May 3rd, 2013
Looking for a relaxed island getaway in an LGBT friendly environment? Galveston, Texas, an island located in the south of Texas, just might be the perfect match for you.
Only thirty-two miles long and two and a half miles wide, Galveston provides visitors with a little taste of small town serenity, only 40 minutes (by air) from Houston.
In Galveston you can spend your days enjoying the beaches, eating fresh seafood, getting in some shopping or simply soaking in the many historical sites that can be found around the island.
LGBT Friendly Lodging
While the entire city of Galveston is known to be relatively LGBT friendly, here are a few LGBT welcoming lodging options you may want to consider:
Avenue O B&B
2323 Avenue, Galveston, TX
Lost Bayou Guesthouse
1607 Ave.L, Galveston, TX
1224 Sealy St, Galveston, TX
The Commodore on the Beach
3618 Seawall Boulevard
Dining in Galveston
There are many great restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Galveston, and because it’s a coastal city, an abundance of fresh seafood can be found on many of the menus. Here are some spots to try:
Benno’s on the Beach
1200 Seawall Blvd.
628 14th Street Galveston
Phone: +1 409 763 1010
Bistro LeCroy: Louisiana seafood restaurant
Clary’s Seafood Restaurant: Fine dining seafood restaurant
8509 Teichman Road
If you are looking to go out and experience the Galveston nightlife, there are some exciting LGBT friendly options available. With everything from casual bars to dance clubs, Galveston will have the spot for you.
2416 Postoffice St
The Pink Dolphin
Stars Beach Club
3102 Seawall Blvd
2501 Ave. Q
Enjoy the island
There is a lot to do in Galveston no matter what your taste. With a thriving art community, Galveston has an assortment of art galleries and theaters including the Grand Opera House that has been standing since 1894.
But if live theater isn’t for you, try a trip to the Moody Gardens 3D theater that boasts a six story screen or take a stroll down to the infamous Galveston Pleasure Pier.
And for those looking to really slow down, spend your days savoring the beauty of Galveston’s sandy beaches and Victorian architecture.
So if you are looking for an island vacation spot without the grueling plane ride, plan a trip down to Galveston, Texas, an LGBT friendly hidden gem.
April 29th, 2013
If you live in Houston and want to practice your French, click on the link above to join my meetup group.
April 16th, 2013
Making travel or honeymoon plans can be overwhelming. San Juan, Puerto Rico is a beautiful vacation destination booming with events, filled with luxurious hotels, and bustling with bars and clubs. Here are a few LGBT choices to consider:
LGBT Beaches in San Juan
There are currently two LGBT friendly beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Even though a level of frisky behavior is allowed on beaches after nightfall, no nudity is allowed on any Puerto Rican beaches.
- Condado Beach
Condado; End of Calle Vendig , San Juan, PR
- Ocean Park
Ocean Park; 1 Calle Santa Ana , San Juan, PR
LGBT Friendly Hotels
The following list of properties offer top quality accommodations, have received rave reviews, and are close to beaches and local events.
- Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza
Condado; 999 Ashford , San Juan, PR
- Oceana Hostal Playero
Ocean Park; 1853 Mcleary Avenue / Ocean Park , San Juan, PR
- Radisson Ambassador
Condado; 1369 ashford ave , San Juan, PR
- Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino
Condado; 200 Convention Boulevard , San Juan, PR
- W Retreat and Spa Vieques Island
State Road 200 KM 3.2; HC1 Box 9368 , Vieques Island, PR
LGBT Bars and Clubs
Even if you are planning a quiet trip to lounge out on the beaches, enjoying the nightlife in San Juan is a must. Depending on what type of party you are looking for, there are a large number of LGBT clubs and bars ready to liven up your night.
