Sarah's Scribbles

The Year of Months

You know, Dear Readers, that I don't normally ask too much of you but this time, I need your help! It won't cost you any money or even much of your time, I promise!

I was recently struck on the head by a story idea that is much different from my normal. Seriously, it wanted so much to be heard that it nearly knocked me out in its excitement. I will not tell you much about the story, but what I need from you, my well-traveled readers, is a location. Here are my requirements:
  • It should be a touristy type place with a feeling of history about it: like an old grand hotel or historical building (Like Mount Vernon, but smaller)
  • Small towns are preferred.
  • Ideally, it would be a single large building with maybe a few smaller buildings around it.
  • A garden would be a great plus, especially if it is in a courtyard of some sort 
  • Bonus points if it is in driving distance (short weekend trip or less) from me so that I can visit and take 10,000 pictures.
  • Super extra bonus points if there have ever been rumors of ghosts at the site.

Now I need you all to reach into your memory banks and pull out the perfect setting for this story! (please leave at least the name in the comments here. If you know the website, that would be GREAT!) For those Miranda's Fire or even Brigid's Cross enthusiasts, don't worry. This story will need to marinate a long while before its ready to be put in black and white. But if I can do it well, it's going to be awesome!

On another note, March is fast approaching! What do you think my next YOM challenge should be?

Also, I have been reading this book that is so good that it's making me rethink much of Miranda's Fire (not the main story, just some small elements). Have you ever read a book that just makes you happy you live in a world where it exists? I'm currently tearing through Graceling by Kristin Cashore and I will probably be reading through it again, much more slowly. The heroine is definitely not a weakling and the MMC is someone you can believe Katsa would fall in love with - someone worth falling in love with, unlike so many MMCs in recent YA novels. So Good!


OK, so it's not a day trip for you, but San Antonio's RiverWalk/Alamo section is a giant tourist trap with hotels, restaurants and shops lining man-made canals. The Alamo has lovely gardens out back, and we stayed at a hotel across the street from the Alamo that is said to be haunted.


Josh, are you speaking of St. Anthony's Hotel? I stayed there before. Absolutely beautiful, built in 1901, each hotel room is different (and has a connected living room, at least ours did). A lot of celebrities (and royalty) has stayed there before.

And I have Graceling sitting on my table waiting for me to read. Can't wait!


A few I can think of off the top of my head: Most of these are in the Midwest or upper east coast

Boldt castle

Landmark Inn

Mackinac Island

Bayfield WI

Yawkey House Museum
When I visited it once, you got a chill in one of the rooms. So could be haunted.


Some VERY touristy places are Wall Drug and Wisconsin Dells. Small enough, but packed with tourists


Hmmm, you are in FL...well for about $49-$69 each way you can come up to the DC area and visit Gettysburg or Antietam Battlefield. History galore! I'll even be a personal tourguide!!


Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine? Or maybe the old school there? They meet the touristy, small town, single building, driving distance, and ghost requirements. I'm not sure they really have gardens, but hey, it's fiction!


coral castle. it's in south florida I think.


Wow! Thanks everyone. Here are some other suggestions I got on Facebook.

Vance: Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY meets most of your criteria, except the driving distance. Lots of history going back to Colonial times, small town, somewhat touristy (Oswego is a regional fishing and boating hotspot along the Great Lakes Seaway Trial), big courtyard, and lots of ghost stories surrounding it:

Nate: Montgomery Place, Barrytown NY

or Sunnyside in Tarrytown, NY home of Washington Irving (Headless Horsmen/Rip Van Winkle)


St. Augustine, Savannah, and Charleston are the first things that come to mind, but my hometown might have just what you are looking for. The Casements in Ormond Beach is now a community center and was once the winter home to John D Rockefeller. The gardens are occasionally used as a small fairground for events like art shows and concerts. I am not sure about ghost stories. The best thing may be that it's only an hour drive. The old Ormond Hotel which was across the street would have been good too, but was torn down about 15 years ago.


What about The Cavalier hotel in Virginia Beach? The only requirement it doesn't fulfill is that it is surrounded by other buildings, but it would be such an interesting place simply because it's this really old hotel (with ghosts!) that is surrounded by newer super touristy places. It's a weird place. Virginia Beach is kind of like a small town when you take away the tourists. You could make it in a day, but it'd be a long drive.