Archive for the ‘Vintage Travel’ Category

I’ve gotten more packages of vintage wonderfulness in the mail this week than I can ever recall, and I’m positively tickled that people think I’m gift-worthy. However, nothing touched my heart as much as today’s delivery of a pair of vintage Serro Scotty mugs, with a lovely note enclosed.Serro Scotty Mugs

(The aqua blue is even the exact blue of the stripe on our new/ old Serro Scotty camper!!)

I’ll wait for the gift-giver’s approval before I share the story behind the mugs, but I can let you all know that they were sent from “the nicest family I’ve never met”.

These are definitely going on the display shelf of honor!

Read Full Post »

I’m tres jealous of all the folks down in Florida – not only b/c of the weather, but because I would so love to go to the Floridiana Festival & Highwaymen Artist Show in St. Petersburg on Saturday 1/29. I’d much rather take a look at the vintage Florida souvenirs, art, kitsch, memorabilia, and historical artifacts, than checking the weather reports to see if snow will put the kibosh on my weekend plans!


The 10th edition of this popular kitschy Florida “antiques & collectibles” event returns to St. Petersburg for its 10th edition on Saturday, January 29, 2011, from 10 am to 5 pm at the historic Garden Club of St. Petersburg.

A celebration of Florida’s cultural and tourism legacies, this annual show features an abundance of old roadside attraction kitsch, as well as vintage Florida art and old tropical decor. It’s an antique show custom made for Floridians or wanna-bes! (That’s ME! Mod Betty, a Florida wanna be!!)


Featuring old Florida souvenirs and memorabilia for sale, spanning the range from alligator ashtrays, flamingo figurines, and citrus-shaped radios, to postcards and other fun ephemera from the Sunshine State’s old parks and hotels, the Floridiana Festival brings together premier exhibitors and collectors of vintage Floridiana, clamoring to be the first ones to discover some unique Florida finds.


Serious collectors will enjoy the selection of alligator memorabilia and souvenir sterling silver spoons and hotel china from Florida’s “golden age of souvenirs,” while more casual collectors of kitsch can find postcards of bathing beauties and old tourist attractions, alligator purses and other Florida fashion.

Kitsch rules at this show, definitely, but for decorators looking for some serious, vintage tropical furnishings, it’s also a hot spot to pick up some old rattan, tropical lamps, and beautiful wall art.


In addition to the abundance of Florida memorabilia for sale, other show highlights include:

-Meet and greet with The Florida Highwaymen artists from the 1950’s & 1960’s

– Lectures, slide presentation and book signings by Florida Authors…PLUS you just might meet some of the original mermaids who will be on hand to discuss their time at Weeki Wachee!

(Retro Roadmap loves Weekee Wacheeclick to read about our visit! )

The Garden Club of St. Petersburg is located at 500 Sunset Drive South, at the intersection of Park Street and 5th Avenue South in St. Petersburg, near the western end of Central Avenue close to the bridge over to Treasure Island.  Show admission is $6.00; children under three years are $3.00.  Free parking.

For info, contact Hula Hula Productions at (727) 421-0441 or visit www.hulahula.biz

Read Full Post »

If you are in one of the 49 states that got snow yesterday I bet you’re as ready for some vintage vacationing as I am! We’re snowbound for a few more months ’til our big road trip to Texas (!!) but in the meantime I’m digging traveling back in time by looking at these vintage bumper stickers from retro vacation destinations, courtesy of Retro Roadmap Reader Debbie Powell at Bumperstickersnmore on Etsy:

sarasota jungle gardens bumperstickersnmore retroroadmap.com

I thought that the middle of winter would be a good time to share Debbie’s finds, and I was right- I wish I could head to The Jungle Gardens of Sarasota  or exotic Tiki Gardens in Indial Rocks Beach, FL or right now! There are many other places featured as well, maybe you visited one of these places as a child?  To name but a few – South of The Border, Garden of Eden, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Storybook Gardens, Wisconsin Dells,, Cypress Gardens, Miami Beach, Ripley Museum, Fairyland Forest, Seven Seas, Ohio Cavers, Six Flags, Marineland…Bucket o’ Blood?!

