Starling Travel

August 31, 2006

Half.com in Oregon

Filed under: Oregon,Places To Visit,Travel — Laura Moncur @ 6:15 pm

Next time you’re driving through Oregon, take a detour to visit Half.com, America’s first .com city. It was bought by a company, Half.com, during the first Dot Boom. Years later, how has it fared?

William tried contacting the town to see how they fared in this early Dot Boom deal:

Without an operative [town website] in place, I hit the phones, calling local businesses like the Clear Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast, the Birch Leaf Guest House, the Hillside Bed & Breakfast and the Halfway Supper Club: no answer anywhere. I assumed Angela’s Beauty Salon might be open for business on a summer afternoon — yet here, too: no answer. I left a message at Ronda Dillman Insurance Agency. Finally, I tried The Shop (”Need your car checked out? At The Shop, we don’t just work on cars, we fix them.”). A fellow named Gordon R. Kaesemeyer answered. He told me he was busy , but could give me a few minutes.

I asked him about the town’s decision to rename itself Half.com, which, Kaesemeyer told me, turned out to be a rather short-term arrangement. “We just passed a proclamation that lasted for one year.” I asked him whether the town actually got the money and computers promised by Half.com: “Yeah, we got our money and some computers,” he assured me. ” ‘Course that just caused some problems like money always does.” Encouraged by his answers, I thanked him for his time and asked him to put me in touch with Halfway’s mayor.

“That would be me,” he replied.

When you visit Oregon, you can see the sites in Portland and enjoy the skiing near Eugene, but finding a town that survived the Dot Bomb after being bought out by an Internet company is something that’s hard to find. Give Half.com a visit and enjoy the small town charm.

Via: William Drenttel discovers what happened to the small town in Oregon that renamed itself “Half.com” (kottke.org)

August 30, 2006

Tokyo – Hectic

Filed under: Travel,Video — Laura Moncur @ 6:16 pm

Fosta posted a video on YouTube that is a time-lapse look at Tokyo. Fosta placed several cameras around the city and used the photos to create this video. If you have ever visited Tokyo, this video is a fun trip down memory lane. If you haven’t, it will make you want to hop a plane to see the active and exciting city.

Via: Boing Boing: Video: “Tokyo hectic”

August 29, 2006

Traveling Zen from Boing Boing

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 6:17 pm

Boing Boing has a list of off-the wall links to sites where you might find a little bit of something different when you travel.

When you’re choosing your travel destination, try including a unique site to your tourist activities. It will be the one that you remember for years to come.

August 28, 2006

Las Vegas, Nevada: Vosges Haute Chocolates

Filed under: Food,Nevada,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 6:18 pm

Vosges Haute Chocolates

While we were in Las Vegas, we stopped at the Vosges Haute Chocolates shop at The Forum Shopes in Caesar’s Palace. Stacey and Dan bought a large box and Mike bought a small box of the expensive treats.

Sadly they were nothing more enjoyable than the chocolates we can get at home at Xocolate for half the price. Additionally, there are some irritating things about their service that make me want to avoid the store from now on.

  • The store has a pretentious feel. I didn’t really feel “rich” enough to buy the chocolates there, even though I have plenty of money. I don’t need a snooty atmosphere to keep my chocolate fresh.

  • The girls behind the counter weighed no more than 110 pounds. I have a hard time believing the clerk when she says she eats the chocolate all the time and she is rail thin. I can’t believe her when she says a particular truffle is good because it looks like she has never eaten chocolate in her life.

  • They write up a directory for you so you can tell the different truffles apart. That’s great, but if your chocolates drop off of the back of the car and get all jumbled up, that directory is useless. A pre-printed guide with pictures describing each truffle would be MUCH better.

In the end, I liked the chocolates, but they weren’t better than ones I had eaten at half the price. I detested the snooty atmosphere and I’ll probably never go there again.


Where: Google Map
Vosges Haute Chocolates
Forum Shops at Caesars
3500 Las Vegas Blvd South Suite R04
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Ring: 702.836.9866
Hours: Sun-Thurs. 10-11, Fri-Sat. 10-midnight

August 25, 2006

Las Vegas, Nevada: Plan Your Wedding a Few Hours In Advance

Filed under: Nevada,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 6:19 pm

Photo via About.comLas Vegas has been called the wedding capital of the United States because they had 24 hour state offices open to provide wedding licenses. Now, if you want to get married after midnight, you’ll have to get your license before they close.

