Southern Oregon Road Trip – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 25th, 2019

Southern Oregon - 2TravelDads

We love our road trips, you know that, and living in the Pacific Northwest, we’re at the gateway to some of the best road trips in the United States. Oregon is our neighbor and we visit it a lot, but it’s rare that we really explore the south part of the state. This is our (future) award winning southern Oregon road trip that takes the best of the Cascades and pairs it with the Oregon Coast. This road trip itinerary is ideal in Spring and Summer and is great with kids!

When we found out we were heading to Southern Oregon we knew two things: the Umpqua National Forest and the southern coast are going to be fun and drastically different. The Cascade Mountains run from British Columbia to Northern California. They’re dotted with snowy peaks and dense forests, which when put together make for an epic collection of waterfalls. Doing a road trip with kids, we knew that we needed to pack in some big wow items, and waterfalls always do the trick.

For fun along the coast, we make it a habit to fly kites when possible, but when the weather doesn’t permit we do the next best thing: beach combing. Even in rainy weather the kids love searching for beach glass and interesting shells, so getting some time on the coast is perfect for us. In addition to the beach, there are lots of unique coastal experiences that are great for families. We made time to do fun activities we can’t do at home, including experiencing some of the natural phenomena of the Oregon Coast (see below).

If you’ve done a road trip with small to medium age kids, you know that being in the car is a bummer. We try to break up longer drive times with fun. Here are our top tips for ensuring every part of the road trip experience is awesome.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Southern Oregon Coast Gay Travel Resources

 

Another Beautiful Day in Puerto Vallarta – Dolly Travels

Author: , April 25th, 2019

Puerto Vallarta - Dolly

Hola!

I know. I did not put the upside-down exclamation point at the beginning, as I should have done. Nevertheless, I want to write another post, and tell you more about this lovely city.

On Saturday, I went downtown to the weekly open market. There were many things to see and do. The market was busy, crowded, for apparently, many of the ex-pat locals get together at the market; I heard English spoken more than Spanish, and I just knew those people were not ordinary tourists, like me.

As so often happens at markets, some of the merchants do not have their own stall… Some have to wear their merchandise on their head.

I did not investigate the vegan taco/hamburger stand. It just did not sound right to me. It must seem right to others, though, for the stand was quite busy.

Later, I walked along the Malecon, starting at the southern end and walked back toward the Centro, near the Cathedral.

It certainly was a day to be in or close to the water.

Back in my own neighborhood, which is at the far northern end of Puerto Vallarta, by the Marina, I found some interesting sights that I probably would not see back home.

First, I saw two different versions of food trucks. I have made a habit of going for an early morning walk every day. This enterprising man was doing a booming business, every day. His customers were locals, I believe.

Yesterday, I left the marina and walked into an older neighborhood just a couple of blocks away. Another food truck was there. The man was a genius. He was standing at the tail gate of his truck. He had a griddle to his left, a pot of beans to his right, and a work station right in front of him. He was cutting up a piece of meat that just came off of some unseen pot, and he was chopping it up for tacos or burritos. He was doing a booming business, with customers coming out of the nearby shops, waiting for their breakfast. I stayed away, but the aroma from that truck certainly was enticing.

Many of the workers on the construction sites and other businesses nearby do not have their own transportation. Hotel workers receive bus fare from the employer, or some, like the Westin, run their own employee vans. Others, as these men below, just get into the back of a pick up truck.

Today, I am going to go back to town, and hopefully, walk the entire length of the Malecon, up and back, for there is just something about that two mile stretch of walkway along the seashore that keeps calling me back.

Then, this afternoon, I will relax under a palapa, sip a refreshing tropical drink, and end another happy day.

My goal for the afternoon…relaxing on the beach.

I will say, “Adios” for now. I will be back soon.

Dolly

Five Gay Fort Lauderdale Guesthouses – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 22nd, 2019

Gay Fort Lauderdale Guesthouses - The Nomadic Boys

Not only is Florida one of the best spots for an awesome summer vacation, but Fort Lauderdale also happens to be one of the gay capitals of the southeast coast.

A local and affordable guesthouse is one of the best ways to spend your time in Fort Lauderdale, and where better than a gay-owned or clothing optional one?

