Taiwan’s Bubble Tea

Author: , October 13th, 2014

Bubble Tea - Image by Christine WeiIn Taiwan, where bubble tea was invented, making this beverage is much more complicated than simply adding tapioca pearls, sugar, and ice to a glass of tea. For an out-of-the-box travel excursion, take a class at the Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House in Taichung, a 90-minute drive outside of Taipei in central Taiwan, to learn the traditional way. You might be surprised to learn that the process is as precise and choreographed as a traditional hot tea ceremony.

First things first: Taiwanese bubble tea is traditionally made with freshly brewed Assam black tea and sugar syrup (not powder sugar), with black tapioca pearls (not white) and powdered milk (not liquid). It’s shaken in a martini shaker, not stirred in a glass, to produce a foam head reminiscent of a properly poured glass of ale or stout.

The hands-on classes are held in the tea house inside the National Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an excellent collection of Western and Chinese art. The tea house also offers traditional classes for brewing and serving green and black hot teas. Angela Liu manages the classes and has an impressive bubble tea pedigree of her own: she’s the daughter of Liu Han-Chieh, the man generally regarded as the food’s creator, whose family operates more than 30 Chun Shui Tang Culture Tea House locations in the country. They have plans to expand the stores internationally in Asia and to open a bubble tea museum in Taichung.

By Evelyn Kanter – Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Image by Christine Wei

Dolly Goes to an Italian Cooking School

Author: , October 13th, 2014

Italian Cooking Class - Dolly GoolsbyGood morning,

I am so enjoying this southern Italy city of Sorrento. The food is so fresh and wonderful. I decided it would be a good thing for me to learn to cook like the people do here. There are many schools, and deciding which one to attend was not an easy task. I finally went to the information center in town, and they found a place for me for the following day.

As with many things in Italy, I came out of the information center with just a promise that someone would pick me up at my hotel the next morning and take me to the class. I did not even know the name of the school, but is did know how much it was cost, and the price was reasonable.

Sure enough, Friday morning, almost on time, this young man drove up to the hotel to get me. He had 2 others people in the car already, so we set off for the class. (Actually, the drive there was so entertaining, that it is worth a blog post on its own.)

Twenty minutes later we arrived at Villa Pane. This is a lovely villa up in the hills above Sorrento. Two other students were already there, ready to go to work. They got a head start on prep work, as they were staying at the villa, which is also a B&B.

We were greeted by Anna Marie, owner of the villa and a wonderful cook. She told us she is not a professional chef, but she grew up in the area, and is still using recipes that were used by her mother, mother-in-law, grandmother. She is also the mother of the two young men who were helping her. One of them had been our driver. I am so sorry I did not get their names. We were told by Anna Marie what dishes we would be preparing that day. Then we started.

I was so impressed with her kitchen. I was envious. She told us it took years and years to finally get the kitchen she wanted, as she could only do some of the remodel. Then wait to have more money to do more. I love the copper pots and bakeware. Most of them were very old, but she uses them all the time.

The family has a garden area, or two or three, I suppose. The basil came from the herb garden, there was another area where the tomatoes grew..in fact, all the fresh vegetables we used came from their organic garden, even the potatoes for the gnocchi and croquettes.

Kevin, starting the bread making process. The flour is weighed, not measured with a cup. We used semolina flour for the bread and the gnocchi. The semolina was very finely ground, much like “00” wheat flour, but Anna Marie told us that semolina, although technically a wheat product, is ground from a very hard type of wheat. She also said many people with gluten intolerance can have semolina without having any problems.

I was in heaven, as I got to mix the potatoes, eggs, salt into the semolina with my hands until it was the right consistency. I hadn’t got to cook anything all week, so I was ready for some hands-on cooking experiences.

Everyone had made their own rolls, so it was interesting to see the difference in shapes. The bread has olives and sun dried tomatoes inside.

Finally, all was finished, and we sat at a long table on the terrace to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

What a lovely day. We finished our meal with the chocolate cake and coffee. By the time I got back to the hotel, I was stuffed and needed a nap, but the espresso had me wired, so I just relaxed.

I received my Italian culinary diploma. So now I am “authorized” to cook typical Campania type food. When would you like to come over for dinner?

Ciao for now,


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

The Manhattan Transfer: Oct 23

Author: , October 13th, 2014

In 1974 Manhattan Transfer http://glynnhouse.com/events/ began performing regularly throughout New York City at Trude Hellers, Palace TheatreMercer Arts Center, Max’s Kansas City, Club 82, and other cutting edge cabaret venues. The critical praise and commercial success of the group’s first seven studio albums could hardly have prepared them for the monumental 12 Grammy nominations they received in 1985 for the album Vocalese. Those 12 nominations made Vocalese the single greatest Grammy nominated album in one year, and cemented the group’s status as one of the most important and innovative vocal groups in the history of popular music. The release of The Definitive Pop Collection, a 2-disc retrospective of the group’s greatest hits, provides not only an opportunity to look back at one of the greatest bodies of work in American popular music, but also the chance to look ahead to 2008, the 35th Anniversary of a group.

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.

Attend Gelato University in Bologna

Author: , October 12th, 2014

GelatoThe mention of Bologna and food typically conjures images of spaghetti – Spaghetti Bolognese to be precise. A family favorite since the 1970s, and a staple of today’s student diet, it’s an adopted favorite of us Brits. But what about Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna itself?

That’s something different.

There is no shortage of tratorrias serving up all manner of pasta treats in the city. Dishing up some of the best food from the region, it’s difficult to go wrong when dining out in Bologna. But Bologna also has a foodie secret.

A short bus or a 20-minute taxi ride from the city center takes you to an industrial estate where you’ll find ice cream heaven. Correction – we’re in Italy so it’s gelato heaven. Ice cream is a dirty term to the Italians. It’s ‘factory made’ and ‘heavy in fat’ compared to this artisan treat.

By Clark Turner – Full Story at Gay Star News | Emilia Romagna Gay Travel Resources

Win a Wine Getaway in Puglia, Italy

Author: , October 12th, 2014

Winerist Sweeps

How would you like to spend three days/two nights being pampered on an Italian farmhouse, treated to the best wines of the region?

Winerist, who makes wine, food and travel simple with wine tasting packages all over the world, is offering one lucky Gay Star News reader the chance to spend a few days wine tasting in Puglia.

By visiting the Winerist competition page and submitting their information, one lucky traveler will win an unforgettable two-night stay for two people at a stunning restored farmhouse located at the heart of beautiful Italian vines.

Full Story at Gay Star News | Apulia Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Shanghai’s Gayborhood

Author: , October 12th, 2014

Shanghai Gayborhood

Hey there, queermosexuals! If the number of housewarming parties in the past month or so is any indication, it’s time to upgrade your place of residence. While every neighborhood in the city has its perks and downsides (lots of sex shops but no street food, or plenty of cute boutiques but no eye candy — serious dilemmas like that), there’s one area to which we feel particularly attached: the gayborhood.

A “gayborhood” is typically defined as an area with a large concentration of queer establishments and/or residents. Some of you are no doubt familiar with gayborhoods in other cities around the world: Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., Soho in London, Le Village in Montreal to name a few. But did you know that Shanghai has its own version?

So it doesn’t have a catchy name (yet), but Shanghai’s gayborhood is generally said to comprise the slice of rainbow land in Changning District that surrounds popular gay bars 390 (Pan-yu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu), Eddy’s & Shanghai Studio (Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Xingguo Lu), Rice Bar (Fahuazhen Lu, near Dingxi Lu) and Asia Blue (Huashan Lu, near Taian Lu, pictured in the headline photo). A good number of high-profile local and expat queers live in the area, including a Shanghai drag-queen icon, several ShanghaiPRIDE organizers and maybe even a Powerpufffgrrl or two.

Full Story at City Weekend | China Gay Travel Resources

Marshall Tucker Band – Oct 25

Author: , October 12th, 2014

The Marshall Tucker Band http://glynnhouse.com/events/ is definitely one of the KINGS of Southern Rock. Take the flying-monkeyHighway, Can’t You See, Heard It In A Love Song, Fire On The Mountain, This Ol’ Cowboy, 24 Hrs. At A Time, Searchin’ For A Rainbow….we could keep going but we believe you get the point. Get your tickets right away, as they sell out in advance every time they come to the Flying Monkey stage. Might want to book your room too – foliage season is a busy time of year.

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.

Purple Roofs LGBT Travel Newsletter 10/11/14

Author: , October 11th, 2014

Scott & MarkWelcome to the Purple Roofs LGBT travel newsletter.

