Hot Wells: in Real Life & in Fiction

Hot Wells is a San Antonio hotel that was built in the last 19th century and counted as its guests people such as Charlie Chaplin and Teddy Roosevelt.

Since that time the hotel experienced at least five different fires and now all that is left is the bath house, the hotel itself long gone. And even the bath house is now mostly a ruin, with walls that defy gravity and bricks piled everywhere. But despite its rundown appearance, it’s a magical place.

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My visit to the stuffed animal petting zoo

Lion loves to garden
Lion loves to garden

Once upon a time in Austin TX, 37th Street was a place of magic and miracles. A short little street tucked behind businesses on Guadalupe, it was unremarkable in every way until December. That’s when every house on the street hung hundreds of strands of Christmas lights to and fro, up and down and around and around. There were dazzling spinning lights and stars and angels, lights in soda cans and BBQ pits and dog houses, and even the street itself was bedecked with sparkling lights of all colors, strung from one house to another. People would take their children to visit the lights, residents would hand out cookies and snacks, and random groups of locals would drop by for Christmas caroling.

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maui beach

Empty beach

“If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”

That’s the question for today’s Writing 101 Challenge, A Room with a View.

This is an easy one to answer: if I could be anywhere right this minute, it would be on an empty beach in Hawaii.

maui beach
Empty Beach in Kahalui, Maui (photo by Jackie Dana)

I start by wandering around for a while, letting the ocean water tickle my feet as it rushes forward in a soapy crush, and then recedes just as quickly, the perpetual tease of the tides. I’d allow my feet to sink into the water-logged sand as I walked, the softness cushioning my toes. Every so often the waves would play a joke, and while I was lulled into the complacency of ankle-deep cool water rushing over my feet, a stronger wave would push the water to my knees, catching the hem of my skirt, before dashing back into the sea.

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