Purple Roofs Gay Travel Newsletter 12/14/13

Published Date Author: , December 14th, 2013

Mark and ScottWelcome to the Purple Roofs gay travel newsletter.

Our articles section now has four parts – local news,
general interest, travel event news (including upcoming events and reviews and photos of past events), and finally sweepstakes and contests.

We’ve got lots of other great stuff for you this month, too – including a bunch of feature articles on Holiday Shopping in San Francisco, Montreal’s Gay Village, the Hidden Italy; and more.

And we’re featuring a number of other gay travel articles from around the world.

You’ll also find some great accommodation specials and discounts, tons of upcoming gay travel events, and much more.

Casa K - Puerto VallartaCasa K: The Hidden One – Old Town Puerto Vallarta

The El Escondido, known as the “Hidden One,” is a beautiful complex located on a gentle hill just above Olas Altas street in Puerto Vallarta.

Casa K, corner of paradise. Casa K is a large two-bedroom (1240 sqft) artistically decorated vacation condo furnished with both modern and Mexican design touches.

Visit The Casa K Expanded Listing Here

Our Featured Articles This Month:

Branson ElvisTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Our Wonderful Traveling in 2013
by Don & Ray
Our first trip this year was a driving trip down to New Orleans or “NOLA” as it is called by travelers from all over the world. If you only visit there for the restaurants and bars you would be well pleased however there are so many other things to see and do in the city. They have their share of wonderful museums as well as historical and architectual places to visit. The French Quarters is where most people head to first. One of our favorite restaurants is STELLA, located at 1032 Chartres in the French Quarters. We had their Chef’s 7 course tasting dinner with wine pairing. You will need to take a minimum of two hours to enjoy this and it is worth every penny.
Full Story

Xmas_TreetOh Tannenbaum
by Robert Saldarini, Diversity Rules Magazine
Regardless if you celebrate Christmas or respectfully decline, few can dispute the glamor of the Christmas tree. In actuality, the tree predates Christianity and was an intimate part of winter festivals. Few know that celebrating Christmas was viewed as pagan and outlawed in the newly found settlement of Boston; whereby, a fine was levied if one made merry. Even after the Revolutionary War, Congress sat in session on the 25th of December. Time past and in 1870 America declared Christmas a National holiday. So, let’s look beyond the political correctness and religion of late December and instead admire the art of the Christmas tree.
Full Story

Montreal Le VillageCANADA, QUEBEC: Montreal’s Le Village
by Laura Brouillette
You know what Kinsey posited — we all have a percentage of gay in us. You may be 50-50, you may be 60-40. Hell, you might even be 98-2! But, he argued, all of us fall in a grey area. And what city knows this better than Montreal, one of the most gay-friendly places in the world. Whether you’re a native Montrealer, or from a small town, all agree that there’s no better place to get your heteroflexible on than in this bilingual metropolis. Full-fledged homo already? Perfect! You’ll feel right at home. And what better place to get your queer on than the Gay Village itself. Now I know this makes it sound like I’m encouraging everyone to hurry up and go make out in a Village cafe bathroom, but trust me, entrepreneurs caught on a long time ago…and bathroom doors are now locked.
Full Story

BolognaITALY: Finding the Hidden Italy
by Diego Donzella, My Hidden Italy
Even if Italy isn’t the most tolerant country regarding same-sex couples, due to the strong influence of the Vatican, it has grown to accept its gay and lesbian citizens, especially over the past few decades. Homosexuality has been legal here since 1889, and the age of consent is 16. It is of course forbidden to have sex in public, and even open displays of affection can be an issue with some officials. No law has been passed to recognize same-sex couples, but in some towns there are registered civil partnerships that give recognition, if no special rights, to gay couples couple. And yet, Italy remains a favorite romantic destination for gay men and lesbians.
Full Story

Castro Christmas TreeUSA, CALIFORNIA: San Francisco Shopping for the Holidays 2013
by Scott & Mark
San Francisco is always a great place to visit, but it’s especially magical during the Holiday Season. While there’s no snow, the Christmas decorations come out, it seems like there’s music on every corner, and holiday cheer abounds. We took our annual holiday shopping trip in The City last week, to head down to The City to see what this holiday season had to offer. The weather was cold (and wet the first night) this year – but after the rain passed on Friday, we had two beautiful, sunny days. You’ll find many of our favorites here – Union Square, Union Street, The Castro, The Embarcadero/Ferry Building, and Hayes Valley.
Full Story

We also scour the web to bring you all the gay travel news we can find. You can see these posts on a daily basis at http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog, or sign up for our RSS feed. Here are some of our favorites from the last month.

Local Stories:

Monday morning and we are back on the road. We head deep into the mountains. The area is breathtaking.
Full Story

CANADA, ONTARIO: Toronto to Host Pride House During Russian Olympics
Toronto is carrying on an Olympic tradition that had its beginnings in Vancouver, but has been outlawed for the Winter Games in Sochi.
Full Story

CHINA: The Great Wall of China in Winter
We all have seen what the Great Wall looks like when the weather is nice, especially in summer.
Full Story

FIJI: Five Free Things to Do in Fiji
With its white sand beaches, tropical climate and relaxed pace, Fiji has rightfully earned a reputation as a South Pacific paradise.
Full Story

FRANCE: Exploring Nice at Night
Dinner last night at Regence private Restaurant at Le Negresco Hotel in Nice, France was just outstanding.
Full Story

FRANCE: Exploring Nice in the Daylight
This is my third time in Nice, and this time I am only for 24 hours, invited by Le Negresco Hotel, on my way to my final destination for the next four days, Cannes.
Full Story

GERMANY: Berlin is a Must-Visit in 2014
Get ready for another one of those anniversaries that might make you feel really old. November 9, 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Full Story

GERMANY: Cologne, Germany – Cooler Than You Think
Before the weather turned too cold I took a short trip up to visit Cologne (that’s Köln) for the very first time. Having lived in Germany for a little while now (a long while, really), it seemed strange that I hadn’t yet visited.
Full Story

Baden-Baden’s Subtle But Exquisite Beauty
So I’ve been living in Germany for a decent amount of time now and yet the country is still surprising me.
Full Story

INDIA: What Does India’s Sodomy Law Ruling Mean for Gay Travelers?
A ruling of the Indian Supreme court in India could have widespread consequences also for the travel and tourism industry to India.
Full Story

ITALY: Visiting Venice’s Caffe Florian
A must stop and try caffe in Venice, right on Piazza San Marco.
Full Story

ITALY: Venice’s Rialto Bridge and Market
The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges along the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.
Full Story

ITALY: Venice to Block Large Cruise Ships
The Italian government’s recent decision to limit the number of large ships entering Venice through scenic Giudecca Canal early next year – and eventually, prohibit them altogether – may come as a blow to some cruise passengers who have their hearts set on seeing this famous city.
Full Story

SLOVENIA: Visiting Ljubljana
The worst thing about Ljubljana is not having enough time to enjoy its buzzing nightlife.
Full Story

SPAIN: Is Madrid Trying to Shut Down Gay Pride?
Organizers of Madrid’s Gay Pride festival say the city is trying to financially “strangle” the event by imposing excessive fines that will shut it down if they continue.
Full Story

UK, ENGLAND: Why You Should Stay in East London
London is a big, big city and because of that, it can be overwhelming to decide where to stay.
Full Story

UK, ENGLAND: London From Above
You know how sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time?
Full Story

UK, ENGLAND: UK Christian B&B Owners Lose Appeal to Supreme Court
The Christian guesthouse owners who banned a gay couple from sleeping in a double room has lost their Supreme Court appeal.
Full Story

UK, ENGLAND: 24 Hour Tube Service to Boost Gay London Nghtlife
London Underground has announced that in 2015 parts of the tube network will run 24-hours at the weekends.
Full Story

USA, ARIZONA: Phoenix – Go for the Food
When Twitter and Facebook first began to catch fire, so did food trucks.
Full Story

USA, ARKANSAS: Little Rock – An Improbable Oasis
Little Rock, Arkansas may not show up on most LGBT travelers’ domestic bucket list, but maybe it’s time that bucket got bigger.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles – Go for the Food
There’s this weirdly unfounded reputation that just about everyone in Los Angeles is vegan and therefore sunbaked Angelenos only feast on the likes of kale and quinoa.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Five Unique Holiday Shopping Spots in San Francisco
San Francisco is a world-class shopping city, and everyone from high-end international designers to small independent DIY artisans has a seat at the merch table.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Three Great San Francisco Culinary Hot-Spots
San Francisco is more than just tacos and beer; these high-profile eateries show that the City by the Bay can innovate and excite with haute cuisine.
Full Story

USA, FLORIDA: Broward County Aims to Build on Gay Tourism Success
Greater Fort Lauderdale has come a long way since officially rolling out the rainbow carpet to gay and lesbian travelers in 1996. Back then tourism officials spent $35,000 on gay marketing.
Full Story

USA, LOUISIANA: Want to Spend (An Affordable) Christmas in New Orleans?
The one holiday you associate with New Orleans is probably Mardi Gras, for obvious reasons. But three months prior, just as winter is making the rest of the country reach for their snow shovels, another important holiday makes this balmy southern city shine: Christmas.
Full Story

USA, NEW YORK: New York’s Skyline at Night
Do I need to say more? These photos will really make you impulsively buy a ticket right now because New York skyline at night is magical, stunning and romantic!
Full Story

USA, NEW YORK: Visiting the New Harlem
There’s such thing as Italian Renaissance. Or English Renaissance.
Full Story

USA, NEW YORK: Walking in Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs of New York City, right across downtown Manhattan.
Full Story

USA, TENNESSEE: Affordable Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains
Looking for an easy budget getaway? Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains offer a mix of inexpensive activities and attractions that work for all kinds of travelers, from thrill-seekers and hiking nuts to kids and foodies.
Full Story

USA, UTAH: Visiting Park City
In 2002, the Winter Olympics took place in Salt Lake City, which put the destination in the public’s eye.
Full Story

General Gay Travel News:

Alain and His Rainbow Wig
For some people it me be something as simple and small as an iPod.
Full Story

Travels of Adam’s Favorite Places
Where did you go on your last holiday? This October, I travelled around south-western Germany for two weeks.
Full Story

Budget Travel Destinations for 2014
Shermans Travel Blog has compiled a list of their top ten affordable travel destinations for next year.
Full Story

Gay Event Reviews:

None this week

Upcoming Event News:

AUSTRALIA: Bear Essentials 18 Coming to Sydney in February
(Feb 1-Mar 2) Bear Essentials 18 Festival – Bear Essentials is an internationally recognized and respected bear festival organized and delivered by the Harbour City Bears. It brings together the best of our local bear culture and offers it to the world in one of the best cities in the world, Sydney.
Full Story

ITALY: Gay Film Festival Starts in Naples on December 18th
(Dec 18) Founded in 2008, OMOVIES is the Festival of Cinema Gay and Questioning of the city of Naples, sponsored by the Social Promotion of Ken NGO, which has as its goal the overcoming of prejudice against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).
Full Story

North American Gay Ski Weeks in 2014
Gay ski weeks used to be edgy, new things. Starting with Aspen 36 years ago (and still the first of the season), they’ve added annually. This season, the newest event will turn 4, while most have more than 10 years under their belts.
Full Story

USA, COLORADO: Aspen Gay Ski Week Returning In January
(Jan 12-19) Aspen Gay Ski Week, the nation’s largest and oldest gay ski event, returns for its 37th year from Jan. 12 – 19, 2014, along with presenting sponsor, Bud Light.
Full Story


AUSTRALIA: Sydney Mardi Gras Announces 2014 Calendar
(Feb 9-Mar )The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival is poised to deliver a kaleidoscope of colorful experiences in 2014, with a jam-packed program of cultural and community events running from Sunday 9 February through to Sunday 2 March, 2014.
Full Story

COSTA RICA: Win a Trip to Costa Rica With Detours
Detours, a gay adventure travel company based out of Calgary, Canada, is currently giving away 1 of their 3 international trips to Costa Rica, Thailand or Greece on their website in a raffle based contest.
Full Story

SWEDEN: Win a Same Sex Wedding at Sweden’s Ice Hotel
To celebrate the UK’s Marriage (Same-sex) Act finally coming into law in 2014, ICEHOTEL in partnership with Discover-the-World and VisitSweden UK are offering same-sex couples a once in a lifetime, truly intimate, personalised wedding at the ICEHOTEL in Sweden.
Full Story

USVI: Win Five Nights in the US Virgin Islands at Sand Castle on the Beach
(Apr 1) Sand Castle On The Beach Resort welcomes you and your loved ones to vacation in a beautiful, tropical environment. Beachfront on the Caribbean Sea, enjoy the newly added amenities on this special property. There are two pools on site – one beachfront, the other clothing optional.
Full Story

Gay Travel Events – The List:

Check out our new events list, where we list gay events around the world – http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-events.html.

Sign Up for Our Gay Travel Sweepstakes

Caribbean Sweepstakes: We’re teaming up with the beautiful Sand Castle on the Beach in the US Virgin Islands (http://www.sandcastleonthebeach.com/) to give away 5 nights in the Caribbean.

Check Out Our Special Offer Section

Our innkeepers and travel agents offer exclusive specials to travelers who find them on Purple Roofs. This month, we have 17 Accommodation/Tour offers listed in 16 countries and regions around the world! No membership required.

Visit Our Other Websites:

Gayapolis: Personals, daily news, and a great gay and lesbian directory.

Mi Casa Su Casa: Our home trade network – join for just $75 for 5 years.

Gay Realty Network: Real estate professionals around the world.

Purple Unions: Gay friendly wedding vendors around the world.

Find Us On Twitter:

We have a Twitter account – follow us at http://twitter.com/purpleroofs.

Find Us On Facebook:

We have a Facebook page too – like us at http://www.facebook.com/purpleroofs.

Find Us On Google+:

We have a Google+ page as well – follow us at https://plus.google.com/105511413517642023561/posts.

Find Us On Pinterest:

And we have a Pinterest board as well – follow us at https://pinterest.com/gayapolis/purple-roofs/.

Marriage Equality News:

Also check out Gay Marriage Watch, our daily news blog about gay marriage: We bring you all the news on the fight for gay marriage daily. Join our blog email list by sending a subscription request to info@purpleunions.com. Find the full blog at http://www.purpleunions.com/blog/index.html. You can now also find us on Twitter with regular updates every day at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

That’s it for this issue – enjoy the newsletter!

Mark & Scott

PurpleRoofs – http://www.purpleroofs.com

PO Box 4666, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

PS: Wanna sponsor this newsletter and reach over 27,000 people? Email us at wheretostay@purpleroofs.com for details.

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