Ghost Town in Jerome ~AZ

I ain’t scared of no ghosts.

Jerome, AZ is touted as the “Largest Ghost Town in America”, as well as “America’s Most Vertical City”, sitting at more than 5,000 ft above sea level. It started as a copper mining camp and by the 1920s it was home to more than 10,000 people. Jerome’s personality has changed a lot from once a thriving mining camp between the late-1880s and early 1950s, the town is now a bustling tourist magnet and artistic community with a population of about 450. But its external appearances have remained much the same for the last 100 years.

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My parents and I decided to make a day of it. Jerome is about 100 miles north of Phoenix on state route 89A between Sedona and Prescott. Mom gave me the job of finding a cute place to stop on the way up for brunch. And I think I succeeded supremely. If you are looking for a super good place for breakfast or lunch food then try out Nora Jean’s coffee kitchen in Black Canyon City, AZ. I was extremely jealous of Mom’s patty melt with grilled veggies, Dad had a Reuben with homemade potato salad and I had a breakfast sandwich of egg and bacon on an English muffin. They had fresh, iced, green and peach tea, my newest favorite discovery of cold brew coffee and the lemon bars looked amazeballs.

Alright, bellies are full, we are decently caffeinated and ready for our adventure in Jerome. Did I mention it was a ghost town? I have a bit of an obsession with ghosts. I am believer, and a belieber. Hahaha. Ok, seriously. Let’s find some ghosts.

First stop was the Jerome State Historic Park. The Historic Park is located in the Douglas Mansion and boasts tons of artifacts and history of the town. Don’t miss the 20 minute video, which takes you through the history and development of Jerome – funny ghost narrator dude too.

Speaking of ghosts, when I checked my phone later I had 144 blast photos while I was in the Mansion. This blast photo thing happened on a ghost tour in New Orleans too. Kinda weird, right?

The outside of the mansion is gorgeous with lots of mining parts scattered around the area.

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I thought this model of the town with the mining shafts, faults, etc was pretty cool.

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Next to the Historic Park is the Audrey Mine Shaft. It is inoperable now but you can go check it out and even stand over the void of the 1,900 ft shaft!! No worries guys, there is a thick plate of glass and a metal crate to keep you from falling in. Thank goodness!

The Audrey was the center unit of the main United Verde Extension mine shaft. It was concrete-lined for fire prevention and was state-of-art for its day. The Audrey (I love how they call their mines THE Audrey, THE Edith … can there be THE Kim?) was the main ore hauling shaft. During the prime of its time, it would haul one up to the 1,100 ft level, the ore would then be dumped into a chute cut into the rock where the ore was loaded at the 1,300 ft level into carts which were pulled through a tunnel by an electronically driven engine for transport to the Clemenceau smelter in Cottonwood, AZ.

It’s truly fascinating what they did back in the day. Here is the Audrey.

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And just to give you an idea just how deep 1900 ft is!

az audrey deeo

Isn’t she a beaut??

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After the Historic Park where a ghost took over my phone for a bit, and I stood over a 1,900 ft shaft, we moved onto the main drag of Jerome. It isn’t too hard to find, just keep heading up and when you hit all the art galleries, a few restaurants and a few hotels; you are there. Now it’s REALLY time to find some ghosts.

First stop is the Jerome Grand Hotel. This hotel on Cleopatra Hill used to be the United Verde Hospital opened in 1927 where sick and injured miners were treated. The hospital closed in 1950 and sat vacant for 46 years. The building had a reputation for being haunted with ghostly sounds of moaning and coughing. Plus a man named Claude Harvey was killed when he was caught under the elevator in 1935. Super scary.

At the Jerome Grand Hotel keep a lookout for a bearded man who wanders the halls, a young boy who likes to run around on the third floor, sounds and lights around the elevator thanks to Harvey and supposedly the hotel lobby is a place the spirits like to hang around and play tricks. Alas, we had a drink in the upstairs bar but did not see any strange people or occurrences. Great views from up there though!

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Next, we parked by all the shops and wandered around. It was Saturday evening and it was Art Night! Sweet, they had free drinks and snacks at every art gallery. And there are plenty of them: lots of great paintings, jewelry and a few oddities.

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You can stop by Mile High Inn which became home of one of the most famous ladies of the night during the 1900s. She was Madam Jennie Banters (reportedly one of the richest women in northern Arizona) and the inn became her popular bordello; Jennie and her ladies entertained many men during the mining boom in Jerome. She can be seen upstairs usually in the “Lariat and Lace” room. But there is also the phantom cat where guests stoop to pet the cat but then it suddenly vanishes. We stopped by the Mile High Grill (the restaurant below the inn) where I inquired about the cat. I was looked at like I had three heads and then I explained, “you know, the ghost cat”. “Ahhh, haven’t seen it in awhile but if you did it would be upstairs and not here,” she answered. Boo hoo and one isn’t allowed at the inn unless you have a hotel reservation.

We moved on.

In between more art galleries – more glasses of champagne and crackers with slices of cheese and pretzels and sometimes a little sandwich and one time shrimp with cocktail sauce; we walked around the tiny downtown and then ran into another of Jerome’s haunted places, the Connor Hotel. Rumor has it, the spirits come and go here.

But the rooms are haunted. Room 1 is said to be haunted by a lady in red and her friends. You may hear women whispering and laughing or she possibly comes to see you in your dreams. Scary! In room 5 people say they feel cold spots and the appliances like to go off by themselves. Reminds me of my freshmen year dorm room, my clock could “talk” and one time just went off and told us the time without us pushing the button. THAT dorm was defo haunted!

That’s it y’all. Jerome was so much fun even if I never experienced a ghost encounter. I’ll leave you with my pic of the Connor Hotel. Do you see anything strange in the windows??  OOOoooooooooOOOOOO

az hotel c

 

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Carrie Fisher (1956 – 2016)

What is happening this year? So many of my favorite celeb peeps are dropping out. But this latest was a stab to my heart. Carrie Fisher was a true icon to me. As Princess Leia, she showed us that girls can be strong and sexy and smart. She was a bad ass and DID rule the galaxy. I tried to rock those braids many times but never rocked them like her.

She may have been the first feminist leader for me. She certainly was the first (for me) to wear and rule the white pantsuit. HRC would do that much later.

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Later, she would be a mental health advocate. She didn’t hide the fact that she was bi-polar. And could be funny about it too. She gave her dueling dispositions the nicknames Roy (“the wild ride of a mood,” she said) and Pam (“who stands on the shore and sobs”). She channeled her struggles with depression and substance abuse into fiercely comic works – “Postcards From the Edge” (one of my favorite Meryl Streep movies), “Wishful Drinking,” and her latest “The Princess Diarist“. I haven’t read them but they are all now on my wish list to read.

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She was witty and brilliant, ready with a sharp comment to an inane remark. One of my favorites, when someone criticized in the latest “Star Wars” series that she hadn’t aged well; she responded with the quote below and this beauty, “Men don’t age better than women. They’re just allowed to age.” I LOVE this woman.

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Ms. Fisher, you will be sorely missed. Keep on shining as our bright star in that galaxy you ruled so well. I will be buying this shirt soon and will be rocking those braids for Halloween next year. And I will leave you with another great one from her on her death.

“I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

RIP Carrie Fisher. May the force be with you.

Let’s Reminisce

Let’s reminisce. Shall we? Well, today is my birthday. And here I am writing a post. 🙂 See my dedication?! Yesterday I was a bit down. Do you ever get the birthday blues? Thinking about where you are in life and nothing being like you thought it would be. Something like that. But then I remember that I have a wonderful life and nothing is perfect – even though some people sure make it seem like it is on their FBook and Instagram posts.

So, here I am on the big day. A happy girl, with a fantastic man in my life who loves me unconditionally, living on a gorgeous island. AND a new iPhone 6S in her hand. Whoo Hoooo!! I can finally download music.ly and possibly Pokemon Go (or is that already not cool?). My iPhone4 was so old it wouldn’t let me download any new apps that need iOs 8.

Anyways, my birthday also makes me reminisce about the younger times when things were easy and carefree. Who remembers these:

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Scratch N Sniff Stickers
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Rainbow Colored Heart Laces – These were in my sneaker roller skates!
library
Awwww, an old library card.
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90s Clear Phone . Had it. LOVED IT.
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Ribbon Barrettes. Jeannie and I tried to make these again – not as easy as it seems!
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And Lloyd Dobler. Never forget the Lloyd.

 

 

HIWD!!

Happy International Women’s Day! Time to realize how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go in the pursuit for gender equality.

I have so many strong women in my life that I am thankful for every day. They make my life happier, easier and is one of the reasons I am a strong woman myself. But there is still so much more to be done for women. From wage equality (GO PATRICIA ARQUETTE!) to girls going to schools to no more child brides to stopping the hate.

This video really touched me, seeing the struggle that is still there for so many women. Please watch. The more we know, the better we can help.

BREAK THE HATE.

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/do-not-stop-sharing-this-until-every-person-who-cares-about-women-sees-this/

 

Just Keep Wrapping

I am royally loving this. Maybe you know, or maybe not, but Kate and William were visiting New York City just a few days ago. Monday started off with Kate lending a hand to volunteers at the Northside Center for Childhood Development and later her and the hubs enjoyed a basketball game of the Brooklyn Nets vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers topping it off with a sweating hug from LeBron James, while Tuesday they spent a portion of the day at The Door (an organization that helps New York’s disadvantaged children) and later that night they attended St.Andrews’ 600th anniversary dinner at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There were even a few more things thrown into the mix between their arrival on Sunday and their departure on Wednesday – Wills flew to Washington D.C. to meet with the Prez, they also met the Clintons (Chelsea included) in NYC and a fashionable event for Kate to rub elbows with J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons and Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman.

But my favorite thing that has recently been posted is Kate giving the royal roll of the eye to a woman telling Kate to “Keep Wrapping”. This is awesome. And I believe happened on Monday at the Northside Center. Welcome to New York hospitality Kate!

All Hail the Queen!

It’s Brit …. er, Jamie, bitch.

If you know me at all, you should know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Britney Spears. True Love for that girl! Her and the two Gwens can do no wrong in my eyes. Sure, she went through a hard time awhile ago. But doesn’t everyone have a hard time at one point in their life? If not more …..

So when browsing through one of my various news websites I saw the headline, “Jamie Lynn Spears Covers Britneys ‘ Oops… I Did It Again’ “. Well, that I just had to see. The younger Spears begins singing her own song “Ms. Mississippi” and after about two minutes, begins singing those classic lines, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” And the lil sis isn’t too bad! Go Jamie Go Jamie. And she really does say, “It’s Jamie, bitch.”

For you to watch and for me to watch again and again and again. Yeah, I’m kinda nuts like that.

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Cooooookiesss Part Deux

Y’all (okay fine, one person) asked me to show some pics of my cookies! Here you go and they have been a huge hit with the families I teach.

A win – win!

I got all my stuff together. I even miraculously found marshmallows!!

ingredients

.Everything is looking good so far!

good

.Then decorate and …… they look adorable!!

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.Now all that is left to do is EAT and ENJOY!

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