Now in Montepulciano

Author: , July 21st, 2014

Montepulciano, ItalyOh, boy,

Hi, everyone.

Susan and I arrived in Montepulciano yesterday. Thank God, we had arranged for a taxi pick-up from the train station in Chiusi, as we had a 25 km. ride with an ? Excellent? Taxi driver from the station to our meeting point in Montepulciano. (I say that with question marks, as the way he negotiated some of the curves made our hair stand on end!) We could not have done this on our own. Now we will get the bus schedule and be able to travel to Siena ( the closest big city) on the weekend, if we want.

This hill town is beautiful. We are so happy to be here. We have a 2 bedroom apartment near the school, near the city center, but tucked just a couple streets off the Corso, so it is quiet at night. Imagine our surprise when the landlady showed us the apartment, to find it has a lovely terrazza off the second bedroom, where we have a great view of the Tuscan valley below the city.

We found a supermarket not too far away, maybe one km., However, once we bought our groceries, it was the same walk, uphill, to the apartment. We bought just enough to have dinner and food for breakfasts, and then on the way back, had to choose from the myriad wine shops, to get a bottle of Rosso di Montepulciano to go with our dinner.

By the way, our wine cost [euro]6..and it is very good. Another BTW, the best white wine served and sold here is Vernaccia di San Gimingnano. As most of you know, San Gimingnano is another hill town, west of Siena, and not to far from here, as the crow flies, but to get there, we would have to go by bus to Siena, and another bus to San Gimingnano.

Today we took a walk through the old town, just to get our bearings. We will start our classes tomorrow, but attend an orientation there at 7:00 p.m. tonight. The school is only 100 meters from our apartment.

As for the language school, and learning Italian…..I hope we made the right decision. I wanted a school where we would be forced to speak Italian. In that respect, we made the right choice. Very few of the locals, even the young people, speak English, and what they speak is directed to tourists. We WILL speak Italian at the end of 4 weeks, or die trying. Fortunately, I know enough Italian to get us food and drink!

If nothing else, my legs will be stronger, I may lose a few pounds, as all our walking is either uphill or downhill, and miles of it.

There are 6 or 8 churches in this town, and they all have bell towers, and most ring on the hour. But they do stop at night, and resume at 0700, except our little guy that is one hour fast…he starts at 0600. That’s OK. Starting tomorrow, we have to get up early, anyway, to go to school.

I have my school supplies: notebook, pens, pencils, erasers. My dictionary is on my computer. Susan suggested that I put a bottle of wine into my backpack, as I always speak better Italian after a glass or two of wine. Hmmm.

So I will say, Arriverderci for now. I will write again after we have our first class.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Southern Tuscany Gay Travel Resources

You Can Vacation in the Land of Oz

Author: , July 21st, 2014

Land of Oz - Photography by Brett & JessicaIn 1970, a Wizard of Oz theme park called The Land of Oz opened its doors to the public in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. In 1980, it closed. Good run, guys.

And since it closed 34 years ago, the park hasn’t really been altered much. Which means that the abandoned park scores wonderfully high on the creepy meter.

And to make it even more eerie, the original designers were told not to watch the iconic film and instead base everything off the book. So all the elements are familiar — you can walk down the yellow brick road to Emerald City, visit the scarecrow and the tin man, and escape the Wicked Witch of the West, but everything looks slightly “off” from how you’d expect.

By Dan Tracer – Full Story at Queerty | North Carolina Gay Travel Resources

Photography by Brett & Jessica

Toad of Toad Hall: Jul 29 – Aug 2

Author: , July 20th, 2014

By the time kind Rat, wise Badger, and shy Mole realize that even tough love has no effect on their irrepressible, uncontrollable Glynn House Evening-cfriend Mr. Toad, it is already too late. Toad goes from calling a policeman “fat-face” to a 20-year prison sentence, and from there to a daring escape and a ferocious battle with riffraff from the wrong side of the woods. After which it’s tea and toasts all around. Toad of Toad Hall http://glynnhouse.com/events is funny, exciting, and heartwarming.

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 activities.

Featured Gay Friendly Tour Operator: Natural World Safaris, Mombasa, Kenya

Author: , July 20th, 2014

Natural World Safaris - KenyaPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Guided family, couples, private, group, seniors and students safaris departing and finishing at the mombasa and kenya coast beach hotels.

See the Natural World Safaris Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

The Pretty City of Poznan, Poland

Author: , July 20th, 2014

Poznan, PolandLast month I visited Poznan, Poland with my boyfriend on a short weekend break from Berlin. The city, on the western side of Poland, is one of Poland’s more historical ones. And the Poznan Cathedral (located on Cathedral Island) is generally regarded as the oldest in Poland, making this one of Poland’s oldest cities as well.

But we weren’t in Poznan for the history. On a weekend break, we just wanted to enjoy the little sights and things to do in the city, so our time was spent mostly wandering the city streets and taking photos.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

See Adam’s full blog here.

Poland Gay Travel Resources

Visiting Portland, Oregon on a Budget

Author: , July 20th, 2014

Portland, Oregon Skyline

Looking to plan your next vacation but don’t want to spend a fortune? For an enriching getaway that doesn’t break the bank, Portland’s utopia of sustainability, cycling, good eats, and natural beauty has you covered.

Getting Around

Renting a car or taking taxis is unnecessary in Portland, thanks to the excellent public transportation system and bike infrastructure. As far as public transit goes, widely used is the TriMet light rail, which encompasses four lines and 84 stations — connecting commuters to attractions like Washington Park, Lloyd Center, Oregon Convention Center, and the Portland Expo Center. Tickets are $2.50 for a 2-hour ticket, $5 for a day pass, or $25 for 10 tickets. Other options include TriMet bus service, street cars, and commuter rail.

Cycling is also a great option for getting around Portland, considering the city’s 319 miles of bikeways, 15 intersections with bicycle-specific traffic signals, and 5,000 bike racks. If you’re not bringing your own wheels, Cycle Portland Bike Tours offers rentals starting at $5 per day, $20 per day, or $80 per week.

By Jessica Festa – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Portland, Oregon Gay Travel Resources

Gay Sacramento: Overview

Author: , July 20th, 2014

Gay Sacramento

Gay SacramentoThis month, we’re turning the focus to Sacramento – our own current hometown. Sacramento is an unlikely gay travel destination – a cowtown in the heart of the California central valley. We never thought we’d live here… right up until we did.

Sacramento started to grow up in the early two thousandsies… as thousands of Bay Areans migrated out of the region looking for cheaper housing when the SF market heated up.

Gay SacramentoAll of these new residents wanted culture like they had in The City, and Sacramento responded, and started to change.

Midtown evolved to become an incubator for some great new restaurants, new theatres popped up all over town, and no fewer than five condo towers were proposed.

And then came the crash.

Gay SacramentoAll the condo towers fell by the wayside. Restaurants closed. And a glacial freeze settled over the evolution of the city.

Things are finally melting, and the catalyst is an unlikely source.

For years, the Maloofs, the family that owned the Sacramento Kings basketball team, threatened to leave unless the region paid for a brand-new arena for the team, while flaunting their wealth, not a great way to win over your detractors.

Gay SacramentoBut last year the Maloofs sold the team, and sa deal was inked for a new arena in the heart of downtown, replacing part of a decrepit mall close to the Capitol.

This new stadium, to be built in two years, has helped to reinforce a trend already in play as the economy improved in the state and the region.

Now new developments are starting to pop up, and many more are planned, both adjacent to the new arena and all around the downtown and midtown core.

Gay SacramentoThere are a number of great explicitly gay things to do here, from our gay corner with four varied bars at 21st and K to our own gay theatre troop. But there are also many gay friendly things you will likely enjoy.

Most of what we will talk about is within “The Grid” – the downtown and midtown area bounded by Interstate 5 on the west, Highway 50 on the south, Business 80 on the east, and the American River on the north.

Over the next week, we’ll share some of gay Sacramento with you, and show you why it’s a great destination for LGBT travelers.

Sacramento Gay Travel Resources

Chamber Music Series – Jul 29th

Author: , July 20th, 2014

The New Hampshire Music Festival presents a series of intimate musical experiences performed NH Music Festivalby members of the Festival Orchestra. Don’t miss a delightful evening of Chamber Music http://www.glynnhouse.com/calendar/#july_2014.

Stay at the romanticGlynn House Inn during your New Hampshire winter getaway and experience elegant surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Don’t leave your four-footed canine pal at home. Reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. View the Glynn House www.glynnhouse.com/ website for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

 

Gay Portland: The Portland Art Museum

Author: , July 20th, 2014

On our last trip to Portland, Oregon, we visited the Portland Art Museum for the first time.

While we’ve been by there before – there are some great pieces you can see for free in the courtyard outside the building – this was the first time we’ve gone inside.

On the five or six floors of the building, there are several ongoing exhibits, and also some rotating ones – one of these was an exhibit of sculptures and art from a French palace – amazing.

And check out the lifelike naked statue below – the artist rejected the perfected cold sculpture techniques so common with statues of people – opting instead to make something so lifelike it fools the eye.

The museum is well worth a stop the next time you’re in Portland.

Portland, Oregon Gay Travel Resources

Portland Art Museum

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Legends of Doo Wop – Jul 26

Author: , July 19th, 2014

The Tune Weavers return after 42 years away from the Doo Wop http://glynnhouse.com/events/ scene. As many of you flying-monkeyremember, The Tune Weavers were blessed with a hit recording of “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” in 1957, which sold over two million copies, as well as hits like “Old Man River”.  The two remaining original members of The Tune Weavers, John Sylvia and Charlotte Davis Rose, have joined with Burt Pina and Alice Fernandes in the newly reformed group.  The Tune Weavers received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Doo Wop Hall of Fame of America in 2003.

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 activities.