Starling Travel

June 12, 2007

Comfort Inn SWAG

Filed under: Hotel SWAG — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

There is a lovely Comfort Inn in Cardiff By The Sea that is near our friends’ houses and is so pleasant to stay in. I have such good feelings about that hotel, so when I see the SWAG that I collected from our stays there, it makes me happy. Here is some older Comfort Inn SWAG.

Comfort Inn SWAG Old from Flickr

This SWAG can’t be more than a couple of years old because I did a purge of my SWAG pile right after Katrina hit. This is how the Comfort Inn SWAG looked not too long ago. Of course, I absolutely LOVE the new SWAG! The design of the bottles makes it REALLY easy to get the shampoo, conditioner or lotion out. I love the design so much, I re-used the bottles for other travel items. You can read how I did it here: Travel Size Your Way.

Comfort Inn SWAG 2007 from Flickr

This is the SWAG from the Airport Comfort Inn in Boise, Idaho photographed in the hotel. I opened the soap, but there is no design on the bar. Sadly, I don’t have a photo from my beloved Comfort Inn at Cardiff By The Sea, but next time we stay there, I’ll be sure to get a picture.

June 11, 2007

Travelodge SWAG

Filed under: Hotel SWAG — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

We recently stayed in a Travelodge Teddy Bear room in La Grande, Oregon. Here is the SWAG:

Travelodge SWAG 2007 from Flickr

I opened the bar of soap so you could see the cute bear paw on the bar. The shampoo smells like honey. That’s what happens when they let bears run hotels…

June 8, 2007

Various Hotel SWAG

Filed under: Hotel SWAG — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

These are from the pile of hotel SWAG that I have collected over the last couple of years. I photographed them at home, not at the hotel.

Asira SWAG from Flickr

We got these at the Town Lake Raddison Hotel in Austin, Texas while we were at SXSW in March 2007. They are labeled with the brand ASiRA, and if you like them, you can buy more from their website here: ASiRA Body Care

Ramada Inn SWAG from Flickr

Our last stay at Ramada Inn was not pleasant, so I have no good feelings about the SWAG. Isn’t that strange?

Casablanca Soap from Flickr

The only piece of SWAG remaining from The Casablanca Hotel and Casino in Mesquite, Nevada.

Sahara Hotel SWAG from Flickr

I know there was more, but this was all I could find from The Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Howard Johnson SWAG from Flickr

I don’t remember ever staying at a Howard Johnson. COOL SWAG, though.

Fairfield Inn Soap from Flickr

This guy is OLD. I have no recollection of staying at Fairfield Inn, so it must be at least two years old.

Hilton Hotel SWAG from Flickr

I like the design of the Hilton SWAG, but it’s hard to get the stuff out of those bottles. Pretty, but not very useful. These are from the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Excalibur Soap from FlickrThis soap is from the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. I know they gave us more SWAG than just the soap, but all that was left was this.

I enjoyed going through the pile of SWAG. There is a certain joy in bottles and bars of soap that are the wrong size. When I was a child, I used to think that the small soaps and shampoos that my grandpa brought home from his business trips were for me because they were small. While I was looking through the pile, I found some of the items that I had photographed in the hotel. Tune in on Monday for Hotel SWAG for those photographs!

June 7, 2007

Hotel SWAG: Too Much For A Week

Filed under: Hotel SWAG — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Hotel SWAG Pile from Flickr

When you stay at a hotel, they provide you with free little bottles of shampoo and tiny bars of soap. I call them Hotel SWAG (Stuff We All Get). I like to take pictures of the SWAG as they were presented in the hotel, but I had a huge pile of SWAG that I had taken home. You get to see it all for the rest of this week and all of next week.

If you would like to see a preview, you can here:

I have also created a group photo pool on Flickr if you would like to add to the collection:

Tiny bottles of shampoo that aren’t even enough to for one washing of my hair are one of the luxuries of staying in a hotel. Let’s revel in them, shall we?

June 6, 2007

Analysis of Casino Design by Michael Shanks

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

Binion’s on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada

This is an interesting article explaining the design of casinos and covers everything from the placement of high-paying slot machines, to the rumor of pheromones in the air circulating systems.

In the end, he concludes:

Upon learning the multitude of deceitful strategies that casinos use to improve their business, it is nearly impossible not to feel as though one is being almost forced to spend money the moment one sets foot in a casino. Many would argue that casinos have gone too far, and should be regulated more strictly by the government in order to protect the consumer.

Forced to spend money? Mike and I have been going to Las Vegas for 17 years. Neither of us are big gamblers. A trip to Vegas for us is CHEAP because the hotels are excellent and incredibly affordable and the food is inexpensive. I doubt that I’m some strange human who isn’t affected by pheromones. I just know my mathematics well enough to understand that there is no way to really win in the casino, so I don’t even try. I just take advantage of the beautiful atmosphere paid for by the other gamblers.

We are not so malleable as you would like us to believe, Mr. Shanks.

June 5, 2007

New York: Steinhardt Gardens

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

Yellow Magnolia from Flickr

Rocketboom visted the Steinhardt Gardens and gives you a peek at their loveliness here:

Here are some links to pictures of the Steinhardt Gardens:

There are gardens like this all over the United States. They are quiet respites from daily life that you can escape into. Find the garden near you and enjoy its loveliness.

Steinhardt Gardens
433 Croton Lake Road, Katonah, New York 10536
Google Map

June 4, 2007

Utah: Desert Rocks Music Festival in Moab

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

Scott took a quick trip to Moab to attend the Desert Rocks Music Festival in Moab. You can read about his adventure here:

It’s a short trip to Moab from the Salt Lake Valley:

We all piled into their Winnebago on Sunday afternoon, and we took the 4 hour drive down to Moab. The event was out in the desert about 13 miles south of Moab at Area BFE. It was a beautiful site, and the weather was great … not too warm. We arrived as one of the concerts had just finished, so we broke out the BBQ and got dinner going. As the sun set (which was incredible) we got our act together and wandered down to watch the Fire Dancers, and then head over to the main stage to see Kan’nal. I was impressed … they rocked!

All around you are small festivals like Desert Rocks. If you have been feeling trapped by work but don’t have any vacation time available, plan a quick weekend trip to a nearby festival. The change of scenery is refreshing and the experiences will help you return on Monday with a clear head. You don’t need to take a two week vacation to an expensive destination to get a boost. You just need to keep your eyes open for opportunities.

June 1, 2007

Dinner at Hopper’s

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

Couldn’t finish it. Probably shouldn’t have started it. We had the Brew Cheese for an appetizer and frankly, it could have been my meal. The steak was too good to pass up, though.

Mike says their Nitro-Stout is a pretty good imitation of Guiness. Looks like a rootbeer float to me. You get a bad surprise if you taste it. That’s not a rootbeer float AT ALL.

Hopper’s Pub and Brewery: 890 East Fort Union Boulevard, Midvale, UT
Google Map
Phone: (801) 566-0424

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