Friday, November 9, 2018

A Trio of Quick Fall Trips: Number 3 - Bringing the Extended Family Along for Gold and Wine Touring-Part 1


The clock is ticking as we get our house ready to sell. We want to make at least one trip up here with our relatives to show them where we're going once we do. Maybe they'll want to join us L.A. expats.

This trip it's not only Tim, it's my mother-in-law who also uses a manual wheelchair and walker. We now have Tim, strapped in with his power chair, my mother-in-law with her walker and manual wheelchair folded up in the back, my brother-in-law, and my wife.

Our luggage is stuffed under the back seat and our other supplies and bags are stuffed in wherever they fit, here and there. It's a close-knit group in the van for the six hour drive up to Rancho Cordova, just east of Sacramento.


The five of us check into the Doubletree Suites here. Officially, it's four because that's the maximum that can be booked into any room here, including this two bedroom, two bathroom suite that has a king size bed, two queen size beds, and a queen size sofabed. For those of you doing the math at home, that's enough bed for eight people.

I'm not trying to pull a fast one on this hotel, I called beforehand to tell them I had five. They told me maximum was four. I mentioned the vast capacity of this room and told them I wouldn't mind paying the extra person charge. "If you happen to show up with five people for a four person room, what are we going to do about that? Don't worry, it'll be fine."

OK, then...we won't.

We stay at this particular property frequently. It's our go-to hotel for Sacramento and makes for a good plan B hotel in case we can't get a decent room up in the Motherlode, which is what happened this weekend.

It's a good place, gone through many names and formats...the Hallmark Suites, the Hotel Sierra, Hyatt House, and now the Doubletree Suites after an extensive year-and-a-half renovation.


We've got the huge suite, as described above (last Christmas, we had an even bigger two-level suite for the three of us but it didn't quite fit our needs this time), service is even better than last time, and...of course...we get our fill of those fabulous Doubletree chocolate chip cookies. I only wish the breakfast bar was still free.

The room fits us well...Letty and I on the king bed, Tim and his uncle Amaury each get a queen size bed to themselves in the other room, and Letty's mom takes the fold out (we offered her one of the other queens but it was too tall for her). In the middle, we can all hang out, gab, drink, and goof off while watching TV in the living room that separates the two.

The bathrooms are not technically accessible but they're plenty big enough for the two disabled people on the trip and we brought a shower chair along that fits nicely in the tub for baths.


OK, that was a long drive...but we did get to have tacos in Bakersfield along the way. We'll settle in, unpack, and rest up for the long day ahead. We get into the heart of the action tomorrow.

Darryl Musick
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