Would You Live In A Haunted House?

The New York State Ghostbuster Law

We drove to Nyack to see the house on the right at the dead end street overlooking the Hudson River. It’s haunted. In 1991, a couple in contract to buy it, suddenly wanted their down payment returned when they learned the house had ghosts. They had to take the case to the New York Appellate Court which ruled in their favor. The case is known as Stambovsky v. Ackley And New York State laws now says that an owner has to disclose if a house is haunted. Not too many people know about the law or the house, except for real estate agents and law students.

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Our Visit to Laveta Place

A Mini Cooper convertible was parked in front of the house when we arrived, but it didn’t look like anyone was home so we took our picture in front and then walked across the street to a similar house that had a for rent sign. I walked up to knock on the front door but I could see through the window that the house was completely empty, except for a rocking chair. The wraparound porch has spectacular views of the Hudson River. We took our photo.

This empty house felt more haunted than the famous one. A former owner of the 1 Laveta Place home described the ghosts as two girls in 18th century hoop skirts and a small man in a red coat, which indicates a British soldier from that era.

No one was home in either of the houses at the end of this street when we visited, but it didn’t feel like we were alone. A case of nerves, maybe…? Or maybe not…

You might thing that buying a known haunted house would mean a discount. The house the law was written for is valued by Zillow.com at $2.2 million. The other house, the one in our Instagram post, is valued at $5.3 million. It’s much larger, modern and has a stone staircase leading to a tile and stone deck at the riverside!

Do you believe in ghosts?

A HuffPost/You.gov poll found that 43% of people in the United States believe in them. A Chapman University poll found 53% of their survey believe. The comments on my Instagram post were a mix. I imagine the four people who have bought the house in these past 28 years didn’t believe in ghosts, but they didn’t keep the house for very long. This is a house by the water and water is a portal for spirits. That’s why bridges are often rumored to be haunted.

This entire Hudson Valley is filled with rumors and stories of ghosts. From the porch in my photo, you can see the town of Sleepy Hollow, the setting in the famous Legend of Sleepy Hollow! written by Washington Irving in 1820. The famous haunted scene of the story is of the headless horseman on a bridge!.

Last Halloween, we visited Washington Irving’s home for a Halloween tour (Instagram post just above). If you had strong binoculars, you would be able to see the Nyack homes acrosss the river.

Spooky Photo

Are ghosts real? That’s for you to decide…

My grandmother always told me, “Don’t be afraid of the dead, be afraid of the living.”

I’ll leave you with this last photo taken during a visit to someone’s house. The window is too high for this to be a person in the window.

It sure looks like Coco is trying to alert us to something…. In this case, there was no one in the window! It’s just a shadow of a wooden post!


Sunday Stills is a great inspiration for new blog posts! I often come up with ideas I would never have thought about. Come join us!


Would You Stay In This Unusual Lighthouse Hotel:

Saugerties Lighthouse: This Hotel Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Imagined!

Saugerties Lighthouse: This Hotel Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Imagined!

Saugerties Lighthouse (built in 1869) to signal ships on the river that the town’s harbor was here. It’s now a hotel.

Before going sightseeing in town, check if the high tide will prevent you from returning to your hotel. On my Instagram post (further below), one person couldn’t believe the hotel would let you be stranded away from your room. He thought there must be a boat. Well, there isn’t. That’s why they suggest you pack your belongings in a small backpack. My Insta-friend shouldn’t feel bad for expecting a boat. I did too, and so did some other people we found along the trail.

Even in low tide, make sure you’re back before sunset when the trail closes. It’s the only way back unless you have your own boat to dock. You wouldn’t want to walk the half mile after dark anyway. It’s not the distance, it’s the terrain. You’ll walk through sand and over little wooden bridges and you’d have nothing but moonlight and your cell phone flashlight to guide you.

The tall grass in July along the trail to Saugerties Lighthouse hotel.

This is a trail that can flood at times so you really don’t know what you’ll find on the path. The soggy terrain has caused several big trees along the path to fall over and you see the bottom of the trees like a wall as you pass by. This is a sandbar with sediments from an 1888-89 channelization project. There are 100 species of flora here.

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I’m looking at the roots of a fallen tree!

Facts About The Hudson River

I told you this is a river. It’s the Hudson River, but it has tides. That’s because it’s not exactly a river. It’s a 153-mile estuary with currents in two directions and contains both salt and fresh water. The river has two high tides and two low tides in every 24 hour period.

Things To Do

So you already know you will be at the hotel between sunset and sunrise, and maybe during the day, depending on the tides. That’s why the lighthouse recommends you bring fishing tackle, swim wear, books, knitting… anything to stay occupied. They tell you to bring your favorite snacks and beverages, too.

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There’s a separate tiny island where you can eat or just relax. Btw, my husband almost never wants to appear in a photo


 

So You Still Want To Spend A Night At Saugerties?

You will have to book far in advance. The hotel has just two rooms and one shared bathroom, and it’s difficult to book. They recommend you get on an availability email list. When I checked at the end of July, the earliest reservation was for January 3rd. Here you go: www.saugertieslighthouse.com

The Appeal Of Saugerties:

The views are beautiful and the lighthouse is romantic. You are completely alone at night. Even the hotel staff may not always be present. There’s a little island deck alongside the lighthouse which is a wonderful place to eat or just sit and relax.

So, would you stay in a place like this?

Make you need a quiet place to relax under the moonlight and forget the world for a day or two. Or maybe you would feel trapped.

Day Trip To Saugerties

You can also visit Saugerties for the day. Bring your lunch and eat on the deck where my husband is sitting in the photo. You can call ahead for a tour on the weekend. It’s free, but with a suggested $5 contribution ($3 for children).

You won’t be able to see the lighthouse at night, unless you can rent a boat. Then you can get some awesome photos!

Let me know in the comments.


Sunday Stills is a fun weekly photo challenge, open to all bloggers!


If you feel like reading a little more, try this recent post:

The House By The Railroad, Or, Feelings Of Loneliness & Isolation

Fun Day for Wine Lovers: Concha Y Toro Vineyard in Chile

The moment you begin researching your trip to Chile, you’ll come across different tours of the Concha Y Toro vineyard. This cloudy, cold July day did not look like a great day to tour fields of grapes, but they say a glass of wine warms the heart on days like these. We bundled up and got in the car for the one hour drive to Pirque, a town about one hour south of Santiago, Chile. My cousin Saverio, our Peruvian friend Cesar and our Chilean friend Manuel joined us on the Concha y Toro vineyard tour.

The entrance of Concha Y Toro vineyards

This was our Argentina and Chile trip, and turned into our wine-drinking trip as well, as we experimented with a variety of Argentine wines and Chilean wines and came home with new favorites.

Viña Concha Y Toro was founded in 1883 by Don Melchor and is now Latin America’s leading producer of wine. Each section of the field is divided by types of grapes. These vines are grafted here specifically for the tour, allowing visitors to see each type while the guide explains them to the group. Sure it’s touristy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

By this time we were cold. Fortunately, the tastings began!

Wine tasting at Concha Y Toro in Chile
There are plenty of chances to taste Concha Y Toro’s wines on the tour here in Santiago, Chile

There are plenty of chances to taste Concha Y Toro’s wines on the tour here in Pirque, Chile.

The guide instructed us to hold the wine glass by the stem. Your body heat will change the taste of the wine. Swish the wine in the glass to provoke the aroma and to oxygenate and soften the wine before your first sip.

Manuel tasting wine
Our Chilean friend Manuel: 😮 “Hold the glass by the stem!” 😜😆

Hold onto your glasses, we were told. There would be many more tastings and the glasses would be ours at the end of the tour. We also had our elegant bright orange Concha Y Toro boxes to transport the glasses. They made it to NYC without breaking.

The Chilean flag and the wine cellar below
Below me is the Casillero del Diablo (The devil’s cellar)!

We were about to head into Concha Y Toro’s cold, dark caverns.

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Wine develops more slowly in this purple glow and low temperature. Once your eyes adjust, you can see the rows of wine barrels along the narrow passageways. The guide told us interesting stories about Don Melchor and Concha Y Toro’s history, as well as explaining the different processes involved in producing wine.

Don Melchor’s
The highest quality wines are stored in Don Melchor’s private wine cellar.

We ate dinner at Concha Y Toro’s restaurant, where we could enjoy a bottle of one of their house wines. The restaurant is expensive but if you go all the way to Chile and you take this tour, you may want to save enough Chilean pesos since this is a very good restaurant. Anyway, it not that expensive.