tiki gardens indian rocks beach FL  bumperstickersnmore retroroadmap

Debbie tells of how she got this collection of old souvenirs:

Recently, I purchased a property and in the upstairs attic of the old barn I found a box of old bumper stickers. These stickers are over 30 years old and have never been used. Most of them are from roadside attractions. You know the ones we used to visit on family vacations before the big parks and corporate tourist traps. Sadly, many of these are no longer in existence. I have really enjoyed learning about them as I search for information. I wish I had been able to visit many of them because they sure looked like magical places. I have no idea how or why these stickers were never used or how they came to be in that attic and most likely will never know but I thought there might be others who remember these places and would appreciate having them in their collection.

If you’ve ever visited Etsy you know that it can be a cool yet totally overwhelming place to look for vintage retro goodness, no matter what you collect. That’s why I decided to share the link to Debbie’s vintage Bumper Sticker n More with my RetroRoadmap readers – hope you find something you like!

Read Full Post »

After a whirlwind visit by some dear pals this weekend at the Hacienda I’m a bit beat but already gearing up for my trek to New England in just a few days! I just found out that there is a vintage travel poster exhibit at the Boston Public Library, closing this Sunday October 17th. I wanted to get the word out asap, in case some of you Retro Roadmap Readers can fit it into your busy schedules, like I’m doing.



Vintage Travel Posters from the Collections of the Boston Public Library
Central Library Copley Square, Changing Exhibits Room

The golden age of travel is brought to colorful life in a new exhibition of vintage travel posters at the Boston Public Library. Away We Go! invites visitors to journey back to the early twentieth century via some of the most beautiful and important vintage travel posters from the BPL’s collection.

On display through October 17, the exhibition is organized as an epic trip around the world, starting and ending in Boston. Visitors will journey to twenty-eight hand-picked destinations, on six continents, on a globetrotting route nearly 45,000 miles long. Along the way, extraordinary, eye-catching posters are vivid reminders of the beauty, excitement, and adventure of travel during the 1920s-1950s, when a world of enticing destinations and new modes of transportation beckoned onlookers to journey to distant lands.

If you can’t make it to the show click this link to view some of the more than 350 vintage travel posters in the Boston Public Library’s Print Collection, most dating from the 1920s-1940s, the “Golden Age of Travel.”

The Boston Public Library is worthy of a visit itself, and you can even get a guided tour of the BPL, highlighting the architecture of Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson, as well as the many works of famed sculptors and painters.

The Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street, Copley Square
Boston, MA 02116

Read Full Post »

The book Wildwood’s Neon Nights & Motel Memories by Robert O. and Melinda M. Willams was recently published by my fave local publisher Schiffer Books, and is right up my Retro Roadmap alley. The fact that the Doo Wop Preservation League in Wildwood NJ will be hosting a book signing this Saturday 9/25 with the book’s photographer Robert O. Williams is reason enough to tell you all about this tome right now, so you have time to make it to the signing!


This book contains over 220 color photographs of the neon signs, vintage motels and vacation memories associated with the history of Wildwood, NJ. For those not in the know, Wildwood is home to the country’s most densely packed collection of 1950’s motels, hotels and businesses. Inspired by post-war optimism about the future, the architectural designs for these mom and pop motels broke the mold with their inventive use of angles, color, materials and subject matter. The signs that beckoned summer travelers to stay the night also exemplified that same sort of exuberance, with swooping arrows, pointing sputniks and enough colored neon to light up the night for miles around.

More than just a fond reminiscence or collection of striking photos (there are plenty of both in there), the book is also a cautionary tale about how easily these places can fall prey to the wrecking ball in the name of revitilization and profit. A number of the photos show the heartbreaking reality of demolition sales and the colorful and kitschy places that no longer exist.

This book is far from a bummer though, with plenty of bright and detailed photos from Robert and entertaining and informative writing by Melinda. Their original content is featured along with some great vintage shots of the area, including some from RetroStockPix.com (you may remember them being featured here as our Swoonworthy Vintage Motel & Vacation Photos).

If anything, the fact that we realize these places may not be here forever, coupled with the impact of the great photos in this book are motivation enough to book your next Wildwood stay at a vintage motel, today!

