Friday, January 09, 2015
The True Facility in the Middle of Nowhere
For some obscure reason, Bunny wanted us to go away on a weekend excursion. Last week she asked me if there was any place I wanted to visit. Not having any particular destination in mind, I decided to search for “weird places to visit in Florida,” threw a metaphorical dart and proudly announced “Solomon's Castle,” a museum-restaurant-bed-n-breakfast in the middle of nowhere.
The last sixteen miles are long unnamed county roads northwest of Arcadia, itself pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but it's a bit of civilization in the middle of nowhere. The last mile consists of driving down a dead end street, past the “END OF PAVEMENT” sign (which is a lie—it's paved all the way) to a large iron gate marking the entrance to Solomon's Castle. We parked, and headed on the yellow brick path (asphalt with yellow bricks stamped out in paint) towards the castle.
It is impressive upon first sight and very hard to miss, seeing how it's clad in aluminum from top to bottom. We passed the two suits of armor and entered the castle.
Our timing was a bit off as we arrived just as the place was closing. They were expecting us, as Bunny had already arranged for us to stay at this museum-restaurant-bed-n-breakfast, but Dean, our host, was over in the “Boat-in-the-Moat,” a 65' replica of a Spanish galleon moored in the moat (every castle has a moat, right?) which serves as a restaurant.
We walked over to the gangplank and boarded the Boat-in-the-Moat. We met Dean while the restaurant was in the process of closing. Dean then lead us back down the gangplank and around the castle to the back, where the Blue Moon Room was located.
I suspect that the stairs (outside the building) leading to the Blue Moon Room might not quite meet OSHA standards as there was some heavy swaying as we climbed the stairs [It did not “sway.” —Bunny] [Oh yes it did. Swayed like RuPaul at a drag race. —Sean] [It did not, Mr. Hyperbole. —Bunny] [Did too! —Sean] [Did not! —Bunny] [ENOUGH! —Editor]. Dean then opened the double doors to our suite.
The Blue Moon Room is the second best bedroom in the castle—the best belonging to Howard Solomon, owner and builder of (we learned later) the whole compound. Our room, the Blue Moon Room, is not only the second best, but the only other bedroom in the castle (as bed-n-breakfasts go, it's rather small in the “beds-to-rent” department).
The Blue Moon Room was really nice. Kitchen. Sitting area. Nice-sized bed.
The one oddity of the room we instantly noticed was a slight incline in the floor. I wouldn't think a one degree incline would be so noticable but there it was, a definite list to the south.
Another oddify of the room slowly dawned on us. Back in the Boat-in-the-Moat, I had asked Dean about wifi access and Dean was a bit vague about it. He acted like he knew what the term “wifi” meant, and he even said it existed somewhere on the premises, but he didn't really say outright that we had wifi access. But no, we didn't. No signal at all. But another thing we had noticed—there was no cell signal either. It then hit me---the entire building was wrapped in aluminum.
Wrapped. In. Aluminum!
We were sitting in a large Faraday cage!
Talk about being in the Middle Of Nowhere.