- Angelu’s The Club
Hato Rey; 239 Calle Eleonor Roosvelt , San Juan, PR
- Circo Bar
Santurce; 650 Calle Condado , San Juan, PR
- Kenny’s Country Club
Road 1, Km. 23.6 , San Juan, PR
- Splash Lounge & Restaurant
Condado – Condado Calle #6 , San Juan, PR
- Tia Maria Jose de Diego
Santurce; 326 Av. José de Diego , San Juan, PR
Be sure to plan your vacation around local events such as the annual gay pride parade. This year’s parade is scheduled for Sunday, June 3, 2013. There is also an after party scheduled from 7:00pm June 3 until 4:00am June 4. You can find more information about the after party here:
For those who are interested in cruising to San Juan, Puerto Rico or departing from that area, there are dozens to choose from on this link: http://www.gay-travel-by-mim.com/1885724_17312.htm
More information on LGBT travel in Puerto Rico can be found on this link: http://puertorico.gaycities.com/overview/
As you can see, there are many options to consider when you are making your travel plans to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The weather is gorgeous and the views are breathtaking, so bring extra memory cards for your camera!
April 6th, 2013
Read a book and pass it on
If you are one of many people that purchase new books to read on vacation and end up with shelves of books that you will most likely never pick up again, why not lighten the load? Through an organization called Book Crossing, people have the unique opportunity to share their beloved books, not only with friends, but with people from all over the world.
The steps are surprisingly simple. Once you enter your book/books on the Book Crossing website, www.bookcrossing.com, it will be given a Book Crossing identity number, and from that point on, you can track your book as it is passed around. You are essentially recycling your old books. Once you’ve registered your book and inked the Book Crossing information on the inside cover, it is time to release the book into the world for someone else to pick up.
So if you have a book that you are just dying to share and you are attracted to the idea of reusing old books, Book Crossing it there to help you get the word out, literally.
An eco-friendly option for getting around Mexico City
There are many ways to navigate through Mexico’s capital, but they are not all eco-friendly. Ecobici is there to provide people with the option of shared bikes. Once registered online or at an Ecobici customer service stand, Ecobici members are able to use the Ecobici bikes for short trips whenever they choose. They simply scan their card, select a bike off the stand, and are off to enjoy the sights and sounds of Mexico City at a leisurely and eco-friendly pace.
While many residents of Mexico City may opt to purchase an annual pass to Ecobici, an Ecobici bike can also be rented in 1, 3, or 7 day intervals, this way people visiting Mexico City can enjoy the unique services of Ecobici for however much long as they need.
Experience the LGBT community of Mexico City in La Zona Rosa
Once a hub for wealthy families in the early 1900’s, La Zona Rosa is now a popular tourist spot recognized for its shops, bars and its close proximity to downtown Mexico City. Today it is also home to the city’s gay and lesbian community and is welcoming to any and all who wish to stop by. Boasting great stores, delicious food and an explosive nightlife, La Zona Rosa is a LGBT friendly neighbourhood that is sure to please.
Source for La Zona Rosa
March 6th, 2013
If you are an LGBT filmmaker, film lover, or an overall supporter of the LGBT community, you should not miss attending the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival from June 20th to the 30th. Not only is this unique event the oldest in the LGBT film industry, it is one of the largest and is one of the most successful events to promote equality and understanding of the gay community.
The Golden Gate Bridge, the famed street cars, and the eclectic Haight-Ashbury district serve as the backdrop to the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival. Come explore the city, while taking in hundreds of feature films from across the globe. Film entries are dazzling and through-provoking. Plus, filmmakers from over 25 countries from around the world submit their films. The film presentations take place at multiple venues across the San Francisco area. The city’s historic, beautiful movie houses will not disappoint attendees.
Presented by Frameline (http://ticketing.frameline.org/festival/), the film festival has seen attendance of up to 80 thousand participants. The crowds are always exciting during the event, and the city will also be electric. Dating back to 1977, the long history of the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival is a testament to its past success. This year will be the 37th time this event has taken place and it is expected to be as fun, entertaining, informative, and successful as any previous year.
