Category Archives: I Will Always Love…

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Just steps away from the Seattle Space Needle lies the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.  The space includes an indoor gallery, outdoor garden and the Glasshouse.  Many people have been exposed to Chihuly’s work by seeing his ceiling installation of over 2000 glass flowers in the lobby of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The Bellagio installation is beautiful, but to see an entire gallery of Chihuly is worth taking a trip to Seattle. 

Chihuly Garden and Glass Continue reading Chihuly Garden and Glass

Haunted Austin

Haunted Austin
Photo courtesy of J Dimas via Flickr

*Years ago I originally wrote the post below as part of my past blog Joy DeVivre Design. In the spirit of the season, I thought it fun to include it here for a new audience to discover! 

 For a city whose slogan is “Keep Austin Weird” you would expect that Austin, TX would be a place with some very interesting stories. If that is your expectation then this is not a city that will disappoint you. Austin is a city with live music venues around every corner, plenty of outdoor space to get your green on and people that live with the attitude of live and let live. I suppose that a place like that would be somewhere you would never want to leave….and as you will see in some of these tales, some people never do!

Driskill Hotel

Haunted Austin
Photo Courtesy of Steve via Flickr

Built in 1886 by cattle baron Jesse Lincoln Driskill, the Driskill Hotel is everything you would think a grand Texas hotel would be. The scale is large, leather furniture, the Texas star featured prominently. The hotel was the dream of Mr Driskill. I must say, what a dream it was! The Driskill Hotel, built in the Romanesque style is the type of hotel that makes you want to wear your Sunday finest, just so you can fit in with the beautiful surroundings. The Driskill has a way of getting people to come back, some even after they pass away.

The Driskill is believed to be haunted by several people. One of these people is none other than the creator of the hotel, Jesse Lincoln Driskill. He has made himself known with the smell of cigars at random times. Perhaps he doesn’t approve of the ban being placed upon his hotel. Mr Driskill has been seen in many areas of the hotel as if he is still roaming the halls making sure all is running smoothly.

 

Another of the Driskill Hotel ghosts is a four-year-old girl. She was the daughter of a US Senator who met her untimely death while playing ball on the stairs. The innocent little girl fell and died. It is said that she still haunts the grand staircase leading down to the lobby.

The Driskill Hotel is located at 604 Brazos Street. From what I hear, they do not enjoy people coming in off the street and asking questions about their ghosts.  I would recommend just taking a look around on your own. If you ever decide to stay there, just do not stay in Room 29. That room is known to be haunted by a woman who shot herself in the bathtub there.

Governor’s Mansion

Haunted Austin
Photo courtesy of Matt Howry via Flickr

Built in 1856, the Governor’s Mansion is a stately Greek Revival home across the street from the Texas State Capitol. For the governor’s of Texas, this has been their home since it was built. However, they do have to share it with others.

One of those other people taking up residence in the Governor’s Mansion is believed to be none other than Texas hero Sam Houston. Sam Houston was the man who led the army to finally capture Santa Anna, who had defeated the Texans so badly at the Alamo. He is also the namesake of  Houston. I suppose since he is such prominent figure in Texas he figures that he deserves to live in style at the head of the state. He is believed to mostly haunt one of the bedrooms that includes the bed that he bought for the mansion.

A death at the mansion in 1864 is behind one of the other haunts at the home. Governor Pendelton Murrah was in office and his family was living in the home. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when his nephew took his own life there after being turned down for a marriage proposal. Reports of footsteps pacing, moaning and doorknobs turning have been attributed to the nephew who apparently still pines for his lost love.

University of Texas Tower

 

Haunted Austin

On August 1, 1966, a horrific crime was committed in Austin. After all was said and done that afternoon, fourteen people were dead for doing nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The story went like this: Charles Whitman, an ex-Marine and a University of Texas student decided to barricade himself in the bell tower and act as a sniper. Most of the victims were on Guadalupe Street, also known as ‘The Drag’, below the tower. Whitman first killed his mother and wife before he went to the tower. He ascended the stairs to the top that would be his final destination.

Whitman perched himself in the highest spot in the city. He must have thought he was invincible in the tower and that no one would apprehend him. Attempts at getting up to his location proved to be deadly for several who first tried. Fortunately, the rampage, which lasted from 11:35 AM to 1:24 PM was ended when a police officer, Ramiro Martinez shot Whitman to death.

