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Upstate NY Research Trip Day 5

Updated: May 6, 2022

I can't believe the things I do in the name of a writing a good story. Last night, I barely slept. My IBS was acting up, and I had some really weird dreams (I blame the hot-dog potato). Despite still feeling like trash this morning, I got up and got ready to go on the Uncle Sam's Boat Tour to Singer Castle.

I usually try to sit on the top deck (the outside deck) when on a boat because I get seasick otherwise (let's face it, I get seasick regardless). But it was raining and super cold, so I suffered inside, where not one person was wearing a mask.

After about 45 minutes, we reached Dark Island, where Singer Castle resides. My pictures aren't great because the tour guide was adamant about staying with the group, which meant it wasn't easy to take pictures without other tourists in them.

I was very interested to learn that Singer Castle was inspired by a castle in a novel by Sir Walter Scott. It's called Woodstock, and I'm excited to read it. So cool that an author's imagination inspired a physical building! It was built in 1905. It was called "The Towers" at the time.

The entrance hall was the most Medieval feeling part of the place (I'm not going to call it a castle unless I'm using its proper name because it isn't really a castle). There were secret passages all throughout the place, and I can't wait to include something like that in my gothic!

There was both a dining room and breakfast room because (as the tour guide put it) rich people can't eat all their meals in the same place.

And, of course, the place where the men retired to chat after meals is completely different than the one for women.

There weren't as many bedrooms and bathrooms as I would have expected, but certainly enough for just one small family.

The family made a lot of changes to the place since it was originally built. The most curious was probably the Sport Therapy Room (where it appears they took that nutter Dr. Kellogg way too seriously).

There was one humorous incident in the women's servants' quarters. I opened the door to one of the closets, and another woman in our group followed suit. I found only clothes in mine, but she opened hers to find a manikin head! How she managed not to scream, I have no idea. I definitely would have. She got by with a gasp and a nervous laugh. Nerves of steel, that one.

I don't have to tell you that the library is where I would have spent most of my time if I lived there, though I did like the breakfast room. Apparently, it was originally a billiards room, and the wife-half of the couple who built it pushed for the change. I approve! Lady knows what's good.

The biggest impression I got from the place was that the family did not want to see their many servants. It went far beyond hidden passages. They even built a tunnel between the men's quarters and the main house so they wouldn't interrupt any tennis matches. Gods forbid!

I didn't get to spend nearly as much time as I would have liked to get a proper feel for the place. But an hour was all we were allotted. Then it was back on the boat for another nauseating 45-minute boat ride.

We stopped off at a local ice cream and chocolate shop upon landing, and I drooled over all the things I couldn't eat. But John got ice cream and a coffee because why not have both those things at once?

Having not slept very well last night, I took a short nap when we got back to the hotel. Then I had dinner, and now I'm going to watch Star Wars. May the Fourth be with you!

Tomorrow, we head to Syracuse.

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    D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

    Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

    Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).

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