St. Petersburg’s LGBTQ Center – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , March 7th, 2019

St. Petersburg LGBTQ Center

In our travels from coast to coast in the USA we usually stop by the LGBTQ Center when we arrive in a city. So far in the past 18 years we have found two outstanding ones. In the past we have written about the one in Denver. On our way down to Florida last month we visited the St. Petersburg LGBTQ Center. Jim Nixon is the Director and Liaison and is one of the most professional and friendliest Directors that we have met. The LGBTQ liaison serves as an accessible and friendly ear to city’s LGBTQ community and elevates LGBTQ related concerns to the city executive and other city offices. Serving as both a spokesman for the Mayor’s Office to a local LGBTQ demographic as well as a representative of LGBTQ interests in the leaders of St. Petersburg Government. He plays an advisory role within the government branches.

The LGBTQ Welcome Center in June 2014 in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District. Only the third in the nation. As a function of Metro Inclusive Health, serves the area as an LGBTQ visitors’ resource, coffee house, youth center (safe space) and provides a wide range of business resources, education activities and entertainment events.

Among the many things that they offer are:

  • Visitor Information with our partnership with Visit St Petersburg/Clearwater
  • Relocation information with our partnership with the St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Supportive Membership Program for referrals of LGBTQ Businesses
  • Local LGBTQ Artist and Maker Boutique
  • Coffee and Scooped Ice Cream Parlor
  • HIV Testing and Social Program from LGBTQ Youth and Seniors

Website: https://www.lgbtqwelcomecenter.org/

They are located at 2227 Central Avenue St. Their hours are Monday thru Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, noon to 5 PM. Their phone number is 727.201. 4925.

Here is a link to the city website where they are very proud of their LGBTQ community. Just scroll down to read about the LGBTQ part: http://www.stpete.org/mayor_s_office/index.php

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS goes to Jim Nixon and what he is doing in the LGBTQ community in St. Petersburg. More people in other cities needs to be as kind and considerate and professional as he is.

Jim Nixon

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

The Best of the Best, Part 2 – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , January 12th, 2019

Gaslight Inn - Seattle Gay Inn

In our last travel column we listed 5 of our favorite 10 Gay accommodations where we have stayed. Over 18 years years we have traveled coast to coast and have stayed in over 100 Gay owned resorts, hotels, motels and Bed and Breakfasts. We are listing the second 5 here. Most of them have been very fine experiences and some were just ‘so so’ and a few have not been very good. It is like in the old days about Gay bars. All you had to do was open a Gay bar and you automatically had a lot of business. However Gay bars in the country are fading fast and over half of them closed in the past 10 years.

Over 40 of the Gay owned accommodations where we have stayed over the years are no longer in business. Most closed due to lack of business, some owners either retired or gone into another business or have died. 90% of the ones that have closed was due to poor management either by the owners themselves or by their staff. In today’s world Gays demand and are accustomed to a nice clean and safe place to stay. We have stayed in places that never changed water or put new chemicals in their hot tub, had ratty linens and no personalized service. And then they wonder why they did not have any returning customers and had to go out of business. Thankfully, there are those owners who respect their customers and want them to return again and again. Good for them! Below is a list of the other 5 of the best, where we have stayed and have stayed several time with them where we have always had a great experience.

PIKES PEAK INN, IN WOODLAND PARK, COLORADO

Pikes Peak Inn - Woodland ParkTo get way from it all, we highly suggest staying the Pikes Peak Inn in Woodland, Colorado. If you ever need to get away from it all, then head to the High Mountains in Colorado. Pikes Peak Paradise Bed and Breakfast is THE place to go. It is located just 18 miles west of Colorado Springs and just to the south of Woodland Park also known as “The City Above The Clouds”. Woodland Park is located at 8,465 feet above sea level on the north slope of Pikes Peak and is surrounded by over a million acres of Pike National Forest. Pikes Peak Paradise B & B is located on 4 acres of private land. The views of the mountains and of Pikes Peak are breath-taking. And they are over 9,000 feet in elevation. All of the rooms/suites face south towards Pikes Peak. You are surrounded by trees mountains and more trees and mountains. You can watch deer everywhere. A full gourmet sit-down breakfast is served each day. In all of our travels, they make the finest gourmet breakfast! Ron Pijut is the owner and is a fabulous host. Check out their website at www.pikespeakparadise.com and their toll free number is 800-728-8282.

BROWN STREET INN IN IOWA CITY, IOWA

Brown Street Inn - Iowa CityIt is owned by Mark Ruggeberg and Bob Brooks. They have operated the Inn for more than 12 years. It is located at 430 Brown Street which is just a short walk to downtown. It is located in a lovely two story old home and decorated to perfection. Casual elegance in Iowa City’s historic Brown Street neighborhood. It is a 1913 Dutch Colonial Style Mansion and located on a very quiet street and within walking distance to downtown as well as to the University of Iowa campus. Mark and Bob are fabulous hosts. Their website is www.brownstreetinn.com Their toll free number to make reservations is 319.338.0435. Their email is info@brownstreetinn.com They have 5 rooms and one huge suite. They have a computer for guests as well as WiFi for those who bring their laptops. These gentlemen do EVERYTHING the right way.

GASLIGHT INN BED AND BREAKFAST IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Gaslight Inn - SeattleThe Gaslight Inn B and B in Seattle is areal jewel. Their website is www.gaslight-inn.com and you can call them at (206) 325-3654. This Seattle bed and breakfast became a city-designated landmark 2015. Located on Capitol Hill, the city’s most exciting, convenient, walkable neighborhood – in the heart of gay Seattle. The Inn features great Northwest art, fireplaces in the lobby and in some guest rooms, and a heated seasonal pool in the back yard. Just minutes from downtown and Elliot Bay. Their address is 1727 15th Ave., Seattle, WA, 98122. Stephen Bennett is the owner and has owned it for many years. He has a lot of guests who return year after year. City bus stops are just a block away that will take you anywhere in the city that you would want to go. They have 8 furnished rooms in his magnificent Arts and Crafts home. This Seattle Bed and Breakfast became a city-designated landmark 2015.New Delhi Cafe - Eureka Springs

EUREKA SPRINGS IN ARKANSAS

(Donald and Ray with Mr. Bill, owner of the New Delhi Cafe)

What can be said about this beautiful hidden town in the Arkansas. It is truly the Gay Mecca in the entire Midwest! Travelers come from all over the Midwest and points beyond to visit there. Their are 26 listings on purpleroofs.com find the perfect B and B just for you. Eureka Springs has a population of just over 2,000 with most of the business Gay owned. Mayor Robert “Butch” Berry has done an outstanding job at bringing thousands of tourists throughout the years. This is a very laid back town where everybody gets along with everyone. While dining you might be sitting next to a black leather motorbike guy and on the other side a lady in a fur coat. We have visited Eureka many times over the years and it is always a very unique experience. When visiting BE SURE and go to the New Delhi Cafe located right downtown. Mr.Bill is the owner and a REAL Prince of a guy! https://newdelhieureka.com/styled/index.html. They have fabulous food, drink and a huge patio. Anyone who is somebody goes there!Check out purpleroofs.com for a complete listing on all the Bed and Breakfasts. Also check out https://www.eurekasprings.org/tag/lgbt/

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/

The Best of the Best – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , December 17th, 2018

Inn at 410 B&B

For over 18 years years we have traveled coast to coast and have stayed in over 100 Gay owned resorts, hotels, motels and Bed and Breakfasts.   Most of them have been very fine experiences and some were just ‘so so’  and a few have not been very good.  It is like in the old days about Gay bars.  All you had to do was open a Gay bar and you automatically had a lot of business.  However Gay  bars in the country are fading fast and over half of them closed in the past 10 years.

Over 40 of the Gay owned accommodations where we have stayed over the years are no longer in business.  Most closed due to lack of business, some owners either retired or gone into another business or have died.   90% of the ones that have closed was due to poor management either by the owners themselves or by their staff.  In today’s world Gays demand and are accustomed to a nice clean and safe place to stay.  We have stayed in places that never changed water or put new chemicals in their hot tub, had ratty linens and no personalized service.  And then they wonder why they did not have any returning customers and had to go out of business.

Thankfully, there are those owners who respect their customers and want them to return again and again.  Good for them !  Below is a  list of some of the best, where we have stayed and  have stayed several time with them where we have always had a great experience.

THE VILLA INN BED AND BREAKFASTTHE VILLA INN BED AND BREAKFAST in Daytona Beach, Florida,  It is located in a more than 75 year-old Spanish Mansion and just steps from the Atlantic Ocean.  Jim Camp is the owner and knows how to treat his guests. We have stayed there a few times and it is always perfect.  You will certainly feel like Royalty when you stay there. Website: www.thevillabb.com/

Flamingo ResortTHE FLAMINGO RESORT in St. Petersburg, Florida  is a mega resort with 130 rooms. They also have 2 bars, restaurant and retail shops.  Guest travel from miles around to stay there. Actually one never needs to leave the resort as they have everything right there.  We have stayed there numerous times since they opened several years ago and it is always fun, Fun, FUN! Their website is:  www.flamingofla.com

Grand ResortTHE GRAND RESORT in Ft. Lauderdale has always been our favorite when we are down there.   We first stayed there in 2011 and have been back many times,  Owner Casey  Koslowski  and his staff have done a remarkable job over the years and they have a rock solid guest list that keeps coming back again and again and again. They are only a couple of blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. They have  33 rooms and suites and they do book up quickly.  They also have a full spa featuring massages, facials, etc. With the excellent service that they give their guests, it is no wonder that they are usually always booked up.  Check out their website at http://grandresort.net/

El FarolitoAnother great place to stay is the EL FAROLITO BED AND BREAKFAST INN in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Owners Wayne and Walt operate one of the finest B and B’s were have stayed several times. They are located within walking distance to the downtown Plaza.  Check out: www.farolito.com

Inn at 410 B&BTHE INN AT THE 410 BED AND BREAKFAST in Flagstaff is another favorite ours. Gordon and Frank know to please their guests.  They are located within walking distance to downtown.  They offer 9 rooms  Their beautiful bedrooms have been featured in decorator books. It is always a joy and great experience to stay there.  Their website is:  www.inn410.com

We REALLY  want to congratulate these fine businesses for giving their guests a wonderful experience that they will remember forever. Our next travel column will feature the other 5 of our favorite 10 best and professionally operated Gay owned accommodations where we have stayed over the past 18 years.

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. Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.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/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

Hot Springs, Arkansas – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , October 21st, 2018

Hot Springs - Donald and Ray

We have driven through and around Arkansas many times and we really think that there are only two places to visit in that State……. Eureka Springs and Hot Springs. Both towns are extremely ‘Gay friendly” and fun, Fun and more FUN! We have written up Eureka Springs a couple of times in the past and were in Hot Springs last month where we had a wonderful and very interesting time

There are two wonderful places to stay in Hot Springs: The Alpine Inn Motel, www.alpineinnhotsprings.com/ which is owned by Baker and Justin. They are two of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. They have been in the hospitality business for several years and they KNOW how to treat their guests well. They just purchased the Inn earlier this year and also a purchased a large estate there which they will turn into an ‘event center’ for weddings, receptions, etc.

They are completely remodeling the Alpine Inn Motel as well as their estate as well as changing the name and will be all set to go early next year. With their professional background and their wonderful personalities we know that they will be extremely successful there. We will be having a special travel column on them later this year. The Hilltop Manor Bed and Breakfast,  https://www.hilltopmanorhotsprings.com/ and owned by Jennifer and Joanna is a luxurious Hot Springs National Park accommodations.

hot springs donaldHot Springs has been a very special place for tourists for years. Back in the day Al Capone and his ‘friends” would drive down and visit. Hot Springs is famous for their “hot springs and mineral baths houses, a few of which are still in business.  Although it still a rather small town, population of around 37,000, they have some extremely interesting restaurants.

hot springs lakeOur favorites were the Ohio Club, www.theohioclub.com/ which is the oldest bar/restaurant in the State dating back to 1905.  They have life music seven days a week. Another favorite was Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant which is located right on the lake, www.facebook.com/5101spacity/ just to the south of downtown and Rolando’s, http://rolandosrestaurante.com/ .

hot springs hotelOn a bad weather day, you can dine indoors, otherwise they have a wonderful upstairs outdoor patio area which is THE place to dine. They feature a Latin American Cuisine and everything that they serve is absolutely FABULOUS! We had breakfast at the wonderful Venetian Room at the old Arlington Hotel, www.arlingtonhotel.com/default.aspx?pg=dining

Most everything is located right downtown with shops, restaurant, old hotels and plenty of things to see and do.  People drive from all over the Midwest to enjoy the town.

hot springs maxwellWe really enjoyed the “The Magic, Music and Comedy of Maxwell Blade which has been running for years.  www.maxwellblade.com/ It is the #1 Show in the entire State! It is located in the historic Malco Theatre in downtown Hot Springs. You will not find this kind of a show in Las Vegas! He has a huge following that returns to see his show whenever they return to Hot Springs. Witness this remarkable and extremely talented performer as entertains you with his magic, music and comedy.

hot springs bathsThe town has a few remaining Baths and Spas which are located in beautiful old buildings downtown that offers massages, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Target, Foot, Hot Stone and Bamboo Fusion services. Check out  https://www.hotsprings.org/ before visiting Hot Springs.

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/

Arkansas Gay Travel Resources

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