Category Archives: Anaheim Orange County CA

PET-FRIENDLY Monterey County California



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.


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.




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.




Gay Days at Disneyland Anaheim

About 12 weeks  away!

It’ll be here before you know it!

GAY DAYS ANAHEIM  @  Disneyland!

This is one of our favorite parties – and favorite cities!

Gay Days Anaheim 2015
October 2 – 4

The schedule is awesome this year and you can pick and choose which parties and events you wish to attend.  Coco Peru  will be back this year  and the fabulous WILLAM  from  Ru Pauls drag race fame. The parties run  Friday  thru Sunday  but I encourage you stay a few more days.  There is SO MUCH  to see and do in Anaheim and Orange county.  CHECK OUT THESE PAST ARTICLES!  Shopping,  dining, fresh air, art galleries  and ocean waves. The historic Packing District showcases culinary offerings and events in a communal gathering space in the heart of downtown Anaheim, and celebrates their one year anniversary next month. You could spend an entire day here.


Discounted Park Tickets Available Now! Click here

Check out the Schedule of Gay Days Anaheim events HERE

Introducing the Gay Days Anaheim Concierge! Click for more information

If you’re not already on the Private Email List, sign up now!


Gay Days Disney Anaheim 2013

first Gay Days Anaheim California in 1998 attracted about 2,500 people.

Today the
event attracts over 30,000 guests to the Disneyland Resort each year!

Every October this event happens – and this year the dates will be October 4-6, 2013. People come in from all over to enjoy this awesome 3 day event!

Can’t wait for Gay Days Anaheim this October?  April 13 is sort of a  “Mini
Gay Day”
at Disneyland—a less formal event than the big October weekend – but still fun.  Schedule of activities will be posted soon on the Gay Days Anaheim website!

Anaheim and Orange County is amazing place to vacation. If you’re going to Disneyland, you MUST add on days at the beginning or the end to explore this beautiful area.

Popularly recognized as “The OC,” this world-class visitor destination
is the center of Southern California fun .  OC’s second largest city is Anaheim – the perfect
starting point for your OC adventures. 

Besides the amazing Disneyland and California Adventure park, the  Anaheim  Orange County area has so much to see and do. Arts and Culture, a variety of attractions, awesome restaurants and unbelievable shopping options. Not to mention romantic and  picturesque beaches. One after the other!

Gay Days – or any day! Anaheim Orange County!

PLUS – Read More Here about Anaheim.


Anaheim and Orange County; Fashion, Shopping and Art

When it’s cold outside…
         head somewhere warm!!

Eureka! That’s California’s motto, which means “I have found it.”
Whatever it is you’re looking for, you can surely find it here. A
California vacation offers unparalleled diversity. Whether traveling to
Southern California or Northern California, the diversity of culture,
scenic beauty and things to do, makes travel in California unlike any
other place in the world. California epitomizes a place where anything
can happen – and usually does. Californians revel in their quirks and
contradictions, and are proud to live in one of the most diverse and
exciting places in the world.

Anaheim and Orange County offers probably the greatest array of shop-till-you-drop stores!  Anything and everything you could possibly want or desire can be found in Anaheim or the surrounding areas!   

The South Coast Plaza  is one of California’s shining landmarks. It’s the most distinguished retail address on the entire West Coast. It’s like Rodeo Drive  times TEN. SEVERAL HUNDRED high end stores, it’s a mix of museum art, world-class theatre, trendy shops and distinctive dining – all of which has beguiled kings and queens, world leaders, and of course, Hollywood’s celebrities. Gucci, Versace, Fendi, Cavalli, Pucci, Dior, Valentino, Tiffany, Hermes, Chanel, Cartier – it’s all here! Not to mention some amazing restaurants like Marche Moderne, Season 52 and Hamamori.

4 concierge locations throughout the building to help you with just about everything – custom gift wrapping, Valet, money exchange, foreign language assistance and more. And during the holiday season there will be lots of events and promotions going on like  Early Bird Discounts starting Black Friday, November 28th, after Thanksgiving Sales, Gift with Purchase thru the holiday season, David Yurman events, Molton Brown events, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs parties, and so much more. Visit the site and look at EVENTS!
South Coast Plaza is an upscale-luxury shopping center in Costa Mesa, California, USA, in Orange County. The largest mall in California, its sales of over 1.5 billion are highest in the United States. Its 250 retailers represent the highest concentration of design fashion retail in the U.S, with the second highest sales-volume in California at $800 per square foot—second only to Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose-Santa Clara, at $809 per square foot. The national average is $411 per square foot.
In  1967, members of the Segerstrom family,  most notably, Harold (Hal) T. Segerstrom, Jr. and cousin, Henry Segerstrom opened a shopping center called “South Coast Plaza” in one of the family’s lima bean fields in rapidly growing Orange County. Originally anchored by a May Company that had opened in late 1966 and Sears, the initial phase of the center was designed by Victor Gruen. It was built the same year as The Irvine Company’s neighboring Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

The success of the center brought rapid expansion: an additional wing with Bullock’s in 1973, I. Magnin in 1977, Nordstrom in 1978, and Saks Fifth Avenue in 1979. The opening of the Nordstrom store is considered a seminal event as it was the first Nordstrom store outside of the Pacific Northwest and marked the West Coast and later the nationwide expansion of its chain.  From 1986-thru the 90’s the plaza continued to grow at leaps and bounds.

South Coast Plaza is still privately held by the Segerstrom family (and the second largest family-owned center in the United States behind the Mall of America), and so is one of the few shopping centers in the United States that have not been purchased by a Real Estate Investment Trust/REIT.

About 15 minutes away are the Outlets at Orange

The Outlets at Orange is Orange County’s only outlet shopping destination. This beautiful open-air center is home to more than 120 outlet and value retail stores including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s Outlet and more.

The Outlets at Orange also offers fun and entertainment of all sorts including the  famous, indoor  46,000 sq foot Vans Skate Park. I love Vans Tennis shoes!

Lucky Strike Lanes offers a unique, upscale bowling experience and Dave & Buster’s provides fun for all ages. Enjoy a movie at our huge AMC 30 (YES 30!)  Theatre with IMAX. Looking for some much-needed relaxation? Spend a day at the Burke Williams Day Spa.

No visit to Orange County, California is complete without a day at Disneyland, located only a few minutes away from The Outlets at Orange. Other attractions located within 5 miles of the mall include the Anaheim Convention Center, the hands-on Discovery Science Center, The City National Grove of Anaheim concert venue, baseball games at Angels Stadium, and Anaheim Ducks hockey games at the Honda Center. Knott’s Berry Farm is located just a short 15 minute drive away up the I-5 freeway.

GAY DAYS ANAHEIM happens every October. The
first Gay Days Anaheim in 1998 attracted about 2,500 people. Today the
eventweekend attracts over 30,000 guests to the Disneyland Resort each year!
Pretty amazing. What was once a small one-day gathering has become a
full weekend event with parties, gatherings, group photos, scavenger
hunts, private meals, and much more!  – *INSIDERS SCOOP – there is a MINI GAY DAYS April 13th this year. Just one day. A low key mix-in with a whole bunch of LGBTQ folks! Just buy a ticket and show up in something red or fabulous!

see also   Anaheim Packing District


Laguna Beach Paradise Found


When I first visited California about 20 years ago, I was living in Michigan at the time. I bought something at a store and used a credit card and had to show my ID. The salesman said, “Oh! I am from Michigan too! I moved here 5 years ago!

When I asked why he loved it, he said, “Look around you….this is God’s country! It’s like heaven!” And he was right.

His words stick in my head every time I visit. California is the most beautiful state I have ever visited. From North to South, California has so many beautiful options.

California’s diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east – from the Redwood–Douglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the 3rd longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida).


Myself, I have always been drawn to Southern California and the Anaheim and Orange County area. I love the beaches. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and my favorite, Laguna Beach.

With seven miles of coastline, Laguna Beach is home to more than
20 coves and beaches (all with public access), you can play in the
water, build sandcastles or explore  pristine tidepools. They are a
protected marine preserve, so no motorized boats are allowed in or out
of their waters, which keeps the tidepools fresh and teeming with sealife
you can observe at low tide.

Eco-Tours abound from observing dolphins and whales up close, sea kayaking above the colorful garibaldi, or taking a wildlife & beach tour to check out sea lions, seals and
tidepool life. There is also a docent-led tour of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, the only marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center
of its kind in Orange County.

