Small Towns Can Be Fun and Interesting – Traveling In Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , September 6th, 2018

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay Travelers

Ever go to a town with a population of about 2,000 to have a fun and interesting time when you absolutely know no one? We did a couple of weeks ago and had a fabulous time and met some really, REALLY wonderful and interesting people. Oakley, Kansas is located on Interstate 70 in western Kansas, 350 miles west of Kansas City and 250 miles east of Denver.

We checked out the motels ahead of time and chose the Kansas Country Inn, www.kansascountryinn.com which turned out to be the best one in town. Amanda was the Manager and had a personality perfect for her job description. She was fun, funny, very professional and made everyone staying at the motel feel right at home. She was a ‘hands on’ manager who knows what is going on and is on top of everything. More motels around the country needs to hire more people like her and they would get a lot more business. We could not have asked for a better place to stay out in western Kansas. She directed us to the best places to see and dine. There were some oil rig workers staying at the motel and we had a great conversation on the history and workings on what they do which was extremely interesting. They are such hard workers. They deserve double the salaries that they receive.

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersThe first afternoon, we toured the Fick Fossil Museum, www.discoveroakley.com/167/Fick-Fossil-Museum. Kansas was a very different place 80 million years ago and an inland sea stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and Kansas was under water. In 1964 Ernest and Vi Fick began collecting fossils left by ancient sea creatures that inhabited this prehistoric sea. After collecting thousands of items, it was time to establish a museum. Any museum or town or anything is only as good as the staff or people involved. The receptionist, Donnette was a REAL JEWEL! She explained about the museum, the town and surrounding area. We enjoyed talking with everyone in Oakley but she was our favorite. We wish her well. She was ‘born FABULOUS’ and she is staying that way!

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersOur next stop was the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, www.buffalobilloakley.org/ which has a 2X life size Bronze statue of Buffalo Bill and a Buffalo. Like kissing the Blarney Stone one is supposed to kiss the Buffalo. They have a great Center adjoining the statue. We met a wonderful lady who works there, Alice and she was extremely interesting to talk with. She also gave us recommendations on where to go in the area and also where to dine.

Our first night we dined at the Buffalo Bill Bar and Grill downtown. The food was exceptional and our server Audra was very proficient and friendly.

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersThe next day we drove 20 some miles south of town to visit The Chalk Pyramids and Monument Rocks,  www.kansastravel.org/monumentrocks.htm. Out here in the middle of nowhere are these absolutely wonderful rock creations which you can park your auto and walk all around. One has to go the Grand Canyon or someplace like that to see this type of a scenic vista. They do not go for miles and miles however it is certainly worth the trip to see these extra ordinary structures. Do be careful because this on private land (the owners are very nice to allow visitors drive on their property for free,) but there are dozens of cattle walking all around and they do leave ‘droppings’ NOT to step in! Be sure and check out the photos on their website.

Back to Oakley we had lunch at the Dairy King and had a delicious cheeseburger and chocolate milk shake. Our clerk, Leesa was a delight to talk with. She actually is a cousin to Amanda, the motel manager. Needless to say the cheeseburger and milk shake was made from scratch unlike at the fast food restaurants. Then off to Russell Springs, Kansas about 30 miles southwest. The population is 24, yes, 24! It was the original county seat of Logan Country until 1963 which it was moved to Oakley. The beautiful county court house is now the Butterfield Trail Museum, www.butterfieldtrailmuseum.org/. which is full of history as well as hundreds of artifacts and relics from the area. Debbie who was in charge of the Museum was great! She loves her town and it’s rich history. A ‘friend’ of hers, Kendal walked in from town like one block away and he was equally interesting to talk with about the town and it’s history. They were perfect together and we think that they should get married. Needless to say the town has no grocery stores or service stations or anything other than it’s residents. On cold winter nights one needs to stock up on groceries and beer/liquor from another town far away.

That night we dined THE BLUFF restaurant in Oakley which was highly recommended to us by several people. The food was excellent! Our server, Jessie was friendly and professional. The two guys in the kitchen (and owners) certainly knew what they were doing and our food was outstanding! Three more people we want to mention was John at the Meat Processing business across the street from the motel. They process all of their own meat. Large cities needs a place like this. Unfortunately we were running late when we left and didn’t have time to purchase some meat to bring home. They have a wonderful grocery store in Oakley. Heartland Foods, where everyone is super friendly, especially Jack and Matthew. If you are ever driving along I-70, take a couple of days and stay in Oakley. You will be glad that you did. You will also meet some of the friendliest people around. Thanks again to Amanda at the motel for being so fabulous! For more information about Oakley, Kansas, check www.discoveroakley.com/
Don and Ray

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/

Gordon Parks Museum in Fort Scott, Kansas – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , August 6th, 2018

Gordon Parks

As we travel around the country we are always interested in visiting the different museums. This week we found one that is extremely interesting. THE GORDON PARKS MUSEUM in Fort Scott, Kansas was founded in 2004. Gordon Parks, the famous photographer, filmmaker, musician and writer was born in Fort Scott in 1912. His journey with his camera took him all over the world.

He was the first African-American staff photographer for LIFE magazine for 20 years and his remarkable photographs many times were on their cover. He was the first African- American to direct a film for a major studio and his credits includes, The Learning Tree, Shaft, Leadbelly and others.

He wrote 20 books and composed music as well. He was truly a Renaissance man in every sense of the word. President Ronald Reagan presented him the National Medal of Arts Award in 1988. He lived most of his adult life in New York City.

Gordon Parks

Gordon ParksExecutive Director Jill Warford has truly done a remarkable job in creating this memorial/museum to this great man. Under her guidance this museum has turned into a national treasure. In all of our travels from coast to coast she is the most professional, friendly and articulate Director of any museum we have ever toured, and we have toured over 100 museums!

She knows the history of Gordon Parks explicitly and is a great tour guide. After the death of Gordon Parks in 2006,his personal effects were given to the Museum including awards and medals that he was given throughout his life, personal paintings, clothing, cameras and photographs, etc. They have dozens of his original photographs on display. The museum was able to obtain his ‘writing desk’.

His works can be found at the National Film Registry, the National Archives in Washington, D. C., the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C., Wichita Kansas State University as well as Kansas State University in Manhattan, Ks. If you are not familiar with him, check him out online.

The museum is open daily and is located on the campus of the Fort Scott Community College at 2108 South Horton. Their website is:  http://www.gordonparkscenter.org/ and you can call them for more details at 1.800.874.3722, Ext. 5850.

Their museum has the largest collection of his work in one place, where he was born and is now buried. Be SURE and read what he wrote about the town where he was born which is on his tombstone which he wrote 5 years before his death in 2006.

Gordon Parks“This small town into which I was born has for me, grown into the largest and most important city in the Universe. Fort Scott is not as tall or hearlded as New York, Paris or London – or other places my feet have roamed, but it is home. Surely, I remember the harsh days, the sordid bigotry and segregated schools – and indeed the graveyard for Black people, (where my beloved Mother and Father still rest beneath Kansas earth). But recently, the bitterness, that hung around for so many years seems to have asked for silence, for escape from the weariness of the ugly days past. Thankfully hatred is suddenly remaining quiet, keeping it’s mouth shut! And I’m thankful for the contentment we lost along the way. My hope now is that each of us can find What GOD put us here to find – LOVE! Let us have no more truck with the devil.”

And a BIG thanks to Director Jill Warford on doing such an outstanding job with the museum!

Don and RayAlways 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/

Kansas Gay Travel Resources

Everything is Up-to-Date in Kansas City – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , July 14th, 2018

Kansas City - Donald and Ray

Kansas City, Missouri which is also called the “City of Fountains” has more fountains than any other city in the world other than Rome, Italy. With a metropolitan population of over 2 Million residents the city really does have it all, from the arts, sports, architecture, shopping and everything for tourists to do.

Kansas City - Donald and RayOur very favorite is the fabulous Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art which is one of the finest Art Museums in the country. Directer Julian Zugazagoitia began his tenure 8 years ago and has done an absolutely outstanding job of creating a magnificent, what we call, ‘ The New Nelson-Atkins Museum. He has brought in exhibits that they never had before. Everyone is so proud of his accomplishments. Visitors from all over the nation visit it yearly. They have over 33,500 items including American and English paintings and sculptors and one of the finest Oriental Collection in the country. Check them out at: https://nelson-atkins.org/

Other museums to visit are the National Toy and Miniature Museum which is known around the country for being one of the finest of it’s kind. Check them out at: http://www.toyandminiaturemuseum.org/ The National World War I Museum and Memorial was erected in 1926 and has been updated thru the years and is a must see. Check them out at: https://www.theworldwar.org/

Kansas City - Donald and RayFor dining our two favorite restaurants are Cooper’s Hawk, located in the famous Country Club Plaza area. Senior General Manager, Jonathan Jue has perfected the art of blending fine food, with food presentation, ambiance and WINE! for a perfect dining experience. Besides fine dining they also offer the finest in a ‘wine experience’ in Kansas City. Whether you stop in for some wine or for a wonderful dining experience you will enjoy it all. Thanks Jonathan Jue or making this a great place to dine and wine! Their website is: https://chwinery.com/locations/missouri/kansas-city

Kansas City - Donald and RayAnother of our favorite restaurants is CAFE TRIO, just a couple blocks north of the Plaza. Christopher and Tai have been in business for years and have an extremely loyal following simply because they know how to treat customers and giving them a fine dining experience. Their service is top -notched. Happy hours are always packed with fun and interesting people. We have dined there several times and have never had a bad dining experience. Thanks Christopher and Tai. Your certainly know how to keep your customers coming back year after year! http://www.cafetriokc.com/

Kansas City - Donald and RayFor an enjoyable evening of entertainment we always enjoy one of the live productions at the UNICORN THEATRE, https://www.unicorntheatre.org/ They have been bringing bold and interesting live theatre to the area. They do not shy away from being innovative. They must being doing something right as they are celebrating their 44th year! Cynthia Levin has always been daring in presenting the finest in great plays. THANKS Cynthia!

And check out https://www.visitkc.com/#sm.000bfmutwji1dn310ys15wwjmho4q

Don and RayAlways 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/

Kansas City Gay Travel Resources

George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , April 28th, 2018

George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumJust 17 1/2 miles southwest of Joplin, Missouri in a very small town of Diamond, population of less than 1,000, is the George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum. Carver, a black American, was born in 1864 there and died in Tuskegee, Alabama on January in 1943.

Six months later the United States Congress designated the George Washington National Monument, the first park to honor an African American scientist, educator and humanitarian AND HE WAS “FAMILY”.

In her 2015 biography, Christina Vella reviews his relationships and “suggests that Carver was bisexual and constrained by mores of this historical period.” Carver is said to have enjoyed a very intimate relationship with his male assistant Austin W. Curtis Jr, a Cornell University graduate in chemistry who taught at a North Carolina College. This companionship, as it was seen at the time, helped Carver to continue working in his later years.

Carver was best known as the inventor of peanut butter but he was also a botanist, chemist, and inventor whose work revived the last 19th and early 20th century agricultural economy of the American South. He was born the son of slaves. He never knew his parents as his father died before he was born and his mother and his siblings were kidnapped during the Civil War and he never saw them again.

At a very early age, he knew that education was the only way to go. Later in life, he said, “A man can make a lot of money however another man can steal your money away, but another man can never steal your education.”

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumAfter going from school to school, he was finally accepted at a college in Kansas only to be told upon his arrival that because he was black, that he was not welcomed. That did not deter him and he did attend a college in Iowa and got both his Bachelors and Masters degree in Agriculture. Booker T. Washington, President of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) hired him to head the Agriculture Department there. He stayed there for over 47 years until his death.

He invented over 300 uses for the peanut including peanut butter, peanut oil, peanut shampoo, salted peanuts, shredded peanuts, pecan flour, pomade, and peanut brittle, He taught methods of crop rotation, introduced several alternative cash crops for farmers that would improve the soil of areas heavily cultivated in cotton.

He was a highly sought after speaker all over the country and in England. He was given dozens of awards for his works. In 1921 he gave a captivating testimony before Congress on Agriculture. He inspired hundreds of both students as well as businessmen and farmers to understand what they could do.

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumCarver was also a gifted artist and some of his paintings and drawings are on display at the museum. He also enjoyed crocheting and a couple examples of those are also on display. Needless to say Carver had a very rough early life but he rose above it and became a truly great person.

TIME magazine called him the “Black Leonardo da Vinci” as he was such a Renaissance man. And this all started with him in the 1800’s! And people today complain about having problems! Carver MADE his life as he wanted to. Sure he had setbacks but that did not stop him. Guess the old adage, “Never, never, never, never give up” rings true.

Learn more about George Washington Carver by viewing this movie: https://www.nps.gov/gwca/learn/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm

The website for his National Monument is https://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm

Don and RayAlways 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/

Missouri Gay Travel Resources

The Evel Knievel Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , April 6th, 2018

Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel MuseumSmaller cities and towns can have the most interesting and unusual Museums. We recently visited the Evel Knievel at the Historic Harley- Davidson Complex in Topeka, Kansas. Was Evel Knievel born in Topeka, Kansas? He was not. Did he ever perform in Topeka, Kansas? He did not. Apparently the closest that he ever came to Topeka was when he flew over in an airplane flying from one coast to the other.

However that did not stop the Harley-Davidson Company from opening a museum for him there in one of the most iconic and historical Harley Davidson stores around and it is in the middle of the country. The museum is connected to the store.

Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel was born in 1938 and was a stuntman and performer and made dozens of ‘jumps’ with his motorcycles all around the country. He had thousands of people who would pay to watch him make these historic jumps. He broke and fractured 433 bones in his body which was list in the World Book of Records. His last successful jump was in 1977. He died in 2007 after a lot of health issues.

Evel Knievel Museum

The Museum has a huge collection of memorabilia concerning Evel including his motorcycles, helmets, his jackets and costumes, photos, newspaper clippings, posters, etc. BIG RED was his semi-truck which was converted to a living quarters with a room in the rear for his motorcycles. His custom built 1974 Cadillac Pickup is there for all to view.

You can actually sit on a motorcycle and take a ‘virtual reality ride, wearing a helmet and letting the wind blow thru you with a movie screen directly in front of you as you jump over a lot of cars. It really is quite scary but worth the experience. His great quote was, “Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it. ”

Before visiting the Evel Knievel Museum be sure and visit their website at  http://evelknievelmuseum.com/  They are located at 2047 S.W. Topeka Blvd. in Topeka, Kansas, just a few blocks from downtown Topeka. Their phone number is 785.215.6205. Their hours are Tuesday -Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM , Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM and closed on Sunday and Monday. You can email them at hello@evelknievelmuseum.org.

Don and RayAlways 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/

Kansas Gay Travel Resources

Wizard of Oz Movie Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , March 22nd, 2018

Wizard of Oz Movie Museum

For those of you are who are into movies and particularly the movie, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, then you need to visit the OZ MUSEUM which is located in Kansas. Actually it is located in a small Kansas town of Wamego which is located about 40 miles west of Topeka, the State Capitol and just a few miles north of I-70. Over 35,000 visit the museum yearly and not only from the United States but from all over the world !

Wizard of Oz Movie MuseumFounded in 2004, the OZ MUSEUM in Wamego is dedicated to THE WIZARD OF OZ: from L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 book to MGM’s iconic 1939 film. It even features memorabilia from the Tony Award-Winning Broadway musical, THE WIZ and Motown’s film adaptation.

Since they opened, their artifacts now number in the thousands. You will find a complete history of the author, L. Frank Baum. He was quite a remarkable and a very interesting person. The museum is quite large and takes up 2 buildings.You will see life size replicas of Judy, the Tin Man, the Lion, the Scarecrow as will as Glinda, the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wizard of Oz Movie Museum

You can see many costumes of the cast as well as interesting photographs and read about the “munchkns” and different things about the making of the movie.
In the Museum they have a movie theatre that runs all day so if you get the urge to see the movie again, just sit down and enjoy it.

In addition they have a large gift shop where you can purchase all kinds of Oz memorabilia.

Every October, the small Kansas town transforms for it’s annual “OZtoberFEST” weekend when thousands of people descend into town. It reminds us of “Elvis Week” at Graceland in Memphis”.

Wizard of Oz Movie MuseumThe Oz Museum is located right downtown and the Columbia Theatre Museum and Art Center is just a few doors down the street. It is a grand old structure which has been renovated back to it’s grand old glory. We were most impressed with 6 rare paintings from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair each measuring 11 feet by 16 feet. Besides having an art museum they also have live theatrical productions. It is truly a remarkable structure.

Any museum is only as good as the people involved with it and Clint Stueve, Executive Director of both the Oz Museum as well as the Columbian Theatre, and Chris Glasgow, Curator have done an outstanding job.  Chris gave us a tour of the museum and she is one of the finest tour guides that we have had in our travels across the country.  This is a “MUST SEE” MUSEUM and now that we got rid of governor brownback, it truly is safe to visit Kansas.

Check out www.ozmuseum.com and  http://columbiantheatre.com/main.asp

Don and RayAlways 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/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

Gay Couples Owning Accommodations – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , March 10th, 2018

For a lot of Gay couples, owning an accommodation is a perfect business for them. Some prefer a Bed and Breakfast, some prefer a resort while others prefer a hotel or motel. We have stayed in dozens of them and we have never seen one problem with a Gay couple owning them. They seem to all work well together with each having and knowing their own duties. It is a great way of meeting people without traveling themselves however more do take off and travel themselves. Actually we know a lot of str8 people who prefer staying in a Gay owned accommodations because they are cleaner, have better breakfasts and decorated better and they KNOW that they will have a great time.

Some of our favorite accommodations that are owned by Gay couples are:

Farolito Bed and Breakfast InnIn Santa Fe, the finest B & B is the FAROLITO BED AND BREAKFAST INN. Walt and his partner Wayne have owned it for many years and they are almost booked up all the time. They are within walking distance of downtown and they are located in a beautiful and scenic location. They have the best breakfast and their guests love them and their B and B and return year after year. Wayne and Walt know exactly how to operate their business and they work so smoothly together. Whether you stay there a few days or a week or more, this is the perfect place and Wayne and Walt are so hospitable. Check out their website at: www.farolito.com

Escape ResortIn Palm Springs, California we enjoy the ESCAPE RESORT, which is owned by a Gay couple. Mark and Greg. It is one of the longest running, clothing-optional Gay resorts in the area. It is located within walking distance from downtown. They have 12 rooms from Queen and King and Suites. Mark and Greg KNOW how to treat their guests and that is why they have so many repeat guests that return. Different Gay resorts offer different things and the Escape Resort offers everything that one would want. You can be as private as you want to be or you can mingle with the other guests at all hours day and night. Mark and Greg are the perfect hosts and will certainly take care that you have a wonderful time staying with them. Their website is: www.escapepalmsprings.com

Brown Street InnIn Iowa City, Iowa we love the Brown Street Inn. Bob and his husband Mark have owned the Inn for several years. We think that this is the finest Inn in the entire Midwest. The Inn is within walking distance to downtown. They have 6 beautifully decorated rooms. It is true casual elegance in Iowa City’s historic Brown Street neighborhood. It is a 1913 Gambrel style Mansion. Guests from all over have heard about the Inn and how beautiful and historic it is. A short walk and you can find museums, shopping, entertainment and a lot of restaurants however they are located on a very quiet street. We LOVE this place and Iowa City as well! These gentlemen do EVERYTHING the ‘right way’ and that is why their guests have been returning for years.

Their website is www.brownstreetinn.com

Topside InnIn Boothbay Harbor, Maine, we enjoyed the TOPSIDE INN. Mark and his husband Buzz are the owners. They also have separate guest cottages to the side of the main house. They have a total of 21 guest rooms. With a picture-perfect location at the highest point in Boothbay Harbor which is a classic Maine Seacoast town, this 19th Century Sea Captain’s home has panoramic harbor views, seaside perennial gardens and quiet places to relax while steps away from downtown. The main house and their two classic summer guesthouses offers stylish and comfortable accommodations as well as indoor and outdoor common spaces to enjoy the magnificent views. When we last stayed there we met some wonderful and interesting guests. Their website is: https://topsideinn.com/

We can certainly understand why so many Gay couples own accommodations from coast to coast. It can be exciting, interesting and you do get to meet a lot of people across the country as well as from other countries who are visiting the United States.

Don and RayAlways 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/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

What Happened to the Gay Bars? – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , February 24th, 2018

Black Crown

Years ago, Gays went to the bars to meet people, have fun and enjoy being with other Gay people. In today’s world with the acceptance of Gays, Gays can go to straight bars and feel just as comfortable as going to a Gay bar.

Other factors have stopped people from going out to the bars. Cover charges for no reason is one thing. For those who are not into drag queen shows, they have opted out of going to bars. Last year we went to a leather bar in St. Louis and they had drag queens performing. Several customers did an about face and walked out of the bar.

The GangwayA lot of bars have bachelorette parties where straight women come in to see the drag shows and makes the Gays feel very uncomfortable. It makes money for the bar owners but they are alienating the Gay clientele.

Rising cost of drinks and the “drinking and driving” idea has stopped a lot of people from going to bars. And then there is the Smartphone and the different websites to ‘hook up’ and that has had a tremendous effect on bar business.
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Rising costs of operating a business with rent, insurance, utilities, etc. are rising and forcing a lot of bars out of business. There are also a lot of owners of Gay bars who simply don’t understand how to operate a business. Long ago all you had to do was open a Gay bar and Gays would flock to the bar. This certainly is not the case anymore.

Since we travel from coast to coast a lot, we have walked in to hundreds of Gay bars or the past many years. We have seen bartenders rip off the owners and in today’s world the worst thing is to have a bartender on his smart phone and doesn’t even seem to care if you are there or not. There are a few Gay bars that still do it right and take care of their paying customers and we salute them.

Some of the bars that we really enjoyed in the past and now out of business are listed below:

The TropicsThe Tropics in Ft. Lauderdale which we have been going to for years closed their doors last year. It was always packed and one of the busiest bars in the city. It was sold and the new owners simply didn’t know how to operate a business properly so what was once a real cash cow, now is closed. In a resort city like Ft. Lauderdale one really has to be dumb to lose a bar such as this. Thankfully another smart businessman opened up the old Chardee’s which had been around for years until it closed about 13 years ago. Now 95% of all the patrons of the old Tropics will drink down there.

Burkhart'sBurkhart’s in Atlanta had been a very thriving Gay for many years and we have been there several times on our driving trip down to Ft. Lauderdale. Some owners just don’t get it ! Any business depends on it’s customer base and for some strange reason, the owner turned out to be VERY racially stupid. All of his staff left and his customers stopped going there as well. Yep, he had to close the doors last January. Atlanta had already had two other bars closed due to not enough business.

The Palace Bar in South Beach which has been an “institution” for years was getting ready to close do to high rent, however the owner was able to find another location just 2 blocks away so the Palace will continue.

The Gangway in San Francisco, the city’s oldest Gay bar there closed last month. We have been to San Francisco many times over the years and never even heard of it. We had always thought that the Twin Peaks bar in Castro was the oldest Gay bar in the city. Well, we guess that is now !

The Double Header in Seattle, which was thought to be the oldest Gay bar in the country closed a couple of years ago.

One of our very favorite Gay bars was the Black Crown in Denver, Colorado. It was a very upscale and handsome bar. Unfortunately the owners simply did not know how to operate the business and then sold it a guy who really didn’t know how to operate a business. Sadly it also closed after just a couple of years.

In life, things change and the intelligent people know that they have to change with it. Just always remember the good times.

Don and RayAlways 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/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: How We Travel

Author: , February 3rd, 2018

car luggage - Donald and Ray 

We get a lot of inquires as to how we travel, as in flying, drive a car or RV or what. We have been writing our national travel columns now for 18 years. Except for one time when we took Amtrak on a 2 week trip out to the West coast, we always drive an automobile. We travel rather “light”. NOT! as we always have clothing with us for any occasion including tuxedos, coat and tie, western gear, leather gear, bluejeans and sweaters, polo shirts, cabana outfits and swimwear for the beach, etc. Yes, we do take a lot with us as you can see by the below photo.

wigwam - Donald and rayWe of course always have our final destination planned out, but when traveling to either coast we have to plan where to stop along the way and we usually just play that by ear. Long time ago we have learned that there is always a room at motels along the way. When you are driving and get to a new State, be sure and stop in their ‘welcoming center’ as they have free motel/hotel coupon books where you can get for 25% to 50% off the regular rates.

We have stayed at Ramada Inns and Holiday Inns in some States for under $50.00 with those coupons! Most of the centers have free coffee and tea. On our way back from our California trip in December, we stayed in a WIGWAM!!! at the 1950’s Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona where each guest had their own Wigwam! and yes, it did have modern features inside.

Mel's Drive In - Donald and RayDining on the road is a challenge. We usually go with the local restaurants and check them out on line before we go to thru that town. Outside restaurants is one of our favorite places for breakfast or lunch.

Whether a chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy or a local Mexican restaurant, we always try to find new and interesting places to dine. For dinner, we prefer fine dining at restaurants where we have dined before.

Finally on the subject of dining, we always enjoy dining at places where we cannot dine in the city where we live, which mean, no chain restaurants!

Donald and RayAlways 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/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Meeting Old and New Friends

Author: , January 19th, 2018

Alexis RayOn our last driving trip to California we enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We have known the Countess Alexis Del Lago for 18 years. Unfortunately time has taken it’s toll with her and she has had some health issues including a stroke, but she is still going.

In the past she has entertained in New York City years ago.  A great video on her is:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rSnHG_htY4    Another wonderful video was made by Craig Calman:  http://worldofwonder.net/meet-the-legendary-and-reclusive-alexis-del-lago/.

She invited us to her apartment in West Hollywood this time where we reminisced about old times and a glorious past. At least she has had a glorious past which is more than we can say about a lot of people. Live well Countess !

The next day we had breakfast with the noted Hollywood Agent, Budd Burton Moss.   Among his many entertainers that we agent for was Rita Hayworth plus many more !   He and his wife have lived in Beverly Hill, California forever.  We had breakfast at the famous La Conversation Bakery/Cafe, which has been around for more than 30 years there.

You can either enjoy your meal inside or sit on their front patio and watch the people walk by.   http://www.laconversationbakery.com/   Last year Budd Burton Moss came out with his biography which we wrote up,
http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2017/06/summer-reads-traveling-fabulous-gay-world-hollywood-sometimes-reality-better-dream.html   He is in his 80’s and knows all the good stories and tales about ‘Old Hollywood’.

Ray and JewelerOn to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills with all of it’s glitz and glamour.   We walked by one store, looked in and knew we had to enter. Peter Marco ‘Extraordinary Jewels’ is the place and located at 252 North Rodeo Drive.  Peter is the owner and he dresses the part!   When you are one of the finest jewelry stores in California why not dress the part ?  Who wants to buy a diamond ring or jewelry from someone wearing bluejeans ? Peter has a flawless reputation for selling the finest diamonds.  No trip to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive would be complete without visiting his shop.  His website is:  www.petermarco.com

ariz paulDriving home thru Arizona we always stop and see our friend, Paul Winer who owns the Reader’s Oasis Used Book Store in Quartzsite, Arizona located on Interstate 10.  One does not need an address to find the store, however it is located at 690 East Main St.  Quartzsite is just a very small town, population around 3,500 however in the months of January and February, RV’ers  descend on the town.

Paul and his wife have owned the bookstore for many years.  He offers a huge selection of used books in every subject matter.  Thousands of tourists a year stop to see him and his store. Paul is a VERY interesting guy and he is also a “NUDIST”.  The only thing he wears is his cowboy hat, a Turquoise blossom necklace and a ‘penis’  sock. Yep,  you read that correctly.  His wife is always fully dressed.

So when you go in, forget about the world and visit with Paul.  He also sings and plays the piano.  Here are a couple of videos to check out on him:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_ZvmTCBn4M    and also
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X9Ob7Y88sQ

Don and RayAlways 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/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources