TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: 10 Years for Our Travel Columns for PurpleRoofs.com

Published Date Author: , October 7th, 2011
Email Don & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

Don and Ra

It is hard to believe but we have been writing our monthly travel column for Purpleroofs.com for 10 years. We have written over 100 columns for them. We have been extremely fortunate to meet so many wonderful, interesting and exciting people in our travels from coast to coast.

We almost always drive and in the past 10 years we have visited every State in the country with the exception of North Dakota! We have visited all kinds of places from small villages to huge cities.

We have dined at many 5 star restaurants as well as local diners and we have enjoyed most all of them. We have met authors, entertainers, politicians, playwrights, actors and so many people have become dear friends.

We have visited Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, the Delta region in Mississippi, the Empire State Building and almost everything between the east and west coasts. You name it, Elvis’s home in Memphis, Indian ruins, high atop the Sears Tower in Chicago, in caves in southwest Missouri and so many places that we truly have forgot about.

We have stayed at over 60 Bed and Breakfasts, resorts and hotels. Most all of them are extremely clean and very professionally operated with friendly owners and staff.

A listing of our very favorite B&B’s are, in alphabetical order

  • Inn of the 410 in Flagstaff, Arizona and the owner Gordon Watkins is so accommodating. Their website is www.inn410.com.
  • The Inn of the Turquoise Bear in Santa Fe, New Mexico is so unusual. The owners, Robert Frost and Ralph Bolton are terrific guys. Their website is www.turquoisebear.com.
  • In Rimrock, Arizona which is located just a about 15 miles from Sedona, we loved the Luna Vista B and B. Owners Kala and Frank Greene are two of the nicest and friendliest people we know. Their website is ,a href=”http://www.lunavistabandb.com”>www.lunavistabandb.com.
  • The Secret Garden in Los Angeles has always been one of our very favorite places to say. Sadly, owner Raymond Bilbool died a couple of years ago and it has been sold. Guests from all over the world would stay there. Raymond ruled the roost there and everyone loved him.
  • Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Owners Brian Lamb and Ed McDermott have one of the most beautiful settings in the entire country for their Inn. We could have stayed there all summer. Their website is www.topsideinn.com
  • The Villa Bed and Breakfast in Daytona Beach is a huge historic Spanish Mansion. Owner Jim Camp knows how to treat his guests so that they want to return over and over again. Their website is www.thevillabb.com.

Our very favorite gay resort to stay in the country is THE GRAND RESORT AND SPA in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We have been staying there for 10 years and they are so accommodating and professional. The are continuously updating their property. The entire staff is extremely friendly and professional. They KNOW how to treat their guests and that is why they have so many repeat guests that continue coming back year after year after year. Owner Casey Koslowski, General Manager Herb Pianin and Assistant General Manager Mark Beveridge are THE most professional men in the resort business! Their website is www.grandresort.net.

Our favorite gay hotel in the country is LORDS SOUTH BEACH in of course, South Beach Miami, Florida. Under the professional guidance of Brian Gorman this hotel is a shining example of what gays want when they go to South Beach. It is located just a block from the beach. Their website is www.lordssouthbeach.com.

Our very favorite restaurants in the country are MELVYNS which is located in his Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs, California, website: www.inglesideinn.com. Owner Mel Habor and his beautiful wife Stephanie are the best of the best. They have been in business over 35 years.

In New York City our favorite restaurant is CHEZ JOSEPHINE, www.chezjosephine.com. Owner Jean-Claude Baker has been in business for over 25 years and his restaurant on West 42nd Street is a tribute to his adopted Mother, the late Josephine Baker. Anybody who is anybody who goes to New York City goes there.

MARCELLINO’S RISTORANTE in greater Phoenix is always on our top 5 places to dine. Owners Chef Marcellino and his lovely wife Sima are a match made in Heaven. For Italian cuisine, this is the only place to visit. Their website is www.marcellinoristorante.com.

In Palm Beach, Florida we always go back to TA-BOO which is located right on Worth Avenue just down the street from Neiman Marcus. Owners Franklyn deMarco and Nancy Sharigan know exactly what their clients want and delivers every time. Their website is www.taboorestaurant.com.

What do these restaurants who have been in business have in common? They all know how to operate their business in the perfect manner. Treating guests like they should be treated and with a fine quality of food, food presentation and wonderful atmosphere. In addition they all KNOW that you are there for a very pleasant dining experience!

Our two favorite bars in the country are the TOWNHOUSE in New York City,
www.townhouseny.com and the new Black Crown Piano Bar in Denver, Colorado, www.blackcrownlounge.com.

However the most important aspect of our traveling these past years is the people that we have met. Wow! from Movie and Broadway actors, to authors, playwrights, singers, dancers, pianists and just hundreds of very interesting people.

Most of these people we have become great friends with and stay in touch with all the time.

These are a few that we would like to mention:

  • Andrew Lee who now lives in Mexico
  • Entertainers Tony & Gloria
  • Miguel Reyna and good friends Faye Harrod and Gloria Delroy all in Ft. Lauderdale
  • Smitty and Eddie Wood in Mississippi
  • Joe and Eric, owners of the Oasis Guest House in Boston
  • Dean Perkins, aka Crystal Chandelier who is a wonderful dear friend, movie maker
  • Craig Highberger, Ken Wilson and Grant Allen in Palm Springs
  • Tom Sandegren in New York City
  • Jim Turilli and Rodger Vanhyfte in the quad cities
  • Dimi Politis and Donal Walshe, our new friends in Belgium
  • Canadian friend, Michel H. Bourque, author of MURDER ON CAMAC
  • Joseph R.G. de Marco and his partner Jason Li
  • Jim Peterson Tony Smith in Denver
  • Our very dear friend Ginny Barrett and Willy Cool of Florida and New Hampshire who met on one of our first trips driving down to Florida
  • John Dunne and Ed Hayes in St. Petersburg
  • Author and playwright Tom Monsell
  • Christopher May and Sol Rose who now own the Cafe Bohemio in Puerto Vallarta
  • Ole Borresen, owner of the Lucky B&B in Las Vegas
  • Gene White and Harriett in Naples, Florida

Two of our favorite moments these past 10 years was having our 35th Anniversary at the Liberace Estate in Palm Springs back in 2006. We were the first gay couple in the State of Kansas to be legally married as we were married in Palm Springs in 2008. It just doesn’t get any better than that for a gay couple!

A very special tribute to newspaper columnist Nikki Patrick in Pittsburg, Kansas, Poet Jo McDougall and her husband Charles, author Robert Hofmann and his partner Michael Panfile, entertainer Auntie Mame in Ft. Lauderdale, Mel Habor, owner and dear friend of Melvyn’s Restaurant in Palm Springs and to the hundreds of people and readers that we have met over these past 10 years.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for our wonderful experiences these past years. We sure had a great time and looking forward to many more years of visiting new places, seeing new things, dining, drinking, having fun and MEETING NEW PEOPLE.

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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Don & ray - Gay TravelersAlways 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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Comments reader  7 Reader Comments

Tom Friedman - Gravatar

Tom Friedman said on October 8, 2011, 2:02 pm:

Don and Ray, you are individually and togethet wonderful. Doris and I met you in Seattle and we remember you fondly.

Keep up the travels and the emails.
Tom

Mark Cameron - Gravatar

blackcrownlounge.com Mark Cameron said on October 8, 2011, 4:53 pm:

Congratulations, gentlemen! It was a treat meeting you this summer at The Black Crown Lounge in Denver! We are honored to be included in your “Best” list!

A toast to many more years of fabulous gay travel!

Mark Cameron
General Manager
Black Crown Lounge

Joe DeMarco - Gravatar

www.mystericale.com Joe DeMarco said on October 9, 2011, 3:40 am:

Congratulations! Your column is always a wonderful treat. I feel honored to be mentioned in this one.
Looking forward to seeing you at the Grand again!

Joe DeMarco

Smitty Horne Wood - Gravatar

Smitty Horne Wood said on October 9, 2011, 3:42 pm:

It has been a pleasure getting to know the two of you and spending time with you! We have learned so much from you and, I hope, shown you some things that interested you, as well. Congratulations on 10 years of writing your column and thank you so much for including Eddie and me among the group of interesting people you have met! We look forward to more good times!

-Smitty

Purple Roofs October 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter | Purple Roofs Travel Blog - Gravatar

purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/10/purple-roofs-october-2011-gay-travel-newsletter.html Purple Roofs October 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter | Purple Roofs Travel Blog said on October 9, 2011, 10:32 pm:

[…] It is hard to believe but we have been writing our monthly travel column for Purpleroofs.com for 10 years. We have written over 100 columns for them. We have been extremely fortunate to meet so many wonderful, interesting and exciting people in our travels from coast to coast. We almost always drive and in the past 10 years we have visited every State in the country with the exception of North Dakota! We have visited all kinds of places from small villages to huge cities. http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2011/10/traveling-in-our-fabulous-gay-world-10-years-for-our-… […]

Dimi - Gravatar

Dimi said on October 10, 2011, 10:06 am:

It has been wonderful to meet you and get to know. Warm congratulations for the 10 years and may be followed by plenty of ther decades! We miss KC a lot!
Lots of love from Europe
Dimi + Dónal

Robert Hofmann - Gravatar

Robert Hofmann said on October 10, 2011, 6:07 pm:

Donald and Ray,
I am honored and humbled to be mentioned in your tenth anniversary column. Thank you so much. I am truly touched. I wish you only the best for the next ten years of your writing, which I look forward to each month. I love you both very much,
Robert

jo McDougall - Gravatar

www.jomcdougall.net jo McDougall said on October 11, 2011, 1:56 am:

Donald and Ray, you are such special friends–always a delight and fun to be with, with hearts bigger than the planet. Thanks for mentioning us in your great travel column.

Yours,
Jo and Charles McDougall

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