New York Trying to Outlaw B&B’s, Vacation Rentals?

Author: , July 23rd, 2010

Just got this from one of our innkeepers:

You might want to look at BILL S6783. The powers that be in their infinite wisdom have decided that it might be in everyone’s interest to ban alternative accommodation practice in New York City. This could set a precedent for all cities. The bill was signed on July 4th (not read by most who signed as usual) and Gov. Patterson has to make a decision on Friday. Essentially this bill will kill half of New York City’s tourism and business and we in real estate have to do something NOW to inform the public and the media as to what is REALLY going on. This is nothing more than a smokescreen to allow the hotels to do business unabated.

I strongly urge all of you to call 1 518 474 8390 (Gov’s office) and ask him to VETO this preposterous and entirely unconstitutional bill.

We saw something very similar play out across Hawaii, when the big hotels supported efforts to make the smaller, non-hotel properties illegal. Here’s more information about this bill:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/new-york/vacation-rentals/prweb4290294.htm

–Scott & Mark, Purple Roofs

Win 5 Nights in Hawaii From Purple Roofs

Author: , July 23rd, 2010

Bali CottageBali Cottage at Kehena Beach
Kehena Beach, Big island, Hawaii

Unwind at this Oceanfront Romantic 2 story Private Balinese Guest House, surrounded in the natural ambiance of Kehena Beach Estates.

This Jewel of the Big Island of Hawaii is tucked alongside the South East Puna coastline.

Break away from the hustle and bustle of your routine and lose yourself in the serenity of our Island and all it has to offer & enjoy blissful ocean breezes and relaxation beyond compare!!

This romantic getaway offers spectacular 170 degree ocean front view of our Hawaiian coastline, and is the closest place to stay you will find to our famous Kehena Clothing Optional Black Sand Beach.

Enter to win here

Featured Property: Almost Home Inn – Ogunquit, Maine

Author: , July 23rd, 2010

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Poconos Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Almost Home InnNestled within walking distance to Ogunquit village, this absolutely charming Inn provides all that you need to have an amazing vacation. Hop on the trolley and tour Perkins Cove or head into town for some of the best shopping around.

Take a walk on the Marginal Way and you will be moved to extend your vacation. Ogunquit Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in America, with miles of white sand, accented by gorgeous dunes and a lazy tidal river. Almost Home Inn Ogunquit is your place to relax and recharge. Watch old movies and play games in our cozy common room or read a good book on the sun drenched patio. On your next vacation, take all the comforts of home with you when you stay at Almost Home Inn Ogunquit!

Almost Home Inn offers modern amenities with a distinctly unique Maine setting. Whether you are looking to do it all or do nothing at all, our spacious suites and beautiful grounds create a cozy, welcoming escape any time of the year.

See The Almost Home Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

A Hidden Gem – Escape to Waterloo County in Ontario Canada

Author: , July 23rd, 2010
by Don Mader, Colonial Creekside Grand Guest House, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Email Don | Visit the Colonial Creekside Grand Guest House Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Southwest Ontario, Canada page

Planning a Gay Ontario Wedding? | Looking for a Gay Ontario Real Estate Agent?

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Located just one hour northeast of Toronto, Waterloo County attracts a multitude of travelers annually. Originally settled by Pennsylvanian Mennonites in the early 1800’s, the area is steeped in history.

Making their way north from Pennsylvania in primitive Conestoga wagons, early pioneers battled dense forests, treacherous waterways and intense swampland, eventually settling along the banks of the Grand River. Silver coins hidden in barrels of flour survived the trek and served as payment to Chief Joseph Brant in exchange for 94,012 acres of land.

Since those early days Waterloo County has been the home to several “Orders” of Mennonite and Amish citizens along with an ever-changing mix of nationalities.

Mennonite Carriage - Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Over the last two decades the city of Waterloo-proper has become the technology hub of Canada with well-known RIM leading the way. Although two high profile universities and a college also form an integral part of the Waterloo community, its rural roots are never far removed.

