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Key West to Display Flag at WorldPride NYC

The Florida Keys & Key West tourism council and the Key West Business Guild plan to showcase the inclusive spirit of the subtropical LGBTQ visitor destination in New York City’s WorldPride March and PrideFest street festival slated for Sunday, June 30.

 

New York City’s 2019 Pride is to take place in conjunction with the first WorldPride celebration held in the United States, and millions ofrevelers are expected to attend. The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising also is to be commemorated in the event known asWorldPride NYC/Stonewall 50, with activities scheduled throughout June.

 

The Pride March is to feature a Keys contingent carrying a 100-foot section of the 1.25-mile “sea-to-sea” pride flag fabricated by the late rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker. Baker and his assistants spent three months in Key West in 2003 sewing about 17,600 linear yards of fabric into the rainbow banner that was unfurled along Key West’s Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean on June 15, 2003. The event marked the 25th anniversary of his creation.

WorldPride march participants carrying the flag are to include current and former Keys residents, their friends and families from across the U.S.

“We look forward to showing that Key West is one of the leading destinations to visit by displaying one of the most iconic pieces of history to be created for the LGBTQ community,” said Alan Beaubien, president of the guild’s board of directors.

Welcoming some 300,000 LGBTQ visitors each year, Key West lies at the tip of the Florida Keys island chain and is renowned for its inclusive recognition that all people are created equal. The philosophy was epitomized by the famed One Human Family initiativecreated by local artist J.T. Thompson. After Key West city commissioners adopted the One Human Family motto for the city in 2000,Florida Keys officials embraced it for the entire 125-mile-long string of islands.

The PrideFest street festival is slated for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday along Fourth Avenue from Union Square to Astor Place. The Florida Keys & Key West booth is to feature Keys giveaways and information on vacationing in the environmentally and culturally rich destination.

“It is important to be present at this historic moment to remind everyone that our islands serve as a place free from judgment for LGBTQvisitors and residents alike,” said Guy Ross, the tourism council’s LGBTQ sales manager. “By participating in WorldPride 2019, we can showcase why we remain such a special, much-loved and much-celebrated destination.”

(The original flag, below)

 

Florida Keys & Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/gay and fla-keys.com

Key West Business Guild: gaykeywestfl.com

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutubeKeys Voices blog

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World Pride in New York City 2019

NYC Pride is proud to unveil the location and initial talent line-up of the official Opening Ceremony of WorldPride. The Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 7-10pm Ceremony will be formatted as a benefit concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Proceeds from the ticket sales to this historic concert event will support Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE – three leading organizations in the LGBTQIA+ movement based in New York City.

Prolific entertainer and internationally-recognized humanitarian, Whoopi Goldberg, will host the ceremony, featuring a growing medley of acclaimed speakers and performers. Cyndi Lauper, iconic performer for the LQBTQIA+ community and New Yorkers alike, leads the initial release of the talent line-up.

Cyndi Lauper is a groundbreaking Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist with global record sales in excess of 50 million. Her unmistakable voice, influential style, and infectious performances have catapulted her to stardom from her roots in Queens.

Chaka Khan, one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, will also perform at the WorldPride Opening Ceremony.

DAYA also joins the star-studded lineup for the WorldPride Opening Ceremony benefit concert.Ciara, a Grammy  Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, model and actress has sold more than 23 million records and 16 million singles worldwide, including chart-topping hits “Goodies,” “Ride,” “Oh,” “1, 2 Step,” “Body Party,” and “I Bet.”

Billy Porter  is a Tony  and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright from Pittsburgh, PA. He currently stars as ‘Pray Tell’, in in the FX series “Pose,” for which he has received both a Golden Globe and Critics Choice nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Todrick Hall is a multi-talented singer, rapper, actor, director, choreographer, and YouTube personality who rose to prominence on American Idol.

Tickets start at $45

The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths—assisting nearly 1,800 young people per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center, which provides over 65,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered-site housing program.

SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978, and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is an organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers.

Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization, representing and advocating for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

 

June 30, 2019 as NYC Pride welcomes all to a final celebration of pride from 7-10pm in NYC’s iconic Times Square.

The evening will provide a full slate of influential speakers and global musical talents who represent the cultural diversity, tenacity, and grace of the LGBTQIA+ community. One of the renowned artists slated to perform is Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter, Melissa Etheridge.

Margaret Cho is set to host the occasion in Times Square.

