Friday, November 30, 2007

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

This hall of fame honors the pioneer spirit of women who helped to shape the west, from cowgirls and ranch women to writers, artists, teachers, and ntertainers.

Begun in 1955, it has inducted more than 145 honorees, including Enid Justin, Annie Oakley, Sacagawea, Georgia O'Keeffe, Dale Evans, Patsy Cline, Henrietta King, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nellie Cashman, Terry Stuart Forst, Kalyn Brooks, Patsy Montana, Elaine Kramer, Mary Jo Milner, Sandra Day O'Connor, Cynthia Ann Parker, Donna Howell-Sickles, Nellie Snyder Yost, Willa Cather, Texas Rose Bascom, and Alice Van Springsteen.

Address: National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, 1720 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107; 817-336-4475; 800-476-3263; Fax: 817-336-2470. Web:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Originally built in 1880, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is a narrow-gauge steam railroad that runs through some of the most scenic country in the United States: northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The train travels from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado. It is America's longest and highest narrow gauge railroad.

All trains stop for lunch at Osier, Colorado — roughly the mid-point of the railroad — where a hot meal with salad bar and homemade desserts is included in the fare.

During the winter holidays, the railroad runs the Cinder Bear Christmas Express.

Address: Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, 500 Terrace Avenue, P O Box 1057, Chama, New Mexico 87520; 888-286-2737. Email: Web:

Chama Depot: 575-756-2151; Fax: 505-756-2694.

Antonito Depot: 719-376-5483; Fax: 719-376-2545.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

National Submarine Memorial: Submarine Wall of Honor

At the National Submarine Memorial Wall of Honor, granite stones display the names of each of the 52 submarines lost in World War II and list the date, place, and names of each sailor who was lost on board these submarines.

These granite stones are engraved with the submarine name and number, date lost, location, patrol number, how sunk, and how many valiant submariners of the U.S. Navy gave their lives onboard.

On September 2, 1994, a Wall of Honor, containing the 3,617 names of the submariners lost during World War II, was dedicated.

Address: National Submarine Monument. Near the point where Bridge Street runs into Thames in Groton, Connecticut, just south of the Gold Star I-95 Bridge, is the USS Flasher National Submarine Monument.

Monday, November 26, 2007

World's Largest Gold Nugget

IronStone Vineyards, a Sierra foothill winery and entertainment complex, features great wines, a pipe organ, and a Heritage Museum that houses a 44-pound crystalline gold leaf specimen — the world's largest gold nugget.

Address: IronStone Vineyards Heritage Museum, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys, California 95247; 209-728-1251; Fax: 209-728-1275. Email: Web:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Frog Hop of Fame

The Frog Hop of Fame honors the prize-winning frogs and their handlers of the Calavaras Jumping Frog Jubilee. The gold plaques honoring the Hop of Fame inductees are embedded in the sidewalks of Angels Camp, California.

Address: Frog Hop of Fame, Calaveras County Fair, 101 Frogtown Road, P O Box 489, Angels Camp, California 95222-0489; 209-736-2561; Fax: 209-736-2476. Email: Web:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wonderfully Weird Houses

The Broken Column House was created by the aristocrat Fran├žois Nicolas Henri Racine de Monville who live there during the years before the French Revolution.

The Bubble House was constructed by Antti Lovag for an industrialist. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

The Glass House by Philip Johnson is one of the world's most beautiful and yet least functional homes. It's a house I could live in. The interior space is divided by low walnut cabinets and a brick cylinder that contains the bathroom. The cylinder and the brick floors are a polished purple hue. The Glass House is now open to the public, with tours booked many months in advance.

The House on the Stick was inspired by highway billboards. Only 27 square meters (290 square feet), it is designed as an object suitable for almost any place on earth: forests, seas, lakes, mountains, meadows, or a city street.

The Hundertwasser Apartments were constructed in 1982 to 1985. A popular tourist attraction, it has no straight lines or surfaces, with tortuous corridors, rounded-off corners, plants and trees. A huge Hobbit house.

The Toilet House, built by the founding member of the World Toilet Association, features four deluxe toilets including a showcase bathroom placed in its center. Other toilets have features that range from elegant fittings to the latest in water conservation devices.

The Upside-Down House was created by Daniel Czapiewski in the village of Szymbark, northern Poland in 2007. A tourist attraction, it took 114 days to build because the workers were disorientated by the strange angles of the walls.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Wonderful Go-Nowhere Staircase

I just saw this wonderful go-nowhere beautiful staircase in the Levine Breaking News E-lert ( I thought you would enjoy it as much as I did.

They didn't say where the staircase is but I sure would like to know. I'd love to run up and down those staircases.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake

Held on the first full weekend in June, the Lebanon Strawberry Festival serves the World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake.

Contact: Lebanon Strawberry Festival, P. O. Box 273, Lebanon, Oregon 97355-0273. Web:

Contact: Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, 1040 Park Street, Lebanon, Oregon 97355; 541-258-7164; Fax: 541-258-7166. Email: Web:

Other cities also claim to have created the World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake: Plant City, Florida; Pasadena, Texas; College Park, Maryland; and La Trinidad, The Philippines.