Embracing Winter in Quebec

Author: , February 12th, 2014

Quebec - Apple Maps

Apple Maps

There are cities where winter is something to be endured, where the cold months from November to March reduce citizens to shut-ins. Quebec City is not one of those places. In Quebec, the winter is celebrated. In fact, it may be one of the best times of the year to visit. Here’s how to enjoy it …

First, a note about the conditions. For sure, it is incredibly cold (winter temperatures can dip as low as -13*F), but with the correct dress, it can be manageable. Go for the three-layer technique: synthetic fabric on the bottom layer to allow humidity to escape the body, wool, flannel or fleece in the middle, and a wind-shielding exterior layer. Add a hat, scarf, mittens, and boots, and you’re ready to go.

Get into the Carnival Spirit

Undoubtedly the number one reason for visiting Quebec in the frigid winter is Carnaval de Quebec, the biggest winter festival in the world. The carnival, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, offers 16 days and nights of outdoor parties, events, and parades. They’re all presided over by official Carnaval mascot Bonhomme, a big, lovable snowman clad in an arrowhead sash and red cap. Bonhomme’s home during Carnaval is his Ice Palace, which is constructed from 2,000 blocks of ice, and is open to visitors. It’s also the setting for nighttime dance parties.

Authored By Karen Gardiner Dion – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Quebec.

Ten Warm Winter Getaways for Gay Travelers

Author: , February 11th, 2014

Hawaii BeachNow that the holidays are over and the frigid, harsh reality of winter has only just settled in, you may want to ditch the snow shovels for daiquiris for a warm weather retreat. There’s nothing like escaping a snowocalpse for some sun and sand, and you’ll head back home with all the vitamin D you’ll need to see you through ’til Spring.

To get the blood flowing, here are 10 gay-friendly glimmering winter escapes to ensure all your Instagram followers be thoroughly jealous this season.

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico the locals are friendly, the beaches are beautiful and the nightlife is hot. Check out Condado beach, where the gay sun-worshippers tend to gather. Puerto Rico might seem like an exotic paradise, but don’t forget: it is a U.S. territory so the dollar is the currency and almost everyone speaks English.

Authored By Dan Tracer – See the Full Story at GayCities

Click here for gay travel resources.

It’s Cold in the Arctic Circle

Author: , February 4th, 2014

DJ Yabis in FinlandDJ, how cold is it in the Arctic? you asked. Well, pretty cold. But the coldness is dry so it doesn’t feel that cold. In Helsinki it’s just -12 degrees Celsius or so but it’s windy and humid so I felt a lot colder in the city than the -32 degrees Celsius in Saariselkae, Finland.

Negative 32 degrees Celsius was actually the coldest I have ever experienced so far. When I lived in Warsaw during the Ice Age (that’s how me and my friends call winter in 2010 and 2011), the coldest I’ve experienced was -30 degrees.

Authored By DJ Yabis – See the Full Story at Dream Euro Trip

Click here for gay travel resources in Finland.

Lots of LGBT Fun in Lake Tahoe this Month

Author: , February 3rd, 2014

Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaLake Tahoe’s slopes are in need of fresh powder, but that isn’t stopping diehard skiers or LGBT partiers from heading up to the Sierra and to nearby Reno for a winter getaway.

Reno and Lake Tahoe offer plenty of fun on and off the slopes with great dining, nightlife, and casinos or simply relaxing by the fireplace with a special someone or friends. There is something for everyone at the lakeside and northern city escape just hours from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Powder Fun

The large ski resorts that are open during this extremely dry winter have had to resort to man-made snow lately and not all lifts are operating. But there is skiing to be had, officials said. Lake Tahoe’s premiere gay ski weekend is WinterFest, which is held March 2-9 at Heavenly and Northstar ski resorts.

Authored By Heather Cassell – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Lake Tahoe.

What I’ve Learned Studying Spanish in Seville

Author: , January 27th, 2014

Plaza Nueva, Seville, Spain - Adam GroffmanIt’s Monday! Which means I’m starting my third week of Spanish lessons at the Clic Language School in Seville. I’m currently enrolled in a 4-week course so this is my mid-point. I thought I’d take a little bit of time to reflect on my time so far in Seville, on my language course, on my efforts at learning and what it all means.

If you’ve been reading my daily travel diary (basically: my Tumblr blog called My Spanish Story), then you’ve probably seen that I’ve been busy having a good time here. I’m pretty happy to be learning Spanish in Seville because the winter here is mild to say the least! Sunday was 21*C (that’s 70*F) and the sun was out all weekend. I haven’t seen this much sunshine during winter since…I don’t know when!

