Starling Travel

February 20, 2012

The Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 9:21 am

The first thing I thought when I saw the website for the Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum was,

“I want to go to there.”

I realized that I don’t want to haul an RV across the country when I can just throw a tent in the hatchback, but I DO want to look at the old RVs. They are beautiful to me and I love to see them lovingly restored or in their original condition.

Among their many lovely RVs, they have the Gornicke’s Bus that followed Robin Williams’ family across the country in the movie RV. I wrote about that movie earlier here:

I wish they also had the damaged and waterlogged RV that Robin Williams’ family rented, The Rolling Turd. Seeing them side by side would be like stepping into the movie.

The museum is in Amarillo, Texas, so it’s quite the drive for Mike and I to take to see it. Here is the contact information:

Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum
Phone: 806-358-4891
4341 Canyon Drive, Amarillo, TX
Admission: FREE!
Hours: Monday – Saturday 9am-5pm

The museum is free to the public and appears to be the collection of the owners of Sisemore Traveland RV Sales.

Via: Texas RVer: Amarillo hosts free RV museum

Photo Via: Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum

December 16, 2009

Galveston, TX: Feeding the Seagulls on Stewart Beach

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

This is one of my favorite moments in Galveston. After eating at The Spot, I saved my waffle fries and taco salad bowl to feed to the seagulls. Watch as they take the fries right out of my hands.

I love how the seagulls can just hover right next to me, waiting for me to throw the next morsel. When that gull actually took the food right out of my hand, I laughed out loud with joy.

What a beautiful moment!

December 15, 2009

Galveston, TX: A View of the Seawall

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

While we were in Galveston, I took a quick video of the ocean at the seawall.

Seawall in Galveston, TXThe seawall was built after the hurricane of 1900. That hurricane devastated the island and is still the deadliest natural disaster to strike the United States. Rather than leave the island uninhabited, they built the seawall and raised Galveston by as much as seventeen feet in some areas. The seawall has protected Galveston ever since.

Galveston BookshopLast year, when Hurricane Ike hit, the seawall held, but the winds and water snuck in through the bay on the other side of the island and drown the island with eight feet of water. Everywhere we visited, each shop, restaurant and museum had a mark on their wall where the water level was. They all had small photo albums that they pressed into my hands to show the damage. It was like they were proud of what Ike had done to them and they survived it all.

For more information:

November 24, 2009

Big Bend National Park, TX: Chisos Mountains

Filed under: Hiking,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 1:19 pm

I love this video of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park in Texas.

Here is a video of a hike to the South Rim of Emery Peak.

Where: Big Bend National Park in Texas Google Map

November 12, 2009

Galveston, TX: A Walk along the Seawall

Filed under: Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 8:14 am

Galveston, TX: A Walk along the Seawall

Just a quick couple of photos to show you the view of the ocean from the seawall in Glaveston, Texas. It always amazes me that I can step onto a plane in the winter and step off a plane in the summer. In my mind, the seasons have always been attached to the time of the year, but with the advent of air travel, we have the option of changing the season at will.

Galveston, TX: A Walk along the Seawall

March 14, 2009

Austin, TX: Radisson Town Lake Hotel Swag

Filed under: Hotel SWAG,Lodging,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 5:08 pm

This is the second time we’ve stayed at the Radisson Town Lake. We love it because it overlooks the river and Congress Bridge. Congress Bridge is where the largest urban bat colony in North America live. In the summer, huge clouds of bats leave the bridge every evening at dusk.

This year, however, the bridge is quiet and abandoned.

Radisson Town Lake Hotel Swag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It’s too cold this year to support the bats, so I suspect they are vacationing a little longer in Mexico. We came to Austin for the SXSW Interactive Festival, so the bats were a secondary attraction.

The hotel swag, however, was quite enjoyable.

Radisson Town Lake Hotel Swag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The toilet paper origami left a little to be desired.

Radisson Town Lake Hotel Swag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The towel origami, however, was beautiful.

Radisson Town Lake Hotel Swag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

I don’t care for Sleep Number beds. They are beds that are filled with air depending on what firmness you want. It took a lot of tweaking to get my side of the bed to feel like a “normal” bed. I guess my sleep number is 45, but I didn’t enjoy finding that out. The Radisson brags about their Sleep Number beds, but I don’t find them pleasant or appealing. It’s more like sleeping on a camping mattress.

Radisson Town Lake Hotel Swag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

You can see all the photos for the Radisson Town Lake here:

On the whole, our stay at the Radisson has been enjoyable. They charge ten bucks a day per computer to be online in your hotel room, which I find appalling. I guess I’m used to cheaper hotels that try to attract me with free wireless. I like that I can just walk to the convention center from this hotel. I LOVE the view of the bridge, even though this year it’s bat-free. I even love the TGI Friday’s in the hotel lobby. Sometimes I’m so tired that I just need a quiet meal that is familiar. Someday, Internet connectivity will be free at all hotels just like water and televisions. Until then, it’s hit and miss.

