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Dec '11

Killer Rabbit

You can find the Pink Skull Bunny and his gallery of admirers on San Francisco's infamous Haight Street.

SUBMITTED BY: Whitney Matheson    LOCATION: San Francisco, California (2011)

Cute pink rabbit or rodent with a deathwish?   There’s lots of Freudian subtext in what may be the World’s Largest Skull Bunny, the brainchild of artist Jeremy Fish.

What is it about pink rabbits that make us contemplate our own mortality?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

(Whitney Matheson is the Pop Candy columnist for USA Today. You can follow her on Twitter at @popcandy).

Oct '11

Battle of the Bunny

The Praying Mantis subsists on a rich diet of plush animal toys high in fiber and antioxidants.

SUBMITTED BY: George Scully  LOCATION: Winchester, Virginia (2011)

At Dinosaur Land, the most fearsome place in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, no one is safe. Not even pink little bunnies.

(Fascinated by giant mutant insects?  Check out the Tough Guy Butterfly).

Oct '11

George Washington: The down-to-earth aristrocrat

Gracious Host: George Washington mingles with commoners at his Mount Vernon compound. (Click the pic to find out how YOU can share your favorite tourist history photos!)

SUBMITTED BY: Mark Arsenault and Jennifer Levitz 
LOCATION: Mount Vernon, Virginia (2011)

Barack Obama won’t come greet you when you tour the White House.  Speaker of the House John Boehner won’t give you the time of day when you visit the Capitol.

But George Washington cares about his fans. The Father of Our Country’s PR handlers are also smart enough to make sure he’s never caught drowning his problems in alcohol… like a certain Benjamin Franklin!

Jul '11

Fake Pretzel, Fake Cleavage, Real Wedding

Bringing a bit of Bavarian kitsch to the mountains of Tennessee!

SUBMITTED BY: Eartha Kitsch   LOCATION: Rock City / Chattanooga, Tennessee (2007)

Mr. and Mrs. Kitsch didn’t exchange matrimonial vows as their Oktoberfest alter-egos, but this fabulous photo-op was the centerpiece at their Lover’s Leap reception on Lookout Mountain.

As you adjust to your new body image, you can actually see seven different states from the peak — Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

“Sadly,” Eartha reports, “neither the giant pretzel nor the cleavage are real!”

(Eartha Kitsch is a Nashville-based writer who loves “crazy old Western things, googly eyes, thrift shops, swishy skirts, vintage recipes, and photos/stories about people she doesn’t know. She blogs at “Ranch Dressing With Eartha Kitsch,” and yes, she’s a huge Catwoman/Eartha Kitt fan!)

May '11

Puritan Justice

SUBMITTED BY: Darren Garnick   LOCATION: Plymouth, Mass. (~1978)

Why is it that so many “living history” theme parks glorify the hazing and humiliation of the past?

Sticking your kids’ wrists between two slabs of wood was the 17th Century equivalent of taking away video game privileges for a week. Yesterday’s torture is today’s charming nostalgia… or maybe the day-after-yesterday’s charming nostalgia.

For whatever reason, Plimoth Plantation, home of the original Thanksgiving, no longer displays a photo-op stockade.

DisneyWorld still does, though.  And possibly Colonial Williamsburg, too.  Has anyone stuck their neck out at the Virginia colony lately?

(Journalist Darren Garnick, pictured as a child on the far left, recently worked for a day as a 17th Century laborer at Plimoth Plantation. Tacky Tourist Photos would love to receive “vintage” travel photos from your childhood. Click here for our extremely user-friendly submission process!)

UPDATE: This just in from the Plimoth Plantation fanpage on Facebook…

“Plimoth Plantation: Love the photo! We realized that they wouldn’t have been there in 1627, so that is why they are not in the Village anymore However, you may have inspired us to add them again outside the Village, as a fun photo opp. Who doesn’t love putting the family in stocks?!”

Nov '10

When Disney endorsed public humiliation…

Why have the stockades disappeared from Disney theme parks?

SUBMITTED BY: Stacy G.      LOCATION: Orlando, Florida (1976)

Any loving sister would want to lift you up for the full torture experience.

If only the Puritans knew that their preferred method of torture and humiliation would become a favorite amusement park photo-op centuries later.

(Tacky Tourist Photos would love to receive so-called “vintage” travel photos from your childhood, like these Disney pics or this other stockade gem from Williamsburg, Virginia. Click here for our extremely user-friendly submission process!)

UPDATE: We’re not afraid to admit when we make a mistake. We just learned from an authoritative source who returned from Disney World last week that these stockades are now in Liberty Square, near the steamboat.

Oct '10

Imagine there’s no tourism…

Yukking it up with Beatles icon John Lennon at a Havana park.

SUBMITTED BY: Tammie Lowry LOCATION: Havana, Cuba (2004)

Probably not too bright for a silly Web site to take a controversial political stand, but Tacky Tourist Photos hereby calls on the Obama administration to IMMEDIATELY lift the Cuba travel embargo so we can go see 1950s cars, see some raw baseball talent and eat sugar cane!

That being said, we can’t understand why Beatles legend John Lennon’s music would ever be banned here. “Imagine there’s no heaven… Imagine there’s no religion…” HELLO, FIDEL? Isn’t the anti-religion thing the perfect theme song for Communist Cuba?

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Castro government denounced the Beatles and their solo artist subsidiaries as a dangerous Western influence. But 20 years after Lennon’s assassination, Fidel commissioned a bronze statue declaring Lennon a fellow “Dreamer.”

Again, we’re dreaming of antique cars, baseball and sugar cane.

Fidel Castro says sorry to John Lennon for banning him.

(Tammie Lowry is an avid photographer and wildlife rehabilitator, who dreams with her husband Jerry and four dogs in Virginia. She visited Cuba with an educational group from West Virginia University.)

Dec '09

Sibling Torture: The Colonial Williamsburg Syndrome

Big sisters have a special way of saying "I Love You." The Mandich family at Colonial Williamsburg.

Big sisters have an oh-s0-special way of saying "I Love You." The Mandich family enjoys Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg historical theme park in 1975.

SUBMITTED BY: Steve Mandich  LOCATION: Williamsburg, Virginia (1975)

The Stockholm Syndrome is when a hostage starts to empathize with his or captors. The Colonial Williamsburg Syndrome is when a torture victim has no memory of being tortured.

Five-year-old Steve Mandich is seen here lifelessly dangling from the stockades as sister Cheryl, 10, sticks out her tongue in mockery and sister Linda, 12, kindly makes sure his neck doesn’t snap if he tries to get his feet back on the ground.

Ah, sisterly love!

Steve doesn’t remember posing for this picture and no longer has any abrasions or splinters on his neck. But he says he is not surprised that Cheryl and Linda skipped over the churning butter and quilting opportunities in favor of tormenting him.

“It probably wasn’t all that different from what my big sisters routinely subjected me to on a daily basis!” Steve claims.

(Steve Mandich is the author of Evel Incarnate: The Life and Legend of Evel Knievel, which is by far the wittiest and most balanced biography on the iconic daredevil. He is also a bonafide expert on the Seattle Pilots, Seattle Mariners, Bigfoot and Quatchi, the new Sasquatch mascot of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics).

OPEN CALL FOR VINTAGE TOURIST PHOTOS! — This gem from the Mandich family was unearthed in their vacation archives. What’s hiding in your family scrapbooks? This holiday season you have another excuse to take them off the shelf and reminisce. For information on how submit a photo for TTP immortality, click here!