Check the alarm upon arrival – Hotel tip

I don’t know if it’s the maid setting the room’s alarm clock as a prank, or the occupants prior to my stay. In any case, too many times I have been abruptly awakened to a blaring alarm or loud music booming at my head from the nightstand.

Not the best way to start off a relaxing vacation.

Therefore, it’s become my custom to check — and turn off! — the room-provided alarm clock when I first arrive so there will not be any surprises at dawn. Or worse: at pre-dawn.

[Photo: Flickr | Robert S. Donovan]

Bishop’s Castle: You have to see it to believe it

Here at Gadling, we love suggestions that come our way from readers. As much as we travel, we can only go to so many places–unless you’re Jerry or Grant, and then the question is, when are these guys ever home?

Bishop’s Castle came our way through Bill Volk who used to write home improvement/construction type posts for DIYLife. He follows Gadling faithfully–or so I hear. Considering that Volk seems like he could build a castle himself, I can see why this building caught his attention. Built single-handedly by Jim Bishop out of stone and iron over the past 40 years, the castle, located near Rye-Bullah, Colorado, is still a work in progress. Nonetheless, it has become a roadside attraction that people drive out of their way to see.

Funky doesn’t begin to describe it. Bishop, who has used 1000 tons of rock so far, and is still adding details, describes his efforts as a “monument to hardworking people.” I’ll say.

His hard work has finally gained him status as an official Colorado tourist attraction. In the article Volk sent our way, Bishop was still getting snubbed. People who go see his castle are welcome to tour at will, although, there is a guest book adults must sign to absolve Bishop of any mishaps. Climb around at will, but don’t blame him if you fall.

Perhaps when Bishop’s finished with this astonishing piece of handiwork, or even before, he ought to contact Jonathan Borofsky, the artist who makes Hammering Man sculptures as tributes to hardworking folks. One of Borofsky’s kinetic sculptures would fit right in.

If you go here, you can cross one of the 101 Places You Gotta See Before Your 12 off the list. describes Bishop’s Castle as being “in the middle of nowhere.”