Gay Travel and Gay Hotels

gay-travel-gay-hotels

We started this site about 10 years ago.  And  someone (non-gay)  asked me why we needed  a site  for specifically  for  gay travel?

And  I said, “Many gay people prefer  to  go to places  where  they are accepted and  many prefer to be around  other  gay people  to socialize. Also, most gay people  don’t  want to go to places  that are dangerous or unwelcoming.” And I think, at least  for myself,  if  I have a choice,  I prefer  to stay at gay places  vs  non gay places.  But many times, we don’t have a choice.  There are not many  gay specific  hotels.

Yes – we are accepted  now  and  welcomed  now  more  than  ever  before.   Hotels  court the gay dollar.

Yes-  we now have apps  to meet  up with gay people  quickly  and  efficiently.

I am odd?    I am in a committed  long term  relationship,  but still enjoy  hanging  around  with  other  gay people.

NOMADIC MATT  did a great  article  on the topic. It’s about safety, it’s about comfort, it’s about politics. But it’s also about welcoming events, friendly accommodation, and having fun with similar travelers.

The Advocate did an article last  week  about  the famous  Maui Sunseeker  re-opening  and  re-branding  now  as an  adult  only  resort, no longer specifically catering to LGBT guests.

“It seems LGBT couples are feeling more comfortable staying at mainstream resorts,”  Michael Waddell says, adding that the Sunseeker’s longtime gay guests began to drift to other hotels when they returned to Maui. Recently, progressive heterosexual guests supplemented some of that lost revenue, but not enough to maintain that business model. –  I think in this case, there was only ever one gay hotel on the island.  People  got bored. Somewhere like  Palm Springs, has  LOTS  of  gay  resorts  to pick  from. We happen to love  INNdulge!

Though the country’s most infamous gay hotel, New York’s Out Hotel, is in the process of being sold, that can be partially blamed on the horrible press its owners received after hosting an event for antigay Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidental campaign as well as denigrating their own customers. But other queer resorts in LGBT-friendly cities like Berlin, Barcelona, and Provincetown, Mass., are still thriving.

So what about you?   Do you prefer  a gay cruise  vs  a  non-gay cruise?

Do you choose  a  gay hotel, when available?

Do you go to gay bars ?  or  non-gay bars?

Do you use a gay doctor?  or  non-gay  doctor?

Lets  open this up for conversation!

 

 

Gay Life Gay Bars Dubai

gay-bars-dubai-travel

We have never been to Dubai, but would love to see it someday. But I find it a little scary!

Paul Ewart   from  news.com.au  says,”I arrived in the city during the height of summer to take a section editor job at a large glossy magazine. My friends back home in London joked about my forthcoming years of celibacy and, though I laughed along with them at the time, as the plane touched down on the tarmac of Dubai’s airport my bravado faltered.
From the get go, I’m under no illusions about Dubai’s official attitude to homosexuality. Soon after arriving in order to secure a working visa I’m tested for HIV (any expat with the disease is immediately repatriated, alongside anyone found to have tuberculosis).

On the surface conditions for gay Dubaiians might seem bleak, but thanks to some quickly acquired gay friends I learn quickly that, despite the legalities, a vibrant gay scene flourishes. In fact, thanks to a huge population of young professional expats, the scene is one of the most multicultural and diverse around.

I break my Dubai gay club virginity at one of the most popular hangouts. Entering via an underground carpark on a Saturday evening, my male friend and I encounter the uneven door policies that are rife throughout gay venues (a vague attempt to curb gay activity).

Men arriving solo or in all-male groups pay more, queue separately and are often denied entry altogether.

Inside, the place is packed to the rafters with a United Nations of men: butch Lebanese and their Asian playthings mingle with trendily dressed Europeans and a smatterings of Australians, Americans, Canadians, alongside Indians and Pakistanis.”

READ  MORE  HERE.

gay-travel-dubai-gay-bars

European Holiday Travel Warning 2016

european-gay-holiday-travel

The  US  State Department doesn’t really want to ruin your holiday cheer. But the agency has an important message for U.S. holiday makers bound for Europe this winter.

On Nov. 21, the department issued a Europe Travel Alert urging U.S. citizens to “exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets.” The threat is terrorist attacks.

“Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh), al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, focusing on the upcoming holiday season and associated events,” the post states. “U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning.”
Will Cocks, a spokesman with the department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the alert is not based on one specific threat but stems from a general heightened concern about terrorist activity. Nor is the department telling Americans to pull the pushpin on Europe.
“We aren’t telling people to stop travelling,” he said, “but asking them to take this extra time to avoid the risks.”

PET-FRIENDLY Monterey County California

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WELCOME, FIDO! CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS IN PET-FRIENDLY MONTEREY COUNTY

Traveling With Your Four-Legged Family Member is a Breeze

 

Monterey County has outdone itself this holiday season to ensure that furry family members feel at home on the magical California Central Coast region. According to a national survey of pet owners, nearly 40 percent of pet owners take their dog on vacation. Although the numbers have steadily increased over the last ten years, Monterey County has been leading the industry and consistently perfecting their red carpet treatment with an ever-growing number of pet-friendly hotels, businesses and activities like whale watching or cruising the stunning 17-Mile drive.