It seems the people of Las Vegas are torn with the decision.

“All the stars come out at night,” Richards said. “People that are high profile, when they come down to Las Vegas to get married, they don’t want to come in the middle of the day when people are around. They like the privacy.”

County officials, who issued 122,259 licenses last year, said the new schedule won’t prevent holy matrimony after midnight, but will just force a little planning to obtain a license in advance.

This change in hours will save the state $200,000 a year in costs to pay employees to man the offices during the late hours, but only affects 4% of the marriages that happen in Las Vegas.

Will the city stay the marriage capital of the the country? Probably. A couple of unmanned hours at the office isn’t going to affect their numbers all that much and nothing can beat the ease to get a license there.

August 24, 2006

I’m Leaving L.A. Tomorrow and I’ll Pick You Up In New Mexico On Tuesday…

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 6:22 pm

The camera took a picture every few minutes on a drive from Los Angeles to New York. It’s the perfect road trip and you get to come along for the drive.

A couple of years I saw this video. I vividly remember recognizing the trek through the red mountains after the night in Vegas on this video. The rest of the route is on roads that I haven’t driven yet.

I don’t believe that the person on YouTube (vw86gti) is the one who did the filming. I remember this video being posted years ago on a website by the actual people who did the filming, but I can’t find the website again. Will the true director of this video please stand up?

Via: World Hum | Travel | Video: A Cross-Country Road Trip Captured in Time Lapse

and

STANDING ROOM ONLY

August 23, 2006

Begging The Question

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

Photo via Don George at Lonely PlanetI’ll never forget my first trip to San Francisco. As Cory and Kathleen escorted us through the Haight, a multi-pierced teen asked us for money. I shook my head at him, feeling guilty, but also resentful. I knew the cost of one of those piercings was at least 70 bucks. “If he was so hungry, he should sell his nose ring,” I thought.

Kathleen was more pragmatic. “You look like a tourist. They always bug the tourists for money. I gave them money once when we first moved here and they bugged me every day. Just don’t give them money.”

I’m not alone in the dual feeling of guilt and resentment. Being asked for money when you’re vacationing is not only an invasion of your privacy, but a stark reminder that you are “pleasure-seeking” while others are starving. Rolf Pots has more advice for dealing with begging:

Rolf leaves us with this advice:

  • Spend some time in the community before you give to beggars

  • Practice skepticism

  • Don’t be afraid to say no

  • You’re not saving the day

  • Be courteous

He’s right about the proper methods of giving aid. Now, if I could only figure out a way of not feeling guilty about having a fun vacation while others are suffering, it would all be wonderful for me.

Via: World Hum | Travel | Potts Deals With Beggars

August 22, 2006

A Quiet Moment On A Busy Vacation

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

My sister wanted to go to Las Vegas for her birthday. We are always up for a trip to Vegas, so we readily agreed. It turned out to be a very busy trip, and at one point at The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, I realized I was tired. I sat by the fountain and took it all in.

This is what I saw:

Click here to see the video

Next time your vacation is starting to take over and the activities become more tiring than enjoyable, let yourself just sit. Relax and enjoy the surroundings. You don’t need to be doing something every minute of every vacation. Sometimes the best times are the times when you think you’re doing nothing.

Via: Pick Me! » Zen Moment at Caesar’s Palace

August 21, 2006

Ash Buckles Explores Utah

Filed under: Off-roading,Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Ash Buckles likes riding his ATV and is always looking for a good trail. He shares a couple with us here:

He describes in detail how to get to each trail and even provides pictures of the beauty you will see when you’re there. This is his picture from Five Mile Pass.

Five Mile Pass by Ash Buckles

If you are looking for someplace to take your ATVs four-wheelin’, then check Ash’s website before you plan. He keeps a running log of his favorite ATV trails here:

August 18, 2006

The Ruins of Southern California

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

Los Angeles is a bustling metropolitan area, one of the biggest in North America, yet there are strange, forgotten pockets that have been abandoned. For a different travel experience, that’s free unless you get caught trespassing, try visiting the ruins of southern California.

The one that looks the most interesting to me is the former site of the Los Angeles Zoo. Empty cages and imitation caves. I can’t wait until the next time we go to California to see these unique sites.

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