Casa Bahama Motel, Wildwood NJ. Pool Area - Retrostockpix.com RetroRoadmap.comFans of diner photographs (myself included) have known of Robert’s work with his acclaimed book Hometown Diners, (get your personalized copy right here at this link). Or perhaps you might recognize his images from his years spent behind the lens as an award winning photographer at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Melinda, his wife is also an alumni of  The Philadelphia Inquirer and now runs The Williams Group “an agency specializing in marketing, public relations, journalism and photography with an emphasis on nostalgia.” Both of them spent over 10 years in collecting and creating the images and content sandwiched between the covers of Wildwood’s Neon Nights and Motel Memories, and we are all the better for it.

Read Full Post »

While just a wee bit racier than our normal Retro Roadmap fare, I just had to share the fact that Vintage and Pinup Culture Magazine has a great multi-page article and photo spread all about RetroRoadmap.com! (No need to fear, I am not one of the vintage style pin-up or burlesque models in the magazine, though I’d be happy to have one of those vintage airstream trailers, please!)
vintage-pinup-culture-magazine-retroroadmap.comvintage-pinup-culture-magazine-retroroadmap-photo-spread-elgin-diner Click here to find out how to get your copy of Vintage and Pinup Culture magazine, and tell folks you got it for the articles – on Retro Roadmap, of course!

Read Full Post »

If all goes well I should be getting this boot off of my broken foot tomorrow, so a visit to the Shoe House in Hellam, PA seemed like a good way to commemorate my last limping weekend! This “really big shoe” is visible from Route 30 and if you miss the sign for Shoe House Road this great vintage sign will beckon you to get off the highway.

Shoe House Sign

Built in 1948 for Mahlon Haines who had amassed a fortune selling shoes, the shoe house is quite a sight. 48 feet long and 25 feet high at the top, the interior includes 5 different levels, 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms a kitchen and a living room.

Hain's Shoe House

Retro Roadhusband and I were lured off of the highway last summer and enjoyed our tour of the Shoe House very much. However with my boot on this time I didn’t want to chance the narrow stairs and opted to chat with current “lady who lives in a shoe” Carleen Farabaugh and her husband Ron. These friendly folks are the 4th owners of The Shoe and spend their weekends from the spring ’til October giving tours and letting folks know about this great local landmark (and keeping the place dolled up with new fencing!)

Shoe House Entrance

I won’t show you photos of the insides (then why would you take the tour?) but will tell you that I remember being impressed that The Shoe House had so many rooms in it. I also love the intricate stained glass windows, especially the entrance door window with the almost 3D likeness of Maholon Haines the self appointed “Shoe Wizard”.

While Mahlon used this shoe as a sales gimmick and guest house, Carleen and Ron also spend weekends during the season staying inside the shoe itself, which sounds like a lot of fun to me. Ron also keeps busy making Shoe House bird houses which are for sale at the gift shop.

Shoe House Bird House

Carleen notes that the Shoe House is a great destination for tour groups and often has age ranges from pre-schoolers (asking “where’s the old lady and all her children) to senior citizens. So if you have a group who is interested in a tour, this is a great lil destination. Folks of all ages enjoy the scenic surroundings and are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch or buy some hand dipped Hershey’s ice cream to enjoy under the trees – and near the Shoe House dog house!

Shoe House Dog House

The Shoe House is open Wednesday – Sunday from 11:00-4:00 in June, July, August. September hours are Sat and Sun from 11-4 and October hours are Sat 11-4. The Shoe is closed November ’til April and they re-open in May, open on Saturdays and Sundays just in time for springtime retro roadtrips!

If you want to make sure the Shoe is open for your visit, your best bet is to do like I did, and  email Carleen at The Shoe House to let her know when you’d like to visit, and she can often arrange to be there. You can also arrange your group tours this way. This is great if you’re coming to the area from a distance, as it is one of my favorite destinations in the area, and well worth a tour.

Good things to know – there are no public bathrooms (use the McD’s or Sheetz just down the street) they take cash only, and there’s a BBQ place on 462 at the bottom of Shoe House Road that looks like a great place to pick up a picnic!