 

First things first, you need to find a welcoming home for your pet while on vacation or family visit to Monterey County. Many hotels offer special treats, grooming, pet sitting and comfy beds to make your four-legged friend feel cozy. Fido is always welcome at Doris Day’s Cypress Inn, an elegant pet-friendly boutique inn located in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The long-time landmark property supplies dog blankets, bowls, to-go bowls and treats and is close to several Yappy Hours, 35 acres of trails at Mission Trail Park and the fabulous Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea.

 

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At Sanctuary Beach Resort in Marina, now through December 31, 2016, pets stay for no extra charge. The property offers several activities in the area such as a relaxing walk along the beach, dining at a pet-friendly restaurant like Domenico’s On The Wharf (they offer a pet menu) or watching the sunset from the balcony of beachfront guestrooms.

 

In Monterey, Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa offers complimentary amenities including bowls, dog or cat beds, crates, scratching poles, clean up bags, leads and leashes. With an eye and heart on community, a portion of the pet friendly package is donated to the Monterey County SPCA.

 

Portola Hotel & Spa offers a complete guide of pet activities on the Monterey Peninsula. There are also pet dining areas including Peter B’s Brewpub and Jacks Restaurant & Lounge’s heated patios and a dog biscuit made from the left over mash of the onsite Peter B’s brewery.

 

The Hideaway’s pet package comes with a plush dog bed, doggie treats, bowls for food and water, ID tags, and complimentary doggie bags for cleaning up. This location is conveniently located next to the dog-friendly Carmel Beach where the no leash law allows pups of every size and breed to run free through sugar-sand and splash in the water. As the sun sets, you can enjoy a campfire permitted on the beach south of 10th Avenue.

 

Pet owners will delight in full-service pet spas, doggy daycare, pet walking and sitting services throughout Monterey County. Holidays are meant to be spent with your loved ones. Dogs and cats enjoy the adventures too, so don’t leave home without them this holiday season.

 

 

ABOUT MONTEREY COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) is a 501c6 organization that drives tourism 

for Monterey County and in recent years has led the destination to record levels of growth. Tourism is the largest industry on the Monterey Peninsula and the second largest in the County. The MCCVB is a partnership of the hospitality community and local governments that aims to drive business growth through compelling marketing and sales initiatives that maximize the benefits of tourism to our guests, members and the community. Travel spending in Monterey County was more than $2.7 billion in 2015, representing a 4.5 percent increase from 2014, and per person/per day spending rose to $333. Visitors in 2015 also generated $109 million in local tax receipts, a 7.4 percent increase and supported 24,390 jobs.

 

 

San Miguel de Allende

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About San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende, better known as “the heart of Mexico,” is considered the spot where national independence was forged, the birthplace of illustrious historical figures and a colonial urban jewel distinguished by the warmth and generosity of its people, rich history, and cultural and architectural heritage. On July 7, 2008, the city was named a UNESCO Cultural Heritage city, under the title of “Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco.” The United Nations agency awarded the city this distinction in recognition of its cultural and architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque style of art and architecture.

 
For more information, please visit: www.visitsanmiguel.travel

Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende closed a successful awards season today with the announcement that Conde Nast Traveler magazine has named the UNESCO World Heritage site fifth in the overall “Best City in the World” category at this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

The accolades come four months after the colonial city was named the No. 1 city in Mexico and Central and South America and No. 3 in the World’s Best Cities category at Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards 2016. Conde Nast Traveler readers also honored San Miguel de Allende’s accommodations infrastructure by voting three of its hotels into the Top 5 in Mexico: Hotel Matilda, in first place; Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, in second place; and Hotel Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, in fourth place. Hotel Matilda also ranked as #3 in the world listing.

“San Miguel de Allende is a top Mexican destination, attracting international travelers to our city because of its meticulous colonial architecture,” said Ricardo Villarreal, Mayor of San Miguel de Allende. “The fact that Conde Nast Travelers recognize the authenticity of our city is a sign that we are maintaining the city properly.

“We welcome all visitors to come and experience an authentic Mexican city, and continue to strive to provide a unique one-of-a-kind destination in Mexico and Latin America,” he added.

Located in the Bajio region of Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende has a mystical quality. Its picturesque cobblestone streets and colonial architecture — combined with colonial-era traditions both religious and secular, a spectacular natural setting and Mexico’s vibrant culture — are only enhanced by the embrace of all its many facets by both the friendly locals and the diverse, melting-pot population comprised of hundreds of expats, representing 63 nationalities, who have made San Miguel de Allende their home.

In 2008, the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, under the title of “Protective Town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco.” The distinction was granted due to the city’s cultural significance, its architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque art and architecture movement, and also the role it played in the fight for Mexican independence.

Conde Nast Traveler readers took part in the 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey by submitting millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments to help us create a list of winning favorites.

For a full list of Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards. click here

Royal Caribbean is Officially Gay Travel Approved

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GayTravel.com proudly announces that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) is Gay Travel Approved

Royal Caribbean International® is the first and only cruise line to receive the sought-after distinction of being Gay Travel ApprovedSM by GayTravel.com, a trusted resource for LGBTQ travelers. The global cruise line, a leading innovator of adventurous vacation experiences has shown an ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community by demonstrating a spirit of diversity and inclusion on all of its 25 ships that visit exciting destinations around the world.

The Gay Travel Approved Seal of Approval is awarded by GayTravel.com to select travel partners that offer a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ travelers.  This accolade is reserved for travel partners whom a panel of experts, editors and tastemakers have deemed deserving of a higher level of recognition by the LGBTQ community.

“This designation has been a long time in the making,” said Steve Rohrlick, CEO of GayTravel.com. “Our GayTravel Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco has sailed on more than one-hundred Royal Caribbean cruises.  The recent appointment of Grant Van Ulbrich as the first openly-gay Diversity Executive on a major cruise line and the steps he is implementing are indicative of Royal Caribbean International’s commitment to the LGBTQ community. It is therefore our distinct pleasure to bestow GayTravel Approved 2016 to Royal Caribbean International.”

“Royal Caribbean has always been known and recognized for extraordinary service that is warm and attentive and remains committed to creating a diverse, welcoming environment on each and every one of our ships,” said Grant Van Ulbrich, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Caribbean. To take our efforts to the next level, we recently introduced a new Diversity and Inclusion department and one of its first priorities is to focus on continued training and education for our international crew members.”

With its parent company’s perfect rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and a rich history of hosting LGBTQ charters, groups and luminaries, it’s not surprising that LGBTQ travelers are frequent guests. One such guest and avid sailor is GayTravel.com’s Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco.

“From the moment I set foot on my first Royal Caribbean cruise, I felt like I belonged,” said Prisco. “On every one of my cruising adventures, I feel like I am home and that Royal Caribbean is my family.  The strides that they have taken to welcome our community onboard and the incredible innovations they have made to their fleet are just a few of the reasons I continue to return time and time again…”

GayTravel.com encourages the LGBTQA community to offer recommendations for Gay Travel Approved travel destinations, accommodations, cruises, tours, events, restaurants, and venues:http://www.gaytravel.com/gay-travel-approved-nomination-form/

 

About Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 46-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

About GayTravel.com

GayTravel.com connects the LGBTQA community with gay friendly destinations, hotels, cruises, tours, events, entertainment, attractions, clubs and restaurants throughout the world.  Their mission is to provide the community with safe, welcoming and unique recommendations to ensure that every vacation is both pleasurable and memorable.  For additional information, visit www.GayTravel.com or call (800) GAY-TRAVEL.

The Best Gay Cruises with Dave

best-gay-cruises

Dave at Donovan Travel  is  our  #1   go to guy  for  ALL TRAVEL  NEEDS!  Air, hotels, cruises, you name it!

He can help you find exactly  what you are looking for. Atlantis, RSVP, Olivia and  more!

Whether you’re a lesbian couple looking for a romantic getaway or gay singles ready to party and make friends, there’s a cruise for you. He can help you choose between fully chartered gay and lesbian cruises and gay groups on regular cruises, and find the cruise line that’s right for you. 1-800-252-2660

NOTE 7 Banned from US Airplanes

samsung-note-7-banned-us-airlines

The US Department of Transportation has banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on flights after reports of the device catching fire.

Passengers will not be able to take the phones on flights or in their luggage to and from the US from 16:00 GMT on Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had previously advised against packing the phones in luggage.

Samsung permanently stopped Galaxy Note 7 production this week.

“We recognise that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

“We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident in-flight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”

Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries.

While it later insisted that all replaced devices were safe, there were reports that those phones were catching fire too.

The company then said it would stop Galaxy Note 7 production.

“The fire hazard with the original Note 7 and with the replacement Note 7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall,” said US Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye.

“I would like to remind consumers once again to take advantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund. It’s the right thing to do and the safest thing to do.”

WHERE TO STAY in Chicago

 

It’s funny, we have lived here about 10 years and have always known about these three hidden gems.

Yet, I talk to people who have lived here their whole life! And they are not familiar with City Suites, The Majestic and The Willows.

Willows and Majestic are tucked away in quiet neighborhoods, where you can blend right in with the locals. While City Suites is right on Belmont amidst the buzzing energy!

Summer and Fall are fantastic times in Chicago! Whether you are a local and have friends traveling that will need rooms or you are a traveler reading this – it’s NEVER TO EARLY TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM. The small inventory of rooms in Boystown and Lakeview always sell out.


IMPORTANT DATES TO KNOW:

Market Days August 13-14, 2016
Out in the Park at Six Flags Sept. 10, 2016

 

Halloween in Chicago – October 29-31, 2016

(not to mention, every weekend is a great weekend, in Chicago!)


In Boystown/Lakeview you get small, intimate restaurants and a treasure trove of shopping neighborhoods with unique shops and art galleries! Golf courses, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigleyville and the Cubs Stadium, Old Towne, marinas and harbors, Hollywood gay beach, Andersonville, plus endless waterfront walking and bike paths, are all very accessible!

 

For years, visitors and locals alike have branded The Majestic Hotel the pre-eminent boutique hotel in Chicago. Offering the atmosphere of a well-appointed, upscale English country estate, this 100 percent, non-smoking Hotel offers the perfect haven of relaxation amidst the energetic city life found in the popular Lakeview neighborhood.

 

Broughton Hotels has 3 properties in the area. The Majestic Hotel, The Willows Hotel & The City Suites – each welcome you with an abundance of personality, style and charm that epitomizes the essence of their environments.

