Purple Roofs December 2011 Gay Travel Newsletter

Author: , December 5th, 2011

Welcome to the Purple Roofs Newsletter for December, 2011 – our last newsletter of the year!

We’ve got lots of great stuff for you this month – from featured articles on Springfield, Illinois; Wheeler, Oregon; Porto, Portugal; and San Francisco to other gay travel articles from around the world!

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

Our December Newsletter Sponsor:

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Our Featured Articles This Month:

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Springfield, Illinois, Home of President Abraham Lincoln
by Don and Ray, Gay Travelers

Springfield is the Capital of the State of Illinois and also the resting place of our 16th President. It is located 100 miles North of St. Louis on Interstate 55. The Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library opened in downtown Springfield 6 years ago to huge crowds everyday. On weekends, tourists come from all over to visit and on weekdays, school children are bussed in so it is busy all the time. The Museum is in one building and the Library is directly across the street. We have visited several Presidential Museums and this is the finest one. While downtown, visit Lincoln’s Springfield home as well as the old State House. Springfield is full of history and among the many things to see are the Vachel Lindsay Home which is the 1879 birthplace of the native Springfield poet/artist.

Wheeler: The Gem of the North Oregon Coast
by Raine, Old Wheeler Hotel

Situated in the protective shelter of Nehalem Bay, with the stunning backdrop of Neahkahnie Mountain, Wheeler is the gem of the North Oregon Coast. It has been referred to as ‘the town with the million dollar view’, and many would agree. The Natives called it ‘hole in the sky’ because it tends to have better weather than surrounding areas A prime location for outdoor enthusiasts, this area offers world class bay and river kayaking. Wildlife abounds; be it a herd of elk, majestic eagles, or statuesque herons.

Porto for Americans
by Yvonne, Gaia Apartment

Porto is a city in Portugal. Portugal is a country in Europe. Europe is a continent across the Atlantic Ocean from the USA. The Atlantic Ocean is a big wet thing you fall into if you go to Atlantic City and keep walking East. America has never been in a war with Portugal. Portugal doesn’t have any oil.
Porto is not pronounced “poor-dough”, it is pronounced “port-oh”, with a T sound in the middle, like the sound a clock makes when it’s ticking.

San Francisco Shopping for the Holidays
by Scott and Mark, Purple Roofs

San Francisco is always a great place to visit, but it’s especially magical during the Holiday Season. While there’s no snow, the Christmas decorations come out, it seems like there’s music on every corner, and holiday cheer abounds. We decided to take a short holiday ourselves the week after Thanksgiving, to head down to The City to see what this holiday season had to offer. The weather was fantastic – high 60s and even up into the low seventies – record high for the date – on our last day, and the fog, after making a brief appearance on our first full day, never returned.

The Harvey Milk Tour with Cruisin’ the Castro
by Scott and Mark, Purple Roofs

One of our favorite things to do when we visit The City is to take a walking tour. San Francisco has to be one of the most walkable of the major cities in the United States – hills notwithstanding – so why not soak up a little history while you walk? Trevor Haley initiated the Crusin’ the Castro tour many years ago, and a couple years back, she handed the reins over to Kathy Amandola, who now offers a general Castro walking tour most days of the week and a special Harvey Milk tour from 10 am-1 pm on Wednesdays.

Caffe Baonecci: Our Favorite Gay Friendly Italian Restaurant in San Francisco
by Scott and Mark, Purple Roofs

We wanted to bring up one of our favorite SF eats again – Caffe Baonecci in the heart of North Beach. We’ve been here several times before, but it was the first time we had a regular meal here. More on that later. Caffe Baonecci is a cute little Italian ristorante on Green Street, just one block east of Columbus, on the bottom floor of a converted Victorian. Run by the Gambaccini family who bought the old Danilo Bakery about five years ago, this is a place where you can come to talk with real Italians and hear real Italian spoken – a rarity these days in North Beach.

More Gay Travel News

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:

Gay Travel Events The Next Two Months:

Check out our new events calendar, where we list gay events around the world – http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-events.html. Here are the events for the next two months:

  • Australia, NSW, Byron Bay: 12/29/11-12/30/11, Queer Fruits Film Festival 2011. http://bit.ly/iKCIej
  • Canada, QC, Montreat: 12/31/11-01/02/11, Le Bal des Boys 2011-12. http://bit.ly/b5PuyZ
  • Italy, Campania, Naples: 12/15/11-12/19/11, OMOVIES – Festival Di Cinema Gay, Lesbica e Questioning Napoli 2011. http://bit.ly/m63IzS
  • Italy, Emilia Romagna, Bologna: 12/03/11-12/05/11, Some Prefer Cake – Bologna Lesbian Film Festival 2011. http://bit.ly/lvXE5H
  • New Zealand, Golden Bay, Takaka: 12/21/11-01/03/12, Gay Summer Camp: Week-Long Event in New Zealand., Autumn Farm, 37 Central Takaka R. http://bit.ly/dHaMti
  • Switzerland, Arosa: 01/08/12-01/15/12, Arosa Gay Ski Week 2012. http://bit.ly/mZwrET
  • USA, AZ, Phoenix: 01/27/12-01/29/12, Desperado Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/5UcA6p
  • USA, CA, Los Angeles: 12/31/11-01/01/12, Masterbeat New Years 2011-12, Mayan Theater. http://bit.ly/uXPI16
  • USA, CO, Aspen: 01/15/12-01/22/12, Aspen Gay Ski Week 2012. http://bit.ly/r0UHTB
  • USA, IN, Bloomington: 01/11/12-01/29/12, Pride: Bloomington’s LGBTQ Film Festival 2012. http://bit.ly/l9kMA9
  • USA, MA, Provincetown: 12/02/11-12/04/11, Holly Folly Provincetown 2011. http://bit.ly/7gaeBc
  • USA, NY, New York: 12/08/11, Empire State Pride Agenda’s Holiday Party, Private Home, 7-9 PM. http://bit.ly/sGPO0l
  • USA, VT, Stowe: 01/18/12-01/22/12, Stowe Vermont Gay Ski Week 2012 – Winter Rendezvous 2012. http://bit.ly/8vWTxB

Sign Up for Our Gay Travel Sweepstakes

Boston, Massachusetts Sweepstakes: We’re teaming up with the beautiful Bulfinch Hotel in Boston (http://www.bulfinchhotel.com/) to give away 5 nights in Massachusetts.

Check Out Our Special Offer Section

Our innkeepers and travel agents offer exclusive specials to travelers who find them on Purple Roofs. This month, we have 158 Accommodation/Tour offers listed in 18 countries! No membership required.

Visit Our Other Websites:

Gayapolis: Personals, daily news, and a great gay and lesbian directory.

Mi Casa Su Casa: Our home trade network, with over 310 members around the world, for just $75 for 5 years.

Gay Realty Network: Real estate professionals around the world.

Purple Unions: Gay friendly wedding vendors around the world.

Find Us On Twitter:

We now have a twitter account – follow us at http://twitter.com/purpleroofs.

Find Us On Facebook:

We now have a facebook page too – like us at http://www.facebook.com/purpleroofs.

Find Us On Google+:

We now have a Google+ page as well – follow us at

Marriage Equality News:

Also check out Gay Marriage Watch, our daily news blog about gay marriage: We bring you all the news on the fight for gay marriage daily. Join our blog email list by sending a subscription request to info@purpleunions.com. Find the full blog at http://www.purpleunions.com/blog/index.html. You can now also find us on Twitter with regular updates every day at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

That’s it for this month – enjoy the newsletter!

Mark & Scott
PurpleRoofs – http://www.purpleroofs.com, PO Box 4666, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

PS: Wanna sponsor this newsletter and reach over 25,000 people? Email us at wheretostay@purpleroofs.com for details

Porto for Americans

Author: , November 28th, 2011
by Yvonne, Gaia Apartment, Porto, Portugal
Email Yvonne | Visit the Gaia Apartment Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Portugal page

 Porto, Portugal

Porto, PortugalPorto is a city in Portugal. Portugal is a country in Europe. Europe is a continent across the Atlantic Ocean from the USA. The Atlantic Ocean is a big wet thing you fall into if you go to Atlantic City and keep walking East.

America has never been in a war with Portugal. Portugal doesn’t have any oil.
Porto is not pronounced “poor-dough”, it is pronounced “port-oh”, with a T sound in the middle, like the sound a clock makes when it’s ticking.

Porto, PortugalThe drink port is named after Porto. Port can only be called port if it was made in the Porto region of Portugal, in the same way that champagne can only be called champagne if it was made in the Champagne region of France, and in the same way that a Californian Zinfandel can only be called Californian if it makes you vomit until you pass out the morning after you drink it.

A really cool thing to do when you visit Porto is to go on a tour of the Port cellars and enjoy the free tastings.

Porto, PortugalPorto is really made up of two cities, everything on the north bank of the river is Porto and everything on the south bank is Gaia. The Ancient Romans founded a port here called Cale (which is the ancient form of ‘Gaia’) and thus the area was called Portus-Cale, which became Portu-gal, and gave its name to the country. This all happened a long long time ago, in your terms think of it as just after Jesus died and just before Joan Rivers was born.

Porto and Gaia are separated by six bridges. Two of these were designed by Eiffel, the guy that made that tower in France. The most famous, built by his best apprentice, is called the Luis I Bridge. A seventh bridge is planned which will be designed by Donald Trump and built by John Rich.

Porto has so many things to do and see – for example the amazing 12th Century cathedral, the famous Clerigos tower, the Serra do Pilar monastery with its towering presence over the city, the UNESCO world heritage site of the riverside on both banks – the rustic, quaint Porto side and the trendy, lavish Gaia side, the Serralves modern art gallery, the gardens of the Crystal palace, the world famous Santa Catarina shopping street, the Casa da Musica … they are all within 30 minutes walk of each other. Walking is something you do in other countries, Americans, instead of driving.

The idea is that you put one foot in front of the other, and then move the other one forward so that is in front, and so on. It’s good because its environmentally friendly and you don’t need gas so you don’t have to invade any oil rich countries to do it.

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in southern Europe, but for the less food-adventurous, we also have McDonalds.

Check out the fado whilst you’re here. Fado is Portugal’s traditional music, made up mostly of melodic ballads telling heartbreaking stories. Think of it as country music but without the really irritating twangy instruments.

Porto, Portugal

Getting around can be really fun. Porto has a cable car, funicular, trolley buses, metro (tube), tourist buses, segways, boat trips along the river, helicopter tours, tourist little choo choo train things driving around, and real trains that can take you to Lisbon in 2 and a half hours, the beautiful canals of Aveiro in 30 minutes, the beaches of Francelos and Miramar in 10 minutes, or Spain in 2 hours.

Or you could just call a cab!

Porto’s climate is warm nearly all year round but the best months are normally April – early October. What you should really do though is come by in early July, so you can join in the Porto Gay Pride March. You know these European pride marches are super cool, right?

2010 Madrid Pride – 2 million people and a free concert by Kylie Minogue. 2011 Rome Pride – 1 million people and a free concert by Lady Gaga. 2011 Porto Pride – 25 people and an iPhone turned up real loud by the underground car park. There was even a rainbow flag. Awesome.

PS: Gaga, if you could come do the 2012 Pride March, we’d be real grateful. We’ll even let you keep the iPhone.

Gaia Apartment, Porto, PortugalCome see for yourself. We have the best apartment in the whole city. It’s on the 10th (top) floor of a building right by the Luis I bridge. From the east balcony (yeah, we got two balconies, you won’t find another holiday apartment like that in Porto I betcha) you can gaze at the Serra do Pilar, watch the world going by on the Avenida or look out to the mountains beyond. From the West balcony, which is really like 20 floors high because it’s on a hill, you have breathtaking views of the city, river, the port cellars, the cable car and the UNESCO world heritage site.

Oh and we got fibre optic wifi and cable TV so you can still watch Idol while you’re here. Check out our purple roofs listing “Gaia Apartment” or visit us at http://bilyard.co.uk/apartment.