The Shoe House
197 Shoe House Road
Hellam, PA 17406-8026
(717) 840-8339

Read Full Post »

If we hadn’t just spent all sorts of RetroRoadmoney on our trip overseas, I’d be tempted myself to bid on this cool old vintage travel sticker display!


Just as a disclaimer, I don’t profit at all from this eBay auction from lil treasures in Texas,  but just thought it was a cool thing that Retro Roadmap fans might be interested in.If it’s out of your price range (like me) there are also some of the vintage stickers on auction as well, just click ‘See Other Listings’

Click here to see the details on this Lindgren Turner Revolving Vintage Travel Decal Rack eBay Listing and happy hunting!

Read Full Post »

Just in time for the birthday of the United States of America, I’m happy to report that I heard on the radio this morning that SS United States – aka the ghost ship docked in Philadelphia – just received a 5.8 MILLION DOLLAR grant to shore up and get ship shape! Read about the SS United States Grant in the Philadelphia Inquirer article here.

SS United States

As Retro Roadmap Readers know, I became fascinated by this ghost of America’s travel past when I saw it looming in the distance as I went about my regular shopping. Here’s a link to that article I wrote about the SS United States, and the interesting information in the comments that follow.

Always nice to be able to share good news about good stuff happening to cool old stuff!

Read Full Post »

One of our fave Retro Roadmap Reporters from Vermont Craig Fitzgerald (in real life, Editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car and a RetroRoadmap fan) was swell enough to pass along info about Lost Highway Art– a company that specializes in vintage travel decals. My adrenaline went through the roof when I saw this, as I too am a collector of these fabulous graphics (as assembled below, along with a great book about ’em – Coast to Coast- The Best of Travel Decal Art).

My Vintage Travel Decals Not only did our pal from VT send us the link but he also did the best thing ever by writing about them AND including some pictures as seen below. Thanks so much for the mid-week vintage find, CF, a special Retro Roadmap thank you will be winging it’s way toward you soon!

Vintage Travel Art on the Cheap
By Craig Fitzgerald
In the post-war, golden age of travel, most folks couldn’t afford an airline ticket and instead traveled by car, with a 13-foot Serro Scotty hitched to the bumper of their ’62 Biscayne. When they stopped in a rest area for a Moxie and a hot dog, they’d buy a decal depicting the state they were passing through.

These vintage travel decals are the specialty of Dick Schneider of Bedford Hills, New York, who runs the Lost Highway Art Company. Schneider has been collecting these water transfer decals for years, and has amassed a collection of over 10,000 from all over the country. Schneider sells thousands of decals through his mail order business and at various swap meets in the Northeast. Most of the decals are in the $5 range.


The company’s website offers more than 350 decals from every state in America, all in their original packaging. Thanks to their reasonable price, you can use them as they were intended. Some of Lost Highway Art Company’s customers purchase two identical decals so that they can apply one to the window of their vintage car, and preserve one in a photo album.

Some decals feature a single cartoon image representing the particular city or state. One decal from Las Vegas features the iconic cowboy from Fremont Street, with a hand-rolled coffin nail in his teeth, a thumb jauntily stuck in the air, and a booming “Howdy, Podner!”

My favorites, though, are the ones that depict cartoon versions of entire states, with not-so-subtle — sometimes downright embarrasing — reminders of what that state is famous for. As you can see from the accompanying art, Vermont has a perplexing problem with polar bears. And as you may well know, Massachusetts is populated entirely by fun-loving pilgrims.

Massachusetts-travel-decal-losthighwayart.com-retroroadmap(Mod Betty adds – I swear I have one for Connecticut that says it’s the Insurance State – makes my hometown Puritans quite the party animals by contrast!)

Lost Highway Art is located in New York. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 164, Bedford Hills, New York, 10507-0164. Schneider can be contacted by telephone at 914-234-9029. Lost Highway Art’s website is www.losthighwayart.com.

Thanks Craig, and here’s a ‘nother little something from my collection that I found on a neighbor’s trash heap. Not sure what I’m gonna do with it yet, but it was too cool to leave it there!

Someone's Trash, My Treasure

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: