Monday, July 27, 2015

Our Wild West tour grinds to a halt...

What a long strange trip it was!

Two full weeks of driving with my dear Hubby across the country, visiting seven states (fell in love with New Mexico!), staying at a famous haunted hotel (the Jerome Grand Hotel in Arizona!), spending time with family (his Mom's 80th birthday party!), and then turning around to come back home to Tennessee. Over 4000+ miles in all!
The breathtaking view from 5400 feet up the mountain
at the Asylum restaurant, located in the Jerome Grand Hotel
The scenery was breathtaking all over. Last time I drove that particular route (the old Route 66 and I-40) was quite some time ago, when I was a wee girlie of eight years of age. Of course, you realize I took a few photos - a little more than 1,000 photos on both my camera and cell phone. 

Now the real work begins, downloading and re-sizing them in order to post a few, then to my long-neglected other blog (The Quirk Shop) to write about this marvelous journey back out to my homeland of the wild west.

But first, of course, here are a few that are too good not to share!

The haunted Jerome Grand Hotel, where we stayed the night (and lived to tell!)
Nighttime view of the front entrance of the hotel
The Jerome Grand Hotel, located in the old 1800s-era copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona, has a very interesting background. Originally built as a hospital/asylum for the miners, it closed in the 1950s and remained that way for almost sixty years until being bought and renovated as a hotel. The elevator is only the second one ever made by the Otis Elevator company that is still in operation! It is creepy, ancient, and a bit rickety, with two doors you have to open and close manually. Learning that a maintenance man died in it gave me butterflies in my stomach.

The entire property has been kept at a 'period' motif, a kind of early 1900s post-Victorian decor. The resident restaurant, called 'The Asylum' (originally the hospital's actual infirmary) had a very glamorous, 'elegant 30s feel to it. We had cocktails and a world-class meal at a window table, where we could lean on the vintage wrought iron rail and gaze across the entire Verdant Valley below us. It was heavenly!

Doorway entrance to the Asylum restaurant
Just inside the doorway to the restaurant. Loved this old sofa!
As for the hallways... well, they reminded me of "The Shining," painted a sort of soft yet eerie green that gave off a very odd feeling. There was one door in particular, up on the 3rd floor, that had a large chunk taken out of it, as if someone had once tried to open it with a hatchet. Okay, visions of Jack Nicholson busting through, screaming "Here's Johnny!" did cross my mind!
But, to be honest, overall, I found the whole place quite charming... though a bit unnerving.
The 3rd floor hallway

The side entrance, featuring the Asylum restaurant, where we had a fantastic dinner
And yes, the place is haunted! It has been featured on several paranormal shows including 'Ghost Adventures.' However, I did not see a thing or feel much other than a slight case of dizziness as I walked down the hallway to our room (and my husband Mark felt the same thing too). Only questionable photo I took was of the vintage 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom housed in the garage: a slight "mist" of sorts is visible. The former owner? Hmm, perhaps! But Mark and I slept quite well that night, and were actually very sad to have to leave the following morning. 

We did get a chance to eat lunch at a place we'd heard a lot about: the Haunted Hamburger, just down the bend from the hotel. Yummy! And yes, we brought along a plastic 'roaming skull' (his name is Bertram Oswald Ness) and posed him in many different places and situations along our trip. He absolutely loved Haunted Hamburger!
"I'll have the deviled eggs, please"
I will say that it was wonderful to be back in the West again, and we will absolutely return to Jerome one day. We explored the whole town below, which has retained its old wild west look and feel. 

A full write up with tons of photos to be posted on The Quirk Shop in the days to come, so be looking for it! 
See, not so scary in the bright daylight, is it?
Bertram (our skull friend, in front of the door) loved this place!

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