I fear spoiling it, but here is one of the coziest B&Bs; on the Central California coast. It's Molly Lynch's J. Patrick House in the little picture-post card village of Cambria, only a few miles south of Hearst Castle. Guest rooms are tucked away in a tastefully furnished (Early American-style) home behind Molly's house. Each features a full bath, fireplace. Loads of country atmosphere and peace at $65 a night. I've tramped through hundreds of B&Bs; and this one's enchanting. (The J. Patrick House will be described in detail in a forthcoming feature in the Travel Section. Meanwhile, for reservations write to the J. Patrick House, 2990 Burton Drive, Cambria, Calif. 93428, or telephone (805) 927-3812).
San Francisco Cruise
Cruising San Francisco Bay at night is the latest attraction for Bay area visitors. Meals are prepared on board the 151-foot City of San Francisco (a new excursion ship that's modeled after a turn-of-the-century steamer). White linen and crystal. A ship's orchestra. The price: $49 per passenger. Parking is available at Pier 33. Contact Hornblower Yachts, Pier 33, The Embarcadero, San Francisco 94111, or telephone (415) 434-0300.
For $1 you can get a copy of the new "Visitors' Guide to the Redwood Empire." Takes in museums, wineries, country inns, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, RV parks between San Francisco and the Oregon border. The $1 covers the cost of mailing. And it's worth it. One of the best guides published by a visitor promoter in the United States. Contains maps of San Francisco and eight counties stretching north to Oregon (Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Josephine, Del Norte). Whether you're a wine buff or are curious about the haunting Redwood country of Northern California, this guide is a handy item for the glove compartment. Write to the Redwood Empire Assn., One Market Plaza, Spear Tower, San Francisco 94105. (And remember, don't forget the buck.)
Here's a freebie. It's an updated brochure listing the voltages of nearly every country in the world. Illustrates the various converters, plugs that are available, answers questions most frequently asked by travelers. (Could keep you from blowing a fuse wherever you go.) Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Parks Products, 3611 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood 90068.
Another giveaway. This one is a travelers' checklist. Names beauty/grooming aides, clothing you'll need on your trip, medical items, etc. (anything you can name from belts to tweezers). Write to Cheque List, Thomas Cook Inc., Independence Way, Princeton, N.J. 08540. Copies also available at banks and savings and loan institutions selling Thomas Cook Travelers Cheques.
If you'd like to keep fit while vacationing, Vermont Country Cyclers figures it has the answer. From now through October, trips are being offered in Vermont and along the coast of Maine. You bike by day, spend nights in fine old New England country inns. Two-, three- and five-day tours. Pedal at your own pace, browse in craft/antique shops, swim in roadside streams. Prices: $149/$168 for accommodations, breakfast, dinner, etc. Brochures available from Vermont Country Cyclers, Box 145-8, Waterbury Center, Vt. 05677.
Other bike trips are being booked by Europeds, 2095 Albury Hollow, Long Beach, Calif. 90815, telephone (213) 494-5788. This is another May-to-October offer but the setting is France rather than New England. You can sign on for a week to 24 days. (Europed also does hiking tours of the Swiss Alps.)
London--Tere Britton, Pasadena: "Spent a week in London at 11 Cadogan Gardens. A super spot. Service is intimate and impeccable. Prices are competitive (about 80 for a double). It is right off Sloan Square where we discovered some super shopping buys at Peter Jones Department Store. I was looking for a cashmere scarf. At Burlington Arcade on Piccadilly it was 69; at Harrods it was 49; at Peter Jones it was 29--same color, same length, same brand name. Throughout its seven floors, similar bargains abound at Peter Jones Department Store, Sloan Square, London SW1."
London--Carolyn Curtis, Tarzana: "London theater lovers can buy tickets right here in Los Angeles. Contact London Stages, 9763 W. Pico Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles 90035. Telephone (213) 879-4997."
Garden Grove--Mardell Sherwood, Laguna Hills: Tells about a new store that carries travel items: Pack-n-Travel, 12534 Valley View St., Garden Grove, Calif. 92645. Telephone (714) 897-1360.
Santa Monica--David Bencke, Santa Monica: "24 Hour Travel Services, 1821 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90403, sells timetables, books, is open 24 hours including weekends."
Holland--Mark Valsi, Sierra Madre: "Enjoyed Hotel Nickle, Niewe Brug Steeg 11, Amsterdam. A charming, economical small hotel five minutes from the central station."
New Mexico--Cynthia Esters, Beverly Hills: "Your readers should know about a place just outside Santa Fe called Rancho de Chimayo. Across the road the family operates a bed and breakfast. Write to Hacienda Rancho de Chimayo, P.O. Box 11, Chimayo, N.M. 87522."
New England--Roman Caton, Laguna Niguel: Names two New England inns--Captain Lord Mansion, P.O. Box 527, Kennebunkport, Me. 04046 (modified breakfast, $69/$89 per couple); Barrons House, Dorset, Vt. 95251 (full dinner--outstanding breakfast, $126 per couple).
New Zealand--Jack Jungmeyer Jr., Encino: "Recently discovered a bargain in a land of bargains. Allan Jellyman of the Blue Star Taxi took four of us on trips between cities at a low price. A luxurious van, a delightful picnic lunch. Write to Allan Jellyman, 41 Forfar St., Christchurch, New Zealand."
Italy--Connie Bower, Mission Viejo: She asks--"Does anyone know of an outstanding B&B; inn around Padua, Italy? Also Rome. Send any information to C. Bower, 26692 Valpariso Drive, Mission Viejo, Calif. 92691."
Pacific Grove--Nancy Arnebold, Glendora: "Recommend the Edelweiss restaurant, 716 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, Calif. Food is excellent. Relaxing with Bach background music. Dinners from $9.95 to $13.95. Another delightful restaurant is First Watch, 125 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific Grove."
Mediterranean--Paul and Joan Almond, Malibu: "Chartered a yacht on the Mediterranean for $100 a day. Everything included. A real find. Contact Carl Roessler, See & Sea, 680 Beach St., Suite 340, San Francisco 94109."
Maui--Jim Salaz, Redlands: "Went sailing on the 38-foot sloop Mareva. Sailing, snorkeling, whale watching for $45 half day. The soft drinks and beer were free. Write to Mareva, Slip 63, Lahaina Harbor, Maui, Hawaii."
Ireland--Patricia Kikendall, Irvine: Recommends the following B&Bs; in Ireland: Rowestown House, Drinheah, Wexford (7.50 per person); Knockboy House, Dunmore Road, Knockboy, Waterford (converted farmhouse overlooking the river, 8 per person); Shangri-la, Bantry Bay, Cork (overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay, 7.50 per person); Green Acres, Fossa, Killarney (8 per person); Sundown B&B;, Freshford Road, Kilkenny (8 per person). Kikendall also recommends in England: the Wheatlands, 81 Scarcroft Road, York; Beaconsfield Guest House, Bondate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO6 5BW; Frenchgate Hotel, 59-W Frenchgate, North York, Richmond D110 7AE.
India--Karen Frey, Fountain Valley: "A houseboat owner in Kashmir treats his guests as one of the family. Food is excellent. Rates, including three meals a day, $35 double, $25 single. Write to A. Salam Wangnoo, P.O. Box 128, Srinigar, Kashmir, India 19001."
Calistoga, Calif.--Eleanor Belser, Los Angeles: High praise for "the enchanting" Zinfandel House (a bed and breakfast), 1253 Tucker Road, Calistoga, Calif. 94515.
England--Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Place Jr., Costa Mesa: Enjoyed two B&Bs; in England: White Craig Farm, Shield Hill, Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 95NW, England, and the D. & B. Robbins Chestnut House, Beckhampton, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1QJ.
England--Joan N. Haussler, Sierra Madre: Took a literary tour of England. Highly recommends the operator, Wilson & Lake International, One Appian Way, Suite 704-8, South San Francisco 94080.
England--Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Greenfield, Woodland Hills: "Stayed at a wonderful 15th-Century farmhouse on five acres of paddocks, just 12 miles from Stratford-Upon-Avon. Paid about $15. The name: Cusack's Glebe, Saintbury, Near Broadway, Worchestershire WR12 7PX, England."
England--Bill and Francis Kline, Laguna Hills: For apartment rentals in London, write to the E&E; Apartments, 90 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DN. "In the heart of Pimlico. A few minutes walk to either Victoria station or Pimlico underground."