TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Edith “Edie Windsor

Author: , September 16th, 2017
Edith Windsor

June 20, 1929 – Sept. 12, 2017

President Barack Obama said it best:  “Former President Barack Obama offered his condolences Tuesday following the death of Edith Windsor, 88, an LGBT rights activist whose lawsuit against the federal government led to the federal recognition of same-sex couples.

“America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right. Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor  and few made as big a difference to America,” Obama said in a statement. Windsor sued the government when she received a bill for an estate tax after the passing of her first wife, which led the Supreme Court to  issue a decision in 2013 overturning part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

“In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said Tuesday.  “The day that the Supreme Court issued its 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor was a great day for Edie, and a great day for America — a victory for human decency, equality, freedom, and justice. And I called Edie that day to congratulate her.”

Edith is survived by her second wife Judith Kasen-Windsor, whom she married in 2016 after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision guaranteeing the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“I thought about Edie that day,” Obama said of Windsor’s landmark case, “I thought about all the millions of quiet heroes across the decades whose countless small acts of courage slowly made an entire country realize that love is love — and who, in the process, made us all more free.”

THANK YOU EDIE WINDSOR AND THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA !  You both have made us proud to be Americans!  and YOU have made America GREAT again in the true sense ! Edie’s website is http://www.ediewindsor.com/

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

Don and RayTRAVELING 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: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Author: , September 9th, 2017

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumIn our travels we always enjoy visiting all types of Museums. We were recently in Oklahoma City and visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum which houses the largest collection of Cowboy memorabilia in the country. Actually they have over 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts including the world’s most extensive collection of rodeo photographs, barbed wire, saddlery and early rodeo trophies.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumIt was established in 1955 and has involved into what it is now. The museum has more than 200,00 square feet of display space. Their collection includes of 2,000 works of western art including landscapes, portraits, still lives and sculptures by 19th and 20th Century artists with more than 200 by Charles Russell, Frederic Remington, Albert Bierstadt, Solo Borglum, Thurmond Restuettenhall, Robert Longhead and Charles Schreyvogel.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumThe museum has an authentic late 1800’s Western town where you can stroll the streets and look into store windows and walk into some of the furnished building. You will actually think that you are REALLY there back in the day! The town is called Prosperity Junction and is 14,000 square feet of space. There are three separate ‘Halls of Fame’ at the museum. One is for the Rodeo Hall of Fame, another for the Hall of Great Western Performers from the movies and the Hall of Great Westerners for actual people who lived through the frontier times.

There are many different galleries and one of our favorites was the American Cowboy Gallery which dealt with the life of working cowboys living and working on  their ranches. It shows how they really lived. Outside, beautifully landscaped gardens flank the Children’s Cowboy Corral and other children’s spaces.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumMore than 10 million visitors from around the world have visited the Museum to gain better understanding of the West, a region and history that permeates our national culture. It will take several hours to see and do everything at the Museum so plan your day well.

The Museum is located just to the north of downtown a few miles with plenty of free parking. Their address is 1700 Northeast 63rd St. which is just off Interstate 44. Their website is: https://nationalcowboymuseum.org/ They are open Monday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and on Sunday from noon to 5 PM. Before going to Oklahoma City, check out https://www.visitokc.com/ for more places to visit and things to do.

For those that are REALLY into western songs, check out this Willie Nelson song which is a song about Gay Cowboys:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u4CXlIYjyE
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: Traveling Is the Best

Author: , August 26th, 2017

Lincoln

We first met the Broadway actress Tovah Feldshuh in Ft. Lauderdale in 2007 where she was portraying Katharine Hepburn in our friend Matthew Lombardo’s “TEA AT FIVE”.  In March of 2015 she hiked Mount Kilimanjaro with her son. She said that she was inspired after the 2014 death of her mother at the age of 104, and her own athletic role in Pippin in which she had to swing on a trapeze.

travel everglades

“I really do feel we’re only in this body once,” she said. “I just want enough money to buy experience. I can forego a dress, but the idea of taking a trip and trekking Mount Kilimanjaro or going on the Trans-Siberian railroad or tracking lemurs in Madagascar — these things are very exciting to me. To see the world until I leave my own body. It’s now or not at all.”

And of course we all know what Auntie Mame said about life,  “Yes! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” And what a life she lived and she knew how to live life well. There were few dull moments in her life.

Forest Mountains Colorado Woods Snow Trees

Unfortunately we know way too many people who live very boring lives, doing the same thing day in and day out, month after month and year after year, without traveling or seeing new things and experiencing how other people live.

Whether you want to take a cruise or hike up a mountain or ride the rapids on the river, or visit a large city or visit the forests or ocean, there are literally hundreds of things that you can do here in the United States.

A cross country driving trip is always extremely interesting, visiting the sights and sounds of the land along the way. Forget all the chain restaurants when you travel and try the local ones. Eat different things that you don’t normally do, from real southern cooking in the South or Cajun food in New Orleans to New England Lobsters, to Boston Baked Beans to Barbeque and grits. In Florida we have tried Alligator burgers and in New Mexico we have tried calf cheeks tacos. Perhaps they are something that we would not enjoy on a regular basis but we did enjoy trying them. We have dined with American Indians on their reservations as well.

travel rafting

We have been rafting down the Colorado River, climbed many mountains and discovered interesting underground caves and went on a boat ride thru the Everglades. For those who cannot afford to travel all around the country, just enjoy your own State. Google your State and visit their websites to see what your State offers. For instance,   http://www.travelok.com/ gives a listing of dozens and dozens of things to do and see in that State.

So if you can only travel close to where you live and only have a couple or three days, you can still get away from your ‘regular life” and enjoy new and interesting things.  You are never too old or young to travel. We are fortunate and we have been traveling with a str8 couple in their 80’s for the past two years and have driven in 17 States and are ready next month to drive with them out to California. We will be stopping everywhere to see everything and even still be sleeping in a Wigwam Motel.

So don’t be one of those people who Auntie Mame says is starving to death. Make your life something special, just for you!

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

BOOK REVIEW: 100 Things to Do in America Before You Die

Author: , August 5th, 2017

100 Things to Do in America Before You DieEarlier this month we attended a special event at the Kansas City Public Library.  The Library is nationally known for having an extraordinary ‘Friends of the Kansas City Library” program which entails having national and regional authors giving programs.  This was a very special program featuring Saint Louis, Missouri broadcaster and national travel writer, Bill Clevlen who recently had his book, 100 THINGS TO DO IN AMERICA BEFORE YOU DIE, published.

The auditorium was nearly packed with people wanting to hear about his travels.  He said that it was the largest audience that he has had on his book tour.

Besides being a great travel writer, Bill is also a great raconteur who is highly skilled in relating stories and  anecdotes interesting.  He kept the entire audience listening to every word that he spoke.  He was fun, funny and a true professional speaker.  The audience would have stayed for a couple more hours listening to him.

Bill Clevlen

His book tells readers about everything from Niagara Falls to Florida, Seattle, Los Angeles and different cities both large and small across America.

Among very interesting things he tells readers to do are:  eating Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream at Mount Rushmore, riding a mule in the Grand Canyon, have a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby, drink free water at Wall Drug in the middle of South Dakota where coffee is only 5 cents, see the Beatles drums at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, watch a case at the United States Supreme Court as well as sitting in the bus seat that Rosa Parks refused to give up.

Other interesting things he suggests are visiting the beautiful fountains in Kansas City, Missouri which boasts more fountains than any city in the world other than Rome, taking a hot air balloon ride over Albuquerque, New Mexico, take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River and of course he lists 100 of things to do and see before you die!

In his book he also has a great series of Trivia questions which is very interesting like where is the highest State Capitol, why did the tradition of ‘dropping of the ball’ in Times Square begin in the first place?, can you name the state that has the most Presidential Libraries plus dozens more.  Before his presentation, we had an interesting chat with him and compared notes about traveling.

Bill Clevlen hosts a weekly radio show and podcast  in Saint Louis, Missouri called ‘Bill on the Road’ that features road trip ideas and uplifting stories. When he is not traveling or on the radio, Bill’s hobby is ‘pickleball’. He realizes that a lot of people enjoy traveling abroad but he really enjoys touring America and meeting people. You can visit his website:  www.billontheroad.com  We highly recommend that everyone purchase his book and you can order an autographed copy directly from him at his website.

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/

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Overlook Farm on the Mississippi

Author: , July 29th, 2017

Overlook Farm

Sometimes we want to go someplace and relax and we do mean REALLY relax.  Earlier this month we drove to the Overlook Farm located in Clarksville, Missouri right on the Mississippi River about 75 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri.  It is a 327 acre working farm.

Fish to fowl to honey, or eggs to herbs, their vast farm offerings are cultivated following organic practices.  Animals are raised on a renewable feast of fresh grass and are in wide open spaces.  They have 26 ‘hoop houses’ and 5 greenhouses where a huge variety of produce is grown year round.  They even have tomatoes in January!

Under the professional and very caring guidance of the fifth generation owner, Nathalie Pettus, the “Farm” now includes award-wining Inns, farm to table restaurants and premier event venues.   It is all nestled into the pastures and hillsides of the operating farm.

Cedarcrest ManorFor lodging we stayed in the magnificent Cedarcrest Manor which is an Antebellum estate.  It was built by Captain Benjamin Clifford who was a prominent riverboat captain.  Cedarcrest Manor began it’s life as a plantation home and soon became the archetype for a number of houses built in the Mississippi River Valley.

Cedarcrest ManorIt is a grand Manor estate and has lovingly been restored by the owner. Oversized Jacuzzi tubs and plush , comfy bathrobes are a feature in every room, offering the utmost in relaxation.  In-suite coffee makers provide instant access to a morning pick-me-up.

Cedarcrest ManorThey have a huge swimming pool and the gardens are everywhere.

Other guests stay in the Rackheath House just  just down the road. It was built in 1860 and completely restored in 2006.  it is Greek revival-style manor featuring sprawling ground, a spacious veranda and a flourishing garden filled with walking paths.

Other guests might want to stay at the Avalon House which is fully furnished with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen and a wrap-around-deck.  It has the most breath-taking views on the property overlooking the Mississippi River.   You can rent the entire house for a family gathering or business retreat.  There is also a Bridal Cottage which provides an intimate space for couples to get away for the weekend.  It is perched above the meadow, surrounded by rolling hills and has spectacular views of the sunrise and sunsets.  It has a  full kitchen.

The farm itself is a place to roam around and see how things are really meant to be… the orchards of fruits, hogs, cattle, chickens.  And you can purchase eggs, meat and fruits, etc. right there !

You can check out their website at: www.overlookfarmmo.com and you can call them at 573.242.3838.  You can also email them at  info@overllookfarmmo.com

Owner Nathalie Pettus has truly done a fabulous job in restoring this magnificent farm and keeping it updated.  It is truly a lifetime experience that will be in your memory forever!  Their staff is extremely professional and friendly.

Clarksville, Missouri is a very small town.  Actually the population is only about 430 people.   From downtown on the banks of the Mississippi River you can see the locks which controls the flow for barges.  A very interesting place to visit in downtown Clarksville is the 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum at 209 South First Street.  Owner Richard Cottrell has filled this two story house with the finest of the fine antiques!  Every room is filled from top to bottom with extraordinary antiques and from the Victorian era.  This is a ‘must see’ for anyone in the area.  It really is remarkable!

Visit their website at http://myoldhistorichouse.blogspot.com/

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

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Hollywood Museum Salutes LGBTQ

Author: , July 15th, 2017

Hollywood Museum

Hollywood MuseumWe have been to the Hollywood Museum a couple of times and now they are having a special exhibit featuring the LGBTQ community.  Steve Nycklemoe is the Director and Curator of the Museum and a VERY professional and friendly guy.  We enjoyed meeting him the last time we were there and he gave a private tour of the museum for us.

The Hollywood Museum is thrilled to announce its 2017 salute to the LGBTQ community’s contributions to the entertainment industry. The fourth annual “REAL to REEL: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood” exhibit, in partnership with Los Angeles CityCouncilmember Mitch O’Farrell(CD-13) and LA Pride, is an educational, entertaining and informative retrospective of LGBTQ images in film, TV, new digital platforms – featuring costumes, props, photos, and iconic imagery all telling the story of the milestones and influence that LGBTQ characters and plot lines have had in Hollywood from early stereotypes to modern-day representations.

Hollywood MuseumAdditionally, REAL to REEL celebrates LGBTQ Icons those individuals and couples who may be openly LGBTQ or not, and who support the LGBTQ community.

The Hollywood Museum’s REAL to REEL exhibition, which coincides with the annual Christopher Street West Pride activities, offers a historic perspective spanning 100 years from silent films to today’s films, TV shows, and digital platforms.

“The museum welcomes the opportunity to create and showcase this important exhibition, sharing with the public the artistic expression and extraordinary significance of the LGBTQ culture and its effect and impact on the world through the medium of entertainment,” says Donelle Dadigan, Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum located in the Historic Max Factor Building.

Hollywood MuseumThe exhibit revisits monumental LGBTQ moments in history with Rev. Troy Perry, including the Black Cat riots (1967), and on display – the infamous sign that once hung at the entrance of West Hollywood’s Barney’s Beanery. Exhibit highlights include costumes from Transparent, How to Get Away with Murder, The Walking Dead, Empire, Trans America, Sordid Lives, Cruising, Orange is the New Black, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ray Donovan, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Cabaret,K-11, as well as Cyndi Lauper’s Grand Marshall Costume (Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, 2015.

Additional exhibit items include famous costumes from Hollywood’s leading designers – Mr. Blackwell, Bob Mackie,Ret Turner, Nolan Miller, Edith Head – to today’s Project Runway with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, as well as Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, Scandal, Two in a Half Men, True Blood, The Good Wife, and more. This year’s exhibit also includes, LGBTQ Iconsincluding Judy Garland, Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Ramon Navarro, Rudolf Valentino, Charles Laughton, Sam Harris, Bruce Vilanch, Sherman Hemsley, Gere Jewell, Jerry Herman, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner and many more.

The Hollywood Museum gratefully acknowledges the following ABC, Amazon Studios, BBC America, CBS, Discovery Life, Focus Features HBO, Logo, NBC, Netflix, OWN, Showtime, TLC and 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, as well as organizations serving the LGBTQ community including ONE Archives, Christopher Street West, The Lavender Effect, and The Glaad Awards, amfAR and more.

ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM IN THE HISTORIC MAX FACTOR BUILDING:

See 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spanning more than 100 years of Hollywood history! Located next to the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building houses the largest collection of entertainment memorabilia on display in the world. It is home to thousands of costumes, props, photographs, posters, celebrity automobiles and other treasures from some of the most iconic films and TV shows ever made!

See Hollywood legends – past, present, and in the making! The museum attracts thousands of fans from around the world and was recently named one of the top tourist attractions by LA Weekly and by Trip Advisor, and was voted one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm (Exhibit: Fri, June 10th – Sun, Sept 4th)

TICKETS: $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students with ID and $5 Children under 5.

ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028 MUSEUM INFO:www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776

FOLLOW THE MUSEUM:

WEBSITE: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com   FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/TheHollywoodMuseum

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: Fourth of July Mark Twain Riverboat Cruise

Author: , July 7th, 2017

 

hannibal mark twain riverboat cruise

We were trying to think of something very special to do for the 4th of July this year and we found the perfect thing to do. From Kansas City, we drove over to Hannibal, Mo. (hometown of Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain) and took a cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat on the mighty Mississippi River.

Captain Steve and his wife Sandy have owned the Mark Twain Riverboat for over 20 years and although we have taken other Riverboat cruises in the country, this one is the best and most professional one to take. The boat is immaculately clean and the crew is extremely professional and friendly. They all know what they are doing and they do it right! You can either take a regular sightseeing cruise or if you prefer you can take a 2 hour dinner cruise which includes a fine buffet dinner as well as live musical  entertainment.

The Captain gives a great narrative of the history of Hannibal, Mark Twain and a VERY interesting tale of Lover’s Leap which is located just downstream from Hannibal.  His story on Lover’s Leap gives a new meaning to the sign that you see on the highways around the country, “Watch For Falling Rock”.  We learned that Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain was a Riverboat pilot and that the name Mark Twain actually means two fathoms deep.

We thought that we heard upstairs at the front of riverboat Paul Robeson singing “Ol’ Man River”, however perhaps it was just our imagination. We were in “Movie Show Boat Heaven”!

You can sit anywhere on the 3 decks (both inside and outside) and watch out the windows as you view the riverbanks and walk to the top of the boat deck and get an eyeful of scenery. Both cruises take you to two States, both Missouri as well as Illinois. BE sure and take your camera / smart phone and take plenty of photos.  For those people that are really into Riverboats, this boat is not a paddle-wheeler, but a diesel prop. The Riverboat has a 400 passenger capacity and it was build in 1964.  It is  120 feet long and 33 feet wide.

For more information, check out: https://marktwainriverboat.com/ You can also email them directly at info@marktwainriverboat.com or give them a call at  573 . 221 . 3222. They are located right downtown Hannibal at the Center Street Landing.  The Riverboat runs 7 days a week. They have a huge FREE parking area right in front where you enter.

If you have never been on a Riverboat cruise, be SURE and go to Hannibal, Mo. and take this Mark Twain Riverboat  cruise. You will be glad that you did.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves as well as our traveling companions, Jan, Roy and Margye.
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

Don and Ray

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

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD – The Grand Ole Opry

Author: , June 16th, 2017

Grand Ole Opry

Grand Ole OpryLast month The Grand Ole Opry heard that ‘the award-winning, GAY, celebrity travel columnists’ would be in Nashville and  they hosted us for the night.  The “Grand Ole Opry” is a LIVE radio show that features a variety of different country/western singers.  The evening that we attended the following country/western singers were entertaining: Steve Wariner, Ricky Skaggs, Joe Diffie, LOCASH, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jackie Lee,  Kelleigh Bannen and Jeannie  Selley and Connie Smith, most of whom we had never heard of, but then we are not diehard Country/Western fans.

Grand Ole OpryThe show is unlike any other shows that we have attended in that they have around 8 performers that comes out and each performs a couple of songs and that’s it!  Then another singer comes out and sings a couple of songs and then the onstage announcer comes out and tells  the radio audience about what companies that are advertising and goes into his spiel.

At first it was kind of interesting however after the second and third advertising it got rather boring to hear advertising.  The live broadcasts can be heard on  650, WSM-AM and also on Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius XM radio and online at www.opry.com on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights. They have performed consecutive Saturday night broadcasts for over 4,700 nights.

Grand Ole OpryThe Opry has had six locations in its 92 years…… It started out at the National Insurance Company in 1925 and then moved to the Hillsboro Theatre in 1934 and then to the Dixie Tabernacle in 1936 and then to the War Memorial Auditorium in 1939. It settled into the Ryman Auditorium in 1943 and stayed there until 1974 when a new Grand Ole Opry complex was build in 1974 which is about 8 miles east of downtown Nashville.  The complex not only includes the Grand Ole Opry but a huge hotel and shopping mall.

There are always a few who will step up to the plate and COME OUT proudly.  Thanks Ty Herndon, Chely Wright, Steve Grand, Brandy Clark, K. D. Lang ,Doug Stevens, Shane McAnally and Patrick Haggerty and they are all great country/western singers!

For those that are REALLY into western songs,  check out this Willie Nelson  song which is about Gay Cowboys:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u4CXlIYjyE
To visit the Grand Ole Opry, be sure and visit their website, www.opry.com/
Their address is 2804 Opryland Drive and their phone number  615.871.6779.  Everyone should visit the Grand Ole Opry at least once!

We rarely dedicate our travel columns to anyone but we are proudly dedicating this travel column to the #1 Country Entertainer,  Dolly Parton who has been so supportive for the LGBT community for years.  We only wish that everybody would have as big of a heart as she does as then the world would be a much better place to live. THANKS DOLLY!

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/

Tennessee Gay Travel Resources
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TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD – The Parthenon in Nashville

Author: , June 9th, 2017

Parthenon - Nashville

Parthenon - NashvilleFor some very strange reason the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee is one of the best kept secrets in the country. How many people have actually heard of it? It is life size (the same size as the Parthenon in Greece) and was built in Nashville over 100 years ago. What a magnificent sight it is! Located just a few blocks west of downtown Nashville, it is in the Centennial Park.

Parthenon - NashvilleBesides from being a most impressive building, the inside is ultra impressive in that they have an actual 42 foot tall statue of Athena! Yes, 42 feet tall and all in gold gilt in all of her glory! The Nashville Parthenon was originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon dating back to 438 B.C. The original of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

We really enjoyed seeing the two matching large bronze doors. A sign at the Parthenon read, “These bronze doors weigh 7.5 tons each. They are 24 feet high, 7 feet wide and 1 foot thick. They are considered to be the largest matching set of bronze doors in the world”.

Parthenon - NashvilleThe Parthenon also houses the Nashville Art Museum. The main art exhibit in their permanent collection is The Cowan Collection of American Art, a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists and all were donated in the 1920’s  by James. M. Cowan, a wealthy businessman from Illinois. All of the 57 paintings were done by American artists including a marvelous painting, Mt. Tamalpais, circa 1873 by Albert Bierstadt.
There is also additional gallery spaces for a variety of temporary exhibits.

Parthenon - NashvilleWhen we visited in May there was a special exhibit by the photographer Jerry Atnip entitled GONE SOUTH: A COLLECTION OF IMAGES FROM THE AMERICAN SOUTH. The photographs document the southern landscape in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. The photographer describes “something between waking and dreaming” and separately many are meditatively quiet and still. It is a very thought provoking exhibit of a way of life that most of us have never witnessed.

The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park began in 1982 and helps promotes the arts and music as well as educational programs, symposia speaker series and ongoing exhibits.

The Musicians Corner supports emerging artists and presents free music events in partnership with the City of Nashville and local music industry, showcasing over 1,000 artists since 2010. There is also a “Speaker’s Corner” Check out http://www.conservancyonline.com/

The Parthenon is located at 2500 West End Avenue and their phone number is: 615.862.8431. Their website is: http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parthenon.aspx Their hours are Tuesday thru Saturday from 9 AM to 4:30 PM and Sunday 12:30 PM to 4:40 PM.

The admittance charge is a real bargain at only $6.00 and $4.00 for adults over 62, There is also a great gift shop to purchase souvenirs and books. Stop by a local restaurant or deli and get a lunch to go and dine on the grounds at the Parthenon. It is not Greece but it is the closet thing that you will see outside of Greece. This is a MUST SEE!

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/

Tennessee Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: The Ringling Museum

Author: , June 3rd, 2017

The Ringling

The RinglingWhen one thinks of the word  ‘Ringling’ most people think of the “Greatest Show on Earth” like the Circus. A trip down to Sarasota, Florida will put a new meaning to that word.  John N. Ringling of course was the founder of the Ringling Brothers Circus and with his brothers he did make it into the “Greatest Show on Earth” however there is much more to John N. Ringling than just his “Circus”. We call it ‘The Ringling in Sarasota’ and is located right on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico.

The RinglingThere are actually five main buildings at ‘The Ringling’. First is the main office complex with galleries, bookstore and is where you purchase your tickets. It also has the Center’s Education Art Library and Conservation Lab.

It also houses a very upscale dining room. The 2nd building is the Museum of Art. First stop after getting your tickets is to walk to the Museum of Art with 31 galleries filled with priceless pieces of art from Old Masters thru contemporary from throughout the world.  The exterior of the Museum is magnificent itself with statues and columns everywhere. One could easily spend a whole day just in the Museum of Art.

The RinglingThen a leisurely walk to the Gulf of Mexico to tour John and Mable’s Mansion. With 4 floors of magnificent European furniture, oil paintings, bronzes, crystal chandeliers, fine china and silver, it is breath-taking to see.  Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico with views to remember forever.

While you are there, visit the Bayfront Gardens. This is one of the most beautiful gardens that we have seen. It is as much ‘real art’ as one can witness. It is a true living treasure with plenty of statuary under the magnificent banyan trees and roses everywhere!

The RinglingAs you take another leisurely walk to the Circus Museum you will see the parade wagons, the posters, the glittering costumes and the cannon that shot performers through the air. It will surely bring back a lot of memories for you when the circus would come to town and you and your family would rush down to see it.

The 5th building is the beautiful historic Asolo Theater which is housed next to the main building. They have dramatic performances there that is a ‘must see’ for visitors.The theater has a remarkable history and you can read all about it at  https://www.ringling.org/history-historic-asolo-theater It actually dates back several hundred years and was brought over to the United States years ago and re-assembled.

The RinglingThey have two places to dine at “The Ringling”…… a very lovely sit down restaurant in the main building and an outdoor dining option close to the Museum of Art. Next time that you are in Florida, forget Mickey Mouse and visit the ‘Ringling’ instead. You won’t be sorry as this is a tremendous Museum to visit and one that you will remember forever.

The Ringling Museum is the largest museum in Florida.  They are located at 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota. They are open daily, 10 AM -5 PM and Thursdays until 8 PM.  Their phone number is 941.359.5700 is www.ringling.org/   They have plenty of free parking.

When we visit museums and art galleries we always like to give praise to special people. At the ‘Ringling’ we want to praise Robin Findlay and Alice Murphy in the front office and to Mary Schreck who was one of the finest tour guides that we have ever encountered in all of our travels from coast to coast. She was extremely professional and informative about the Mansion.  Everyone in our group was extremely pleased with her knowledge and she answered all questions perfectly.

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/

West Central Florida Gay Travel Resources