Exuding the charm of historic buildings – circa 1920s – They are a collection of boutique hotels that combine a stylish, unique and alluring atmosphere with a location that is ideal and accessible – just 10 minutes north of downtown Chicago’s business, financial and shopping districts – and brimming with the quintessential qualities of an upscale, city hotel. You can be just steps away from all of the gay events, in a cool neighborhood!

 

All three properties in Boystown pride themselves on their personalized care, premier service and exceeding the needs of their discriminating leisure and business travelers. The staff is passionate here and ensure an enjoyable and memorable stay – something you don’t often see in the big hotels downtown. These properties boast a welcoming “neighborhood” charm yet with all the luxury boutique services and amenities of a full-service hotel.

Many packages are available depending on your interests. Everything from theatre and dining to comedy and baseball!

Use CODE BGC When Booking!

CITY SUITES HOTEL

THE WILLOWS

MAJESTIC HOTEL
The Majestic 773.404.3499
The City Suites 773.404.3400
The Willows 773.528.8400

The Best of Gay Chicago

Palm Springs Deal

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This sun drenched desert oasis vacation destination is returning to its glory days as a Hollywood playground, a central gathering spot for modern architectural design aficionados, musicians and artists drawn by nature’s inspiration, and an increasing crowd of cool-seekers.

It could be the surge of super hip (and becoming super large) events like the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Modernism Week, and Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals. Or the openings of incredibly unique museums such as the Architecture and Design Center in downtown Palm Springs, or nearby Sunnylands, with an public garden and walking paths inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings.

 

Maybe it’s the Hollywood glitz and glamour. The Rat Pack lived, loved and played here…it doesn’t get any better than that. Stars such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball all built homes here (that you can now rent!), adding a touch of stardust. Wearing a favorite vintage outfit, shopping for midcentury modern treasures in Uptown Design District, dining alfresco in downtown bistros under the warm sun…now that’s a vacation.

But frantic and hurried it is not. The pace is relaxed, the colors are saturated by the warm desert light, and the living is easy. Nestled at the base of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, the City of Palm Springs is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The streets, lined with palm trees, are perfect for exploring boutique shops, art galleries and museums while soaking up the warm sunshine.

 

gay palm springs innduldge

WHERE TO STAY?

INNdulge, of course!

Our favorite place to stay in Palm Springs! Whether you want to socialize with friends or spend time with someone special – we love this place!

SUMMER 2 FOR 1 Special  NOW  through September 15, 2016.
Pay for one weeknight get the 2nd weeknight free (Sundays through Thursdays).

  • 24 Poolside Rooms & Garden Suites
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast
  • Large Heated 24-hr Pool
  • Pool chiller during summer months
  • In room DVD Players
  • DVD Library
  • 12 Man 24-hr Jacuzzi
  • Wi-Fi Property Wide
  • Full Kitchens in all Suites
  • Microwaves
  • King Sized Beds
  • Refrigerators
  • Coffee Makers
  • Hair Dryers
  • On Site Gym

gay-palm-springs-guest-house

BEST Travel Deals in Prague and Budapest

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For years, I have raved about  Prague and Budapest as GREAT TRAVEL VALUES! Both BEAUTIFUL with amazing architecture, nice sampling of gay life, and fantastic food and lodging values.

In a survey that measured the cost of a dozen alcoholic drinks – from beer to wine to champagne and various cocktails – throughout 16 major European cities, Prague was named the cheapest according to a new article in The Telegraph.

Leading the pack with a £1.26 (45 CZK) beer, a £1.57 (55 CZK) wine, a £2.03 (70 CZK) brandy and a £2.83 (99 CZK) vodka and orange, the total cost of a dozen varied alcoholic beverages came to £28.74 (roughly 1000 CZK) in Prague.

In second place was Budapest, with a total cost of £30.20 (1060 CZK) for the 12 drinks. In a similar survey conducted a year ago, Budapest topped Prague as cheapest destination for alcohol.

 

  • Prague, Czech Republic – £28.74 (1008 CZK)
  • Budapest, Hungary – £30.20 (1060 CZK)
  • Krakow, Poland – £33.82 (1187 CZK)
  • Riga, Latvia – £49.95 (1753 CZK)
  • Tallinn, Estonia – £53.11 (1864 CZK)
  • Palma, Majorca – £56.72 (1990 CZK)
  • Berlin, Germany – £57.54 (2019 CZK)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – £58.14 (2040 CZK)
  • Barcelona, Spain – £60.56 (2125 CZK)
  • London, England – £60.70 (2130 CZK)

This  is  from writer David Park, who  was born and raised in Baltimore and has been living in the Czech Republic since 2009 after studying journalism in Prague.

 

Can You Travel with Your Dog?

 

What is the Difference Between 
Emotional
Support Animals, Service Animals and Therapy Animals?
The main difference between emotional   support animals, service animals
and therapy animals have to do with training. With emotional support animals
(ESA), the dogs are there to bring comfort as well as companionship. The
animals do not have to get any specialized training and skills for this, except
perhaps basic obedience and social skills, in the case of dogs or cats. It’s
enough that the animal is there and its owner draws comfort from its presence. 
Emotional support animals are commonly  dogs, but there also individuals who take cats, horses, rabbits or turtles as
their emotional support animals. To some degree, emotional support animals are
still considered pets. But unlike pets, they serve another purpose as they are
relied upon by those with mental health issues (ie. Depression, PTSD, Anxiety, etc.). 