Cho is a Grammy and Emmy Award nominated stand-up comedian, actress, and singer-songwriter. Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field.

Jake Shears and MNEK will also perform at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony.

 

THE PROM is the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine calls “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times declares a Critic’s Pick! It’s a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars, a small town, and a love that unites them all.

Deborah Cox will perform in Times Square at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony on June 30th!

Deborah Cox possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. The Canadian born star has an impressive list of #1 Billboard hit records, including twelve #1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Additional talent will be announced in the weeks ahead.

 

FREE tickets and Paid tickets HERE

 

**To remain in compliance with the City there will be an extensive bag check and no provided restrooms. Please plan accordingly. **

Prohibited Items:

Weapons of ANY kind, Fireworks/explosives, Illegal Substances, Large or hard-sided coolers, Picnic Baskets, Pets, Glass containers of any kind, Alcohol (alcohol will be sold at the Festival), Instruments, Large backpacks, Laser pointers, Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, no tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs), Audio/video recording equipment, Drones, No illegal vending is permitted. No unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed, nor Hoverboards.

Permitted Items:

Sunscreen, Hats, Sunglasses, Earplugs, Hilarious GIFs to send in response to your friends’ texts, Non-professional film, and digital cameras, Factory sealed bottles of water (non-glass containers), Phone charging case or phone charger, or Small backpacks or bags

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Can I Travel with my Small Dog to Mexico?

From Trip Savvy

Many people travel with their pets to Mexico. If you would like to take your dog or cat with you on your Mexican vacation, there are a few steps you should take in advance. Note that for Mexican regulations only dogs and cats are classified as pets: other animals may be imported but the regulations are different. Mexican regulations allow travelers to enter the country with up to two dogs or cats, but if traveling by air, airlines will only allow one pet per person. If you will be traveling to Mexico with more animals, you should contact the Mexican consulate or embassy nearest you for more information.

You should have your pet examined by a veterinarian and your pet’s immunizations must be up to date. Carry the following documents when entering Mexico with your pet:

  • Either APHIS Form 7001 (pdf) Vet Health Certificate OR a certificate of good health issued by a veterinarian and printed on letterhead (handwritten documents are not accepted) in English and Spanish with the vet’s professional license number or a photocopy of the license, and the vet’s signature. Take the original and a simple copy.
  • Proof of rabies vaccine administered at least 15 days before the pet’s arrival in Mexico. The vaccination certificate should state when the vaccine was administered and how long it is valid, as well as the product name and lot number.
  • Within 6 months of entering Mexico, your dog or cat must have be treated against internal and external parasites by a licensed veterinarian and the products used must be reflected on the health certificate. Cats and dogs must have treatments for ticks shortly prior to entering the country. Tick-borne infections such as ehrlichiosis are not unusual in the country, so it is wise to protect your pet.

When you arrive in Mexico with your pet, SAGARPA-SENASICA (Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food) personnel will conduct a brief physical inspection and verify that your pet is in compliance with the above requirements.

Travel by Air

If you are traveling by air you will need to check with your airline well in advance about their rules and extra charges for transporting pets. The airline has the final say on whether or not they will carry your pet (and each airline may have different rules), so be sure to check all the requirements with them prior to purchasing your ticket. Some airlines do not transport animals at all. Most airlines will allow small pets to travel in the cabin with you, but the pet will need to be in an airline-certified travel crate that fits beneath the airplane seat.

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Registration Fee will be Paid to travel to Europe 2021

A few news outlets, including CNN, Esquire, and Travel & Leisure, mistakenly reported earlier this week that U.S. travelers will need a visa to travel to Europe. That is incorrect, reports the Chicago Tribune.

To be more specific, travelers to 26 European countries that comprise the Schengen Area of Europe will only need a passport and a credit or debit card to apply online for a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) permit. (The fee is expected to be about $7-$8).

Americans will need to register online and pay a fee before traveling to Europe starting in 2021.

The travel authorizations are valid for three years and an unlimited number of entries.

Officials with the European Commission and the U.S. State Department confirmed that ETIAS is simply a travel authorization for visa-free travelers, similar to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to screen people in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The EU delegation to the United States tried to clear it up, tweeting Friday, “Neither the #ESTA nor the future #ETIAS (EU equivalent) are visas. They carry out pre-travel screening for travelers benefiting from visa-free access.”

ETIAS and ESTA don’t require consular interviews nor the same degree of background checks as regular visas, but do require a payment and registration prior to travel.

