Author Archives | Maureen Littlejohn

Maureen Littlejohn - who has written 37 posts on Vagablond.


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Mastodons & Manatees:  Bradenton’s South Florida

Mastodons & Manatees: Bradenton’s South Florida

Posted on 12 February 2006

Walking in the door to the South Florida Museum, I was met by a mastodon skeleton. Maneuvering my way to the second floor, I connected to Parker Manatee Aquarium where Snooty, a 57-year-old manatee waved from his 60,000 gallon tank. Scooting back downstairs, I discovered the door to Bishop Planetarium where my mind boggled at […]

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The Real Mama of Mardi Gras: Mobile, Alabama

The Real Mama of Mardi Gras: Mobile, Alabama

Posted on 20 January 2006

On a recent trip to Mobile, Alabama, I discovered the truth about Mardi Gras — and I have a hurricane to thank. It was about two months after the storm last summer and The Museum of Mobile was closed and licking the wounds caused by Katrina’s fury. The Battleship Alabama was listing and off limits […]

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World Treasures in Wichita? Better Believe It

World Treasures in Wichita? Better Believe It

Posted on 14 January 2006

High Princess BahKah of Thebes sleeps over at his place. Tyrannosaur Albertsaurus and Edmontonsaurus duke it out in his front room and his jewelry collection contains Balinese Royal Crown baubles from 1200 AD. At the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita, Kansas, one man’s private love affair with rarities has resulted in a splashy public […]

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A Slice of Classic Casino Culture: The Historic Hotel, Ely, NV

A Slice of Classic Casino Culture: The Historic Hotel, Ely, NV

Posted on 21 December 2005

In the town of Ely, Nevada, at the junction of Highways 6, 93 and 50 (the loneliest road in America), stands a once flashy showgirl. Although she’s a little long in the tooth, the old gal is still a sweet tease. The ground in front of her is splayed with the stars of Jimmy Stewart […]

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Nippon Hip: Tokyo Hipsters Club, Tokyo, Japan

Nippon Hip: Tokyo Hipsters Club, Tokyo, Japan

Posted on 18 December 2005

Japan is known globally as a fashion-forward country and Tokyo is its artistic epicenter. Maybe that’s why the Tokyo Hipsters Club was described by its designer as a “pleasantly brutal space… a piece of antiarchitecture by a nonarchitect.” The Tokyo Hipsters Club was created around the concept of ‘aristocracy gone wrong’. Tom Dixon, British designer […]

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Nippy or Raw: Cheese, Please, at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma, CA

Nippy or Raw: Cheese, Please, at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma, CA

Posted on 18 December 2005

Can California wine country say “Cheese”? You bet, any way you want it — creamy, nippy, crumbly or raw. At a recent stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, my taste buds were teased with some sublime state-grown dairy delicacies. The guide to my gustatory adventure was Chef Bruno Tison, the property’s executive […]

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Tiki Terrific: The Fairmont San Francisco’s Fabulous Tonga Room

Tiki Terrific: The Fairmont San Francisco’s Fabulous Tonga Room

Posted on 16 December 2005

Was the Blonde Bombshell champagne concoction I’d just quaffed in the Fairmont San Franciso’s tony lobby lounge a tad stronger than I realized? Walking into the hotel’s subterranean Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar, I was sure I was seeing (and hearing) things. I had expected the paper umbrellas in the Mai Tais. I assumed there […]

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Rebirth From Blood-Fueled Flames: The Eldridge Hotel, Kansas

Rebirth From Blood-Fueled Flames: The Eldridge Hotel, Kansas

Posted on 14 December 2005

The Eldridge Hotel in Lawrence, Kansas, has the fierce comeback stamina of a cat or a phoenix. Burned down twice, and shut down twice, the feisty grand dame refused to die and in May of this year she was reborn, yet again, after a $2 million makeover. Today, gleaming terrazzo floors, black leather club furniture, […]

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