California Dreaming – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , June 22nd, 2018

California Dreaming

Time flies when you are having fun! After a year in Asia, we fly to the other side of the world. Now we can call our trip a world trip for real! After some fantastic days in Hong Kong and Macau, we fly to San Francisco. The culture shock is huge, the jetlag as well…

HELLO SAN FRANCISCO!

As soon as we arrive, our friend David – who we met in Myanmar – takes us to the Golden Gate bridge. We enjoy the view over the iconic bridge from the best spot you can think of, and David also surprises us with some champagne. We couldn’t wish for a better start. Later on, not only the jetlag but also the champagne kicks in.

During the first days in the States, it’s difficult to adapt. The jetlag is enormous, it’s cold and rainy outside and the people are so different. People talk small talk to us, and we are not used to that at all. Besides that, it’s the first time after a year of travelling that I feel unsafe. Something I never expected to happen in San Francisco. There are so many homeless people, which is shocking to me. Feeling unsafe had something to do with being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would not recommend people to be in the city centre and the areas close to the city centre of San Francisco late at night.

Before arriving in the States we were thinking of hitchhiking from San Francisco all the way down to San Diego (we like adventure), but after hearing a couple of horror stories, we book the first night bus down to Los Angeles. From Los Angeles, we travel further down by bus, to San Diego. The buses in the States are not that bad at all!

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

California Gay Travel Resources

The Amazing Mojave Preserve – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , June 20th, 2018

Mojave Reserve

We had only planned on spending one night in the Mojave Preserve on our way to Death Valley, but we were blown away at how cool this place is so we decided to stay for three days and skip Death Valley. We hadn’t done any research on this place, so we didn’t have a clue. Luckily Camrin just happened to see a photo on Instagram from the preserve and we realized there might be something to this place.

We camped in an amazing spot surrounded by the highest concentration of Joshua Trees in the world and those cool boulder formations. We practically had the place to ourselves. The sunsets were amazing, we hiked through a slot canyon, and took time to enjoy our surroundings.

We felt so lucky to stop here. We almost passed it up so its a lesson to us to do more research on those off the radar places.

By Laura Dierbeck – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

California Southern Deserts Gay Travel Resources

Ten Amazing Things to Do in Andalusia – DDG Retreat

Author: , June 15th, 2018

Ronda

The romance of flamenco, fun-filled fiestas, magnificent cities steeped in history, picture postcard white villages perched atop rocky crags, breath-taking countryside, panoramic views and the lure of the ocean – Andalusia has it all.

The folks at DDG Retreat have compiled a list of great places to see and things to do while you’re in the area:

RONDA

Straddling the deep El Tajo gorge, this historic town – only an hour away – is truly spectacular. Its dramatic views, fabulous Old Town and other historic attractions, a fine choice of restaurants and fabulous souvenir shopping make Ronda a must-visit. Ernest Hemingway and Orsen Welles both spent many summers there.

NerjaNERJA

Marvel at the world’s largest stalagmite – a staggering 32-metre high column – at the magnificent Nerja Caves. Also worth a visit are the nearby Detunda Botanical Gardens and the Balcon de Europe where you can enjoy one of the best panoramas over this part of the coast.

TARIFA

Love the ocean, kite-surfing or perhaps some whale or dolphin watching? Located on the Costa de la Luz at the southernmost tip of Spain and within almost touching distance of Morocco, Tarifa is a surfy coastal town with beautiful beaches. It also boasts an old town full of fascinating history.

BAELO CLAUDIA

Combine a trip to the coast with a visit to the Roman archaeological site of Baelo Claudia, one of Spain’s most important Roman excavations. Named after Emperor Claudius, the ruins are fascinating and provide one of the best examples of Roman urban architecture to be found anywhere on the Iberian Peninsula.

BOLONIA BEACH

Escape the crowds and discover the locals’ best kept secret. Next to the Baelo Claudia ruins you’ll find a golden beach that stretches for miles. Backed by a pine forest and ringed by an extensive range of sand dunes Ensenada de Bolonia enjoys crystal clear waters and was once voted a Trip Advisor top 25 Europe beach.

PUNTA CHULLERA

Closer to home is another of our favourite beaches, Punta Chullera, just 20 minutes away. Its translucent waters make it perfect for swimming, diving and fishing. With inlets and small cliffs, this cove is of great ecological value and scenic interest. There’s also the ruins of an old watchtower to explore.

CadizCADIZ

The ancient and bustling port of Cadiz boasts 100 watch towers. Once the richest city in Spain and one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, Cadiz is steeped in history. Christopher Colombus set sail to the New World from here; Sir Francis Drake led the British strike against the Spanish Armada in 1587 and Lord Byron lived in Cadiz.

CASARES

Looking out from our Retreat, you’ll see below you the sugar-cube white houses of the beautiful pueblo blanco of Casares. Walk through the narrow streets until you reach the old fortress at the top. Views are incredible as you’d expect from its majestic position 1400 feet above the sea.

MarbellaMARBELLA OLD TOWN

The ancient walled Old Town of Marbella, known as El Casco Antiguo, is quite charming. It’s full of churches, plazas and lovely boutiques. If you’re looking for souvenirs, you can find hand-made clothing, crafts and jewellery and later you can enjoy a Mediterranean meal at the Plaza de los Naranjos.

FIESTAS

Andalusia, a region rich in folklore and tradition, is famous for its festivals. The season begins in earnest in April with the most well-known of all being the Feria de Abril in Seville. Over the Summer months most towns have their own fiestas – many are religious celebrations, but they’re always fun-filled.

ABOUT DDG:

DDG Retreat

If your idea of the perfect holiday is a sunshine getaway that nourishes mind, body and soul all in one short super-break, head to the heart of beautiful Andalusia and combine a cultural city trip with a relaxing getaway. Our adults-only couples bolt-hole is a haven of calm and tranquillity, ideal for a restful few days of respite before you head off for the hustle and bustle of the Golden Triangle.

DDG Retreat

Or opt instead for the city life first and then rejuvenate afterwards in the peaceful ambience here as you immerse yourselves in our stunning woodland estate with its hilltop setting and breath-taking panoramic views. In total contrast to your city stay, at DDG Retreat you will truly be at one with nature.

DDG Retreat

And if you choose one of our two luxury Suites, as featured in this weekend’s Times newspaper Travel section, you can bask in a truly one-of-a-kind experience – our canvas suites come complete with marble floors, chandeliers, air conditioning, luxury furnishings and original artefacts, as well as plenty of private outdoor space and either a hot tub or plunge pool.

As travel writer Liz Bird says, glamping has hit a new level!

DDG retreat

Story provided by Daria at DDG Retreat

Andalusia Gay Travel Resources

 

The Nest – Boulder Lesbian Owned Cottage

Author: , June 14th, 2018

The Nest - Boulder Lesbian Owned Cottage

Nestled into the Front Range of Boulder, is our cottage, The Nest. It is a separate dwelling, behind our house, with its own access. Parking is on the street in front of our house, in our neighborhood. One will walk up our driveway and through a back door that leads to a beautiful array of plant life. There is a short walk through the gardens and a few stairs.

The Nest is a converted garage which at other times has been a pottery studio and a retreat space. It has pine floors, an attached bathroom with tiled shower and has a brand new dual heat and air conditioner. There is a petite patio which is just yours to enjoy. Festoon lighting with umbrella and chairs lends itself well to al fresco dining, perfect for morning coffee or dining with take out. We offer TV with Nettflix and free Wi-Fi in your room.

We are a smoke free property. We use fragrance free and plant based cleaning products. There are a couple appliances: a microwave and a small refrigerator . We offer organic coffee and teas, along with their accompanying sweeteners and creams.

There are restaurants 3 blocks away and it is a little over a mile to the Pearl Street Mall where renowned restaurants of the Farm to Table movement are in abundance. A few minutes away there are also grocery stores, pharmacies, laundry, banking, post office, bus routes, North Boulder Park and bike rentals.

See the Nest’s Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Boulder Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

LESBIAN TRAVEL: Big Bend National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , June 13th, 2018

Big Bend National Park

About 7 hours West of Austin. Big Bend NP is a huge park that sits along the famous Rio Grande River.

Since the Eco Ranch was so close to the National Park we were able to visit it twice on our days off from work. Big Bend is a huge park! We felt like we mostly drove it. We didn’t even make it the eastern side of the park.

We also got to experience the park during a government shut down, which wasn’t a big deal for us. The Visitor Centers and restaurants were closed, but we didn’t need those.

The park is a combination of desert and mountains. It was unlike any park we’ve been to yet. It is a very dry place, but there are trees that manage to grow in the higher elevations.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Big Bend Country Gay Travel Resources

Joshua Tree National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , June 8th, 2018

Free Wheel Drive

Due to the cold we drove all the way from Yosemite to Joshua Tree National Park in a day. It took us about eight and half hours to get there. This was both our first time being in the Southwest so just about every plant and animal was new to us. We found free camping about 10 minutes outside of the park, which gave us the chance to see a lot of the park.

This park is so cool! It has the famous Joshua Trees and so much more. It’s a hot spot for rock climbers and artists, and the sunsets are absolutely amazing.

Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

California Southern Deserts Gay Travel Resources

Memorial Day Weekend in Provincetown

Author: , May 20th, 2018

Kick of the season this Memorial Day Weekend in Provincetown.  A full entertainment schedule is lined up for the holiday weekend and includes the return of Miss Richfield 1981, Suzanne Westenhoefer at the Post Office Cabaret and the Indigo Girls at the Town Hall Auditorium on Sunday, May 27th.  Miss Richfield moves to her new venue, the Pilgrim House.  The Showroom at the Pilgrim House is coming back strong as an entertainment venue in 2018.  It’s going to be a great weekend to kick off the 2018 Provincetown season.

For a full list of entertainment check out the Somerset House Inn’s guide to Provincetown entertainment.

Ptown Dan and his partner Bob own the Somerset House Inn, a great B&B in the perfect Ptown location.  On Commercial Street, across the street from the water our guesthouse is walking distance to everything.  We would love to have you stay with us for the Memorial Day Weekend, please visit our web site to make your reservations.  We look forward to welcoming you to Provincetown!

Lesbian Travel: Motorbiking Vietnam – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 18th, 2018

Lesbian Travel: Motorbiking Vietnam - Once Upon a Journey

After a quick stop in Thailand, we are finally in Vietnam. For some reason, we had the idea to go to Vietnam for a long time but never made it. Our friend Marieke, a Dutchie who lives in Ho Chi Minh now, invites us to Vietnamese New Year, Tet. Time to visit Vietnam!

This time we only travel the south and middle of Vietnam, we save the northern part for next time. It’s a bit too cold for us over there right now. We fly Vietnam in to, and out from, Ho Cho Minh. The last couple of weeks we travelled at a high speed so we are super happy to see Marieke and to stay at her place for a couple nights.

We don’t see a lot of Ho Chi Minh but really enjoy doing the ‘normal’ things. We go to the cinema, sleep in, work a bit, enjoy Vietnamese food and go to our first Tet party. Marieke and her friend invite us over and we get to know the Vietnamese culture and it’s Tet traditions a bit more. We get lucky money (which we can’t use until next year) and eat and drink a lot, which also part of the Vietnamese traditions haha.

When Marieke finishes work we travel to Dalat with the three of us. It’s my second time in Vietnam but the first time I didn’t visit Da Lat. So I’m super excited to go this time! We rent motorbikes and go to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. Go to the Pongour Falls when you are in Dalat.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Yosemite Valley – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , May 17th, 2018

Yosemite - Four Wheel Drove

A few hours East of San Francisco is beautiful Yosemite National Park. This legendary park, once home to John Muir, has inspired the masses since 1890, including us. During our stay, we narrowly missed a winter storm, camped with rock climbers, and went on some amazing hikes. Coming this late into the season we had to put up with some chilly nights, but we practically had the park to ourselves.

We barely scratched the surface of this park. Like Yellowstone, this park is huge! We stuck to the Valley area since there was plenty to do there and with the shuttle service we were able to leave our car parked for the duration of our stay. Since we paid for camping we figured we should save on gas.

More Pics at Free Wheel Drive

California Central Valley and Sierras Gay Travel Resources

Magical Chiang Mai – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 12th, 2018

Chiang Mai - Once Upon a Journey

It’s a BIG day today! Ever since our departure, we have been looking forward to this moment: my dad and stepmom fly over to travel with us for two weeks in Thailand. Together we will experience the magical lantern festival Yi Peng! We are incredibly excited (and a bit anxious). We had arrived few days early in Chiang Mai, but saved the sightseeing for later. Before we go to the airport to pick up Frank and Hanneke, we move from our couchsurfing house to our new hostel. Yes, Frank and Hanneke wanted to experience the backpacker-life, how fun!

A MYSTERIOUS HAIRCUT

The big day starts with Maartje going for a haircut, all by herself. Normally we do everything together but I’m not allowed to join this time, how mysterious… I have no idea what’s going on but I decide to wait for the surprise! For lunch we meet up with Gretka and Nico, a couple we met in Malaysia! We inspired them to go to the lantern festival so here they are! We are really happy to see them again, they are so cute and Gretka is one of the happiest persons we have ever met. After lunch we get our bags, bring them to our hostel and travel to the airport. Of course we don’t want to be late!

ANOTHER EMOTIONAL REUNION

We arrive on the airport and struggle to find the right arrival hall: the number of the plane changed. But luckily we find the right one and as soon as Frank and Hanneke walk down the stairs we spot each other. They are so happy to see us, we are afraid they walk out the doors without their luggage haha. It doesn’t take long before we can hug each other. It feels so good to see them in real life, instead of on a small screen!

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources