Rained Out… Onward to Jerome!

I posted just a few days ago about how wonderful unexpected rain can be.  Well, this past weekend, we were supposed to go camping in Aspen, AZ.  It was to be our first camping trip, and we were pretty excited… until we realized it was supposed to rain.  A lot.  Now, I’m all about making the best in a tough situation, but we decided to change our plans.

Instead of going camping, we took a trip to Jerome, AZ, which is only about three hours north of us.  I had heard of Jerome as kind of an “artsy” place, and pictured it as something like Sedona.  Sedona is great, but has a very “commercial” feel.  Jerome is more authentically artsy, and I loved it!

We booked a night in the Connor Hotel, right in the center of town.

The hotel was built in 1898, and is rumored to be haunted. I’m not sure if the person manning the desk was the owner, or just the shopkeeper, but everyone we met was wonderfully friendly and helpful.  Our room was amazing.  This is not the place for you if you like the height of modern and streamlined.  The floors creaked and the room was crooked.  But, if you love places with character, stories, and the possibility of seeing a ghost, this is the place to be!

After we checked in, we set off exploring.  We found Nellie Bly, the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope store.  I could have spent the day just in their store, looking through all the incredible kaleidoscopes they have.  Some of them are true works of art, and they have everything from affordable to oh-my-goodness-I’m-afraid-to-touch-it.  The staff there were wonderful, taking time to show us different kaleidoscopes and answering all our questions.  I honestly could have stayed there all day.

From there, we walked several blocks and browsed in a bunch of different stores.  On someone’s recommendation, we ended up at Quince for dinner.  The atmosphere is inspired by Dia De Los Muertos, and the food is out of this world.  I had the Blue Corn Enchiladas, and the husband had Drunken Fish Tacos.  Both entrees were a-maz-ing.

Back out on the street, we walked some more, passing all sorts of interesting stuff.  I’m lucky that my husband is patient with my obsession with taking photos.  I see all sorts of interesting things I have to stop and “take notes” on.  

We passed the “sliding jail,” that moved 225 feet after miners blasted in one of the many tunnels running under the city.  Oh yeah, did I mention that Jerome is a former mining town turned ghost town, turned art/ historic community?  Settlers came to Jerome in the later part of the 1800s for the rich metal deposits running under the city.  The blasting the miners did caused many of the original buildings to shift, and some of them to become completely unstable.  Many of the original buildings were demolished, but the town is a study in historical buildings, as many of them still stand, even if they can’t be used anymore.

We met many very nice people, including the proprietor of the Cody DeLong studio.  He was closing up shop for the day, but took time to tell us a little about the town and give us a map of the area, since the Visitor’s Center was closed for the day.  We also met some ghost hunters, who assured us that the Connor Hotel was giving off pretty high readings of haunted activity!

All in all, it was a great trip.  We were there only 24 hours, but it was one of the more fun 24 hours I’ve ever spent.  If you live in AZ or plan on visiting, I highly recommend you take this trip.  I’ve only posted a few of the many pictures I took.  If you’re interested in more, check out my Facebook page.

Looking up at Jerome from below.

The Grand Hotel sits high above the town.

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