Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Brother, can you hear through the flames and rage? You're digging a hole where you're digging a grave.

Being the responsible adults that we are, myself, Lil Bro#2, and Big Sis#2 decided to take Niecey G trespassing on Sunday.

I've been to the Gingerbread Castle before, but only got to see it from the outside. Some history: once upon a time when the Mill was still operational, someone built the Gingerbread Castle so that the mill workers could leave their kids there during the work day. Fifteen or so years ago, there were tours offered by a long since closed restaurant across the street. Kids could meet up with Hansel and Gretel, who would take them on a tour of the castle and at the end they were confronted by the Witch, and to escape they had to throw a coin down the wishing well.

Since then, the Castle has sat abandoned. More recently, the property has been listed for sale, something that has been met with some hostility from the locals.

 A couple weeks ago, two different friends posted photos on facebook of their explorations inside the Castle. I'd been dying to revisit it ever since.

Upon our arrival, Lil Bro#2 and Niecey G skirted the fence and said they found no way in. All four of us took a long walk around the entire property (which includes 4+ buildings) looking for a way through the fence.

No luck. We thought about exploring the mill itself, but it doesn't look entirely stable.

 Then we got back to where we started and I walked the length of the fence directly in front of the Castle. Somehow Lil Bro#2 and Niecey G managed to miss the giant gaping hole someone had cut in said fence.

Big Sis#2 opted to stay outside, chatting with a family who had also come to check out the castle. Niecey G, Lil Bro#2, and I proceeded inside the castle. We could hear the complaints of the small child whose parents still stood chatting to Big Sis#2, because her parents would not let her follow us through the hole in the fence.

It's a pretty cool roadside attraction. But it's a shame there's so much graffiti. And not even decent graffiti. Some highlights:

Lil Bro#2 and I may go back and attempt to steal that

That was the only part of the building we didn't explore--those stairs did not look at all stable. 

We explored and took some more photos and then went back to the car.

And no exaggeration, LITERALLY as we were piling back into the car, a police car came down the street and pulled into the Castle/mill parking lot. He didn't bother us (I'm presuming because we were by that time on the legal side of the fence, and we looked like 3 adults with a child in tow, so probably did not look like the trespassing hoodlums that we are). So we possibly narrowly escaped getting arrested. Niecey G was thoroughly impressed with this adventure.

Normal 11-year-olds go to sleepovers or the mall on weekends, but Niecey G can now tell her friends she went trespassing in abandoned buildings.

Later I stopped at the bird sanctuary that's down the street from my new home. Got some good pics of a great heron


a swallow

a green heron

this birb I could not identify

and what I think is a family of otters.

Lil Bro#2 and I grabbed some dinner at the Wit's End tavern with one of his friends. This particular friend used to be afraid of me (which I find hilarious, as I'm a hobbit and he's 6' 5"), but now he likes me. Lil Bro#2's friends cannot keep his many sisters straight, so we are apparently referred to as The One That Lives In England, The One With The Kid, The One That's Not Actually Related To Him, and Daenerys. I will admit I was extremely flattered by this, even though I hated Daenerys's character in the books. I'm guessing it's because of my hair, because I don't think I look anything like Emilia Clarke...

... I find Lil Bro#s's friend incredibly attractive, which makes me feel like sort of a pedophile. I confided these feelings to M., without mentioning names, and he guessed which one of Lil Bro#2's friends it was immediately. Apparently, I have A Type. 

What did the rest of y'all do with your weekends?


  1. You 3 are a bad influence. Someone should really buy that property and restore it. I bet someone could make some money off of it.

  2. That door definitely needs to be stol...er saved and preserved.

    1. Hee, Nicecy G is sooo lucky to have you as an Aunt, Woo else would take her to such cool places? Yet basement was ,thought, I have to admit a bit creepy...reminded me of the opening credits od "American Horror Story Murder House"...oh, well, lucky you made your break when you did! The bird pictures are great, I have lately become interested in all the birds that flock-lol-to out deck to chow down. Had an adventure last night, not of the fun kind, stupid me, nothing nig...

      love you!