Laguna Beach became a popular tourist destination in the late 1800s. Today, visitors can catch a glimpse of Laguna’s past by strolling the downtown and stopping at local landmarks, many dating back to the early 20th century. Laguna was a rich artists’ colony and a seaside retreat many Hollywood stars called home.

This is probably my favorite part of Laguna Beach. The downtown is quaint yet contemporary.  Discover their walkable downtown village. Eclectic fashion boutiques,
gourmet kitchen and home furnishing stores, art galleries and jewelry
shops offer unique one-of-a-kind finds and gifts. And the first Thursday of the month, they do a gallery walk.  First Thursday Art Walk goes year round. The next one is January 3rd, 2013!  This free and art educational event is funded by member galleries, lodging establishments, and the City of Laguna Beach. Browse more than 100 art galleries and 72 pieces of
public art. Pick up a self-guided tour map of the artworks at the Laguna
Beach Visitors Center. The map delineates where public sculptures, art
in public places and artist-designed benches are located throughout
town, many of which were created by local artists. You can also tour
working artists’ studios in Laguna Canyon.

Twenty-thousand acres of wilderness attract hikers, bikers, bird watchers, backpackers and Plein Air painters, all of whom find beauty in the area’s hills, cliffs and marine sanctuaries. Hiking,
biking and equestrian trails are located throughout the protected reserves.

Be an artist for a day! Sign up for a Sawdust Studio Art Class where you’ll create a unique art piece to wear or to share, in just one session. Offered every Friday and Saturday at 10am and 2pm, each two-hour workshop is led by a professional artist. Choose from jewelry,
ceramics, pottery or fused glass. Or try an “Art of Tidepooling and Watercolor Journaling” class guided by an art instructor, where you’ll explore tidepools and craft your own watercolor journal of the tiny creatures you observed.

Each summer, Laguna’s renowned art festivals
take place: Art-A-Fair, Festival of Arts and Sawdust Art Festival.  ART, ART and more ART!!  Meet local artists, take in artist demonstrations and classes, and purchase
unique works of art. The world-famous Pageant of the Masters uses
volunteers, costumes and elaborate sets to create living pictures, and
magically transforms cast members into famous works of art.

Take a cooking class at Laguna Culinary Arts.
Located in Laguna Canyon, Home Chef Classes are held in the evenings;
there’s a weekend program of half- and full-day classes exploring
specific techniques and culinary styles; and a three-day, mid-week class
for beginners. It also features a gourmet Cheese and Wine Shop/Cafe and
Tasting Room offering 350 different wine labels and 90 different
cheeses from around the world, as well as olives, charcuterie, imported
oils & vinegars, breads & crackers, cookbooks and cooking accessories.

See why I LOVE this place?!

Find out more and plan your next California getaway!

Laguna Beach Info


Anaheim, Orange County…Disneyland and Beyond

I first fell in love with Southern California in 1985. I was visiting from Michigan and fell in love with the weather and the beauty of the scenery, water, beaches and mountains! It was magical! My first trip had been to San Diego.
I have since been back to San Francisco and traveled the coastline, been from Big Sur down to San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbra, Los Angeles, palm Springs – I love it all.  But a few years back, I discovered Anaheim and Orange County!  Disneyland and beyond.  WOW!
Orange County’s total population is 3,000,000 + , making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County.  The county is famous for its tourism, as the home of such attractions as Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as several beaches along its more than 40+ miles (64 km) of coastline.
Orange County’s 42 miles of alluring coastline features lively beach
towns, family fun, gay-friendly vibrant boardwalks and cool breezes in the warm
California sun. The Orange County coastline is comprised of six BEACH CITIES, each offering its own unique brand of the Southern California
experience. A day on the coast can include surf lessons, a romantic walk
on the beach or a nighttime bonfire cookout. What else could you ask for?!

We were  in Anaehim for Gay Days Anaheim 4 years ago. (What a fantastic party weekend that was!) So we went back just a few weeks ago, and I wondered what could really changed in 4 years, with the recession most parts of the US have dealt with. In Anaheim, they ask, WHAT RECESSION? Nothing paused here for a moment and building bigger and better moved full speed ahead!