We’ve got lots of other great stuff for you this time, too – including some great feature articles: Visiting Dubai, The Dolomites, The Cinque Terre, Florence, Sorrento, Fall Foliage, Gay Illinois, and Hermann, Missouri.

And our articles section has five parts – local news, general interest, reviews of past events, travel event news, and sweepstakes and contests.

Check out our brand new Facebook Travel Clubs – discussion groups where you can ask questions and meet other travelers. Jon a club or two – everyone’s welcome in each group, but the discussions should be related to the group topic:

Gay Travelers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gaytravelclub
Lesbian Travelers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenstravelclub
Trans Travelers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/transtravelclub
Bisexual Travelers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bitravelclub

And check out our 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.

You’ll also find some great accommodation specials and discounts, tons of upcoming gay travel events, and much more.


My Gay Friendly ItalyMy Gay Friendly Italy

My Hidden Italy offers private travel experiences in hidden and unique areas of Italy, combining adventure travel with quality and comfort. Our “Off the Beaten Track” itineraries focus on the Puglia/Basilicata, Sicily, Piedmont and Amalfi Coast regions.

The hotels we include are mostly historic homes or small regional hotels. Restaurants are usually family owned with local, fresh food and offer regional cuisine. We arrange for private licensed guides allowing us to explore each town with knowledge and flexibility.

Visit the My Gay Friendly Italy Website

Email My Gay Friendly Italy

Our Featured Articles This Month:

Dubai Desert SafariDUBAI: Visiting Dubai for a Desert Safari
by Book Dubai Trip
If you are taking a desert safari in Dubai, there are a number of activities that you can enjoy. The main one that all safaris include is dune bashing. This involves driving around sand dunes in a sport utility vehicle. While the vehicle is zipping along the side of the dune, it may seem to be almost tipping over, but it is perfectly safe since the drivers involved are skilled and have significant experience in this activity. Dune bashing is a must for excitement junkies but may not be for everybody. If you are the kind who is easily nauseated, you should probably think twice before going dune bashing.
Full Story

Dolly in the DolomitesITALY: First Hike in the Dolomites
by Dolly Goolsby
Yes! Although the clouds covered the mountains this morning, we decided to give hiking a try anyway. We got on a bus which took us to the gondola station, then took the gondola up to the meadow, and the little town of Compatsch. By the time we got there, the clouds were already starting to break up, the sun came through and we enjoyed a very nice little hike, up to the area called Panorama. The scenery was so beautiful I didn’t know which way to look first, or second. The weather was great, not too cold, not too warm. From our vantage point, we could see trails going all over the meadow. Again, choices, choices! Which one to do next? We even got to see a couple of llamas on our hike. Lots of cows, a few horses.
Full Story

MarinzenITALY: Visiting Marinzen
by Dolly Goolsby
Today, according to weather.com, it was supposed to rain. I am glad to say that once again the forecasters were wrong. We woke up to a beautiful sunshiny day. Right now, at 4:00 p.m., I am sitting on the balcony of my hotel room and this is my view: So we may get the rain tonight, but it is still very nice outside. Instead of going up to Compatsch today, we decided to go only halfway up the mountain. There is a chair lift right here in town that took us up to a little mountain restaurant that has pastures for cows, horses and the ever-present goats. This little area is called Marinzen. It is a pretty spot, with hiking trails running up to Marinzen, and several leading away from there.
Full Story

Dolomites - DollyITALY: Our Last Day in the Dolomites
by Dolly Goolsby
Yes, I am almost packed and ready to leave in the morning….physically, that is. Emotionally, not nearly ready to leave this gorgeous area. I find the Dolomites to be so majestic, yet so relaxing to be here. I think I said this last year, also, that I know my blood pressure is so much lower when I am up here. My thoughts are clearer, I feel healthier, and every trail I see I want to be on it. Today was a bit cloudy, the mountains wanted to retain their mantle of clouds, so we stayed down in the valley. We took a bus up to the village of St. Ulrich, or Ortesei (either name is correct) and I am not quite sure whether Val Gardena is also the same village, but if not, it is very close. There will be World Cup skiing competition in Val Gardena in December of this year, so I will watch for that.
Full Story

Italy Food Tour - Dolly GoolsbyITALY: Italian Days Food Experience in Modena, Italy
by Dolly Goolsby
Wow. What a day we had! We had arranged to do a tour again, with Alessandro, owner and creator of Italian Days Food Experience. Susan and I had done this tour last year, and I thought, correctly, that my travel group would enjoy the experience. All the products we got to see and taste, the cheese, the balsamico, and the prosciutto, are certified DOP, which means that they are made according to the regulations of the consortium that makes sure all the steps are followed, from the feeding and care of the cows that produce the milk for the cheese, the grapes and aging process of the balsamico, and the food fed to the pigs that become prosciutto as well as that aging process. It is a very exacting process for each step for each product, but that DOP seal means that one can be sure of the high standard and quality of those foods.
Full Story

Vernazza sunset - DollyITALY: Vernazza in the Cinque Terre
by Dolly Goolsby
Wow! Once again time has gotten away from me. We are packing, getting ready to leave Cinque Terre tomorrow and all at once I realized I had not posted anything from here. We arrived in Vernazza in the late afternoon on Saturday. Weather was good, for which we were very thankful. Weather.com had predicted rain for all three days that we would be here. It had rained in Bologna most of Friday and again on Saturday morning, but when we had to walk to the train station, the rain had stopped. We got to La Spezia, where we had to change trains to get to Vernazza… and what happened? That train was cancelled. A train strike was scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m that night, but in preparation for the strike, several trains were cancelled. We did only have to wait an additional hour to catch a train, but dealing with that was stressful.
Full Story

David - FlorenceITALY: Back in Florence
by Dolly Goolsby
Yes, we have been in Florence since Tuesday, but we have been so busy trying to see everything that I haven’t had time to write. Now, 3 of the travelers are packing, getting ready to leave tomorrow. I hate to see them go. This has been another very good tour group. Lots of fun, and they got to have so many great experiences. On Tuesday, we walked to our apartment from the train station, got settled in, then only had time for a brief walk before dinner. On Wedensday, we went to the San Ambrogio mercato, got food for our meals, and everyone got to explore a bit, see the different stands and help choose our food.
Full Story

Duomo in Florence - Dolly GoolsbyITALY: Last Weekend in Florence
by Dolly Goolsby
Yes, this will be our last weekend in Florence. On Monday we will travel by train to Sorrento. All of our travelers left us on Momday, so just Susan and I are here in Florence now. Since this is my favorite Italian city, I was very happy to have the extra days to enjoy this lovely place. Many changes are occurring in Florence, as I mentioned in an earlier blog. The city is cleaner and seems to be fewer gypsies around, but those people do seem to pop up whenever the police leave the area. Gypsies are beggars. That seems to be their sole source of income…other than picking pockets. Some of their dramatic scenes are pretty funny to watch.
Full Story

Church in Sorrento - Dolly GoolsbyITALY: A Serene Day in Sorrento
by Dolly Goolsby
Susan and I arrived in Sorrento in the afternoon on Monday. We had traveled from Florence to Napoli on the new Italo train, a train system with which I am very much impressed. Then we had to fight the huge crowds in Napoli Centrale station to get to the Circumvesuviana train which took us to Sorrento. Of course, that train was crowded, also, and it was very warm. Finally, we arrived in Sorrento, walked down the Corso, found our hotel, got settled in, then set out to find some lunch. We walked down to the Marina Grande, had a light lunch, then went back up to the main part of town and tried to see some of the city. There were so many large tour groups in the city that everywhere we went, we felt like fish either swimming upstream, or caught in the school of fish swimming downstream. We finally gave up, went back to our hotel and just waited until evening to venture out again.
Full Story

FallUSA: Must See Fall Foliage Getaways – Gaycation Magazine
by Gaycation Magazine
It is not too late for travelers to book their fall getaway and see autumn in its full glory.

Here are HomeAway’s top places across the U.S. to take in this season’s best fall foliage with stays at vacation rentals ideally located near state parks known for their vibrant color displays.

New England is one of the best-known regions for dazzling foliage displays set amid bucolic backdrops.
Full Story

Gay Pride BoystownUSA, ILLINOIS: Traveling with Pride in Illinois
by Jen Hoelzle, IL State Travel Director
So you missed summer in Chicago and all of the outdoor music fests and neighborhood block parties that come with it? Never fear! There is so much to do in Illinois in the fall and – as the 16th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage – we are proud to offer plenty of options for LGBT couples looking for a fun and friendly getaway. Whether you are looking for romantic hideaways to escape and unwind or exciting cities to explore vibrant LGBT neighborhoods, we have it here in Illinois. From Chicago’s bustling Boystown scene, to picturesque Galena on the western border of Illinois, to the state capital of Springfield to the sprawling Shawnee National Forest in the southern region, there is so much for couples to see and do in Illinois. At all of these destinations, you’ll find Travel Alternative Group (TAG) approved hotels, certified based on their diverse staff and commitment to the LGBT community.
Full Story

Hermann, MOUSA, MISSOURI: Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World: Hermann, Missouri, A Very Interesting Town, Part One
by Donald & Ray
Just how much fun and how interesting can a small town in the middle of Missouri with a population of only about 2,500 be ? Well, if it is Hermann, Missouri you can have a LOT of fun. Hermann was founded around 1837 and sits right on the banks of the Missouri River and is located about 75 miles west of St. Louis and about 175 east of Kansas City. Hermann’s downtown which sits directly on the banks of the River is filled with shops, restaurants, bars and a winery and brewery. Actually there are about 7 wineries in the area. It is a German settlement and the buildings all are the same as they were for over 150 years although thanks to many people including Jim and Mary Dierberg, they have been brought up to date and refurbished.
Full Story

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.

Local Stories:

BAHAMAS: Lesbian Travel: Lighthouse Beach in the Bahamas
The combination of turquoise and deep blue water, pink sand, white cliffs and vibrant green foliage are what make Lighthouse Beach so unique and intoxicating.
Full Story

CANADA, ONTARIO: The Thousand Islands on a Budget
The Thousand Islands, located on the U.S.-Canada border, is actually a misnomer. There are, in fact, 1,864 islands floating like dots on the Saint Lawrence River.
Full Story

When it comes to reputations Bogota – the capital of Colombia – used to be right up there with Bagdad, Mogadishu and Pyongyang as a holiday destination.
Full Story

COLOMBIA: Three Ways to See Bogota
We already covered how you can explore the Colombian capital with a $20 bicycle tour, but that is just one way to see Bogota.
Full Story

COLOMBIA: Country Goes After the Gay Travel Market
When Tatiana Pineros took the helm of this city’s tourism agency in July, she became the face and an example of Colombia’s transformation.
Full Story

DENMARK: Living Like a Dane in Copenhagen
Gay Pride is a huge deal in Copenhagen. Denmark was the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex unions, and this year the city by the sea was still buzzing from its Eurovision high a few weeks earlier.
Full Story

GERMANY: Country Goes After the Gay Tourism Market
It’s time to get excited! ‘Why?’ we hear you ask. Well, those lovely people at the German National Tourist Office have just re-launched a brand new website just for us – yes dear LGBT reader, that means you – so that we can learn more about Germany and everything that it has to offer next time we visit.
Full Story

NEW ZEALAND: Queenstown Rocks in the Snow
It is hard to imagine a more beautiful place than Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand, and it is hard to imagine a better time to visit than during Gay Ski Week.
Full Story

SWEDEN: One Weekend as a Swedish Hipster at Popaganda Festival
Stockholm has long been described to me as one of Europe’s trendiest cities.
Full Story

UGANDA: Tourism Officials Claim Gays Are Welcome Despite the Jail the Gays Law
Ugandan tourism officials have said the African country still welcomes gay tourists despite repeated attempts to pass an anti-gay law.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Hopping on San Francisco Cable Cars
Hopping on the cable cars in San Francisco is a must thing to do when visiting the city.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: The Extraordinary History of the Folsom Street Fair
This Sunday, Folsom Street in San Francisco between 8th and 13th streets will close down to car traffic and welcome over 400,000 people to the largest kink and leather event of its kind.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: Sonoma Valley: Going Gay Among the Vines
It’s harvest time among the vines of Sonoma County, just outside San Francisco.
Full Story

USA, COLORADO: Wild and Rocky Road
I found the heart of America in western Colorado. After rolling in the hay with gay cowboys in the glamorous and multicultural Denver, I ventured further out into the mountain state where I found more coywboys and cowgirls, endless landscapes, deserts, forests, rivers, lakes and the warmth of Colorado’s people.
Full Story

USA, FLORIDA: ManAboutWorld Names Fort Lauderdale “LGBT Destination of the Year”
Greater Fort Lauderdale, the city with the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the U.S., beat out worldwide competition to be named “Destination of the Year” by the 2014 ManAboutWorld Editors’ Choice Awards, recognizing the very best in gay travel.
Full Story

USA, FLORIDA: Still More to Do To Make Fort Lauderdale Trans Traveler Friendly
Broward County’s tourism bureau has been marketing to the LGBT community since 1996, but results of a survey released Monday show extra effort is needed to attract more transgender travelers.
Full Story

USA, NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina is Perfect in October
North Carolina might just possibly be at its best as summer gives way to fall. In the mountains, the leaves turn brilliant colors, and the days are still warm enough for beachcombing at the coast.
Full Story

USA, VIRGINIA: Richmond on the Gay Side
The city that once served as the the Capital of the Confederacy and is now the state capital of Virginia has flirted with “the gay thing” in the past but last month, Richmond officially announced that it is gay.
Full Story

USA, VIRGINIA: Spartanburg: Food, Wine, Art, and Glamour in Central Virginia
It’s early November, so the leaves have only just changed color, creating a fluttering sea of crisp reds, oranges, and golds across the quiet hilly terrain of central Virginia.
Full Story

General Interest Stories:

Diversity Rules Magazine Launches IndieGogo Campaign
Our friend Jim Koury at Diversity Rules Magazine has launched a new fundraising campaign over at IndieGoGo.
Full Story

Purple Roofs Picks a Winner
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. Our winner for our Maui Sunseeker Sweepstakes is Dave McCausland of Barton, Vermont.
Full Story

paSeven Animal Safaris Around the World
Safari may mean ‘we go’ in Swahili, but Africa is not the only continent where safaris are a major tourist attraction.
Full Story

Seven Affordable, Gay Friendly Off-Season Getaways
Summer has bid us adieu, but that’s no reason to put your luggage away.
Full Story

What is Gay Friendly Travel?
I think we can all agree that the term “gay-friendly” and the increase in its usage is a good thing.
Full Story

Five Amazing National Parks for Fall Colors
If you want to catch our nation’s deciduous trees taking on a vibrant palette of yellows, reds, and oranges, now’s the time to plan a road trip.
Full Story

ISRAEL: Jerusalem Pride Goes Ahead After Delays
Hundreds of people marched through the Israeli capital yesterday night for Jerusalem Pride despite two delays due to the war in Gaza.
Full Story

Past Events:

RUSSIA: St. Petersburg Pride A Success Despite Problems
In a stunning show of poise, purpose, and power, organizers of the International Queer Culture Festival made the event — also known as QueerFest — a reality in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday even as thugs and public figures tried to stop them.
Full Story

SERBIA: Belgrade Celebrates First Gay Pride in Four Years
Serbia is finally allowing a gay pride event to go forward in Belgrade.
Full Story

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!
Full Story

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.
Full Story

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.”
Full Story

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.
Full Story

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.
Full Story

USA, CALIFORNIA: BearQuake Coming to San Diego
(Oct 18-1) Bears from throughout Southern California will converge on Rich’s San Diego Saturday, Oct. 20 for the Mr. SoCal Bear/Cub Contest & Show.
Full Story

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.
Full Story

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.
Full Story

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.
Full Story

AUSTRIA: Win a Romantic Trip for Two to Gay Vienna
(Enter by 8/31) Imagine walking down gay Vienna’s infamous Ringstrasse en route to the Vienna State Opera with your loved one.
Full Story

CURACAO: Win Five Nights in the Caribbean at the Floris Suite Hotel
(Enter by 4/1) We have some exciting news for the next sweepstakes – PurpleRoofs.com is teaming up with Gaycation Magazine to bring you our first contest prize from Curacao in the Caribbean, at the Floris Suite Hotel.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.
Full Story

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

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

Author: , October 11th, 2014
Email Donald & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

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Hermann, MO

Just how much fun and how interesting can a small town in the middle of Missouri with a population of only about 2,500 be ? Well, if it is Hermann, Missouri you can have a LOT of fun. Hermann was founded around 1837 and sits right on the banks of the Missouri River and is located about 75 miles west of St. Louis and about 175 east of Kansas City.

Hermanhof InnHermann’s downtown which sits directly on the banks of the River is filled with shops, restaurants, bars and a winery and brewery. Actually there are about 7 wineries in the area.

It is a German settlement and the buildings all are the same as they were for over 150 years although thanks to many people including Jim and Mary Dierberg, they have been brought up to date and refurbished.

Hermann SuiteWe stayed at the Inn at the Hermannhof which is a spectacular Inn that has been completely restored to the grandeur of old. They also have hillside cottages about a block away. We stayed in one of the hillside cottages which are very luxurious and spacious. Our front porch measured about 45 feet by 10 feet and over looked the downtown area. Not only was there a working fireplace in the main rooms, there was also a working fireplace in the bathroom which measured about 14 foot by 17 foot which had a claw footed bathroom plus a walk in shower with 5 shower heads. Luxury is what it is all about there.

Hermanhof BathroomA very hearty gourmet breakfast is served in the main Inn every morning. Chef John outdoes himself with the finest of ingredients with everything that is grown locally, fruits, vegetables, meats and pastries. Every staff member is extremely professional and will do anything to make your stay very enjoyable. The Inn at Hermannhof website is: http://www.innathermannhof.com and their toll free phone number is: 888-268-1422 and you can email them at: info@innathermannhof.com

When you stay at the Inn at Hermannhof you can walk everywhere downtown. There are also several trolleys in town that will take you to the different wineries during the day The Hermannhof Winery was started around 1850 and produced thousands of gallons of wine until Prohibition.

IMG_6047In 1974, the Hermannhof Cellars were purchased by the Dierberg family and renewal began. They are among the finest Missouri wines and have been presented. many awards. Paul LeRoy is the General Manager of the Winery and has been there for years. Charlene Penn is the Director of wine sales and the Manager of the Tasting Room. They offer wine tours daily. Check out the winery at www.hermannhof.com and their toll free number is 1-800-393-0100.

IMG_6030Located directly across the street from the Winery and just a block from the Inn is the Tin Mill Brewery and is located in a landmark 100 year old mill in historic downtown Hermann Missouri. The Company is the only true lager microbrewery in the state of Missouri. They also have a restaurant inside. NOTE: They recently began serving Pizza and it is the finest pizza that we have ever had! The Brew Master is Elijah Holt. They invite you to visit their brewery to sample, shop, and to learn how their beer is made. You can experience their self-guided tours daily or arrange a private tour by calling the brewery at 573-486-2275 or emailing info@tinmillbrewery.com.

The Tin Mill Restaurant, formally called the Granary is located inside the Hermann Mill, a beautifully restored grain elevator that provides a unique atmosphere for your dining pleasure and is located directly across from the Winery. They serve upscale comfort food including chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, a one pound meatloaf with bacon along with a large variety of German food. Chef John is one of the finest in his field and comes up with wonderful new entrees all the time.

IMG_6053So with all of this going on in one small town, what else is there to do ? Well be sure and visit the new (actually over 150 years old) the Hermann Farm & Museum which is a German settlement just on the outskirts of downtown. It is currently in development and will be a 160-plus acre working farm, living history center, and National Landmark located along the Missouri River, That website is: http://www.hermannfarm.org/

We always tell our readers to talk to everyone and it is sure true here. Everyone is so friendly, helpful and really wonderful people. We especially want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Julee Baldridge the General Manager of the Inn at Hermannhof and the Tin Mill Restaurant. She is the finest and most professional General Manager of any Inn or Restaurant where we have been. She simply could not have been more professional! She is on top of everything!

Also a very sincere thank you to Jim Dierberg. Without him and his wife, there would be no Hermann as it is now. We also enjoyed meeting and talking with Gina, Rena, Paul and Kim, John Baldridge, Charlene, Chef John, Cazey, Sam and Elijah. These people made our Hermann stay extremely special and they will make your stay special as well. A special thanks to Patty Held, of the Hermann Wine Trail and we will writing more about her and her in part two on Hermann.

In our next column we will talk about other wonderful restaurants, wineries and places to visit when in Hermann.

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/

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: The Onion House, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii

Author: , October 10th, 2014

The Onion House - Kailua-Kona

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

Vacation in a Work of Art!: McCormick Spice family home. Lava rock walls create a terrace overlooking the sea, with two arching domes surrounded by pool and gardens. Light filters through colorful stained glass walls and translucent roof panels. With stunning visual aesthetics and luscious tropical surroundings, the compound affords ample privacy to swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the gardens and 70′ turquoise pool.

See the The Onion House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals on the Big Island