San Antonio Part One: The Digs

Dan and I decided it was finally time to break our impressive 14.5 month streak of zero nights together without the baby by heading to San Antonio for our anniversary. We packed up Anna and Anna's seventeen bags of stuff and dropped the whole load off in Boerne with Dan's parents.

Anna makes herself comfortable on the way to Grandma and Grandpa's.
I booked a room at the Havana Hotel, which is a newly remodeled building that originally opened in 1914. I'm not sure whether you know this about me, but I happen to have an extremely American belief that any structure built before 1950 is necessarily haunted. How could it not be? Exactly.

Walking in to the building, I note the abundance of red candles, red velvet, and the smell of incense. A little bit Catholic church, a little bit bordello. I had attempted to reserve the "Romance package" (don't laugh! 14.5 months!) but when we checked in it appeared that there was a mix-up online, and no romance for us. Poorly designed website or sneaky hotel computer ghost? No telling. Anyway, grabbed the room key and went to drop our stuff.

Oh, more red velvet! Nice.
We had been in our room for about three minutes when the door handle started moving, then swung open. Hey, that doesn't seem good!

Ah, no worries, just a hotel employee and two maintenance men. Wait, that actually still doesn't seem good. There has been a mysterious dripping from the ceiling. Onto the bed. The maintenance men are unable to conjure this ghostly drip, and they leave. I make a mental note to use the Do Not Disturb sign at all times.

As we're getting ready to go out that evening, I notice that a lot of the Disney Haunted Mansion vibe is coming from the fact that all of the mirrors are antique and somewhat cracked. Against the pink bathroom wall, though, the effect is more "Grandmother's house" than "crazy-red-velvet-sexy-church."

These are the thoughts lurking behind my enigmatic water-drinking face.
After dinner that night we returned to the hotel bar to close out the evening. The decor down there in the basement takes the rest of the hotel's style and raises it a "vampire bar."

Also, there was someone doing a bridal photo shoot in a side room and that NEVER makes things less weird.
At one point I was looking at the mirror over the bar and the reflection of two guys behind me was so misty and dark looking that I felt compelled to surreptitiously turn around and make sure they were really there. It's cool, they were there, just a strange effect. I mentioned to Dan that a lot of the eerie feeling of the place came from the crazy mirrors, and he was like, "Yeah, like that one with half a face in it," and I laughed because, wow, that's an uncharacteristically off-the-wall joke from Dan, good one dude. OH WHAAAAAT THE HELL IS THAT???

And why is it trying to sneak into our world???
I had my back to that thing and kept having to turn around for the rest of the night to make sure it was still there. And not getting any closer. When I wasn't doing that I was staring at this sweet art deco lamp above the bar.

Probably the only actual haunted thing in the room.
We headed to bed around midnight. There was a loud party in the room above us, which I have to assume was actually unoccupied, but I was pretty tired and tuned it out. Nice try, ghost revelers. But at 2:30 I woke up to a noise. TAP. TAP. TAP. So we meet at last, Mr. Mystery Drip.

Here's the thing about an every-six-second drip of water from the ceiling. Putting a towel down might make the bedspread less damp, but it does not stifle the TAP. Nothing does. Even my sleepy engineer of a husband could not construct a device to lessen the TAP. If I could have just gotten up and given the TAP a bottle and changed its diaper, that's what I would have done, but my arsenal of please-be-quiet-I'm-sleepy tricks ends there. I am awake. Victory goes to the TAP.

A lesser lady may have turned to the mini-bar for comfort at this point, but for some reason my often-overspending self is absolutely immovable on the subject of mini-bars. If I were bitten by a poisonous snake and the mini-bar had the antidote I would insist that someone run to a pharmacy instead because it's going to cost like a fourth as much, come on.

Tell me I'm wrong, $9 airplane bottle of Tito's.
I will give them this, though--the mini-bar basket of stuff was actually a lot more appealing, as it included maracas, a Pancho Villa candle, and a $22 "lucky monkey."

I think if I actually believed that lighting one of those candles would have made the TAP stop, I would have had a serious crisis of decision-making right there at 3 am. As it stood, eventually either the dripping gave out or my brain did, it gets a little fuzzy there at the end.

Dan is still upset that I wouldn't let him buy the monkey.


  1. Oh man, the tap, such a bummer. You show such strength with the mini bar. I am obsessed with them. I will often eat/drink something just BECAUSE it's in there. I know, I might as well light money on fire.

  2. Sad thing is, they probably charged you for the monkey just for moving it. The basket at the Marfa hotel had $4 Haribo gummi bears in it, my will was *almost* broken.

  3. You know, the monkey actually matches the shirt. And Texas evidently needed the extra luck.

  4. Yeah, I should have bought the Monkey as soon as we got there, before the game was over.