$1 billion+  in renovations have been added to the California Adventures Park with the new addition of CARS LAND and 10 rides are being closed and refurbished, as we speak in the 2 parks.

But what  is most exciting, is the new developments happening all around Anaheim. There is so much to see and do off Disney property now as well.  Anaheim is turning back the hands of time, getting into deep values, enriching the community through the arts, providing a space for the production for local culinary artisans, embracing farm-to-table foods, the slow-food movement, vintage Americana, a focus on native food and health and allowing the public to watch firsthand the processes of baking, beer brewing cooking and more. Small business ownerships and no big box stores allowed here!  Embracing the history and heritage of Anaheim.

The Downtown Center Street Anaheim  is located at the heart of Downtown Anaheim and is surrounded by City Hall, newly built lofts, and the historic Carnegie Library and
Muzeo Museum, the Gehry-designed Anaheim ice rink, and the historic neighborhoods of the Colony District. You will find an awesome  collection of like-minded individuals and businesses focused on a common goal. Old values, personal service, shop local with handmade goods or have a haircut, shave (Imperial Barber Products) and a beer (Barbeer) . Homemade culinary treats with a distinctive cultural legacy. (Healthy Junk and Gypsy Den ).  Everything old, is new again!

With new and ongoing development projects (including the restoration of of the Packing House &
Packard Showroom by Lab Holding LLC*), Downtown Anaheim is enjoying a revitalization that will reestablish it as the center of Historic Anaheim and an important Orange County destination.

Coming soon (completion of project projected for March 2013) Anaheim residents and visitors alike will be treated to an amazing, new communal gathering place in the heart of downtown Anaheim, complete with refurbished historic structures and new exciting uses.

The Packing District, located at the intersection of Anaheim Blvd and Santa Ana Street, includes the restored Packard Car Showroom, an outdoor marketplace and the restored citrus Packing House. The Packing District designs and architecture will pay homage to the master illustrators and printers of early Californian fruit crates and union organizations.

One of the few remaining packing houses from the agricultural era for which Orange County is named, the Anaheim Citrus Packing House is a landmark in both County and City history. Built in 1919 at the edge of downtown Anaheim and along the Southern Pacific rail line, the Packing House was a hub of commerce for the area. Local farmers arrived to unload trucks of freshly picked citrus to begin the process of washing, grading and eventual packing into wooden crates. Once completed, the crated and labeled citrus would be loaded onto rail cars parked on the side of the building to be shipped nationwide.

The restored Packing House will serve as a culinary center, planned as a food hall reminiscent of the great public markets of South America and Europe, that brings together artisan food producers and purveyors in a public market type setting serving as a resource for the neighborhood (daily food production) and a community gathering space (restaurants and entertainment).


The bright 42,000-square-foot historic warehouse will feature communal dining, railroad car patios, an indoor music venue and unique culinary offerings.  The two level Packing House will have a large central atrium with communal dining surrounded by cafes and kiosks of varying sizes as well as outdoor picnic gardens and a building-length dining porch looking out to the outdoor marketplace, Farmers’ Park.

Farmer’s Park is an outdoor marketplace slated to host weekend farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts and movies, and festivals. Farmers Park will serve as picnic grounds for the entire project. Two small cafes sit in the park for quick takeout to enjoy in the gardens.

Farmers Park is a front porch for the community; a space that the existing neighbors will utilize as an amenity, and a welcome to those who will be visiting the adjacent Packing House and Packard Showroom.

The Packard Building is one of a handful of historic commercial buildings remaining in a district that has seen tremendous new urban development in the past decade. Contrasted with this new higher density development, buildings such as the Packard Building, the newly restored Carnegie Library and the citrus Packing House are quickly becoming the jewels of downtown Anaheim.

This mission revival building was built in 1925 and was designed with an open and light filled interior typical of car showrooms. After decades of various automobile uses and miscellaneous modifications, the Packard Building is now being restored to its original 1920’s glory. The Packard Showroom is home to the Anaheim Brewery (where past has a presence)  and Umami Burger  (named Burger of the Year!) and the two merchants share a large landscaped beer garden.  All of this is OPEN NOW and packing people in. The final phase should be unveiled in March 2013!

In the coming months we will take you to more of Anaheim and the OC including the breath taking Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Crystal Cove State Park and more!