 

Emotional    Support Animals are extended some adjustments especially when dealing with
housing or airline rules. The “no pets policy” does not apply in this
case, but the person with an ESA has to have a letter
signed and written by a licensed mental health professional.
On the other hand, service animals have
been highly trained to master specific skills. These dogs have to perform tasks
for their handlers who are unable to do a variety of things because of a
physical or mental disability. 
For instance, someone who is blind will
need the help of a service dog in walking in public, so the dog should be
trained to guide and keep his handler safe. Someone who experiences seizures
will need a service dog who is trained to notice the triggers, as well as alert
people concerned in order to save the life of his handler. Because of their
vital role, service dogs can accompany their handlers wherever they need to be,
even in public facilities (ie. Restaurants, stores, work places, etc.). 
Therapy animals
are similar to service animals in that they are required to be trained to
perform certain tasks. The difference is that therapy dogs are also socially
trained and well-adjusted around people. Hence, you see therapy dogs in various
hospital facilities, rehab centers, schools and establishments or sites where
the primary concern is psychological or emotional healing. Therapy animals are
not entitled access to public places, airlines, or no pets housing situations.

 

 

Waterfront condominium vacation rentals

waterfront vacation rentals

 Beaches, boats, lighthouses, quaint shops, a variety of restaurants, and exciting nightlife awaits you as you enjoy one of our beautiful waterfront condos…

Majestic Getaways offers premier condo rentals in major locations throughout the Midwest;

including  Saugatuck  and  Douglas Michigan.  140 miles  from Chicago, these Small towns = BIG Fun! Visit the twin cities of Saugatuck and Douglas Michigan for a welcoming, casual atmosphere that makes you feel like part of the community. Lots of LGBTQ folks from the Midwest flock here to get away  from the bigger city life to enjoy  the small town feel  and  great outdoors. Grassy  dunes, white  sand  beaches  and  quaint  streets  of  shopping make these harbor towns the perfect getaway.

 

st joseph michigan travel rentals

St Joe Michigan.    St. Joseph is carefully nestled on the southern tip of what has been termed “The Riviera of the Midwest.” This deepwater port town is a growing resort community – part of a “small town” chain stretching from the state line in a spectacular arc along Lake Michigan. The lakeshore is peppered with remarkable sand dune formations and lined further inland with a lush countryside that produces some of the nation’s finest orchards and vineyards. It is the largest non-citrus fruit growing region in the nation.

Located just 90 miles from downtown Chicago, St. Joseph is a quaint community situated within the larger Benton Harbor/St. Joseph MSA.

South Haven Michigan. One of Michigan’s featured Beachtowns, South Haven defines resorting on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore with majestic vistas and dazzling sunsets.You’ll feel this rich heritage as you gaze over our 100-year old lighthouse -a welcoming beacon in an often turbulent world.

sandusky vacation rentals

Sandusky Ohio. Sandusky is midway between Toledo to the west and Cleveland to the east. Thrill seekers will have no trouble getting their kicks in Sandusky, home to the world-renowned Cedar Point Amusement Park, boasting 17 roller coasters, plentiful children’s attractions and carousels.

Outside the park, the city entices travelers with its sandy white Erie shores, stunning coastal trails, mysterious Seneca Caverns and numerous refreshing water parks. The downtown waterfront boasts historic architecture, charming boutiques and unparalleled views over Lake Erie.

 

waterfront vacation rentals travel midwest

and Chicago Illinois – Besides Pizza, hot dogs, skyscrapers  and world class shopping, Chicago is  also known  for it’s  waterfront. Spanning Over  30 miles of beaches and waterfront that offer the perfect settings for playing, relaxing and soaking it all in. An 18 mile bike path, kayak rentals, dinner cruise on Lake Michigan it’s all here!   And you can rent a place  Downtown Chicago located in the heart of the city, overlooking the Chicago River!

WATERFRONT  VACATION  RENTALS  by  MAJESTIC  GETAWAYS offers premier condo rentals!   Visit  their  website  for  more details   and   photos.  Call them  at   (269) 349-7700!

best midwest vacation homeswaterfront-vacation-rentals-michigan-illinois

 

 

Gay Married Couple Travel Tragedy

gay couple married travel

WOW – What a tragedy and horrific  story.

The husband of a British man who died while honeymooning in Australia says the moment he was told his partner’s death certificate would read “never married” was the “most humiliating” of his life.

David Bulmer-Rizzi, 32, died after falling down the stairs at a friend’s house in Adelaide — the last stop on his holiday with husband Marco.

Because South Australia does not recognise same-sex marriages from overseas, their marriage was not initially recorded on David’s death certificate and Mr Bulmer-Rizzi was not recognized as next of kin.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has since said the certificate will be changed to remove the “offensive description of ‘never married'”, and has made a commitment to put measures before State Parliament to stop a similar incident from happening again in the future.

“A man’s just lost his husband, someone he loves, someone he’s legally married to and treated with disrespect in my state,” he said.  (see more  at  ABC)

gay married couple travel tragedy

It gets  worse….

