Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tu Tu' Tun and Bandon-By-The-Sea, OR

I'm gathering my thoughts and pictures from my recent weekend up north. I'm excited to report that we have a very special, even luxurious place, a few beautiful hours north - the Tu Tu Tun Lodge [link].

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Trinity Alps Guest Room - Remodeling

We are at it ... again!
Things are sadly so slow here in the winter, that even though we can't afford it, we take rooms off the market for remodeling projects. This year, our Trinity Alps Guest Room gets some special attention.

When I remodeled the entire B&B a few years ago, Trinity Alps stayed open the longest and got less attention in the wall-paper/paint removal department. All rooms got new furniture, plush king beds, Restoration Hardware linens, and fixtures, but Trinity Alps just got a quick coat of paint - gotta pay the bills. We recently got a less than stellar review (!) for our Trinity Alps Room. I'm glad we were already addressing their concerns, even before they got back to Germany. Though I can't figure out how to cram a jacuzzi tub into that little bathroom over the garage, and can't afford to add a fireplace this year, it will be a nice remodel.

Jason has been busy scraping this past week, and will start painting next week. We'll post some before and after pics here for those of you that like projects like this.

Here are a few (pre-remodel) reviews from the Trinity Alps Guest Room Journal:

Not Having to Answer the Bell All the Time
May '06
"Sometimes work is being like a boxer, taking a beating round after round, and yet having to keep answering the bell to go out for another round. I love hearing the bell in the bay, a very different kind of bell. Nothing to answer, just something to be with." 

It Goes With You
May '06
"I have waited 28 years to stay in this place. I fell completely in love with Trinidad and with this house as a young, impressionable college student. How is it possible that I am here now as a 50 year old with my own college age daughter? How wonderful to be able to share this dream with her. This is not a place you can leave behind. It goes with you, it becomes a part of you forever." -Huntsville, UT

My Husband's (Then Boyfriend's) Birthday Present '98
June '06
"Since then we have tried to come here every year, and we always stay in the same room (Trinity Alps). We love Northern California, Trinidad, this house, and this room. The owners of this place have changed twice since we came here, this place is a bit more modern and less country, and it's still as charming, lovely and beautiful as ever." -Pacifica, CA

Trinidad Bay Will Beckon Us Back
June '06
"This place has all the weary traveler could long for ... The charm of the Trinity Room - The incomparable view and melody of the bell. Treats and treasures are just around the corner. A delightful breakfast to nourish body and soul in the morning." -Grass Valley, CA

Excellent in Every Way
July '06
"I love the style and comfort of the Trinity Alps Suite and have thoroughly enjoyed the delicious breakfasts -- what a way to start the day! I wish you well for the future -- by all accounts you deserve to continue to be hugely successful." -Yorkshire, England

Most Comfortable Bed Ever
August '06
"Great room with a beautiful view! ... P.S. The bed is a Simmons 'World Class' and I'm going to get one when I get home!" -San Clemente, CA

iPod Charger a Nice Bonus!
September '06
"The sounds of the ocean, birds & bell with the cool air were soothing after a long day of driving. The room had nice touches & details. The artwork was a great combination -- from your hike into the Trinity Alps." -Grants Pass, OR

An Awesome Time
October '06
"Breakfast was a highlight of each day as was meeting and talking with the guests. You can be proud of all that you have done here." -Manhattan Beach, CA

Returning for Anniversaries!
October '06
"Today we were married on Wedding Rock. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the scenery breathtaking! We drove for 4 days to get here and it couldn't have been more worthwhile! I will always remember the sounds of the waves and the bell in the bay!" -Alberta, Canada

A Jewel of a Town
December '06
"Were we (my wife and I) lucky to find such an amazing B&B or what? Our room's decor was great! Much more modern than your typical Victorian B&B ... May your stay be as restful & memorable as ours!" -Orange, CA

Perfection & Beauty
February '07
"James and Loraine [...] were madly, deeply, and insanely in love in this room ... Thank you"

Fine Simplicity, Luxurious Comfort, Brilliantly Thoughtful
March '07
"A taste of Heaven if there ever was one ... 'Old Home' ( aka Indian Beach [242 steps away]) Beach was our favorite jont [jaunt?] ... Don't miss 'Catch Cafe', 'Beach Comber Cafe', and the 'Trinidad Trading Company'. There's so much to savor & enjoy right here in Trinidad without stepping foot into the car. It's quite an extraordinary gift to slow down and walk everywhere, & to simply rest in this elegant room." -Seattle, WA

Blessed
April '07
We feel blessed that our Lord led us here - a wonderful quiet place an absolutely beautiful view! We love the layout of the room, and it is so clean! We plan to return and to recommend this place to our friends." -Lincoln, CA

Wonderful Special Place
August '07
"Too bad we could only stay one night. This is such a great place to stay. Wonderful room. Great view. Super breakfast." -Santa Cruz, CA

Wish We Could Stay Longer
August '07
"One of the most charming places we stayed. Look forward to stopping by in the future." -Buenos Aires, Argentina via Jacksonville, FL

What An Ugly Weather
January '08
What a spectaculous (sic) view. The 'pacifico' at Trinidad in the trinity-room! What an ugly weather - raining over days - stormy winds and in the last night it snows into the ocean. And what a beautiful time these three days are with the ocean with the redwoods with the sleeping buddha on the beach. Thanks the univers (sic) Thank you for the beautiful breakfast Thanks to this beautiful house & place." -Zurich, Switzerland

Luck ... Destiny - Everything Perfect
June '08
"With no set plans just our spirit of adventure this was one of the most restful & beautiful stops we made along the way. Sometimes it pays to be like the water that flows around the rocks in the sea ... you never know what you'll caress ... Thank you for everything & for living out your dreams so that others may enjoy theirs ... until next time." -Connecticut

It's so touching to read these entries over the years.
If I ever feel unappreciated in my town, or a bit blue, I just head to one of my rooms and read a little.
Can't feel blue long with all these wonderfully warm words, left by such kind people, staying in my little Trinity Alps Guest Room over the garage, in this charming 50's Cape Cod Home, on the bluff overlooking the Bay, in my favorite place on earth - Trinidad! 
Thanks for staying with us. -Mike Morgan, Owner


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Best of the West Award from Bedandbreakfast.com

Bedandbreakfast.com Reviews

Rooms with a view


Times Standard Story and photos by Sharon Letts
Posted: 11/05/2008 01:30:12 AM PST

Trinidad Bay Bed & Breakfast innkeeper Jason Richie was born and raised in Eureka, but he'd like to die in Trinidad -- and it's not due solely to the inn's 1,000-thread-count Egyptian sheets.

"I love being in a small town and knowing the people here and also them knowing me,” he said. “I can see myself being old here and dying here, I love it so much. I feel blessed to be able to live here in this town and in this house.”

The bed and breakfast is small, with just four rooms available, but it sits just across the street from the Trinidad Harbor with clear, expansive views of Trinidad Head, and the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, making every room at the inn “a room with a view.”

"I love the beauty of Trinidad,” Richie said. “I love the small cottages and what is left of the historic buildings in town and that there are some streets without sidewalks -- the sounds of the buoy bell, the smell in the air, all the birds, seeing the storms come in and out during the winter. I even love it when it is very stormy with a lot rain and wind.”

Richie was living in Trinidad and working in the telecommunications department at Humboldt State University when he learned a few years ago that the historic bed and breakfast was for sale.

"My friend, Michael Morgan, decided to move to Trinidad from San Francisco,” he said. “He was planning to buy some houses in Trinidad and I had heard that the Trinidad Bay Bed & Breakfast was possibly for sale, so I let Mike know. He'd already bought his other house at the opposite corner of the bed and breakfast. He was then able to purchase the bed and breakfast from Don and Corlene Blue, who were the previous innkeepers.” Morgan hired Richie as innkeeper about two years ago. And though he'd never run a bed and breakfast before, Richie knew he loved to bake.

"I had never cooked for people before, but after I took the food safety course and got started trying recipes, I realized that I enjoyed it,” he said.

“Serving breakfast is my favorite part about running the bed and breakfast. It's a great way to get to know the guests and to provide them with a good, hearty meal for the morning.”

Breakfasts at the inn are quite lively. Richie said there is lots of laughing in the dining room and a lot of lingering at the table afterwards over coffee.

