Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Was Eloise


All day long I've been trying to figure out how to properly acknowledge today, the day my house burned down in 1982. I'm not going to retell the whole story, but you can read here. A few minutes ago, I was reminded about the only cool part of the entire ordeal:

I got to be a 10 year old diva at the Arlington Park Hilton for the better part of about 5 months.

Yes, I was Eloise.

Eloise you'll recall is a 6 year old fictional girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Eloise is quite precocious and finds herself in the midst of all sorts of adventures (read: trouble), just as I did.

Live at the Hilton was quite good. We had a suite of rooms - two bedrooms with a huge sitting room in the middle. The sitting room, which was more like a super-sized den, complete with wet bar and gigantic bathroom containing a tub with the cool jets. I wouldn't call it a hot tub or whirlpool, but it was cool. Someone made my bed everyday and left clean towels and fun little shampoos and soaps.

As Dave and I got ready for school each day, I would call the hotel restaurant, The Apple Farm, and order lunches that would be ready when we arrived for breakfast. On more than a few occasions, breakfast consisted of orange sherbet and a handful of apple-flavored Jolly Ranchers from the candy dish on the way out of the restaurant. Then we were whisked off to school via cab.

At night we'd run all around the hotel and swim in the pool and never got in any trouble because everyone knew us.

I had slumber parties with my girlfriends and remember one especially fun weekend sitting at the entrance of the Cinderella Rockafella (a nightclub type place attached to the Arlington Park Hilton) watching all the couples arrive for the Arlington High School Prom. We thought they were so sophisticated and beautiful and wanted to grow up to be that cool at our prom.

Yes, life at the Hilton was good and I wanted for nothing. As good as it was, however, I was never so happy as I was the day we finally moved back into our rebuilt house.

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