There are a number of great places to stay in and around the famous Wilton Manors, the heart of the city’s gay scene. You’re spoilt for choice in terms of guesthouses in gay Fort Lauderdale and it can be hard to decide which one suits you best. Especially when you want to be as close as possible to Wilton Manors, but also to the popular gay beaches in the area.

So, we’ve put together a list of our favourite gay guest houses in Fort Lauderdale to help you pick the perfect spot for your next beach holiday in Florida.

1) The Grand Resort

Five minutes walk from the beach, with a wonderful host of staff and a spa that’s to die for, the Grand Resort and Spa is our favourite gay guest house in Fort Lauderdale.

While it’s a little bit on the pricey side, the privacy, level of service and amenities make it an excellent place to stay for a weekend getaway or a full holiday.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

gay Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

 

Zion National Park for Families – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 20th, 2019

Zion National Park - 2TravelDads

One of the most popular National Parks in the United States is Zion National Park. Even though Yellowstone and Glacier hold our hearts, we may have just left another piece of them at Zion. Planning for and visiting Zion National Park with kids is really wonderful. There are boundless options for hiking and relaxing, and getting around the park is an adventure in itself. Here’s how you can make visiting Zion National Park easy and stress free… cuz that’s most important when there’s nature to be a part of.This is our guide to planning a Zion National Park visit. Below you’ll find tips for navigating the park experience, great ways to help kids (and adults) learn with National Park programs, and tips for transportation all around. If you have questions we don’t answer, leave us a comment or send us a note!

As adults, when we visit National Parks we stop into the ranger station or Visitor Center and pick our hikes and go. When you visit with kids there is more to consider, including educational opportunities and things you had no idea would be fascinating to them. Even though Zion might not be on a kid’s bucket list, they will want to enjoy themselves just as much as the adults do.

Visitors Centers and Ranger Programs

The first stop you need to make what you visit Zion National Park with kids is the Visitor Center. Located just inside the main entrance from Springdale, UT, it’s the one stop shop for trail information, ranger-led programs, and Zion NPS gear. This is always where you can register for more intense trails and canyoning and get your back country permits. The main Visitors Center is mostly a stop for info and swag.

For the traditional Visitor Center history and science information, you actually need to swing into the Zion Human History Museum. Here you’ll learn about early inhabitants of the park, how people have interacted with the land and nature, and there are more rangers available for conversation and to answer many of the non-technical questions. It’s a great place to visit if you’re doing Zion with kids so they can gain some understanding and connection with the area.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Utah Gay Travel Resources

 

Ten Gay Friendly Tokyo Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 18th, 2019

Gay Friendly Tokyo Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

Tokyo is a lot of fun! Each time we’ve visited, we’ve always had a hilarious time partying in the gay bars of Shinjuku. The city is notorious for having over 300 tiny bars crammed together into a small space centred around Shinjuku’s Ni-chōme (Area 2).

In terms of finding a place to stay, Tokyo has an array of gay friendly hotels to choose from. But be warned, whilst Tokyo is not as expensive as it used to be, hotels are not the cheapest here. Despite this, we’ve also managed to find a few gay friendly budget options to include in this list.

Please note that while many of these hotels have lovely swimming pools and on-site spa and sauna areas, all travellers to Japan should be aware that if you have tattoos you may not be permitted in public bathing areas. While it’s not likely that pools in hotels are being ‘policed’, it’s something to be mindful of and if you are really looking forward to swimming, maybe check the specific policy of the hotel before your trip.

These are the 10 best gay friendly Tokyo hotels that we loved, where we had no problems getting a double bed, and where we felt welcomed as a gay couple.

Tokyo is a massive city so it can be daunting to try and figure out the best areas to stay, especially if it’s your first time. These are our thoughts on the best neighbourhoods to stay in Tokyo for gay travellers.

Shinjuku: Shinjuku is our favourite part of Tokyo because it is the gay hub of the city! It’s also a good area for tourists as there are lots of options for accommodation, shopping and entertainment. Being near the Shinjuku train station is especially handy since this is one of the busiest stations in the world, which means you will easily be able to get to other parts of the city from here. Our favourite gay friendly hotel to stay in Shinjuku is Keio Plaza.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

 

Fort Lauderdale Gay Bars & Clubs – Out With Ryan

Author: , April 17th, 2019

Fort Lauderdale Gay Bars

Looking for the best Fort Lauderdale gay bars and gay clubs to visit? Well, you’ve come to the right gay travel blog queen!

Fort Lauderdale’s “gay village” or “gayborhood” is called Wilton Manors & it’s where the local gay community hangs out. Well, Wilton Manors and the gay beach in Fort Lauderdale as well as many places during Pride in Fort Lauderdale.

There are SO many gay bars & clubs in Fort Lauderdale, and most blog posts cover them all. But when I went to Fort Lauderdale for the weekend, I really only had time to visit maybe 2 a night?

In my short time in Fort Lauderdale, I really wanted to know the top gay bars and clubs to visit. So my local gay friends took me to these 4 places for a variety of different “gay scenes” and music atmosphere. And they were all so much fun and had different crowds (aka men) at each of them.

So, if you’re looking for a night out in Gay Fort Lauderdale, here are my fave picks for Best Gay Bars and Clubs you should visit! All the gay bars & clubs are in the same area, aka drunk walking distance from each other 😉

1. DRYNK – BAR & LOUNGE

Address: 2255 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL

Drynk is the first stop to a fun night! This gay bar is a very chill bar with a beautiful back patio to lounge, hangout with your friends or meet locals, and drink delicious cocktails.

Drinks at Drynk are average priced, but if you’re not into spending money on good cocktails and prefer cheaper alcohol options, head to the next two spots below.

By Ryan – Full Story at Out With Ryan

Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

 

San Sebastián del Oeste – Dolly Travels

Author: , April 17th, 2019

San Sebastián del Oeste

!Hola!

I think I am finally getting the hang of this Spanish language. I know how to ask for someone to fix the sink. I can order food and drink, get a taxi…hmm. That is about it. An older man, a helper at Walmart, asked me today why I didn’t speak Spanish. I told him I was working on it, but he shook his head and declared I should have done that years ago. I don’t know why he felt that way, but I told him I would keep trying, but he shook his head again, as if to declare me hopeless. Oh, well. My new phrase today, direct from my language translator, is: ¿Alquiera en busca una cerveza? Is anyone up for a beer?

Today is a lovely day: a bit breezy, but the sun is shining, and all is well in Puerto Vallarta.

This morning I walked to Walmart. I can see that complex from where I sit, but to get there, one has to go around the marinas, past the Naval Base, then take your life in your hands to cross the busy boulevard. I didn’t trust the policeman who kept telling me to go, when trucks and buses were coming around the corner aiming for me. I waited until some locals crossed, then I went with them. Whew! Adventure looms everywhere.

Today is going to be a relaxing day for me. I have an appointment at a spa later this afternoon for manicure, pedicure, 50 minute massage and a facial for a cost of approximately $55. We will see how that turns out.

Yesterday, I took a tour up to an old town far up in the Sierra Madre, reported to be the oldest town in this area. San Sebastián del Oeste was established in 1605, and flourished due to silver mining. After that, gold was discovered up there, so mining for those minerals, plus lead, made San Sebastián a busy place, with the population in 1900 being around 20,000 persons. Now, there are fewer than 1,000 residents. The town is kept clean and pretty, as it is considered one of the “Pueblos Majicos”, due to its history. The town receives a subsidy from the Mexican government to keep it historically correct, including the thick adobe walls of the buildings, and red tile roofs and the architecture. The streets are made of rock: big rocks, little rocks, all cemented together in an uneven hodge podge, it seemed to me. There are sidewalks for about half of the town. I had to laugh, as we saw cars proceeding down the street, slowly bumping up and down. Not that it was needed, for the cars could not go very fast, but the speed bump on one of the side streets was constructed of a heavy rope thrown across the street. It had obviously been there a long time, for it was pretty well enmeshed into the rocks of the street.

Before we got to San Sebastián, which, by the way, is a two-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta, we made three stops. Our guide told us that the first paved roads to that town were constructed in the 1960’s. Up till then, the only roads were dirt. Can you imagine, in the silver and gold mining days, goods and people had to be transported from Puerto Vallarta, where they arrived by ship. The primary means of transport, then, was by pack mule. The journey took two days.

Our first stop, about and hour from PV, was at a store called El Puente de Krystal, which I assume refers to the bridge over a huge ravine beside the store. I was happy that we stopped there, for Frank and I had visited that place on a tour a few years ago.

We watched a woman making home made tortillas from the masa de maiz. She had a big bowl of that lovely dough under the cloth beside her. When someone wanted a taco, she pulled off a ball of dough, pressed it into a tortilla, threw it onto the wood-fired stove top, let it cook until it puffed up, then she picked it up, turned it over. When it was done to her satisfaction, she pulled the tortilla off the grill, put it onto a small plate, then handed it to the customer. There were bowls of retried beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded cheese and salsa prepared. The customer made his taco to his or her preference. I had two of the delicious tacos, for a cost of $1 each.

Our next stop was at a tequila factory, of course. Jalisco, the Mexican state we are in, is the birthplace of tequila, so on any tour, one ends up at a tasting of that beverage.

This place was very simple, with techniques for making tequila going back generations of this same family. They use pure blue agave, the leaves and the root, to begin the process.

I took tiny tastes of tequila, but I am not a connoisseur; others said it was very good.

Next, we visited a coffee farm. There, I did taste the product, and it was delicious. The coffee farm had been established over 100 years ago. There was a woman called Maria, who had been the mother of 21 children, who started the farm with her husband. She outlived him, so she continued the farm and coffee production. Her next-to-youngest son now runs the business, and he is getting up in years, also. Maria, by the way, lived to be 85 years old. I cannot even fathom having a baby almost every year, as she did, beginning with the first child when she was 15 years old, and her youngest, when she was 46. Holy moley! And then she ran the farm, which is about 20 acres, I believe.

We were given a lesson on coffee growing, harvesting, roasting. I also learned that this is an organic farm. An interesting side note is the farm uses natural pesticide: a mixture of oil, garlic and serrano pepper. Hmm. Sounds a lot like the recipe for shrimp ajillo I told you about in an earlier post, except the pepper or chile is different. I might try that on my plants at home and see if it will keep the squirrels away.

Our guide took us to a very nice restaurant in San Sebastián. It was tastefully decorated, and the food was scrumptious. We were served chicken mole, cheese quesadillas, shredded beef for tacos, rice and beans. I could see the cook making tortillas in the kitchen, and cooking them as needed.

We ended our tour in the town square, after visiting the church of San Sebastián.

All in all, it was a pleasurable day. After all that walking on the rocky streets, and listening to Mario tell us all the cultural information, we were a tired group that headed back to Puerto Vallarta. I was grateful to Mario, our guide, for in his real life, he is a history teacher. He gave us so much very good information, both on the history of Mexico and this area in particular, but he expanded more on the anthropological and sociological aspects of Mexico. I felt it was a very worthwhile trip, for me.

By the time I got back to the resort, though, my feet and my brain were tired. I settled into my room for a nap before I ventured out for dinner.

I stayed at the resort for dinner and was treated to a lovely sunset.

So, adios from Puerto Vallarta, until next time. This is, indeed, a restful place.

–Dolly

Original Post: Dolly Travels

Gay Rochester, New York – 2TravelDads

Author: , April 15th, 2019

gay Rochester

I had genuinely no idea what to expect when I heard that I was going to be taking a trip to Rochester, New York for a few days. I knew that it’s one of the largest cities in New York State and that was it. After spending three days visiting Rochester and the surrounding towns, I accidentally fell in love with it: a totally surprising New York destination. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed every moment (seriously, I loved it), these are the best things to do in Rochester for your own visit.

Rochester, New York actually has its own airport, ROC, as it’s much larger of a city than you might think. Direct flights from most east coast and several midwest cities make it easy to get to. If you’re planning a road trip around New York State, Rochester is located just north of the Finger Lakes Wine Region, so it’s the perfect compliment to an Upstate adventure.

Every city has a museum or two that really characterizes the history or culture that makes that city what it is. Rochester is full of really wonderful, fascinating, unique museum experiences. I know, “why start with museums?” I start here because the museums really are some of the best things to do in Rochester. They are unlike any I’ve visited in any other city.

Eastman Museum

As a photographer and art lover, the Eastman Museum was a highlight for me. Built on the property of George Eastman’s estate, the founder of Eastman Kodak, it’s an epic collection of photography equipment, a catalog of the history of photography, and the most interesting photographic art museum I’ve ever experienced. In addition to museum exhibits, Eastman’s actually home, a gorgeous mansion, is a part of the full Eastman Museum experience.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

Gay Rochester Travel Resources

 

Dubai Gay Friendly Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 15th, 2019

Dubai Gay Friendly Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

In 1991, there was just one sole lonely skyscraper in Dubai: the Dubai World Trade Centre. Fast forward 3 decades, the city has mushroomed with over 400, including the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa (830m / 2,723ft). Dubai’s growth over the past 30 years has accelerated its reputation from a desert city to one of the the most exciting and modern places in the world, earning it the nickname: the Las Vegas of the Middle East.

Dubai is also a major transport hub, making it a useful stopover to break up a long flight. Whether you’re visiting on a holiday or a layover, it’s always a fun place to come for beach time, shopping and some fascinating culture.

Gay travellers should be mindful that homosexuality is illegal in Dubai, so take care to avoid all public displays of affection. Despite this, a large underground LGBTQ scene does exist, particularly among the large cabin crew staff who live here.

In terms of gay, male-only hotels, there are none!

Your friend in destinations like these are the large international brands, which are accustomed to LGBTQ travellers and will always welcome us. Here are our favorite Dubai gay friendly hotels.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

 

Another Day in Puerto Vallarta – Dolly Travels

Author: , April 4th, 2019

Puerto Vallarta - Dolly Travels

!Hola, mi amigos,

Good morning, everyone,

It seems that time just is flying by, as every day I find something new to do; although, most of the time, I am simply relaxing and being lazy.

My youngest son, Rob, and his wife, Amy, joined me here a few days ago, so we have been exploring the town and the marina, primarily looking for the best food and drinks.

I have been here for 11 days already and I have eaten shrimp everyday. I am still not tired of it. Sometimes I have the fresh catch of the day, which so far has been either mahi mahi or red snapper, both of which have been delicious. If I have shrimp for lunch, then I might have the fish for dinner. Or vise versa.

One of my favorite dishes (above): Camarones in ajillo sauce. I had to look up the recipe. It is very simple, actually. The chef sautés garlic and chopped dried guajillo chiles in oil, then sautés the shrimp in that. The spicy oil is poured over the camarones when it is served. Here at the Tenampa pool bar, the shrimps are served with steamed veggies, a portion of rice, and for some reason, toasted bread. It is so good. I tell myself it is a healthy meal.

In the right, you can see the shrimp salad, which is another good choice. Those shrimp have also been sautéed in the chile oil.

Another favorite dish has been the fajitas del camarones. Just so much good food here, sometimes it is difficult to make a decision.

Okay, other than the food, walking has been on my agenda, nearly every day. I start my mornings with a three mile walk, up and around the marina, stopping for a Starbucks cappuccino, then continue on back to the condo. I have breakfast, then I write, every day, for at least an hour. Afternoons are devoted to relaxing by the pool or going into town.

Or, if I am not by the pool, relaxing by the beach, under a palapa, is also a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

On Thursday afternoon, there was a big market at the marina. Tents were set up all around the perimeter of the marina, selling all different types of merchandise: food stalls, taco wagons, dessert tents, where slices of some of the most delicious-looking cakes were sold. One stall had huge pans of paella and more pans of gumbo. Fortunately, I had already eaten, or I might have made a pig of myself.

There were also Indian dancers performing.

Yesterday, there was high clouds over the city, making the day a bit cooler, but no rain.
As we walked along the Malecon, we could see the waves crashing onto the shore. We watched pelicans diving into this waves to catch fish. Those big birds dive so fast, and so straight down, I had to wonder if they every suffer broken necks. They were amazing to watch.

Today, on my walk through the marina, I once more spotted a big crocodile. I think he was waiting for me, for today, his head was out of the water, up on the rocks, and he was smiling at me.

I was too mesmerized this morning to think to take a picture, for all I could think of, was the Disney song, “Never Smile at a Crocodile”, from the movie, “Peter Pan”. Now, of course, I can’t get the song out of my head.

So, life is fun, and I am getting work done on my book. Most of all, though, I am relaxing. This vacation was much-needed and I appreciate all of you who helped me get to this lovely, restful place.

I will close with a sunset picture from a few days ago. Now, it is lunch time, and the camarones at Tenampa Bar are calling for me to come enjoy them.

So, I shall say,

Hasta la vista, until we meet again.

Dolly