Thursday, October 31, 2013

Biltmore - A Ghost Story

This week I had a work trip to Los Angeles and as I normally do, I did some shopping around in advance for a great rate on a hotel stay.  Lucky for me the best rate was at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Let me tell you that because of my work schedule there was very little time to enjoy the hotel but as I walked from meetings back to my room I was taking photos all along the way.  I was completely amazed with the hotel, its history and beauty, and completely intrigued with the stories about the hotel being haunted.

Did you know that the Academy Awards Ceremony began at this hotel?  You can read more about this here.  On my first attempt to peek into the Crystal Ballroom the door was locked.  On the second try, I was lucky - the door was unlocked.  A film crew was setting up so I didn't go wandering around but it was thrilling to be able to walk into a room filled with film history.

So now to the ghost story.  Just call me naive.  The great hotel rate was the reason I ended up at the hotel.  I truly knew nothing about the history, or the ghosts but after seeing the beauty of the hotel, I got on Google to run a few searches and those searches led me to some stories about the ghosts that have been sighted at this hotel.  Never before had I heard about the Black Dahlia until this experience.  Oh how I wish I hadn't read or seen all that I saw, but I did, and the story was totally intriguing.

If you don't know anything about Elizabeth "Beth" Short, there's plenty to read but reader beware.  By the time I finished reading some of the stories, I was too scared to go to sleep!  You should have seen the barricade I built to keep "Beth" out of my room!  Beth was last seen at the Biltmore Hotel and it is believed that she still walks the hallways.  True or not, it was haunting.

If you get to LA, the Biltmore is a hotel worth seeing and I'm hoping I get back to visit one of these days.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

When Will The Shutdown End?

It just so happened I was in D.C. this week and the city was looking a bit like a ghost town.  Cab drivers I spoke with were disturbed that they had little ridership and while they normally would be bringing in $200 a day, this week were doing good to hit the $50 mark.

 Normally there's lots of hustle and bustle all around the city and of course lines of people waiting to see key tourist sights and there's always lots of foot traffic.  It was weird seeing things so still in the middle of the work week.
Seeing the city first-hand took me back to my childhood and constant fear of government decisions.  Both of  my parents worked for the government and we lived in a town that existed because of our military base.  While growing up there were always worried conversations about base closures, budget cuts, oh and not to mention the Cuban missile crisis with constant preparations to evacuate and remain safe when the bombs would fall.  At one point my parents tried to build a fallout shelter in our backyard! My home and school were located very close to the base so the daily siren and the sonic booms just added to my constant worries that the base would close, my parents would have no job and somehow because of the nuclear missiles that were sure to be directed at our base, our family would end up separated from each other living in bomb shelters. No wonder I'm such a fear-based individual!!
At any rate the government shutdown is affecting much more than just government workers and this week in D.C. it was evident that lots of employees - federal or not, will not have much, if any income.  But this extends well beyond D.C.
There was a small crowd at the Supreme Court building.  Looked like the Justices were working.
On a very happy note, my sweet DIL had been deployed since May 1 and in spite of the shutdown, she managed to return home!!!!  My son and grandgirls were so happy to finally have her back.
The Welcome Home Committee
Happy weekend!