Be careful what you ask for...


Hello friends...

Be careful what you ask for…

Thanks to the recent high winds and SDG&E, the Julian Group of fine citizens seeking Official Dark Night Sky status for our small town should have been in heaven, our skies were dark, naturally so. It was off and on like this for several days. The schools and the Post Office would close and then open. The markets and restaurants with bulging refrigerators were pretty much following the same pattern. At Orchard Hill, thanks to our generator, we were sitting pretty. For several years we have confidently sat up on our hill, a beacon of light thumbing our nose at the grid when without warning, not even a cough, the Generac Generator died, and we had no choice but to close.

Darrell, quite frankly, had had it. Like the Generac, he went silent and I wasn’t going to ask what he was thinking. I headed home to the ranch where we have another generator... it was working.

With only a wishy-washy commitment from SDG&E but knowing that they were running out of excuses, we reopened Friday night, still in the dark, but hopeful. I don’t think anyone was missing the light though, the staff passed out lamps and turned on lots and lots candles of all sizes. One guest commented that it looked like a scene from a Harry Potter movie. Another guest reported at departure, “it was the most romantic weekend ever” and seriously suggested that we do a “blackout event” every few months! However, daughter Darrian and new staff member, Andrew who had the latest iPhone Version 11, hit the homerun of the evening responding to a guest’s longing to hear Nat King Cole sing “Unforgettable.”

The “New Normal” has its upside.

For the record:
We are hugely in favor of SDG&E pulling the plug as a defense against potential wildfires. I have viewed first-hand the power of a wind driven fire and it is formidable and frightening.



P.S. For a still unknown reason, the power went off again this morning, but it’s raining and frankly I couldn’t be happier. I’m at the ranch and the generator is working. Darrell is at the Inn, the new Kohler generator is being delivered today. It’s four times the power of the repaired Generac that is being relocated to accommodate the Laundry Room and Cottage Four and yes, that was what Darrell was thinking about the first night the lights went out in Georgia!


Our longest running Special at Orchard Hill


First night …full price
Second night…half price!

Cannot be combined with other specials, no groups, not for existing reservations.

Great way to redeem Gift Certificates!



A little Christmas Present for you from Orchard Hill

The dates for the traditional performance of “A Christmas Carol” produced by the dynamic duo, Scott and Deborah Kinney are Friday and Saturdays, December 13 and 14 and the 20 and 21, as well as a Sunday matinee on the 15th. If you are our guest on any of those days we will give you two complimentary tickets - value $30.00.


2020 NEW YEAR’S The ultimate bash!

Many guests report that “it’s the New Year’s Party that you have always wanted to be invited to,” and I agree. From the party the night before at the ranch with Chef Doris’ traditional gumbo, followed the next night with our signature cocktail (first introduced two years ago to rave reviews), the seafood buffet featuring roasted tenderloin of beef and grilled lamb with superb sides... all to a background of your favorite music, THIS IS IT!

This is a two night booking at our regular rates plus the dining & parties at $450.00 per couple - and of course, add in tax, spirits and gratutity.

Call very soon to secure your favorite room.