Sorry We’ve Been Away…

Author: , December 16th, 2014

Scott’s Grandmother passed away, and we’ve been at the funeral, but things should begin to get back to normal. Thanks for your patience!

–Scott and Mark, Purple Roofs

Hotel Urbano—Vacation on the River at Carmelo, Uruguay

Author: , December 3rd, 2014
Hotel Urbano, Carmelo, Uruguay

Hotel Urbano, Carmelo, Uruguay

 

By Roy Heale

Nestled along the banks of the Arroyo de las Vacas river creek, Carmelo is a small town located in western Uruguay, noted for its wineries, beaches, and laid back lifestyle. The river runs along the east and south part of the city and serves as a port for the town. On its north bank there is the Puerto Carmelo-Tigre, where small catamaran boats carry passengers across the Río de la Plata to Argentina.

A swing bridge, the Puente Giratorio de Carmelo, which opened on May 1st 1912, passes over the river joining the north part of the city with its small southern community. Here another port along the southern banks of the river hosts a marina for private boats plus the CarmeloYacht Club. Along the coast there is the extensive white sandy beach Playa Seré, a large green space park with picnic areas and parillas (BBQs) for public use, a small zoological garden, and a Casino Hotel. It is here where every day the locals enjoy long sessions of drinking mate while sport fishing in order to catch bogas and pejerreyes from some of the breakwaters which go hundreds of meters deep into the waters.

Riverbank Parks

Riverbank Parks

Another attraction is the mouth of the Las Vacas waterway where numerous sports watercrafts and sailing boats traverse the area to enter Carmelo. The yacht pier and the nautical campsite, where it is possible to camp by the river, are distinctive and popular.

Playa Seré Beach

Playa Seré Beach

There are two main plazas in the city. One is Plaza Artigas, with a monument to the foundation of the city in 1816, the church Templo Histórico del Carmen plus the city museum and archive. The other, more central, Independence Square—also known as Sculptures Square—is the commercial hub of the city. The main business street is 19 de Avril, which connects at the south end with the bridge to the southern shores.

 

Hotel Urbano Terrace

Hotel Urbano Terrace

In this small resort town there are two choices for your accommodations. One is in the resort community by the river beaches and the other is in the heart of the small downtown. The Hotel Urbano is the perfect choice on a quiet side street in the downtown area. It is just a couple of blocks from the Main Plaza Indepencia which is the heart of the city. This modern, bright and clean hotel offers almost twenty spacious rooms in different sizes and sleeping configurations. There are singles, doubles, triples, superiors, and suites to select the ideal size for your own requirements. On the second level there is a large outdoor patio and sun deck to spend those quiet moments. The main floor lobby café/bar offers a complete buffet breakfast with pastries, breads, fruits, juices, coffee, tea, ham, cheeses and more. There is also a relaxing street level outdoor patio for those who like to dine or sit outside. Rooms are reasonably priced and the buffet breakfast is included. This ideal hotel is a great home away from home when visiting the beautiful and historic town of Carmelo.

Bright Spacious Rooms

Bright Spacious Rooms

During the summer months this is a very popular outdoor destination for Argentines and Uruguayans who want to escape the big city heat and bustle to relax in the tranquil country atmosphere. Inexpensive catamaran ferries operate daily by Cacciola from Tigre, Argentina to Carmelo and provide an extremely enjoyable 2.5 hours passage through the Rio de la Plata Delta islands.

Cacciola Ferry

Cacciola Ferry

 

For More Information:
http://www.carmelohotelurbano.com
www.cacciolaviajes.com
www.welcomeuruguay.com/carmelo/index_i.html

Thanksgiving Hiatus

Author: , November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving TurkeyIt’s been a great year at Purple Roofs. We’ve launched our new, updated events section, welcomed more people to the site than we have in seven years, and started our new travel clubs on Facebook.

We’re a bit worn out. So we’re taking a short hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We’ll be back on Sunday.

Happy Turkey Day!

:)

–Scott & Mark
Purple Roofs

Purple Roofs Gets Mentioned in Xtra!

Author: , November 26th, 2014

Just got a mention in an article about LGBT travel in Vancouver’s LGBT magazine, Xtra!

Purple Roofs is another fantastic choice when you’re looking for a smaller hotel, inn, bed-and-breakfast or campground, with accommodation options detailing whether the property is LGBT-friendly, gay-owned or lesbian-owned and offering discounts to those booking through the site.

Thanks, guys, for the plug!

West Iceland

Author: , November 21st, 2014

West Iceland tends to a be a bit overlooked by those visiting Iceland. This means that when you ‘go west’ you often feel like you have vast swathes of it to yourself. West Iceland is home to incredible nature, including two amazing waterfalls called Barnahoss and Hraunfossar, Langjökull Glacier, from where you can go snowmobiling, glacier walking or visit the Ice Cave and finally, Deildartunguhver hotspring, the highest flow hotspring in Europe. If that wasn’t enough, West Iceland is also home to a small farm dedicated to keeping the Icelandic Goat species alive through the efforts of one very strong woman. There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in existence but the numbers are growing, thanks to Jóhanna Bergmann of Háafell Goat Farm, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones who initiated a crowdfunding campaign, and the thousands who donated! Make sure you visit and say hello to Jóhanna and her goats, they’re all very friendly.

Goats_pink_iceland_gay_travel_lgbt

Iceland – perfect place for a destination wedding!

Author: , November 18th, 2014

Same sex marriage has been legal in Iceland since 2010 and Iceland is the home of award winning LGBT travel & wedding experts, Pink Iceland, combine that with the LGBT friendliness and the breath taking nature serving as the back drop for the ceremony and what you have is the perfect place for a same sex destination wedding.

The wedding planners at Pink Iceland consider themselves extremely lucky to do what they do for a living, getting to share in on the wonderful experiences and create ever lasting memories.

These are beautiful memories from our elopements and same sex weddings in Iceland. Nature, love, simplicity & honesty.

gay_wedding_iceland_pink_iceland How_to_get_married_in_Iceland_wedding_planner_pink_iceland1 How_to_get_married_in_Iceland_wedding_planner_pink_iceland2www.pinkiceland.is www.pinkiceland.is www.pinkiceland.is www.pinkiceland.is www.pinkiceland.is newlyweds_pink_iceland_wedding_gay_marriage_iceland_john_paul www.pinkiceland.is www.pinkiceland.is www.pinkiceland.is

For more love wedding photos from Iceland check out our Facebook album.

Healthy Holiday Travel

Author: , November 18th, 2014

DRlogo (200 x 50)

By Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
As it appears in the November Issue

Okay, yes, we are all tired of the media hyping Ebola. Networks haven’t had such a field day since bedbugs. Yet, let’s talk about traveling health-safe during the holiday season; especially, since there are many immediate illness threats that can easily be avoided. Today, seasonal travel is much more than going ‘over the river and through the woods.’ AAA predicts that about 20 million people travel during the year-end holidays. So with all the time, money and resources spent, let’s enjoy our friends, events and family without needing to lie down after arrival.

Planes, trains, subways and buses as well as their respective airports, stations, and terminals are breeding grounds for germ and virus transmission. The media focuses on air travel because of recycled air and that you can’t easily move about or get off the jet. However, stuck on a NYC subway train hanging on the strap keeps you pretty boxed-in and transmission can occur quickly. So as an athlete puts on his or her gear to protect against the opposition, ready yourself to guard your health.

Suit-up with your under-armor. Do not fall for marketing hype. Your $6 is better donated to the HRC then spending it on products like Airborne. Stay close to the facts, e.g., Vitamin C helps increase your immune system and most nutritionists recommend taking a continuous supplement when a person does not eat vitamin C rich foods. The result you can expect is a faster and less symptomatic cold because C does not prevent colds. Zinc-based remedies such as Cold-eeze have the medical jury still sequestered pending a verdict. Yet, like vitamin C, a five-month zinc supplement may help reduce symptoms by boosting your immune system. Beware of herbs such as Echinacea because there is no oversight by the FDA. WebMD warns that some products have been found to contain lead and even arsenic. Regarding sanitary manufacturing, check to make sure any product you are considering is made in the USA. Importantly, speak with a trained nutritionist or your doctor before taking any supplement.

Get a flu shot. Many municipalities give flu shots to their residents cost-free. And remember, the shot itself releases only dead virus and your body needs about five or six weeks to be at a level to fight off live contamination. So, put the flu-shot on your to-do list as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the best defense is a healthy immune system, one that is gained by proper sleep and eating well.

In the cold weather, change the practice of taking off your gloves when you walk into a facility to removing them when you settle into your seat. Although, not impermeable, light-weight gloves, such as leather driving gloves, provide a second skin. Speaking of skin, the CDC equates washing your hands to the ‘do it yourself vaccine.’ Appallingly, research studies show nearly 50% of people in urban areas do not wash their hands after using a restroom. Nonetheless, throughout travel, washing your hands is easier said than done. While traveling, using an antibacterial wipe to clean you and surrounding touch-points (you don’t know if someone changed a baby on that tray-table) is a good defense. Select the best product not the cheapest. Some wipes use bleach or alcohol that strips natural oils from your skin where overuse overtime can make your hands look old. Also, inexpensive wipes may contain triclosan; which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can have serious side-effects.

During the holidays, people push themselves to events even when they are not feeling well; therefore, wash off the handshakes by excusing yourself after greetings and before meals. Your waistline will thank you for not adding calories from shared appetizers such as nachos and potato-chips and dip; especially, rumor has it that Uncle Albert is a double-dipper. And only let your significant other taste things from your personal plate.

Late November is the signature of autumn’s goodbye. Enjoy your time with special people without issues or tissues! Have a great thanksgiving holiday wherever your travel and purpose take you.

Five Los Angeles Walking Tours

Author: , November 17th, 2014

Melting Pot ToursLos Angeles may be known for its car-driven culture, but for a more memorable vacation, we suggest ditching your wheels and exploring the city on foot. These diverse walking tours cover history, nature, food, and a few dearly departed celebrities.

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was in disrepair for years, but now it’s a place for concerts, movies, and a tour of its famous and infamous denizens. The Cemetery of the Stars tour is a two-hour walk ($15) that’s more of a wonderful homage to film history than an obsession with the macabre. Guide Karie Bible’s enthusiasm is infectious, pointing out lipstick kisses on Rudolph Valentino’s crypt, the cenotaph of Toto (who is actually buried under the 101 freeway), and the rock and roll memorial statue for the late Johnny Ramone.

The Los Angeles Conservancy offers a variety of walking tours by highly-informed docents addressing the history and architecture of downtown LA. The two-and-a-half hour Art Deco tour is a must as LA sports some of the best examples of the style. No reservations are required, and the tour is offered every Saturday ($10 adults, $5 kids).

By Nicole Serratore – Full Story at Sherman’s Travel | Greater Los Angeles Gay Travel Resources

Image via Melting Pot Tours

The Last Lesbian Bar in San Francisco is Closing

Author: , October 31st, 2014

The Lex

The only bar dedicated to serving lesbians in San Francisco, the Lexington Club, announced that it is closing after 18 years. You may be shocked that the bar is closing and/or that there is only one lesbian bar in that gay metropolis. As a researcher of lesbian-queer spaces and economies, I am not surprised at all.

The bar’s sole, long-time owner, Lila Thirkield, shared the news on Facebook and cited the Mission District’s changing neighborhood demographics, increased rents, and the bar’s decline in sales as reasons for its demise. Women from around the world who’d visited the Lex noted their shock, outrage, and sadness at the event in blog posts and on all types of social media.

But how can anyone really be surprised? Sisters Restaurant & Nightclub in Philadelphia, T’s Bar & Restaurant in what was once the “Girl’s Town” area of Chicago, and the Egyptian Club in Portland, Oregon, all closed for similar reasons between 2010 and 2013. Rather than succumb to shock or a narrative that this is merely gentrification at work, it is time to recognize the difference that gender plays in the supposedly universal experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) spaces, and how gender shapes cities more broadly.

By Jen Jack Gieseking – Full Story at the Huffington Post | San Francisco Gay Travel Resources

At the Seaside…

Author: , October 15th, 2014

at-the-seaside_3550I’ve been struggling to write this post for too long. But today, while sitting on a park bench in Cesenatico, Italy, the words finally came. You see, I’ve had a surprisingly momentous week. I don’t always talk about the personal things going on in my life here on the blog, though sometimes you’ll get glimpses on my public Facebook. I try to share when I can, but with so much of my life public, it’s also nice to have a bit of privacy. I love blogging and if you haven’t noticed by now, I usually don’t shy away from injecting my personality into my travel stories. This blog aims to be not just another useful travel resource, but also (hopefully) fun, interesting and unique.

Regardless, I don’t always put my emotions onto paper (or the keyboard, in this case). I think I’m usually quite a private person–perhaps surprising considering the public nature of this blog. But I’ve always struggled with sharing emotions. Not really out of a fear, but more likely this crazy idea I have that I’m sometimes a burden. In most instances, I can talk lots about myself. But at the same time, I’m definitely aware of what I’m doing. I love attention, yes, (I’m a blogger, after all), but I’m also quite capable of turning it off and just being.

Just being.

This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: At the Seaside….

Emilia Romagna Gay Travel Resources