3rd Annual Blues Summit: Mar 13

Author: , February 28th, 2014

It’s time for the 3rd Annual Blues Summit http://glynnhouse.com/events in Plymouth, NH! glynnhse winterThis year’s line-up: Eric Sardinas, Joe Louis Walker, and Dana Fuchs.  3 bands..1 night only! This year, the audience will experience amazing music from Dana Fuchs, Joe Louis Walker and Eric Sardinas.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

John Ford Coley – Mar 7th

Author: , February 28th, 2014

John Ford Coley http://www.glynnhouse.com/calendar/#march_2014 is most revered as half of the Grammy© Palace Theatrenominated duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. He continues with an active roster performing the platinum and gold record hits for audiences around the world. Classically trained on piano and an avid guitarist, John loves the craft and enjoys every audience he encounters.

Use the romantic Glynn House Inn as your New Hampshire getaway base. Experience elegant surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. View the Glynn House www.glynnhouse.com/ website for other special offers plus additional information about the Inn and local activities.

 

Navigating the Frothy Waters of a Gay Cruise

Author: , February 28th, 2014

RSVP CruiseTo very loosely paraphrase 1970s cameo-machine The Love Boat, gay cruising is indeed exciting and new, offering something for everyone who sets a course for adventure. And if your mind’s on a new romance, that can be found there, too. Heck, even Charo’s still a possibility.

While some companies block out a few dozen rooms on cruise lines with nongay itineraries, there are four well-known companies that charter entire ships. Olivia Travel provides cruise, resort, luxury and adventure vacations designed especially for lesbians and women (see sidebar, Page 15). R Family Vacations focuses primarily on LGBT parents and their kids. The passenger logs on RSVP Vacations are mixed, but still slant toward a higher number of men (about 90 percent). And Atlantis Events cruises, where we’ve had the majority of our gay charter experiences, clock in at about 95 percent guys. (See sidebar.)

Many people think that translates to ripped models, skimpy swimsuits, free-flowing booze and hedonism in excess. Which is all there if you want that. But it’s also one of the most unassuming places we’ve found to make new friends of all ages, shapes, sizes and degrees of sass from among thousands of passengers from all over the world, each with the common interest of having the time of their lives in an environment that celebrates their sexuality rather than marginalizes it. Think of it as a really big gay bar where everyone knows your name, and no one gives you that Mean Girls glare.

Authored By Steven Lindsey & Jef Tingley – See the Full Story at the Dallas Voice

Click here for gay travel resources.

Women at Sea – Taking a Lesbian Cruise

Author: , February 28th, 2014

Lesbian CruiseI’ve never been on a gay cruise, only a lesbian one, so I don’t have first-hand experience with the famed debauchery of the former. I have heard stories of the “dick decks” and barely-there costumes, and a gay cruise is definitely on my to-do list (for the parties, not the dick deck — I swear).

Rumor has it girls are rare but welcome on a gay cruise, at least according to some new friends I made on the way from the Ft. Lauderdale airport to the Harbor Beach Marriott for my pre-cruise overnight stay a few weeks ago. (An overnight is a must, FYI, if you’re traveling by plane to your cruise port –flight delays can torpedo a cruise). These folks were in town to embark on an RSVP Cruise, while I was about to hit the high seas on my third Olivia adventure.

On our van ride to our hotels, one of my new friends showed me snapshots of his outfits for the planned week of parties: A boa and briefs. Dilly boppers and briefs. A headband, an afro wig and briefs. Wings and briefs. A cape and briefs. My speculations seemed correct. Gay cruises are a big, naked dance party with glitter and strobe lights. And plenty of sex. And briefs.

Authored By Jenny Block – See the Full Story at the Dallas Voice

Click here for gay travel resources.

Spring Ahead!

Author: , February 27th, 2014

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By Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
Appears in March 2014 Issue
www.diversityrulesmagazine.com

Okay, enough snow, enough ice, and enough cold: New York, we are over it! So let’s have warm thoughts and start designing a perfect summer vacation. March is a great time to plan a trip. Most of us have already picked vacation dates at work; so, let’s find a place to go.

Of course, the first step is a balance of desire and budget. Okay, are you traveling alone or with someone else? Many people love to travel on their own. Actually, vacation planning doesn’t go much beyond place and transportation because the lone-traveler is a free-agent during the time away. Nonetheless, when traveling alone there are no splitting costs. If you’re a person who loves to share the travel experience with a friend or companion, you can save some money, but dialog expectations and goals before making any final arrangements. Be careful of ‘gay travel sites’ as my experience identifies great itineraries accompanied by premium pricing. I recommend that you explore gay travel sites, such as Gay Travel (http://www.gaytravel.com/), for planning purposes, yet, investigate value before making any commitments.

Finding a great deal never means blind faith in discount travel Websites like Travelocity or Orbitz. Online commercial Websites may actually lead to higher prices and travel-grief when something goes wrong during the journey. Also, be careful of reviews because many are posted by people who have exceptionally good or bad experiences. I suggest you familiarize yourself with Hipmunk (http://www.hipmunk.com/). Hipmunk is a little known travel service that receives praise from Time, Forbes and CNN. Also, take some time to investigate Trivago (http://www.trivago.com); a hotel site that searches for the best prices offered by other hotel discount Websites, that is, Trivago acts like a mini-discount hotel search engine.

When you find a flight you like at a travel site, immediately launch a new browser session and go to the official airline Website. Key the roundtrip flight information that you found into the system. You may be surprised to discover that the ticket is actually cheaper by buying it directly from the airline. Relative to hotel ‘finds,’ call the hotel directly and speak with a reservation specialist and tell him or her that you are viewing an advertised rate of $XYZ. Many hotels match the rate. A key point is to try to pull that third-party vendor out of the equation. Problems during travel can be met with airlines or hotels instructing you to resolve your issues directly with the organization that made the reservation. There is nothing more frustrating than to find out a flight has been cancelled or a room is unavailable, whereby, you are put in a position to deal with this event on your cell phone with some Web-based customer service assistant.

Vacations by definition should be relaxing, careful planning can deliver a quality experience at a fantastic price. Think summer… think fun!
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It’s Mardi Gras!

Author: , February 27th, 2014

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By Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
Appeared in February 2014 Issue
www.diversityrulesmagazine.com

Mardi Gras begins on February 28, and continues through Fat Tuesday, March 4. This party is fierce where beads can gain you a lift of a woman’s blouse or the drawdown of a guy’s underwear. Gay Mardi Gras dates back to the ‘50s. In 1958, the krewe (organization that puts a party together) of Yuga threw a ball to parody the aristocrats’ grand galas. A poorly made decision of hosting the Ball at a private children’s school resulted in a raid where the participants ended up in jail. Today, the season hosts many LGBT activities and none are held at a school.

The best place to see Mardi Gras is from a balcony and these venues book months or years in advance. Be aware that the street level can yield almost impassible crowds that may quickly take the glamor out of this occasion. So, if crowds deter you from The Big Easy during these dates, enjoy one of the many festivities held during the month.

The Krewe of Amon Ra Mardi Gras Ball XLIV is the first gay Mardi Gras event on February 8, at 8PM, within the Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center. You may view this Egypt-themed spectacular from the balcony for $10; yet, long dress or tuxedo is required for admission. Tickets should be purchased in advance, a dinner and dancing ‘after party’ follows the tableau.

The excitement of Fat Tuesday begins noon at OZ (800 Bourbon and Saint Ann) with the 50th Annual Bourbon Street Awards. Following the Awards make sure you stroll to Ambush Headquarters (828 Bourbon Street) where 2014 Gay Mardi Gras Queen, Barbara Ella, leads the official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss. These Ambush sponsored bead tosses rain tens-of-thousands of brightly colored necklaces.

New Orleans has an abundant gay life style and some of the most relaxed drinking laws in the U.S. For example, you may take your drinks out of the bar and onto the street as long as they are in cursing crystal (plastic cups). The police are exceptionally diligent about keeping glass and cans out of the hands of the pedestrians, so don’t try to walk with a beer bottle. I suggest the Gay Bars page of New Orleans Online (http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/fq/gaybars.html) to help find your preferred French Quarter bar style and atmosphere.

The food in New Orleans is fantastic. I would trade my dining experiences at Antoine’s (Rue Saint Louis), Brennan’s (currently closed but gave us Banana Foster), and Stella (Chartres Street) for one of the small informal restaurants in the Quarter. And, I never leave the City without a cup of coffee and beignets from Café Du Monde (Decatur Street). This place is open 24-hours. The Café is a fantastic ‘after the bar’ stop before going back to the hotel.

There are hundreds of places to stay in NOLA ranging from simplistic to luxurious accommodations. Yet, during Mardi Gras, the lack of a reservation usually means no bed. Staying away from the French Quarter may of course offer more opportunities and lower prices. Nonetheless, a few phone calls can find some interesting independent places that can be overlooked by the party-crowd. I propose a little Internet searching before you assume that traveling to New Orleans at this time is out of the question. Small places like Nine O Five Royal Hotel (Royal Street) may prove to be a find.

Even if you can’t find the time or resources to make it down to NOLA this February, Mardi Gras 2015 happens on February 17. And of course, there is Southern Decadence that starts on August 27.

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Traveling to Stowe, VT

Author: , February 27th, 2014

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By Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
Appeared in January 2014 Issue
www.diversityrulesmagazine.com

Even those with a passion for travel may pause to plan a regional trip in winter. The northeast winters can offer hideous airport and highway conditions. A weekend may be spent sleeping on a dirty carpet at LaGuardia or stuck for hours burning gas on the Thruway. Still, before you pull a movie from your DVD collection as a weekend experience, why not get away by train? With all due respect to the absolutely wonderful resorts in New York State, think about taking a trip to Vermont.

If a winter outdoor activity is a short-list item, within the beauty of Stowe, activities ranging from snowboarding to dog-sledding makes a day spectacular. Nonetheless, if you are more ‘cozy by the fire’ by day, Stowe, VT generates many exciting gatherings to keep you well entertained at night.

Consider the Amtrak train ride to Stowe as a part of your getaway by focusing on the journey. The train allows you to sit back, walk around, and socialize with your travel companions. Seats are comfortable, you are not strapped in, you may use the restroom at any time, there is no boarding by rows, and most inviting, no one is pawing through your stuff. Some routes even provide free WiFi if unwiring is not an appealing option; although, I find Amtrak’s wireless to be sketchy at best even on the Acela.

There are two train stations that service the Stowe area, i.e., Essex Junction and Saint Albans. From the station you are going to need transportation to your final destination. I highly recommend discussing your Vermont traveling arrangements with a lodging reservation specialist. Transition smoothly since being left at a train station miles from where you want to be is exasperating. Yet, a distance from Stowe may offer lodging availability that can easily cost justify renting a car.

Stowe is home to Mt. Mansfield that rises 4,395 feet. Mansfield makes its fame as being Vermont’s “high point.” The town is picturesque from its legendarily haunted Emily’s Covered Bridge (Gold Brook Road) to the Stowe Community Church’s (Main Street) gleaming steeple. Downtown Stowe is quaint, encouraging people to visit the 70 unique shops in its New England Village and along Stowe Mountain Road.

If you are a Sound of Music aficionado, make your way to Trapp Family Lodge (Trapp Hill Road). When alive, Maria, would actually sit among her guests and share stories of the real experience. Dinner in the Dining Room provides a more formal environment and can be the center of a romantic or special occasion. Should you be visiting the Resort by day, grab lunch or coffee at the DeliBakery. If you are a cross-country skier or enjoy snowshoeing, time your day so a three-mile trek gets you to Slayton Pasture Cabin for lunch. The Cabin offers a perfect winter day meal of hearty soup and a sandwich.

Since Stowe is a desired ski community there are many places to stay. Most hotels and inns are friendly; for example, the Timberholm Inn (Cottage Club Road), Stone Hill Inn (Houston Farm Road), and the Brass Lantern Inn B&B (Maple Street) have great relationships with the LGBT community. If you prefer to stay at a gay-owned and operated establishment, reach out to Michael and Cory who run the Arbor Inn (Mountain Road). The guys speak five-languages providing an added welcoming experience. The bed-and-breakfast is attractive, clean and well maintained. The hosts received the 2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor making this the third year in a row. Rates range from approximately $110 to $150 a night.

Beyond the beauty, hospitality and activities of Stowe, the region does not offer a dynamic nightlife. This low-key mountain area has no exclusive GLBT bars or clubs; therefore, if exciting nightlife is in your plan make sure to book your trip during the days of Rendezvous when the ‘party is brought to the town.’ Stay warm and have fun.

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Eleven Things to Do in Indianapolis

Author: , February 27th, 2014

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Indianapolis is that place where the big race happens every year. But in recent years, much like its neighbors, Indy has ramped up its efforts to bring the surrounding nature into the city, creating a lusher, more inviting urban stretch. From dedicated walking and biking trails, to cool new exhibits, there’s more to look forward to than sporting events in this Midwestern city. Here are our picks…

1. Get artsy along the Cultural Trail. The Cultural Trail’s eight miles of biking and walking paths make exploring downtown Indy easier than ever. Connecting the city’s six cultural districts, the network of trails offers public art and new landscaping along the way. (We think the “storm water plants,” which help absorb rainwater and prevent sewer flooding, are especially cool.) Don’t miss the Prairie Module solar panel sculpture or the tech-y Swarm Street installation, which sprinkles you with motion-triggered LED lights as you pass.

2. Book it on a bike. Just a year after the Cultural Trail’s opening, a bikeshare program will give visitors another way to see the city. It works like many others: for a 24-hour, three-day, or annual membership, you can check bikes in and out at 25 kiosks. All stations are within two miles of downtown. Prices haven’t yet been determined.

Authored By Christine Wei – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Indiana.

Big Fun on Hawaii’s Big Island

Author: , February 27th, 2014

Big Island of HawaiiHawaii is the biggest—and the youngest—of the Hawaiian Islands. The climate on this island ranges from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts to snow capped mountains to stunning black sand beaches. You will need many days on this island to get the full experience, so don’t rush and don’t stay too long in the hotel.
You can choose to fly into two sides of the island: the sunny Kona district accessible from Kona International Airport to Kealakekua Bay. On this side of the island, you will find coffee farms, historic Hawaiian landmarks and several gay-friendly hotels and businesses. There are no active volcanoes on this side of the island.

To see a great eruption, go to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the rainy side of the island ( which is an easy drive from Kona ) or fly directly into Hilo International Airport. Hilo is the home of Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. It is the most popular visitor attraction in Hawaii and a sacred place for Native Hawaiians.

Authored By Jeff Guaracino – See the Full Story at the Windy City Times

Click here for gay travel resources on the Big Island.

Our Own Private Island in Thailand

Author: , February 27th, 2014

Khai Nui Island, ThailandThe ad at my local hostel said that, for 1,000 Baht ($30), we’ll get to stay in a private island for a day. Too good to be true, two of us booked it and set to go on a Wednesday (mid-week), when only few people will be around. That’s what we were told. But, of course, we doubted it. Phuket, in the southernmost part of Thailand, is always crowded; heavily infested with dirty old men looking for or escorted by Thai women they could brag back home. Not to mention the ladyboys and money boys that abound the Paradise Complex near Patong Beach.

While Patong Beach is alive and sleazy at night, there’s not much to do during the day–but go and join on island hopping tours, which mostly include going to Kho Phi Phi or better known as The Beach, named after the movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio.

A day before we booked our trip to Khai Nui Island, a fellow backpacker and I already did one of those island hopping tours. All we wanted to do on a day before our flight back to our respective universes was to relax in an island where we could do nothing but read, sleep, swim, snorkel, walk, talk and bury our feet on the sand. Both of us never wanted to get our tan. Not because we want to be white (he’s European) but because too much sun causes wrinkles. There, I just spilled one of my secrets to staying young! :))

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at the Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.