The Ghost Story of “The Italian Bride”

Most of us enjoy a good yarn spun around a campfire, or these days, by the light of our cellphones. I was intrigued when I heard this story because of the proof they had to back it up. I can tell you that every ghost story I have heard, there is always a lady in white, walking a road somewhere, and ALWAYS after midnight. And when you hear them over and over again, you become kind of numb to them. The excitement isn’t really there anymore because there are SO MANY out there now, that you can’t keep straight half of them anymore…until her.

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Her name was Julia Buccola Petta, born March 17th, 1892. She would go on to marry in her 20s and become a house wife to her beloved husband, Mattew Petta. Unfortunately, she would die during childbirth at the age of 29, giving birth to a stillborn son. She was buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL, in her wedding dress (with her son), with a picture on her tomb of her in it on her wedding day. The story goes that her mother, Filomena Buccola, starting having nightmares where her beloved daughter was telling her that she was still alive! After 6 years of these dreams, Filomena got permission to exhume her daughter’s body. When they brought the coffin up, they could see it was disheveled and decomposed. BUT when it was opened…. she was in pristene condition except for her son and the arm that held him. Her mother actually took a picture of her daughter and what she saw….and it is ON THE TOMBSTONE!!!! They don’t have any real explanation for such great condition of the body but that they think back in those days that with the right ebalming liquids and an air tight coffin, decomposing would move at a slower rate. OR she’s a vampire. Who knows.

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Whats also interesting is that she was buried under her maiden name, not married name, and no mention of the child’s name that she had bore and eternally slept with. Rumors are that there may have been some beef with mom-in-law and the son-in-law, as happens, and once he got remarried, I’m sure Mom didn’t want any trace of him on her stone. The Mother also rests next to her now.

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And with any ghost story, they said you can see her walking among the stones in her area, or along the drive inside the Cemetery. Her stone is a full-size statue of herself in her wedding gown, along with her “live” and “afterlife” pictures on the stones. I can say looking at the photos I was creeped out, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she was hanging out in there, maybe chatting it up with Al Capone, who knows? To find her for yourself and pay your respects, you can find her in the Northeast corner of the cemetery, coming in from Harrison Street and taking an immediate left. She is right across from the offices and can’t be missed. Enjoy your visit!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Neighborhood that Frank Lloyd Wright Designed

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The goal was to see the home in which Frank Lloyd Wright designed and lived in from 1889 to 1909 with his wife and children. A beautiful home, see it in pictures and read about it HERE. After my hour long tour, I saw a map in the gift shop that mentioned the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. I had no idea he had designed so many of them! So purchase in one hand, and cellphone in the other, I was off to find my adventure in this Oak Park neighborhood!

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First off, the homes here are just gigantic. I can’t imagine what it takes to clean them, furnish them, and make them feel homey when there is just so much space to occupy. What was interesting though is how each home definitely had his feel, but yet they were all so different. He definitely likes using either very firm lines, or he goes completely the other direction with curves and arches. It is literally outside his home, so make a morning or afternoon of it and see the home, then walk the neighborhood. Also there is a sweet park at the end of it, complete with a dedication to the man himself. Check it out and enjoy the pictures.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio… Chicago, IL

 

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Some of my travels have taken me to the most beautiful of places, one being Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal home found in Oak Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Located at 951 Chicago Avenue, it was built in 1889 in a shingle style architecture, and the man had an eye for using space as necessary but making it also a work of art to behold. One cannot enter any of his properties without a gasp of “How did he do that” or “WHY did he do that?” Maybe most of us have become immue to the imagination it takes to make these homes of wonder, or that it’s just to much time and energy to do so in the first place. This was his passion, his passion project to be more precise. Here is where he raised his children, family moments made, kisses with his beloved, and also where he would work in the Studio that was inside his home until 1909. A masterpiece, a work of art, a home.

