Travel Ahh….Color

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Color and travel go together since we are always looking for something striking to catch our eyes. I took the photo above of my sister, Suzanne, and the the next two photos of rubbish bins while meandering down the famous graffiti alley, Hosier Lane.

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Signs of the Times: “Dumb Ways to Die” – a Twisted (yet fun) Train Safety Campaign in Melbourne

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Metro Train Stations, Melbourne, Australia. While waiting for a train at the Flinders Street Station, I noticed a rather interesting piece of art by the bathrooms. A partial skeleton was somewhat incinerated after sticking a fork in a toaster. I didn’t think too much about it other than: “hmmm that’s a bit odd.”

Then a large mural caught my eye. My sister, Suzanne, was checking it out as well. Cute little jellybean characters all stood around proclaiming “I solemnly swear to be safe around trains.”  At the bottom of the mural was a series of dashed lines in the shape of a person. It’s an outline that you tell your kid to go stand next to for a photo op.

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Upon further inspection, we realized that all the cute jellybeans were enduring horrific deaths — all while smiling in good fun. I believe the metaphor of “train wreck” is fairly appropriate at this ironic morbid moment. Fascinated, we tried to guess the culprits of the killings.

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Travel Oops: People Really Do Win These Things…


A lemon cake. That’s what I won at a school carnival in third grade at Forest Hills Elementary in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA.  Contestants walked around a circle marked by numbers on the floor while music played until the cake walk ringleader stopped the song. If the ringleader announced your number, you won the cake.

Despite the fact I didn’t particularly like lemon cake, I was quite impressed with my prize and my luck. It’s a good thing because that is essentially the only award by chance I have received. I’m not really counting a pair of ski gloves I won at a raffle last year since, basically, almost all raffle contestants  were out skiing or in the lodge drinking beer when the tickets were drawn. Due to several no-shows, I claimed the gloves with one of the last remaining tickets.

However, my luck karma reached jackpot levels at the end of 2012. After entering a Facebook contest sponsored by Lonley Planet, Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia Airlines, I won two roundtrip tickets to Australia. Yeah. I know. HUGE. MASSIVE. MEANT TO BE!! People really do win these things.

And the winner is all in photo

The Universe must have been listening. Ever since my family and I returned broke in 2011 from my exchange teaching stint in Adelaide, I have joked that I need to find someone else to pay for or sponsor our travel. The Universe came through — BIG TIME.

The contest involved writing a 25-words-or-less bit about who you would take to Australia and why. Of course, I chose my husband, Kurt. I must admit that in my entry writeup, I didn’t want to admit that we had lived in Oz already. So I wrote something rather vague and cheesy. Here’s the spiel:

“A real homebody,  my husband Kurt has just recently given travel a go; I want to share the world with him!”

I figured the part about “recently giving travel a go” was vague enough to cover…”he hadn’t really traveled outside the country until we moved to Australia, and then we traveled HEAPS.”

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Travel Oops: The Unfortunate Photo —Is that Vomit in the Viewfinder?


With digital cameras, it’s so easy to delete photos with mistakes or unwanted shots. Sometimes those pics can be gems, however. At the very least, they may be a reminder about a funny incident or the challenge to get the photo in the first place. So Travel Oops has a new feature: “The Unfortunate Photo!” 

Melbourne,  Australia (above). I really wanted a family photo with a cityscape of Melbourne in the background. We chose a bit of an awkward spot in terms of getting several buildings in the shot. My friend Anne took the picture and was definitely intent on getting the right angle.

Unfortunately, with that angle, she also inadvertently included a pile of barf, which we had almost stepped in moments before. It caught my eye after I picked up the developed shots, and now it’s really the only thing I see when I look at the photo. It cracks me up each time.