January Roundup: Lego Sculptures & Tasty Animals

santa monica route 66

I just returned from a few days out in L.A. Escaping the single-digit temperatures of Chicago was nice, and so was hiking in the Hollywood Hills and hanging out in Santa Monica and Venice, even if it wasn’t quite warm enough to jump in the ocean.

Next up on the travel list is Detroit, where I’m stopping off for a long weekend at the end of February. I’ve only been there once, and that was a brief visit. The only things I saw of note were the Motown Museum (overrated) and the giant fist statue (kind of cool.) So going back and getting to know the city better is a priority.

Here’s what caught my attention from around the travel blogging world this month.

Featured personal link:

Nationality Rooms in Pittsburgh: Explore Cultures from Around the World in a Single Building

One of the coolest international experiences you can have in Pittsburgh is the Nationality Rooms at the university. Nearly three-dozen rooms have been designed after rooms from various countries around the world, with artwork and artifacts from those nations, including Romania, China, Greece, Ireland and more.


The “Austrian Room” at the University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Rooms.


January travel links of interest:

Red Hunt Travel: 10 Surprisingly Tasty Animals

Don’t read if you’re a vegetarian… or you get freaked out by the concept of “lean ground horse meat.” Okay, I’ll be honest, that freaks me out a little too. But you can be certain that for every animal on the planet, there’s a group of people somewhere who eat it. Red Hunt Travel runs down some of the more unusual carnivorous delicacies. The only ones I’ve tried are alligator and bison. How about you?

Gadling: Top American Destinations to Avoid in 2013

This article was probably written to rile people up, cause online arguments and bring in page views. Mission accomplished, given the 11 pages of reader comments. Funny that at the very top of the list is Detroit, where I’m visiting in a few weeks, and Los Angeles, where I just came back from. See, I’m a rebel like that. Also on the list: Salt Lake City (I disagree with that one too), Reno and Daytona Beach.

Indecisive Traveler: The Art of Brick: Lego Sculptures

Lego sculptures are some of the coolest art pieces anywhere. I’m always blown away by the creativity. That’s certainly true of this exhibit photographed at the Magic House in St. Louis by Rease at Indecisive Traveler. So many of these are awesome… the globe, the $100 bill, the Lego people climbing out of the brain. But my favorite is the yellow Lego guy ripping open his chest as Lego pieces spill out. Read to the end to find some unexpected philosophical words of wisdom.

lego monster mall of america

A giant Lego monster I saw at the Mall of America.


Travel with Bender: A Ball Dropping New Year’s Eve in Times Square

I’ve always heard that spending New Year’s Eve in NYC in Times Square is a miserable experience, since you have to get there hours ahead of time, there are no bathrooms, and you can’t even drink alcohol. Erin and Josh describe their experience as they creatively found a way to beat the crowds and the expensive tickets and still have a great time ringing in the new year.

Jason’s Travels: The National Mall at Night Photo Essay

Astute travelers will tell you visit the National Mall in Washington D.C. when it’s dark to get some awesome pics. Jason did just that and ended up with a lengthy photo essay of monuments and landmarks lit up for evening viewing. The Lincoln Memorial is especially impressive in the dark.

Travel Tweaks: 6 DUIs You Didn’t Know You Could Get on Vacation

I found this post interesting. You can be charged with driving under the influence while you’re driving a snowmobile, ATV, or even riding a horse. So don’t do it! To this list, I’ll add that you can also be charged with DUI if you’re merely sitting or dozing in your vehicle and not even attempting to drive. When I used to sleep in my vehicle, this was a legitimate concern.

Google search terms of the month

A monthly roundup of some of the search terms people have used to end up on Quirky Travel Guy:

best pittsburgh high school cafeteria fries” – I love searches like this because I have no idea how my site would come up in the results for such an inquiry. Good luck finding the answer to that one, my friend.

games you can do at the mall without getting arrested” – This one made me laugh. I shudder to think what this troublemaker is up to. I just hope he’s not going to try any funny stuff at the Mall of America.

im going on a road trip with a guy i like” – Um, ok. I’m not sure what you were hoping to find from that Google search, but have fun on your journey!

swimming around us border fence in tijuana” – You can try it, but you’re not going to get very far.

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who puts a quirky spin on travel adventures around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

17 comments on “January Roundup: Lego Sculptures & Tasty Animals

  1. Thanks so much for the link! I loved seeing all of the other stuff, too. I’m heading to Pittsburgh this year, so now I see I’ll have to check out those international rooms. It sounds like a cool thing to see.

  2. I’m dying to see your post after your trip to Detroit! I went to Wayne state and live nearby but I HATE going downtown….actually we were in Detroit last night and it was the first time I didn’t think it looked terrible and the first time I felt safe…we may have had a little a protection.

    Last night we were at the fox theatre if you have any interest it really is a stunning building (interior) to see! There’s also an outdoor skating rink in detroit that’s kind of nice.
    Allison’s Ultimate Life List recently posted..16 fun things I’ve done this year

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