And Then We Stayed in a Haunted Castle.

Of course, that wasn’t the original purpose of our vacation, but it proved to be an interesting bonus.

Army Boy and I travelled to Long Island over Easter weekend to “celebrate” our six-month anniversary as a married couple. I know, it seems a little excessive, but I felt the need to make up to him a bit that he was hampered by my hobbling during our visit to Ireland. When a Groupon for Oheka Castle came up before Christmas, I quickly jumped on it.

Side note: Yes, I’d recommend using Groupon Getaways if you can travel within the time window assigned to each deal. Oheka was wonderful to work with, and it was a great opportunity we might not have a: been aware of, or b: been able to afford otherwise.

I know, it seems like we have a bit of a fascination with castles. Honestly, can you blame us?

As we did in Ireland, I picked out a few potential activities within a short driving distance of the hotel, and figured that we’d play it by ear when we arrived. This seems to work really well for us. Rather than committing to a full “day trip,” we can take in the sights and still be back and ready to relax without too much additional travel. It allowed us to keep things really low-key, which made the weekend seem more indulgent.

With a bathroom like this, how can it be anything but?

We took a tour of the castle and its grounds on Easter Sunday, which was a gloriously gorgeous day. It was intriguing to learn more about the original owner of the castle, Otto Kahn (ie the inspiration for “Mr Moneybags” from Monopoly). The gardens were perfectly landscaped, and Huntington harbor was just visible from our vantage point. I HAD to ask our tour-guide about the castle’s claims of being haunted, and she verified that they’d had a paranormal research team come in and do an investigation. Considering my recent preoccupation with “Ghost Hunters: International” on Netflix, it was a fun coincidence.

The rest of the day was spent walking through Huntington, which was a charming little town close by. There weren’t too many shops open due to the holiday, but we hit the highlights- an amazing indie bookstore and CRUMBS cupcakes. Because DUH. We then proceeded to enjoy an Easter meal of the best sushi we’d ever had. I have to give Huntington props for food- there were TONS of restaurants, with three choices for sushi alone.

We arrived home after a drive that was somehow TWO HOURS longer than the trip up, to some exciting packages in the mail. First was my copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, which I oh-so-generously agreed to review for my own smutty curiosity The Readers Café.

Secondly was CJHannas’s recently finished manuscript. I volunteered to read it, and was completely flattered when he offered me a copy. I admit, I was a bit intimidated (what if his writing was faaaaaarrrrr too smart for me?!), but quickly got into his writing style and have been tearing through it over the past few days. It’s been a blast to be part of the writing process in this way.

Finally, I’m appealing to any of the other book lovers who may visit this blog: Do YOU want to join a book review site with some fun, smart, and snarky people that love books as much as you do? The Readers Café is looking for some more reviewers, and we’d  love for you to join us! You read what you can, at your pace, and post a review when you’re done. It’s an absolute breeze, and we’re having a blast so far. We all have different tastes, so no genre will go unnoticed! Send an email to thereaderscafe1@gmail.com and let us know you’re interested!

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