, November 16th, 2015
Athleb Mountain is just a few kilometres drive away outside Al Ula in Tabuk Province. If you’re driving around the premises of Madian Saleh, you can never miss this wonderful landscape that will take your breath away.
They look like towering skyscrapers of a once progressive city in eons past. The mountain’s spires are like one of those that you see in cathedrals in Europe with Gothic architecture.
By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander
, October 11th, 2015
We’re launching a new weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.
Key West is the southernmost city in the continental US, way out at the tip of the Florida Keys. Known for its eclectic, laid-back beach life, the city has long been a an LGBT mecca.
Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?
Do you wanna go?
Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:
Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club
Check out our Key West page here:
And our Key West articles on the blog here:
, September 10th, 2015
Google has recently created an app called Field Trip. It has been described as the app you never knew you wanted. Field Trip is your guide to the cool, hidden and unique things in the world around you.
Field Trip is special to Provincetown. You may have heard NY Times writer David Dunlap created a record of the history of Provincetown buildings and published a book of his work. The book, Building Provincetown, recently published and available for sale in Provincetown, quickly sold out its first printing (a second printing will be coming shortly) But, don’t despair, Google Field Trip asked Mr. Dunlap to download his work into the Field Trip database. When you are in Provincetown if you have the Field Trip app on your phone it will bring up buildings and the history of those buildings as you walk through town. It’s pretty remarkable. It uses your location and lists the buildings in your vicinity and provides Mr. Dunlap’s story of the rich history of Provincetown buildings.
I’m sitting at The Somerset House Inn at 378 Commercial Street as I write this. Field Trip has pulled up the history of the house and I can read all about the history of The Somerset House Inn from its first owner, Robert Cook in the 1800s to its current owners, Bob and I. I can also pick any of the surrounding buildings and as I walk through town it will pull up different addresses. It is a great walking tour of Provincetown, available year-round.
When you are looking for Provincetown lodging remember that The Somerset House Inn is open year-round. You may book your reservation for any time of the year and take the Field Trip walking tour of Provincetown. The fall, with warm days and cool evenings, is a favorite time of the year to visit for many of our guests. Download the app and make your reservations and get walking in Provincetown this fall. And we hope you will stay with us at The Somerset House Inn, the perfect Provincetown Bed and Breakfast for your fall trip.
Coming this fall in Provincetown
- Sept 14 – 20 Afterglow Alternative Performance Arts Festival
- Sept 24 – 27 Tennessee Williams Festival
- Oct 1 – 4 Mates Leather Weekend
- Oct 9 – 12 Columbus Day Weekend
- Oct 12 – 18 Women’s Week
- Oct 30 – 31 Halloween Weekend (Somerset House Inn now sold out)
For a full listing please see the calendar on our web site.
Dan and his partner Bob own The Somerset House Inn, a wonderful B&B in the perfect Provincetown location. It’s on Commercial Street across the street from the water. We like to think we have the perfect Provincetown guesthouse. We hope to see you soon.
, September 10th, 2015
I never really had plans to visit Oslo at least not now because I knew it wasn’t cheap, but was already in Stockholm and had a friend in Oslo. I had met her during a Street Art Tour in Buenos Aires & she offered to open her home and give me a place to sleep. So I thought why not I’d have a place to sleep and see a good friend so I went!!!
Even before arriving in Oslo I was already in a black and white mood. It was a transportation day and my first actual day being alone since arriving in Europe and as usual felt a million emotions. See transportation days always seem to be when my mind runs a million miles per hour and my thoughts catch up to me as I get lost in a gaze starring out the window. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like them. I had a fabulous time during Stockholm Gay Pride and exploring Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, but for some reason on my way to Oslo… just couldn’t get a few things out of my head. I don’t think I need to explain what because by now I think most of you know what I am dealing with inside… anyway my feelings changed as soon as I arrived in Oslo, but I was still seeing in black and white.