Useful Links You need to know…Gay Days Anaheim (held in October)
Anaheim and Orange County info
Anabella Hotel Just steps from Disneyland!
Great property and pricing!
Segestrom Center for the Arts
South Coast Plaza
The most AMAZING luxury shopping complex in the US
Laguna Beach Visitors info

*LAB Holding – In 1993, LAB holding invented the “anti-mall”, to meet the demands of  urban shoppers dissatisfied with the homogenization of conventional malls. In his his quest to hipsterize OC retail, Shaheen Sadeghi has built
quirkily beautiful properties and gained more than a few critics.

His latest extreme building makeover: the overhaul of Center Street in downtown Anaheim.
In the coming months, the palm-tree-lined, marble-and-teal shopping
plaza recently vacated by a jewelry-repair shop, discount-clothing
boutique and travel agency promoting cruise vacations will be
transformed into a 1940s-themed destination hub, packed with
meticulously conceptualized shops that nod to the city’s past.


Gay Day Disneyland in Anaheim is Oct 5-7, 2012

Recognized as one of the leading business destinations in the United
States, you’ll find yourself “Walking on Sunshine” in Anaheim and Orange
County. It is home to the 1.6 million square-foot Anaheim Convention
Center, world class dining for every appetite, championship sports, and a
variety of nightlife and entertainment.
And in just a few weeks,  GAY DAYS at DISNEYLAND will happen!
Years ago, Disneyland
used to have a private party one night of the year for gays and lesbians.
When the event was canceled in 1998, we created Gay Day Anaheim. We based the happening on our big sister event in Orlando, Gay
, which attracts
over 100,000 gays and lesbians from around the world each June.

Like the Orlando event, Gay Days Anaheim is a “mix in,” meaning gay people
and straight people mingle together; the park is open to the general public.
Also like Orlando’s Gay Day, we wear RED shirts to identify one another
and show our numbers.

The first Gay Days Anaheim in 1998 attracted about 2,500 people.
Today the event attracts over 30,000 guests to the Disneyland Resort
each year!
Pretty amazing. What was once a small one-day gathering has
become a full weekend event with parties, gatherings, group photos,
scavenger hunts, private meals, and much more! 

FIND OUT MORE  NOW  and  search for deals!



Christmas in California – 101st Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

WE Love Southern California
 and Orange County!

It’s one of our favorite places and great ANYTIME of the year! And if you can get out this way during the holidays, the Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach, is not to be missed!

Tucked away on Southern California’s Orange County coastline lies the famed getaway destination of Newport Beach, a Southern California coastal fantasyland of accessible luxury, the perfect escape from ordinary life for sophisticated fun seekers and families. Located only 45 minutes south of Los Angeles, Newport is a calming world away from the urban metropolis. Just 10 miles from Anaheim and

With nine miles of pristine beaches, charming villages, upscale shopping, premier golf courses, spectacular dining and year-round Mediterranean weather–Newport Beach combines the cosmopolitan flair of a modern city with the casual vibe of a postcard perfect beach town featuring one of the world’s largest small yacht harbors. Coupled with both natural and manmade beauty, Newport Beach is a place that allows visitors to thoroughly relax and enjoy laidback sophistication at its finest.

It’s the longest-running holiday boat parade and most elaborate holiday celebration on water in the country featuring over 100 vessels and dating back to 1908. – So this year is the 101st Annual!

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is older than such holiday events as the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

John Scarpa, an Italian gondolier, and Joseph Beek, the principal forces in the early development of Balboa Island, arrive in the Newport Harbor area in 1900. These two men establish the Tournament of Lights—an event that will continue for the century to come. 

In July 1908, the first lighted boat parade takes place. Scarpa, along with his fellow small boat operators, create a loosely organized affair consisting of nine vessels. The parade, illuminated by Japanese lanterns, is led by Scarpa’s gondola followed by eight canoes. Thus, he is credited with creating the first lighted boat parade.

Decorated multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats will light up the harbor as a dazzling array of holiday lights and music fill the air.

Parade kicks off on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30PM and runs nightly until Sunday, December 20th, 2009. Charting a 14 mile route throughout Newport Harbor.

Viewing areas available for the public on public beaches located on Balboa Peninsula, the Fun Zone and Balboa Island. Additionally, several establishments along the waterfront offer prime viewing.

Never compromising a beautiful Mediterranean climate for any of life’s greatest pleasures, Newport Beach rings in the holidays with truly memorable and festive seasonal celebrations!

Christmas Boat Parade     Newport Beach

Orange County and Anaheim        LGBT Anaheim and Orange County


White House Celebrates 100 Years at Bruno Serato’s Famous Orange County Restaurant


A landmark jewel that was once nestled quietly among an enormous orange grove in the early 20th century, Anaheim White House is still Anaheim’s most famous hidden treasure.

This beautiful historical landmark was skillfully crafted by a gentleman named Dosithe Gervais in 1909. Jim and Barbara Stovall purchased the home in 1981. They planned to build condominiums in its place, even hiring an architect to help with the design. But on the eve of the scheduled demolition, Barbara told her husband that she couldn’t bear the thought of the home being destroyed. New plans were then drawn up, almost immediately, for the restoration of the home as “Thee White House Restaurant,” which opened on New Year’s Eve of 1981.

In 1987, Italian immigrant Bruno Serato took over the ownership of the restaurant, which now features Northern Italian cuisine. His award-winning excellence and signature entrees befit the establishment, now Anaheim White House Restaurant, and his philosophy is simple: to treat each and every one of his patrons as a distinguished guests in his home. Simple as it may be, Anaheim’s once “hidden treasure” is now recognized worldwide, and is now a “home” to many.

Numerous celebrities such as Danny De Vito, Andrea Bocelli and even former president Jimmy Carter have graced the home’s threshold. Likewise, Anaheim White House has also graced catering events for many, including Madonna, and has even traveled as far as Bora Bora, to delight dinner guests with our magnificent fare.

Not only has it been a home to so many distinguished guests, but it is also a home to several awards of excellence. Anaheim White House garnered the DiRoNA award, a very prestigious award given to only a select few in all of North America; and also the highly coveted Golden Sceptre award, the highest honor award given by the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association. 

Next week, the White House will host their 100th anniversary celebration dinner – and unveil  the new  West Wing!
Friday November 6th.

So whether your are visting DisneyLand for Gay Days or just enjoying the beautiful Orange County and all it has to offer,  a visit would not be complete without lunch or dinner at this historical White House!


Gay Days Disneyland in Anaheim – Queens in the Magic Kingdom October 2 – 4

For 12 years, gays and lesbians wearing red shirts have descended on Disneyland in California for Gay Days, an annual event that forces mainstream Americans and Mickey Mouse  to deal with the  LGBTQ community face to face. 

Much different than the week long Gay Days held in Orlando each June at DisneyWorld, which draws lots of circuit  boys and party-goers, this weekend in Anaheim draws over 30,000 people, but is a real mix of men, women, twinks, daddies, bears, couples and gaybies.

Years ago, Disneyland used to have a private party one night of the year for gays and lesbians. When the event was canceled in 1998, Gay Day Anaheim was created. “We based the happening on our big sister event in Orlando, Gay Day, which attracts over 100,000+ gays and lesbians from around the world each June.

Like the Orlando event, Gay Days Anaheim is a “mix in,” meaning gay people and straight people mingle together; the park is open to the general public. Also like Orlando’s Gay Day, we wear RED shirts to identify one another and show our numbers.” says producer Eddie Shapiro.

Disney doesn’t endorse any group that comes into their park during regular park operating hours. While they may reserve space (like they  do for  the Gay Days group), that does not connote an official endorsement. In order to make it truly official, “we’d need to rent out the entire park, and they don’t do that during regular operating hours.”

“Disney has been wonderfully supportive of the event, especially as it has grown over the years. They are involved in all of the official aspects of the event (hotel room blocks, the Info Center), and have been very accommodating. But they are not involved in the actual ‘unofficial gay days’ in the park. This year, however we continue to work closely with PRIDE, which is Disney’s LGBT diversity group, and they have done a great job of integrating the event as much as possible into Disneyland’s schedule.”

Saturday is the main day at Disneyland, and Sunday is the main day at Disney’s California Adventure. But producers of the event, Eddie Shapiro and Jeffrey Epstein always plan  a weekend of festivities to please everyone. 

“It’s important for us to be very inclusive of the entire LGBTQ community. We try really hard at scheduling the weekend with all kinds of activities that we hope will matter to all the different diverse tastes that make up our community. “

Past events have included a youth scavenger hunt, teen dance party, bears gathering, book reading, family photo ops, singles gatherings, couple dinners, lesbian lunch, movie screenings, celebrity meet-and-greet, ice cream social, morning wake-up work-outs, cocktail parties, and a big evening dance party at House of Blues.

“We really want EVERYONE to feel welcome and there is something for them!” explained Eddie.

It’s always interesting to see the straight men and women who show up at the park that day, unaffiliated with Gay Days, who appeared to be rethinking the red shirts they slipped into that morning, now finding themselves dressed in the same color as half the park’s patrons, most of whom were walking arm in arm with someone of the same sex! 

For the most part, families are friendly and everyone has a great time. There are always those few right wingers who are upset that they chose the same weekend as the gays, and you may hear them muttering something under their breathe. 

There have  never been  any reports of physical confrontations between gay people and homophobic guests during Gay Days. While I  have heard of a few isolated incidents of people muttering rude remarks under their breath, 99% of the comments   are overwhelmingly positive. 

Last year a family struck up a conversation with my partner and I, and they were very much in support of equality for gays and the legalization of civil unions.  Plus, while Disney does not endorse the event, they are aware it happens so security are on alert for any harassment, and the people in guest relations do a great job of handling any problems which may arise.

In 2007, The Walt Disney Co. changed its policy to allow same-sex couples to participate in a popular Fairy Tale Wedding program it runs mainly at its two U.S. resorts and cruise line.


Disney previously had allowed gay couples to organize their own weddings or commitment ceremonies at rented meeting rooms at the resorts, but had barred them from purchasing its Fairy Tale Wedding package and holding the event at locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World that are set aside specifically for weddings.

“We believe this change is consistent with Disney’s longstanding policy of welcoming all guests in an inclusive environment…

…We are not in the business of making judgments about the lifestyle of our guests. We are in the hospitality business and our parks and resorts are open to everyone,” a Disney spokesperson  said.

There are lots of discounted rooms available for the Gay Days Anaheim event. 

Stay at one of the fabulous Disneyland Resort hotels for a fraction of the regular price! Last year they sold out   in advance. DON’T MISS OUT!  

Also many local hotels particiapte with the Gay Days group offering weekend special pricing.

Sheraton Anaheim  
HoJo Anaheim  
Holiday Inn Buena Park

New Gay Travel Guide recommends Hotel Menage. A wonderful boutique hotel right next door to Disneyland.

There is  LOTS to see and do in Anaheim, and if you can afford the time, I would urge you to take an additional couple days  to explore Anaheim, Orange County  (the OC)   and all  of the surrounding beach and art communities. It’s a beautiful area of Southern California packed with inviting beaches, unparalleled shopping and entertainment, trendy restaurants, nightlife, championship golf, lively art districts, beautiful historic landmarks and the ultimate of family attractions.

Gay Days aficionados Jeffrey  and Eddie  immersed themselves in Disney culture so much so, that they even  penned Queens in the Kingdom in 2007.


* TR  KNIGHT  / Mark Cornelsen photo by  Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland  as seen on  Just Jared

New Gay Travel Guide  and  Best Gay Cities


Art in the OC – Laguna Beach – Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters July 5 – August 31

Known for its miles of clean sandy beaches, working artists and annual festivals, Laguna Beach is the perfect California small town getaway for visitors near and far.

It has been a  small gay enclave for decades. In the summer, downtown Laguna is simply mobbed, yet still retains its small-town feel, with sidewalk bistros and artsy shopping.

Framed by the San Joaquin hills, the coves and bluffs have a decidedly Mediterranean feel. Here you will find a small gay paradise with some very nice restaurants, gay beaches, small hotels and nightlife. Laguna Beach is a popular getaway for L.A. gays.

Located mid-way between Los Angeles and San Diego, and just a stone’s throw from Anaheim, the city of Laguna Beach is a seaside village of 25,000-plus residents that includes hundreds of local working artists and unique  gift shops.

It is home for people who seek the tranquility of beach accommodations as well as endless cultural opportunities. These include dozens of art and music events throughout the year, as well as an art museum and a live stage theater. While there is not a  gay-borhood per se’, there are gays everywhere!

