, February 26th, 2017
When I visited Austin for the very first time last year, I didn’t really know what to expect. My plan was to spend a month in the capital of Texas, hoping this would give me a good amount of time to explore the city whose slogan is ‘Keep Austin Weird’. Even though this slogan had me suspect that I’d love the city, I had no idea just how much I’d fall for Austin.
With dozens of live music venues, excellent craft beer, countless food trucks, plenty of outdoors activities, especially along the river, and an overall laid-back attitude, the city won me over during my month there.
Because I had the advantage of being able to spend four full weeks there, I took my time to explore every nook and cranny of the city, but I know that most people come to Austin for a quick weekend getaway. And while I’ve already shared 33 Things I Love About Austin, I wanted to give you a more structured overview of how to spend a weekend in Austin.
Here is my perfect weekend in Austin for you – including places to eat and drink, what to do and what to see on a first-time visit:
Friday, 2pm: Welcome to Austin
Luckily, nearly all Austin hotels are conveniently located downtown, which makes it easy to explore the city on foot. If you’re not hugely into walking, I recommend you take advantage of Austin’s easy-to-use bike sharing system. The shared bikes, called B-Cycle, have a great ‘Weekender Pass’, which gives you three full days access to the bikes for only $15 and includes an unlimited number of free rides up to 60 minutes (a 24-hour pass is $12).
, February 26th, 2017
To step back in time at Barri Gotic, you better be here early in the morning when the narrow streets are empty. When the Gothic Quarter is deserted, you can really feel like you’re time-traveling. From the cold cobbled stones on tapered paths to the sharp spires above, visitors are enchanted by the sheer magnificence of Gothic architecture.
Here are some important places to check out to step back in time at Barri Gotic.
Barcelona Cathedral. Make sure you’re properly dressed because they won’t allow people to go inside in shorts or mini skirts and in flip flops. Prepare to be blown away by the grandiose interior of complex designs and elaborate carvings.
By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander
Barcelona Gay Travel Resources
, February 25th, 2017
Events: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes http://glynnhouse.com/events/ For Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – ‘comfortable’ has never been a word associated with their brand of raucous, roots-tinged rock and bluesy reverie. The Jukes have more than 30 albums on their resume. They’ve performed live thousands of times across the globe. Their vibrant legacy of classic songs have become “hits” to their large and dedicated fan base. With a decades-long successful career, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue to deliver their soul-searing brand of raucous blues and R&B, with material mined from their many albums. Plan on attending a terrific concert at the Flying Monkey March 11.
Book your Flying Monkey accommodation at the GLBT friendly Glynn House Inn. Guests enjoy gracious surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is served at separate tables in the Victorian dining room. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Afternoon refreshments are available daily. Early evening wine and cheese is offered daily. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Pamper yourself and book an in-room massage. Available in most guest rooms.
Are you looking for other winter activities during your visit to New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains and Lakes Regions? Venture away from the Inn and enjoy art galleries, dog sled trips, fine dining, hiking, skiing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, skiing , snow play and ‘tax free’ shopping. Or, simply experience the delightful New Hampshire countryside. Inn guests enjoy savings on many winter activities. View the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn, special offers and local activities. Book Your ‘Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ Accommodation Now http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.
, February 24th, 2017
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:
Aazure is a spacious one bedroom condo in the gated complex of Porto Cupecoy located on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. The master bedroom is furnished with a king sized bed. The unit sleeps up to four comfortably by offering a queen size sofa bed in the living room.
The ensuite bathroom features a marble vanity with dual sinks, walk in shower and soaker tub. Laundry is available in the unit. Aazure is equipped with a full kitchen and all the amenities needed to make this your home away from home.
Aazure provides a breathtaking view of the gardens and “beach” entry pool. From the discreet private balcony you will experience a feeling of refreshed tranquility. Steps away from the popular, clothing optional Cupecoy Beach, spectacular sunsets are definitely on the list of things to see.
Porto Cupecoy plaza is the place to be for free outdoor activities including movie night, live music and salsa dancing. Chic boutiques, fine dining and an onsite grocery store will make your stay convenient and stress free.
Located ten minutes from Princess Julianna’s International Airport, casinos, duty free shopping and vibrant night life. Located near Aazure are some of the best beaches on the island. Mullet Bay, Maho Beach, Baie Rouge and Baie Long.
Feel the caress of the tropical breezes and make sure you live the dream at Aazure.
See the Aazure Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here
Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Sint Maarten
, February 24th, 2017
The guys let go of Stefan’s swing and out he went, flying into the Andes SHOUTING at the top of his lungs, half terrified, half blown away by the adrenaline…
Throughout our 8 years relationship, Sebastien had NEVER heard Stefan screaming out loud so much (it was actually hard not to laugh!) The El Vuelo del Cóndor swing in Baños was one of our 6 awesome things to do in Ecuador, which we think you’ll also love.
#1 SWING OUT INTO AN ACTIVE VOLCANO
Located at the foot of an active volcano, Baños is one of our favourite places in Ecuador with plenty of activities ranging from zip lining, white water rafting, trekking, canyoning and of course, the swings!
Casa del Arbol (which literally means tree house) is the most famous place people come to get the money shot of them on a swing with the backdrop of the Andes. It is in fact not as scary as it sounds: you’re safely tucked in and you never go beyond the cliff edge.
By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys
Ecuador Gay Travel Resources
, February 24th, 2017
After returning from Israel, I only had a few short days in Germany before I boarded a flight back to New York – just enough time to pack up my clothes and a few other belongings I wanted to bring to New York with me and hug my friends and family goodbye.
When I arrived in New York, I learned that I’d been lucky – had I flown a day later, I wouldn’t have made it to New York, because a massive blizzard hit the city, causing over 1,700 flights across all three airports to get canceled. That blizzard was the first real snowstorm I’ve ever witnessed! Yes, of course we get snow in Germany, but not like this.
Seeing the city get covered in 10 inches (30 centimeters) of snow in the span of a few short hours was an incredible experience for me – I was amazed to see how quickly New York transformed into a winter wonderland. I watched the spectacle from the inside of a warm coffee shop while I was working and couldn’t resist taking a couple of walks through the snow, even though I decided NOT to bring my winter jacket with me to New York (I brought a vest because I figured it’d be enough for my last few days of winter).
By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls
New York City Gay Travel Resources
, February 23rd, 2017
The locals in Barcelona call Casa Batllo -as The House of Bones. You can’t blame them because if you look at it outside from afar, the casa looks like bones, indeed. Its eclectic facade design carries through the walls, door, floors and rooms inside the house. So, it’s a good idea to have an audio guide – and prepare to be dumbstruck by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since the casa is a work of Gaudi, expect a whopping price of 23.5 euros. Yes, it is thatridiculously expensive! If you want to skip the line to the ticket booth, buy your ticket online. Go in the morning for photographic reasons. There’s a different price for an early morning (36 euros – for first 10 people) visit but don’t buy it. Wait for a while until they decide to let you in for general admission.
, February 23rd, 2017
Harrington Park Press will release the Handbook of LGBT Tourism and Hospitality: A Guide for Business Practice on March 7, 2017. Authored by LGBT travel experts Je Guaracino and Ed Salvato, the book includes interviews with nearly a hundred industry experts, and analyzing multiple emerging trends among LGBT travelers.
The Handbook of LGBT Tourism and Hospitality is an easy-to-read, practical, and relevant guidebook with a simple goal: to help marketing professionals, business owners, and allied professionals compete in the increasingly competitive global LGBT travel and hospitality industry. Dozens of contributors helped make this book the most inclusive and comprehensive guide of its kind. It is intended for industry specialists in the tourism and hospitality elds, as well as academics and students in tourism and hospitality studies.
To prepare this handbook, co-authors Guaracino and Salvato traveled to six continents and worked with hundreds of individuals and companies. Input from almost a hundred expert industry consultants and authorities helped make this book the most inclusive and comprehensive guide of its kind.
Given the vast opportunity for diverse marketing to LGBT travelers, it is published at an opportune time as the LGBT tourism and hospitality industry expands in a challenging political climate.
According to Thomas Roth, President of Community Marketing & Insights: “[This volume is] Educational. Balanced. Entertaining. Practical. Required! These are just a few words that come to mind when reviewing this tremendous achievement. Je and Ed share invaluable insights that can only come with decades of personal experience and professional success in LGBT travel. They’ve formulated all that and more into a well-organized manual for any reader,
from the doe-eyed newbie to the long-time veteran, to help set and achieve realistic goals. It can be read in one sitting or referenced throughout a career. Or both.”
According to Bob Witeck, President of Witeck Communications: “Our human impulse to travel is grounded in curiosity, adventure, and romance—whether we’re gay or straight. What often sets LGBT travel apart are our lifelong needs for community, acceptance, and safety. Few writers are better than Je Guaracino and Ed Salvato to distill their expert knowledge across 6 continents into the best practices found in this one essential book.”
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
JEFF GUARACINO, author of Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing (2007), is an expert in LGBT marketing, tourism, and large-scale events. He led the Atlantic City tourism industry through the seaside resort’s most turbulent tourism period, and in 2016 he became president and CEO of Welcome America, Inc., which seeks to enhance Philadelphia’s image among travelers and to attract more visitors to the city.
ED SALVATO is chief content o cer for ManAboutWorld, the world’s number-one digital gay travel magazine for smartphones and tablets. He was previously editor in chief of Out Traveler, Out & About, and other major LGBT travel content platforms. He serves as the treasurer on the Board of Directors of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Harrington Park Press was for over twenty years the LGBTQ imprint of The Haworth Press (now part of Routledge/Taylor & Francis). It is now operated independently as a scholarly/ professional practice LGBTQ book publisher. All its titles are distributed by Columbia University Press to the most important institutional, retail, and library markets around the globe.
The book can be pre-ordered online now at Harrington Park Press.
The ebook version is available from all major ebook sellers, including Amazon and Google Books.
, February 21st, 2017
Events: DRUMline Live http://glynnhouse.com/events/ DRUMLine Live has already paraded onto some of the biggest theatre stages in America, Japan, and Korea. They’ve performing over 300 shows since 2009. It’s time for a brand new show. The show is complete with dazzling choreography and explosive percussion. DRUMLine Live is a thrilling spectacle that pays homage to the show-style marching popularized at historically black colleges and universities. Musical highlights are from hip-hop, American soul, gospel, and jazz. DRUMLine Live blends genres. DRUMLine Live combines a unique style of drumming, mesmerizing musicianship, and lively choreography. They create a production never before seen on stage. Join DRUMline Live for a terrific musical evening March 7.
Reserve terrific Capitol Center for the Arts accommodation at the GLBT friendly Glynn House Inn. Guests enjoy gracious surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is served at separate tables in the Victorian dining room. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Afternoon refreshments and early evening wine and cheese are offered daily. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Pamper yourself and book an in-room massage. Available in most guest rooms.
Venture away from the Inn. Experience the delights of New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains and Lakes Regions. Art galleries, antiques and ‘tax free’ shopping options will entice the most discerning shopper. Cultural activities include concerts reflecting every genre and four professional theaters. Vineyards and micro breweries offer complimentary tastings and exceptional products. Outdoor enthusiasts can experience lakes and mountains, outdoor adventure, ski and snow play plus endless hiking trails. Inn guests are eligible for some terrific winter activity discounts too. Everyone can enjoy scenic drives along New Hampshire’s tranquil country roads. Great local dining options will satisfy your palette too. View the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities. Book Your ‘Drumline Live’ Accommodation Now!! http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.
, February 20th, 2017
When we were recently in New Orleans we met a very interesting Gay couple who we think is in inspiration to all GAYS! Their story is one of the most enduring and sweetest stories about REAL LIFE in the Gay World today! Rather than to try to tell you about them, we will just let them tell you their story in the own words.
Douglas Alexander and Erik Alexander with their precious baby girl
It is so hard to wrap my head around at what this past year has been like. This time last year Douglas and I continued our dialogue about adopting a baby. Although we had talked about it many times in the past, this is when the conversations really became much more in depth.
October of 2015 started the serious discussions about whether or not we were ready and when we realized we were… just how the heck we were going to make it happen.
I’ll first of all say this… EVERY SINGLE PERSON you know in life, you have met for a purpose.
There is a reason for everything, you just may not know it now. And in time, the reasons reveal themselves. We reached out to everyone that we knew of that have adopted, which was not a lot of people. And most of them did not get back to us. So we were left full of unanswered questions and a path we wanted to go down, but absolutely no idea how to go down it.
So I suppose we started like any other couple would that wanted to adopt. GOOGLE.
We found 2 agencies that were located on the west coast that seemed like our type of route. We would have to fly there and begin orientation. The wait time for gay couples usually ranges between 3 to 5 years. But we were ready and eager to wait. We made the call and requested our starter packet. And we waited…
The very next day we received an email from one of the original parents we had reached out to months prior. This person was actually co workers with our neighbor at the time. She had given us his email and we reached out to him. As life would have it, a few months later, he responded. He knew of an adoption attorney that was in need of a family, particularly a gay family that was ready to adopt. So he gave us the attorney ‘s contact and we immediately reached out to her.
It was the first week of November and I remember exactly where we were, what we were doing and how we felt. When she said that she had a birth mother in our city… Our hearts jumped. But when she said that the birth mother was particularly looking for a same sex couple… our hearts nearly jumped out of our chests. We both looked at each other in our kitchen with our eyes as big as saucers and with cautious optimism asked what we needed to do. We frantically composed a bio with a few pictures to send the birth parents to hopefully, maybe match. We sent it over and all we could do was wait.
That night we left a restaurant and were in the neighborhood of where the hospital where the baby we were hoping to match with was. As soon as we passed it a huge shooting star shot across the sky. In New Orleans you really don’t see shooting stars.
We were amazed and just hoped that could just be a devinely planned sign.
We found out the next day that she wanted to meet us in person. As much as we wanted to shout from the rooftops and tell everyone we knew… we knew it needed to be kept secret. We heard so many heart breaking stories about how some adoptions fall through, and we didn’t want to jinx anything. As hard as it was to keep quiet, that is what we did.
We met with the birth parents multiple times, and each time got to know them and their families a little bit better.
We soon found out that we indeed matched. They picked us! As soon as that became clear, we scrambled to get the nursery in order! It was quickly transformed into a peaceful wonderland. It was exactly how I envisioned it.
We knew that ad potion has high points and low points. We also knew that the baby was born at 32 weeks. That is a little premature. She needed to stay in the NICU until she was healthy enough to be discharged. We had a few close calls on finalizing. We knew the birth mother started to get attached to the baby as she was in the hospital. It even was told to us that she had changed her mind in the 11th hour. It was being labled as a “failed adoption”.
All I could do was cry. It felt like there was a death in the family. Everything had been done on our end. We did everything we needed to do. We even had a brand new nursery. I just prayed that I could get my heart in a place to accept it and be happy for the mother. To just allow myself to know how difficult it must have been for her. To put myself in her place. As hard as it was, I did.
And then, the phone rang.
It was about the birth mother. She again, changed her mind and said the papers would be signed on Friday. Of everything that we went through… this was the hardest to wrap my mind around. I was just in 2 days of mourning and then all of a sudden I am to be completely over joyed? How could I be? I was more scared than anything, just because I was terrified It could fall through again. However, Friday came… and we adopted our baby. Our beautiful
Roberta Allison Mae Alexander… “Alli Mae.”
We were told at first we would wait between 3-5 years. We ended up waiting 3 and half weeks.
No one we have talked to, the agency, social worker, attorney, no one has heard of an adoption that fast. But it happened. As hard as some of the days were to get through… we made it. And we wouldn’t have changed anything that happened. It all made us stronger in the end. We are so grateful for both the birth mother and birth father. They both have such supporting and special families. We are honored that they chose us and this wonderful life brought us all together at this very important time. We will always be eternally grateful to all of them.If you and your partner are searching in hopes to find a baby just know… it will come in its right time. You will know in your heart.
Talk to each other. Lean on each other.
And if you need to, cry with each other. Sometimes, adoptions do fail. And when they do, have faith that you will pick up the pieces and march forward. Stay strong. Think positive.
What will be, will be. You are here for a purpose. You meet everyone in your life for a reason.
And everything that happens in your life is destined.
Always remember that.
You can contact them at nolapapa.com and on facebook/nolapala.
CONGRATULATIONS GENTLEMEN ON YOUR LIVES TOGETHER AND NOW WITH YOUR OWN FAMILY!
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).
Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at email@example.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/
Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources