Sorry that I've been a blog slacker. Too much going on!
I spent a three-day weekend with my mother in Glenwood Springs, a town that sits at the end of Glenwood Canyon next to the White River. It's a beautiful little place, mostly a tourist spot. We chose it because it's halfway between our houses, creating a three-hour drive one way for each of us.
We'd been talking about doing this for probably five years now, but something always comes up. I'm always busy writing, and there never seems to be a weekend where nothing's going on to set aside. Finally, I decided we had to do this, so we did. Three days in Glenwood, just me and my mom.
We decided to stay at Hotel Colorado. My mom has stayed there before with my sister, and the two recalled having a very strange time. For example, when they called for a roll-away bed, a guy with a bleeding gash on his forehead brought in a bed that, when opened, was befouled by a pool of what could only have been semen. EW! The guy had a bandage wrapped hastily around the gash in his forehead, which was bleeding down his face. WEIRD! And, yes, they brought a second, clean bed.
I wanted to think that was an isolated incident of weirdness. Hotel Colorado first opened its doors to wealthy guests in 1893. Built to be a western getaway for the rich and adventurous, it was built before there was a town, really. Teddy Roosevelt stayed there several times. Made a habit of it, in fact. Al Capone stayed there. Doc Holiday died there. And so on...
It's a real piece of history. I just couldn't see staying at some roadside motel when Hotel Colorado was available. But the weekend was full of weirdness.
Among the weird incidents we experienced:
The staff insisted that our room, the Ambassador Suite, Room 558, was haunted by the ghost of a little girl who'd fallen out the window and died on the ground five stories below. They told us that guests routinely hear her bouncing her ball and sometimes they see her and can even speak with her. When one of the two phones in the room refused to work, they blamed the ghost — and made no move to repair it.
Our second day there we got massages from a guy who told us that the hotel was built on an old Ute ceremonial ground and that "there's a portal to the spirit world on the other side of this wall."
The hotel's guide about room service and other hotel services was inaccurate. No, you can't order from the full menu in the bar. No, you can't get room service in the middle of the afternoon even though the information in your room says you can. Sure, we have espresso — but we run and get it from the coffee shop next door, so you might as well do that, too.
Every time we passed a group of hotel housekeepers, one of them said to the other, "Donde esta María?" Where is Maria? Over what was basically a three-day period, that got to feel really weird. Sort of Groundhog Day-ish.
Food ranged from great to mediocre to EW! Service was rendered with a smile, but often to tell us no. Circumstances changed by the minute. The people seated before us for breakfast were offered the option of ordering off the breakfast menu. We, who were the very next, were told, "We're not accepting any more orders from the menu. You have to use the buffet."
The light on our ceiling fan burnt out. A maintenance man outside our room, who insisted the hotel was not haunted replaced it. And then the bathroom light burnt out. The front desk blamed the ghost, and the bathroom light was never changed.
And so on. Getting my drift?
I slept in a roll-away bed next to the window the little girl fell out of both nights — and I wrote sitting next to it by day — and I neither sensed nor saw a ghost. The weirdest thing I saw was the hotel's staff, who were clearly working their butts off and yet unable to meet the needs of the guests.
However, all of the staff antics — which included farting in a very small elevator while we were in it and then laughing endlessly over it — made for some laughs. My mom and I got a couple of days just to talk and be with one another which was absolutely freaking priceless.
Life is short. Enjoy the people you love — while you can.