by The Ghost Peeker

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Stanley Hotel Return - March 2011, part 1

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Trips always seem to come up faster than I expect them to and yet I plan to pack early and yet it just doesn't always work out that way. I do make a list and lately, I have been starting to take notes when I am at a new location and list things that I forgot or wished I had taken with me.

This is a return trip to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The famed hotel where Stephen King got the idea to write The Shining. I had heard some scuttlebutt about him getting the idea for Pet Sematary here also but I have since looked it up and the idea came from another pet cemetery in a field not far from his home in Maine. However, there is a pet cemetery on the Stanley Hotel premises!

What is nice is that I flew from Dallas straight to Denver non-stop. That's a really nice, quick, and direct trip on Southwest Airlines. I really should do a blog post about each airline and let you know which one is the better one but I'll leave that for another time. Suffice to say, Southwest was the cheapest and it got to my destination directly. Cheapest as in free, if you don't count the $5.00 -$10.00 airport tax. How did I manage that? Frequent flyer points! If you have not signed up yet, I would highly recommend doing so at every airline you fly with as well as join all the rental car and hotel clubs you can. Even if you do not travel often, trust me, that can add up and they often will send you special rates or fares or coupons to entice you to use them and it can save you a bit of money.

I used Enterprise this time. Again, that's another blog post! But I ended up with a Seabring, heated leather seats!! Nice in the cool March air with snow still on the ground. The Denver airport is in the valley and you can see the mountains in the distance. THAT'S where you are going!

I could see the storms just above the mountains, the dark ominous clouds that weighed heavy in the sky.

It was a nice drive on up to Estes Park and having my new Garmin with me, with the Boo bundle downloaded on it for free from the Garmin site, I had to laugh while going thru the winding roads and if you have not done so before, I recommend listening to Dr. Nightmare as he will talk to you randomly while driving out there, especially long distance!

Can you hear the music from The Shining as you drive up through the winding roads with the storm just before you?

I arrived at the Stanley before the next snow storm hit. It seemed they were due to get another storm and I was right glad that I had arrived early. Such gorgeous views on the way up! It always takes my breath away when I go up to the Stanley.

I had plenty of time before registration would start at 4 pm, having arrived just around lunch time. So I got my room and asked for a fridge and inquired of the cheese and fruit tray as well as the champagne and truffles I had ordered for my room. Oh yea, I was spoiling myself rotten on this trip! I would have the room to myself, not sharing it, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. I was informed however that the goodies would not be delivered to my room til 6 pm. That was a bit disappointing as I was wanting them to be waiting for me to welcome me in. Ah well, I was being spoiled enough as it is. So off I went down to the Safeway, local grocery store to pick up some water and a few other things, healthy snacks and some not so healthy. I wanted to try to stick to my Shakeology diet as much as I could and I had already brought my own nuts for a snack for each day. Sadly, the grocery there did not have the apple slices prewrapped so I had to forego that and a few other things. Back to my room, I set up the fridge which arrived and unpacked a bit.

Around 3 pm, I went downstairs to see about registration and I noticed already a line began to form so I figured I had better get in it as people were milling about. I recognized a few people that I remembered from other events which was nice. It did not take long before the line began to move and Aaron and Zak from Ghost Adventures were about in the ballroom where the line wrapped all the way around the back side of the room.

Nick, was not able to make it as they just flew in directly from a shoot and Nick went straight to his home to be with his family. He was greatly missed there. Aaron was his usual friendly self and I was very impressed with how down to earth he is and one of the most friendliest of people. He will come right on up to you no matter who you are or what you look like and throw his arm around you and hug you and pose for pics! Aaron is just great with all his fans and probably the most friendliest I have seen thus far. You can tell when you see him at one of these events that he is just out having a great time! It just sets you at ease right off the bat. I know some of the other celebrities may hold themselves back or seem to, but when you go, you have to understand for one, each having their own personalities and for two, some are just really bombarded by so many fans that it can be hard to handle at times. I am surprised that they are not tugged on more or hounded more than what I noticed.
These people are just like you and me, they are just on tv or happened to be at the right place at the right time and some earned their way there by many years or a lot of effort and time and dedication. I always try to be respectful of their space and understand even more so if they have family with them, that it can be very overwhelming to them, especially when just starting out at these events with the many, many fans they have.

Registration went well, I signed up for the first night of investigations and got my badge and said hello to Dave from Darkness Radio and then went on in to the hotel's restaurant for dinner. I had a wonderful meal and incredibly wonderful wine! I was alone, which is never easy but my friend Tina was not able to go to the Stanley this time. This event was sold out in no time! Plus, the costs I noticed are increasing too, so if you are interested in going, start to plan for it SOONER rather than later before it gets out of your reach.

That night, was the meet and greet and then the auction. I am still learning my camera a bit and forget that it does have a nice video. I was foolin around with it and caught a belt being auctioned off...right off of Zak's waist! I've uploaded it to YouTube for you to enjoy:

I was sitting way in the back, so please do understand that. As I get more used to my camera's video option, hopefully, I'll have some better videos in the future. :)

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