Four of the well-known festivals include the

Sawdust Art Festival, (June 26-Aug.30))

Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters
(in July 5 – August 31)

Art-A-Fair.  (in July 26 – August 30)

California’s finest Summer art event , Festival of Arts, is staged in a six-acre canyon park near the ocean in Laguna Beach. The stars of this summertime tradition, which began here in 1932, are over 140 of the Southland’s most accomplished artists.

Each night during the summer season at 8:30 the Festival of Arts presents its most famous attraction, the Pageant of the Masters. It is like nothing you have ever seen!

Pageant of the Masters …What is it?


Ninety minutes of “living pictures” – incredibly faithful art re-creations of classical and contemporary works with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. An outdoor amphitheater, professional orchestra, original score, live narration, intricate sets, sophisticated lighting, expert staff, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers have won recognition for the Pageant as the best presentation of its kind.

These annual festivals together attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world who experience original artwork in many different forms. Scheduled throughout the summer and early fall, unique paintings, sculpture, photography and ceramics are just a few forms of art that visitors can enjoy.

More than two dozen hotels, B & B’s, seaside villas and full-service resorts dot the coastline throughout the city. There are accommodations for every taste and style. Many of these properties have been featured in media publications throughout the United States and many have breathtaking views.

When we were in Anaheim last year, we stayed at Hotel Menage. The same owner has two properties in Laguna Beach.  La Casa Del Camino, a 1927 seaside retreat and landmark hotel  with an awesome rooftop  and  Laguna Beach Inn ,  a Spanish Mediterranean Boutique Inn. – And the gorgeous Crystal Cove is right there nearby also!

When it comes to dining, Laguna Beach has many favorite, long-established restaurants as well as extraordinary choices in many ethnic cuisines. For the trendy or traditional experience, the area has become known as one of the best dining destinations in Southern California with many culinary delights.

Laguna Beach is Southern California’s premier seaside destination located just 75 minutes south of Los Angeles and along the central coast of Orange County. Known as home to hundreds of local artists, it is just one of Southern California’s amazing gems!
Laguna Beach is primarily served by John Wayne/Orange County Airport located 20 minutes away.

New Gay Travel Guide   and  Best Gay Cities



President Jimmy Carter, Governor Gray Davis, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Gwen Stefani, Beau Bridges, Naomi Judd, Danny DeVito, Seigfried & Roy, Janet Leigh, Jimmy Smits, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Linda Gray, Jenny Craig, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Sydney Poitier, renowned chef Wolfgang Puck,  Melissa Manchester, Annette Funicello, President George W Bush, Governor Jeb Bush, Connie Francis, Brigitte Nielsen, Jose Eber, the Crown Prince of Belgium and Lauren Hutton!

This book will make a perfect hostess gift for any lover of food – or men! Finger Lickin Good! – as the Colonel used to say!



President Jimmy Carter, Governor Gray Davis, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Gwen Stefani, Beau Bridges, Naomi Judd, Danny DeVito, Seigfried & Roy, Janet Leigh, Jimmy Smits, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Linda Gray, Jenny Craig, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Sydney Poitier, renowned chef Wolfgang Puck,  Melissa Manchester, Annette Funicello, President George W Bush, Governor Jeb Bush, Connie Francis, Brigitte Nielsen, Jose Eber, the Crown Prince of Belgium and Lauren Hutton!

This book will make a perfect hostess gift for any lover of food – or men! Finger Lickin Good! – as the Colonel used to say!




A former clubhouse for semi-closeted actors like Rock Hudson, this as an example of “heterosexualization,” noting “once-blighted neighborhoods that were settled by gays–often
because they felt unwelcome elsewhere–now are so gentrified, in many cases, that younger
people can’t afford them.”

Laguna Beach has no shortage of hotel space, but the Boom is a historical treasure.
Housed inside the city’s second-oldest hotel, it is the oldest gay bar in the western United States and an anchor of Laguna’s gay community. If the Boom were demolished, an important local institution would be
lost forever.

Will the lifelong bachelor and Mr. Angelina Jolie step up to the plate? Boys, it’s the least you
can do for Pride Month. But the bar’s lease is up in September, so you have to act fast! Give
us something to really celebrate and you’ll be our hero’s for life!