Trying to make his  way home, he was forced to hand over the ashes of his husband by officials at Hong Kong airport during his flight home from Australia.

He said an official spotted the ashes when they passed through the X-ray scanner and began to question him before confiscating them.

“I was taken to one side and she said, ‘What’s in this box?’” he told BuzzFeed.

“She wanted to open the box. And I said, ‘These are human remains. It’s my husband. My husband died while we were in Australia.’ She just looked at me and said, ‘I need to take this away.’”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi said the guard did not immediately take the container and asked again about the identity of the deceased.

“She said, ‘Who did you say died?’” he said. “I said, ‘My husband. And this is his passport.’ And she said, ‘No. I’m gonna take this [the ashes] away.’”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi said he went into a “meltdown” and put his hand on the container to prevent them being taken. He asked to see a supervisor, who asked to see documentation and eventually let him retrieve the ashes and fly to Britain.

“I felt like I was losing him again,” he said. “All I wanted was to be able to travel with David’s ashes on me so he wouldn’t have to travel back by himself.”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi  had his late husband’s passport and a note from the funeral home but did not have official documentation from the British consulate.

He said he had asked British diplomats for documentation because he was worried about travelling through countries where same sex-marriage is illegal.

“The government could have simply issued me a letter saying I was David’s next of kin,” he said.

(source – The Telegraph)

 

Gay Bashing on the Rise

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If you are over 50,  you realize  HATERS  ARE EVERYWHERE – and just because  we have gay marriage, does NOT mean the whole  world  loves  us!   Far  from it!

These young kids, under  25,  think the whole  world  is accepting  and  everyone  loves  gays  and  gays  are welcome  everywhere –  they know  nothing  about  Stonewall or the struggles   of  gays!

 

Most  cities,  I don’t  care  how  “gay friendly”   are less than  10%  gay.  That means, that more than likely,    the other  60%  may support  us,  20%  may be indifferent,  and  10%  HATE US.

Data proves in big cities, just how small we are…A total of 4.8 percent of residents in greater Seattle identify as LGBT, putting the Emerald City in a tie for fifth place. San Francisco is in first place with 6.2 percent, followed by Portland-Hillsboro, Oregon-Vancouver, Washington (5.4 percent), greater Austin, Texas (5.3 percent) and New Orleans (5.1 percent).

In a very gay resort town like Provincetown is a place where we are majority and rule. If you are in the minority – there can always be haters around. In places like Provincetown, the gays outnumber the straights I think – no one is going to start shit there. But I am sure it could happen. Key West is fairly gay – but not as gay it used to be. In Early 2000s, gay tourists started steering away from Key West, seeking out other places to relax and travel to. Puerto Vallarta is really gay – and gays are very accepted there. But most cities, be very mindful. We are on “their turf” and they do not have to accept us.

ALWAYS  BE  AWARE  OF  WHERE YOU ARE  AND WHO IS  AROUND.
PUBLIC  DISPLAYS  OF AFFECTION  ARE NOT ALWAYS   WELCOME.

Gay man attacked in South beach

Moroccan Mob Beat Trans person

Gay Bashing is Up in Dallas

Gay Attacks  increase in London  and Wales

The list goes on and on.   BE CAREFUL, no matter where you are.

 

 

 

Palm Springs Summer Events and DEALS

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Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to experience some of the best restaurants the Valley has to offer.

Restaurant Week is the perfect time to visit your favorite restaurant or try something new, as chefs prepare delicious 3 courses meals for your dining pleasure, priced at $26 or $38. JUNE 3-12th!

Desert area hotels and attractions are offering great rates too!

 

4th Annual Splash House Pool Party

Splash House heads back to the desert for this summer for its fourth year in Palm Springs, June 10-12 and August 12-14. The festival returns to the colorful crowd favorite of the Saguaro Hotel and checks in for the first time at the iconic multi-pool Riviera Resort & Spa. After Hours found its home at last year’s memorable Air Museum parties, and Splash House will host its biggest late-night program yet this summer on the tarmac.

Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines AUGUST 20-21

The Idyllwild Arts Foundation proudly presents the 23rd annual Jazz in the Pines Festival featuring over two dozen bands. Performers and fans of jazz, blues, and R&B have a breathtaking mountain campus to themselves after the departure of the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program’s thousands of arts-lovers and before the first semester of the Foundation’s residential high school, Idyllwild Arts Academy.

And as always – shop local!

Palm Springs VillageFest THURSDAY NIGHTS

Every Thursday evening in downtown Palm Springs, enjoy a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, assorted fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers, jewelry, international cuisine, and don’t forget the sweets.

COD Alumni Street Fair SATURDAY AND SUNDAY MORNINGS

Open-air shopping at its best. Open from 7 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays all year. Bargains galore. A great way to start your day.

BEST PLACE TO STAY WITH THE BEST LOCATION ?? InnDulge!

Euro Pride Amsterdam Pride Deals

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EuroPride 2016

 

Europride is a pan-European international event dedicated to LGBT pride, hosted by a different European city each year. The host city is usually one with an established gay pride event or a significant LGBT community.

For up to a fortnight, numerous sporting and artistic events are staged throughout the host city. Europride usually culminates during a weekend with a traditional Mardi Gras-style pride parade, live music, special club nights, and an AIDS memorial vigil.

