29 March 2016

Weirdest Place Ever Slept ,Part 1, Animal Heads

We aren't always in control of where we stay when we are on a nonprofit fund raising mission which makes for fascinating travel. We drive to an address in a small town or a city and see what we find. We don't mind this at all and are quite grateful for a free bed.

So in one small town in a place far, far away from most places you've heard of and won't be named so as not to hurt feelings, we spent an evening sharing our "work" vision. The people hosting us said over pizza, "The local motel is horrible we wouldn't put our worst enemies there, so we put you in the local bed and breakfast."

At this point, my mind said, oh how wonderful. This will be so nice. It's been ages since we were at a b and b. Must be something quaint in a little town like this. Their next sentence stopped me in my tracks so to speak.

"It used to be the old folks home."

Uh, huh. So off we went three or four blocks in this tiny place to the old folks come cum bed and breakfast. We were giggling all the way. So do you check in but you can never leave?

Turns out bed and breakfast was more of a literal term than a descriptive one. It had become a hunting lodge of sorts as this part of the countryside draws hunters. So the public eating area and living room were covered in the heads of various taxidermy-ified animals.

The "living room" had quite a selection of recliners and just a couple side table lamps. Giving it a dimly lit shadowy atmosphere. A television flickered blue in the corner. Two elderly gentlemen  lurked in the recliners in the darkness, along with a lot of animal heads. They didn't look at us or acknowledge our entry.

I whispered, "Do you suppose they were 'grandfathered in'? The last residents?"
My significant other in classic form said, "I don't see anyone."

So a lady, not in uniform, gave us keys and sent us off. The living-eating room space remodel hadn't made it to the rest of the place. It still had railings on the walls so you could make it to your room and shiny squeeky clean linoleum floors. Thankfully no strange odors.

The hospital bed had been replaced by a double bed with quilts and flower sheets. Other than that it was the original room, but spotlessly clean. It had it's own private bath which was terrific and needed. Complete with loads of support bars and seats all over so you wouldn't fall. Not sure I've ever had such a safe shower.

Someone asked later,  Weren't you creeped out? Did you think of ghosts?

We really didn't but we laughed and thought up a lot of funny stories to go with our surroundings. It's one of those moments where you know it's going to be a good story even as you're experiencing it!

Message me and I'll see if I can find if it's still in business if you want to go have the experience!  Have you ever stayed anywhere unusual?

Odd sleeping arrangements will be a series in the blog for a bit. Enjoy.

25 March 2016

Weirdest Places Ever Slept - Part 2

We've traveled for both personal and business reasons, profit and nonprofit. I'd say the majority more in the nonprofit lifestyle!

Haunted is easy, right? TV shows and spooks everywhere. We always joke about if Europe had those haunted Ghost shows they'd just walk down any random street with a camera and say ooo, I feel a cold spot since there've been people living, killing and dying in these towns for a long time.

In Hannibal, Missouri, the home of Mark Twain, we went for a Bed and Breakfast weekend. I think I got this free/discount as part of buying five boxes of Stash Tea. We get to this place and this little gruff man informs us he's watching it for the real owners. He's rough around the edges and maybe a little further.

He shows us around the victorian place, very cute, done nicely. Informs us we'll be staying in the seven bedroom mansion alone tonight since he doesn't live in, but he'll be back to make us pancakes in the morning. Turns out he's a former cop and is doing someone a favor.

On the way out, he says you're not afraid of ghosts, right? And he shows us a couple photos with fuzzy blobs in the stair well.  We look on in contemplation as we were supposed to do and he said a few folks had encountered it, but we'd be fine.

You gotta know, as a mystery writer, and a guy that likes to watch ghost shows on TV, we were absolutely thrilled. In a haunted Victorian Mansion of our own for the evening! And of course we acted like we were 12. We climbed all over the house looking at everything. In a dark corner where we couldn't find a light switch on the top floor was a door to the attic. Locked!!! Creepy, that's where they keep the ghost, I guess.

We settled down in the library (yes!) watched PBS mystery. Then my significant other much to my delight played Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on a small organ in the parlor(!) on a foot pump organ that of course had a delightfully rough sounds. My friend refers to this song as "Scary Frights" when she wants my man to play it. (Here's a posh version of it if you are curious.)

We slept well despite all the talk of ghosts, but my guy did say he heard things in the night -- maybe for my benefit since I slept like the dead and didn't notice. We explored Hannibal which besides having the haunts of Tom Sawyer-Huck Finn and the real life Twain is a delightful town with it's own oddities and delights to explore and find. You gotta go to the cave too if you go -- I don't remember the story exactly but it's got one of those someone got stuck in here spooky ones.