Monday, 31 December 2018

Ah, the holidays. Family time, favorite foods, haunted hotels.

Wait. What?

This was my favorite story of the 2017 holiday season, originally posted here on Twitter.  It begins with an arduous journey…

I have a fun holiday story for you! Drove the family 6+ hours to the Catskills Mountains today — through snow.

We were trekking to my parents’ cabin/summer home. They invited my brothers’ and my family for a holiday celebration. A rare event! All 6 cousins under 1 roof.

One problem. Everyone can’t fit under that roof. 3 families of four + 2 grandparents. (The grandpa emoji totally looks like my dad.)

We got booted, ’cause my kids are much older than my brothers’ kids. (I promise you there’s an unexpected twist coming up.)

Hotel? Fine. Whatever. My dad starts making phone calls … and there’s no room at the inn. ( Holiday weekend, ski season.)

He decides to call in a favor and reserve 2 rooms for us at his golf club’s historic inn — WHICH IS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.

“It’ll be fine!” he says. “You’ll have the whole place to yourselves.

Literally, the whole place. The staff will be off for Christmas. The rooms will be set for us, but no  maid service. Ooh-kay, Dad.

We drive up in the dark tonight. Hubs is *not thrilled*. My kids opted to sleep on the couches at the cabin tonight. Smart kids!

I’d make a Shining joke, but by the time we get to the place (10 minute drive in Dad speak = 20+ minutes), hubs is ticked off!

The heat is on, but no one’s here. Empty as advertised…






It’s kind of quaint, but … I have to tell my brain, “Do not say ‘Redrum.’ That joke is not funny.” And hubs is beyond seeing the humor in this.





But, COME ON!!!






And then I see it…














Hello, Jack.

This is when I bust out laughing. Hubs does not see the humor in this situation. From now on, we’ll take care of our own hotel reservations. Thanks a lot, Dad.

Enjoy your holidays, believers. I hope you are safe, warm, and surrounded by people you love. I’ll be here. All night.


Post script:

First, a correction. The drive from my parents’ place to the hotel was (sorry, Dad) ten minutes as advertised. I blame the dark, frigid night for making it feel longer.

Second, a few days after our visit, my father called. It turns out, there have been reports of voices and other ghostly happenings at the hotel. But our stay was blessedly uneventful.


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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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