By Elena Chronis & Elisabeth Parker. This column appears in the Sonoma County Gazette on a monthly basis.
With the new year underway andl onger, sunnier days approaching, wefeel the stirrings of spring fever and new beginnings. Our Task Force has renamed itself Friends of Rio Nido, and meets on Feb. 5, 11:00 a.m. at the Roadhouse. For those who don’tcelebrate Valentine’s Day, February also marks the beginning of Girl Scout Cookie Season! Our local Girl Scout Troop #10480 is taking orders. To get your cookies, contact Elisabeth or visit their booth at Safeway on weekend afternoons at the end of February through the end of March.
Balalaika Guest Homes,the ultimate ‘Stay-cation’
You’ve probably noticed these eye-catching vacation homes on Canyon Seven Road across the street from our Pee Wee Mini Golf. If you need roomy and affordable accommodations for friends and family from out of town, these townhouses fit the bill. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, well-equipped kitchen, living room, and charming decks overlooking our bucolic enclave, Balalaika Guest Homes are also ideal for entertaining.
Our friends recently rented one of these town homes, and found it to be chock full of modern amenities, including: WiFi, granite counters in the kitchen, dishwasher, designer furnishings, a large flat screen TV, and two luxurious bathrooms. One of the tubs even has two shower heads – ideal for couples on Valentine’s weekend!
Our favorite feature, however, was the giant redwood growing straight through a specially-designed hole in the deck! It’s never too early to start planning for summer – or even President’s Day weekend! Prices start at $99 per night. For more information, call 707-318-3175 or visit the Web site at www.balalaikaguesthomes.com. Or read the rave reviews from happytravelers on www.TripAdvisor.com.
After staying at Balaika, your guests may never want to leave Rio Nido … in which case, you can send them to realtors Mary O’Connell, David Shalar, David Clary, and Tony and Misty Humphreys at O’Connell Properties (707-887-2884or www.russianriverrealestate.com).
With all the planned improvements for Rio Nido and real estate prices lower than ever, this is a great time to buy here.
Have you checked out their darling little real estate office at the entrance to Rio Nido off of River Road? It looks like little elves live there. Rumor has it, the charming cottage was built around 1920. San Francisco expatriate Mike Shalar originally purchased the building as a billboard, recognizing the value of the location alone.
He meets people from all over the Bay Area who recognize this unique landmark.
O’Connell Properties specializes in properties all over the Bay Area. Back in the day, this property belonged to a man named Fred Froelich, and functioned as a weighing station for passing truck drivers. The house was also an easy walk to the railroad which ran along River Road and transported summer tourists back in Rio Nido’s glory days.
Laura Mueller, Rio Nido’s radio personality
Speaking of local history, fellow Rio Nidan Laura Mueller has been hosting a weekly radio talk show for the past three years. Titled, “Anecdotal Evidence,” Laura’s show features interviews, personal stories from as early as the1930’s, and fascinating tidbits aboutthe Russian River’s colorful and entertaining history. Tune in Saturdays at 11:00 am. to 95.1 KGGV FM, our local radio station. If you can’t get a signal, www.KGGVFM.org provides live audio-streaming.
RRROC-ing Rio Nido
Rio Nido resident and community organizer Kim Holliday officially began her term as a member of the Russian River Redevelopment Oversight Committee (RRROC) at the Jan.20 meeting held at the Guerneville Veterans Hall. Following a meeting with Redevelopment Manager John Haig and members of the Rio Nido Redevelopment Task Group, Kim shared that priorities for Rio Nido are: Safe crossing to the bus stop on River Road; securing public beach access; and; basic infrastructure and beautification improvements.
Support Kim and participate in the process! RRROC meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. and alternate between the Veterans Hall and the Monte Rio Community Center.