, September 13th, 2014
Welcome to the Purple Roofs gay travel newsletter.
Our articles section now has five parts – local news, general interest, reviews of past events, travel event news (including upcoming events and reviews and photos of past events), and finally sweepstakes and contests.
We’ve got lots of other great stuff for you this time, too – including some great feature articles: Dress for Success; the Spanish Virgin islands; Montepulciano, Florence, Venice, and the Dolomites in Italy.
We’ve also recently launching our revamped Gay Travel Events section – more than 500 pride events, film festivals, circuit parties, and much more, now with photos, descriptions, and links to lodging for your stay.
And we’re featuring a number of other gay travel articles from around the world.
You’ll also find some great accommodation specials and discounts, tons of upcoming gay travel events, and much more.
NEWSLETTER SPONSOR: Villa Decary
Hotel Villa Decary Bed & Breakfast overlooks the beautiful, pristine Lake Arenal and Costa Rica’s Tilaran mountains. Costa Rica’s Lake Arenal region is a remote, uncrowded area of Costa Rica – at 1,800 feet in elevation, the area boasts a unique temperate climate, with cool nights and warm days.
The property is surrounded by a middle-elevation tropical rainforest, including lush plant life, a rainbow of butterflies, over two hundred and fifty bird species. You’ll also find troupes of shy howler monkies. Hotel Villa Decary is American owned and operated, and is a relaxing and affordable escape on a lush Costa Rica hillside, surrounded by a botanical garden of exotic tropical plants and palm trees.
Visit the Villa Decary
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Our Featured Articles This Month:
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: The BEST Way to Travel and Get Great Service
by Don and Ray
Every wonder why some people get to go to the front of the line or get bumped up to the first class section of an airplane? Or ever wonder why some people get waited on immediately and others have to wait and wait? Ever wonder why some people get seated in the best part of a restaurant while others are seated back by the kitchen or restrooms? When shopping in a store do ever wonder why others are being served before you are? We get bumped up to first class on a regular basis and always get seated in a great place at a restaurant. Why? We dress well! We look like we belong wherever we go. For those who want to wear shorts and jeans and flip flops to fine restaurants or on an airplane, by all means do so. That gives more space in the best sections for those who do dress well.
CARIBBEAN: The Spanish Virgin Islands
by Ernie Alderete
The Spanish Virgin Islands are the westernmost, most undeveloped, and least known slice of the much larger Virgin Islands pie. Twenty-one mile-long Vieques, the largest Spanish Virgin is located 12 miles west of Saint Thomas in the adjoining US Virgin Islands.
The smaller main Spanish Virgin, seven-mile-long Culebra, lies nine miles north of Vieques. Twenty-three smaller islands ring Culebra, all together composing the enchanting archipelago of the Spanish Virgin Islands. Puerto Mosquito, known as Bio Bay in English, in Vieques is considered the brightest bioluminescent body of water in the world!
ITALY: Rolling the Barrels in Italy
by Dolly Goolsby
Buongiorno, tutti, Yes, we returned to Montepulciano for the barrel-rolling competition, called the Bravio delle Botti. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and the festivities were well under way by then. On Thursday, they had had an evening parade, by candlelight, with people in medieval costume from all 8 contrade, entertainment in the Piazza Grande, and fireworks. Well, yes, we missed that, but on Saturday each contrada had a parade of their young people, so we got to see that. Of course, in the evening there was live music in many different venues. All contrade had their own areas where they were cooking and serving food and drink. It was hard for me to imagine even eating a bistecca Fiorentina at any time, but I know I wouldn’t do that at 10:00 at night.
ITALY: Back in Florence
by Dolly Goolsby
Ahhhhh…Firenze…..la Bella citta. My favorite Italian city. We finally got to Florence late Friday afternoon, after experiencing one train delay after another. We do, however, know the Chiusi train station well. We arrived at Chiusi by bus from Montepulciano with 7 minutes to spare to buy a train ticket and get onto the train. I had to stand in line at the ticket counter to get our tickets, so we missed that one. Then the next train, scheduled an hour later, was delayed for first 20 minutes, then 25, etc., etc…finally, though, we did reach Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station, and were on our way to our apartment. The sun was shining, and life was good once again.
ITALY: Getting Lost in Venice
by Dolly Goolsby
Yes, we are in Venice. Our first night here, we ventured out just to sight-see, without any true destination in mind. We found a great little trattoria in a tiny square (Campo). We had a lovely seafood dinner. We were glad we had sat inside, for all at once, all the diners from the outside tables had to make a mad dash into the restaurant because of a rain shower. By the time we finished dinner, the rain had stopped and the sidewalks were barely wet. So we had an easy stroll back to the apartment…..with just a little glitch. We got lost. We were in a little dead end campo, trying to read the map by street light, when a couple from England came along…they were lost, also, and then a young couple wandered by, with the same problem.
ITALY: Venice With Dolly
by Dolly Goolsby
Wow! We are really on the go, now. Diane, Lynnie and Nichole all arrived here in Venice on Monday afternoon. We got settled into the apartment, took the gals on a short orientation walk, then gave them a little time to relax. In the late afternoon we had Happy Hour cocktails and snacks in the apartment, then we cooked dinner there, so we could really relax and everyone could get acquainted. Tuesday morning we were at St. Mark’s Basilica long before it opened for visitors. We were in the first group of tourists. Then we took a walk went across the Rialto Bridge, and of course, to the Rialto Mercato.
ITALY: Bolzano and The Dolomites
by Dolly Goolsby
Yes, we are now in Bolzano, the beginning of the Dolomites. I am sitting on the terrace in front of my hotel room writing to you and here is what I am seeing in front of me. Tomorrow we will be traveling up to Castelrotto, which is in a valley below those mountains. Bolzano is a beautiful town, also. We are hearing more German language here, although I am hearing Italian, also. It is interesting to hear a shop keeper change from German to Italian to English without missing a beat. I have been using my Italian language skills more the past few days. I am pleased with myself over that. When we arrived in Bolzano, we were so hungry! As soon as we got checked into the hotel, we headed for the nearest restaurant. Well, I knew about this brewery/restaurant, so we went there.
We also scour the web to bring you all the gay travel news we can find. You can see these posts on a daily basis at http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog, or sign up for our RSS feed. Here are some of our favorites from the last month.
BAHAMAS: Lesbian Travel – Pink Sands Beach
Prepare to unwind, create your own fun and sink into your sun-drenched vacation far away from the masses.
BAHAMAS: Gay Pride Cancelled After Death Threats
The first-ever gay pride event in the Bahamas was canceled this weekend due to death threats.
CANADA, QUEBEC: My Chateau in Quebec City
With its fairytale setting high on a cliff-top overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Quebec City ranks among the most romantic and historic destinations in the Western Hemisphere.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Tasting the Best of Prague on a Food Tour
I’m not sure when my love of food really started. I don’t think I was always so hungry but at some point (probably the first or second year out of college) I realized how much fun food can be.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Weekending in Prague for Gay Pride
A few weeks ago I took a last-minute weekend trip to Prague for their 4th annual gay pride, Prague Pride.
GERMANY: Just a Typical Summer Sunday in Berlin
This month marks three years living in Berlin, and as part of my year-long goal to explore more of my adopted city, I’ve spent the past few weeks wandering around to both new and unfamiliar places as well as old haunts.
GERMANY: That Berlin Style
I’m not sure how it happened, or when, but at some point Berlin, as a word, became synonymous with “cool.” But not just cool. A special kind of cool.
ICELAND: Event Review – Bears on Ice, Reykjavik, Iceland
The Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, saw an influx of hairy and hunky men over the past weekend. The reason? The tenth, annual Bears of Ice festival, which, besides evening parties and discos, also includes sight-seeing tours of this fascinating and unique country.
INDIA: Inside The All-Male “Akharas” Of India
“In general, sexual minorities are not well accepted by mainstream Indian society,” 35-year-old photographer Bishan Samaddar tells Queerty in an exclusive interview. “Here, there’s always tremendous pressure on men and women to marry each other and produce children.”
IRELAND: Visiting Wilde Dublin
It’s with a reflective heart that I stand in the corner of Oscar Wilde’s childhood home of 1 Merrion Square. Located on the most fashionable side of Dublin, an area once envied for its location near the Duke of Leinster’s residence.
ITALY: Ponza, Italy’s Secret Island
“Enjoy Ponza. Please don’t tell everyone about it!”, shouted Alina as we left her holiday villa at Il Fontanaro in Umbria, Italy.
SINGAPORE: My Trip to Gay Singapore
Singapore is often presented as a serious, business city.
TAIWAN: Country Woos Gay Tourists
Taiwan is officially wooing gay tourists in the hope of becoming Asia’s top tourist destination in a region that is often openly hostile toward gay people, reports GayAsiaNews.com.
UGANDA: IGLTA Meets With Uganda Tourism Leaders
At the invitation of the Africa Travel Association, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association President/CEO John Tanzella and Past Board Chair Tanya Churchmuch met staff from Uganda Tourism and tourism businesses from Uganda’s private sector to discuss the issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism to Uganda.
USA, CALIFORNIA: The Sea Lions at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf
Yes, the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf are stinky but cute. As soon as I walked down Pier 39, the air was putrid but my nose just ignored it.
USA, CALIFORNIA: Lesbian Travel: Ventura, California
Feeling the urge to fly the coup, pigeon? Gather your besties, put your boss on notice and point yourself toward Ventura, California.
USA,CALIFORNIA: Oakland Pride Turns Away Leather Groups
Oakland’s first Pride parade is today, but according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the leather community is not invited.
USA, COLORADO: The Best of Denver
If you think of Denver as a convenient gateway to an amazing mountain or nature trip, you’re right. For skiers and hikers, it’s the closest major city to such perennial favorites as Telluride, Aspen, and Breckernridge.
USA, FLORIDA: Getting Around Disney World
Pop quiz: where can you find Florida’s third largest bus fleet? Correct answer: Disney World.
USA, ILLINOIS: If You’re in the Closet, Chicago May be the Travel Destination for You
We have plenty of data on where gay men like to vacation — but what about men who aren’t out of the closet?
USA, NEW JERSEY: Gay Asbury Park, New Jersey
Gay Asbury Park is a pretty special place. Not your ordinary Jersey Shore town, there’s a quirky and freewheeling spirit here, and a GLBT influence that’s become part of the very fabric of the town.
General Interest Stories:
Staying Fit on a Cruise
Being healthy during a cruise vacation is typically a foregone conclusion.
Interview With Gay Travel Blogger Carlos Melia
Last year, we reported that LGBT tourists spend more money on vacation than their straight counterparts. And in May, the New York Times (quoting LGBT market research firm Community Marketing Insights) estimated the economic impact of LGBT travelers in the US at $70 billion annually.
Where to Travel for Thanksgiving This Year
If there’s one responsible thing you do over Labor Day weekend, let it be solidifying your Thanksgiving plans.
Book Review: Gaysia
Throwing a dart at a board. That’s one way to decide where you’ll go on vacation.
Traveling With Pets
Hotels and resorts across the United States are constantly amping up their amenities (VIP services, complimentary happy hours, special in-room dining menus) to provide more comfortable stays for their overnight guests.
Eight Great Cities for a Long Layover
If you’re traveling internationally or even just across the country, chances are you’ll have a layover somewhere during your journey.
Three Undiscovered US Beaches in the South
Florida’s beach towns are often saturated with travelers, especially in areas like Miami and Destin, but the southeastern U.S. has so much more coastline than people realize.
Traveling While Transgender – A Nightmare in Hong Kong
Crossing borders as a transgender woman is always a challenge. There are many reasons immigration authorities reject you, but sometimes it’s simply because they don’t seem to understand who we are.
The Five Kinkiest Cities In America
Thinking about taking a trip? In the mood to go somewhere kinky? We’ve got a list for you.
AUSTRALIA: Thousands Celebrate Cairns Tropical Pride
ORGANISERS of the Cairns Tropical Pride Festival say there is growing acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the Far North as this year’s event draws to a close.
GREECE: Just Back From Xlsior Mykonos
This festival packed 8 massive parties into just 5 days. Starting on Wednesday afternoon at the Elysium hotel in Mykonos town, a hotel perched on the top of one of Mykonos’ many hills, the opening party had an amazing view out over the entire town.
IRELAND: Irish Catholic Students March in Gay Pride Parade
The principal of St. Paul’s High School in County Armagh – one of Ireland’s largest Catholic secondary schools – has defended his decision to have a group of students represent the school at a gay pride parade in Newry last weekend.
USA, NEVADA: Pride Las Vegas
As most of the rest of the country’s Pride festivals faded into summer memories, Las Vegas Pride 2014 roared to life like an MGM lion last weekend. MGM Resorts International-a major sponsor of the city’s annual festivites, represented by an enormous float and hundreds of employees marching Friday night’s parade-invited PASSPORT to check out the celebration.
Upcoming Event News:
AUSTRALIA, NSW: Got New Year’s Plans Yet? How About Tropical Fruits?
(Dec 21-Jan 1) If the glitz and glamour of Sydney are all just a bit too much for you on New Year’s Eve, look no further than the beautiful Northern Rivers region of New South Wales!
CANADA, ONTARIO: Toronto WorldPride Chooses Vancouver Artist’s Work
Jun 22-Nov 15) Vancouver’s Pablo Munoz is one of six Canadians whose work will be shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario during a special exhibition marking WorldPride 2014 in Toronto.
CARIBBEAN: Transgender Cruise Planned for December
(Dec 14-21) Travel agent Jeff Land blocked cabins on a Royal Caribbean sailing in December for what he believes is the first trans cruise. “This has been a dream of mine for so long,” Land said, “because it feels safe being with other trans people.”
COSTA RICA: Gay Surf Week in November
(Nov 8-15) We’re not going to ask what you like to ride, but if it includes waves, consider Gay Surf Week 2014, which promises to offer a week of sun, fun and waves for gay and lesbian surfers and beach lovers in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
GREECE: Lesvos Island Welcomes Women’s Festival in September
(Sept 6-20) After 13 years, this festival keeps getting better, attracting women holiday makers from all over the world to this tiny Greek Isle. For 2014, the International Eressos Women’s Festival takes place over two weeks, from 6-20 September.
USA, CALIFORNIA: Palm Springs Celebrates Gay Pride in November
(Nov 7-9) “I am Pride: Stonewall” is the theme for the 2014 Palm Springs Pride Celebration scheduled for November 7-9, ending with the parade.
USA, FLORIDA: New: Gay Days Fort Lauderdale
(Nov 25-Dec 1) According to Gay Days president Chris Alexander-Manley, the event is expanding into Fort Lauderdale.
USA, HAWAII: Maui Pride to Feature Frenchie Davis
(Oct 3-5) Maui Pride is coming up in October and has an amazing array of events this year. Including a Film Festival, which will premier a short film called Princesa and a full feature film Fagbug Nation!
USA, ILLINOIS: Chicago’s Reeling Film Festival to Celebrate 32nd Anniversary
(Sept 18-25) The 32nd Chicago LGBT International Film Festival, Reeling will commence Thursday, Sept. 18 at The Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport ave.) with a screening of Boy Meets Girl, directed by Eric Schaeffer (US, 2014, 95 min).
USA, MASSACHUSETTS: Women’s Week Returns to Ptown in October
(Oct 13-19) For the past thirty years, Provincetown has hosted a festival in October like no other.
USA, NEVADA: Evolve Returns to Vegas for New Year’s Eve
(Dec 31) Evolve 2015, a unique gay New Year’s Eve celebration, is more than just a party – it’s a 3-day experience attracting men from more than 30 countries to Las Vegas.
USA, OREGON: Portland Queer Film Festival
(Oct 3-9) One of our favorite LGBT film festivals is coming again in October.
USA, TEXAS: Adore Delano Coming to the Dallas Red Party Next Weekend
(Sept 19) Most fledgling drag queens learn the finer aspects of female impersonation — including advice on makeup, hairstyles, costumes and how to accessorize — from veteran mentors, known affectionately as drag mothers.
USA, HAWAII: Win Five Nights in Maui at the Maui Sunseeker
(Enter by 10/1) Step off the plane and the first thing you notice is the warm tropical breeze, full of the scent of plumeria, jasmine and tuberose, wrapping you in a wonderful feeling you’ve really arrived in paradise. And that’s just the first few moments of your escape from the normal. It gets better.Full Story
USA, WASHINGTON: Win a Dream Gay Wedding in Seattle
(Nov 1) Seattle is proud to announce Marry Me in Seattle, a celebration of marriage equality that includes special year-round, customized hotel packages and offerings for gay and lesbian couples.
Gay Travel Events – The List:
Check out our brand new events list, where we list gay events around the world – http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-events.html.
Sign Up for Our Gay Travel Sweepstakes
Hawaiian Sweepstakes: We’re teaming up with the beautiful Maui Sunseeker Resort in Hawaii (http://www.mauisunseeker.com/) to give away 5 nights in Hawaii.
Check Out Our Special Offer Section
Our innkeepers and travel agents offer exclusive specials to travelers who find them on Purple Roofs. This month, we have 99 Accommodation/Tour offers listed in 15 countries and regions around the world! No membership required.
Visit Our Other Websites:
Gayapolis: Personals, daily news, and a great gay and lesbian directory.
Gay Realty Network: Real estate professionals around the world.
Purple Unions: Gay friendly wedding vendors around the world.
Find Us On Twitter:
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Find Us On Pinterest:
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Marriage Equality News:
Also check out Gay Marriage Watch, our daily news blog about gay marriage: We bring you all the news on the fight for gay marriage daily. Join our blog email list by sending a subscription request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find the full blog at http://www.purpleunions.com/blog/index.html. You can now also find us on Twitter with regular updates every day at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.
That’s it for this issue – enjoy the newsletter!
Mark & Scott
PurpleRoofs – http://www.purpleroofs.com
PO Box 4666, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
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