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Tickets will cost you $20 per person for the “Home and Studio Guided Interior” Tour which is what I signed up for on Thursday, August 6th, 2020. I highly recommend for any travels during Covid times that you do your research, call ahead, and pay online- some DO NOT update their websites and you don’t need to pay for something, invest the energy into going, only to find out that it has been closed during Covid and never bothered to update their site. (Yes, it has happened to me). For now, their hours are 10 am- 3 pm, THURSDAY through SUNDAY ONLY, so plan accordingly. Children under the age of 8 are not permitted, and I am just going to assume because it’s a Museum of sorts now and little ones want to touch everything. Nothing here is behind velvet ropes or glass, you are truly walking as a guest into his home. The tour takes about 45 minutes, plus or minus a chatty person who has lots of questions OR someone who takes a ton of photos like myself.

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Due to Covid, they only allow 8 guests per tour, and that worked out wonderfully for me. I checked in under a white tent where they checked my ticket on my phone, got the small group of us together, and that’s how simple it was. Everyone stood far apart, and when we walked around I would make sure to hang back and be the last one so I had my space. Masks are required at all times, and they do have rubber mats on the floors to show you where to stand in certain rooms. I had no problem finding the home, and was able to park on the side in the neighborhood that he also designed several homes for. That area is MUCH QUIETER to park in, the main road of Chicago Avenue was VERY busy and wasn’t worth trying to park on. Also this was a beautiful suburb of Chicago, the neighborhood alone was worth the trip! After the tour, I highly recommend a walk through the gift shop (who doesn’t like a gift shop?) and grab yourself a $3 map of the area where they show you each home that he also designed-it’s really cool and I will share those photos in tomorrow’s blog post! The tour was DEFINITELY worth the money, and only took under an hour to complete ours, so it’s worth the stop to or from Chicago. Check it out and thanks for stopping by!

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“The Music of Yesterday”… The Music Machines of House on the Rock.

I took so many wonderful pictures during my time at “House on the Rock,” that I wanted to make sure to not overwhelm my readers with a novel of pictures. So to break it up a bit, I thought I would just post a couple of pictoral posts about some of the rooms that were JUST AMAZING!! For more information about my visit, check out the FULL POST HERE. Today’s installment, and FINAL one of the HOTR Pictorial Series, is that of the Music Machines. I didn’t even really understand the point of these upon my first time at the house. You find them in the home section, then littered throughout the Museum sections. You can normally purchase tokens, but with Covid, they were limiting a few given with your ticket purchased. The machines ONLY run on tokens, along with several fun things like a fortune teller and displays you can play. Most take ONE, but the large ones, that literally FILL a room, take TWO. It’s fun to enjoy with or without the kids, but it’s so unusual to play them that it’s worth it. Several times I passed them up, and then I thought I better start using my tokens, can’t use them to pay for my fries on the way home so might as well! The video can be seen on Facebook on The Relocated Tourist page, but here are the pics posted below of these mammoth music makers- enjoy! Check out more about the HOUSE here!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Hollywood Palms Cinema, Bar, and Eatery in Naperville, IL

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Overture, curtains, lights…this is it, the height of heights…well, you know the “toon.” Honestly I didn’t know if I would ever head back to the Movies again post Covid, so many people packed into that small space! I had a day open and had heard about this really cool Theater in the area I have been staying in. Located at Westridge Court in Naperville, Illinois, it looks like your normal movie theater. My thinking was that they had JUST opened that week, so they would probably have low attendance, at least for the matinees anyways. So I booked a ticket online, $9.00 for a Noon matinee of “The New Mutants” for Theater 7, on Friday, August 28th, 2020. When you book, you can see who has booked for the same show, doesn’t include walk-ups, but it gives you a small idea, and there was noone but me headed to that flick that day-sweet!