 

I will once again be hosting a group for one of the largest Pride celebrations in Europe when Amsterdam welcomes       EuroPride       August 3-8

Don’t miss this year’s incredible “Canal Parade”, the only Pride celebrated on water, and the parties, concerts, and celebrations.

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Our package includes 5 nights hotel stay, buffet breakfast, Red Light District Tour, Canal cruise and my assistance services on location.

*Prices subject to change and depend on availability at time of booking. Central hotels sell out fast so make your reservations now!

**Price is land only

***Airfare is not included. Air quotes upon request.

Call Dave  1-800-942-1280

europride-amsterdam-2016-deals

Puerto Vallarta Fantastic Deals


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16 REASONS WHY NOW IS THE BEST TIME
TO VISIT PUERTO VALLARTA
As the Peso lowers, bargain hunters
will find great deals in Paradise

 With the Mexican Peso at an all-time low, with average exchange rate between $15-$17 pesos to the US dollar, Americans and Canadians looking for last minute deals to Puerto Vallarta will find that this is a travelers market.

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s top tourism destination. Known for its 100-year-old historic center, the heart of the destination, it is alive with authentic culture, art, nightlife and a range of award-winning traditional and international restaurants.

Beyond the downtown area, Puerto Vallarta makes for a vacation full of activities that all can enjoy. From strolling along Puerto Vallarta’s lively Malecón (beach boardwalk) while relishing in free outdoor live entertainment like the nightly Papantla flying dancers, to riding zip lines across tree tops or swimming with dolphins and sea lions, taking a cooking class at one of the traditional restaurants or enjoying a guided tour of the local art galleries, visitors of all ages can share memorable moments during their fun-filled visit.

FOLLOWING ARE 16 BARGAINS TO ENJOY NOW

  1. Dinner at Top Restaurants –  Puerto Vallarta is home to over 300 restaurants ranging from internationally renowned establishments to mom-and-pap eateries offering dishes that go back generations. Dinner for two, including a three-course meal and a bottle of fine wine, at top iconic restaurants like La Palapa, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton favorite beach-front eatery, where they brought all their celebrity friends to party, El Arrayan, famous for its exquisite traditional Mexican cuisine, or Barcelona Tapas, with its grand view of the Bay of Banderas and the city’s Downtown area, will cost less than $120 USD.
  2. Artisan Tequilas – Many ranches and haciendas around Puerto Vallarta offer half day and full day activities including horseback riding, hiking, quad bike excursions and a tour of the tequila plantation and distillery; including tasting of top artisan tequilas and the local raicilla, a spirit of pre-Hispanic origin made from the agave root. Top quality tequila and raicilla will set one back around $20 USD www.haciendadonaengracia.com / www.haciendaeldivisadero.com 
  3. VIP Beach Clubs – Enjoy the beach with plenty of pampering and luxury offered by one of Puerto Vallarta’s beach clubs. Mantamar Beach club has day passes for as low as $350 pesos ($20 USD), with $250 pesos (nearly $15 USD) counted as credit towards food and drinks.
  4. Learn Spanish – Puerto Vallarta is a college town, home to international universities and private schools. A two-week Spanish immersion class at one of the many language centers located in Puerto Vallarta, which also offers the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and traditions, costs as little as $150 USD a week. www.spanishexperiencecenter.com 
  5. Artworks for Collectors – From the many sculptures that line its Malecon (beach boardwalk) to the fine art galleries that house national and international works Puerto Vallarta is known for embracing the arts. Visitors can explore the town’s numerous arts offerings on the guided ArtWalk tour which operates daily from October to May, making stops at 15 local galleries in the historic downtown area. The ArtWalk is free and most galleries; like Galeria Colectika have not adjusted the prices on art pieces; providing visitors a great opportunity to acquire amazing works of art for a steal.
  6. San Sebastian del Oeste – A 90-minute drive east of Puerto Vallarta sends visitors back in time to a 17th century silver mining village nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains. This sleeping town of 600 inhabitants is a colonial gem, filled with historic sites and great places to eat. Stoll around town at leisure or take guided tour. A round-trip taxi ride from Puerto Vallarta and back costs around USD $90.
  7. Your Own Private Beach – For travelers wishing to explore the natural oasis and warm Pacific Ocean waters in a secluded setting, Puerto Vallarta offers a variety of ways to enjoy their pristine secluded beaches. Take a round-trip water taxi ride out of Los Muertos Beach to secluded coves or isolated beaches like Colomitos, Las Animas, Boca de Tomatlan, Majahuitas, Quimixto, Playa El Caballo and many others. $20 USD per person.
  8. Charter a Private Boat. Spend the day at sea, snorkeling, fishing, swimming, island hopping or just sun bathing on your own private boat.  Prices start at $866 for 8 hours www.pvmikesfishing.com/fishing-boat-rental-rates 
  9. Viva Tequila Tour – Enjoy a Tequila tour and a live performance of traditional colorful Mexican folklore for about $60 USD a person. www.viviatequila.mx 
  10. Boutique Hotels – Puerto Vallarta’s Downtown and Zona Romantica area is one of the most charming and authentic locations along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, teaming with enchanting boutique hotels, each with its own charm, unique personality and history;  offering the warm and friendly personalized service Puerto Vallarta is reputed for. Rates are as low as $40 USD per night. www.visitpuertovallarta.com 
  11. Mex-Ology: Tequila, Tacos and Mexican Cocktails Tour – Enjoy authentic Puerto Vallarta culture and dining on a unique taco tour with Vallarta Food Tours. Also a fun way to see the Downtown area and a great start to a night of festivities.  www.puertovallartafoodtours.com 
  12. Become a Taco Expert – There are a couple of signs visitors must look out for before buying a taco. 1. Is the location popular? If you see a line of locals waiting to eat at the establishment that’s generally a good sign. 2. When buying tacos from a local street vendor make sure the food is served in plates covered with a plastic for hygiene. 3. There should always be at least two people working the stand, one to serve food and the other to handle payments. Try Ceviches el Güero or Tacos el Cunado where a taco costs less than $1 USD.
  13. Brunch at Canopy River – Take a ride to the middle of the Sierra Madre and enjoy a hearty Sunday Brunch amidst the varied and lush tropical flora and fauna of the rainforest surrounding Puerto Vallarta for less than $20 USD per person.  www.canopytourspuertovallarta.com 
  14. Walk the Malecon – The Malecon is Puerto Vallarta’s heart and where everyone, both locals and tourists, gather for morning jogs, open air yoga classes and daytime or sunset strolls. It also has features some of the most delicious traditional street food, from tacos to corn on the cob with mayonnaise and chili, each for less than $1 USD.
  15. Colorful Local Celebrations – Visiting Puerto Vallarta during any of its local festivals or celebrations that take place monthly, presents a culturally rewarding experience and a chance to see the city through the cultural traditions of its people. From the Day of the Dead to the Gourmet Festival, most celebrations have activities that are free of charge. www.visitpuertovallarta.com 
  16. Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has been working with all its trade partners to offer exclusive discounts when booking is made on their site: www.visitpuertovallarta.com. Visitors can find discounts on activities and stays for as high as 50% off.
Additional information on Puerto Vallarta is available at www.visitpuertovallarta.com

Travel with Your Emotional Support Dog

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A therapy dog is trained to provide comfort and affection to people. Therapy dogs are widely used at hospitals, retirement and nursing homes, hospices, schools and even disaster areas. People who have learning disabilities also use therapy dogs as a means of building their self confidence for learning.

Research has found that therapy dogs help make people feel better. Interacting with therapy dogs is said to ‘temporarily affect the release of some of the brain’s neurotransmitters, including dopamine and oxytocin, while cortisol levels decrease.’

Therapy dogs are either therapeutic visitation dogs, animal-assisted therapy dogs and facility therapy dogs. However, they also work alongside people who need a companion beside them at all times.

Therapy dogs are typically well tempered dog breeds and don’t shed excessively, which allows most people to interact with the dog. They’re also well socialized with various environments and people. That lets the dog feel comfortable with traveling around and being exposed to different people and environments. In this article, we’re going to examine what people should know when flying with therapy dogs.

Flying with therapy dogs in the United States

People are allowed to go flying with therapy dogs in the United States. There are, however, rules and regulations they must follow before boarding a plane with their companion.

In order to fly with a therapy dog in the United States, the dog’s owner must have appropriate documentation.

This documentation needs to be reported at least 48 hours before the person’s scheduled flight departure time. Regulations concerning that matter require that requests to go flying with a therapy dog are reported during that time frame, allowing the airline to verify the documentation with the owner’s doctor. In other words, the airline won’t allow therapy dog owners who haven’t previously contacted the airline in advance to board their flight with their dog in tow.

The therapy dog documentation letter needs to be drafted from the dog owner’s mental health doctor and possess a professional letterhead. It also must not be more than a year old. The dog owner also needs to have a mental health disability, meaning their mental illness must physically and mentally impair them from regularly living their life. Other documentation to bring includes the dog’s certification records, health certificates and vaccine records.

People who want to go flying with therapy dogs must take care of getting their pet cleared for flight before even boarding the plane. This allows both owner and pet to be prepared for the flight well in advance.

Gay News from Morocco

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This is why I have NO DESIRE  to  travel  to countries where I have to walk on eggshells  and hide….

The men tried to escape police after they were caught together.

Two Moroccan youths have been jailed for one and a half years and fined 2,000 dirhams (£375) each on charges of homosexuality. The sentence was handed down by a court in the southern town of Tiznit on February 1.

The two men – identified in local media reports only as Hamza M and Osman A – were arrested by officers last week.

Although one the defendants – Hamza M – denied the charges throughout the trial, Osman A confessed that the pair were in a relationship and had slept with each other.

During their arrest, the men tried to escape by threatening the policemen with knives, however they soon apprehended.

Last month, two Moroccan men were arrested after a video of them kissing caused outrage online.

Moroccan law penalises acts of “sexual deviancy” between members of the same sex – a term that police reports and court documents use to refer to homosexuality more generally.

Gay sex is punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine.

Last year, campaigners condemned the jailing of two men accused of consensual same-sex activity in Morocco.

In May, three men in Morocco accused of homosexuality were jailed for three years each.

Ray Cole, a gay British man, was briefly jailed in the country in 2014 under Morocco’s anti-gay laws.

Mr Cole and his Moroccan friend were subsequently released following a high-profile campaign.