The Magic of London

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

London Street Art - Adam GroffmanLondon, one of my favorite cities in the world. I lived there briefly in 2006 and these days, living in Europe, I visit it frequently. And even with all the time I’ve spent in London, I’m still enchanted by its magic. It’s not only the historical and cultural relevance of the city, but maybe more charming? The daily life. No matter where you are, London comes to you. In the news about royal babies, economic crisis, in the dark avenues filled with Sherlock Holmes’ adventures and even in the post-apocalyptic scenarios of movies like 28 Days Later. (Yes, zombies love London too! Scary, but smart!)

My last trip was already several months ago, but I remember why I love London so much. It’s the rhythm of the automatized wandering in the Tube, the smells of the Indian restaurants on Brick Lane, the relaxing atmosphere of walking along the Thames. I’ve done lots of things in London, from visiting the Globe Theater and enjoying both comedies and tragedies of William Shakespeare.

I’ve seen one of the best musicals: Wicked! And I would see it again and again and again. And again! I love to get lost in London’s museums (most of them work with donations) and I’ve been lucky to spend hours admiring paintings from Rothko to ancient pieces recovered (or stolen) from faraway places.

This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: The Magic of London.

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Ralphie May: Nov 2

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

Voted one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch,” Ralphie May http://glynnhouse.com/events has released, a record-setting, four one-hour Palace Theatrecomedy specials and will be releasing two more this year, proving that his relatable comedic genius is in higher demand than ever. In addition, he recently released a vintage comedy album recorded in Houston in 1998. Lovable enough to get away with anything, Ralphie continues to capture the hearts of thousands on his sold out tours and promises to make you gleefully uncomfortable.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, “tax free” shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World: Hermann, Missouri: A Very Interesting Town, Part Two

Author: , October 21st, 2014
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Hermannhof Building

Hermann, Mo. has several wineries in the area. Here is some very important history on Hermann and the wineries:

Hermann BarrelsIn 1837 a band of German settlers from Philadelphia arrived at the site of their new colony expecting a land of milk and honey. Instead, they stepped off the last steamboat of the season into a howling wilderness. Inspired by the tangles of wild vines that covered the craggy hillsides, the resourceful Germans planted grapes and began making wine.

This golden era came to an abrupt and bitter end in 1919 with passage of the Volstead Act. Prohibition was an unmitigated disaster for Hermann, which like the rest of Missouri felt the full fury of the temperance movement. Hatchet-wielding Carry Nation was from neighboring Kansas, where Civil War animosity still ran high. Local lore has it that the streets ran red as wine barrels were emptied and then destroyed. Even the vineyards were uprooted. A renaissance began in 1965 when Stone Hill Winery reopened 30 years after the repeal of Prohibition. Today, Missouri is home to dozens of wineries.

Hermannhof WineryOur favorite wineries were Hermannhof Winery, Stone Hill Winery and OakGlenn Winery. Hermannhof Winery, www.hermannhof.com is the only winery located in historic downtown near museums, shops, restaurants and is just one block from the Amtrak station. Their ten stone cellars and charming brick superstructure are among the 100 early Hermann buildings placed on the National Register of Historic places.

All of the cellars are still utilized in wine production of it’s own estate wines. Here the wine continues to improve with age until it is dispatched to bring joy to connoisseurs. Paul LeRoy is the General Manager and does a splendid job. He knows the wine-making process from start to finish. They offer wine tours and tasting daily and also have live entertainment in their back patio with dining options.

Stone Hill WineryStone Hill Winery, www.stonehillwinery.com. Stone Hill Winery in Hermann is one of Missouri’s top tourist attractions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With a commanding view of the town, the 13 acre complex consists of the stately main building built in 1869, inviting gift shop, 165-year-old arched underground cellars, a fine restaurant and state-of-the-art production facilities that produce over 260,000 gallons of wine.

Dave Johnson is the Senior Winemaker. If at all possible have him as your guide for their wine tours. He is extremely knowledgeable about wine. Nick Pehle is the Vineyard Manager who is extremely professional and knows everything about the vineyards. His wife, Stephanie is the Director of Marketing for Stone Hill.

We had dinner one evening with them at the Vintage 1847 Restaurant which is steps away from the Winery and is part of Stone Hill. It is fine dining at it’s best. They have a wonderful selection of German entrees and their Black Forest cake, German Chocolate pie and Apple Strudel for dessert was to die for! But the best treat was dining with Nick and Stephanie who are a very charming, interesting and fun couple.

Oak GlennOakGlenn Winery, www.oakglenn.com OakGlenn Vineyards & Winery is situated high on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. One of the first things you’ll encounter when visiting them is the breathtaking views of the river valley. It is called, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Live entertainment is featured on their outdoor patio or stage most Saturday and Sunday evenings starting in May and running through November. Oktoberfest concert events take place every weekend in October. Owners Carol and Glenn Warnebold are there everyday making sure that everyone has a great time.

