Starling Travel

October 31, 2013

The Haunted Mansion Backstage

Filed under: Amusement Parks,Florida,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

In honor of Halloween, I found these photos of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyworld with the lights on at Haunted Mansion Backstage. Here is their description:

Not exactly backstage, but here’s a cool lights-on peek near the end of the Graveyard scene after a ride stop and evacuation at the WDW Mansion. Every time I ride the Mansion I wish for this to happen to me! Ride stops, eventually lights come on and a CM has to escort us out. Please! 🙂

I’ve never once thought that I might be on the ride and they would have to turn it off, turn on the lights and escort me out. I have sat for five minutes while we have been “unexpectedly delayed by spirits,” but I had no idea that I might have a chance to walk through a fully lit Haunted Mansion to get out.

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Haunted Mansion Backstage

Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, hauntedmansionbackstage: Not exactly backstage,…

October 20, 2013

Goblin Valley Vandalism

Filed under: Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 7:04 am

I am DISGUSTED at this video of boy scout leaders toppling a rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park.

The guy filming the video is David Hall. He’s the one who sings, “wiggle it just a little bit.” He’s also the guy who laughs, saying, “We have modified Goblin Valley!” Here is his Facebook Page:

The man who actually pushed over the rock is Glenn Taylor. Here is his Facebook Page:

He’s the owner of NoBounds IT.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of a goblin:

The unusual stone shapes in Goblin Valley result from the weathering of Entrada Sandstone. They consist of debris eroded from former highlands and redeposited on a former tidal flat of alternating layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale. The rocks show evidence of being near an ancient sea with the ebb and flow of tides, tidal channels that directed currents back to the sea and coastal sand dunes.

Joint or fracture patterns within the Entrada’s sandstone beds created initial zones of weakness. The unweathered joints intersected to form sharp edges and corners with greater surface-area-to-volume ratios than the faces. As a result, the edges weathered more quickly, producing the spherical-shaped ‘goblins’.

The rock formations are estimated to be around 170 million years old.

Those “leaders” destroyed 170 MILLION YEARS of history. The Emery County Attorney, David Blackwell, is deciding whether to press charges against them. I’ve written an email to the David Blackwell:

Dear Mr. Blackwell,

I just saw the video of the Goblin Valley vandalism performed by Glenn Taylor and the two other boy scout participants. Over the years, I’ve seen MANY hooligans like this destroy our national parks and monuments. PLEASE make an example of these guys. If you have any ability to press charges against them, please do so. I am so sick of people like this destroying our public lands.

You can email him as well:

Here is a video of them trying to justify this behavior:

Don’t let these guys get away with this sort of behavior. It’s not their place to decide if a rock is going to topple. It’s NATURE’S place to decide (and the state park employees in charge of that park). When vandalism like this is allowed in our public lands, then what are we saving them for?

Update 12-15-13: Goblin topplers may spur new law against wilderness vandalism | The Salt Lake Tribune

Via: Fox 13 News – Man who toppled rock formation at Goblin Valley says formation was dangerous

October 16, 2013

Camping Advice from Animal Crossing

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 9:18 am

Animal Crossing New Leaf at Amazon.comI have been playing Animal Crossing New Leaf for the last few months and the visitors to my town’s campground are hilarious. It is so enjoyable that every time I see a tent in the campsite, I have a delicious Pavlovian response that makes me run in to see who has come to visit. I love playing this game, but I also love the fact that they have included my favorite pastime in it.

Animal Crossing New Leaf Camping Advice from Starling Travel

I have a bunch of advice from the game and some photos after the break. (Continue Reading…)

October 11, 2013

Snowy Camping in Grand Teton

Filed under: Camping,Idaho,Motorhomes and Campers,Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 7:34 am

The Long Long Honeymoon had a wonderful experience camping in the snow. Here is the video they made about it.

I particularly like seeing how they back into the camping site. It looks so easy and efficient. I’ve seen hundreds of campers trying to back into their sites at campgrounds all over this nation and it is NEVER this easy and efficient. Either clever editing has occurred or they are SO used to camping life that it is down to a science for them.

Most of the time, a big camper like their Airstream would still be pulling in and out, inches at a time, while we hand roll our tent camper into its spot. We can get our little tent trailer into its spot, hooked up and set up before most big trailers can park. It’s a lot more heavy labor to do it than positioning a huge vehicle, but it certainly takes less time.

Last year, we camped in freezing weather that surprised the camping folks in Las Vegas and Arizona. The RV resort in Vegas was SO surprised that they didn’t turn off their water features, which froze solid overnight.

Frozen Water Fountain in Las Vegas 01-16-2013

We were able to stay warm all night with two electric heaters, even though temperatures dipped down to the upper teens. It appears they were camping in the national park, however, so there are no electrical hookups to run electric heaters. They had to stock up on their propane.

The next time you feel trapped at home because it’s too cold to go camping, remember this. You can have an inexpensive and beautiful get-away as long as you’re willing to prepare for the cold.

October 9, 2013

Little, Yellow, Different Describes Whale Watching

Filed under: Cruises — Laura Moncur @ 7:45 am

Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas 03-16-11 by LauraMoncur from FlickrErnie went on an Alaskan cruise with his mother and described his reaction:

Seeing a whale is one of those things where even a jaded guy like myself can go from “eh, I can read about these things on Wikipedia” to a manic “ooh, ooh Mommy, whales!” and even I’m amazed at how there can be so much flurry of wildlife: whales, fish, birds, families from Long Island – are in what were previously these still waters. I look over to Mom and I see her back to me, holding on to the railings of the boat. From this angle, she is perfectly calm as she slowly disappears on all sides by families snapping photos and children darting between everyone’s legs, just like the school of fish trapped in the bubble net, only to be momentarily devoured by the same creatures we are watching ourselves.

I felt the same way when we saw whales in Cabo San Lucas. Here is the best video of what we saw:

It is so humbling to be so near a creature who could accidentally kill me without even noticing. I loved our whale excursion and it was completely worth the extra money we paid.


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