July 20, 2010

Adventures in Arkansas

After the wedding, we spent a week in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with my family. On the way to Eureka Springs (ES), we were able to stop by and check out my youngest brother's college campus and house! It was really fun to be able to see where Matt has been and will be.

We rented a Town House, and used it as a base for our many adventures. For the first adventure, Lucas, Nic, Matt, and I set out to the Historic Crescent Hotel for a Ghost Tour. Since Crescent Hotel has been called "America's Most Haunted Hotel," we figured it would be interesting. In the picture to the left you can see (top left to bottom right): the staircase leading up from the Catholic church - where they often find strange items (such as hotel keys) left on their altar. The Hotel originally was a location for those who summered in ES. During the off-season it was a conservatory school for girls. The entrance to the hotel (showing a crescent moon), the view of the historic hotel from the parking lot (the main entrance, but technically the rear view), the guys looking down at me from the top balcony of the hotel (they climbed ALL those stairs to get pictures...I took the elevator!), Lucas and Nic posing in front of the sign.

We had a little over an hour to wait for our tour, so we explored the building, grounds, and nearby church. In this picture: The view of the Christ of the Ozarks statue (more on this to come) from the top balcony of the hotel. The "front" stairs leading up to the hotel door, Lucas, Nic, Matt and I posing on a couch in the lobby, Matt descending the stairs from the top balcony. Nic descending the stairs while simultaneously texting (he's so multi-talented!), the guys waving at me from the balcony (the zoomed in picture...above you have the zoomed out, so you can see how far away the actually were).

The tour itself was really fascinating. On the top left you can see our group in the basement (right by the spa) standing on the spot where a little girl once fell over the banister from the top floor. She apparently haunts the nearby Men's restroom (located behind the man taking a picture). You can't see it well, but the chimney in the next picture is painted purple. During an economic downturn, girls stopped attending the school and the owners were forced to sell. A con-artist claiming he was a doctor bought it and turned it into a cancer "hospital." His favorite color was purple and he completely redecorated - including the chimneys! Our tour guide and group outside the elevator and office where the ghost of a local doctor (a legitimate one who had an office in the hotel) is often sighted (or smelled - he smoked a pipe). 423 isn't a special room...I just liked this picture. Our group in one of the hallways. The, now deceased, cat who lived for an amazing 21.5 years, and was referred to as the manager of the hotel. The hotel, to this day, always has a hotel cat (currently they have 2!). A picture down the hallway where a woman in our group had, moments before, gotten a picture of an "orb" (the visible energy of an entity caught on film). This hallway is a common place to capture small blue orbs near the floor - thought to be the ball of the little boy who once liked to play there (and perhaps STILL likes to play there).

At the end of the tour they take you to the basement (which was the morgue in it's cancer hospital days). The first picture is of the locker (with the #2) that is featured in one of the most popular episodes of Ghost Hunters where the TAPS team captured a full body image on thermal camera. The mirror in the men's restroom where the formerly mentioned little girl is often heard giggling. Looking up at Matt (and up the rest of the staircase). In the morgue - Matt and the lady in pink are standing in front of the original autopsy table. The room that was formerly the freezer where they kept the bodies. In the hallway heading from the spa to the morgue. The finale of the tour is when they take you to the morgue and turn out all the lights!

Now you might think that you've basically read the tour here, and therefor would never have to go, but I have only told a minor fraction of the stories, and it's just fun to poke around an historic building and hear the stories. The biggest bummer of the tour: neither Matt nor I captured any sort of spectral images with our camera. Granted, I'm not necessarily a believer in ghosts (we can have that conversation at another time if you really want), but it would have been fun to find something to make me a believer! Granted, believer or not, I'm definitely too much of a chicken to spend the night in this hotel! The scariest part of the night? Driving home. Don't know if you've ever been to the Ozarks but the roads are curvy and hilly with steep drop offs on the sides...and on the way home it poured so hard we couldn't see the road! Thankfully we made it.

And because I know that the real stars of the blog are the twins. And because I am not one to deprive my fans (i.e. the twins' grandparents and great-grandparents) of what they really want. Here are a couple pictures of the twins on that first day. Allie reading with Papa: notice the bulging cheeks. In those cheeks is the ginormous piece of pork chop that she pilfered from my plate and refused to give up. She worked on that pork chop piece for almost 2 hours - when she spit it out because she wanted yummy Tylenol! And Ryan playing balcony ball with his uncles. A lot of things were thrown off the balcony during our week there (no children. Don't worry!), but Ryan's favorite was the beach balls the uncle's would throw down to him (or lift him up to catch)!!


Anonymous said...

We had a great time with all of you and miss you. Love the blog! Love all of you more:-) Poppa R.

Laura said...

we went to ES for our honeymoon! :) they have some great places to eat!

Kim said...

We cooked all our own meals, so we never got to try the local cuisine... I did not remember that you went there!

Niki Sabaliauskas-Cantrell said...

Hey Kim- This is wild. We live just an hour from Eureka Springs. We moved down here last fall. Love looking at the blog- you've got your hands full :)
If you're ever down this way again, lets get together!

Kim said...

No way! I wish I would have known. I would have loved to have seen you!! If you're ever in the Hillsdale area, that's where we are now!