Even large local malls provide parking sheds to shelter horse-drawn buggies while their Mennonite owners complete in-town purchases.

Just five or ten minutes in any direction transplants visitors to a bygone era where Mennonite farmers tend to their gardens and crops with implements not normally seen in the last 100 years.

Verdant rolling hills make for a scenic country drive and the sight of Mennonite families dressed in their traditional old order black garb causes one to forget the hustle-bustle of modern-day life.

St. Jacobs, Ontario, CanadaThe well known hamlet of St Jacobs sits just 10 minutes northeast of Colonial Creekside Grand Guest House. St Jacobs Farmers Market, along with many fine shops, attracts visitors from around the world.

The market is an amazing cornucopia of produce and products ranging from blue jeans to perfume, sauerkraut to ice cream and tarts to chocolate. Of course organically grown fruits and vegetables can be found in every direction you turn.

The incredible abundance of shops include local glass blowers, antique dealers and even a broom-maker. Whether your taste is modern or traditional, one day in St Jacobs may not be enough to satisfy your passion for delicious food and your insatiable appetite for unique artifacts.

Also worthy of mention is Waterloo’s twin city of Kitchener, featuring Doon Pioneer Museum, historically accurate Schneider Haus and the Woodside National Historic Site – childhood home of Canada’s war-time Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King.

A half hour drive due north of Waterloo brings you to the scenic village of Elora, with its breathtaking Elora Gorge through which the Grand River tumbles and swirls. Strikingly beautiful heritage buildings are also an invitation to take a leisurely stroll through town.

Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland GamesFive minutes beyond Elora lies the quaint town of Fergus, home of the Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games. Hit it just right and you too shall learn the answer to “Just what DO Scottish men wear under their kilts?” On a somewhat less risqué note, local folklore has it that a man named Joe Cushing, dubbed the strongest man in the entire town of Fergus, met face to face on the bridge with a fellow who owed him money.

Grabbing the errant bill payer by the arm pits, mighty Joe suspended him over the turbulent waters and held him there until he extracted a firm promise of payment.

Now back to Kitchener-Waterloo minus any crazy legendary bill collectors, the timing of your visit could be just right for world-renowned Oktoberfest.

Celebrating its community ties with Germany, Oktoberfest boasts a large parade and a number of cultural events hosted at various Ethnic Fest Halls. Authentic German cuisine is available year round but is even more popular during Oktoberfest.

The LGBTQ community has found a very comfortable niche amidst the multi-cultural elements of Waterloo County. Club Renaissance, The Robin’s Nest and Baker’s Street are popular night spots for entertainment and dancing. Like many cities, the Cambridge-Kitchener-Waterloo area hosts its own annual Pride Day parade complete with festivities. Please visit http://www.grandriverrainbow.ca/bizresultsCat.php for listings of other local events.

Although there is plenty to see and do in diverse Waterloo County, some tranquil time spent at Colonial Creekside Grand Guest House is also a very important part of your journey. Historically, Colonial Creekside takes its rightful spot in the community, situated on land once occupied by potter Adam Bierenstihl. Using the rich blue clay dug from Colonial Creek, Bierenstihl made utilitarian pottery for the local inhabitants from 1853 to 1866.

Flash forward 150 years and envision yourself at modern-day Colonial Creekside. Although shards of the original pottery can still be found when digging on the property, all else is 21st century. Three designer suites and a decadent state-of-the-art indoor swimming pool may mean you won’t want to leave! The much sought-after elements of privacy and attention to detail are incorporated in ensuite bathrooms and in-room breakfast dining, making you feel like you’ve escaped to a time and place previously unimagined! Large furnished balconies, extensive grounds and a spectacular spring-fed creek lend themselves to an unforgettable stay. Don & James, your friendly yet unintrusive hosts, are always happy to provide directions and assistance during your visit. For more information please check out http://www.purpleroofs.com/colonial-creekside-waterloo.html
and view our comprehensive web site at
www.colonialcreekside.com. Contact us by phone at 519.886.2726 or email us at info@colonialcreekside.com. Special Purple Roofs discount applies.

Argentina: Gay Tourism Set to Boom

Author: , July 23rd, 2010

Gay Friendly Argentina Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Argentina is set to see an increase in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) tourists who accounted for 17.8 percent of visitors in 2008, thanks to the same-sex marriage bill that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner signed into law yesterday evening.

Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer, one of the opening speakers at the third annual GNetwork360 tourism and marketing conference yesterday, talked to the Herald about the effect of the new law.

He said: “Argentina is already standing out. Two days ago I was told that interest in terms of tourism is already rising as this is a country that is more open than others in terms of rights and how it treats its citizens.”

Full Story from the Buenos Aires Herald

Researchers Rank Top 20 Gayest Cities in the United States

Author: , July 23rd, 2010

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

San Francisco PrideFrom the obvious (San Francisco) to the surprising (Columbus), Richard Florida and Gary Gates crunched the numbers to rank the top gay cities in the country.

The U.S. metropolitan region with the largest concentration of gay and lesbian people is San Francisco. That’s not exactly news, but there are more than a few surprises in the Gay/Lesbian Index’s metro-area rankings. Developed by Gary Gates, a demographer at UCLA’s Williams Institute, the Gay/Lesbian Index value tells you how the proportion of same-sex couples among all households of a given metro area compares to the average for the entire U.S. An index value of 2, for example, means that the proportion of same-sex couples in that metro area is twice that of the nation.

New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, Denver, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, all make the list of the 20 gayest metros. But so do Dallas, Columbus, Ohio, Santa Rosa and Sacramento, Springfield, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine, and college towns like Eugene, Oregon, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Ithaca, New York.

Full Story from The Daily Beast

Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Siena

Author: , July 23rd, 2010

Gay Friendly Tuscany Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Sienna, Italy

Monday, July 5th

Palio, Sienna, ItalyHi, everyone,

Good morning, everyone,
I have not written for a week or so, therefore, thought I had better let everyone know that I am alive and well. I have been staying in Florence, for the most part, except for a day trip to Siena last Wednesday. I will start with that trip.

Siena is a lovely hill town, about an hour drive south of Florence. Twice a year, On July 2 and August 16, Siena has this big event, called the Palio. It takes place in the main town square, the Il Campo. The race is a competition between the 17 contrade (neighborhoods) of Siena.

This race has more significance to Sienese than I can describe in the blog, so you might want to go online and look up “Palio” and read more about it. For the race, dirt is brought in to make a track around the Il Campo. Bleachers are set up around this track, but the poor people who cannot afford the bleachers, like me, pack into the inside of the Il Campo to watch the race.

Palio Trials, Sienna, Italy

I did not go for the actual race, but went two days earlier, to watch the trials. These are held twice a day, for the three days preceding the actual race, but done the same way, and the same fervor.

The riders wear the colors of their contrada, and the horse will have some of the colors in its bridle. The riders ride bareback, make 3 loops around the track, and that is the race. If a rider falls off and his horse continues to run, the horse can win without a rider.

It was crazy, but fun. The entire race lasted a minute, but the pageantry before the race was fun to see. I was glad that I got to see it, and also glad that I went for the trials and not the real thing, because eve at 9:00 in the morning, the crowd was a bit crazy.

Fountain, Sienna, ItalyAfter the race, I did my touristy thing. The big fountain in the square, called the Fountain of Joy, is beautiful. There are usually pigeons walking down the noses of the wolves to get a drink of water. I thought it amazing that, right after the race, there was not a pigeon in sight.

I toured the Duomo and the Duomo museum, had lunch on the square, then headed back to Florence.

I am going to go back to Siena on Friday, and take a wine tasting tour through the Montalcino area, home of Brunello wine. That should be fun.

I am going to close this post now, and write more later, about Florence and my new duckling, Amanda. I have to change apartments today, so need to get packed and ready to go. I am just moving one floor down.

In the meantime, keep me in your thoughts and keep in touch with me.

Ciao for now

Dolly

Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Click here for gay travel resources in Florence & Tuscany.

Featured Property: Wilfred Ponds – Casco, Poconos, Pennsylvania

Author: , July 21st, 2010

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Poconos Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Wilfred Ponds - Cresco, Poconos, PennsylvaniaSeclusion, privacy, relaxation. Beautiful 1 bedroom apartment with kitchen and bathroom overlooking a lovely pond. Tucked away off state road 314, near a private 400 acre reserve and yet only 10 minutes from I-80 exit 298 in Paradise Township.

Gay owned and operated this property has numerous gardens with a natural spring-fed 2 acre pond, Koiponds, water features, decks, paddle and row boat, Swiftwater stream and much more. Apartment comes with many features, fireplace, firewood, walk-in shower, private courtyard and welcoming basket.

Only 5 minutes from Mt. Airy Casino and the Crossings. Only 11⁄2 hours from Manhattan. Minutes away from many fine restaurants and hiking. We treat our guests like family.

See The Wilfred Ponds Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

IGLTA Offering Travelers Deal for Iceland Gay Pride

Author: , July 21st, 2010

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is offering a special package for revelers visiting Reykjavik next month for gay pride. Reykjavik gay pride is expected to be especially prideful and extravagant this year as it celebrates Iceland’s recently-approved gay marriage law. The parade and festival takes place over four days, August 5-8.

Book travel now to be a part of this historic event.

IGLTA’s travel deal includes a three-night stay at the chic Hilton Reykjavik Nordica hotel and A Sense of Reykjavik tasting tour.

Full Story from On Top Magazine

Postcards From An Italian Adventure – Orvieto, Bagnoregio and Civita

Author: , July 21st, 2010

Gay Friendly Umbria Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on an extended adventure in Italy. She has graciously agreed to let us republish her travel logs. Enjoy!

Orvieto

Monday, June 28th

Orvieto, ItalyHi, everyone,

I just returned from a wonderful 2 days in Orvieto. Orvieto is a hill town, about half way between Florence and Rome. It has been on my “must see” list for some time, and I finally got to go there.

I arrived by train into the lower city, from there I took a bus to the upper, old city. This old city perches on a hill that is about one mile wide and maybe 1-1/2 miles long. I would call it a plateau, but it definitely is not flat. It is a lovely medieval city.

Orvieto, ItalyI emerged from the bus, right onto the Piazza Duomo, in front of one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. The style of construction is Romanesque, with alternating stripes of black and white stone.

The facade, though, is very ornate, lots of color and gold. The doors of the Duomo are huge, and fairly new, designed by an artist called Emelio Greco, and installed in the 1970′s, I believe.

Inside was so simple, huge, with very ornate side chapels. It reminded me of the Mezquita church in Cordoba, Spain (which is my favorite church of all time). Sometimes one piece of art, or one building, can make the entire trip worth while. This church not only touched my heart, it touched my soul.

There are several old churches in Orvieto, and all beautiful in their own way. I was intrigued with the stone houses, all the buildings, the tunneled passageways, and just how many times I could get lost I a city that is not all that big!!

There is a walkway, around the perimeter of the city, from where I could look over the Umbrian countryside, from any direction. There is also a walkway about half way down the cliff, that also is very scenic, but I knew if I walked down that circular staircase, sooner or later I would have to walk back up those stairs.

Yesterday, I took a bus from Orvieto, to a little town called Bagnoregio, further into the hilly countryside. The bus ride was supposed to take one hour; however, my driver made it in 40 minutes. I think he stopped at one stop sign, and that was in Bagnoregio.

The trip reminded me of going on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disneyland! From the bus stop, I walked through the town, which took about a half hour, as my goal was to go to the isolated city of Civita.

CivitaThis city, definitely medieval, is connected to Bagnoregio by only a pedestrian bridge. There is no other way to get there. The cities used to be connected by a land bridge, but that has long ago eroded.

Then they had a trail, called the Donkey Path, replaced by a bridge that was destroyed in World War II. I saw pictures of the Donkey Bridge as well as the old bridge, and I would not have made the trip on either of those!

Civita, ItalyThis bridge spans a canyon, and only takes about 10 minutes to walk it. But about midway there, I nearly had a panic attack: I am afraid of heights, and here I was in the middle of a bridge over a canyon, trying to convince myself that it would be OK, and I would not fall off.

I finally got across, and thoroughly enjoyed the city. The experience was similar, in my mind, of walking across the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn (which, of course, I have not done!)

Civita, ItalyBy the way, I was one of 5 tourists in that entire town and the other 4 were an American family, so I had it all to myself.

Before going back over the bridge, I got a bottle of water, thought about having a glass of wine to calm my nerves but nixed that idea before it had time to germinate. Just as I was almost to the Bagnoregio side of the bridge, here came 2 tour groups. I was glad I did not have to move to the edge of the bridge mid-canyon, as I would not have done it..they would have had to go around me.

It was quite an adventure, and I am glad I did it, and have found another new adventure for my tour groups. It really was lovely.

After I got across, I did sit at a sidewalk cafe in Bagnoregio, to watch the traffic. Remember, this is a tiny little town, very few places to park, and as it was Saturday, there seemed to be a lot of traffic. But the residents take it in stride: one double parks, parks behind someone else, or if you see a spot that looks like your car will fit into, then just go for it. It was fun, and amazing.

I saw one guy, who saw that someone was backing out of a spot, put his car in reverse, started backing up, so everyone behind him had to do the same thing. And there was no swearing, no fights; just seem to be the way the people were used to doing things. I saw it as another reason I do not want to drive in Italy!

Back in Orvieto, after a little lunch and rest, I had the rest of the evening to explore some more, got lost a few more times, but just soaked up the medieval flavor of the town.

Orvieto, ItalyThis morning I went to Mass in the Duomo. I just had to see it one more time. Then, on the bus to the train station, and got the train back to Firenze. Back home.

Tonight, a young lady from La Paz, Mexico, is arriving by herself. Her name is Amanda. She just graduated from high school, and will be studying here in Florence. Her family is coming over in three weeks, so I told Magda that I would help Amanda get settled and watch over her, if she needs it. Amanda’s mother liked that idea. So now I have a duckling. I am happy. I hope Amanda will be happy, too. I will try not to smother her.

Thursday, June 24, was a holiday here, St. John’s Day, and I went with Massimo and Magda to watch the fireworks. We lined up along the walkway by the Arno River. The fireworks were set off from Piazzale Michelangelo, up on a hill overlooking Florence. The fireworks were beautiful, a very nice display.

ItalyAfterward, we went to a pizza ristorante and had a late night pizza. Very fun. On the way home, I almost got run over by a scooter. Magda saved me and proclaimed herself as the new “Mamma Duck”. We had a very good time together. They are fun to be with, and will keep me from being too lonesome.

They are finishing remodeling and furnishing a new apartment, near Santa Croce. I am anxious to see it, and have proposed that the apartment needs an appropriate christening. I will wait for them to tell me the date, then we will do it right! I love the fact that it is two doors down from a Wine Bar, called Intelligente. My kind of place!

Now I am back in Firenze, home. And just like when you come home, in the United States, from an excellent adventure, there are things that need to be done, like laundry, making a grocery list, mundane chores. So I will do those things now, then watch soccer matches until time for Amanda to arrive.

Ciao for now. Keep in touch, and new adventures will be posted soon.

Dolly

Want to Follow Bella’s Adventure Directly? Check Out Dolly Travels

Click here for gay travel resources in Florence & Tuscany.