Starling Travel

June 30, 2006

Disneyland with Children

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Colleen Wainwright lives in California and has had many opportunities to go to Disneyland as a child and as an adult, but for the first time, she went to Disneyland WITH children.

The first time I went to Disneyland with children was with my friends’ three kids last year. They had never been to Disneyland, but they had been to other amusement parks. The concept of rides were not scary to them and the waiting in line was expected.

Watching them experience Disneyland for the first time was more fun than my first trip there. I loved watching them discover the hidden secrets that Disneyland has to offer.

There are so many people who are eager to complain about Disneyland because it’s more commercial than they remember it as a child or because certain rides have disappeared never to return. Disneyland is not a museum and guess what? It’s not a shopping mall either.

Through the eyes of a child, Disneyland is another world that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Those who believe otherwise have lost their child’s eyes.

June 29, 2006

Jeremy Zawodny’s First Solo Cross-Country Flight

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Jeremy Zawodny: South of San Jose and Anderson Lake

In order to complete his private pilot certificate, Jeremy Zawodny had to complete a solo cross-country flight. He did recently and included photos and insights here:

He tells us in detail what it’s like to fly alone over the North American continent:

“Then, before I knew it, I was coming up on the higher terrain east of the Salinas Valley. The hills between me and King City weren’t terribly intimidating, but it still makes you think about where you’d land if the engine quit.”

Next time you’re feeling like leaving everything and escaping, remember that a vacation is just a click away here at Starling Travel. We’ll take you away without taking you away.

June 28, 2006

Cheap Camping Tips

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Lake Mead, NV

Part of the fun of camping is buying the equipment to go camping with, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can go camping on the cheap. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help you keep your camping thrifty.

Next time you’re wishing for an escape, try camping. It’s inexpensive and one day camping feels like a week on vacation.

June 27, 2006

The Utah Arts Festival 2006

Filed under: Places To Visit,Utah,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The Utah Arts Festival was SO much fun this year. There were so many local artists that we recognized that it really felt like a hometown arts festival again. Last year, there were fewer booths , but this year there were so many that I wasn’t able to highlight them all on this video.

Click here to see the video

This video is just over three minutes long, but it gives you an idea of the wide range of art that was on display this year. Ironically, I missed the film section of the arts festival. We were hot, exhausted and tired when we realized that there was a whole section of the festival in the library that we missed.

Next year, we’ll see it…


Where: The Utah Arts Festival Official Website

At Library Square Google Map and Festival Map

List of the 2006 Awards Winners

Music: ProtoFunk via Royalty Free Disco Music

June 26, 2006

Fleming Beach – Maui, Hawaii

Filed under: Travel,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Steve and Carol Garfield went to Maui and enjoyed a day at Fleming Beach.

Click here to go to Steve Garfield's Vlog

They took the rental car further north than the maps said existed and found a beach.

“Snorkeling is a big attraction in Hawaii and we found a spot where the boats come and take all the people.”

Strangely, I thought Carol said, “Smuggling is a big attraction in Hawaii.” The video was looking to be a lot more exciting than I expected. Instead, they were talking about watching fish underwater.


Where: Fleming Beach, Maui, Hawaii Google Map

Map courtesy of Google Maps

Directions: Keep going along Honoapiilani Highway. The road goes further than the map indicates. The beach is just past the Ritz Carlton.

June 23, 2006

Grand Haven Beach – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Filed under: Michigan,Places To Visit,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

It was hot in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so Josh Leo took his friends to Grand Haven Beach. If you have been wishing you could escape to the sand and sunshine, watch this video of Josh’s day at the beach.

Click here to go to Josh Leo's Vlog

I love the beautiful scenery Josh took of Grand Haven. Beauty is all around us. You don’t need to take a jet airplane to have a wonderful escape. There is solitude, serenity and peace near you right now. You just need to find it.


Where: Grand Haven Beach 1001 Harbor Avenue Grand Haven MI 49417 Google Map Telephone: (616) 847-1309

Official Grand Haven Website

The Grand Haven – Lake Michigan Webcam

June 22, 2006

Review of Darlington Park, Ontario, Canada

Filed under: Camping,Canada,Places To Visit,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Mike Moon did a video review of the Darlington Park camping site in Ontario Canada. This is a 8:50 minute video that shows you far more than I could describe. If you are trapped at home wishing you could get out into the wild, watch this and enjoy the birds, flowers and wildlife.

Click here to see the video

MOON ECHOES: Tourist in my own town (Darlington Park – Ontario, Canada)

It sounds like you need to be careful which campsite you choose:

“We survived the evening just fine… very noisy. Lots of traffic, trains, whistles, certainly not what I was anticipating when I wanted to get away from it all. I thought that the traffic would ease up, but there was a constant whoosing sound of transports and cars in the distance.”

They got a new campsite further away from the highway to avoid the noise. The campsites look very private and there are lots of trees everywhere. There is a general store nearby where you can pick up supplies.

“I found the prices to be quite reasonable. The firewood was five dollars [Canadian] a pack, which is cheaper than other parks that we’ve been to. And the prices in the store were very reasonable. Good little place. Great guy was in there. He had a good attitude, good sales. Made us feel welcome and at home.”

The park is near Lake Ontario, so you can enjoy the water lapping at the shore.


Where: Darlington Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 1600 Darlington Park Rd. Bowmanville, Ontario L1C 3K3 Telephone: 905-436-2036

Ontario Parks – Darlington

June 21, 2006

Mighty Girl Visits the Blue Lagoon

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The Blue Lagoon by Maggie MasonTraveling to Iceland was never something on my list of things to do, but after hearing Maggie Mason’s description of the blue lagoon in Iceland, it sounds like something I might enjoy.

“The salty water makes it easy to float on your back and feel the cool air on your face. It’s so relaxing that you have the urge to drool.”

The foggy mist rising from the water is enticing to me. After reading later posts, she strongly recommends wearing a bathing cap to prevent the water from damaging your hair.

June 20, 2006

Lake Tahoe, California: June Snow Cabin

Filed under: California,Places To Visit,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Why is Rob wearing socks on his hands? Is the weather at Lake Tahoe so cold in June that he needs their warmth? Watch the video to find out.

Click here to see the video

Traveling to new places comes with all sorts of obstacles that you might not have expected. Being able to improvise is the best option.

Hopper Video: Hopper Video In California (HVIC): June Snow Cabin


Where: Lake Tahoe, California Google Map

TahoeChamber.com – Lake Tahoe Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Centers

June 19, 2006

Sailing the San Francisco Bay

Filed under: California,Places To Visit,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I have seen so many movies that try to portray how invigorating sailing can be. I’ve seen water lapping on the side of the boat. I’ve seen the bouncing water horizon. I’ve seen the ropes and the sails flapping in the wind. None of those videos prepared me for how truly awesome sailing is.

Click here to see the video

There is something so relaxing and inspiring about sailing that I can’t capture on film. I can remember how it was, but I can’t show you. It was a little like setting up a tent while you’re camping. It was a little like trying to hike a difficult trail. It was a little like flying down a mountain on my mountain bike. All of those things wrapped into one wet experience.

Jeff, the man who took Kathleen, Lisa and I sailing knew his boat like it was an old friend. I asked him, “How do you know all this stuff?”

“I was born on the water,” he replied, “My father manufactured shipping boats and we always sailed from when I was little. My whole family sails.”

“Are you from San Francisco?”

“No, I learned to sail right off New Jersey, but the sailing is so different there.”

“How so?”

“There is so much more wind in the San Francisco Bay and more variation in the tides. In New Jersey, we would need a much bigger sail.”

Our small sail took us all around the San Francisco Bay. We passed the city and Alcatraz before we finally docked in Marin.

If you ever get a chance to go sailing, don’t let fear get in your way. Say yes and find out how intensely awe-inspiring sailing can be.


Where: Pier 40, San Francisco, CA Google Map

Marin Dock, Sausalito, CA Google Map

Approximate map of the route:

Approximate map of the route

Music: Overature by Kevin Macleod via Royalty Free Piano Music

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