LGBT Tourism: “The Show’s Going to Go On”

Author: , June 14th, 2016

Pulse

Members of the LGBT community say the shooting that killed 50 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando won’t stop them from travel and business as usual.

“From the LGBT perspective, it will not deter us from going to Orlando,” John Tanzella, president and CEO of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association told CBS MoneyWatch. “If anything, it will likely drive more travel to Orlando as it’s typical in our community to want to show support.”

That holds true, Tanzella said, whether it involves travel to celebrate LGBT victories or to show solidarity with a community in mourning. “One example on the positive side is before the U.S. had same sex marriage, Argentina did. Our members were selling travel to that country including honeymoon trips,” Tanzella said.

By Kate Gibson – Full Story at CBS News

Orlando Gay Travel Resources

He Opened Doors for Gay Travelers

Author: , June 14th, 2016

Edward Sotomayor Jr.

Here is one of the stories from the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. It’s important, I think, that we tell the stories of those who lost their lives in this terrible event.

Born in Sarasota, Fla., to a Puerto Rican father, Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, made it his life’s mission to open doors for gay travelers, especially in Latin America.

He was proud of his Puerto Rican heritage. And as the national brand manager for a travel agency that catered to gay people, he organized what the company’s owner, Al Ferguson, called the first ever gay cruise to Cuba.

“There was so much fear in the American gay community to go to Cuba because of how they would be perceived and treated and potential security risks,” Mr. Ferguson, 54, said. “And Eddie was probably one of the leading voices to say Cuba was exceptionally safe for the gay community, and Cuba was really anxious to welcome the gay community. And it turned out to be true.”

During the trip, in April, Mr. Sotomayor and Mr. Ferguson met with Mariela Castro, Raúl Castro’s daughter and a prominent gay rights advocate there. The two men also posed in front of a poster left over from President Obama’s trip.

And instead of sleeping on the ship during their stay in Havana, Mr. Sotomayor found an Airbnb rental near the Malecon, an esplanade along the coast. The company later told him it was one of the first rentals in Cuba, and asked him to write a review.

By Benjamin Mueller – Full Story at The New York Times

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Author: , June 13th, 2016

Events: Rodrigo y Gabriela! http://glynnhouse.com/events/ Internationally evening smallacclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are back on the road again in 2016, bringing their unique instrumental blend of metal, jazz and world music to audiences all over the US. Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been playing together for more than fifteen years. First as young thrash metal fans in their native Mexico City, then as innocents abroad and street musicians in Dublin, Ireland at the turn of the millennium, and finally as the globe-straddling, film-scoring, record-breaking artists they are today. Experience a wonderful evening of music June 28.

Reserve terrific Capitol Center for the Arts accommodation at the romantic Glynn House Inn. Guests enjoy gracious surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is served at separate tables in the Victorian dining room. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Afternoon refreshments and early evening wine and cheese are offered daily. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Pamper yourself and book an in-room massage. Available in most guest rooms.

Venture away from the Inn. Experience the delights of New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains and Lakes Regions. Art galleries, antiques and ‘tax free’ shopping options will entice the most discerning shopper. Cultural activities include concerts reflecting every genre and four professional theaters. Vineyards and micro breweries offer complimentary tastings and exceptional products. Outdoor enthusiasts can experience lakes and mountains, outdoor adventure, ski and snow play plus endless hiking trails. Inn guests are eligible for some terrific local activity discounts too. Everyone can enjoy scenic drives along New Hampshire’s tranquil country roads. Great local dining options will satisfy your palette too. View the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities. http://Book Your ‘Rodrigo y Gabriela’ Accommodation Now! http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.

Event: Keith Urban and Brett Eldredge

Author: , June 13th, 2016

Event: Keith Urban and Brett Eldredge! http://glynnhouse.com/events/ Premiere evening smallsinger-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist, Keith Urban, returns to the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion stage. Enjoy rocking guitar licks and songs, which will get you on your feet, singing along. Make this Entertainer of the Year Award-winner a ‘must see’ during your summer 2016. Plan on being at the Bank of New Hampshire Paviliion July 2 – 3.

Also returning to the Pavilion stage and joining Keith Urban is special guest Brett Eldredge. With his sophomore album Illinois rocketing up the charts and his No. 1 hit “Lose Your Mind”, Brett returns having found his own big voice. You’ll experience a high energy performance with everything he’s got.

Rounding out the trio performing July 2nd and 3rd, is 25-year old, Texas-native, Maren Morris. Morris has quickly rooted herself in Nashville’s competitive music world. Her songwriting and vocal stylings reflect her country, folk and pop influences.

Book your Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion accommodation at the romantic Glynn House Inn. Guests enjoy gracious surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is served at separate tables in the Victorian dining room. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Afternoon refreshments and early evening wine and cheese are offered daily. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Pamper yourself and book an in-room massage. Available in most guest rooms.

Are you looking for other activities during your visit to New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains and Lakes Regions? Venture away from the Inn and enjoy art galleries, ATV Rides, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, horseback riding, zip line and tax free shopping. Or, simply experience the delightful New Hampshire countryside. Inn guests enjoy savings on many activities too. View the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn, special offers  and local activities. Book Your ‘Keith Urban Concert’ Accommodation Now http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.

Weezer and Panic at the Disco

Author: , June 12th, 2016

Weezer and Panic at the Disco http://glynnhouse.com/events/ are joined by evening smallAndrew McMahon for a fantastic concert at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion June 8.

The American Rock band Weezer, was constructed in 1992 by Rivers Cuomo, Jason Cropper, Matt Sharp, and Patrick Wilson. Weezer had their first album debut with hits like “Buddy Holly”, “Say It Ain’t So” and “The Sweater Song”. During the 2000’s Weezer went on tour and continued to release albums such as Maladroit, Make Believe and Hurley. In 2014 they announced their 9th album Everything Will be Alright in the End.

Panic! At The Disco released their first album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out in 2005, this included their hit song “I Write Sins not Tragedies”. n 2008 their second album Pretty Odd debuted with another hit song. Too Weird Too live, Too Rare Too Die, was their next big album. At No. 40, Panic! At The Disco’s 2015 single “Hallelujah” made Billboard Hot 100, making this their second greatest success since “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”.
For most of the 2000s, pianist and singer/songwriter Andrew McMahon fronted the alt-rock group Something Corporate before segueing into a poppy solo project titled Jack’s Mannequin, which featured guest appearances by many of his talented musician friends. In 2013, he released his first collection of music under his own surname, The Pop Underground EP. Maintaining his usual warm, upbeat vibe, this was the first of McMahon’s records to rely predominantly on electronics and synthesizers. His full-length debut, released eponymously under the Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness moniker, arrived the following year.

Book your Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion accommodation at the romantic Glynn House Inn. Guests enjoy gracious surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A multi-course gourmet breakfast is served at separate tables in the Victorian dining room. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Afternoon refreshments and early evening wine and cheese are offered daily. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Pamper yourself and book an in-room massage. Available in most guest rooms.

Are you looking for other activities during your visit to New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains and Lakes Regions? Venture away from the Inn and enjoy art galleries, ATV Rides, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, horseback riding, zip line and tax free shopping. Or, simply experience the delightful New Hampshire countryside. Inn guests enjoy savings on many activities too. View the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn, special offers  and local activities. Book Your ‘Weezer and Panic at the Disco’ Accommodation Now http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.

Street Art in Bushwick, New York City – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , June 12th, 2016

Bushwick new york art Dani

When I arrived in New York last week, I was told that I had brought summer with me. Apparently, it had been cold and rainy most of the spring until the weekend of my arrival – and hearing this made me feel reassured again about having spent all of May in Austin (in case you haven’t noticed yet – I’ve got a major case of FOMO and ‘scarifying’ a month in New York for four weeks in Austin wasn’t an easy decision for me to make!).

To be honest, I was considering extending my stay in Austin for another three weeks (yes, I loved it that much – more on that to come next week) but then my travel plans were changed by circumstances beyond my control (more on that soon).

And that’s why I ended up spending only eight days in my adopted home. Knowing that my time in New York would be short and sweet, the goal was to make the most of it. This meant: make sure to have a decent New York bagel (check), have a pizza at Roberta’s (check, and it was so worth nearly missing my flight for it)!

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

New York City Gay Travel Resources

Grand Old Venice – Dolly Travels

Author: , June 12th, 2016

St. Mark's Square - Venice

Venice is like no other city in the world. The buildings are old and some in dire need of repair, yet these buildings seem to hold their grandeur from centuries ago, much like an aged dowager, wearing the same clothing that gave her a sense of glamour in the olden days.

