Starling Travel

June 23, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Laura Ingalls Wilder House in Mansfield, Missouri

Filed under: Missouri,Museums,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Laura IngallsMike and I left Memphis and started on the long journey back to Utah. I was driving and in a bit of a road trance when Mike asked,

“Do you want to see the Laura Ingalls House?”

“What? Yes! Of course I would!”

He replied, “We just missed the turn off for it.”

It was all I could do to not slam on the brakes and attempt a u-turn on the interstate.

“It can’t be the Little House on the Prairie. That wasn’t in Missouri, was it? I thought they lived in South Dakota.”

Mike pulled out his iPad, doing research while I looked for another exit.

“It was the house she WROTE the books in. Take the next turn-off.” (Continue Reading…)

August 13, 2009

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer

Filed under: Hiking,Montana,Museums,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

While going through my grandmother’s collection of knitting and crochet books, I found this old photograph of Lower Falls in Yellowstone.

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The information on the back made us very excited.

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It is a hand painted photograph by J. E. Haynes, son of Frank Jay Haynes, the first official Yellowstone photographer. F. Jay Haynes actually named many of the Yellowstone sites and was instrumental in documenting Yellowstone. J. E. Haynes, followed in his footsteps.

My grandmother’s photograph is pretty faded, so I tried to spruce it up a bit.

J. E. Haynes: Yellowstone Photographer by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Here is what the sight looks like today.

Lower Falls 2009 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Lower Falls is located in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

October 8, 2007

Real Live Preacher Visits Chicago… Again

Filed under: Illinois,Museums,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 8:08 am

Real Live Preacher gives you a glimpse of his whirlwind tour of Chicago:

Red Board Leaning Against The Wall by Real Live PreacherHe visited the Art Institute of Chicago and saw this exhibit. I love what he had to say:

I know this probably means I’m not very sophisticated, but I’m always a little amused by some of the modern art. This piece had no title that I could see. I might suggest “Red Board Leaning Against The Wall.” Or maybe someone was installing doors and left one out by mistake.

So much of art seems like pretension to me. This red board is a perfect example. Is it art? Is it abandoned building material? We don’t know.

It reminds me of this video:

“Waiting for the Stranger to Sit” makes me skeptical of art, but I LOVE art museums nonetheless.

Looks like you had fun, RLP! I am wishing I could visit Chicago right now!

August 15, 2007

Seattle, WA: Science Fiction Museum

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

remulak by brainware3000 from Flickr

Why has it taken me so long to find out about the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame? I have yet to visit, but the next trip to the northwest is taking me straight to it! Here are some photos on Flickr:

Science Fiction Museum by kelly_pnwThis photo is my favorite. Kelly_pwn had to stitch together two photos to get it all in one picture, so it looks wonderful!

The Science Fiction Museum is in the legendary Frank Gehry building right next to the Space Needle. The Space Needle was yet another symbol of the future that didn’t come, how apt.

My whole life, I looked forward to the future that science fiction promised me. Only now am I surprised at what has come and what hasn’t. Sure, I don’t have a flying car, but I CAN eat freeze dried food all day if I want. I think I’ll stop dreaming for a future that may never come and just be happy to reminisce about a future that is somehow in my past.


The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
325 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
Google Map

Summer Hours:
Open Daily 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m

August 7, 2007

Bozeman, MT: The Museum of the Rockies

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

We went to the Museum of the Rockies to see an exhibit that they have there until September:

The Museum of the Rockies: King Tut Exhibit

Here is their description of the exhibit:

“Ten years in the making from the artisans of the Pharaonic Village in Egypt, the Field Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this dazzling collection of 126 reproductions faithfully preserves Tutankhamun’s treasures. Included in the exhibit are Tutankhamun’s magnificent state chariot, golden shrines, beds, thrones, jewelry, his spectacular funerary mask, mummy case, and royal mummy. There are also associated artifacts from the period surrounding Tutankhamun’s reign that reconstruct both the historic discovery of the tomb by Howard Carter and the life and times of Egypt’s celebrated boy king.”

If you have seen the King Tutankhamun Museum at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, you will be underwhelmed by the reproductions at The Museum of the Rockies. In fact, if you have seen the gift shop at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, you will be underwhelmed by this exhibit.

The entire cost of entry, however, was made up by the dinosaur exhibit. I have never been to a better dinosaur museum. I was amazed at the collection that they had. Here is me next to a T-Rex skull.

T-Rex Skull at The Museum of the Rockies

My favorite part of the museum was the collection of Triceratops skulls lined up according to age. Baby Triceratop skulls right up to old age and everything in-between. Each skull was labeled with the exact location in Montana where it was found.

They also had paleontologists there, working on fossils and explaining them to questioning children. I felt like a peeping tom, looking in on their work in the office, but it didn’t stop me from looking. It was totally awesome!

With the horrible King Tut reproductions forgotten, we left the museum happy and wishing we could stay and see more.


