The Perfect 7-Day Trip to Puerto Rico

Author: , February 28th, 2015

Puerto RicoEven though you don’t need a passport to visit and the U.S. dollar is the official currency, Puerto Rico feels like another world — the ultimate beach getaway destination. Instead of just flying in for a quick weekend, here’s how to spend the best week of your life in Puerto Rico.

Airlines like JetBlue fly into Luis Munoz Marin International Airport from many major continental U.S. cities on the regular. Once you arrive, grab one of the cabs waiting outside to drive you to your accommodations — an Airbnb in Ocean Park is a great choice. The residential neighborhood is filled with mini mansions overgrown with blooming vines and sparkling swimming pools, many of them available as vacation rentals. The best perk of the area, however, is the proximity to hidden gem Ocean Park Beach, a hot spot with locals, rarely visited by tourists. Spend the day getting acclimated to your new neighborhood’s supermarkets, vegetable markets, and flowered pathways, then drag your towels and drinks to the beach for a day of sun and surf.

Once you dry off, get changed for a 10-minute walk to dinner at Pamela’s at the Numero Uno Guest House. You can watch the sun slowly set with your toes in the sand at this cult-favorite restaurant, where you can order meals like ceviche and seared grouper. Herald in your vacation by sipping their custom cocktails while the beach becomes deserted and the moon grows big overhead.

By Annemarie Dooling – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Puerto Rico Gay Travel Resources

Lost in Translation in Japan

Author: , February 28th, 2015

Tom Stockwell - KyotoTom Stockwell is a 27-year-old British teacher and traveler living in Taipei, Taiwan who writes a site about his travels called ‘Waegook Tom’. He explains: Waegook – the Korean word for “foreign”. So, basically, Waegook Tom is “foreign Tom”.

You can visit his site here and follow him on Instagram here.

Tom has been traveling around Japan for the past week and delivering some eye-opening images of its landscapes, its cities, and its food, touching down in Tokyo, and continuing on to Osaka and Kyoto. Tom writes of the photo below: “One of the most famous places in #Kyoto is the bamboo forest, a lovely place to have a stroll and escape the city.”

Tom Stockwell - Kyoto

By Andy Towle – Full Story at Towleroad.com

Nomadic Boys – Our Favorite Sri Lankan Foods and Drinks

Author: , February 28th, 2015

Nomadic Boys - Sri Lanka

Deviled Prawns - Nomadic BoysSri Lankan food was a complete surprise for us. We knew nothing about it before arriving, yet discovered a new cuisine full of culinary delights. We did however quickly learn that you should ask for mild, otherwise you’re in for a spicy surprise!

Rice and Curry

Rice and curry is the traditional staple dish in Sri Lanka. It’s eaten everywhere, usually twice a day by almost everyone.

Rice and curry refers to a several small plates of curry yummies varying from chicken and fish to vegetarian dishes like dal, garlic curry, aubergine curry, pumpkin curry, green bean curry… always served with rice and a few small plates of pickled vegetables.

Full Story at the Nomadic Boys | Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

James Van Praagh

Author: , February 28th, 2015

James Van Praagh! Internationally renowned #1 New York Times® Best Selling Author of glynnhse winter‘Talking to Heaven’ and ‘Reaching to Heaven’ James Van Praagh http://glynnhouse.com/events/ is considered a pioneer in the mediumship movement throughout the world, and has been frequently recognized as one of the most accurate spiritual mediums working today. His messages have brought solace, peace and spiritual insights, changing millions view of both life and death. He has received many awards for dedicating himself to changing the consciousness of the planet. Don’t miss the show March 14th.

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. 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.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Pennsbury Inn Bed & Breakfast, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

Author: , February 28th, 2015

Pennsbury Inn Bed & Breakfast – Chadds Ford, PennsylvaniaPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay friendly bed & breakfast in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania – In the Brandywine Valley, just 10 minutes from Wilmington, DE and 20 minutes from Philadelphia.

See the Pennsbury Inn Bed & Breakfast Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Philadelphia area.

The Pyramids of Teotihuacan

Author: , February 27th, 2015

Carlos Melia at TeotihuacanDuring my recent visit to Mexico City, one of the hightlights. Located approximately 40 minutes drive away from Mexico City. Doors to this UNESCO World Heritage site and landmark. Teotihuacan, is commonly known as the City of Gods, but as my local Nahuatl-speaking guide explained to me, the original inhabitants, later followed by the Aztecs, did not believe in Gods, but in Energy. So the correct translation should read at ” City of Energy “.

Established around 100 BC, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated of 200,000, located in a sub valley of the Valley of Mexico, located in the State of Mexico.

Teotihuacan, other than being considered the main archeological site of Mexico, it is considered to have the second largest pyramid in the world – Pyramid of the Sun, right after the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Puebla and followed by Giza in Egypt. I climbed it myself and it took my at least 1o minutes to get to the top.

Following the universal law of “3” in the layout of the city, you will find three, so called pyramids, which indeed are three temples, Pyramid of the Sun (my favorite and the reason why I wanted to visit), Pyramid of the Moon and Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, with incredible images of Quetzalcoatl. All interconnected by the Avenue of the Dead, and a circuit to allow the flow of energy.

The way they are placed, represent the human body, where the Moon is the head, the Sun the heart and the Feathered Serpent the feet. As my guide said, Think with a cold head, live with a warm heart and move like a serpent flying away. You will also be able to visit the Citadel and the area of the residences.

Again the so called Avenue of the Dead, is a name given by the colonizers , which originally was translated from the Nahuatl as ” Avenue of the Stars “. The reason of this name was because during the rainy season, this avenue would flood with water and serve as a mirror for the original inhabitants to observe the cosmos. Much of what we see and what we were told for many years, obviously do not match.

And I like to mention this line my guide shared with me…. after looking at several representations by the original inhabitants, depicting the earth as rounded. He said “… the colonizers used to call the inhabitants as savages and ignorants, that needed to be civilized… well how is that they knew many decades before them that the earth was rounded, while those colonizers arriving on their ships, were still afraid of the fact that the earth was squared…. ” ha ha ha …. no need to further comments right?

Ok but enough of history, you can find out more on your own. The best way to visit Teotihuacan, is to take a taxi ( MEX$ 1300 ) or private car with a guide (MEX$ 2700). If you take a taxi like I did, then once there you will have to hire a local guide (MEX$ 300), which I preferred over a private one, since once there you are mostly to have a local Nahuatl-guide, who will share with you all the local myths and secrets.

I would recommend arriving around 8.30 AM to avoid the masses (for that you will have to leave Mexico City around 7.50AM ). Allow at least 3 hours to visit all pyramids. By 12.30PM you will be back in town, ready, as it was my case, for Brunch at the Four Seasons Mexico City, with lots of interesting stories to share. Another option is to do the Hot Air Balloon experience over the site.

We aware that Sundays, is a major day for local Mexicans, since most sites, museums and attractions are free of charge. If you need more information or would like to book this experience, do not hesitate to contact me. This journey was made possible thanks to the support of the following companies: Las Alcobas Boutique Hotel + St Regis Mexico City + United Airlines and First in Service Travel. I will be posting much more on the next few days on my five days visit to Mexico City.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia blog | Mexico City Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travel: Bangkok

Author: , February 27th, 2015

Maeve NolanI’ve lived here since… 2011. I stayed because I love the tropical climate, and for my job as General Manager of Asia tour operators Backyard Travel.

For culture, you can’t miss… the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Then Wat Pho, a Buddhist temple and the Old City area. There are so many parts to Thai culture, that there’s not one single place where you can really comprehend all aspects of it, but this area is a good starting point.

My favorite queer bar has to be… The Balcony, soi 4 Silom. The whole soi is gay-friendly; it’s a great place to people-watch.

By Maeve Nolan – Full Story at Gay Star News | Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Women’s Travel Fest Opens Tomorrow in San Francisco

Author: , February 27th, 2015

Women’s Travel Fest

After the 2014 inaugural Women’s Travel Fest sold-out to over 350+ women in New York City, the event is moving to San Francisco Feb. 28-March 1, 2015 to inspire, empower and connect women through travel. The Women’s Travel Fest is a consumer event that helps women to explore the world and discover deeper meaning in their travels.

This year’s festival has been expanded to a two-day event, offering opportunities for smaller break-out sessions on more focused travel segments (LGBTQ travel, Family Travel, Travel Writing, etc ), in addition to a main day event that includes a marketplace and keynotes by some of the travel industry’s leading ladies. See a full schedule here.

This year’s keynote speakers include: Laura Ling, award-winning journalist who spent 140 days imprisoned in North Korea; Patricia Schultz, international best-selling author of 1,000 places To See Before You Die; and Felicity Aston, the first and only woman to cross-country ski Antarctica solo. See a full list of our incredible speakers here. The Women’s Travel Fest (sponsored by Expedia) will go beyond the boundaries of your average travel event, giving women new found travel connections and empowering them to take on the world.

By Teresa Rodriguez Williamson – Full Story at Tango Diva | San Francisco Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

A Winter Walk Around Chicago

Author: , February 27th, 2015

Chicago - Laura MottaNo matter your tastes, whether you’re into stately neoclassical, ’60s mod, or swooping steel-and-glass, Chicago has an architecture style for you. And if you’re happy to gawk up at all of the above, it’s a feast. Stop into The Rookery, one of the most iconic structures by World Exhibition designers Burnham and Root, for a tour of the lobby ($7), which was given a gold-and-glass update by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. For a free glimpse at an architectural marvel, stop into the Chicago Cultural Center.

The space not only offers programs and classes throughout the year, the building’s showpiece is a swoon-worthy Tiffany glass dome — the largest in the world. For more modern trappings, snap photos of the famous “corn cob” towers, more formally known as Marina City, situated right on the Chicago River, then warm up by the fire in the lobby of the nearby Raddison Blu at the Aqua.

The exterior by architect Jeanne Gang, with its irregularly shaped balconies, is a geometric feast for the eye, and the hotel lobby has a coffee bar and a sleek gas fireplace that spans the length of the room. Be sure to pop into the expansive lobby of the Palmer House Hilton, with its brilliantly frescoed ceiling by French artist Louis Pierre Rigal. Have a drink at the bar, but be sure to stop at the Monroe St. entrance for a glimpse at the gilded “peacock door” — another scrolling Tiffany confection that dates back to the days when there was a fine jewelry store in the building.

By Laura Motta – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Illinois Gay Travel Resources

Image by Laura Motta

Japan Working to Attract LGBT Tourism

Author: , February 27th, 2015

JapanTo many, Japan may seem like one big sophisticated high-tech metropolis of the future when images of flashy Tokyo fly across your screens. But its LGBT rights movement remains a work in progress.

After a few years away from the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Japan will be attending the organization’s annual meeting this year in Los Angeles and looking into attracting more LGBT tourists. Yuki Tanaka, the executive director of the Japan National Tourism Organization, said that the initiative is still in its fledgling stages, but it’s making progress. “Tokyo and Kyoto are the most popular,” she said, “people like the modern design of Japan, the high-end hotels, and the nightlife.”

Similar to the United States, it’s the major cities — such as Tokyo and Kyoto — where LGBT rights are making their first advances. In Japan, couples renting houses or apartments need some sort of authorization, and a marriage certificate is usually used. But since gay couples can’t get married in Japan, it was difficult for them to rent property when the owner could deny them.

By Dennis Hinzmann – Full Story at Out Magazine