Here is the Tiki Bus that myself and two girlfriends stayed in over the weekend while visiting The Shady Dell campground (http://www.theshadydell.com) in Bisbee, AZ over the weekend.
My grandparents had those same metal chairs when I was growing up. I remember scorching my backside on more than one occasion in the summertime.
We enjoyed drinks and snacks at the Tiki Bar. Gotta love the grass roof! We were serenaded by a man with guitar playing Rockabilly tunes. The owners dress in vintage clothing regularly and being here felt like stepping back in time.
Bisbee is an old mining town and the ghost stories and sightings are a regular part of life here. We may even have our own! In the back of this picture is the bed which I slept on the first night. It was a very windy night and the bus is parked under a cluster of trees whose branches scraped against the roof all night long. In the middle of the night I woke up to what sounded like a scratching sound on the mattress. It sounded just like when Monsoon is trying to climb up the fainting sofa in the Girl-Cave and loses her footing. Then her nails scratch down the side. It was pretty much identical, and…it was only inches from my face! I laid there completely terrified. Then it felt like something within the mattress was moving. I started to rationalize with myself. Maybe it is the springs in the mattress. Afterall everything in here is vintage. Why not the mattress? Could it have been coming from outside? Maybe the platform the mattress is on is over the wheel well and there is an animal in there? Then I started to feel like things were touching or landing on my face and hands. Was it dust coming in from all the wind? After a pretty sleepness night that ended up with me praying most of it (because being completely scared out of your skin will do that), the sun finally came up. I shared my experience with one girlfriend, Jody and she said she thought she heard it too but thought it was from the trees outside. We inspected the mattress and it was a futon mattress –no springs, so that ended the old mattress spring theory. The wheel wells were also located at the back of the bus so that wasn't it either. I'd also like to note that this campground is located in the corner of a cemetery. –Something I did not catch when visiting last year.
Bisbee is full of great little shops and galleries. We spent Saturday visiting and walking around. Bisbee is tons cooler than Phoenix due to the higher altitude. We enjoyed a nice dinner at the Copper Queen Inn which was built in 1902. It is still the longest continuously running hotel in Arizona. After dinner we had drinks on the patio and people watched. Bisbee is an interesting place. When the mine shut down in the mid-1970s, the miners moved out and the hippies and artists moved in. It was a very fun and laid back atmosphere, and an absolutely great place for a girl's weekend away.
I left to use the restroom and while in one of the two stalls, I heard the toilet flush in the stall next to mine. I thought I had come in to an empty bathroom so was quite surprised to hear that. I waited to hear if someone was going to exit the stall. Nothing. Okay, I said, maintain your cool. Stop thinking about the fact that Ghosthunters did an investigation here a few years ago. I think I spent most of this weekend completely unnerved. I left the stall to wash my hands and noticed that no one was in the stall where the toilet had just flushed. I quickly got out of there to say the least!
One cool thing about the Tiki Bus was their vintage record collection to go with the just as vintage record player. This record was in surpringly good shape given the age of it. We listened to this while eating bagels yesterday morning.
It was one of many selections including 'The Sounds of Hawaii,' and 'Herb Alpert and The Tiajuana Brass Band.'
In addition to this cool little old record player, there was a copy of Life magazine from 1954. It was neat seeing the old car ads. It also featured an article on Marilyn Monroe's wedding to Joe DiMaggio.
Okay, one last scary thing to happen aboard the Tiki Bus. I was dreading sleeping on that bus. Jody was going to sleep in the car but decided last minute to stay on the bus. She slept in my spot and our other girlfriend slept next to her. I slept on a smaller bed directly across from them.
In the middle of the night Jody gasped/screamed. My heart almost came out of my chest. I asked her is she was okay. She said yes, bad dream.
In the morning she told me that she dreamt she was being buried alive and (gulp) she could feel dirt falling on her face. I hadn't told her about the sensation I had sleeping in the same spot. Coincidence? Logical explanation? Man, I hope so!
To the left is an old diner that was moved to this spot on the campground from Los Angeles. We enjoyed breakfast on Saturday morning in a 1950's type atmosphere. Even the waitress and cook were dressed the part.
Here is another restored camper at The Shady Dell. The pink flamingos stationed in the front were a really nice touch.
This is the sign that greets you on the way in. All in all it was a very fun weekend. We made berry martinis in the vintage shaker found in one of the cabinets. We also played dominoes until late on Saturday. The game of course, was also an antique. We got to experience a different era and just spend some great time hanging out.
This is year two of a yearly trip. Although I would definitely stay here again, I don't think I'll be sleeping on the Tiki Bus any time soon!