I took a big chance a week ago. Anniversaries are special times, and as such, putting all of your eggs in an unknown basket could turn out pretty bad. Lucky for me, it didn’t. I heard about a Bed & Breakfast on Twitter from someone I was just getting to know, Gina Stark. I figured since she knows some stuph about travel, she might have someting to say about it. My interest was piqued, so I checked it out, and decided to take the plunge. I was so glad I did.
Strawberry Creek Inn sits 6000 ft. up in the San Bernardino mountains. The trip from Northern California was long, and ended with a winding trip up the mountain. It was interesting seeing the temperature drop from the sweltering high 90’s at the base of the mountain to a comfortable mid 70’s at the summit. Changes in the terrain were also evident, as the higher we ascended, the thicker the forest became. Turning the final corner, the landscape opened to reveal the town of Idyllwild. If you weren’t looking for it, you could easily pass it without a second thought, only to have missed the wonder contained therein.
Strawberry Creek is one of those wonders. Nestled amongst trees that predate civilization, Strawberry Creek is more than a home away from home. Rodney & Ian, the proprietors, spare no expense in making your stay a time to remember. You would think for all that you get, you would have to pay an arm and a leg, but Strawberry Creek is a very affordable vacation spot.
We stayed in the main house that was perfect for the rare, rainy weather we experienced during the weekend. There are also other rooms close to the main house, and a bunkhouse down the street for families. Behind the house and down the hill was a path that ran next to the creek and was a short 1/4 mile walk into town. Pretty much everything you needed was either onsite, or a walk away.
Arriving in the afternoon, we found healthy snacks in the living area, a preview of the healthy and satisfying breakfasts that were to come. Actually, I am being too modest… the breakfasts were fantastic, and healthy to boot!
Both the living area and the rooms were very comfortable. Well suited for relaxing and departing from the rat race of city living. If you prefer your relaxing outside, there are hammocks posted between the trees. Even in the rain, the trees gave sufficient cover to allow me to lay out and enjoy nature.
I mentioned breakfast… dotted along the dining room and living area are recipe posters that come from their cookbook, featuring their own authentic recipies. The recipies looked great, but then we had the opportunity to taste them. French Toast with peaches and fresh warm maple syrup. Quiche with fresh organic basil. They even accommodated those with special dietary requirements.
Idyllwild itself is a hidden treasure. The weekend we stayed there was a concert with some of the best young musicians in Southern California. There are quaint shops to visit during the day, and if you are up for some nightlife, you can participate in Karaoke, or I would suggest going to Cafe Aroma for great food, displays of local art, and fun entertainment. For nature lovers, there are plenty of places to walk and hike.
So, if you are planning on spending any time in Southern California, and want a wonderful experience, take the trip up the hill. You won’t regret it.
Gina Stark’s site: http://gitanablog.com
Strawberry Creek Inn: http://strawberrycreekinn.com
Cafe Aroma: http://cafearoma.org
Strawberry Creek Cookbook: http://www.webervations.com/magic-scripts/giftshop.asp?memberid=3452
Other pictures from our experience in Idyllwild: http://s651.photobucket.com/albums/uu238/thekidh/Idyllwild/