Disconnect in Julian - The Apple Capital.....
Recently during a business trip to Santa Monica, I reading an article in Los Angeles Magazine [/i]entitled WEEKEND GETAWAYS 2008, which focused on a list of ideas for weekend escapes..one in particular caught my eye:
SUGGESTION[/b]# 11 Eating Apple Pie in Julian
Settled in 1869 by a former slave who struck gold, with a Main Street thats precious without being mushy, the mountain hamlet of Julian (about an hour northeast of San Diego) resists the clichs of a tourist town. Skip the omnipresent B&Bs and book the New Artists Loft(760-765-0765; $220-$310). The luxurious cabin, with cathedral ceilings and a screened-in porch, provides a superb vantage point for spotting wildlife.
San Diego was
our next stop, but
we did have one extra night of Bleisure built into
our schedule and according to my GPS.Julian was not that far out of the way.
Not being a big fan of apple pie, nor any pie for that matter, I thought possible a night atop a mountain in a town named Julian might be a pleasant change of pace (I also wondered what happened to the old Artists Loft).
We telephoned the number and inquired as to whether there was space for two for one evening.the voice at the other end wanted to know if either of us smoked.we said No,and the voice said there was space for the night in question.
Are you interested in a reservation?
We said we would think about it.
The following day, we called back and spoke with Nan (whose voice had inquired about our smoking habits).
She accepted our credit card and gave us explicit driving directions (I wanted to use my GPS, but Nan suggested I simply follow here directions.they always work, she said.and, of course, she was correct).
In doing some research on one of the more popular travel sites, we noticed one of the postings indicated the owners (Nan & Chuck) asked too many questions.personally, I dont think they probably ask enough questions!
If I owned the three cabins (using the term cabins tends to denigrate these accommodations), I would probably require a full background check by the NSA before allowing just anyone to enter this tiny slice of paradise!
btwtheir brochure proclaims this to be a Bed and..do it yourself Breakfastgreat concept..they stock the place with more than adequate supplies for a great breakfast and you can fix it the way you want it or not fix it at all!
We made our customary stop of Trader Joes on the way out of town and brought along a few extras supplies..Oh yeah, we included a fine Rodney Strong Cabernet and an equally fine Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay.to satiate our thirsts and fuel our dreams.
The refrigerator was well stocked with juices, bottle water, organic brown eggs, a loaf of locally baked fabulous apple bread and the basic spices and even some fresh basil from the prior guests. Coffee beans (both decaf and high octane) and a grinder are set in place by the coffee maker.
The cabinets and cupboards are outfitted with a full array of cooking utensils, plates, bowls and assorted dishes, as well as knives and flatware.
So if you want to stop along the way or make a run into town and shop or just bring your own supplies along.there is no real reason to drive to a restaurant for dinner, if you care to cook.
We couldnt pass up the opportunity to fire up the 1952 O'Keefe and Merritt gas range with griddle and "grillovator"(similar to a stove my grandmother owned), and whip up some snacks for grazing.
We telephoned Chuck and Nan and invited them up for a wine tasting and some freshly prepared finger food..Nan said she was tired and needed a shower after working outside all day.but she would think about cleaning up and possibly making up a bowl of her award winning guacamole!
Sounded like a plan was coming together.
There is no television at the New Artists Loft.perfect.
We were totally honored and entertained by Nan and Chuck agreeing to visit with us and providing some history on the place.after a glass or two of wine, they even discussed some details of the terrible wild fire which devastated the community in July 2002 (including the original Artists Loft).
The evening passed quickly and shortly after midnight, Nan and Chuck were headed out the front door and back down the hill to their place.
They were both tired after a full day of manual labor (keeping the under brush properly cleared is a must do to maintain any degree of potential wild fire safety).
Nan is also continually working to establish new nut and berry bearing plants and trees to provide nourishment for the wild critter inhabitants.good for you Nan).
It was one of those crystal clear nights on the mountain, almost devoid of ambient light, so the stars were our in full force.
As we walked the couple down the entry path to where they had parked their John Deere Gator, we couldnt help but look around and taken in the vista.
Chuck point to some lights in the distance and told us it was Tecate, Mexico (wonder if the cerveza night crew was busy).
Then I pointed upward and soon identified the Big Dipper.Chuck, a self professed astronomer, immediately clarified we were, in fact, looking at Ursa Major and if we looked just a bit above the cup we could see Ursa Minor (looked like the Little Dipper to us).
Chuck told us it was difficult living in such a lovely spot and not become somewhat infatuated with star gazing.
He suggested we come back again on another clear night and he would take us to a friends home who was a serious astronomer with an impressive telescope and would arrange a night with the stars for us.
Even the morning shower ritual provided a different experiencepeeking out the large adjacent window into the sea of bright and colorful wild flowers while working up a lather with that wonderful bar of
Sandlewood-Patchouli soap from the Julian Soap & Candle Company Vegetarian & Cruelty Fee (so stated on the back label)..there is something to be said for rural peace and quiet.
As a rule, we dont usually do repeat visits to most destinations, we tend to move on in search of something new and differentNan, Chuck, the town of Julian and the New Artist Loft could very well cause us to make an exception.
If your travels take you in the general area and you need some time to disconnect from the pressures of everyday life.see if you can spend a night or two or maybe even a week at the New Artists Loft!
Message Edited by omegaet on 08-05-2008 05:58 PM