not really trip advisor Review: Highland House Resort
September 2012
The invitation-only "Highland House"We stayed for three nights at the exclusive, invitation-only, ever-evolving Highland House Resort, a rustic spread on 50 acres atop a mountain top in California's gold country, in early September 2012.

We were shocked not to be invited to re-engineer deck posts, hang drywall, work on electrical wiring, install joists, fit windows, caulk, sand, staple mesh, cover switchplates, install smoke detectors, lights or ceiling fans, or help with plumbing. We had read that these were the usual activities guests were invited to do when staying at the Highland House Resort, assuming these activities weresome kind of personal growth or team-building experience the proprietors had carefully designed for guests. 

The entertainment schedule was excellent, with a highly intellectual, mentally-stimulating parlor game to open our stay, which we won per the question, "Name the five science fiction movies starring Charleton Heston." There were also viewings of two very good but small, obscure, low-budget foreign films each evening, one of Friday evening (we chose the non-director's cut), and on Saturday evening.

The birthday breakfast for Stefan did not disappoint - as we cooked it ourselves. The proprietors insisted on doing extensive taste-testing of the breakfast burritos, which consisted of scrambled eggs, salsa, avocado and turkey bacon, wrapped in tortillas. They repeatedly taste-tested and, after several servings, deemed the breakfast excellent and worthy of Stefan to eat. Truth be told, I preferred cooking the household breakfast to hanging drywall or using a drill or saw - and if the management ever sees me attempt to do anything carpentry or construction related, they will prefer this as well.

Wild Turkey at Highland House, with motorcyclesUnfortunately, during the Highland House Wildlife Safari™, the wild turkeys that occupy the estate expressed their great displeasure at our choice of turkey bacon for breakfast, first threatening us when we were trying to leave the compound for a social engagement in beautiful, metropolitan downtown Glencoe at an exclusive, private social club, and then continuing to stalk us around the grounds for the remainder of our stay.

But the highlight of the visit was, of course, the infamous Highland House Offroad Adventure™, which one must experience whether entering or exiting the compound. The gravel, the drop-offs, the turns, the hills, the marauding turkeys - not since the Dakar Rally have motorcyclists faced such grueling tests of their riding skills and emotional stability. Rumor has it that Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman have decided not to attempt the Highland House Offroad Adventure™ during any future round-the-world travels, due to its difficulty - despite the gorgeous views once one achieves the top of the hill.

We look forward to a future stay Highland House Resort.  Next time, however, we believe we will be asked to paint something.

(In all seriousness, unlike this parody review: thank you, Gail and Russell, for hosting us at your beautiful hilltop home. You have done a wonderful job of building your home-away-from-home. We so greatly admire your tenacity and creativity. Our visit was a perfect break in our two-week motorcycle journey, and we look forward to returning!)

Russell and Gail in a rare moment of not building Highland House  Jayne and Han Solo at Highland House The "Holy" tree of Highland House Another sunset at Highland House

No kidding: you can follow the wacky adventures of the Lee Family on Twitter at @worldtrippers1

Also see:

My real reviews on Trip Advisor

The travel blog for this September 2012 trip (not a parody)

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