Archive for destinations

Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

Posted in destinations, museums, oddities, vintage with tags , , , on April 7, 2011 by shewalkssoftly

If I’m ever in Michigan, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum will be on my itinerary.

“Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is known from coast to coast, like butter and toast. From headlines to bedlines, from school rooms to pool rooms, this place is like no other that can be found in the contiguous United States and other environs of the free world.”

The museum contains items of magic, neon, antiques, posters, airplanes, robots, animation, and all sorts of odd and unusual coin operated games. The coin operated games are the main attraction, and range from the oldest gypsy fortune telling machine of the early 1900’s, to the lastest video games. All the games are operational.

There is so much fun stuff to explore on the website alone…I can only imagine how interesting it would be in person!

Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum


Library Bars

Posted in Books, destinations, geek with tags , , on February 9, 2011 by shewalkssoftly

I’ve spent a great deal of time in LA. Although I love the art scene there, literature has never been the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the city. But there seems to be a new trend of library themed bars and restaurants.

I approve! A couple of these will definitely be on my next LA itinerary.

The Wellesbourne
I think this one is my favorite. It looks so warm and cozy (not to mention nice and packed, like my own library).

Hyperion Tavern (only open for private events)
This law library themed space can be confused with a regular house, since it happens to be sandwiched between two houses and is not open to the public.

Library Bar
I hear this one has a great jukebox…

I tend to avoid the upscale scene on the Sunset Strip, but I’m still happy that trendy nightlife is getting a bookish makeover!


Museum of Unnatural History

Posted in absurd, craft, destinations, geek, humor, nature, science with tags , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

This fictional museum has a very elusive online presence. I saw one image from the lot, and figured I would find a plethora of articles, photos and information. After all, The Museum of Unnatural History is a sensational concept.

I could only find this site, which does not even list authors or contact info. I’m intrigued. I want more.

The collection boasts one of the finest arrays of fictional charts, specimens, and products I’ve cast my eyes on.

For my dear cynics and nihilists:

The simple re-branding of everyday objects is genius.

This one makes my geek senses tingle with delight:

Why are there no links to buy these products?

I highly recommend the rest of the collection.

[EDIT] Because I have such awesome readers, there is now more info in the comments. Here is an article about the brick and mortar store. Scan the comments for a series of links about the purpose and history, courtesy of Rich. Thanks, guys!

This place has officially been added to my “destinations” list!

Halloween Countdown: Hollywood Wax Museum Horrors

Posted in destinations, exhibits, halloween, sculpture with tags , , , on October 8, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

Last week I visited the Hollywood Wax museum for the first time since I was about eight years old.

I’m going to be honest: wax figures look MUCH better in the photos we see circulating when they debut in museums. In person, many of them are blotchy inhabitants of the uncanny valley. I felt a kind of mild disgust (when I wasn’t chuckling).

Of course, in the Chamber of Horrors, EVERYTHING is designed to look odd…so it works. Here are a few selections.

The Exorcist

House of Wax



I would have loved to see Vincent Price among some of the classic horror actors.

The Cryptkeeper, a childhood favorite.


And my favorite photo in the bunch:

California Carnivores

Posted in destinations, nature, products with tags , , on September 11, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

California Carnivores is the largest carnivorous plant retailer in the US. The selection is truly impressive!

Venus flytraps, sundews, pitcher plants, cobra plants…and SO many more! The site is easy to search by plant type, region and climate. Plants are sold separately or in collections.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’d get a lot of satisfaction from cultivating a little garden. Perhaps I should include some of these. Anyone had experience with carnivorous plants?

California Carnivores

House on the Water

Posted in architecture, destinations with tags , on July 19, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

Add this place to the list of my dream locations. Imagine enjoying this lovely cottage in Arnissa, Greece on a clear evening…or during a thunderstorm.

I love looking at beautiful (though impractical) sanctuaries. Does anyone know where I might be able to rent something like this for a few days in the US?


House on the Rock

Posted in antiques, automata, candy coated nightmares, destinations, ephemera, museums, oddities, puppets, steampunk, vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

I have never wanted to hop a plane to Wisconsin so badly in my life. I absolutely must visit the House on the Rock.

I’m going to be honest. I can’t write detailed descriptions of all the rooms in this place, because I WILL impulsively buy a plane ticket I can’t afford…and we don’t want that, now do we?

However, I will direct you to this fantastic post that describes the house in more detail.

Antiques, oddities, puppets, monsters, instruments, specimens, props, masks, machines, weapons, books, carnival and sideshow relics…enough to make one’s head explode in the most delightful way.

A wise friend recently pointed out a common thread in my preferences: a penchant for intensely created little worlds full of unique vision. I think this place is a perfect example. I like to be sensually overwhelmed, immersed in creativity, history, the carefully crafted extremes of madness and entertainment. Places that collect the bizarre fringes of human invention never fail to fascinate me.

Each bit of ephemera tells a story…stories run through my head with every picture I see…

Time to count the change in my jar and save up for that ticket…

Official site

Live Maine Lobster

Posted in absurd, destinations, ephemera, vintage with tags , , , on June 28, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

I forget where I first found this postcard. I was going to post it while I was away in Maine recently, but forgot to take it from my external hard drive.

I’m sure you’ve heard that the lobster scene in Maine is top notch. A vintage postcard maker seems to have captured its essence:

Maine is not actually filled with giant b-movie lobsters crawling (and hovering over) the beaches.

At least not where I stayed.

Is there a place on the coast where the lobsters eat you?

Tokyo DisneySea: Journey to the Center of the Earth

Posted in destinations, japan, retrofuturism, steampunk with tags , , , on April 5, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

Tokyo DisneySea has opened up an attraction based on Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. The scenery is outstanding!

Riders travel through mysterious caverns to the Earth’s core as scientists aboard vehicles designed by Captain Nemo. After traveling through Nemo’s labs inside Mt. Prometheus, guests board “Terravators” to the facility’s base station one half mile below. In the base station is a communications center which is currently giving warnings of increased volcanic activity, but the scientist who mans it is currently away on a tea break. The riders then board steam-powered mine vehicles that travel through pre-drilled tunnels into the heart of the Earth.

I must say, I do love most things “steampunk” despite not being an intricately costumed member of the subculture.

I believe the plaque on the bottom of of this sign indicates a Coca Cola sponsorship (I remember seeing pictures of it in English)…kind of ruins the romance of the statement, so I’m glad it’s in Japanese here. I wouldn’t mind hanging this sign in my library.

See more pictures on Voyages Extraordinaires.

The Corpus Adventure

Posted in anatomy, destinations, exhibits, science with tags , , , on November 29, 2009 by shewalkssoftly

I have to add the Corpus Interactive Museum to my list of European destinations.

Many young Americans consider Holland a desirable vacation spot for the plethora of legal debauchery, but the Dutch have won my heart with this amazing museum! Shaped like a human body, this building offers a larger than life tour through human anatomy.

The tour begins on an escalator ride through a wound in the calf. Once inside visitors experience the body’s reaction to a wood splinter. After the 3D fertilization movie, guests follow a block of cheese as it makes its way down the digestive tract. Other exhibits feature the heart, lungs, mouth, and of course the brain. A beanbag game even allows visitors to try and take down bacteria before it can cause an infection.

The video is in Dutch, but if you want a quick glimpse…

If anyone has gone, or gets a chance to go, you must tell me about it!

Found on Wellsphere