Last week I ventured off with my husband to a location I had never been before, but I did watch a Travel Channel show that featured it and alerted me of the haunted happenings that occur at the Hotel Del. My husband needed to be there for business and I just went along as his entertaining sidekick. (It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it! 🙂 I had heard many good things about the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island near San Diego, California but I had never set foot in California before and love to experience new locales. Especially when it involves beautiful, classy resorts near mother nature’s picturesque glory.
Flying first class also helps enhance the experience. My hubby is a professional financial planner (or as I affectionately call him, a ‘numbers nerd’). Some people tease him by calling him ‘cheap‘ but he prefers the term ‘spendthrift‘. He looks at financial matters with common sense and business acumen in a measured analytical process. This business event had sponsors and because of the amount of money he had invested for his clients he was able to get the hotel and airline tickets for no charge to us. That was for the basics only though and since when my darling husband decides not to be cheap he goes for ‘extravagant’ – he paid to upgrade not only the flights but also the room. It justified it in our minds to spend some money to enhance the experience since technically, it was our vacation for the year.
We flew out of Austin, Texas heading to San Diego, CA via Dallas, TX. I enjoyed the 1st class comfort of flying (i.e. full course meal and unlimited wine refills) and dozed off for a short time before reaching our destination. I know this because my husband proudly revealed the picture he took of me with his phone later – of me slumping in the seat like a tire losing air, mouth open and face slack. (Not a flattering photo.) After arriving at the San Diego airport we were treated to a limo ride to the Hotel Del. The Hotel Del was built in the Victorian style and finished in 1888. It has a long history of hosting Presidents, Royals and Hollywood stars. During it’s history it has also hosted at least one ghost, some say more. The show I watched on the Travel Channel said that some of the haunted events documented include: flickering lights, TV’s turning off and on by themselves, sudden cold spots, unexplained noises, items being moved by themselves and sightings of a lady in black Victorian style clothing. Most is attributed to the ghost of Kate Morgan, AKA Lottie A. Bernard but there were other stories in internet pieces about there possibly being a child ghost peforming childish pranks such as hiding things and whatnot. Nevertheless, the hotel is well-preserved and the historic ambiance is comforting and omnipresent without being scary or macabre. Lush, dark woods abound in the Lobby and stairwells. The old, wooden floors creak underneath the carpeted hallways as you walk them. Indoor and outdoor stairways abound throughout and it takes a bit to learn your whereabouts as there are multiple paths to all destinations. There are nooks and crannies with Victorian style furniture placed randomly around inviting guests to just sit and enjoy their surroundings. I almost expected to see Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe while Watson sat by his side taking notes.
Upon entry into our suite we were greeted with a sitting area that included a large walk in closet as well as a small fridge hidden underneath the large flat screen TV cabinet. French doors took us into the bedroom that had the usual nightstands, writing desk, another large screen TV and a cozy chair with an ottoman. The windows were extra large with white wooden shutters. My favorite part of the suite was the large veranda with it’s comfy wicker chairs and tables. The slight breeze and shade intermingled with our view of the gardens of the courtyard and the sound of the Palms trees rustling in the breeze epitomized a state of relaxation. The whole mood of the suite seemed to invoke a feeling of southern plantation comfort and elegant Victorian luxury.
I could rationalize out each haunted event separately to discredit them, all except for one. And that one particular event led me to reconsider the others in concluding that the hotel is indeed haunted. Either that, or I am haunted – lol. (Which is a different story entirely.)
If you want to hear my haunted tales you will have to wait for Part II of this post. (I’ve realized nobody wants to read long blog posts so I am obliging by cutting this one off midway or so.) In the meantime, think of your own ghostly or scary stories that may be worth sharing – after all Halloween is nearing and is the perfect time for sharing those frights of life that give us goose pimples and chicken skin! 🙂