I arrived after a 6 hour train ride and realized it was dark, gray and a bit chilly outside. I also immediately noticed people wearing black and just a lot of black in general everywhere. I arrived at the right metro stop and my friend was waiting for me. I was so excited to see her.
By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakway Backpacker | Norway Gay Travel Resources
, August 30th, 2015
We know Provincetown can be an expensive place to visit, the busy season is quite short and businesses have to make a great percentage of their income during that short busy season to survive. We have a lot of great restaurants and you will want to try many of them while you are here. How do you get to visit our great restaurants while keeping your food budget under control? Here are some hints.
On a few days make lunch your big meal of the day. A perfect day to do that is Sunday and have the brunch at Fanizzi’s at 598 Commercial Street. Fanizzi’s is on the water in the East end, brunch is from 10am to 2pm. Did I mention it’s ‘All You Can Eat’? for $14.95? You won’t find many deals like this. Brunch includes French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Corn Beef Hash, Breakfast Burritos, Steamed Mussels, Eggs Benedict, Sausage, Bacon. . . I could go on, but check out their web site for their brunch menu.
Another great place for a meal is the food court at the Aquarium Mall at 207 Commercial Street. A number of different options are available and behind the building is the Aqua Bar where you may eat your food and enjoy a gorgeous outdoor view of the Provincetown Harbor and Cape Cod Bay. One of my favorites is Big Daddy Burritos. The food is incredibly fresh, the staff is cute and friendly and it’s a great deal. I get a saucy chicken burrito with creamy salsa verde and the hot mamma sauce a couple of times a week. It’s $8.51 including tax so plan on $10 with a tip for lunch or dinner and enjoy that incredible view and the ocean air.
Another great option at the Aquarium Mall is Connie’s Bakery. Great sandwiches made fresh to order. I had their brown bag lunch which is a freshly made sandwich, cole slaw and a cookie for $11. The Black Forrest Ham sandwich on herbed focaccia bread was a delish. Again, eat outdoors at the Aqua Bar and you have a great meal with a view.
The Early bird specials aren’t just for your grandma in Florida. For example, get your order in to the kitchen by 7pm at the Seafood Grille (386 Commercial St) and have a three course meal for $14. Options include Cape Cod Fish & Chips, Broiled Cod with Lobster Newburgh Sauce and Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken. Start with clam chowder or a salad and end your dinner with the dessert of the day.
There’s something for everyone and every budget in Provincetown, you just need to know where to look. Dan and his partner Bob own The Somerset House Inn. When you stay at The Somerset House Inn the staff are always willing to help you with suggestions. We have one room left for the Labor Day weekend and then it’s fall in Provincetown, the perfect time to visit with warm days and cool evenings.
For a full listing of fall events please see the calendar on our web site. Come see us this fall!
, August 19th, 2015
Our friend Jamie Fessenden, author of the new book Violated about a gay man recovering from a sexual assault, shares his inspiration for the gay B&B featured in the story.
A clothing-optional gay bed and breakfast? For reals?
Yes, the clothing-optional gay bed and breakfast I described in Violated is based upon real B&Bs in my area. I don’t know of any in New Hampshire, but I found Frog Meadow and Gargoyle House, both of which are in Vermont.
I’ve been to clothing-optional resorts in the past. The particular one I’m recalling was one I visited about a decade ago near Burlington, VT. I was dating Erich, at the time, but he wouldn’t be caught dead running around naked with a bunch of strangers, so I went with a group of friends—all men, two gay and one straight. It was a pleasant weekend. The resort had been there so long, a number of the people there actually had small cabins they lived in for much of the summer. My friends and I stayed in a full-sized trailer with an indoor bathroom, a huge living room, a kitchen, and two bedrooms. The weekend was spent swimming in the lake, soaking in the (indoor) hot tub, and there was one big communal dinner consisting of game animals prepared in various ways—moose, elk, venison. I recall venison barbequed in a maple syrup glaze.
As anyone familiar with clothing-optional family resorts knows, they aren’t full of wild sex. Or if that’s going on, it’s in private—not out in the open. There are kids there. And a lot of elderly people.
So one might reasonably ask, “Would an all-male, gay bed and breakfast be any different, in regards to public sex?”
I have no wish to malign the establishments mentioned above. They may have strict policies about sexual activity in public spaces. I’m sure they don’t want anyone flipping out and getting them in legal hassles or claiming they’re anything less than respectable.
On the other hand, I’ve been to a number of nude beaches with gay parts of the beach set aside from the straight, more family-oriented parts. It was difficult not to notice how many guys were having sex in the nearby woods or isolated inlets. Whenever you get a bunch of naked gay men together, things tend to be sexually charged. I’ve witnessed (and participated in) “public” gay sex more times than I can recall.
In Violated, Rabbit Hollow Farm isn’t necessarily a sexual den of iniquity. For the most part, men aren’t having sex in the yard or on top of the bar. But when two of the younger men get carried away with their make-out session on the couch, assuming the older men would of course feel honored to watch them put on a show, the owners of the bed and breakfast allow it go forward. After all, it’s only a small group of guys, and none of the guests appear to mind. Bobby does, however, insist they put a towel down to protect the couch.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Derek Sawyer thinks he has it all—a high-salaried position, a boyfriend, a dog, even a new cabin on the lake—until a business trip with his manager and best friend, Victor, shatters his world.
One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.
Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time.
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6713
, August 16th, 2015
It’s that time of year – Carnival starts in Provincetown. This year’s theme is Candyland. There will be lots of candy tossed from the floats during the Thursday parade, lots of candy decorations and ALOT of eye candy!! A full schedule this year as always including a performance by Sandra Bernhard on Wednesday night at Town Hall.
Highlights of this year’s schedule includes:
Sunday – Shake your Bon Bon Boat Cruise
Monday – Vendor Fair at Bas Relief
Monday – Liquid Candy Pool Party
Tuesday – Eye Candy Dance Party at A-House
Wednesday – Sandra Bernhard in concert at Town Hall
Thursday – Carnival Parade
Thursday – Red Hots Leather Dance Party
Friday – Cotton Candy Closing Party
Carnival is one of the highlights of the summer every year and this year promises to be no exception. Dan and his partner Bob own The Somerset House Inn, a wonderful B&B in the perfect Provincetown location on Commercial Street across the street from the water. The Somerset House Inn is sold out for this year for Carnival, but it’s never to early to think about your reservations for next year which will be held August 14 – 19, 2016 with the parade on Thursday, August 18, 2016.
If you still need your Provincetown fix for summer we have some good availability the week between Carnival and Labor Day Weekend. Check out the availability calendar on our web site for details. We also have one room left for the Labor Day Weekend which is the Somerset House Inn’s end of summer party. Check out our calendar for all the activities scheduled for that weekend.
, July 31st, 2015
A recent addition to the Provincetown scene is sunset music at the beach on Wednesday nights with food provided by Far Land Provisions. You’ve got to do this at least once! Herring Cove beach is a spectacular spot for sunset. Far Land now offers nightly dinner, beer and wine for a relaxing dinner by the beach. It’s a great escape from the crowds of downtown. After 5pm, parking at Herring Cove is free – but remember – Far Land on the Beach is cash only. It’s a really inexpensive magical way to watch a Provincetown sunset.
Dan and his partner Bob own The Somerset House Inn, a wonderful B&B in the perfect Provincetown location. It’s on Commercial Street across the street from the water. The Somerset House Inn still has some limited availability in August, we’d love to have you stay with us. We have a five night and a seven night stay available for Carnival and a couple of rooms for Labor Day weekend. Due to other bookings we sometimes have some great shorter stays. A two night stay on Friday and Saturday night is available August 7th and 8th in guestroom 1. Another two night weekend stay is available August 14th and 15th in guestroom 2. Check out the availability calendar on our web site.
, July 14th, 2015
By Rob Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine.
Rob is a college professor and inclusion training facilitator. Beyond academic publications and articles, Saldarini’s fiction work includes the novel, For the Least of My Brothers, “Leader of the Pack” within the Queer Wolf anthology, and “The Truth That We’ll Miss” published in Mob Men on the Make.
As with iPhone versions, many Americans are ‘chomping at the bit’ to be the first in line to visit Cuba. And like iPhones, those who get the devices first, deal with initial roll-out problems as an intrinsic cost of their bragging rights. Relative to rights, the LGBT community remains marginalized in Cuba due to its male machismo culture writing the law. Through the 1960s and ‘70s homosexuality was met with brutal treatment and a possibility of being sent to the labor camps. In 2007, Mariela Castro (daughter of President Raul Castro) began pressing for civil rights. Tensions eased over the last eight-years with a landmark move of Cuba voting in favor of UN resolutions supporting gay rights. Nevertheless, one cannot say that there is an embracing and accepting climate, specifically, outside of the urban areas.
An American traveler cannot simply book a flight to Cuba. The U.S. Government has strict regulations regarding allowable travel between the two nations. As requirements are under revision, check the Department of State’s Website concerning travel law and visas. Still, Cuba is not really a summer destination. In Cuba, July and August offer incredible heat and generally poor weather. The Island is in the hurricane track and can experience heavy downpours during this rainy season. Therefore, August through October has the highest potential of giving you nothing but a ‘bar tan’ for your money.
Speaking of money, although there are new regulations that allow Americans to pay by credit cards, the banking industry has not yet implemented financial relationships with Cuba. Also, there are no American bank branches on the Island, there are few ATMs, and many businesses do not have the facilities to process credit card transactions. So, American currency and credit cards become problematic during your stay. Therefore, I recommend that you convert dollars to Euros or Pounds before you travel. Unfortunately, using this strategy means double-conversion fees may apply. Yet, at the moment, the 10% penalty fee for converting U.S. dollars to Cuban currency is still in effect. The Cuban convertible peso (CUC) is a closed currency, i.e., can only be purchased within the Country. You may do conversions at the airport’s Cadeca, at a bank, or wait until you arrive at your hotel. A bank offers the best rate-of-return; however, all establishments examine the currency meticulously accepting only clean, crisp and unwritten upon notes. Also, an original passport is necessary when exchanging money. Cuba has a second currency for its people that is known as the Cuban Peso (CUP); one that is not convertible and most tourists do not have access to CUPs. This currency is used by Cubans to pay for items such as their rations or utilities. U.S. law allows you to return with up to $400 in goods that includes a $100 maximum on Cuban cigars; but, don’t expect many cigars with that cap on spending.
An average vacation in Cuba should cost you about $100 per day. Remember, that Cuba is an image of its glory-days and hot Havana nights. With the fall of the USSR, Soviet subsidies of $4 to $5 billion ended. Today, this communist state offers a lot of poverty and there are few five-star hotels or formal restaurants. Your best bet is to stay in a B&B. The B&Bs only take cash payments and are difficult to book because our international friends have been staying at these places for years. There are a few gay owned B&Bs on the Island, e.g., La Casa de Carlos & Julio (East Street 609, Havana) and La Villa Sonada (Calle Santa Teresa, Esquina). Concerning dining, one of the superior restaurants, Finca Agroecologica El Paraiso (Vinales), which is a wonderful place to dine after a day exploring the Valle de Vinales, has few chairs that match and serves on whatever plate the chef can find.
If history and old-world atmosphere is your preference, you can find both in Cuba. Many fear that once America gains foothold, the Island may look like Miami’s twin with mega hotels and chain restaurants. I suggest you place Cuba three-to-five years out on an April travel itinerary; let the travel kinks get worked out and go before the State becomes a little Miami. Should you desire to vacation in Cuba sooner, I recommend you consider a licensed cruise line package.
If you have any comments, suggestions or recommendations, please feel free to email me at RSnj@aol.com.
, July 6th, 2015
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
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