Some of the old palazzos have been restored while others seem to be willing to sink into the depths of the canals, content with their appearance, and in no rush to die.

The most famous of all Venice sights is St. Mark’s Square, with the flamboyant church at its center, the Doge’s Palace at the eastern side and of course, all the very expensive restaurants around the perimeter. Although the pigeons are a nuisance, people still feed them, hold food in their hands while someone takes a picture of the birds eating out of their hands. Feeding the birds is against the law but the practice continues.

We enjoyed a day of walking around this area and a bit further afield. This is the only city that I can say for a fact, where most of the tourists that we encounter, at some time during the day, will have a confused look on their faces as they stop, look at a map, look up at the sky or at the buildings, then turn around and go back the way they came. I do not usually enjoy seeing others in an uncomfortable position; however, I have been in those same circumstances more times than I want to recall. I am just happy that I have company in my “lostness”. Getting lost in Venice is normal.

Venice is a city with no cars, motor scooters or even bicycles. One gets to where they want to be by foot or by water. There are so many little bridges over many small, winding canals. This is a delightful city in which to walk. Some little corners are so picturesque.

As we were wandering around close to lunchtime, we stopped to look at the menu posted for a restaurant on a busy piazza. I said, “This is too much food for lunch.”

The waiter at the door then told us that the same restaurant had a light lunch restaurant right next door. He walked us over there, and we were taken into a lovely quiet garden area. We had a delightful lunch and lingered there, talking, drinking our wine, for almost two hours.

It was an enjoyable afternoon. I treasure these times, and will keep them in my memory bank, as I know I will never find this place again.

We have just one day left here in Venice, then we will be off on some more adventures. I trust that you have enjoyed visiting Venice with us. You didn’t even get lost, did you?

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Venice Gay Travel Resources

Riverside Villa – Gay Friendly Belize Vacation Rental

Author: , June 12th, 2016

Riverside Villa

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Riverside Villa provides the ultimate serene, secluded and romantic setting in Belize. It is located on the fast flowing banks of the Privassion which flows through the Mountain Pine Ridge, a largely undeveloped forest reserve in the Cayo District of western Belize. It’s a truly unusual location on the banks of a gorgeous river where the Mountain Pine Ridge and the jungle meet. Although the villa is privately owned it is managed by the caring and LGBT friendly staff of the adjacent Gaia Riverlodge. Guests can take their meals at the lodge’s restaurant overlooking Five Sisters waterfall (where breakfast is included in the rate). A full kitchen is also provided if you wish to enjoy your meals at the villa. At your request Gaia will deliver your meals to you at Riverside villa.

Riverside Villa consists of two log and thatch cabanas connected by an open air deck with a full dining table. The cheerful sleeping cabana which holds the bedroom and bathroom is warmly furnished with a bamboo bed and Mayan fabrics and wall hangings. The full bath contains a fancifully tiled bathtub and beautiful hardwood furnishings. A screened in porch at one end of the bedroom has a hammock as well as two chairs. It is nestled into the trees and overlooks the garden with the river just beyond.

The larger cabana contains a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, writing desk and a small library. It is surrounded on four sides with fully screened porches arranged into relaxed and comfortable living spaces. Hammocks and seating areas are situated to take advantage of the tropical gardens as well as the entrancing views of the river. All furnishings are locally made by Belizean craftsman. Colorful Mayan rugs, fabrics and wall hangings complete the cozy ambiance of the interior.

We have recently installed a hot tub at the villa which has a fabulous view or the river. Far away from light pollution you will enjoy incredibly starry skies on clear nights. It is also the perfect place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee as the mist rises off the river. Our hot tub contains no chemicals. Guests fill it from the hot and cold water faucet to their preferred temperature. Because our water comes from a spring high up on the property we have tons of water pressure and so it fills up quickly.

We have great swimming holes directly in front of the villa. After a cool dip enjoy relaxing in the thatch covered palapa next to river with two hammocks and a picnic table.

Additional Guest Accommodations – Riverside Villa was designed as a spacious one bedroom home. Over the years we have had many requests from guests interested in traveling with a third or fourth party. Recent additions and upgrades have made this possible. Please see out website for details.

The Cayo location is adventure central Belize. Our website also describes tours in the area. transportation and many other details about your visit. Hope to see you soon!

See the Riverside Villa Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Belize

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Graceland

Author: , June 11th, 2016

Graceland Mansion

graceland airplaneWe recently went to Memphis and toured Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. We were there about 15 years ago and wanted to see the changes that were made. Well, not many changes have been made. It is like Niagara Falls and other U.S. Monuments, it just stays more or less the same. Graceland is the second most visited home in the country as only the White House draws more visitors. The main difference is that the White House tour is free and Graceland cost money. More than 600,000 people visit Graceland every year!

When you first arrive in the area, you have to find a place to park which can be a bit tricky and expensive. Park a few blocks away on the street and park free otherwise parking lots charge $10 and up.

Graceland dining roomThere is a main lobby building where you purchase your tickets or redeem them and then you go to a ‘waiting area’ where they take your photo (of course and then try to sell them to you afterwards. A shuttle bus then takes you directly across the street to Graceland and drops you off and then you are on your own and can go thru the mansion at your own speed. Most of the interior looks like early Kmart but that is the way he lived so deal with it. At least Liberace did it with class!

graceland living roomThe upstairs of the mansion is off limits so you cannot see the bedroom where he died. Everything about Graceland is devoted to ‘early Elvis’. There are no photos of him in his later years when he got much heavier.

After you finish viewing all you want to in the Mansion then you walk out the back door to the building in the back which houses the many gold records and hundreds of photos and souvenirs from his past.

graceland graveWhen you have toured that then you follow the path to the side of the mansion where his grave is. He is buried next to his Mother and Father and his brother who died in childhood. There are always tons of flowers there from fans all over the world. Be ready to see people crying and sobbing and throwing themselves on the ground! Luckily it is fenced or else am sure that some of his fans would trample the grave.

Then a shuttle bus comes along and takes you back across the street and drops you off right in front of the gift shop. Needless to say you can buy almost anything you want concerning Elvis…… refrigerator magnets, socks, shirts, caps, dolls, cards and about anything you can think of. While you are in Memphis, be sure and check out Beale Street in downtown where they have some of the greatest music bars around.

There are four different tours and prices for Graceland. The Graceland Elvis VIP Tour plus the Airplanes tour runs $80.00 per person. The regular VIP Tour runs $75.00 per person. The Platinum plus airplanes tour runs $47.00. The regular Platinum tour runs $42.50 or just the Mansion Tour runs $38.50.

There is a 10% discount for senior citizens. The different tours allows you to just tour the Mansion itself or to view his autos and his two airplanes which you actually get to walk thru.

Before you go, be sure and check out their website, www.graceland.com You can purchase tickets online so you do not have to stand IN LINE to get your tickets. Graceland is one of those places where you really should go to once just to say you have been there. We highly suggest that you do NOT visit Graceland during Elvis’s ‘Birth Week’ or ‘Death Week’ since his hard shell fans go back year after year for those weeks.

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

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Tennessee Gay Travel Resources

Vancouver’s Family-Friendly Gaycation Spots

Author: , June 11th, 2016

Granville Island

Traveling with kids can be a wonderful, memory-building experience. Let’s be honest, it can also be one of those nightmares you can’t wake yourself up from. My wife used to be a travel agent so spends weeks planning our vacations. If our son had his way, the only sights we would see would be toy stores and amusement parks. I, on the other hand, have about a 30-minute tolerance for “family fun” activities before I start punching myself in the face and must be brought wine immediately. Balancing everyone’s vacation needs isn’t easy but if you’re visiting Vancouver, you’re in luck. Here are three uniquely Vancouver spots offering family fun without family breakdowns:

Granville Island

Your littles of any age will love Kids Market with a four-level play area, toy shops, old-fashioned arcade, outdoor water park and, every kid’s favorite, their very own kid-sized entrance door. Now that our son is a tween he’s too tall (and cool) for the door but it’s still the perfect height for me! “Ugh, mom, you’re so embarrassing.”

Granville Island is also home to artist studios, clothing boutiques, gift shops, restaurants and the world famous Public Market. You could spend all day wandering outdoors, taking in busker performances, watching for seals in the surrounding waters, or enjoying an adult beverage on a patio. From Granville Island you can take a wee ferry to several fun places like Science World, the Maritime Museum and English Bay. Not just a daytime destination, Granville Island has the highest concentration of live theatres in Vancouver, a brewery, and a hotel so you could happily spend a weekend there.

By Morgan Brayton – Full Story at Passport

Vancouver Gay Travel Resources