At exactly 11:30 Juli came across the lobby and shook my hand 'hello' before saying, "I really feel like I should be giving you a hug instead" - which she then did. I'm sure that some of you who know me in real life and are familiar with my occasional "space" issues are gasping right now but let me assure you that I, too, felt like I should have been giving Juli a big hug and it probably would have seemed more awkward not to. You can either take that as I'm getting over the "space" issues being that I have two daughters who are extremely huggy or you can take it as I was really delighted to finally meet Juli in person - which I was!
After I introduced her to the girls, Juli suggested we head over to the Tavern and sit and chat over a cup of tea which sounded like a grand idea to me; not only do I love a nice cup of tea but I have grown quite fond of the Tavern as it's just the type of place where you're extremely comfortable sitting and chatting with friends no matter if they're old or new. Amanda exhibited some fine social skills chatting with Juli about her college experiences and the like while Jamie seemed to have lost her tongue completely and spent all of her time concentrating on her drawing pad. She said afterward that she really had no idea what we were talking about and thought it best if she just amuse herself and only speak if spoken to. Okay ...
Even though I had my camera with me do you think I was smart enough to ask Juli for a picture? No, of course not - duh! However, I hope she doesn't mind that I "lifted" one from her blog, The Hawthorne Hotel Daily News Magazine that Juli has been writing without missing a single day in over 5 years. Pretty impressive, huh? This picture was taken in early December when Juli was presenting an employee an award for the Hawthorne Hotel's Employee of the Month for November - something that the hotel does every month and which I think speaks volumes of how they feel about their employees.
In addition to the picture I 'borrowed' I also did a little searching around the internet and found the video below of an interview that Juli did in March of this year that gives you even more of a look at the Hawthorne then what I've given you so far. Seriously, if you don't want to go to the Hawthorne yourself after you've seen the video and I'm done with these posts then I have failed miserably in my capacity as wanna-be travel writer!
During the course of our chat, I told Juli about a couple other historic hotels that were on my "Bucket List" of places I'd like to visit sometime but which are a bit out of my price range (The Omni Parker House in Boston for one and the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire for another) and she gave me some suggestions as to how to approach them about doing a review for them at perhaps a reduced rate. She also told me about a wonderful resort in New Palz, New York called the Mohonk Mountain House that is not only gorgeous but has a lot of history being that it was built in the late 1800's. After looking it up on-line, I've found another place that has definitely found a spot on that ever-growing "Bucket List" of mine. I most definitely need to win that darned elusive lottery so that I can give up dispatching and stay at beautiful historic hotels then blog about them and make you all jealous! Sounds like a reasonable goal to me!
While we sipped our tea and discussed things like the Peabody Essex Museum and several of its wonderful exhibits, my cell phone rang so I handed it to Amanda to answer. It was the front desk advising us that the transfer to our new room was complete and the keys would be ready and waiting for us at the front desk whenever we'd like. Wow - that was fast! Juli asked if we'd like to use the hotel's corporate passes to go over to the P.E.M. and all three of us thought that would be great and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. I hadn't been to the Peabody Essex Museum since I was a junior in high school and even though I remembered the figureheads and other nautical displays fondly, I was pretty sure it had changed quite a bit in the past ... oh ... let's say 35 years give or take! In addition to that, we made arrangements to meet back up with Juli at 5:30 to tour the historic meeting place of the Salem Marine Society that was located on top of the Hawthorne Hotel which isn't open to the public. Honestly, I was really beginning to feel like visiting royalty!
As Juli went off to her next meeting (she's quite the busy lady!), the girls and I went to the front desk and picked up the passcards to our next "haunted" accommodations - Room #612 which is actually Suite #612. I'm sure regular readers remember the following pictures of Amanda from the other day ...
but what you didn't see was what waited in store beyond that closed door ...
The room was not only absolutely gorgeous it was huge and sunny and bright and quite welcoming in spite of its reputation. Those small pictures probably don't do the room justice so allow me to give you a slightly bigger view of the sitting area and the bedroom.
Like I said, I was starting to feel like royalty - especially when I found my coat hanging neatly in the closet and our luggage arranged by the bed. Speaking of the bed, I have to admit to being instantly in love as soon as I saw it. It would have been more than big enough for the three of us but Amanda was going to be spending the night on the sofa in the sitting area which also folded out to a nice bed so it was just going to be Jamie and I again with lots and lots of room to share even if we ended up sharing it with a ghost!
Of course, I had to take pictures of the view from those great windows that opened and it was definitely a step-up from what we'd had from the windows in Room #325 ...
The golden eagle over the main entrance to the hotel
The golden eagle over the main entrance to the hotel
Looking northwest kinda-sorta towards Peabody
The southern view
Looking southeast towards Salem Harbor and the old Salem Custom House on Derby Street
The view down Essex Street
From this view you can see the Gardner-Pingree House which I told you about back in October and which has quite an interesting history of its own.
In this final shot you can see the view towards the Peabody Essex Museum which is the building with the glass roof. Can you guess where we're going on our next post??