Starling Travel

August 14, 2015

Go To A Place You Have Never Been Before

I really love this motivational poster I saw on Facebook a while back:

Go to a place you have never been before from Starling Travel

It reads:

Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before.

This is an argument that I have every year with Mike. He always wants to go to Yellowstone, which we have been to almost every year for a decade. I want to try new national parks, like Yosemite. This year, we didn’t go on a big trip. Our biggest trip was to Lagoon Amusement Park up north. It was a really fun vacation and we got to see our friends and family while we were there, so no regrets.

Huge snow drifts in Yellowstone from Starling TravelStill, the argument rages on. Yellowstone or Yosemite. Mike argues that Yellowstone is different EVERY time we go there. I can hardly describe the difference of Mammoth Hot Springs now versus when we saw it that first time together. I wish I had photos of Orange Spring Mound from that first trip because it has LITERALLY taken over the road and they have had to make a new road around its massive orangeness. Yellowstone is truly different every time we’ve visited from the year with the ten foot snow drifts to the year with the bear with a porcupine quill in its paw. We have never had a repeat experience.

El Capitan in Yosemite from Starling TravelBut I have never seen Yosemite. I would feel like an idiot if I never got to see the mountains and trees that so inspired John Muir in his writing and activism. I would regret never seeing El Capitan in person when it was the focus on so many of Ansel Adams’ photographs. How can I keep visiting Yellowstone over and over when Yosemite is there, waiting for me to visit?

Then again, Ansel Adams spent his whole life visiting Yosemite over and over. Georgia O’Keefe loved Taos so much she moved down there. Additionally, every time I visit a place, it looks different to me because I AM DIFFERENT. What was boring to me as a child is gorgeous to me as an adult. What was interesting to me before may be gone, but has been replaced with something just as strange and captivating. When our national parks are different every time we visit them, it doesn’t matter which one we visit as long as we get out.

If I were to change that poster on the top, I would make it MUCH more simple. Instead of it saying, “Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before,” it was only say, “GO.”

March 5, 2015

Legoland RVs

When we went to Legoland last year, I snapped some shots of the RVs that they had built in their Legoland towns.

Legoland RVs from Starling Travel

Legoland RVs from Starling Travel

Legoland RVs from Starling Travel

Legoland RVs from Starling Travel

LEGO Friends 3184 Adventure Camper at Amazon.comIf you would like to make some campers like this with Legos, they have made some sets:

We might not be able to own the RV of our dreams, but we can build one from Legos!

February 6, 2014

Overcrowded Disneyland 2010

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 1:16 pm

Right after Christmas in 2010, we took a trip to Disneyland with my sister and her husband.

It was unpleasant.

There were so many people that they LITERALLY stopped letting anyone in. I snapped this photo in front of New Orleans Square, just trying to get past the Haunted Mansion. Click to see it full-sized.

Overcrowded Disneyland 2010 from Starling Travel

We had reservations at the Blue Bayou for an early dinner, but Dan had to work earlier in the day, so he didn’t try to come in until about 3pm, but they wouldn’t let him in. It took us multiple calls to the restaurant just to get him into the park so we could have our dinner.

At the same time, we couldn’t get on any rides. Mike and I rode the Pooh Bear ride (twice) and that was all we did that day. EVERYTHING was so packed that we could barely walk through the park without a crush of the crowd all around us.

Whatever that number is that makes them stop letting people into the park, it’s WAY too high. I have been to Disneyland since, but I will never again go right after Christmas. It was a miserable experience and a WASTE of money.

February 27, 2013

Old Color Footage of Disneyland in 1956 Courtesy of Jeff Altman

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

This old Home Movie of DisneyLand in 1956 from Jeff Altman really made me happy to see.

He said:

Shot by my grandfather on his Bell & Howell Filmo using 16mm Kodachrome film stock. This footage was taken a year after the California theme park opened.

It was quite a surprise going through this and seeing my grandmother meeting Walt Disney himself! (Continue Reading…)

October 9, 2012

A Look At Disneyland’s Backstage in 1961

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 5:25 am

Retronaut posted an awesome photo of Disneyland’s backstage cafeteria from 1961.

Disneyland Backstage Cafeteria 1961

I love seeing Snow White with a lunch tray. Right behind her is a spaceman and to the right is a cowboy. It’s all that I love about Disneyland all wrapped up in one photo!

July 5, 2012

Mobiltec Takes A Side Trip

Filed under: California,Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Mobiltec visited Pleasant Valley Campground in California. His favorite campground, Horton Creek, was closed, so he had to camp in Pleasant Valley. He filmed a quiet little video of it. He showed the river, his campground and then went gold prospecting.

He talks about people from Hawaii coming to Taft, California to vacation:

Some of the people who came up here flew in from Florida and some of them even flew in from Hawaii, and it cracks me up that people who live in Hawaii, when they wanna go on vacation, they come to places like Taft, California to enjoy themselves. Well what are ya gonna do when you leave paradise? Where else can you go? You wanna do somethin’ different, right? It always kinda blows me away when that happens… ’cause I really have never liked this place.

I found that interesting as well. When Mike and I visited Hawaii, all the people there were obsessed with Las Vegas. That tiny glittering bit of neon in the desert was their preferred vacation spot. I guess even paradise gets boring sometimes.

Here is part two of his journey where he investigates old gold mines:

It’s amazing how quickly the earth overtakes what we’ve built upon it. There used to be ore rail tracks, but now there are only a few bare bones sticking out of the ground while wild Mustangs wander.

Here is part three when he goes to Fish Lake Hot Springs and Cave Springs:

For more information:

May 12, 2012

World of Color at Disney’s California Adventure

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

Mike and I have been to Disneyland three times since they started the World of Color show at Disney’s California Adventure. We never quite understood it. Once, we were kicked out of the boardwalk area because the show was going to start. We had the vague inkling that we needed to have tickets to watch it, but had no idea if there was a charge for the tickets. Honestly, I really didn’t want to spend an hour in a huge crowd of people.

So we skipped it. Apparently, we shouldn’t have. If this video is any indication, it’s spectacular.

It appears to be a dramatic amalgam of light, fire and water show, but those words don’t entirely describe it. If Las Vegas took the Bellagio fountains, added ever-changing colors and perfect musical choreography, they might get a close approximation of what the Imagineers at Disney have achieved.

For all my questions, the Disneyland Website had answers:

  • There is NO charge to watch Disney World of Color, but you do need a ticket. They are distributed on a first come, first served basis.
  • You get the FastPass Disney World of Color ticket at the FastPass machines near the Grizzy Run ride. I remember seeing the kiosks there, but I didn’t know how cool it would be to see the show.
  • The show is 25 minutes long and we are meant to stand while watching it, so if you have issues with standing for long periods of time, this might not be the show for you.

Next time we go to Disneyland, I’m going to make sure that we get tickets to see the show. I can’t believe I missed it THREE times in a row!

May 10, 2012

The World According to Charles W. Cushman 1938-1969

I love to travel and see parts of the world that are different than mine, but the photography collection of Charles W. Cushman allows me to travel not only all around the world, but through the past as well.

Charles Weever Cushman, amateur photographer and Indiana University alumnus, bequeathed approximately 14,500 Kodachrome color slides to his alma mater. The photographs in this collection bridge a thirty-two year span from 1938 to 1969, during which time he extensively documented the United States as well as other countries.

It was so lovely to look at all the old photographs! Here are some of my favorites. (Continue Reading…)

March 31, 2012

Camping Furniture at the Beach

Filed under: California,Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 8:28 am

Mike and I spent the day at Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport, California last week and it was wonderful. The sun was bright, the pelicans were diving for fish and the dolphins were jumping out of the water to give us a show.

We brought our camping chairs and folding table and it was the first time I had ever used my camping furniture at the beach. I probably wouldn’t have even thought of it, but we had brought the tent and furniture to camp at San Elijo. The cold air blowing over the ocean cancelled our camping plans, but having the furniture in the car made our trip to the beach idyllic.

It reminds me that our equipment shouldn’t be so compartmentalized in my mind. They aren’t just camping chairs, they are also beach chairs. It isn’t just the lightweight table I set up in our tent, it’s a beach table, holding the sea shells that Mike found along the shore.

Next time you think you need something for a day trip, think about your camping gear. Could you use it for this trip? You might be surprised at how much money you save.

February 3, 2010

PostSecret: Meeting Mickey at Disneyland

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 9:43 am

This postcard from PostSecret made me so happy.

Here is the front of the card:

PostSecret: Mickey

It reads:

Your pal, Mickey Mouse
Love, Minnie Mouse XOXO

Here is the back of the card:

PostSecret: Mickey

It reads:

The best part of my job is seeing your child’s face as they meet their “best friend.” Don’t ruin it by rushing them for a pic. Hearing them talk is the best part!

I love knowing that the people who play the characters at Disneyland actually CARE about the kids. I had seen an inkling of it, watching them sign the autograph books for the children, but knowing that my thoughts are true makes me want to visit The Happiest Place on Earth again.

How long until I can go to Disneyland again?


PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

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