U.S. nationals are currently able to travel for up to 90 days within the Schengen Area, the 26 EU countries that allow border-free travel among themselves.

U.S. nationals will not need a prior permit to visit the United Kingdom.

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Best Brazilian Steak House Fogo de Chao

Our favorite Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chão, enhances the guest experience by unveiling new ways to indulge just in time for the holidays.

For a limited time, guests have the option to add a decadent, shareable Dry Aged Tomahawk Ribeye to any dinner experience or they can indulge in premium seafood appetizers including lobster & shrimp or a chilled seafood tower. A recent partnership between Fogo and Coravin will also allow guests to regularly taste and select high-end wines from the new Reserve Wine List without the need to commit to the whole bottle.

“Since Fogo was founded about 40 years ago, we have been leaders in offering premium aged meats to ensure guests have access to the best Brazil has to offer as part of our authentic Churrasco experience,” said Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “Each guest experience is uniquely tailored to individual preferences. Now guests can celebrate the season with a premium Dry Aged Tomahawk Ribeye, perfect for groups, family holidays, or parties that are prime sharing occasions.”

Our 32oz. Tomahawk Ribeye is dry aged for a minimum of 42 days for an even richer flavor to enhance any Fogo dining experience. The cut is available a la carte and is now offered at all Fogo de Chão locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico for a limited time only.

“Menu innovation is at the core of what we do and who we are at Fogo. We’re always looking to add new, seasonal ingredients to the authentic Brazilian staples on our Market Table,” said Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão. “Just like gauchos on the family farms in Southern Brazil, we harvest and source seasonal ingredients for the Market Table to complement our fire-roasted meats. Fall brings an abundance of flavors for guests to indulge as they celebrate the season.”

The fall menu features are available at all locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico for a limited time and include:

  • Butternut Kale Salad: Roasted butternut squash, fresh kale, chickpeas and feta are mixed with protein-rich pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, then tossed in a honey- citrus vinaigrette.
  • Gigante Bean Salad: Marinated gigante beans are combined with bell pepper, onion and fresh herbs before being mixed with a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Autumn Lentil Soup: French green lentils, carrots, onions and celery are simmered with tomatoes, garlic and spinach in this savory, gluten-free and vegetarian soup.
  • Apple Fig Crostada: Spiced apples are baked with butter and brown sugar inside a flaky puff pastry that is topped with homemade fig compote, balsamic glaze and fresh whipped cream.
  • Find a Fogo de Chao Near You!

 

    • For an inside look into the history and heritage of the gaucho culture, watch the NBC Olympic Games vignette “The Gaucho Way” or visit Fogo.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Transgender Travel Information and Tips

The New York Times  ran a great piece this week  about  Transgender  travel. It also discussed  gay/lesbian travel  to  non  friendly places.

Gender expression is a risk factor. “In some countries, they expect men to have a certain appearance; if you are not dressed for your gender, they can arrest you,” Mr. Williams said. In other countries, homosexuality may be legal but not culturally accepted, “so if you end up in the wrong neighborhood, it can get you in trouble.” As Americans, he said, “we have a strong tradition to be yourself, but in some countries the safest approach is to be the person they want you to be.”

TRAVEL + LEISURE  also  did a great  article you might find helpful.

And The National Center for Trans Equality  gives this  advice.

The right to travel freely is a fundamental human right, yet travelers across the country continue to express concerns about the intrusive security screening procedures used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

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Trump Travel Ban

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, expresses its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).

 

The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.

 

“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

 

“Besides the direct impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.

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European Holiday Travel Warning 2016

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.”

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NOTE 7 Banned from US Airplanes

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.”

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Gay Married Couple Travel Tragedy

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)

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)

 

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Gay Bashing on the Rise

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.

 

 

 

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Puerto Vallarta Fantastic Deals


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
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Travel with Your Emotional Support Dog

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.

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Stefan and Sebastien of Nomadic Boys travel blog

GAY COUPLES  SHOULD SEE ASIA

Stefan and Sebastien, a gay couple traveling the world and owners of the Nomadic Boys travel blog,  spent 18 months traveling in Asia last year and absolutely loved it.

Although most Asian countries don’t have the best reputation when it comes to gay rights, here are their  five reasons  ( HuffPost  Gay Voices)  they think traveling to Asia is fun, romantic and above all, important for supporting and inspiring local LGBT communities.

