Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Lafayette Inn, Standardsville, Virginia

Author: , August 19th, 2014

Lafayette Inn	Standardsville

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

Southern Style Hospitality and Cuisine: Centrally located in the center of historical sites, antiques, and at the foot of the Skyline Drive entrance. Vineyards in every direction! On site award winning southern style restaurant and known for our 10 Course/Wine paired Chef Tasting Dinners!

See the Lafayette Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

“Christian” Conservative Linda Harvey Wants Ban on Gay Pride Parades

Author: , August 19th, 2014

Gay PrideChristian conservative Linda Harvey claims Gay Pride parades are a bad influence on young people and should be banned…

“We need to go to our city councils and stop these parades,” she said during an appearance on Understanding the Times with Jan Markell. “I think they are a blight on the community, they communicate exactly the wrong message: that homosexuality and gender change is totally fine. That it’s a big joke, because there are men dressed in feather boas, lipstick and heels in these parades, this is such a raw message to our children especially. My opinion is gay pride parades ought to be banned and we have every reason to do so, there is no redeeming social value, that’s my belief,” she said.

Full Story at On Top Magazine

Cruising Vietnam’s Mekong River

Author: , August 19th, 2014

Mekong River - Alain

Cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam gave me view of what life looked like to people living on boats and on stilt houses. There’s so much activities there and people didn’t seem to mind the deep and strong current of the yellow river that passes through six countries: China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Ours was not a luxury cruise. Sixteen of us, foreign tourists, seated on a rattan chair on both sides of the motorized. The cruise lasted 5 hours, stopping along river banks where waiting vendors peddled their products to excited tourists. And because the tour included some walks under the blistering sun, the cone-shaped hats, which Vietnam is famed for, were the most bought item of the day.

Let me start relieving the cruise experience by Mekong River in Vietnam.

By Alain – Full Story at The Sojourner | Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

The Best of Gay Manchester, England

Author: , August 19th, 2014

Manchester, England - Apple MapsThere’s nowhere in the LGBTI world quite like Manchester’s Gay Village and there’s no time better to visit it than during Pride.

Yes, some argue the Village hasn’t innovated like the trendy Northern Quarter neighboring it. And on some weekday nights, tumbleweed blows through a few venues.

But there is always somewhere busy, chatty, friendly and often very intimate. And during Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend this weekend (22 to 25 August) it comes alive.

There are simply too many great LGBTI venues in Manchester to list them all, but if you are looking to party, here are a few places to start:

Taurus, Canal Street: If you are a first-timer to Manchester or want to get involved in the tight-knit community that makes it an LGBTI capital, start here and ask the bar staff where to go next. The team also produce the helpful Canal Street App and a Canal Street Card to get you discounts.

By Tris Reid-Smith – Full Story at Gay Star News | Northwestern England Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

The Little Shop of Horrors: Aug 26 – 30

Author: , August 18th, 2014

What do you get when you cross a schlocky 60s horror flick about a large man-eating plant with a do-wop chorus and a tender Barnstormerslove story? You propagate a hybrid brimming over with the life force energy of musical theatre at its quirkiest and best. Motown-style songs, vegetative puppetry, and an out-of-this-world story make Little Shop of Horrors http://glynnhouse.com/events a show not to be missed.

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 Accommodations: Malama House, Pahoa, Hawaii, USA

Author: , August 18th, 2014

Malama House, Pahoa, Big Island, HawaiiPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

A Luxury Vacation Rental on 1 Acre: The Malama House (Hale Malama) is nestled in a native ohia forest in Leilani Estates in the district of Puna, and close to everything you need for your Big Island adventure.

See the Malama House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Puna District

The Churches of Rome

Author: , August 18th, 2014

Vatican - Dolly GoollsbyWhat a day we had! It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we wanted to start our Sunday in the right way, so we went to Mass at a church just 2 blocks away from our apartment. We made it in time for the 9:30 Mass. This church is called Sant’Andrea della Fratte. We chose it because it was the closest one, but OMG! What a magnificent church. Mass was held in a chapel near the front of the church, but we could see that the church was huge. We were in just a small little area.

After the Mass was over, we wandered through the rest of the church. To my amazement, there were two Bernini sculptures near the main altar. Bernini is my most favorite sculpture of all the Italian sculptors. Of course, his works are in many churches in Italy, but this was such a surprise. Bernini had a way of making the marble seem to be alive. Up close, these angels were so lifelike.

The church also has a lovely garden area, a school of music, plus what looks like living quarters for priests This church was built in the 17th century A.D and it is so beautiful.

After that visit, we continued on our way to the Pantheon, as believe it or not, Susan had never seen the inside of the Pantheon. Well, we got there, we could see inside, but there was a Holy Mass going on, so we could not go inside. In the meantime, there was another small church on our way, so we had to stick our heads into that one, as well. I did not get the name, and it was small, not too impressive, so we didn’t stay long.

From the Pantheon, it is just a short distance to Castel Sant’Angelo. But as we were walking toward the bridge that would take us across the River Tiber, Susan spotted another church. Would it be OK just to take a quick look? Of course.

This church, San Luigi dei Francesi, or Church of Saint Louis of the French, is right near Piazza Navona, in the French Quarter. I never knew there was a French Quarter in Rome, but it has been there since 1478. The church was very impressive. Lots of gold, marble, and paintings by Carvaggio, who painted scenes from the life of St Matthew. Carvaggio’s paintings are always a bit too dark for me, as I really think the man was insane, but what do I know. Anyway, the church was built in the years between 1550 and 1568, finished with the help of Catherine di Medici.

Finally, we made it across the river to the Castel Sant’Angelo. Now this is not a church, but it was built by the Emperor Hadrian in the year A.D. 139, to be used as his tomb. It was used as a fortress in the Dark Ages, and was the burial site for emperors for over 100 years. It was also used as a refuge for popes, because of its close proximity to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. I had been there before, and the trek through the Castel involves a lot of climbing stairs and such, so I opted out, but Susan did see it. It is really worth a visit but once was enough for me. I walked around taking pictures while she was inside the Castel, then we met up and went for lunch.

Back we went to the Pantheon. This time we got to go inside, but it was so crowded, I hope we get to go back again, and really see it. This is the oldest building in Rome that has continually been in use. It was built over 2,000 years ago. Can you imagine that?

By now, I was getting tired. We decided to stop at a grocery and get some things to make dinner in our apartment. So, with both Susan’s and my backpack loaded with groceries, we headed for our Roman home.. Ahhhh…but along the way, there was yet another church…do you mind if we just take a peek?

Now this was a real treat….really. Because as soon as we stepped inside, we heard someone playing the grand pipe organ. That was worth the sitting down time. The music was so lovely, and soothing. We were in Sant’Ignazio di Loyal church. This church was built between 1626 and 1650. Besides the grand music, the chapels were so impressive.

Eventually, the organist stopped playing, so we left the church. I do believe we had seen more churches than most people see in one day…oh, I forgot….we also went to Sant’Agnese church in Piazza Navona, but that was a very quick visit to a very non-impressive church. Six churches on this one Sunday. Finally, we got home again at 6:00 p.m. Tired but happy. Fortunately, the butter in my backpack had only softened a bit, and had not melted.

I do believe I was most impressed with how many extremely lovely, very old churches we saw in a very small geographic area. We saw all of these in the area between the Spanish Steps and Castel Sant’Angelo, not even as far south as Piazza Venezia.

To those of you who are falling asleep reading all this historical information, I know how you feel. I was never interested in history very much until I started traveling. History takes on a whole new feel to me when I can stand in a place where Martin Luther stood, while awaiting his trial for heresy. How about walking in the same places as Hadrian as he surveyed his domain, and decided where he would build his tomb? Since graves were not allowed in the city, he had to go across the river.

All in all, it was a very lovely day. We were tired, but I learned so much. I never knew how much I would learn, how many churches I would see until I started traveling with this devout Catholic lady. Thank you, Susan, for furthering my education.

Now I must close. Tomorrow we go to Napoli, just for a day trip. That should be interesting.

I have always avoided Napoli, but we have a reason to go there, and I should not be too narrow minded. I will keep my mind open to new adventures, and of course, wear my money belt and keep a sharp eye out! Be assured, you will hear about this trip.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

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

The Jordaan: Amsterdam’s Prettiest Neighborhood?

Author: , August 18th, 2014

Jordaan, Amsterdam - Adam GroffmanLike in many cities across Europe, Sundays are a great day for wandering. On my recent trips to Amsterdam, I spent my free time meandering through the city streets, walking along the canals and just generally taking in my surroundings. Amsterdam’s a great city to visit on foot and far and away, my favorite area to wander through was “the Jordaan.” Bordered by four of Amsterdam’s largest canals, this area of the city is arguably Amsterdam’s most famous. And almost definitely its’ prettiest. If there is one canal name you need to know in Amsterdam, it’s this one: Prinsengracht.

The Jordaan was once a working-class neighborhood formed at a time when the city of Amsterdam was quite wealthy. The Jordaan, however, was long a home for immigrants, refugees and struggling artists (such as Rembrandt himself).

With small houses and cramped courtyards, the Jordaan was eventually renovated in the 1970s. (Though it seems that the area is still full of small houses and cramped courtyards…just a bit more pretty!) These days, the Jordaan still retains its neighborhood feel. Some cafes, such as Cafe Papeneiland, have been in the neighborhood for nearly 400 years!

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

See Adam’s full blog here.

Amsterdam Gay Travel Resources

Walking in Vienna

Author: , August 18th, 2014

Vienna, AustriaI traveled to Vienna this year to attend the Life Ball, the largest fundraiser for AIDS research in the world. The event is televised on Austrian TV and is notable for the procession of elaborately costumed partygoers walking the red carpet to the ornate City Hall. This year’s event included President Clinton, Ricky Martin, and Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen who won this year’s Eurovision song contest.

Vienna is a gorgeous city. Everything seems to be perfectly cared for and in place, and its baroque-style buildings evoke the city’s imperial past. I enjoyed exploring the Graben pedestrian zone, St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Opera House, the Museum Quarter, and the Belvedere Palace and its flower garden.

Walking around the city center, you can get the impression that the city is just full of tourists, but head up Mariahilferstrasse, a busy shopping street, to see more locals.

By Jim Sherman – Full Story at Shermans Trabel | Austria Gay Travel Resources

Image by Dolly Goolsby

New App for Gay Athens and Mykonos

Author: , August 18th, 2014

Greece Gay Travel AppGreece is the word. It’s no secret that some of the Mediterranean’s sexiest men and women can be found throughout Greece. And what better way to track down all of the hottest spots than with the first gay travel guide mobile application for Athens and Mykonos? Developed by Aris Giortinos and a team of dedicated locals, it is now available at the Apple Store and Google Play.

The travel app includes more than 250 points of interest with in-depth reviews, photo galleries, links, contact information and maps. The traveller can explore the best gay bars and clubs, gay beaches, cruising spots, saunas and other points of interest.

“The main advantage of this app is that it is the first gay travel app (for Athens and Mykonos) created by locals who actually live the gay scene all year long,” says Giortinos.

Full Story at Edge Boston | Greece Gay Travel Resources