Starling Travel

December 14, 2009

Christmas in Disneyland

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

Last year, my sister, Stacey, wanted to go to Disneyland for Christmas. After a HORRIBLE flight delayed by a snow storm, we arrived in California the day after Christmas and enjoyed the park all dressed up for the holidays.

Here is a video showing what it’s like:

Considering how much a fan of the Haunted Mansion I am, you might think that I hate what they do to the ride for Christmas, but I loved it. Here of some photos of the Christmas decorations:

What I loved most of all, however, is the parade and fireworks every evening. They had SNOW! I know it sounds crazy that they would be able to produce a gentle snow fall every evening in southern California, but they did. I don’t know what the snow flakes were made of, but they felt just as cool and fluffy as the snow that delayed our flight in Salt Lake City for so long.

When my sister suggested that we fly to Disneyland for Christmas, I thought she was crazy. I just went along for a family trip that we could laugh at and remember. Now, it’s a year later and I’m sad that I will miss Christmas in Disneyland this year.

June 22, 2009

Two-Heel Drive on the Guadalupe River Trail

Filed under: California,Hiking,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 12:32 pm

Guadalupe River Park sign by busybeingborn from FlickrTwo-Heel Drive has a beautiful review of the Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose. You can read it and see all the lovely photos here:

Speaking of flowers, the best excuse for walking the Guadalupe River Trail is to check out the nearby San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. A couple years back it was a monument to the city’s errant previous mayor, who could introduce appalling City Hall structures to stroke his ego but could not prevent the once-glorious rose garden from declining into an embarrassing state of disrepair. The good news is it’s great now — a riot of pure rosy loveliness, even with blooms fading a bit with summer’s approach.

Where: The Guadalupe River Trail San Jose, California

Length: 11 miles open (discontinuous)

Surface: Gravel – Alviso at Gold Street to Highway 880 (6.3 mi.)
Paved – Highway 880 to Grant St/Highway 280 (2.7 mi.) Paved – Chynoweth Avenue to Lake Almaden Park (2.0 mi.)

April 30, 2009

San Diego, CA: Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Filed under: California,Food,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 11:01 am

One taco joint is pretty much the same as any other. There are so many that it’s impossible to eat at them all. If you are in the San Diego area, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have at least one meal at Lucha Libre Taco Shop.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The highlight of the shop is the prestige of the Table of Champions.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Unlike the rest of the tables at the place, this one is beautiful. It is roped off with velvet ropes. You are served your tacos and burritos on REAL plates with REAL silverware. Your glasses are filled with the wine you ordered. While the rest of us normal schelps watch you eat in style, you are treated like a champion.

Here is a feature on KUSI News – San Diego:

You can see all the photos I took that night here:


1810 West Washington St., San Diego, CA 92103
Google Map
Phone: (619) 296-8226

April 7, 2009

Rudy and Cassie Go To Disneyland

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Rudy and Cassie Go To Disneyland by Casey McKinnon from FlickrI love these photos from Rudy and Cassie on their trip to Disneyland. I always wanted to have a picture of myself trying to pull out the sword in the stone, but no one would take one of me. Next time I go, I’ll have to finally get a snapshot of me.

You can see all the photos here:

I love this tweet from Rudy:

It seems like whenever I tell the Internet I’m going to Disneyland, the whole world wants to experience it with me. We all turn into children again when we talk about Disneyland.

December 29, 2008

It’s a Small World Afterall

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

While scanning my mom’s old photographs, I found a few snapshots from the debut of the It’s A Small World attraction that Disney showcased at the 1964 World’s Fair. You can see them here:

It's a Small World by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It's a Small World by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It's a Small World by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Seeing these photos reminded me that I have a photo of the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland from 1984:

It's a Small World by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The ride changed a lot from 1964 on its way to Disneyland in 1984. Twenty years later, the story is still the same. It’s a small world, even between mother and daughter.

September 24, 2008

San Francisco, CA: Mixt Greens

Filed under: California,Food,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 1:54 pm

Nicole Lee took a trip to Mixt Greens.

mixt greens by Nicole Lee from Flickr

She called it a yuppie salad bar and then went on to specify that it was Yuppie with a capital Y!

Lettuce rock your world by Nicole Lee from Flickr

Their sign says, “Lettuce rock your world.” Yep, that’s the same slogan I used when I ran for 7th Grade Vice President. Still a knee slapper.

Salad toppings by Nicole Lee from Flickr

Her verdict that the place didn’t live up to its price tag. If you’re looking for more atmosphere than salad, then maybe Mixt Greens is for you. Otherwise, opt for the salad bar at Whole Foods.


Mixt Greens
120 Sansome Street San Francisco, CA
475 Sansome Street (on Commercial) San Francisco, CA
560 Mission Street San Francisco, CA

August 28, 2008

The Ward-O-Matic’s Visit to San Francisco

Filed under: California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 12:49 pm

Ward Jenkins, of Ward-O-Matic fame, took his family to San Francisco. He and his wife took the most amazing photos. You can see them here:

He found a cool machine in an arcade:

Amongst the old arcades and puppet shows, I found this wonderful device. Listed as the oldest machine there, it’s a praxinoscope. The faceted nature of the mirrors gives off the same effect as a shutter for film — very important in order to give off the optical illusion of ‘persistence of vision’. The images projected from the drum onto the mirrors allowed you, the viewer to see the girl jumping rope, instead of becoming a big blur. It was so cool to watch one of these for reals.

Click on through to Ward-O-Matic to see the photos of the praxinoscope and the rest of the beauty of San Francisco.

August 1, 2008

Muir Woods Trip

Filed under: California,Hiking,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 9:13 am

Our friend, atp_tyreseus, is driving across the country from San Francisco to Cincinnati right now. Before he left California, however, he took a trip to Muir Woods. He was kind enough to share his pictures with us on his Flickr photostream:

Considered “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world,” Muir Woods is nestled in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. You can see the national parks’ website for it here:

View Larger Map

Just north of San Francisco, you can see a lovely forest of redwood trees and enjoy the best that California wilderness has to offer.

April 14, 2008

Encinitas, CA: Leucadia Sushi Bar

Filed under: California,Food,Photos — Laura Moncur @ 3:55 pm

Leucadia Sushi Bar

Every time we go to San Diego, we make sure we set aside time to visit Leucadia Sushi Bar. The best feature of the place is the conveyor belt and constant stream of sushi. I filmed a little clip of it back in 2007:

Click Here To See The Video

Download this video for your iPod

You pay based on plate prices. There is a price for each plate, you choose a plate from the conveyor belt and stack up the plates you eat. When it comes time to pay, they count up your plates and charge you for each one. Different colored plates indicate different prices.

At the end, I always spend less on sushi here than I do at any other sushi bar, even though I eat so much!

We LOVE Leucadia Sushi Bar and have a pet name for it: Sushi-Go-Round! I can’t wait to go back to California to eat there again!

Where: 996 N.Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone Number: (760)635-9312

Business Hours:
Closed on Monday Lunch: 11:30a.m.- 2:00p.m. (tue – fri)
Dinner:: 5:00p.m.- 9:00p.m. (tue – thu, sun) 5:00p.m. – 9:30p.m. (fri & sat)

March 10, 2008

The Drive To San Diego

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

When you go on a road trip, so much of the travel is… well… on the road. Our drive to San Diego from Salt Lake City last month was quite a harrowing experience. Not only did we leave in a horrible snow storm, we took a back route through the mining roads of California. Here is a glimpse of our 14 hour drive.

Click Here To See The Video

Download this video for your iPod

When a drive to your destination is as harrowing as this one, it makes you start to wonder if leaving town is really all that worth it. It was sheer stubbornness that drove us to leave that morning with the huge flakes falling. My mom called in a panic when we were on the road, “It’s snowing like crazy here. You’re not really driving out today are you?!” I assured her that we were already on the road and well past the point of the mountain (we weren’t) and that the weather was much better in Provo than in Salt Lake (it WASN’T).

Of course, we’re fools.

If you are planning on leaving town and the snow is as bad as this video, don’t be stupid like us. Call your hotel and see if you can delay your travel for a day without a fee (fat chance, but it can’t hurt to try). A nervous and anxious drive to your vacation is the polar opposite of what a relaxing trip should be.

« Previous Page« Previous Entries - Next Entries »Next Page »

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2005-2017 Michael Moncur, Laura Moncur, and Starling Studios