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Saverio (left) and Cesar

My cousin Saverio and our friend Cesar chose the wine for us: Camenere 2013. We enjoyed the meal and the conversation. Saverio introduced us to several reasonably-priced restaurants and different excellent wines, all close to his Santiago apartment. Alone in Argentina, we tried the Argentine equivalents. Our favorite ended up being an Argentine Malbec from Viña La Linda.

Cultural Observations

Tigre, our waiter in Buenos Aires
With Tigre, our waiter in Chiquilín, a steak house in Buenos Aires (behind me is a portrait of Carlos Gardel, who made tango popular)

Tigre, our friendly waiter in Buenos Aires, became serious when we mentioned a Chilean Malbec that we liked and quickly brought us an Argentine Malbec. The rivalry is strong between the two countries. Cesar’s observation was that Ecuadorians want to be like Peruvians and Chileans want to be like Argentinians.


We met Cesar and Manuel on this trip so this enjoyable tour made conversation easy. The wine tasting made it even easier. Manuel taught us a lot about Chilean culture. He is from the south and taught us about his experiences there. Cesar a geologist, like my cousin Saverio. Cesar can speak to you intelligently on such a range of subjects and he’s very cultured.

The Concha Y Toro visit, including dinner, lasted 3 hours. I recommend this fun tour if you’re in Santiago, Chile. If you’re booking a tour from your hotel, ask about the tastings. Many of these tours provide you with just one glass of wine. If there are several of you, you might be better off splitting a taxi and purchasing the tour at Concha Y Toro. The one-hour ride will cost you under $40. An Uber will cost even less.

Aixa’s Reading Recommendation: Road Trip in Chile

Road Trip In Chile: Visiting The Three Homes of Pablo Neruda

Best Tours in Guadalajara: The Tequila Trail

 

The tourism industry has become very creative in this explosion of tourism over the past ten years. It’s hard to believe that the tourism industry recently topped $2 trillion! Our Tequila Tour in Jalisco, Mexico, is part of that explosion of creativity!

Things started off bad. We were picked up at our hotel and taken to a central location where we had to wait 45 minutes for the rest of the tourists to arrive from their hotels. We were in bad moods and even thought of leaving. We hadn’t paid yet.

The minibus ride was long and bumpy and there was some rain, threatening to ruin the tour.

The Tequila Trail takes you to three distilleries

The guide and his father, the driver, kept us laughing the whole way. They pointed to the stadium of las chivas and we all became excited to see it. Las chivas are a regional Mexican soccer team.

As we were arriving in tequila country, we started to see a patch of blue sky and some rays of sun.

Into the caverns of the distillery
Tequila distillery Las Tres Mujeres

Our first stop was Las Tres Mujeres distillery where we walked the fields of blue agave and viewed the machinery in each stage of the process. Our group was one of many and the tour guide spoke in both English and Spanish.

We were given tastings of different types of tequila throughout the tour guide explained in detail the different types of tequila.

From a walk through the blue agave fields all the way through the factory, you learn about the entire process of making tequila, and then quickly forget it all as the tastings begin! 😆😜


This is how strong the tequila is 😬
This is how strong the tequila is 😬

Las Tres Mujeres distillery was very generous with the tastings, offering us cup after cup of any of the tequilas we wanted. Once we were led into the caverns, we drank more and more free tequila and then bought bottles of their tequila, their branded clothing and souvenirs without giving much thought to the price.

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Then it was back on the bus. Our small group now loved each other.

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The next distillery was Casa Noble, partly owned by the famous musician Carlos Santana. The tour was shorter and we ended up in the gift shop and tasting Casa Noble tequila much faster. The grounds of Casa Noble were littered with mangos. Perfect, because I needed something sweet.

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We were traveling with my sister Roxana

I don’t remember how we got back to the minibus but I remember a short ride to lunch, a large, tasty and generous buffet with a stunning view of the countryside.

The drunken high was wearing off. We got back on the bus and headed for the town of Tequila, a beautiful town of small colorful buildings and elaborate murals. We were given two hours here to explore on our own. We visited the Jose Cuervo distillery and then walked around the town, talking to people in the town.

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The tour costs $110 and includes a decent lunch and a final destination of the town of Tequila, where the time is yours to do what you like.

We had time to visit the Jose Cuervo hacienda and then explore the quaint town.

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There are several tour operators offering similar tequila tours. Ours was this one: https://www.viator.com/tours/Guadalajara/Real-old-Hacienda-San-Jose-del-refugio-Experience/d5299-35707P1

👍 We are not drinkers, just on occasion, but we highly recommend this tour!

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