After his death, it was discovered that Charles Whitman had a cancerous brain tumor.  The tumor may have caused him to commit this crime. Is Whitman now, in his afterlife, sorry for the pain that he caused ? Was this man, just like those he killed, just a victim of his mental condition? One will never know the answers, but it is believed that Whitman still visits the tower. Lights coming on by themselves, doors being locked and unlocked with no one around are just a few of the happenings at the bell tower after that fateful day in 1966. Whatever the reason, when I am visiting Austin and see the UT orange glow lighting up the top of the tower, I can’t help but think that building has something unexplainable going on.

 

Haunted Austin

Don’t let these stories scare you away! If you have ever been to Austin then you know how truly awesome it is. If you have never been there, what are you waiting for!? For any first time visitors you must see the Texas State Capitol, stroll down South Congress, see a live band and check out the bats flying out from the Congress Avenue bridge every night. A city that celebrates bats, ghosts and very eccentric people, the motto ‘Keep Austin Weird’ makes perfect sense there!

 

 

 

You May Also Enjoy...

Haunted San Antonio

*Years ago I originally wrote the post below as part of my past blog Joy DeVivre Design. In the spirit of the season, I thought it fun to include Haunted San Antonio here for a new audience to discover! 

San Antonio, TX is one of those towns that never forgets it’s past. The new buildings and skyscrapers exist. However, in the midst of the new are the historical sites that have made the city what it is. Second in population only to Houston in the state of Texas, San Antonio has emerged as a popular place to vacation as well as to live. The people who live and visit here have a great respect for the history of this city. Long gone days include when native Indians were educated in the missions, when Texas was fighting for its Independence and especially when they were defeated at the Alamo.

It would be impossible to think that a city with such history, a city that does not tear down its architecture of days gone by, a city with such respect for its past would not have a few of its residents that want to stay around even after they have physically past. In fact, it would really be impossible to think that when so many see the paranormal on a regular basis.

Haunted San Antonio
Photo courtesy of Pedro Szekely via flickr

The Alamo is probably the most well known of the San Antonio historical sites. It sits in what is now the downtown area. Steps away from the famous landmark is another huge tourist draw, the Riverwalk. Lined with shops, hotels and any type of food establishment you could want, the Riverwalk winds through the downtown area and is the route you can take to most of the places we will discuss here. San Antonio has many areas said to be haunted, but we will be focusing on the downtown/Riverwalk area for the majority of these tales.

The Alamo

Continue reading Haunted San Antonio

Haunted Hollywood-Part Two

*Years ago I originally wrote the post below as part of my past blog Joy DeVivre Design. In the spirit of the season, I thought it fun to include it here for a new audience to discover! 

In the spirit of Halloween I love a good ghost story…or several. Hollywood is a place in which there is never a shortage of ghostly tales. You can spend hours just visiting the infamous and haunted sites. In fact, that is what I do each time I make a visit there. I originally wrote a post on Haunted Hollywood where you can read about many of the famous spooky landmarks, but I wanted to do an update so as to add some new info.

 

The Los Feliz Murder Mansion

Haunted Halloween
2475 Glendower Place, Los Angeles

 Seeing what could be a gorgeous Spanish revival style home falling into disrepair is odd in the Los Feliz area, where you are more likely to see a random starlet’s multimillion dollar mansion. But with what is known as the Los Feliz Murder Mansion odd isn’t the half of it.

Continue reading Haunted Hollywood-Part Two

You May Also Enjoy...

Haunted Hollywood-Part One

*Years ago I originally wrote the post below as part of my past blog Joy DeVivre Design. In the spirit of the season, I thought it fun to include it here for a new audience to discover! 

Hollywood is the land where dreams are made and stars are born. That is what they always say, right? Unfortunately, it is also the land of those who didn’t reach the stars. The land of drug overdoses, murders, and unsolved mysteries. Some of the people who did make it, though, seem to love it so much that they choose to stick around. Here are some of their stories.

 

Continue reading Haunted Hollywood-Part One

You May Also Enjoy...

Haunted Galveston, Texas: Where Ghosts Wander the Island

*Years ago I originally wrote the post below as part of my past blog Joy DeVivre Design. In the spirit of the season, I thought it fun to include it here for a new audience to discover! 

Galveston Island is a coastal town about 45 minutes south of Houston. Galveston may not be as large as its neighboring city, but this 208 sq. mile stretch of land has many a story to tell. Once inhabited by Indians, the site of the 1863 Battle of Galveston during the Civil War, the playground for everyone from pirates to Frank Sinatra, this is a small island with a huge history. Hurricanes have come across Galveston many times, but the 1900 storm on September 8, 1900 is the saddest day in Galveston history. On that day more than 6,000 people lost their lives to a powerful hurricane that pushed it’s way over the island. Whether it be curses from the Indians, the pirates, the lost soldiers or those who lost their lives September 1900, something has stirred up paranormal activity on the island. Haunted Galveston, Texas has numerous ghost stories, so many that there are year-round ghost tours given and many more just during the Halloween season. You, my lucky readers, can save your money, have a comfy seat and I will give you the run down right here!

Continue reading Haunted Galveston, Texas: Where Ghosts Wander the Island

You May Also Enjoy...

Halloween With Disney…

Visiting Walt Disney World at any time of the year is a magical experience. Visiting at Halloween takes things to another level. During this time the Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  This year the event takes place on select nights from September 2-October 31 and does require an event ticket that is separate from the normal theme park entry.

Let’s take a journey into Mickey’s world:

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party

Last year I was able to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for the first time. My husband and I went as Prince Eric and Ariel. You need not dress up, but it really makes the experience even more fun! There are some rules associated with costumes so if you plan on going and dressing up check out this link: dressing for the occasion. 

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party

During the fall the Magic Kingdom is decorated in fall colors, but on the nights of the party they really play up Halloween even more.

13709868_10153848186563230_149603713221996751_n

I couldn’t resist taking pictures in the Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid ride.  I was after all the mermaid! 😉

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party

The colors were spectacular during the event. The buildings down Main Street were lit with purples, oranges and greens. It set the perfect tone for a spooktacular evening! Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party
One of my favorite parts of the party was the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade! Watch out for the Headless Horseman who gallops in right before the parade starts!Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party

Continue reading Halloween With Disney…

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Have you ever loved a place before you’ve ever even been there?Read about it and just knew that this would be your place?  This was me with Santa Fe, New Mexico for years before going there. From the art to the colors, the shopping to the history, Santa Fe truly is a majestic city. 

georgiaokeefemuseum

One of my favorite artists is Georgia O’ Keefe. From her flower paintings to her desert landscapes and especially her cityscapes I have always been so fascinated by her work. When planning a trip to Santa Fe the number one thing on my list was to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.  Continue reading Santa Fe, New Mexico

Top Ten Hotels for My Home Away from Home

When spending time away from the comforts of home there are certain things that I appreciate in a hotel. Proximity to places I wish to visit, friendly staff, a comfortable bed and stylish surroundings are all things that make my stay memorable. Take a look at the properties that made my top ten:

Hyatt Palm Springs 

Hyatt Palm Springs

While earning a degree in Interior Design I always was drawn to the mid-century modern style that Palm Springs is known for. When I finally had the chance to visit this beautiful town I stayed at the Hyatt Palm Springs. The style of the hotel had mid-century modern influences, while still feeling very current. The view from our balcony was so beautiful as was the room.  Being within walking distance of many restaurants and art galleries made for a perfect night of wandering the town. Not to be left out were the staff. From the front desk to the valet everyone was so pleasant.  Continue reading Top Ten Hotels for My Home Away from Home

Muir Woods National Monument

Recently while visiting San Francisco I put it on my vacation itinerary to check out Muir Woods. As a bona-fide city girl with a phobia of lizards I was a little unsure about being in the out-of-doors, but my desire to see the Redwood trees told me to suck it up buttercup and make the trip! I am so grateful that I did!

Muir Woods

Located just 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge makes Muir Woods perfect for someone wishing to see nature and still have all the comforts of a major city nearby.  Honestly though after the first five minutes there even this city girl was contemplating hiking more often.

mw3

In 1908 this grouping of redwoods, some between 400-800 years old,  was established as the Muir Woods National Monument. It is open to the public every day of the year and is free for children 15 and under.  As I am writing this the current price for 16 and over is $10, but please check their site for possible price changes. mw4

Continue reading Muir Woods National Monument

You May Also Enjoy...