Monday, December 7, 2009

How "Mick's" and The Casablanca Hotel & Resort came to be...

Well Sue over at "A Very Cherry World" asked the question, and its a Story I love to tell!

"It was a dark and stormy night...."

Actually it was Easter Sunday 2005, No! Well, It all begins in 2002 At Lake Diversion Tx.

My parents buy a cabin on the water from friends, its a charming 1946 single wide trailer and dock. Now my parents favorite color is RED. They also don't much care about the "nostalgic history" of such place and proceeded to fix up and paint everything red & silver. (which yes looks great, but seriously... if you could see our house in town, you'd know why I like turquoise.)

Well two years of hard work go by, and Mom and Dad have a show place. But their lot was only 50 feet wide. The lot next door has a boat dock on it, and Dad wanted to buy it to tare down the boat dock and fill in the place with dirt and rocks to add onto the shore line. The lot next door was lot "40273" well not only did it have a dock, but about 300 yards up the road there was a three room cabin that went with it...

It is now Easter Sunday 2005 I am 14 going on 15 and my LIFE is about to change...

We tore down the rickety old boat dock, now wondering what to do with this cabin.  Dad considered buring the house down and clearing the lot, or maybe use the house for storage? But thank goodness my mother talked him out of it! She said well why don't we sell the house or have it moved. Dad says " alright lets sell it, we bought it for $300 lets see if we can make a profit..." that day I very quietly went to my room and Pulled out ALL the money I had saved and hidden, and the grand total?! $310!!!! (a large amount for A 14 yr old to have I know, I'd been saving for something else but this was too good to pass on... I'll never forget the looks on my parents face as I pushed $310 in wrinkled bills, quarters, dimes, fifty cent pieces and pennies across our kitchen table. Immediately followed by "WHAT IS A 14 YR OLD GONNA DO WITH A HOUSE?!" my reply, "Just wait and see...."
Well when I moved in folks, not gonna lie... the place was a DUMP! It had set vacant five years prior to my family buying it... and the previous owners didn't take good care of it. In fact they had painted the screened in porch (now the lounge) a moth pink color and RUINED a beautiful stained wood ceiling. Inside it Just got worse, In the Kitchen EVERYTHING have been painted white, but there was a line that split the room, one side was white, the other a tan off white. But there was the original green and white checked floor staring at me, that matched with all the Wood frame windows in the house  had me in love! The bedroom had been painted white, and THEY PAINTED OVER A WINDOW!!!! IDIOTS! Alas the stage was set... and the Casablanca was born.

Now If you haven't guessed, Im VERY theatrical and some times over dramatic ha ha! The "Casablanca" Gets its name from the 1943 Movie that we all know and love. (Quick fact: the movie "Casablanca" was originally titled "Everyone Goes to Ricks"... and that's where the Blog get is name.) There is also a line in the movie that Humphrey Bogart says "Casablanca, Its a place the force you to visit, but you'd never live there" and at the time It was VERY TRUE!

When I moved in, there was not electricity, no telephone, there was a fridge but... yeah, just NO! ha ha and the back yard was barren except for a telephone pole and cactus patches here and there. Everything you see, I have done in the last four years! Iv been through who knows how many paint colors and surprises but I'm thrilled with the result.

My mother confessed once that the real reason she and my father let me buy the house was " If your at your place taking care of things doing what you want, we know your not out on the streets doing drugs, or getting into trouble. Just think those kids who graduated with you, maybe had a car and part time job, you;ve got something to be proud of kid!"

Well thats the story of the "Casablanca" the full name "Casablanca Hotel & Resort" came about during senior spring break in high school. Most my time as well as my friends had been taken up by "One Act Play" for high school competition. Well after three months of acting a friend turned to me said "Mickey we've got to go hang out at your house this weekend its our last resort to rest before the big performance" The "Hotel" part stems from my love of enetertaining, always hosting parties and having people come and stay with me, so much they dubbed hotel into the name.

The Casablanca Hotel & Resort!

There aren't ANY pictures from the early days of the Casablanca, but here's our basic "virtual tour" we made so that my friends parents would actually believe us and let their child come hang out and spend the night... It usually leaves people amazed... but then again, iv never been one for understatement! :)

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy this video!
If you see anything in it you want to know more about (and I think I know one thing you will) just comment and i'll blog about it!



Kathy said...

Fabulous! What a wonderful investment of time,money and pure love...congrats!

happileah said...

Man, I really love that floor. Can we talk more about it?

Missouri Michael said...

I love antique radios! Tell me more about that white painted console in your kitchen!

jamie@midcenturymania said...

I am at a loss for words...that doesn't happen very often with me. Your place is so very cool. I love the story behind it. I can just imagine your parents reaction when you offered to buy it. We are going to have to take a road trip to see this amazing place. Thanks for the great post and video.

Vintage Christine said...

I loved the fridge from the outside, but OMG--PINK?! You are a hoot and a half, Mick!

The Elegant Thrifter said...


This is amazing. Where in Texas is this cabin located. I'm quite often in the Austin area and would love to to "check in" at the Casablanca! You have done a wonderful job, and I'm charmed to have stumbled upon your blog.


Mick said...

Kathy, Thanks!

Leah, I will post more on the floor in my next post!

Michael, its a 1937 "Air Cheif" radio, it was my grandparents wedding present when they were married and I saved it from going to the dump.

Mid Century, We'd lov eto have you as house guest! come stay with us summer 2010 (summer is our specality)

Christine, I know! Dont you just love it!

Stan, Im just outside of Wichita Falls! and we'd love to have you visit!

Thanks guys!


The Elegant Thrifter said...

Do you know The Vintage Laundress, LeAnn Stephenson? She's a great pal of mine and I believe her mother lives in Wichita Falls. She did an event for my book in Austin, and I went with her to Round Top for the first time this year. She is a treasure! Stan

Decades a Go-Go said...

That's fantastic!!! I'm about the same age and this is my dream... The fridge, the floor, the table and's all awesome! Congrats, it looks great! Rare for our age, you have some serious style!

Mick said...

Thanks Nick!

jena ardell said...

AWESOME story. Where is this located?!

jena ardell said...

Ooops, nevermind. I see you're in Wichita Falls.