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Thursday, August 15, 2013

My stay in the haunted room 501 of the Hotel Galvez in Galveston

So I think I mentioned back in December of 2012 I won a bucket list contest with the Houston Visitor's Center. In that package I got a free two night stay at the Hotel Galvez, 6 passes to the St Arnold's Brewery, 4 ticket voucher to a Sugar Land Skeeters game, and passes to the Houston Museum of Natural Science (including the Butterfly Center and the Planetarium). I am finally getting to use some of these passes since the kids have been out of school and we've had a little time to do things.

The first thing I used was the 2 night stay at the Hotel Galvez. Being the bucket lister I am, I didn't want to book just a regular old room. Nope, I asked to stay in the haunted room 501. If you aren't familiar with the story (Ghost Lab did an episode where they investigated the room we stayed in), room 501 is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a woman named Audra. Back in the 50's, Audra stayed in that room while she was waiting for her betrothed to come back from sea. Every day she would look out the window for him, and go up to the 8th floor and wait for him to come back. Sadly, she got a letter saying his ship had sunk and he was presumed dead. Heartbroken, Audra hung herself in the bathroom of room 501 and is said to have never really left. Even more unfortunate was that a few days after Audra took her own life, her fiancee came back looking for her so they could be married. The telegram she'd gotten was wrong. His ship had not sunk and he had been on his way back to her.

The lady who helped me book my room said there wasn't any way they could assure I would be in room 501, so I just had to wait and see when we arrived if I gotten it. Thankfully when we got to the front desk, a very wonderful man named Jeremiah told me they had indeed secured the haunted room for me. I thanked him profusely, and he gave me a printed sheet of paper with Audra's story and some brochures about Galveston and the Galvez. Unfortunately they did not currently have any EMF detectors at that time (you can ask at the concierge desk, if you go), but I downloaded an app on my iPhone that had a K2 meter and an EMF detector.

We checked into our room, and I began introducing myself to Audra and telling her why we were there and how much I'd love to have some contact with her. My husband left me alone in the room while he went to park the car and get our bags out. I turned on the K2 app and told her she could talk to me if she wanted to. There wasn't anything going on with the K2, but soon my husband texted me and asked what was wrong with my phone. He said he had tried and tried to call me, but someone else kept answering my phone, and his texts weren't getting through. We never did figure out what was going on with that. I got a little weirded out and stepped into the hallway, where I promptly locked myself out of the room. When my husband, Mason, came back up, we went inside together and turned the app back on. I asked Audra to tell me about herself and the voice on the app said "bathroom. Ow."  Uhm, she hung herself in the bathroom! FREAKY! It then said "drawer". I went to the drawer and opened it, and there were 3 books. I grabbed one and said "do you want me to read one of these books?" the K2 said "have". So I sat down with the book I had in my hand and flipped through it. In it was a story about Audra. I read it out loud to my husband. When I got to the part about how her boyfriend had come back and the K2 said "almost. rescued.". Weird. I flipped a few more pages in the book, and Mason decided to ask her something. He said "what are you doing now, Audra?" She said Presidents. He laughed and said well, that doesn't make any sense. Then I showed him how the page in the book I was reading was about all the famous people who had stayed at the Galvez, and included pictures of some former Presidents. Then it said "hurricane". Galveston was hit by the most deadly hurricane on record in 1900, and it was hit again by Hurricane Ike in 2008, which destroyed much of the island. Other weird things the K2 meter said were veil, stressed, married, smile downstairs, and frightened. However, it also said a bunch of jibber jabber that made no sense. We double checked the app though, and it said if you have the sensitivity too high, you can get a lot of false readings. Maybe it was all a coincidence, maybe some was real and some wasn't, who knows.

That night we went out for a horse drawn carriage ride, shared a milkshake with two straws and I complimented 20 people all in one day for my bucket list. We also went out late that night and tossed some messages in bottles out to sea. Unfortunately they were found the next morning washed up on the beach by a very nice retired teacher.

I wish I could say something really scary happened to us that night that removed all doubt as to Audra's existence, but we slept like babies. The only really scary moment was when I was taking a bath in the bathroom where Audra died, and my husband turned off the light. I thought at any minute something would grab my shoulder, but instead it was just a lot of cussing and screaming. By me. At Mason.

Even with the lack of spooky stuff, the Hotel Galvez is an AMAZING hotel. We were given a free voucher for Sunday brunch and boy was it glorious. Our waitress was constantly refilling our glasses of mimosas and the buffet had tons of different delicious food to choose from. Our bill would've been $88 if we hadn't had the voucher.

Here are some photos we took (sorry, doesn't look like there are any orbs or anything unusual in them)

This is the haunted bathroom on the first floor.The middle stall is supposed to haunted by a spirit that rattles doors, flushes toilets and bangs on things. I used this stall twice and nothing happened.

This painting is hanging near the haunted bathroom, and there is supposedly the image of a spirit in the middle, where the doors are. You can see the feet most easily. 

The supposedly haunted portrait of Mr. Galvez himself. The eyes are said to follow you no matter where you go. You are said to need to ask his permission before you take a picture of this painting. I did not, but when the hotel staff told me I needed permission first, I apologized to Mr.Galvez's portrait for not having done so. Nothing bad happened to me. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Stay tuned for some great updates!

I have done so much stuff lately that I need to update about! I've ridden on an antique fire truck, met the Mayor, was in the audience for Great Day Houston, stayed in the haunted room at the Hotel Galvez, sent a message in a bottle, went ziplining and lots more, plus I have some amazing things coming up. I stopped updating this blog because I had literally no page views. I just checked though, and now it seems like I have people coming every day to read my blog, but nothing is here! I feel so bad for neglecting it now! Well, now that I know you're here, I will post about all my adventures again. Thanks for sticking around!

The Houston Bucket Lister

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Help me win zip lining tickets! Vote for my story!

Many of you reading this will know, I am a bucket list junkie. New experiences are what fuel me, like what coffee, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine do for others. I have 39 bucket lists, for everything from food to countries to books to read. Two years ago I made myself a list of 101 Things to do in 1001 days. You can read this list by clicking the link on this page. If you do, you will see Zipline and Tree Canopy Exploration on the list. I've been working for two years to achieve this goal, but paying the fees on top of a hotel room for the night and gas for driving to Austin have held me back. Now I have less than a year to complete this goal and my heart is set on it.
 Let me let you in on a secret - I'm terrified of heights. I can't even stand on the edge of a balcony without panicking. But I also love to push myself to face my fears. I felt the fear when I rode in the race car at 135 MPH, when I flew a plane, and when I was on top of the Ferris wheel. I will feel it when I hold a tarantula as well. But it's a good fear, you know, when you push yourself to new levels and achieve things you didn't think you were capable of before. You master yourself, even for a few moments. If you haven't tried it, I recommend doing so. As scared as I am, I want so much to stand atop the trees, feeling the breeze blow past me, causing me to sway as I remind myself not to look down. Feeling a little dizzy when I ignore the internal warning and look down anyway. I will keep my eyes open and cherish the maddening rush as my stomach leaps into my throat and I fill with glorious adrenaline as I'm pushed off my perch and set free to fly.
If you can find just a moment to vote for me to win these passes, understand that you won't be giving me a nice day out and a little fun, you will be feeding the essence of my soul. You will be getting me two steps further to completing my 101 Things before the deadline. You will give me a new experience to hold inside me forever. You will give me the keys to be master of myself by facing a new fear. No one could appreciate it more.

Marsha Roberts - Houston Bucket Lister

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thank you in 26 languages!

I just want to say thank you, gracias, merci, danke shon, origato, xie xie, gratzie, gratias, mesi, dankie, tack, takk (twice), dank u, dankon, salamat po, efharisto, dik, mahalo, obrigado, doh jie, spasibo, shukran, shukria, danyavaad, asante, and toda to all my friends for helping me mark stuff off my 101 things list. By the way, I just marked off "learn to say thank you in 26 languages"! Gracias - Spanish Merci - French Danke Shon - German Origato - Japanese Xie Xie - Mandarin Gratzie - Italian Gratias - Latin Mesi - Haitian Creole Dankie - Afrikaans Tack - Swedish Takk - Norwegian and Icelandic Dank U - Dutch Dankon - Esperanto Salamat Po - Tagalog Efharisto - Greek Dik - Czech Mahalo - Hawaiian Obrigado - Portugeuse Doh Jie - Cantonese Spasibo - Russian Shukran - Arabic Shukria - Punjabi Dhanyavaad - Hindi Swahili - Asante Hebrew - Toda