    2. Ummm, please make that nothing "big"........ and a few other corrections.....thanks1

  3. The castle looks amazing! The fact that it is abandoned and falling part probably makes it way cooler than it was in its prime. Those are great pics and seem like good images to spark stories.

  4. What a trippy, old castle! I would have loved to have met Hansel & Gretel for a wee tour. (Were adults allowed on the tour?) I bet that the niece was well impressed with such an adventure.

    My sister's ex-husband/brother's bff sometimes still refers to me as 'the good sister'/'the good witch'. -don't really like it, and, of course, he can tell us apart, but I get it.

    It was Pride Weekend here, and, no longer one for massive crowds, I took myself out the Aids Memorial Grove in SF. I left a remembrance for my Uncle Gerry there in the grove, had a short cry, then went on my way through Golden Gate Park.

  5. Despise when ignorant "people" have to paint graffiti on everything they see.
    I would hope that if they catch these "people" they are made to clean up this and every other building that has been painted.
    Love the bird photos and of course the otters.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  6. I'm afraid of you, too.

    Janie, who is kidding

  7. That looked like a lot of fun! I salute your bravery and timing. Nature photos are cool, too, only how'd you ever get a swallow to sit down?

  8. You should definitely steal that.

  9. I've always been interested in urban exploration but it's something I have to watch from the sidelines. I'm too much of a chicken to trespass, never mind enter an abandoned building in general. The place looks super creepy and your niece will have a great story for years to come.

  10. It's only trespassing if you get caught. I was always poking my nose into abandoned buildings when I was young...er, with my camera. I wish I knew where the photos are now!

  11. Oh, you're bad! ;) It looks totally worth it, though. That staircase is mesmerizing. We have a lot of beautiful old abandoned buildings around here, but I've rarely gone exploring for fear of running into junkies (or worse), since most of them are havens for drug use and the like.


  12. I wish there were places like that around here to explore. That looks like a damn good time. And it was good of you to pretend to be an adult for the day so that the police didn't give you a second look. A person can get away with so much just by pretending to look like a responsible adult.

  13. Gingerbread Castle looks like it was a neat little roadside attraction once upon a time. What a shame that it fell into disrepair...but if they're not going to restore it then I say take the door. Then again if the cops are hovering about, it might not be worth the risk. And where would you put it if you did steal it?

    You always take such awesome pics. I'm jealous of your photography skills. And your exploring skills :)

    M. is right, I think. I can surmise from your blog that you have "A Type", though I'm unsure of how lil bro's friend fits the type I'm thinking of. He must be quite manly for a young'in.

    Re: your My Little Pony collection...Are there rare MLP dolls, or variations that are much harder to find than the base model? What makes certain ones so valuable? I'm sure you've done a few posts about your collection, but I wouldn't mind reading a "show and tell" post.

  14. You're the best aunt EVER! I'm drooling with jealousy right now.

  15. "someone built the Gingerbread Castle so that the mill workers could leave their kids there during the work day" brilliant parenting.

    "Somehow Lil Bro#2 and Niecey G managed to miss the giant gaping hole someone had cut in said fence." aye, that just sums up my life.

    i think you should definitely steal it. shhh. nobody will know.


    "So we possibly narrowly escaped getting arrested." this is why i love you.

    "Normal 11-year-olds go to sleepovers or the mall on weekends, but Niecey G can now tell her friends she went trespassing in abandoned buildings." YES.

    these birds all look like one thing to me: dinner. (aye they're not really, i just wanted to make the joke).

    This particular friend used to be afraid of me (which I find hilarious, as I'm a hobbit and he's 6' 5") <--he's 6'5" and he's scared of you? that's pretty brilliant.

    i can see Daenerys if he's mentioning the hair.

    "Apparently, I have A Type." what is this type? you have to tell me about it. NOW.

    -Sam Lupin

  16. Spooky, creepy. The perfect inspiration for a ghost story.
    Maybe a child never escaped the witch...?

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  18. It looked uber creepy at first, but than when you got inside, way cool! Glad you took the chance and explored.


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