Family · Personal updates

January: Yoga, Gigantic Gemstones, & a Ghost Tour!

Two weekends ago, I stayed over my aunt Nancy and uncle David’s house, and my aunt and I went to her yoga class on Saturday morning. The night before, we had a really delicious “beyond burgers” dinner. And then the next morning, we had a tasty, quick breakfast before yoga — homemade bread and frothy tea. After the early yoga session, we headed back home for brunch for blueberry and banana pancakes. Yum!!!

The yoga class was really fun. It was held at my aunt’s church. It was a good pace, enough to work out the muscles but still gentle. And it was also really nice to stay at their home, because it’s deep in the woods which is really cozy and peaceful. I brought the cats with me and they definitely were excited to be there and explore somewhere spacious. And Venus made a new friend — she really liked that golden pig!

The following weekend was nonstop! My dad is probably the most energetic person I know, because he’s always on the go! I drove to NY on Thursday, and that night my dad drove us into Brooklyn (where my sister lives, as well as my brother and his wife) and we met up with them for dinner. It was a Mexican restaurant and I had cauliflower tacos which were very appetizing! It was a celebration of birthdays — Dad (December), Julie (January), and Scott (February). You could even say it was also a celebration of mine (November) and also Mariel’s (September.) I suppose you could call it the finale of family birthday season!

Obviously, I brought the cats along! I’m really proud of Luna, because she’s a skittish kitty, and usually spends the first 24 hours at Grandpaw’s hiding away and refusing to eat. This visit, she warmed up much quicker than usual, and it seems she has finally warmed up to the place.

On Friday, Dad drove us back into the city again to spend the day at the American Museum of Natural History. Here is he touching a gemstone — he always has to touch everything! I said, Dad, are we allowed to touch that? He said, yeah, I’m sure!

The first thing we saw was the gemstone exhibit, and that was my favorite! There were so many different crystals and stones. It was really beautiful to see. I especially loved the gigantic ones! It was also cool to learn all about them.

Next, we went to the planetarium. I haven’t been to one in so many years. I love how realistic it is and how you truly feel like you are flying through space and visiting all the planets. It was really awesome!

Afterwards, was lunch, and I had some pizza. It was surprisingly really, really good for museum food. I mean, I was in NY, so of course the pizza was amazing.

We also stopped by the see the gigantic whale. Pretty huge! Lastly, was a movie about the animals in Africa. The baby lions were so cute!

That night, back in Oyster Bay, we went to Raynham Hall for a GHOST TOUR! You can read more about the historical home here. I’ve been here on tours many times over the years, but this was completely different, because it was a “ghost tour.” I took many photos — if you notice anything then let me know!

It was a very indescribable experience, but I’ll try my best to explain. It was a group of about fifteen of us, a man who works at the museum as a tour guide (to add some history about the home), and a woman who is a spiritual medium — most of it was lead by her. It started at 7:30 and we were there until 10.

We moved to different areas of the home and spent a decent amount of time in each area. She spoke about certain spirits that she could feel or see, giving us specific names of people who once lived there during the 1700s and 1800s. The vibe in this home was certainly much different at night than it is during the day when I’ve come for “normal tours.”

I would say at first, it didn’t necessarily feel like anything special. But the more the tour went on, the more the energy picked up, and the more we all got into it. There was a specific spirit named “Michael” who she was picking up on near the end, I believe he was once a server in the home, and we were all trying to summon him! Someone had the “ghost tube” app and it was picking up on random phrases which was pretty spooky. Another really spooky moment was in the children’s room, when I saw some of the lights and mirrors in the dollhouse shaking around.

I would say that the freakiest part was towards the end when we were all completely silent in order to see if anyone could hear anything. We all paused for a minute or so. This was when I could hear distant chatter, I heard footsteps, and I heard the sound of the door opening. It was so clear that I really thought that someone was walking into the home from outside. After the silence, there were a handful of people who couldn’t hear anything at all, several people who said they heard footsteps. But personally, I could hear A LOT and it freaked me out to see that some people weren’t hearing anything! That was really the craziest part!

But ghost tours are an otherworldly experience and you really have to try it yourself! It’s very hard for me to explain it thoroughly. I would highly recommend one if you can find one near you.


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