I’m always game for a party, and last New Year’s Eve, we traveled 11 hours to attend some of the best. New Year’s Eve at the Georgetown Hotel and New Year’s Day at Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
New Year’s Day started at the Miner’s Club for Bloody Mary’s with all the same people we had seen the night before, some looking better than others. A short trip up the road to the last smoking bar in California, because it’s too remote for the health department to get to. Uncle Tom’s is a refuge for all, kids, dogs, wheelers – everyone is welcome if you can get there. But if you’ve forgotten something, you are probably going without.
They provide cabins to rent at Uncle Tom’s. Three beds, one couch, a log to sit on and a side table. Curtains, kinda, and carpet. Lights mounted on the wall, but no generator to run them, a propane heater that rocked. No running water, no sink, no shower, the outhouse is 100 yards away. Primitive might be the right word. Made it seem like we had stayed in luxury the night before.
The Georgetown Hotel is old, established way back in the late 1800’s, all of the furniture is antique and beautiful, but the one thing they don’t do well is heat. Our room on New Year’s Eve had single pane windows, flimsy curtains, no blinds and a single radiant heater plugged in to the wall that WE plugged in when we got there. We broke out the sleeping bags to be sure we would be warm enough.
New Year’s Eve in Georgetown,California is a party. The best bartender in all the area, and every surrounding county works at the Georgetown Hotel, her name is Paula. And if you are going to Paula’s bar, you come to get your drink on. Paula arranged for us to have the “Honeymoon Suite” at the hotel. It is the first room in the building, up the stairs and at the front of the hotel. There is a balcony that runs across the front edge. The suite features a double bed and a claw foot tub. It also has a bell. The bell hangs in the bar – not the suite. The rumor is that the bell is attached to the bed, so when the honeymooners….well, you know, the bell rings. Maybe the locals can tell us if that is myth or fact.