 

Check out their site  and  their  social media  stuff! Nomadic Boys is owned by Stefan Arestis and Sebastien Chaneac.

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Detachable Airplane Cabin Will Save Lives

Finally!   Someone  has  an idea that can save the lives of hundreds of passengers!

The technology was invented by Tatarenko Vladimir Nikolaevich, who has been working on the project for the past three years. The video above demonstrates exactly how it would work during in-flight emergency situations.

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WATCH

 

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Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels

The Renaissance Hotel in Chicago was the site for a new short film, “Business Unusual”.

The 12-minute film, shot throughout Chicago and on location at the newly transformed Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, boasts an impressive cast including Yoshua Sudarso (“Power Rangers Dino Charge”), Jason Gerhardt (“General Hospital,” ABC’s “Mistresses”), Grant Bowler (“Defiance,” “True Blood,” and “Ugly Betty”), Tia Carrere (“Wayne’s World”) and Brian Poli-Dixon (artist, actor, and former NFL receiver).

“Business Unusual” centers around two ad executives and former colleagues, having just arrived in Chicago to compete against each other in a pitch. A pompous character, Chip, delivers the first pitch and receives extremely positive feedback from the clients. Following Chip’s seemingly successful presentation, David, (a less seasoned entrepreneur) nervously begins to present his pitch– when the client is suddenly called away to an emergency and is asked if he can finish the next day. David agrees and returns to his hotel. As he is anxiously preparing to revamp his pitch, the Navigator (Renaissance Hotels’ local concierge) persuades him to join other guests for an evening of discovery through beverage, food and local music in the hotel’s bar. Here he has a chance platonic encounter with a kind, wise, and successful woman named Ella. David finds his groove and is inspired to create an exceptionally fun and clever campaign, focused on the use of a Rube Goldberg machine that ultimately lands him the account. The Rube Goldberg machine in the film was designed by “America’s Got Talent” quarterfinalist Steve Price.

 

“Renaissance Hotels is designed for the today’s business travelers, who see travel as an opportunity to experience something new and unexpected, so they come away with a new perspective — whether that’s from experiencing the local neighborhood around our hotel or simply stumbling into a live performance, a mixology demonstration or an art exhibit in the programmed public spaces,” said Dan Vinh, Vice President Marketing, Renaissance Hotels. “‘Business Unusual’ incorporates cameos with strong Chicago ties to demonstrate the importance of Renaissance Hotel’s passion for incorporating unexpected, indigenous and local elements into the guest experience.”

Like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/RenHotels.

Follow them on Twitter www.twitter.com/RenHotels.

Like them on Instagram www.instagram/RenHotels.

Follow them on YouTube www.youtube.com/RenHotels AND see the movie!

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Puerto Vallarta Romance and Hollywood

Puerto Vallarta

has received tons of press ever since Richard Burton  and  Elizabeth Taylor put this town on the map  in the  1960s. Since then, several movies have been filmed  here. It has become  a  gay mecca but yet,  has  retained  it’s  small town charm.

I hope that never changes.  More and more celebrities  come to Vallarta  to escape the constant flashing cameras of the paparazzi. They seek privacy and refuge  in the small boutique properties here in PV.

Tucked away on an unassuming, cobblestone street, Casa Kimberly, Elizabeth Taylor’s former home, is now an intimate, nine-suite boutique owned by Janice Chatterton, hotelier of nearby celebrity-magnet Hacienda San Angel just two blocks away. Modeled similar to Hacienda, Casa Kimberly is as glamorous as it is palatial and designed to feel timeless with blue-and-white tiled staircases, stone columns, arched doorways, wrap-around terraces and al fresco courtyards with bubbling fountains. All suites and public spaces are adorned with 19th-century antiques, from Italian paintings and horse carriages to a marble statue carved by French sculptor Gustave Deloye. Suites start at $435; Elizabeth Taylor suite from $825.

Beyond Burton and Taylor, however, the balmy beach town of Puerto Vallarta has cast a spell on A-listers. It’s now chock-full of luxury resorts and private villas to pander to their whim. Eva Longoria and Mario Lopez vacation at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort (suites from $385,), a secluded all-inclusive resort that straddles jungle and beach. The rising number of new boutiques (like Casa Kimberly) have also been drawing attention.

Stars like Angelica Huston have shacked up at Rivera del Rio (suites from $359, www.riveradelrio.com), a fantastic whimsical, eight-room property in Old Town and decades deep with Hollywood ties. Since the 1970s, the former private home hosted Hollywood actors and crew for films (including Predator, Revenge, Gunmen) before established as a hotel in 2012. Owner Alexander James Andriadis Killen says: “I remember when they were filming Gunmen in our house and watching Mario Van Peebles blow up our kitchen. I also remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger first walked into our home during the filming of Predator. I was scared that the Terminator was in our house that I ran away crying.” Having lived “on set” for 32 years and grandfathered into Hollywood, Alex has become a valuable source in town for the A-list who continue to flock over. “Hollywood still lives on in Puerto Vallarta.”  (Photo  right – courtyard pool  @  Garlands  Del Rio).

 

Alexander James Andriadis Killen has just renovated and opened  a new property just down the street, Garlands Del Rio. www.Garlandsdelrio.com. This Majestic Bed and Breakfast located directly on the Rio Cuale is another masterpiece. Garlands Del Rio represents a rustic yet magical time in Puerto Vallarta. Each room has a character and personality inspired by long time residents of Puerto Vallarta.

These beautiful rooms make up a Garland of beauty and relaxation. Garlands has 8 true vallartan style rooms with antiquated bathrooms that span around a luscious sapphire blue pool and a Vaulted ceiling kitchen fit for kings and queens. Located directly under the Rio Cuale bridge you will experience a true Vallartan experience that cannot be found at a typical hotel. BOTH of Killen’s properties consistently get rated  5  stars!

 

 

THE RICH AND FAMOUS

– Most Puerto Vallarta-bound celebrities also vacation in Punta Mita, a tony resort community just 40 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Famous faces like Kate Hudson shack up at Four Seasons Punta Mita (which recently debuted a new beach club with beach shack bar). The five-star property is home to private villa residences equipped with infinity pools (with adjustable temperatures), personal chefs and tantalizing views of the sea , three-bedroom, ocean-view residence from $5,100 per night). The five-bedroom, beachfront presidential Coral Suite starts at $23,000 per night. Honeymooners like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Lance Bass and Michael Turchin continue to swoon over Casa Aramara , the famed private residence owned by Joe Francis, and Gwyneth Paltrow has checked into Casa China Blanca ($1,700 per night) a 10,000-square-foot, five-bedroom and fully staffed sanctuary that has been featured in blockbuster films Limitless and Elysium. Casa De Mita ($750 per night), an intimate, hacienda-style, eight-room boutique right on a virtually deserted unspoiled beach, is Punta Mita’s best-kept secret.

 

Hollywood Reporter

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Gay Travel Warning – No Grindr London

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Puerto Vallarta Contest

The start of ­­­­winter in Puerto Vallarta is cause for celebration as December marks the beginning of the whale watching season, traditional pilgrimages in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, free daily guided Artwalks in historic downtown, culinary treats all around town, the International Pro Am golf tournament, the release of baby sea turtles, perfect weather with temperatures in the low 80’s and a calendar full of holiday festivities and free activities.

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is inviting everyone to join in the celebration with the launch of a mega “12 DAYS OF WINTER” (#12DaysOfWinter) promotion and participate for a chance to win daily prizes during the first 12 days of December, including artworks, bottles of tequila and raicilla and trip getaways, with the top prize being a 12-day all-expense paid vacation for two in Puerto Vallarta.

To participate register at visitpuertovallarta.com/12daysofwinter and tell the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board what you would do on a 12-day all-expense paid holiday for two in the destination. All registrants will have a chance to win one of 12 prizes. Drawings will take place every day from December 1st to 12th. Following are the details of the prizes that will be awarded:

 

 

Winners of the getaway prizes to be awarded between December 5th through 12th will also receive a choice of 2 activities in Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Vallarta Adventures and Dolphin Discovery.

 

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Puerto Vallarta was UNTOUCHED By Hurricane

Puerto Vallarta is fully operational with 100% of its hotel and restaurant facilities open, as well as its International Airport (PVR), marina, cruise port and Convention Center. All domestic and international airlines as well as buses, taxis and other ground transport companies resumed their normal service schedule within 2 days of the hurricane scare.

I just got back from Puerto Vallarta to celebrate HALLOWEEN and take part in their DAY OF THE DEAD festivities! EVERYTHING IS TOTALLY FINE THERE. The experienced no damage or problems from the hurricane – because it missed them. Everything is open and is  business as usual!

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