Dream Journal : Grandpa’s (Very Fictional) Rum Empire

Note: This was an interesting set of dreams with some very accurate references and some very not, so I’ll try to point out when I jump from one to the other!

I was staying at my grandparents house with a bunch of other people. It wasn’t clear whether my grandparents were still alive, but it was almost like we were renting the house for something because it was a fairly large group of people.

A few of us needed to use the bathroom and rather than waiting in line with everyone else, I snuck off around to the other side of the house where I knew there was another bathroom.


But it wasn’t just any bathroom – after walking down a long hallway, it opened up into a full-size day spa hidden in my grandparents’ house! There were a smaller handful of people enjoying the facilities, but no one from the group I had been with. I think I actually ran into Jason Segel there and he commented about being excited to check out the sauna later…

This wasn’t the most of it, however, when I left the spa and followed another longer corridor into what turned out to be probably the most impressive liquor store I had ever seen!

Filled with large, colorful displays of bottles and a vibrant atmosphere unlike any liquor store I’ve actually ever been in, it was clear that the store was very successful despite being in a small town in Northern Michigan. Patrons eagerly made their selections as I wandered about, and I even ran into a couple of my uncles along the way.

What was cooler was that for some reason all of the employees seemed to recognize our family and I seemed to get a tip of the hat from everyone that I met, even as I began to poke around some of the behind the scenes areas where people were making and preparing things for sale.

This was a little confusing because the store didn’t actually make any of its own booze, but you sure would’ve thought it did from the looks of it.

Eventually I wandered outside and found that the store’s location was right across the street from probably the most famous ski hill in Northern Michigan (presumably Boyne Mountain, although in reality it’s 20 miles from where my grandparents lived).

It seemed like a prime location and I wanted to take a couple of pictures to share, but for some reason I only had an older cell phone and I couldn’t get the camera to work (this is strangely a common theme in my dreams). Also interesting was that the scene resembled more of a busy city than the small town that we were supposed to be in…

* * *

My next dream segued off of this theme – I was taking a friend around Northern Michigan because he wanted to write some kind of story about it for the paper he worked for, although I didn’t entirely trust him because I didn’t know what type of story he was looking to write.

We visited a few key locations around the town where my grandparents lived, then stopped at Taco Bell inside of a shopping mall to figure out what to do next. It wasn’t a long drive up to the Mackinac Bridge and sunset was quickly approaching, so we thought it might be cool to head up there to catch the sunset over the bridge … however walking back to his car that was parked in a less desirable part of town, we soon found that it had gotten looted and was no longer drivable.

After grabbing whatever things he could salvage from it, we went up the street to a restaurant that apparently my grandpa owned, thinking they would help, but instead a bunch of the employees laughed at us and some even hinted that they may have been in on it. Things were starting to look ugly when I called my grandpa and explained what was going on, who in turn asked for the names of everyone who was giving us trouble and he proceeded to fire them over the phone on the spot.

He then told us he to go to a nearby hotel where he would book us a room for a few nights, and we left … except that we started walking in the wrong direction – despite the hotel being this giant tower that was easily visible from everywhere – and very shortly we found ourselves on the classic “wrong side of the tracks.” We were staring at an industrial area with a fence between us, and there were lots of people running around and fires everywhere, and you just got the feeling that nothing good was taking place over there.

We tried to move along and actually heard someone on the street comment that it was the town’s hotbed for drugs and other illicit activities, after which a random stream of hoodlums just came running across the street, although they didn’t seem interested in us.

While my friend started to rethink his story around the theme of poverty and crime in the north, we backtracked – unfortunately in the same direction as the thugs were going – until we finally reached the hotel. There we were received a bit unexpectedly because as soon as I gave my name, they whisked us away up an escalator to a private lobby where only a couple of finely-dressed employees were waiting at a podium.

They seemed to take a while to authenticate who we were, during which I wandered the waiting area that was filled with all sorts of artwork made by kids. Eventually everything checked out and oddly enough, someone immediately came to take our dinner orders with a menu to create just about any kind of sandwich you could think of. My friend ordered a simple hamburger, while I asked the waitress what she would get with their pork … I think she thought I was flirting with her, but in reality I was just confused and overwhelmed.

Well, as it turned out – my grandfather also owned the hotel and we were being taken to the penthouse suite at the very top of the tower, with panoramic views of Lake Michigan and just nothing but luxury from floor to ceiling. We didn’t really have anything with us, but it didn’t matter because everything was either provided or they were quick to offer to get it for us – from clean clothes to razors to other toiletries.

The shower area was particularly impressive, almost reminiscent of the spa area that I had discovered in their house earlier, with dozens of water jets on a wall and just marble everything.

After we got cleaned up and ate, things got a little fuzzy, but I think the hoodlums from earlier attacked the tower, although I don’t recall if they made it all the way up to our floor or not.

Just to be clear – my grandparents were not wealthy rum and hotel barons in Northern Michigan, but the random cameos were fun nonetheless!

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