A taste of Eden before the bite. Since Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands, men and women have longed to visit this volcanic Eden in search of a connection to the earth and her creatures. I experienced that same magical connection as I took a week-long boat trip around the western Galapagos. The Galapagos, a relatively young landmass that continues to be expelled up from volcanoes on the ocean floor, is in many ways, ugly…

Thumbnail image for The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

January 16, 2015

A spa with the mystic power of the Icelandic Sagas. There is no place in the world like the Blue Lagoon located in the southwest of Iceland. A geothermic spa with temperatures averaging 104 throughout the year, the Blue Lagoon is a steam-filled natural wonder that you will not want to leave once you dip into its mineral rich waters. You can float aimlessly, get a drink from the poolside bar, rest in one of…

Thumbnail image for Creepy Dolls, Edinburgh Scotland

Creepy Dolls, Edinburgh Scotland

January 14, 2015

There is no way in hell I’d have these dolls anywhere near my house. One of my favorite museums in Edinburgh is the Museum of Childhood. The museum is a cornucopia of 150 years of childhood memories packed into incredible collections of games, figures, toys, sports equipment, circus memorabilia, children’s books and home life. But, bar none, the creepiest section of the museum is the doll room. I find many dolls disturbing to begin with…

Thumbnail image for The Doomstone, York Minster England

The Doomstone, York Minster England

January 9, 2015

Even demons have to cook. Originally created in the 12th century by Norman artists, York’s Doomstone is a frightening representation of ‘Hell’s Cauldron’ or ‘The Hellmouth’. The relief, which has been a freestanding piece of art in the Minister, is a gruesome picture of lost souls being dumped into a boiling cauldron by the minions of hell. Other devils stoke the fire beneath the cauldron. Various sinners are represented in different ways. Greed is carrying…

Thumbnail image for The Corner Shoppe Mall, Austin Texas

The Corner Shoppe Mall, Austin Texas

January 5, 2015

One of the most mismatched names in the world of Travel Curiosities. Don’t be fooled by the name. The Corner Shoppe Mall is not the place you go for a pair of shoes or a TV for your apartment. This is the place to go if you are looking for a dead stuffed boar or coyote. As their website proudly proclaims, the Corner Shoppe Mall is taxidermy king of the south. A family-run business for…

Thumbnail image for A Travel Curiosity Holiday Feast Iceland Style

A Travel Curiosity Holiday Feast Iceland Style

January 1, 2015

Iceland is a culinary smorgasbord of weird. One of my favorite aspects of travel is discovering local cuisine. I love to dive into cultural foods with the vigor of a training Olympic athlete. When I am in the States, I don’t stomach certain foods well. But out of the country its no holds barred. If you put it in front of me I’ll try it.  Here is a holiday feast that I’ve tried from the strange…

Thumbnail image for Alien Skull: Shawn’s Office Oddities

Alien Skull: Shawn’s Office Oddities

December 31, 2014

Just call my office Area 52. Just behind my desk, safely behind  glass, sits a relic from another world. I can’t say too much about where I  acquired this artifact but I will give you a hint. Read the original newspaper article called “A Windmill Demolishes It” from The Dallas Morning News, April 19, 1897, p. 5. describing a certain incident that happened 40 miles from where I currently live. The article may or may not explain…