Honeymoon in Bed & Breakfast
If a quiet, laid back vacation in noncommercial lodging with quaint towns, natural surroundings and daily breakfast, sounds good to you, then a Bed & Breakfast honeymoon may be the perfect getaway. Off the beaten path, far less crowded than resorts and a home sweet home charm are just a few of the characteristics of country inns. My cousin just returned from a honeymoon to two west coast inns and I'd love to share the details with you.
My cousin Shelly and her husband Dave love the quiet outdoors and enjoy spending time together alone. They try to avoid the hustle and bustle of cities so they decided a drive up the California coast to stay at a couple of northern California inns would be the perfect honeymoon.
Their first stop was Carmel-by-the-Sea and a first-class inn they really enjoyed. The inn had 24 rooms, all with private bath (that was a must for Shelly), fireplace and television (even though they didn't plan on watching much). A breakfast buffet and afternoon hors d'oeuvres and wine were included. And it was but a short walk to shops, restaurants, galleries and Carmel Beach.
When they arrived they were greeted by the friendly innkeepers and taken to their room. They noticed the inn was exquisitely decorated as they made their way to an equally impressive room. They were greeted by fresh flowers, fruit, a handwritten note welcoming them, and champagne in honor of their recent vows. The bedroom had a French country feeling with pretty wallpaper, comfortable quilts and pillows, and beautiful antiques. Shelly and Dave found it a pleasure to relax in the room's cozy sitting area to read a book and/or cuddle together to watch a fire in the cobblestone fireplace. It was exactly the scenario they had hoped for.
In the morning they crossed the courtyard to the living room lounge where an abundant breakfast buffet was presented. There were fresh juices, platters of colorful fresh fruit, homemade muffins and breads, a hot baked egg dish (that changed daily), granola, yogurt, hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. It was delicious, and the company lovely as there were only a handful of guests. Shelly and Dave ate so much there was no need for lunch. Of course in the back of their minds they knew that from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. there was complimentary wine, sherry, tea, and hors d'oeuvres. Rather than go out for dinner, they enjoyed these couple of hours and when they returned to their room the bed was turned down and a fresh flower and piece of chocolate was on the pillows.
During the few days they were in Carmel-by-the-Sea, they took several walks to the shops, had a picnic on the beach and just basically relaxed. Each day was graciously received and provided the tranquility they desired.
Shelly and Dave continued their drive up the coast to Geyserville, California, and a small inn in the Russian River area. When they exited the car and took a deep, slow breath of the fresh air, the atmosphere of total relaxation consumed them and again they were happy with their choice of inns. The modern ranch house sat on a thirty-five acre hilltop with spectacular views of the wine country, flowers, and plants. This inn had only 5 guest rooms. Theirs had a private bath, fireplace and balcony.
They were happily escorted to a bedroom that was very spacious. There was a fresh bouquet of flowers from the garden to greet them and there was a deck overlooking the swimming pool (yes, they had a pool), hills and vineyard beyond. The inn offered more “fun” than the previous one, with the pool, a tennis court, and a large family room that included a television, Ping-Pong, games, and a large fireplace where you could relax and/or read. The innkeepers also offered an unlimited supply of lemonade and iced tea.
Rather than have a set time for breakfast, Shelly and Dave received a menu with a generous choice of fruits, breads, and breakfast entrees. All they had to do was make their selections and specify the time they wanted it. This was great – they slept in and knew they wouldn't miss breakfast.
During their days in Geyserville, Shelly and Dave ventured out to several wineries. They really enjoyed the small, family operated wine tasting rooms. They were less crowded than Napa Valley wineries and they got to visit with the winemaker at one of the establishments.
They also rented bikes and rode the few miles to the Russian River and Lake Sonoma, where they enjoyed a chance to fish. They didn't catch anything, but the time spent relaxing and talking was priceless.
The restaurants nearby served tasty dinners and it was nice to get out and view the vast open skies filled with twinkling stars. The cool night air was intoxicating and the silence golden. When Shelly and Dave returned from dinner they were treated to warm fresh-fruit pie and coffee every evening. They sat around the kitchen table and enjoyed the dessert and company of other guests. It was just the right mix of social time.
Shelly and Dave took their time driving back down the coast and relished in the memories they had made at two wonderful country inns. They felt they had made new friends and would be welcome back anytime. It was the perfect honeymoon and they vowed to return one day.