A couple of other wineries to visit are the Adam Puchta Winery, www.adampuchtawine.com and the Robller Winery, www.robllerwines.com. All of the wineries offer wine tours, wine tasting and on site food. They are open daily and all year long.

For a special treat, take the Hermann Wine Trail, which is produced by Patty Held. Check them out at www.hermannwinetrail.com.

For a very special dining experience in Hermann, be SURE and dine at least once at THE COTTAGE Restaurant and Studio, www.cottagerestauranthermann.com.

Cheese and WineThey are located a couple of miles south of downtown and certainly well worth the trip. They feature fresh, homemade food with local wines and beer. Nestled on a bluff just outside the quaint town of Hermann, The Cottage Restaurant and Studio offers a retreat “away from it all.” Sit inside surrounded by works of local artists or relax outside surrounded by the beauty of nature. They make almost everything from scratch–sauces, soups, dressings, desserts, entrees – and prepare everything there on the premises. They serve lunch 11 to 2 and dinner 5 to 8 and have a marvelous Sunday Brunch from 8:30 to 2. Mary Brennell is the owner and a real jewel as are the entire staff, especially our server Chris.

The Inn at Hermannhof in downtown Hermann, www.innathermannhof.com has about a dozen places for weddings, reunions, corporate events. Be sure and visit the Tin Mill Brewery, www.tinmillbrewery.com for wonderful beer and the best Pizza in the entire Midwest. Their Midnight Whistle beer which is a full-bodied dark beer with a malty aroma and a well-balanced blend of roasted malts and hops, we think is the best in the country.

The Tin Mill Restaurant across the street is a must for dining while you are in Hermann. Wonderful food in a very historical setting, it is the perfect place to dine. Chef John prepares the finest of entrees. We had dinner there one evening for a very special dinner party and it was very special with the fun and interesting dinner companions from the Inn of the Hermannhof.

A special thank you to Julee Baldridge for her assistance while we were visiting Hermann.

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

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

Donald 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/

Phuket Pride Coming 10/21/14

Author: , October 21st, 2014

Phuket PrideOn 19th October 2014 – 6 months before the week begins, The Phuket Loves You Club (PLU) officially launched Phuket Pride week 2015. Although the dates have been published since the end of Pride week 2014, the PLU have now launched two web banners and announced the 2015 theme ‘Freedom to Live’ the full explanation is shown on their web site which contains the following extracts:

“In Thailand, individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) experience many daily challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. They are often labelled as being promiscuous, self-indulgent and deserving of little respect.

So we hope that during Phuket Pride week 2015, all LGBT residents and tourists of Phuket can come and celebrate their right to live their lives as they wish and to be proud of being who they were born to be. We also invite our ‘Straight’ friends to join us in the week’s events; together we will break down these barriers and thus have more freedom to live in harmony with the rest of the community in Phuket and Thailand.

HIV infection in Phuket is at a very high level, Over the past 3 years, PLU Club has organised Phuket Pride week and raised over 600,000 baht, much of which has been have be spent on helping people with HIV, providing free condoms, providing free HIV testing and providing information on HIV. With knowledge, free access to condoms and testing, we are addressing another side of the Freedom To Live”

The week will be 7 days of fun celebrations, including Pool Parties, Sports events, Day trips, A Gala Dinner, Beach party, Grand Auction and other fund raising events around Phuket. The week’s final programme will be announced in early March 2015.
For information on how to get involved in the PLU and Phuket Pride as a volunteer or sponsor, please email: info@phuket-pride.com.

For up-to-date information about PLU activities and view our Pride 2014 photo gallery visit our web site: www.phuket-pride.org

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Murder Dinner Theatre at the Castle: Oct 31 – Nov 1

Author: , October 21st, 2014

A masquerade is the perfect place for mistaken identity – therefore, the perfect place to commit a murder! Come help solve the Castle of the Clouds“who-done-it” in this hysterically funny show featuring plenty of drinking, dancing and death!  This Murder Mystery Dinner Theater http://glynnhouse.com/events transports you to a classic Halloween Masquerade where faces, and perhaps foul intentions, are hidden from view.  Come dressed for the occasion if you so desire and don’t forget your mask!

