One Night on an Old Paddle Boat
I loved rolling our suitcases over the ramp to the lobby entrance. If felt like we were going on a river cruise, even if we knew the boat was permanently docked.
The lobby was dim with low ceilings and dated '80's decor, but the staff was welcoming and the prices were reasonable. I was glad there had been no recent, ritzy renovations, or we wouldn't have been able to afford the place.
Our Cozy Cabin
We headed down the slanted, musty hallway to room #332. There was hardly enough room to pull our bags inside the door. But I grinned at the original windows that looked out over the Sacramento River. I laughed when people walked by on the walkway.
The door to the bathroom was at a nifty angle. The egg shaped door knob was almost as retro as the chain pull toilet. It was a little crowded, but the paint and linens seemed fresh and we didn't plan on spending much time in the room.
We explored the inside of the boat first. The rounded woodwork was lovely.
The Dining Deck
On a beautiful September day, this was the more appealing choice.
At the base of the stairs, we peeked in at the Pilothouse Dining Room. Very decent food reviews tempted us, but it was still early.
Framed photographs and historic displays on the lowest level, filled us in on the boat's past.
We were surprised to learn that the Delta King was related to the Delta Queen, a riverboat Don and I remembered, from our years living in St. Louis. We were also a little surprised to know that our hotel boat had the ability to sink like it did in this photo. It fact the riverboat was a submerged mess when the current owners bought, rescued and renovated the Delta King in the 1980's.
Wandering the Decks
Don and I didn't encounter many other guests as we explored the deck. I did however greet a housekeeper who let me peek inside one of the rooms on the upper deck. I was glad to be staying in one of historic rooms, but the more recently renovated rooms had twice the space.
Tiny Door or Tall Don
I was pretty amused by the size of the doors. Don is 6'2'' so this door is clearly designed for short and narrow people.
A Sign to Ponder
While exploring, we found this very important sign bolted to the wall. I took a moment to lean again a pillar and reflect. I probably shouldn't have leaned against anything on the old boat, after reading the sign.
Dinner on Deck
We had a drink on the deck before heading off the boat in search of dinner options. However we ended up coming right back to our spot and eating a casual dinner on board.
We watched the skies turn pink and blue over the river. Then we watched the skies darken as the golden bridge grew brighter, with lights and reflections.
Don and I both woke at 5:30. The lighting on the deck had shown through the blinds all night. But we made use of the early morning and wandered before traffic. The Delta King's location was just steps away from Sacramento's "Old Sac" historic area.
Along the Water
We walked across the golden Tower Bridge to get a different view of our hotel. Startled birds departed quickly from their perches as we passed, reminding me of the "Bat Bridge" in Austin.
View From the Bridge
We got a good view of the paddle wheel and smoke stack from the bridge. We headed back for breakfast, feeling pretty clever that we'd found this place.
Our window table with fresh flowers was a nice reward after our walk. We feasted on eggs and Rosemary potatoes, muffin and bacon while chatting with our pleasant server. She answered our tourist questions about the nearby bridge. Yes, the bridge does still raise, but only a few times a week.
This was one of those hotel stays that made us feel lucky. Lucky we ran across it. (It's not on obvious lists) Lucky that it's still here, when so many historic hotels struggle to stay "afloat".
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!