Starling Travel

September 29, 2006

San Antonio, Texas: The Menger Hotel

Filed under: Lodging,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 4:47 pm

Water so hot it will scald you.They say that the Menger Hotel is haunted. If it is, the ghost has inhabited the fixtures of the hotel itself. It’s the hotel that wants to kill you. The step in your room that leads to the toilet tries to trip you in the middle of the night. The outlets in your room aren’t grounded (except that one by the bed). The water that comes out of the faucet is so hot it could scald you. The ever oscillating shower head alternately freezes you and burns you.

Yet, I LOVED The Menger Hotel and would love to stay there again all because of three little words: Location, Location, Location.

The Menger Hotel sits right between The Alamo and the mall. Walk a little further and you’re on the Riverwalk. If they could somehow transport the five missions that are scattered throughout the town near The Menger, I wouldn’t have needed a rental car.

Add to all of this the history and beauty of such an old building, and you have the perfect hotel, despite any burns you may have incurred during your stay.

As far as the ghosts are concerned, I don’t think there are any. We were there for a WWII Reunion with hundreds of people. At the Air Force Base, the announcer asked if anyone in the room had seen a ghost and not one of those hundreds of people raised their hands. Maybe they didn’t count the entity in my room trying to kill me…


Where: The Menger Hotel
204 Alamo Plaza San Antonio, TX 78205 – Google Map
Tel: (210) 223-4361
Fax: (210) 228-0022
Email: almapuente@1859historichotels.com

September 28, 2006

Wimberley, Texas: Destination – The Andrew Sisters Revue

Filed under: Places To Visit,Texas,Video — Laura Moncur @ 4:51 pm

We went to San Antonio for a World War II Reunion of the 303rd Bomb Group. The highlight of the evening for the final banquet was an Andrew Sisters Revue performed by Destination. I went to the banquet expecting a typical faire of WWII era music sung poorly by a local band. They were a local band from Wimberley, Texas, but they sang beautifully. See for yourself here:

Click here to see the video

Destination performs regularly with a full orchestra in Wimberley, but they are also available if you have an event in Austin, San Marcos, Mustang Island or San Antonio. They’ll do right by you. Can’t say they’ll do the same for their “fellas” overseas…


Where: Destination:

MySpace Page – Destination Trio

She also performs with Gypsy Moon:

MySpace Page – Gypsy Moon Music

For Booking Information: Phone: 512-396-7171

September 27, 2006

San Antonio, Texas: Bill Miller BBQ

Filed under: Food,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 4:52 pm

Bill Miller BBQ

Scattered across San Antonio, are the humble Bill Miller BBQ restaurants. They are a casual oasis of BBQ that beckons to me at every few street corners. We finally stopped at Bill Miller to see if it was all that Texas BBQ was supposed to be.

Order your meat with the sauce on the side.

I was told long ago that the hallmark of good Texas BBQ is that they cook the meat without sauce and let you add the sauce to your liking. That’s exactly how they did it at Bill Miller. I had a piece of brisket and some chicken. Both were tender and moist before we used any of the sauce on it.

For me, it's all about the sides.

For me, though, it’s all about the sides. I can’t eat too much meat, but I can enjoy good bread, potato salad and coleslaw all day long. Fortunately, Bill Miller BBQ had enough of those as well.

The service was efficient and friendly.Bill Miller has a bakery where fresh pies are baked every day and brought to the stores. We had a choice of at least three different pies. When there is that much variety, it’s hard to choose just one. We had two and stole bites from one another’s.

After I had loaded up on food, the service was efficient and friendly. They served us up what we wanted and checked us out quickly so we could eat it. I really liked that I could just go through the line, get my food quickly and immediately go to my table to eat. It smelled so good, I don’t think I could have waited for traditional sit-down service. Luckily, they served cafeteria-style, so I didn’t have to wait any longer than it took me to get through the line.

I forgot to take a picture of my food until it was all gone. Yum!In fact, I couldn’t wait. I forgot to take a picture of my food until it was all gone.

Want to know the best part? It was cheap. For both Mike and I to eat, it was around ten bucks. We had more food than the two of us could eat plus dessert and we only spent around ten dollars. They have locations in San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. If you find yourself in Texas, make sure you try out Bill Miller’s BBQ. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be surprised how much food you get for your buck.


Where: Bill Miller BBQ
P.O. Box 839925
San Antonio, Texas 78283-3925
Phone: (210) 225-4461
Fax: (210) 302-1533
E-mail: hq@billmillerbbq.com

Restaurants all over San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi:

San Antonio: Google Map

Austin: Google Map

Corpus Christi: Google Map

September 26, 2006

Postcard of the Week: San Antonio

Filed under: Places To Visit,Postcards,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 4:53 pm

Postcard of the Week: San Antonio

Postcard of the Week: San Antonio

This postcard was really cool because it has a big hole in the middle of it. I’m surprised it got to me in one piece. I would have thought the post office machinery would have eaten it up, but it looks like it’s in pristine condition.

Cool Postcard

Thanks for another postcard, Henry!


Please send me a postcard from your travels or your hometown. If you do and it’s interesting, I will publish your postcard on Starling Travel.

Send your postcards to:

Starling Travel
Attention: Laura Moncur
P.O. Box 522032
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152

It’s like sending a postcard to the whole world when you go on vacation. It’s like bragging about your hometown to the everyone on the planet.

September 25, 2006

San Antonio, Texas: Enjoy the Humid Heat

Filed under: Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 6:06 pm

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I spent a week in San Antonio, Texas. While Salt Lake City had already moved on to Autumn, coming off the plane into Texas felt like August all over again. Because I’m usually cold all the time, the warm and humid heat felt like a welcoming blanket.

This week, we are going to tell you all about our trip: where we stayed, the fun things we did and the fun things that we could have done that we missed out on. Even the unique and interesting places that people don’t normally visit.

Stay tuned for a week in San Antonio!

Air Travel Restrictions Lessened

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 6:05 pm

The TSA has lifted some of the restrictions that they had on beverages and toiletries. See the details here:

I knew things would relax after awhile. I just didn’t know it would be so soon.

September 22, 2006

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players In San Francisco

Filed under: California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 6:07 pm

Tyreseus moved to San Francisco this year and he is enjoying the diversity it has to offer. Here is his review of a show he saw in his new hometown. Something that he would have never been able to see if he had stayed in Utah.

He saw the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. They find slides at estate sales, garage sales and various other places and then write songs about them. When they perform, they show the slides while they sing with charming and hilarious results.

They are touring the United States right now, so you may be able to see them in your hometown:

If they are not performing near you, you can actually see them right now through the power of YouTube.

More videos after the break…

September 21, 2006

Grand Rapids, Michigan: The New Gaslight Village

Filed under: Michigan,Places To Visit,Tourist Attractions,Video — Laura Moncur @ 6:10 pm

Josh Leo lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Recently, they have renovated an area called Gaslight Village. Here is his video about the rennovation.

Click here to see the video

I love the different answers from each person he interviewed about the sculpture. Josh didn’t seem to like the way Gaslight Village turned out, but his video has made me want to visit his town more than ever.

September 20, 2006

Postcard of the Week: The Salt Lake City LDS Temple

Filed under: Places To Visit,Postcards,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 6:11 pm

Salt Lake City LDS Temple

Since no one was sending me any postcards, I asked my friends to send me postcards. The first one to send one in was Henry J. Tillman, the joker. He sent me a postcard from Salt Lake City!

Salt Lake City LDS Temple

Interestingly enough, he chose a postcard that mispelled the word, “Mormon.” The text on the postcard says:

“SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: With multiple spires soaring heavenward, the Morman Temple is truly a magnificent building. You may admire it only from the outside unless you are an LDS member, then you are permitted in.”

Photo by Blake G. Smith

The postcard is correct. Only LDS members are allowed inside the temple, but tourists are allowed on the grounds and in the auxilliary buildings on the temple grounds. The biggest question most tourists ask is, “What do they do in there?” Sadly, it’s much more boring than you would imagine:

Thanks for being the first to send me a postcard, Henry!


Please send me a postcard from your travels or your hometown. If you do and it’s interesting, I will publish your postcard on Starling Travel.

Send your postcards to:

Starling Travel
Attention: Laura Moncur
P.O. Box 522032
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152

It’s like sending a postcard to the whole world when you go on vacation. It’s like bragging about your hometown to the everyone on the planet.

September 5, 2006

Two Week Hiatus

Filed under: Site News — Laura Moncur @ 6:13 pm

Starling Travel will be on a two week hiatus. If you are feeling trapped at work and want to read about interesting get-a-ways, revisit some of our favorite past entries:

See you in two weeks with new stories about traveling and relaxation.

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