressure-washed and excavated. It was a very nice facility.

And then to Old Faithful geyser. It was kind of cheesy and tourist-trappy, what with the petting zoo and all but the geyser itself was cool. Once the spout petered out, we went into Callistoga and wandered around the downtown area for a while.

Back in Petaluma, we went to Risibisi for an Italian supper then spent some time packing in our cottage and went to bed.