Museum of the Rockies
600 W Kagy Blvd
Bozeman, MT 59717
Phone: (406) 994-2251

Google Map

March 17, 2006

Austin, Texas: Harry Ransom Center

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

Austin seems to be burgeoning with museums. When I compare it to my hometown, I feel a little ashamed of the plethora of pioneer museums when Austin has so much art and WORLD history at their disposal.

The Harry Ransom Center has a wide variety of exhibits to enjoy while you are there and if you are stuck at home or work right now, you can take a virtual vacation with their online exhibits.

Take a break from your day and enjoy the art and history from the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas.

Where: 21st and Guadalupe, Austin, Texas 78713 Google Map Telephone: 512-471-8944

March 15, 2006

Austin, Texas: The O. Henry Museum

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

O. Henry Museum in Austin, TexasIn a small Queen Anne home in Texas, William Sidney Porter rested from his wide array of jobs. He would later be known as O. Henry, penning one of the most famous American Christmas stories, “The Gift of the Magi.”

Imprisoned on embezzlement charges, he wrote some of his stories in the Ohio State Penitentiary. Instead of moving the prison and turning it into a museum, they have made a museum of the modest home he lived in while he worked odd jobs in Austin.

O. Henry (William Sidney Porter)The museum is a quick glimpse into Porter’s life in Austin, Texas.

“Porter lived in this 1886 Queen Anne-style cottage from 1893 to 1895. His home has since been restored and now contains artifacts and memorabilia from Porter’s life in Austin. The O. Henry Museum is a National Register Property and a National Literary Landmark of the City of Austin.”

This museum is a chance to see where Porter lived while he gathered the experience he needed to write some of the masterpieces of the American short story.

Where: 409 East Fifth Street Austin, Texas 78701 Google Map Phone: (512)472-1903

March 14, 2006

Austin, Texas: Austin Museum of Art

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

Austin has a strong connection with art, whether its music, film or the visual arts. There are two museums of art in Austin, each housing different exhibits.

I find that every art museum has its own unique treasures to show me. A small museum in Boise is very different from the larger museums in San Francisco, but each one has its own personality and beauty.

Where – Two Locations:

AMOA-Downtown – 823 Congress Avenue at 9th Street Austin, Texas Google Map Phone: 512-495-9224

AMOA-Laguna Gloria – 3809 West 35th Street (west of Mopac) Austin, Texas Google Map Phone: 512-458-8191

March 8, 2006

Atlanta, Georgia: Georgia Aquarium

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

Penguins at the Georgia AquariumThe Georgia Aquarium opened its doors last November and it has already welcomed its one millionth visitor.

The microcosm environments that they have set up are already acting like they should:

“I’m very pleased with the natural behavior I’m seeing,” Executive Director Jeff Swanagan said of the aquarium’s live-in residents. He said shrimp in the Tropical Diver exhibit have set up “cleaning stations,” and that fish “line up like they’re at a car wash” to get cleaned, just like they do in the wild.

I love going to an aquarium because I’m from a land-locked state that has no ocean nearby to enjoy. I find it odd that the best aquariums are located in areas that line the oceans. Local residents can just take an inexpensive snorkel and see fish in their local waterways, whereas, there is nothing like that in the states that are trapped by land.

If the numbers at the Georgia Aquarium are typical, it looks like there may be support for aquariums in other states. I hope more of them take notice of the runaway success that Georgia is having and fund aquariums elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the Georgia Aquarium hasn’t set up any view cams or online exhibits for those of us trapped far from Atlanta, but their website shows you what can be expected on a trip.

Take a few moments and explore their website. Suddenly, the former home of the Olympics has another feather in its hat.

Here is a review of the aquarium from a local:

Via: World Hum | Travel | Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium Reaches 1 Million Visitors Milestone

Where: Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker St, Atlanta, GA 30313 Google Map Phone: (404) 581-4000

March 6, 2006

The Impressionist Camera

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

There is no question that the camera and photography changed the art world. Suddenly anyone with a camera could achieve what only the best portrait painters of the world were able to do before. If painting was an inefficient method of capturing reality, what is painting for?

Impressionism, Surrealism, Dada, and Cubism have all been blamed on Photography, but what about photography that tries to look like an impressionist painting?

This exhibit’s only stop in the United States is in Saint Louis, home of the 1904 World’s Fair, which is the last time these photos were exhibited in the United States. One hundred years before I would be able to easily achieve these effects using Adobe Photoshop, these artists were layering elements from different photos, creating different color schemes and altering their photos in such a way as to create beautiful art.

There is no online tour for this exhibit, but you can purchase the book that is meant to accompany this exhibit:

If you have already planned a trip to Saint Louis or live nearby, make sure you take the time to see this exhibit.

Via: Happy News – Exhibit shows pictorial photography – by Cheryl Wittenauer with Associated Press

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