Zion National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , December 13th, 2018

Zion National Park - Free Wheel Drive

Starting our Southern Utah tour with the famous Zion National Park. We spent three full days hiking into deep canyons and up the steepest scariest trails we have ever been on. Zion is most well known for its namesake canyon, Zion Canyon. The canyon is 15 miles long and up to 2,640 ft deep! Walls of the canyon are a beautiful reddish color from the layers of Navajo Sandstone. A shuttle system takes visitors up and down the Virgin River/Canyon to several trailheads, museums, and a hotel.

The canyon area was very busy with tourists during our visit, but we found that getting to the park early and hopping on the shuttle right away helped cut down on time spent waiting in line. Once in the heart of the canyon, we never had to wait more than five minutes for a shuttle. Shuttles were implemented in the 1970s as a way to reduce traffic, smog, and noise pollution. Because of the reduced car traffic, wildlife has been able to return to the canyon floor.

A Very Brief History

Zion has a long history of Native Americans thriving along the Virgin River and exploring the nearby slot canyons further up the river. It is estimated that people lived in the area as long as 8,000 years ago. It was the Mormons who were the first white people to settle the area. Mormons petitioned the National Park Service to change the park’s name to Zion. The Latter Day Saints refer to Zion as a utopia for the righteous. Seeing how beautiful the landscape is here, it’s easy to see why people thought it could be a utopia. President Woodrow Wilson made Zion an official national park in 1919.

By Laura and Camrin – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Utah Lesbian Travel Resources

 

Stay in a Scottish Castle – Go Girlfriend

Author: , December 4th, 2018

Scottish Castles - Eilean Donan - Pixabay

For me, the essence of Scotland is in it’s beautiful landscapes and it’s castle-icious history. From the Orkney Islands in the north through the Highlands to Hadrian’s wall in the south, historic castles sit lochside and hillside in some truly spectacular locations.

Historic clans like the MacDonalds, the Stewarts, the MacKenzie’s or the Robertson’s, just to name a few, cover the countryside with their clan lands. The clan chieftains castle is Clan Regions of Scotland is always the grandest estate on these family lands perched majestically on a beautiful loch or amongst amazing mountainous views.

Most stone Scottish castles have their roots in the 1300-1600’s as fortified clan strongholds. As technologies and workmanship improve, renovations, refurbishments or expansions happening til the mid-1700’s. At this point in history clans and castles sympathetic to the Jacobites were seized and destroyed by the opposing British so it couldn’t be used as a stronghold against them into the future. Many still sit in ruins today – some have been purchased and painstakingly restored. Some have even been slept in by Bonnie Prince Charlie or Mary Queen of Scots!

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Scottish Gay Travel Resources

 

Bandung Road Trip – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 29th, 2018

Bandung - Once Upon a Journey

Bandung is Indonesia’s third biggest city and is located in West Java. With way cooler temperatures than Jakarta, it’s the perfect getaway. Be prepared for some crazy cool Instagram spots like Rabbit Town, beautiful mountain scenery and many traffic jams (it’s almost as busy as Jakarta). There are a lot of fun things to do in and around Bandung and you can totally do it on a day trip!

In and around Bandung you can find many crazy Instagrammable hotspots. And you will find them in the weirdest places. The first one we stumble upon is the area around Cakrawala Sparkling Nature Restaurant. A great place for drinks and food at one of the restaurants or just to enjoy the view and photo spots.

Rabbit town is even more random, but we like fun places so it’s perfect! If you want colourful pictures, go here. The building is full of crazy, colourfully decorated rooms – on multiple levels. We paid 65.000 IDR entrance fee to Rabbit town.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

 

Hiking the Vermilion Cliffs – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , November 28th, 2018

Vermilion Cliffs - Free Wheel Drive

This area of Arizona and Utah is a hot spot for Slot Canyons. What is a Slot Canyon? Slot Canyons are narrow passages formed by rivers that are now mostly dried up. Slot canyons are significantly deeper than they are wide. Hikers can follow the dried river beds that pass through the canyons. Sometimes the canyons can be very narrow, filled with debris, or can fill with water in a flash flood. Meaning they can be dangerous and hikers must be prepared and not go solo.

The tragic movie 127 Hours was about a solo hiker exploring slot canyons in this area of the country. The most famous slot canyon right now is Antelope Canyon near Page, AZ. Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation and access to this slot canyon is run by people who live on the reservation.

Unfortunately, because this canyon has become so popular on Instagram the demand to see it has skyrocketed and the reservation charges a lot of money to see it. We’re not saying we’re mad at the people who run the sight, it’s not public land and they have every right to make money off of tourists. It’s just for the moment seeing Antelope Canyon was out of our price range. So, what are we to do?

Good thing this area of the country is packed full of similar if not equally as beautiful other slot canyons. This is how we became introduced to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. This National Monument is huge! It’s also very different from any other National Monument we have been to yet.

By Laura and Camrin – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Northern Arizona Gay Travel Resources

 

Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

Yi Peng lantern festival - Once Upon a Journey

If you have ever seen pictures of Yi Peng lantern festival in Chiang Mai, you are probably as enchanted as we were. Thousands of lanterns floating into the sky, all around you – just like that one scene in Tangled. Okay, admittingly, that’s how we found out about this festival in the first place. The idea of something so magical happening in real life was too good not to check out ourselves!

We dove deep into the web to find everything about this sensational event and unfortunately, instead of magic, we found a struggle. There is surprisingly little information on this increasingly popular event and the information that is out there is very vague… Our mission, aside from experiencing our Disney moment, became to collect the best information and tips for YOU to experience the magic!

A couple of days before the festival starts, we arrive in Chiang Mai. Surely locals can tell us more about the festival and where to go!

YI PENG (OR YEE PENG?) AND LOY KRATHONG

Yi Peng is also known as Yee Peng, the local name of the lantern festival in northern Thailand. Yee means two and Peng means full moon day, which relates to the night of the festival: during the second full moon of the Lanna calendar. Usually, this is in November. In 2018 it takes place from November 21*. This full moon is also the 12th full moon of the Thai lunar calendar, which means Loy Krathong is also happening: a 3-day festival celebrated throughout all of Thailand and surrounding countries.

The two festivals, Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, are celebrated simultaneously during the period of the full moon. Both are light festivals (see how this can be confusing?), but Loy Krathong means ‘to float a basket’ and is celebrated by lanterns on the water, whereas Yi Peng is all about sky lanterns.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

New York State Road Trip – Go Girlfriend

Author: , November 19th, 2018

Upstate New York - pixabay

My mom recently moved to New York, but she hasn’t had a chance to explore much of her new state. So when I started planning a New York state road trip upstate, she was really excited not only to travel but to travel with me, her youngest daughter. Mom has not had the opportunity to explore New York State much so I found her excitement about the trip quite rewarding and I hoped that the experience would not let her down.

I highly recommend road trips as a form of travel with your aging parent. It’s a great way to bond – the travel time is great for story-telling, singing and making memories. I also recommend a road trip through Upstate New York for a dose of the outdoors and relaxation, stopping in the towns of Watkins Glen and 1000 Islands. Each destination is an easy road trip from NYC and both are not terribly far apart from each other, making it easy to do hit both in one weekend. For us, beginning in New York’s famous Finger Lakes area, made for a great stomping ground for people of all ages, with a diverse palette of food, activities, and most importantly, a sense of tranquility. Plus, there’s a beautiful scenic drive between them along part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, one of the first roads in America to be designated as a National Scenic Byway. You’re very likely to return home refreshed and with new memories to share with your loved one.

If there is time for an extra excursion, Chautauqua is a wonderful choice for a final stop on this trip. It’s located near Jamestown, which is past Buffalo, and has a number of special attractions you can’t see anywhere else including the National Comedy Center and the Lucy-Desi Museum. You won’t laugh nearly as hard anywhere else on this trip, or for days after you arrive back home – totally worth the additional driving.

By Holly Rosen Fink – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Finger Lakes Gay Travel Resources

 

Top Lesbian Gambling Destinations – Seattle Lesbian

Author: , November 18th, 2018

Lesbian Travel: Dinah Shore Las Vegas Debuts

While it is true that the online casino industry has overtaken the more traditional brick and mortar casino industry in terms of convenience, there are still plenty of great real world casino destinations worth travelling to, at least once in your lifetime. Of course nothing beats the speed and convenience of playing online casino games like slots, baccarat, roulette, or blackjack. But, at the same time, nothing beats the sheer excitement of booking your tickets and travelling to an exotic casino resort somewhere in the world.

The modern world of casino gambling is quite different from the old days, when mobsters ran the show and the number of quality destinations was rather more limited. Today, you can book your tickets for any number of casino resort destinations scattered throughout the world, including far flung places like New Zealand and South Africa. However, when it comes to going really big, nothing beats a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City in the USA, or any number of casino resorts in Macau, China.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Say what you will about Las Vegas and its former glory days, but this is still considered by many to be the premier casino destination in the world. Many new sites in the UK will have some great competitions for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas. Even if you don’t love the idea of travelling to Vegas, visiting at least once in your life is on most bucket lists. In fact, you don’t even have to be into casino games to go there. The famous Vegas Strip is a tourist attraction in its own right and many visitors go there just to see the shows, the lights and the incredible fountains. If you are serious about gambling at a top Las Vegas casino resort, you really can’t go wrong with the Venetian. The Venetian is the largest casino resort in Las Vegas and covers a staggering 243,684 square feet, with more gaming machines, tables, restaurants and bars than virtually any other casino in Las Vegas.

Full Story at The Seattle Lesbian

 

Udon Thani’s Red Lotus Sea – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Red Lotus Sea - Once Upon a Journey

YES! Thailand still has hidden gems only a few (western) tourists know about. Talay Bua Daeng – or Red Lotus Sea – in Northeast Thailand is one of those gems and it’s definitely one for the bucket list. CNN named it one of the world strangest lakes in 2014 and well, it’s not a lake you see every day – for sure.

Imagine a lake with thousands of pink flowers, spreading as far as the eye can see!

Getting on the lake by boat is one of the most romantic experiences we’ve ever done. And Valentine’s is actually the perfect time to visit: the red lotuses only bloom a couple of months each year. But that makes the experience the more special. It is quite off the famous routes through Thailand though, but no worries: we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting this magical pink lake.

The season for the pink flowers to bloom is from December to the end of February, just after the rainy season. When you visit, make sure to go early in the morning. From sunrise to noon you can see the water lilies opened up: they open when they see the first morning light and close when the midday heat comes.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Lesbian Edinburgh in 3 Days – Go Girlfriend

Author: , November 2nd, 2018

Lesbian Edinburgh - pixabay

Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-borough, not Edin-burrr), Scotland – the name for me conjures a mental image of a turbulent medieval history with stone fortresses, ancient battles and has it’s roots easily dating back to pre-Norse and Roman expansion. Kings, Queens and historic nobility have crowned Edinburgh as Scotland’s capital on the notable bay of the Firth of Forth and shops on the Royal Mile have made their mark evolving Edinburgh into a modern city rich in it’s arts, sciences, and cultural offerings.

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s tourist gem – the mile-long stretch of markets, shops and restaurants that tempt tourists as they explore grand Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock at one end and the Palace of Holyroodhouse aside majestic Arthurs Seat and the Salisbury Crags at the other end. To catch the flavor of what Scotland has to offer, Edinburgh is where you begin.

Since Scotland is such a wonderous country offering spectacular scenic vistas, vibrant castle-icious lochs and Scottish clans and their kilts, Edinburgh wraps all of these up to give you just a taste of what’s in store across it’s moory lands. Here’s Edinburgh in a 3-day weekend …

How to Explore Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in 3 days
Book your accommodations (or an Airbnb on the Royal Mile) and get set to see the highlights in 3 days.

Day 1 – Get acquainted with the Royal Mile

Hop On, Hop Off Bus (Edinburgh Tours) – you’ve arrived in Edinburgh, stepped on to the cobble-stoned Royal Mile (almost being hit by a passing bus if you’re touring on the Royal Mile from North America as you look the wrong way stepping off the curb!) and are overwhelmed with the options both right and left. Our recommendation is to head down to the Waverley Station bridge and get a ticket for one of Edinburgh’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours. For £15 (British Pounds) per adult you get a 24-hour pass and guided CitySightSeeing Tour of the Royal Mile’s highlights to get your bearings and determine what you want to include in your explorations. See something right away you want to explore, hop off at the next stop, explore and resume your CitySightSeeing Tour. If you’d like a broader view of greater Edinburgh, consider the Edinburgh Tour, the Majestic Tour or the 3 Bridges Tour.

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day One

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day Two

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day Three

Edinburgh Gay Travel Resources

 

See the Grand Canyon in Two Days! – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , October 24th, 2018

Grand Canyon - Free Wheel Drive

The Grand Canyon is in Northern Arizona just north of Flagstaff. This park is massive and beautiful and it houses one of the most amazing wonders of the world. We only had two full days to spend at the park, so we packed in as much as we could. The weather was chilly with patches of rain, but we had a blast exploring the Grand Canyon National Park!

We stuck to the South Rim area, the most popular area. The South Rim has the hotels, large visitor center, and a shuttle system to help one get around. We asked around for hiking recommendations and the two trials that had a lot of feed back were The Bright Angle and South Kaibob Trails.With the weather being a little chilly and potential for rain we figured it was a good idea to have places to hang out inside. For it being our first time at the Grand Canyon the South Rim is a great place to start.

When driving North towards the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you’ll spot Humphrey’s peak over Flagstaff. Arizona’s tallest peak. As we entered the Flagstaff area the barren landscape of shrubs and badlands turns to pine trees and snow.

We first arrived at the park late in the afternoon. This was a chance for us to find our way around, figure out our to do list, and get our first glimpse of the canyon.

By Laura Dierbeck – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Arizona Lesbian Travel Resources