Another Busy Day

Karen and I had yet another very busy day. It was her last full day here before returning home, back to Southern California. Larry opted not to join us since he had an early hockey game and there was no guarantee we would be home in time for his game. Good call, because we weren’t. We drove up to Estes Park and took in as many of the sights as we could. No elk this time, though. Again.

We took the longer, slightly more scenic route up to Estes Park, driving through the mountain town of Nederland. As always, it was a beautiful drive. On the way up to Estes Park, our first stop was this beautiful, quaint little mountain church. Larry and I love to stop here. It is a simple little church, that at least for me, is so peaceful. Its simplicity is what a church is about to me, and it reminds me of the little chapel I used to attend when I still lived in Pasadena, CA.

While up in Estes Park, we didn’t have time to really tour around since we took one of the historical tours of the Stanley Hotel. And it is not quite tourist season yet, so everything closed earlier too.

The Stanley Hotel is a beautiful hotel that has gained its fame and recognition in many different areas. It was one of the most luxurious hotels of its time, and was the most luxurious hotel west of the Mississippi River for a long time. It was built in 1907 as the “guest house” for F.O. Stanley’s guests. F.O. Stanley was the creator of the Stanley Steamer cars, along with his twin brother F.E. Stanley.

In modern times, the Stanley has earned its fame both from a lot of movies and TV shows being filmed there, but most importantly, as one of the most haunted hotels in America. It was almost torn down when author Stephen King stayed one (haunted) night. That one night was the inspiration for his hit novel, “The Shining”. This book was the transformation the hotel needed and was its saving grace. Today The Stanley is on the Historical list, so it has earned its forever place in history.

Our guide, Madison, or Maddy, was hilarious. She had the perfect personality for being an historical guide, and she really knew her stuff. We had to get a couple of pictures of her as well. We are in the theater, which is known for its spirited guests as much as it is known for its theatrical performances.

Karen and I experienced and felt the presence of one the Stanley’s permanent guests just at the last bit of our tour. You never know if or when their “permanent guests” will act up, but when they do, it is something you will never forget. Just as our tour was finishing up, and we were in “the tunnel”, a playful spirit decided to play with one of the guest’s phone and tried to take a picture of himself. The other tour guest was taking pictures, when all of a sudden, her phone started to act up and went live. It snapped a picture, that came out on her screen completely white and blank. All her other pictures were fine, except for that one.

This was my second encounter with friendly spirits while at the Stanley. My first one was a couple of years ago when Larry and I stayed overnight, and our room was on the 4th floor, which was known as the nursery. I heard a young nanny singing “You are my sunshine” while little kids were running down the hall way playing. When I looked out to see what was going on, no one was there. When I closed the door, the singing and playing resumed once again, and lasted for a few minutes. I LOVE this kind of stuff, though I know a lot of people are freaked out about it.

After our tour, we stopped in at the whisky shop. Neither of us are whiskey drinkers, but we thought it was apropos. We each took a tiny sample. The whiskey bar is beautiful and offers a wide selection of different high end whiskeys, if this is your thing. We were both more interested in the staff than we were in the whiskey though.

Taking a shot.

Our favorite part of the whiskey shop was this particular “staff member” and “manager”. He makes sure no one drinks to much or gets unruly.

After we had completed the tour, Karen and I both thought a toast to the Stanley and all its permanent guests was in order, so we celebrated with a drink at the hotel’s bar. Of course we had to sample some of the hotel’s specialty drinks. I had the “redrum punch”. For those of you familiar with “The Shining” you will know what this is in reference to.

We had been on the lookout for “critters” all day, and hadn’t seen any, other than the large crow that neither of us could capture with our cameras. On our way home, in Boulder, we did at last see some critters. We saw three white tailed mule deer on the side of the road. We were happy. At last we had seen some critters. That made our trip complete.

Once we got home, we fixed a simple shrimp scampi for dinner. Classic Shrimp Scampi. After dinner Karen and I made some lemon almond scones as well. More on that to follow.

You never know what life is going to throw at you. Life is full of mystery. Be open to it all and enjoy the experiences that come your way. Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

11 thoughts on “Another Busy Day”

  1. Sounds like a great day! I love the Estes Park area. Last time I was there was in August, plenty of Elk and a Mama Moose slowly, and I mean sssssssllllllllllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwww, leading her calf across the road. We all had to sit there and wait it out. But such a fun experience, I really did not mind. I passed on the Stanley Hotel, although it is a beautiful majestic site. The movie and the history of the Stanley Hotel too much for this gal. 😂


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