This and That Lobby
We entered and walked through the cluttered lobby/gift shop to the desk. A woman wearing a costume-dress, that didn't match her glasses and hair, checked us in.
We said we needed no help with our 2 backpacks, but a young man, who seemed to be new on the job, stared at us with sad eyes. I gave in and handed him my backpack, which weighed a ton. He huffed and puffed up the stairs (no elevator) and stood awkwardly as I fumbled with the key and a tip. I didn't know what was more unsettling, his strained assistance, or the decor of the lobby. I didn't have this blog at the time, or I would have gotten photos of the tacky little antique-ish doodads and crafty delights that were for sale all over the lobby.
I still remember Don and I trying to hold back laughs until our young lad went off with his tip. The tiny room was cramped, even with the tall windows letting in light. The hefty mounted TV looked out of place and there was a worn, dusty smell. But I look at this photo now and laugh at how new to the world of retro, vintage and historic travel we were. Yes, the place had an odd feel, but there was a lot more that we should have appreciated. Don and I've come a long way in 4 years.
The best part of the hotel, was the location. We were just steps away fromTabor Opera House and the Silver Dollar Saloon.
Leadville was once one of the largest and richest silver camps in the U.S. There were 25,000 living here at its peak. Luckily they weren't all trying to fit inside the Silver Dollar Saloon. There were 64 saloons at one time and plenty of bordellos, as well.
By the time these nifty neon signs came into town, Leadville was past its peak. I peeked in the Manhattan Bar, right across from our hotel. I liked the glowing martini above the A and R. I liked less, the crowd of workmen that had gathered inside on Friday evening. Instead, we checked out the Pastime, which was quiet at 5:00. We had a nice chat with a few inside, but later learned there had been a stabbing recently. Living on the edge in Leadville!
Bright Blue and Yellow
The cute little golden burro on top of the cafe sign, was very welcoming and just a couple of doors down from our hotel. We were surrounded by intriguing buildings and storefronts!
It's sad to think there are only about 2,500 residents today and I don't think any of them are famous. Years ago, you could have bumped into a number of celebrity guests or residents...Doc Holiday, Unsinkable Molly Brown, John Phillips Sousa and even Houdini. Movie star, Rudolph Valentino was even born here!
Breakfast in the Library
We were given a complimentary breakfast in the "library" the next morning. There was nothing special about the cereal selection or the table decor with plastic placemats. Our fellow guests whispered and avoided eye contact as if the whole B n B atmosphere was more than they could handle. Don and I checked out with a whole new set of costumed staff.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!