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The entrance lined with palm trees, you come upon the ticket area which is housed in a sort of hut. Confirmed my ticket with her on my phone, then was handed a menu for dining at my seat- LOVE IT!! A bar on my left and right, (no concessions stand) this was no cinema, this was an experience. Movie posters lined the walls, and they were done classy, they weren’t just thrown here and there. They were eye-pleasing, so much that AFTER my movie was done, I stayed another half hour just reading and looking at them all! As you enter what can only be described as the door from Jurassic Park or King Kong, you’re transported to waterfalls which start you on your adventure, but will path will you choose?

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Hollywood Palms has a total of 7 screens, with an additional screen upstairs for private events. Depending what movie you’re headed too will choose the fate of your screening experience! YES each screening area is themed differently- the coolest thing ever! If you head to the left of the waterfalls, you head to screens 1-4. Screen ONE is JUNGLE/ADVENTURE themed, screen TWO is ANIMATED themed, screen THREE is ASIAN themed, and screen FOUR is UNDER THE SEA themed.

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If you head to the right of the waterfalls, you head to screen FIVE which is Egyptian themed, SIX which is Oscars themed, and SEVEN…..my heart almost exploded from it…..an entire theater dedicated to THE WIZARD OF OZ!!! Seriously my heart couldn’t take the excitement, I made a video I will post on The Relocated Tourist FB page to better show the feel of it, but I will be posting as many pictures here and probably in seperate posts because of the number of pics I took. Sorry, but it’s THAT COOL of a place! This is something like a Cinematic Museum, an ode to Hollywood, a nod to the greats of past and present. AND you get to enjoy a movie, dinner, AND a cocktail from the relaxations of a reclining chair and moveable table.

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It’s not every day you get to watch a movie surrounded BY your favorite movie, but I was IN HEAVEN!! I had to wear a mask inside the Theater walking around to and from my seat, but once seated, I could remove it. Now, if you feel safer leaving it on, leave it on! I was handed a menu upon check-in, but I also noticed that under the table attached to my chair were more copies, in case you don’t get one at the ticket booth. They have everything from cocktails to full meal food,including this is the ONLY WAY you order your popcorn! I checked out the menu of every Hollywood delicious namesake and went for the Kevin Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato, with a side of the Lord of the Rings Onion Rings….one onion ring to rule them all AND my digestion…huzzah! Along with a Diet Coke (they carry Coke products), I had ordered and recieved my food by the time the previews started running. Now, I was the only one in there, so the food was probably going to come fast, but it was still impressive. I have been to the dine and watch kind before and wound up getting my food near the end of the movie (yes, seriously, think it was “Malificent” at Disney Springs AMC- horrible). For safety reasons, they give you your food in closed take-out containers, which I found were just fine. I wasn’t expecting real dishes like at “Be Our Guest.” The KBLT was delicious, I don’t like mine toasted (why toast it?? It’s like sandpaper across the top of your mouth!) and my LOTR OR were yummy! It’s the kind of dining experience where you’re sad when it’s over- like he came out to see if I wanted a refill on my soda and I really didnt need one but I wanted to keep the feeling alive, so I got one.LOL

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Now, I can’t tell you how hard it is to pay attention to a movie when there is SO MUCH to look at around you! I literally had flying monkeys around me, I was as giddy as a girl on Christmas morning. Probably why they put MOST of the decor BEHIND you where the projector lives so that you aren’t focused on it the entire film. Seriously, the ANIMATION themed one, HOW are kids watching the movie?? The imagination and creativity it took to put this place together is just amazing, pretty sure my mouth never closed! After “The New Mutants” which was EXCELLENT, I asked Management if it was ok to peruse the other Theaters and see the different themes. Yes, only if they were empty, which unfortunately due to Covid and it being a matinee, all but one, were empty. I was able to look at all of the detail, take in the beauty of what this man created, and again, it was just a sight to behold.

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Like the movies? Go here. Hate the movies? Go here. Scared of getting Covid? Go during a matinee. They clean everything down, seats around you are meant to be empty, and the next row in front of behind you is already a good 6 feet- these are SPACIOUS seats! The staff was incredibly kind and attentive, and I would go back in a heart beat. Actually probably am for “Bill and Teds” before I head back to Florida. So if you’re in the Naperville area, check out Hollywood Palms- you won’t be disappointed!

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The Arzt House….Haunted St. Louis

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Many a home and location are haunted in the City of St. Louis, and one of the most haunted, yet not too known, is the “Arzt House.”  An immigrant from Hungaria, Dr. Franz Arzt came to America, finding many business opportunities to lead him up the ladder of success and fortune. Building the home in 1874, it hosts not only a carriage house, but tunnels that run underneath the home.

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Located at 2330 S. 12th Street, also known as “Soulard,” I had no problem finding the house. It stands out like a single candle on a birthday cake. Want to make a wish? This row of homes that surround it seem to sit in it’s shadows, while it reigns over them at the top of the hill. Had I known earlier, I wouldv’e booked a night hear on Air BnB for $90 a night- not sure I would get any sleep though! It is rumored that the good Doctor himself haunts the home and has been seen on more than one occasion.  I can tell you that just from walking around the property, as it takes up a good corner of the block, it is impressive and it is HUGE!  I may have to think on a second trip here, it sounds like a scary good time in a beautiful home. Want to see more of my haunted road trip? Check it out HERE. Enjoy!ArtzHouse5ArtzHouse6

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Most Haunted City in Illinois…Mineral Springs Hotel

RoadTripLogoAs part of my day in this haunted City, I headed to the Mineral Springs Hotel, downtown Alton, located on 301 E Broadway (it takes up the entire corner, can’t miss it!). Opened in 1914, it was the grandest Hotel in the region, boasting the largest swimming pool in Illinois!  Built and created by successful meat packers, the Luer brothers, the hotel was not the only itention. They had planned to open a storage plant for ice, but upon digging into the ground, they came across the Mineral Springs.  Because the water had a strong sulfer smell, they got it into their heads that it must be “medicinal” and then sold this as “treatments.” rsz_img_0128

What most people don’t know is that the water bottling plant was built in 1913, FIVE levels below the street level! Then the Hotel was built ON TOP of this, layer by layer, making this building a complex mess. As the “healing waters” were bottled below, they finished the 100 room, in an Italian style above. Because of these magical waters,  Alton became a very popular town through out the 1920’s. rsz_img_0116rsz_img_0122rsz_img_0114

 

Due to time and life, August Luer sold the hotel in 1926,  where it continued to thrive until the 60’s when the hotel became over run by transients.  Closed in 1971, it was all set to be condemned, but in 1978, Roger Schubert bought the building and developed it into a shopping mall. rsz_img_0132rsz_img_0107rsz_img_0106rsz_1img_0117rsz_1img_0125

I had called all week to try to get on a Ghost Tour here, but again, Covid and the owners being out of town, I was out of luck. Hopefully I will get a second chance to tour. BUT part of the Hotel was turned into shops, so I was able to at least say I was IN the Hotel and took lots of pics down the quiet hallways, located past “Raining Zen” and the Barbershop.  The ladies at Zen were very kind, and it’s right up any ghost hunters ally with the merch provided. I always heard about cleansing an area with sage, well they sell all kinds and all “flavors”- and of course right above the sage was MY BOYS!! I watch “Ghost Adventures” quite a bit, and I knew they had investigated here and also Ghost Hunters. Always exciting to be somewhere you watched on tv. rsz_img_0110rsz_img_0111

Those that haunt here are the Jasmine Lady, which if you smell her perfume, she is near you. I have heard and read aboue two stories of drownings- one was a young man who drown in the pool and the other a little girl, Cassandra, who also drowned and will play with marbles and balls if you roll them near the pool. Also a man named George, a painter of a mural in the Crystal Room, has been known to haunt the halls. I would’ve love to have gotten a tour, but alas, what is meant for me is meant for me, and I await patiently until I can tour in the future- I can’t wait to go back! Check out more of my HAUNTED Road Trip in Alton, IL  … HERE and HERE – Enjoy!!!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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