A bit of winter sun just means that it’s easier to be outside exploring my temporary home. And because the Sevillianos here have been so friendly, it’s not so hard to meet people. There are two weekly Couchsurfing meetups in Seville and they’re really active groups. I’ve met some truly fantastic people in Seville which is going to make it all the more difficult to leave in a few weeks’ time.

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

See Adam’s full blog here.

Click here for gay travel resources in Andalusia, Spain.

Visiting Ontario in the Winter

Author: , January 26th, 2014

Niagara Falls Winter - Lisa Hubner

Image by Lisa Hubner, Sherman’s Travel

The Canadian province of Ontario is home to some of North America’s most popular travel destinations, including cosmopolitan Toronto, the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and the majestic Niagara Falls. And while it may seem counter intuitive, winter is actually a great time to visit this versatile state. Here’s why…

Wintery (and Crowd-Free) Niagara Falls:

Even on weekends in the winter, you’ll likely have this natural wonder all to yourself. Skip the summer lines at Journey Behind the Falls and peek past the icicles as 19 million gallons of water rush over the falls every minute. In the winter, entry is only $10.20 (versus $14.45 in the summer). Or, you can purchase the Niagara Falls Wonder Pass for $18.05, which includes entry to the popular Butterfly Conservatory – a great way to warm up in the winter – and Niagara’s Fury, an educational exhibit about the history of the Falls.

Ice Wine:

Winter is ice wine season in Ontario. The province is the world’s largest producer and exporter of this sweet delicacy, which is made from grapes that are frozen while they’re still on the vine. Every January, the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts the Niagara Icewine Festival, showcasing the region’s best ice wines and local foods. Even if you can’t make if for the festival, vineyards such as Reif and Trius offer affordable ice wine tastings and tours throughout the winter.

Authored By Lisa Hubner – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Ontario.

Gay Cruises This Winter

Author: , January 20th, 2014

Gay CruiseWinter is a great time for people from points north seeking sun and fun to converge on south Florida and board cruise ships bound for the Caribbean.

The weather has been so beautiful this winter that it may be difficult for partiers to tear themselves away from Wilton Manors and South Beach, but they will be rewarded with luxurious cruise experiences once they make it to either the ports of Fort Lauderdale or Miami. Here are profiles of six gay cruises that are setting sail in the next six weeks.

MIM Presents a Journey Down the Yellow Brick Road
January 26 – February 1: This cruise was designed for older men who want to set sail in the company of younger men, and vice versa. Royal Caribbean’s ship Independence of the Seas will be the vessel for this six-night trip, which leaves the port of Fort Lauderdale and stops at George Town in the Cayman Islands; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean’s private resort in Labadee, Haiti. Bob Lawson and his entertaining mind-reading show “Mind Gaymes,” which were recently featured at the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg, will entertain guests aboard this cruise. This is the only cruise to leave this winter that was organized 100% by people in south Florida. For more information, call (954) 735-8108.

Authored By Mike Halterman – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources.

Celebrating Winter Pride in Reykjavik

Author: , January 16th, 2014

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Celebrating winter in style and pride with the locals of Reykjavik and LGBT travellers from around the world is what Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride festival is all about. Going on its third year  January 30th – February 2nd 2014 Rainbow Reykjavik is such a success that guests who joined in for the first year are coming back for the third time. But what is so special about Iceland and Reykjavik? And Iceland in winter – “that must be cold?” is commonly asked question. We wouldn’t lie to you, it gets cold but not so cold that a stylish warm winter coat and a hipster cap can save you from – so get your gear on to experience all the great things the festival has to offer.

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Rainbow Reykjavik starts with a soak in the dreamy Blue Lagoon where you’ll get to know fellow guests of Rainbow Reykjavik, after the refreshing time in the lagoon dinner will be served at a restaurant over looking the Blue Lagoon. On the drive back to Reykjavik your gay guide will tell you about the days to come and once in Reykjavik we’ll throw a welcome party at the Slippbar – very trendy hotel bar of Icelandair Marina hotel.

The second day will be all about Reykjavik and Divas! Start the day with a Pink City Tour ending in a penis museum visit (no you’re eyes aren’t lying, you just read that) followed by lunch where a Glíma show will keep you entertained. What is Glíma you ask – it’s Icelandic wrestling – see picture below:

Glima, wrestling, icelandic, iceland, pink iceland, rainbow reykjavik, gay travel, lesbian travel, winter pride, lgbt

After a free afternoon in Reykjavik guests gather again for a night to remember – Dinner & Divas show specially created for the Winter Pride festival as some of the best diva voices in Iceland will entertain guests over dinner, afterwards – a Northern Lights Hunt! We will all cross our fingers for some bright lights dancing in the sky. After some light hunting we’ll head to Reykjavik’s only queer bar Kiki for some drinks and dancing.

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Hope everybody didn’t stay up too late because the Saturday of Rainbow Reykjavik is a long and exciting day as we venture out into nature to explore the famous Golden Circle with geothermal areas, wonderful waterfall Gullfoss and the historic Thingvellir national park with all its natural wonders, the site where the tectonic plates are pulling apart! Lunch will be served at Efstidalur farm and it wouldn’t be a day complete without another geothermal dip, this time in Laugarvatn Fontana Spa.

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Get ready for the Queerest club night in Iceland as you are about to take part in a Pink Iceland PINK PARTY – this time with Iceland’s brighest shining pop star Páll Óskar as dj and performer of the night and the theme is Masquerade!

Make sure you dance into the night as it’s your last – Sunday it’s time to say good bye! See you next year!

Birna Hrönn is a guest blogger for Purple Roofs, owner of LGBT travel, wedding & event company Pink Iceland and organizer of Rainbow Reykjavik.


The Great Wall of China in Winter

Author: , December 12th, 2013

Great Wall of China - winter - The SojournerWe all have seen what the Great Wall looks like when the weather is nice, especially in summer. But, I’m sure only few of US have conquered this world wonder when it’s covered in snow.

The Great Wall in winter in slippery; thus, dangerous to trek. Even if you try, you won’t go that far. That’s why I only have taken few photos from our daring climb. It’s cold and in steep threads, you’ll be wriggling on all fours. Once you slip, you’re adventurous life ends.

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in China.

Cozy Winter Nights at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast

Author: , December 6th, 2013

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post, for myself or for Purple Roofs.  But now that winter has set in seems like I have more time to reflect and share with you the Hood River Valley, Oregon, and the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Just in time for our Cozy Winter Nights Special

We invite you to experience the quiet Winter Months in the Hood River Valley and surrounding forest.  A spectacular B&B experience at the Old Parkdale Inn situated in the abundant beauty of the Hood River Valley with majestic views of Mt Hood.

Parkdale, Oregon, is the halfway spot along the Mt Hood Scenic Byway, and the Old Parkdale Inn B&B is in the heart of this quiet hamlet.  You’ll get a two-night stay for two, Sundays through Thursday through January 30, 2014, for $189.00.  Your deal, valued at $290, includes a hearty breakfast to start your day and the serenity that comes with spending an evening at the Old Parkdale Inn.

Choose any one of our three guest rooms, each with amenities including a private bath, flat-screen satellite TV and DVD player, microwave, coffee maker, refrigerator, and Free wireless Internet.  You may want to relax in your room or in our tranquil gardens.

The Old Parkdale Inn, only 85 miles from Portland on the north slopes of Mt Hood

The Old Parkdale Inn, only 85 miles from Portland on the north slopes of Mt Hood

The Old Parkdale Inn is located on the famous Hood River County Fruit Loop,  perfectly situated to tour the area’s gorgeous farms, wineries and orchards.  Most of the businesses stay open through Christmas but then it gets pretty sleepy up here in the Hood River Valley.  But that’s one of the bonuses of a winter stay.  Should you choose to head outdoors and have a go at an awesome winter sport you’ll enjoy the quiet serenity at the Old Parkdale Inn when you return.

Come mealtime, head for craft beer and a wild rice burger at Solera Brewery, just a few blocks from the inn.  Sorry Folks, they’re closed on Wednesday. Also walking distance from the Inn, Apple Valley BBQ, closed Monday and Tuesday, serves up top-quality meats, amazing side dishes and a hefty dose of small-town hospitality.  Only minutes from the Mt Hood National Forest you can enjoy, depending on your arrival date, to ski Mount Hood Meadows, XC ski or take a hike to Bald Butte or Tamanawas Falls.  Cycling is quite popular and miles and miles of mountain biking trails and scenic forest roads challenge our cycling guests.  Again this year we will have discount lift tickets to both Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort and Timberline Ski Area.  These ski areas typically open around Thanksgiving.  Pray for snow!

The two-night midweek stay must be booked Sunday through Thursday now and January 30, 2014, for $189.00 and cannot include a Saturday or Friday night.   Stay must be two consecutive nights.

Share this special with your family and friends.  Maybe they’d like to join you for a memorable getaway to the Old Parkdale Inn.

Purple Roofs Guest Blogger:  Mary Pellegrini, owner/innkeeper at the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Upper Hood River Valley, Oregon.  We are about an hour and a half east of Portland, Oregon, a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley to our B&B at the base of Oregon’s tallest mountain, majestic Mt Hood.