"For the guests that want more privacy, I'll deliver a breakfast tray to the two private entrance rooms,” he said. “I have about seven main dishes I can do. The longest I have had a guest stay is about seven days, so I can change the entree each day.”

All of the meals at the inn are made from scratch. Richie uses organic flour, sugar and other organic and local products, including Humboldt Creamery milk and butter, organic Signature Coffee out of Redway and fresh produce from the farmers market.
Every detail at the bed and breakfast is carefully attended to by Richie and his staff, including ironing the sheets and making cookies and other baked goods every day.

"I bake a variety of small muffins and breads,” he said. “I got interested in making peach preserves when my neighbors down the street, Kim and Stan Binnie, had all these peaches from the tree in their backyard. I spent a couple weeks this year just making preserves and jarring those for the next coming year.”

Richie uses the preserves both as a spread and for a French toast dish he makes. He also makes homemade fruit mincemeat used as a topping for baked apples.

"Baked apples have been a part of the breakfast here for 20 years,” he said. “The mincemeat I make has cranberries, apples, orange and lemon zest, currants, spices, brandy, rum and many other ingredients. When blueberries are in season, I'll go out to Wolfsen's blueberry farm in McKinleyville to pick my own.”

Visitors represent the four corners of the world, he said, and many are repeat guests. Richie said locals have been known to get away to the inn, too.

"Guests come from all over Europe, Canada and the United States,” he said. “I had one couple from Tokyo, Japan today. They heard about the bed and breakfast through a recent New York Times article that was published in September 2008.

"There are also quite a few repeat guests who have stayed with all the innkeepers who have run the inn. It's also popular for honeymooners and some locals who celebrate special occasions.”

The Trinidad Bay Bed and Breakfast was honored this year, along with the Ship's Inn Bed and Breakfast in Eureka, as being the “Best of the West” in the annual “Best of BedandBreakfast.com” awards. BedandBreakfast.com is an online bed-and-breakfast directory.

Richie said that reviews of nearly 50,000 bed and breakfasts were submitted to the Web site from guests throughout the world.

"We're grateful for our wonderful guests,” he said, “as their reviews resulted in this recognition and we are honored.”

Those who stay at the bed and breakfast wake up to one of Richie's many baked dishes, and he honors past innkeepers by keeping their featured dishes on the menu, including the baked apples and even halved and sectioned baked grapefruit. Other morning dishes include smoked salmon scrambled eggs, shirred eggs with chicken-apple sausages, and peach French toast or waffles.

However, some dishes he's made his own, such as an egg strata made with brie.

"I found the egg strata recipe in a magazine called Cooking Light,” he said. “I love to prepare this dish because it's an unusual dish that most haven't had. I'm able to have everything chopped and ready to go the night before and put it in the fridge overnight in a baking dish ready to go. In the morning, I wake up and just add the egg mixture and bake it.”

Richie shares the recipe below:

Brie and Egg Strata
To prepare the night before serving, assemble and layer the casserole without the egg mixture; cover and refrigerate. Combine the egg mixture and refrigerate that in a separate container.

In the morning, pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture; allow the strata to stand for 30 minutes before baking.

If desired, substitute a French baguette or sourdough loaf for the flat Italian bread called ciabatta. Freeze the brie for about 15 minutes to make chopping easier.

-- 2 teaspoons olive oil
-- 2 cups chopped onion
-- 1 1/2 cups diced unpeeled Yukon gold potato (1 large)
-- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
-- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
-- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
-- 3/4 pound ciabatta, cut into 1-inch cubes, toasted
-- Cooking spray
-- 4 ounces brie, rind removed and chopped
-- 6 large eggs
-- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
-- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-- 3 cups of 1 percent low-fat milk
-- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For casserole:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, potato and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Combine this mixture and the bread.

Place half of the bread mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.

Sprinkle with half of the brie. Top that with the remaining bread mixture and the remaining brie.

For egg mixture:

Place egg substitute or eggs in a medium bowl. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, herbes de Provence and pepper. Add milk, stirring with a whisk until well-blended.

Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Let stand 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes, or until set. For a brown top, leave in the oven a little bit longer. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 servings.

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