Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Photo Friday: Staying overnight in the city

A long time ago, Hope asked me how much it costs to stay overnight in a hotel in the city. Well, there's just one hotel I want to tell you about. It's the largest hotel in the whole world (in 1880), and I stayed in it. Yes, sirree, it's a monster, all right, with SEVEN stories and a skylight at the very top. And an elevator. That's a little box that takes you up and down on a cable so you don't have to climb all those stairs. I went up and down it once too often, and Mother scolded me. This is one place where I decided it might be best to act like a lady and pretend I stay at the elegant Palace Hotel every day.

The Palace Hotel from the top of Nob Hill.
Usually when we go to San Francisco, we stay with Aunt Rebecca. But it was a real treat to stay at the Palace! The hotel had only been open for five years when we went. It had its grand opening in October 1875, and bigwigs from all over the state came. We did not go that time. We waited until all the hubbub died down. A coach took us from the Ferry Landing straight up Market Street. There was no way to miss the hotel. It was the tallest building around. I mean, look at the picture. It's the first thing you see!

Can you see the horses and buggies?
The carriage took us right into the hotel. Yep. They drove the horses into the hotel! There were rooms on the outside, with windows facing two streets, and there were rooms on the inside, around a central courtyard.

Our rooms were on the fifth floor on the inside. You could look over the railing down into the courtyard. It made me dizzy. It's higher than any tree I've ever climbed. And . . . I have to say I did get lost . . . twice. But what do you expect? There are 755 rooms in that place, and over 1,200 people can stay at one time. That is the population of the entire town of Fresno. We could pack up the whole town and move in for a weekend.

The fifth floor of the Palace Hotel. Our rooms are just down the hall.
The rates for the Palace and Grand Hotels. They combined the two hotels.
Some of Justin's lawyer friends were staying, and they posed for a picture just outside our rooms. Up on the seventh floor, a number of permanent (very rich!) guests live all the time. I reckon they like to live "on top of the world."

Oh, wait! Hope wanted to know how much this all costs. I have to say that it's a shock, but some of the rooms are as cheap as $1.00/ night. I think our rooms were more expensive than that. Probably $4.00 or even $5.00 a night, because our rooms shared a bathroom and we ate there too. Very fancy. Good manners a must.

Walking toward our hotel. Sort of takes up the whole view, doesn't it?
General Grant's reception at the Palace Hotel
I hope that answered your question, Hope. It was the one time I went to the City and really liked it! That ol' Palace Hotel has enough going on to keep you entertained for a week at a time. Here is one more picture. General Ulysses S. Grant visited a few years before, and this shows just how many human beings can crowd into one hotel to welcome him as his carriage pulls into the entrance. I'm surprised nobody fell over the railing to their death!

 

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