Be Mine 4Ever – My Bloody Road Trip

My favorite slasher movie is My Bloody Valentine. I love the originality of the story, and enjoy both the original and the remake. When we learned at a horror convention that the mine used for filming the remake was open for tours, my husband and I didn’t hesitate to plan a road trip.

Tarentum, Pennsylvania is just outside Pittsburgh, making the drive six and a half hours along winding roads through mountains. When we reached our destination, we were asked to stay elsewhere, no explanation given. The front desk confirmed availability at another hotel, and off we drove to find it. The unexpected change in lodging worked to our advantage, as our new room included a Jacuzzi.

 

Not Exactly the Thunderbird

Not Exactly the Thunderbird Where Irene Met Her Demise

 

We dropped our bags, and headed to the Tour-Ed Mine and Museum. On the way, we crossed the Kittanning Citizens Bridge, which spans the Allegheny River. This bridge can be seen in The Mothman Prophecies, as well as the opening of the My Bloody Valentine remake.

 

Kittanning Citizens Bridge

Kittanning Citizens Bridge

 

After taking some photos, we arrived at the mine. I had misgivings about going in, but I had visited underground caverns before, so I knew what to expect. It would be dark, damp, and colder the further down you ventured. We rode in a small cart down into the mine, both nervousness and anticipation growing. I was spot on in my expectations. It was exhilarating to walk through the cold passages, knowing that my favorite slasher movie was made within these damp walls. The best part of the experience was coming face to face with the killer himself, clad in dark coveralls, wearing a gas mask, and wielding a pickaxe. It looked like a high school kid portrayed the infamous Harry Warden, but I didn’t care, I was thrilled.

 

Tour-Ed Mine and Museum

Tour-Ed Mine and Museum

 

The tour only took half an hour, so we were left with time to spare. We found a theater showing Zombieland. We enjoyed the movie, and it added to the spooky October atmosphere. (I should mention that we took this road trip in 2009).

The following day we visited Sprankle’s in Kittanning, known as Mercer’s in My Bloody Valentine. We wanted to visit the store where the miner chased Sarah and Megan. Not only did we take pictures, but we also purchased a few Halloween decorations that Sprankle’s had for sale.

 

Where the Girls Confronted the Miner

Where the Girls Confronted the Miner

 

The market tour concluded our trip. I watched the My Bloody Valentine remake on a portable DVD player on our long drive home, savoring the great memories of visiting filming locations. This was a fun road trip, and I recommend other horror fans check it out.

 

This is a candy heart boxed used in the movie. It is given to Axel by Megan. I had it signed by Chris Carnel, who played the miner, and we took a photo holding the heart.

Candy heart box used in the movie.  It is given to Axel by Megan. I had it signed by Chris Carnel, who played the miner, and we took a photo holding the heart.

 

Quote – Seamus Heaney

 “Anxiety, after all, can coexist with determination.”– Seamus                  Heaney

             Anxiety sucks the joy from the lives of those suffering from it. Those afflicted must be determined to keep their fears at bay in order to achieve their goals. Possessing a modicum of determination to do something goes a long way to thwart anxiety’s crippling grasp. I would concur with Mr. Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, that both can coexist, although more determination than anxiety would be preferred.

Hope Chest

            I found a gem of a boutique in Bridgeton, New Jersey. I was browsing Alex and Ani’s website for bracelets and looked to see what local retailers carried their merchandise. That’s how I discovered Hope Chest.

            I drove 45 minutes in search of a bracelet for myself, and as a gift for Mother’s Day. My experience was well worth the trip.

            The store is warm and welcoming. I was greeted by a friendly staff member as I entered. Megan assisted me with the Alex and Ani display. She answered all my questions and was very pleasant and professional. Megan also offered a suggestion to “train” my bracelets into a smaller size by keeping them in a cup. Brilliant! Not only did I purchase a bracelet for myself and for Mother’s Day, I also ordered another that wasn’t in stock. The gift for my mom was beautifully wrapped, which is a convenience I appreciate. Also, the out-of-stock bracelet I ordered on a Saturday was available for pick up the following Tuesday, which was sooner than I expected.

            I perused the store and found a variety of lovely items. The clothing and accessories were well organized and artfully displayed, not to mention reasonably priced. I feared I would come home empty handed, because I figured anything I liked would be cost prohibitive. In addition to the three Alex and Ani bracelets, I left with a scarf and another brand of bracelet. I was pleasantly surprised by the prices.

            If you are ever in the area, visit Hope Chest. You will leave with a bag of unique treasures, and will support a local business in the process. You won’t be disappointed. You can like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheHopeChestKimRose.

Image