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cat show at the George R Brown

Hubby and I went to the cat show here in Houston at the George R Brown convention center this weekend so I could check "go to a cat/dog show" off my 101 things list. I'm fairly certain now that we will be purchasing an Oriental Shorthair or Siamese cat from a breeder close to us in the near future now. Not for me, but for my husband who lost his favorite pet cat a few years back. There isn't much to tell about the cat show, as it's basically just walking around looking at adorable cats and watching a judge pick them up, stretch them out like superman and then giving them a ribbon if they'd met some criteria I don't know about. But here are some adorable cat pictures you might like.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Create your own bucket list of at least 100 things you want to do before you die

The first thing on the achievable bucket list is to create your own bucket list. The items on this list will be personal to you, with your hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations. You may want to summit everest, write a bestseller, have a romantic wedding on the beach, or any number of things. If you don't already have a personal bucket list, you may be wondering why it's such a big deal to write things down. One reason is because once you write your goals down on your bucket list, you will be much more likely to achieve them. You will take more opportunities than you used to because you will say oh, that's on my list, yes I'll do that! Instead of no, thank you. I'm too busy, broke, depressed, yada yada. I've always had a bucket list, since I was a kid, but before I started writing down some more reasonable goals (such as ride a camel as opposed to dive to the Titanic wreck and see it up close) I would say no to a lot of things. Do you want to ride an elephant? Nah, I'll let the kids do that. Pilot lessons? No, too scary. But now, it's on my list. I have to do it! And I'm always very glad I said yes instead of letting another opportunity pass me by. I also believe that writing down our goals helps make them official to the universe. This is what I want, Universe! It's right here in black and white! The things I write down tend to be the things that happen the most for me. Maybe it's a coincidence, but maybe not. If you're stuck on what to write, feel free to use my list for inspiration. Plagiarize, I don't mind, just make sure that you add your own goals and passions in there, otherwise you're just living mine.

Celestine Chua has a wonderful post about bucket lists on her blog Personal Excellence that I highly recommend for further reading.

One year News-aversary and the Rockets game

Last year on the 2nd of January I was interviewed for a little news segment about Shoe of the Month clubs. I mostly did the spot because being on TV was on my bucket list, so when they put the word out they were looking for someone who was a Shoe Dazzle member, I jumped on it! KHOU reporter Tiffany Craig came to the house with one camera man, and talked to me about shoes and my feelings on the clubs. We actually spoke on camera for quite awhile, and they took a couple lines from it for the show. But I suppose that's how it always goes. When it was posted on their website after airing on the local channel 11 news, a very mean woman posted hateful comments about my appearance in reply, so I didn't show the video to anyone who hadn't seen it live. But to heck with her. One of the comments she made was that I needed a bra of the month club, but if you look you will see my belt is askew and rising higher in the middle so it looks like my chest is down to my waist. Stupid lady. I'm still self conscious about that. But whatever. Here is the video, or at least my part in it (another lady was interviewed first, so you'll see some shots of her mixed in too).

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Also last night I got to go to my first Houston Rockets basketball game! A really amazing organization called LifeGift held a contest on their Facebook and Twitter pages asking when national donate life month was. I was the first to reply that it was April, so I got two tickets. It was FREEEEEZING cold outside, and security made my husband throw away his teeny tiny pocket knife that is attached to his keys (it was the size of small nail clippers) but it was definitely still worth it. We got to sit in the press box, which was really nice. Comfy seats, a nice atmosphere, and not as crowded as regular seating. There was a Chinese couple sitting next to us who kept screaming in Mandarin the entire time, but I didn't mind it too much. They seemed like they were having a great time, too. We ended up winning, so that was a bonus.

Have you registered to be an organ donor yet? If not, you should. My best friend's husband had a life saving heart transplant in 2012, so I am extremely grateful for everyone who says YES to donate for life. What are you waiting for? GO REGISTER!!