It was the Luck of the Irish when John & Daniel Murphy first established Murphys in 1848. They had no idea that their luck would make Murphys one of California’s richest gold “diggins,” or that Murphys would forever be known as the historic “Queen of the Sierra.” The Luck of the Irish continues to run through the town…Red was quite taken with the giant shamrocks painted in the middle of the road down Main Street, and just had to go out and sit in the middle of the one in front of the Dunbar House. Just follow the green painted strip in the road from shamrock to shamrock to find your good luck …or maybe even a pot of gold!
The Red Chair Travels always loves learning about the history of each place it visits! Each different place is extremely unique in its stories and beginnings, which is quite charming when you get to experience it first hand. This stop to Lockeford, CA, was no exception!
While visiting the Inn at Locke House Bed and Breakfast, Innkeeper Lani decided to take the Red Chair to see the Civil War Re-Enactment that was taking place on the nearby old Lockeford School House grounds. Here the Red Chair invited a Chinese gentleman to have a seat so he could share all of the interesting stories about Chinese life in Lockeford during the Civil War. It was surprising to learn that a single Chinese mason constructed the water tower on the Locke House property! Dr. Locke actually had several Chinese workers on his farms and had given them space to operate their laundry business in his warehouses. After many captivating stories Red thanked the kind man and decided to wander around the encampment and met two soldiers of the frontier army displaying the confederate flag they had just captured. They told Red that Dr. Locke was a staunch Yankee and that Lockeford had supporters of both the Union and the Confederacy, but the confederate supporters kept silent about their allegiances. It was quite a fun and exciting day learning all about this towns history and interacting with all of the interesting people who partake in this great event!
Not one to skip a meal (or a beautiful view), the Red Chair headed for lunch at The Restaurant at JUSTIN. Red dined on the popular House Ground Angus Burger and Fries paired with ISOSCELES while gazing out onto our Chef’s Garden just steps away. Absolutely delicious!
Red decided that having been to the popular tourist destinations, it was about time to try visiting some of the less touristy and more local hidden gems. After speaking with the hotel staff of the Golden Gate Hotel and some locals on the street, Red found out about some interesting walks. Lover's Lane used to connect the Spanish presidio to the mission, but was later used by US soldiers to visit their lovers and families away from the barracks. Parallel to Lover's Lane is an interesting piece of art called Wood Line. This is one of Andy Goldsworthy's famous natural sculptures. Off of another tip, Red explored Diamond Height's Billy Goat Hill. Along with amazing views of the city, there is a hidden rope swing that swings brave riders over the hillside looking down on steep hiking trails. Next it was off to discover the fairy doors that have popped up around Golden Gate Park, and Red spotted one! Another unique hike recommended that Red should check out was the Moraga Mosaic Steps. It definitely made for an interesting walk! Lastly it was off to the top of Twin Peaks. This hike was to the top of one of San Francisco's tallest of the many hills. Not a bad view at all!
Each evening during the Red Chair's stay at the Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn in Half Moon Bay, CA, Red joined the other guests for a complementary wine tasting featuring wines from their extensive award winning wine cellar. Their wine cellar was like the one of Red's dreams filled with some of the most amazing wines. The Red Chair found that the best of all about the evening tastings was that if you find one you enjoy they are available for purchase! Since Red had so much fun wine tasting, Innkeeper Ellen suggested going to some of the local wineries such as Barterra Winery, La Nebbia Winery, and Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Co in Half Moon Bay, Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside, and Clos de la Tech in La Honda. There are plenty more wineries through out the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains AVA too but unfortunately Red could not visit them all during this stay, more to do for next time!
The Red Chair just loved staying at the Sand Rock Farm Bed and Breakfast in Aptos, CA. It has a peaceful elegance about it that just is so inviting and the decor was quite unique! For example, just before leaving the Red Chair had the opportunity to visit the wonderful old house. It couldn't get enough of itself, preening in front of the beautiful large Victorian mirror in the living room. Red, of course, looks perfect as always!
Lauren, of the Jabberwock Inn in Monterey, and the Red Chair spent quite a bit of time planning out all of the amazing things they were hoping to do while Red was visiting for those very short few days. Both then agreed it would be so much fun to have a pretend bridal photo shoot at Lovers’ Point. Posing for pictures with a wedding veil in a scenic spot was just what Red wanted to do. This beautiful location is where many engaged couples choose to host their wedding ceremonies, and Red thought it was just perfect. Maybe someday, when the Red Chair finds that right piece of furniture, they will come back and hold their ceremony here too!
While visiting the Vagabond's House Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA the Red Chair Travels decided to try out how it felt to sit at the head of city council (the mayoral "seat" once held by actor Clint Eastwood one of Red's favorite actors!) After banging the gavel a few times, we think the authority went to Red's head. It started decreeing that people need to take more vacations!
Although Red would make a great Mayor, Red did not think it could give up the luxurious life of travel it currently has (lucky chair!) so it was on to visiting the next spot on Innkeeper Thomas's list.
Red's original plan to end the first day visiting the Bed and Breakfast Inn at La Jolla was to try a little hang gliding and para gliding at La Jolla's Torrey Pine Glideport, however conditions for gliding that day were poor due to the un-seasonally hot and dry Santa Ana winds. Instead the next best thing the Red Chair could do was to spend a few minutes admiring the breathtaking view from Glider Cliffs. Although not the same, it still was one of the best spots the Red Chair has ever seen!
The Red Chair loves meeting other red "items"! It is especially exciting when they are super old and full of history just like the Red Chair itself. While visiting the Ballard Inn and Restaurant in Ballard, CA the innkeepers took Red to visit the Ballard Little Red Schoolhouse, the first school established in Santa Barbara County in 1882 and is still in use today! Sounds like the Red Chair and the Schoolhouse have a few things in common besides their color!