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

Amalfi Coast – Carlos Melia

Author: , June 11th, 2016

Amalfi Coast - Carlos Melia

My day took me from my base at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, all the way to Ravello and back along the stunning panoramic road of the Amalfi Coast, with stops in Amalfi, Praiano and Positano. From the distance, I was also able to catch a view of Maiori and Minori, and drive by Atrani, which I thought I was very charismatic.

Amalfi Coast - Carlos MeliaDriving along the Amalfi Coast for us was rather easy, since we were there during the off-season, but during Summer time you better be patient. Distances are not to long, I mean from town to town, there is 25 to 30 minutes drive, without traffic.

First stop was Ravello, which is the furthest point I have explored Amalfi Coast. I only did a quick overview, since I would be staying later during the week, for a night at Belmond Hotel Caruso. So I will leave this open to my next upcoming post. But most definetely a MUST visit.

Amalfi Coast - Carlos MeliaLunch at Trattoria pizzeria Cumpa Cosimo was just perfect. Unlike many other dinning experiences I had during my time at the Amalfi Coast, it was very local, rustic, grewat Italian food and and very charismatic owner and Chef Netta Bottone, who tours the tables to ensure her clients are content. Her family has owned this cantina for more than 75 of its 300. Not only I tried her cooking, but also got plenty of love and kisses from her. ADORABLE.

Next stop was Amalfi, a brief walk around, at the foot of Monte Cerreto. The town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The highlight other than the spectacular panoramic views, which you will find all along the way, is the Amalfi Cathedral di Sant’Andrea.

Next stop, for many, the star of the Amalfi Coast, beautiful – but very crowded and over the top touristy – Positano. I mean, it is GORGEOUS, the views are all you would expect when visitin the Amalfi Coast and more, now it is very hectic and happening.

I came to do a walk around Le Sirenuse Hotel, and I deeply fall in love with the property, the panoramic views and the lovely Michelin starred restaurant La Sponda. I was so pleased, that right away booked my clients there for their upcoming Summer stay in Positano.

Dinner was at this quaint ristorante called KASAI, in Praiano. Again, just what I needed, great local food and great company, along the owner of the restaurant and my new – fabulous and fun friend – Fiona Fava. Lots of loval delights and even more bottles of local white wine. Literally eating and drinking my way across Italy. This was my full day discovering the many charming towns of the Amalfi Coast.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Campania Gay Travel Resources

Events: Jonny Lang

Author: , June 10th, 2016

Jonny Lang! http://glynnhouse.com/events/ Jonny Lang found incredible success evening smallwith the release of his major label debut album Lie To Me.  Fame does not seem to have impacted him from being the same country farm boy from Fargo, ND who got his start in the local clubs of Minneapolis.  He survived the passage of youth to adulthood, fell in love, began a family, and in the process passed through the life lessons we all endure.  He has a keen sense of what he aims to achieve creatively, what music means to him, and is focused on the impact that his songs bring to the lives of those that encounter his repertoire.  For Lang, with the release of Fight For My Soul, he is entering a chapter wherein he has found his true voice.  Experience a delightful evening of song at the Flying Monkey June 26.

Book your Flying Monkey 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 ‘Your Jonny Lang’ Concert Accommodation Now http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.

The Old Town of Al Ula – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 10th, 2016

Al-Ula - Alain

In Biblical Times, Al Ula was called as Dedan. It is mentioned in Isaiah 21:13 as a home trade base of Arab caravans. Today, the old town of Al Ula is a ghost town. No one lives there anymore but there’s a new town that is settled not far from the old.

When you think of old towns as a tourist attractions, you’d think of them as fully-renovated places restored for commercial purposes. But these mud brick houses of the Old Town of Al Ula are untouched.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Pompeii in Two Hours – Carlos Melia

Author: , June 10th, 2016

Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is considered one of the most visited atractions of Italy.

Pompeii - Carlos Melia

Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 13 to 20 ft of volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Pompei - Carlos MeliaIf you are staying either in the Amalfi Coast or Naples, it is an easy and interesting half day experience. In my case I did it after checking out my hotel in Sorrento – Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, and on my way to my next destination in Ravello. BTW both scenic drives – Sorrento to Pompeii along the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii to Ravello through the montains, were breathtaking. Mind I was there during off-seasons, therefore my drives were approx. one hour each way. During high season, drives might take up to 3 hours each way.

By the time of its destruction, 160 years later, its population was estimated at 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatre, gymnasium, and a port.

The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash. The objects that lay beneath the city have been preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and moisture. These artifacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.

Pompeii - Carlos MeliaDuring the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies. This allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.

My favorite part of my visit, with my private guide, was visiting the houses – like Casa del Menandro, learning about their ways of leaving, preserved mosaics and frescos, and the intricated and advsnced hydraulic system and impluvium. The impluvium is the sunken part of the atrium in a Greek or Roman house (domus). Designed to carry away the rainwater coming through the compluvium of the roof.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Campania Gay Travel Resources

Hale KupuKupu – Gay Volcano Vacation Rental

Author: , June 10th, 2016

Hale KupuKupu

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

Hale KupuKupu is constructed from old growth redwood planks in the single wall design traditional to the islands during the plantation period of the 1930s and 40’s.

Hale KupuKupu offers a quiet and tranquil experience, reminiscent of a lifestyle from an era gone-by. The outside surroundings of the house provide natural beauty and unmatched privacy.

See the Hale KupuKupu Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Big Island’s Puna District

Events: Louie Andersen

Author: , June 9th, 2016

Events: Louie Andersen! http://glynnhouse.com/events/ Iconic comedian Louie evening smallAnderson, the two-time Emmy award winner, is one of the country’s most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as “One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time.” His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best selling author, star of his own standup specials and sitcoms, and he continues to tour the country performing to standing room only crowds worldwide. Experience a terrific evening of comedy June 24.

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. Book Your ‘Louie Andersen’ Accommodation Now! http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.

Austin, Texas – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , June 9th, 2016

Austin - Dani

I have to apologize if I’m getting on your nerves with my constant ravings about Austin – I’ve already sang the city’s praises here and here – and I can’t stop gushing about Texas’ quirky capital. I arrived in New York last week and have been enthusiastically talking about how great Austin is ever since my plane touched down here, almost forgetting that I’m in my favorite city in the world.

But my last week in Austin was a great one, and I finally got the local introduction to the city that I had hoped for: from someone who had lived in Austin for many years and knew the city inside out. Together, we hit up some of East Austin’s coolest bars (including the fabulous Weather Up bar, which I learned had a branch in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, just around the corner from where I lived two years ago – not sure how I had missed that place back then!).

I was introduced to the magic of pinball arcades (I need to bring them to NYC – so much fun!), finally watched a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse while enjoying craft beers and a surprisingly tasty meal, wishing I could always enjoy restaurant service and booze in a movie theater (apparently Brooklyn is getting an Alamo Drafthouse in a few weeks – I am excited!), and had a midnight diner meal at the Magnolia Cafe which came to fame thanks to the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Austin Gay Travel Resources

Ah, Firenze! – Dolly Travels

Author: , June 9th, 2016

Duomo - FlorenceYes! We are in Firenze….that is Florence, in English. Florence is my favorite city in Italy. Although I do enjoy being in most of the other Italian cities, Florence is the place where I feel like I have come home again.

Florence is not as big as Rome, and its historical treasures are more recent than Rome’s. While Rome was the center of civilization in its time, Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance; art, literature, music, the architecture of the grand palaces are the treasures here.

We had reservations at the Accademia Galleria for 9:00 a.m. Last Friday. We got there early and the guard let us in. We had the place almost to ourselves for twenty minutes or more. We were able to see Michelangelo’s “David” without so many other tourists in the hall. I have seen this statue many times, but I never get tired of looking at that guy. The workmanship still amazes me. The muscles of his torso and limbs are so well defined. The veins in his hands, arms and feet stand out. I know I could start an IV in that right hand without a problem.

Then there is the Duomo. We walked past here our first night back in Florence. The beauty of this cathedral still brings tears to my eyes. Our apartment is not far from the Duomo, so we walk past it every day. However, this nighttime view is one of my favorites. Only a few people were out that night and there was no traffic. Our view was unobstructed as we walked around the church.

Getting around Florence by foot is really quite simple. Florence is not hilly like Rome, and most of the must-see sights are within a short walking distance from the center of the old city. Piazzale Michelangelo is one exception, though. It sits high on a hill, overlooking the Arno River. Getting there is quite a hike; however, the views from the piazza are worth the trip. If one really doesn’t want to walk up the hill, city buses make that trip frequently.

The white church on the hill is San Miniato, just above Piazzale Michelangelo.

Today we outdid ourselves. This is our last full day in Florence. We started our day early, getting to the Uffizi Gallery for our 9:00 appointment by 8:20. Once again, we were early, and the door guard let us in.

The Uffizi has the largest collection of Italian art in the world, so going there is a must. We went straight to the Botticelli room, as that room can get so crowded that it is impossible to see anything.

After two hours in the Uffizi, we went to the Bargello Gallery then to Santa Croce church, where many famous Florentines are interred. Among them: Leonardo di Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Macchiavelli, the composer Rossini, plus a large monument to Dante Allegheri, father of the Italian language, though he is not buried here.

Frank wanted to go to our favorite leather shop, so we did that. Frank made a purchase and we visited with the owner, who, like several others in Florence, have become our friends.

So now we are going to relax for a bit, then prepare dinner, as our friends, Massimo and Magda, are coming here for dinner.

Tomorrow we will leave Florence and go to Venice for a few days. Our trip is going by quickly. There is always some place that we want to see that has to be bypassed, as we simply run out of time.

However, life is good. Being in Italy is indeed “la dolce vita”, the sweet life.

Until next time,
Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Florence Gay Travel Resources

Florida Georgia Line

Author: , June 8th, 2016

Florida Georgia Line http://glynnhouse.com/events/ has taken the songwriter skillsevening small honed from their early days in Nashville and shredded them to bits, all while simultaneously using the deep roots of country music to build something new and totally thrilling. From the most raucous party moments to unexpected self-reflective odes, Florida Georgia Line is an unstoppable powerhouse only looking to answer to themselves, and, perhaps most importantly, their fans. From coast to coast with national TV appearances, the Florida Georgia Line machine has been rolling nonstop, and sees no sign of slowing down. Plan on experiencing a concert you’ll remember for years to come at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion June – 25.

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 ‘Florida Georgia Line’ Accommodation Now http://ao4.availabilityonline.com/availability_search.php?un=glynnhse or call (603) 968 3775.