September 14, 2007

Austin, Texas – New York Times

Filed under: Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 5:17 am

Mike and I go to Austin, Texas every year for the SXSW Interative Festival. It’s nice to see that the New York Times have noticed how entertaining the city is:

Since Austin is so close to San Antonio, a visit to those two cities is a great trip. Here are all the entries in which we’ve talked about Austin, Texas:

You can see my links to San Antonio here:

May 29, 2007

San Antonio Botanical Garden Video

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

Last year, when we visited San Antonio, we took a tour of the San Antonio Botanical Garden. I filmed a walking video for Starling Fitness and it is finally ready!

I’m offering this DVD for $5 including shipping and handling in the continental U.S. If you live elsewhere contact me and we’ll figure out how much it will cost to ship to you.

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here

Here is a glimpse of what the walk will be like:

Click here to see the video

Video Description:

I was lost and unprepared for the hot Texas weather, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the garden’s beauty. From the native Texas grassland areas to the indoor fern grottos, I filmed all that the San Antonio Botanical Garden had to offer.

Wander along the garden paths. Watch the birds fly past you and squawk at you from the trees. Smell the herbs and flowers in the garden for the blind. Breathe in the humid air in the fern grotto. Explore the historical homes of Texas’ past. Chase down the golf cart. Can you keep up?

If you are missing the beautiful greenery that Texas has to offer, you can enjoy it every day with this video.

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here

October 16, 2006

San Antonio, Texas: Casa Rio Restaurant

Filed under: Food,Places To Visit,Texas — Laura Moncur @ 4:29 pm

Casa Rio in San Antonio, Texas

With a setting that looks like a postcard, the Casa Rio sits on the Riverwalk attracting tourists with the scent of their food and their singing. I live in a town with excellent Mexican food, so I expected touristy faire at Casa Rio and to be honest, that’s what I got. The food was good, but nothing was even near the spiciness that I’m used to. I enjoyed the enchiladas and queso sauce on my chips, but nothing brought tears to my eyes.

What I enjoyed most was the singing.

Cantados at Casa Rio by Laura Moncur

We were surprised at the reasonable prices of the food, so we sprang the ten bucks for a song. We figured we would have paid twice what we were paying in any other touristy place, so we were happy to splurge. The group singing played typical songs that are requested all the time like La Bamba and Tijuana Taxi, but they did it in such a congenial manner that I had a blissful moment when they were playing. Friendly AND professional, all at once, I felt so grateful that I had paid for a song. It was worth it for that moment of Zen.

Casa Rio in San Antonio, TexasWhere: Casa Rio
430 E Commerce St
San Antonio, TX
Google Map
Phone: (210) 225-6718
Fax: (210) 225-2216


Sunday – Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

In January

  • Monday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday & Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays in January

October 11, 2006

San Antonio, Texas: High School Homecoming Mums

Filed under: Places To Visit,Texas,Video — Laura Moncur @ 4:30 pm

During our trip to San Antonio, Mike and I took a break and went to Michaels Arts and Crafts. We went there to look at arts supplies and just relax. We have Michaels in Salt Lake City, so we thought it would be a familiar reminder of home. Instead, it was a very different store. There were two full aisles of ribbons in bright, primary colors. It was so interesting, I took photos. Michaels announced to the residents of Texas that they were your Homecoming Headquarters, but I had never seen anything like this for Homecoming. What was all this stuff?

While I looked at all the ribbons, flowers and megaphones, I became more and more confused. I asked one guy who worked at service desk what it was all about, but he was unable to explain it to me. I returned to the ribbons. A kindly woman said to me, “Ah, it’s Homecoming Time. They’ve got to get their mums ready.” I pounced on her like a housecat left alone too often. With some coaxing, Joan Anderson was willing to explain it all to me.

Click here to see the video

Texas sure does love their high school football. Using the artificial mums, ribbons and other decorations, you can create a Homecoming Mum. They are for girls and they wear them to the Homecoming game. It’s not for the dance, just the game (you get real flowers for the dance). This is only for football. Basketball doesn’t get this kind of attention.

I don’t know if this is still the case, but Joan says that the boys’ mothers would make the mums so the boys could give them to the girls they like best. A girl could have many different mums from many boys. The girl with the most mums is the most popular.

“Look there. There’s one over here that has three mums on it. This girl would have to be very special, wouldn’t she?”

Part of me wants to get a whole pile of mums from every boy in town. I want to be the girl with the most mums. I want to be very special. This Texan practice feels very guttural to me. I can feel it in my bones and gut. We had nothing like this in Salt Lake City, Utah. Who knew I would find something so unique and foreign a mere 1800 miles away.

For more information:

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