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s spectacular lakes and mountains – offers guests an exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal on holiday too and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activ

All Shook Up: Oct 31 – Nov 2

Author: , October 21st, 2014

We are shaking things up with this lively musical set in the 1950’s. See what happens when a Midwestern town gets All Shook Up Palace Theatrehttp://glynnhouse.com/events/ by a mysterious, leather-jacketed stranger. The songs of Elvis Presley create and inspire the backdrops for librettist Joe DiPietro’s tale of mistaken identity, cross-dressing and romance.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, “tax free” shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

Tommy Castro and Sugar Ray Norcia: Nov 1

Author: , October 21st, 2014

Tommy Castro http://glynnhouse.com/events/ is famed for his signature brand of tough, rocking rhythm and blues, thrilling fans around flying-monkeythe world with his incendiary live performances. Singer and harp man Sugar Ray Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray & the Bluetones with guitar giant Ronnie Earl, and it’s stayed there ever since.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, “tax free” shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

The World’s Most Beautiful Man Is In Italy

Author: , October 19th, 2014

David - Adam GroffmanEarlier this year there was either a law passed or a minister in Italy who said photographs could be taken in the country’s many museums, including the Accademia Gallery — home of Michelangelo’s David. The news appeared on My Facebook Feed (shameless plug: follow me!) at one point this summer and I just quickly took note without actually following up. But on my recent trip to Italy this month, I heard it verified by some local Florence bloggers: you can now take photographs of Michelangelo’s David (without flash, of course!).

And because photographs of the world’s most beautiful man are now allowed to be taken in the museum, I’m finally sharing my own sneaky snapshots from 2012 ;-)

I first visited Florence for two reasons and two reasons only. One because of art. And two because of books. Well, maybe also a third reason: books about art in Florence. I think my desire to visit Florence stemmed from Irving Stone’s The Agony and The Ecstasy…a book I read back in high school. Michelangelo’s passion in that biographical novel was enough to convince me that I needed to see his work in person. And the very first sculpture I remember seeing by Michelangelo was this one, the strangely majestic David.

This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: The World’s Most Beautiful Man Is In Italy.

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Tuscany’s Most Picturesque Hilltop Town: Volterra

Author: , October 18th, 2014

Volterra - Adam GroffmanLast year I spent a few days traveling around Tuscany but I realize I didn’t share much from the journey. The reason? It wasn’t my favorite place. I didn’t actually spend any time in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, but instead traveled to Pisa and some nearby villas and small hilltop towns. I was stuck with unfortunate weather during the October trip, so rather than experiencing lush, green, rolling hills, there were a lot of grey skies, muddy pathways and cold, wet days.

In the end, Tuscany left me feeling slightly disappointed. I think all the expectations (thank you very much Eat, Pray, Love) were just too high. And while I had a perfectly nice trip, Tuscany as a destination just didn’t “wow” me as I was expecting. I’m not ready to write off the destination, though. I know I’ll have to visit Florence again (that city is just too pretty not to see more than once!).

And I’m sure there are more towns and places worth visiting — especially since I’ve become a bit of an Italian food aficionado! But having now visited Tuscany on at least two separate trips, I think I’m ready to explore other parts of Italy.

This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: Tuscany’s Most Picturesque Hilltop Town: Volterra.

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Costa Rica and Nicaragua in One Trip

Author: , October 18th, 2014

Villa Buena OndaLong known as a mecca for surfers and sun-seekers, Costa Rica is, has been, and always will be a hotspot. But what many travelers are only just starting to discover is that Nicaragua, its central American neighbor to the north, offers much of the thrill, scenery, and sizzle — with a culture all its own. The fact that Nicaragua is an affordable destination, given its off-radar status, is a great reason to fold it into a Costa Rica itinerary. After all, both countries deliver their own brand of charm, and crossing them off your bucket list in one trip is both practical and illuminating when it comes to getting a feel for the region. Here’s how to create such a Central American tasting menu:

The Itinerary: Begin in Nicaragua

A two-hour flight from Miami brings you to the capital of Managua, and before landing you’ll already have an idea of what you’re in for: about 150 shades of green. To get a feel for old-Nicaragua, a visit to Granada — the colorful, colonial city founded in 1524 — is a good starting point for the trip. A local tour guide can give you the lay of the land and the history. You’ll also get inside info on must-see shops, such as Cafe de las Sonrisas, where you can get a cup of incredible Nicaraguan coffee while purchasing a locally handmade hammock.

After meandering the streets and taking in the sights of Granada, the most peaceful, tranquil place to rest your head is at the enchanting Jicaro Island Ecolodge, a 20-minute boat ride away. The small resort — on one private island out of the 365 islands of Lake Nicaragua — is all about eco-friendly luxury. Upon arrival, you’re greeted with the local version of iced tea, doted on by incredibly friendly staff, then finally led to your two-story private casita sitting on the lake’s edge. You’ll spend your days spotting turtles and frogs, eating excellent local cuisine, swimming in the saltwater pool, practicing yoga on a floating deck, and visiting students whose school receives support from Jicaro — so you can feel good about the $300/night (meal inclusive) starting rates. Of course, there’s also just lounging in your hammock and staring off at the volcanoes in the distance.

By Pamela Jacobs – Full Story at Shermans Travel