The ultimate goal of the film festival, aside from entertainment, is to advocate for and represent the LGBT community. The San Francisco LGBT Film Festival is the largest LGBT film event in the world, as well as the biggest LGBT art event in city. The festival’s non-profit sponsor, Frameline, is an arts organization that devotes itself to promoting the rights and culture of the LGBT community. Frameline, ultimately through the film festival, looks to strengthen the LGBT community. It helps achieve this by enhancing the group’s visibility and supporting its diverse culture.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the wonderful city of San Franscisco and take in all of the sights and sounds that northern California can offer. Plus, don’t miss the other offerings that the festival presents, like educational panels and other live events. The festival events will keep you engaged and help educate you on the history of the festival, LGBT art, and their overall community. The festival is an extravaganza that any film aficionado or supporter of the LGBT community would highly enjoy.
January 28th, 2013
What happens when Democratic states are manipulated into changing their Electoral College vote? Do changes like these really have a strong impact on the country as a whole?
The short answer: Yes.
When the Democratic Party is flushed out of the system in such a way, every single person isn’t truly heard during elections. When a state makes the decision to switch from Democratic to Republican based upon viable reasoning and not gerrymandering, it’s a different situation. Viable reasoning leads to positive results during elections, or at least that’s the ultimate goal.
What is gerrymandering?
For those already versed in political rhetoric, gerrymandering is a vile concept. According to Dictionary.com, gerrymander is defined as “the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.” (gerrymander. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gerrymander)
It’s a matter of rights:
Despite Republicans seemingly ruling the polls in the 2016 elections, they should not quiet the voters who won’t follow their agenda. In a sense, the Democratic Party is being stripped of their rights when states are manipulated into following suit in such a way. According to CrooksandLiars.com, “This is a Red Alert moment for anyone who actually thinks we should have free, fair elections where everyone’s vote counts.”
What does this mean for the LGBT community?
The shift from Democratic to Republican is disastrous for the LGBT community because their primary support comes from the Democratic Party. Because of support from the Democratic Party, especially in recent elections with the passage of gay marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington (http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/07/voters-approve-gay-marriage-in-four-states/), the LGBT community has been able to exercise their rights in a monumental and historic manner.
What is the solution?
According to The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, “The presidential electors who meet after the citizens vote for president and cast ballots for the president and vice president. Each state is granted the same number of electors as it has senators and representatives combined. These electors, rather than the public, actually elect the president and the vice president.” (electoral college. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/electoral college). Many believe that the only real solution to this problem is to abolish the Electoral College all-together. There have been many failed attempts at abolishing the Electoral College in the past, the most recent being in 2000, but that doesn’t mean the fight to make things right must end. Some states, like California for example, are pushing for the Electoral College to become a formality rather than the standard during elections. (http://justenrichment.com/2011/08/09/california-joins-crusade-against-the-electoral-college/)
Another solution is more states joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). The NPVIC is an agreement, “to replace their current rules regarding the apportionment of presidential electors with rules guaranteeing the election of the presidential candidate with the most popular votes in all fifty states and Washington, D.C.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact) In a sense, this agreement does the job of abolishing the Electoral College for us if enough states join in.
January 10th, 2013
Have you just proposed and begun the various planning and preparations for your upcoming nuptials? This is an exciting time, particularly for those who choose to wed and honeymoon in New England. Not only can same-sex couples legally marry in the state of Maine, they can honeymoon in the beautiful state of New Hampshire.
Mainers United for Marriage http://www.engaygedweddings.com/new-hampshire-gay-wedding.html
In 2009, New Hampshire became the sixth state to allow same-sex marriages. However, this past March, efforts were made to repeal the bill. These efforts failed, to the relief of National gay rights groups with heavy investments in fighting this.
Planning the honeymoon is just as important as planning the wedding itself. Not only are you and your spouse going to be spending time on a trip together for the first time as a wedded couple, but this experience marks the beginning of the rest of your paths together. Many bed and breakfasts throughout the state of New Hampshire are LGBT friendly. The wonderful part is New Hampshire borders Maine, so it’s affordable to travel from the wedding location to your honeymoon destination. Because Maine’s law passage is so new, people can expect this list of establishments to continue growing throughout the years.
- New England House B&B
1 Boston Hill Rd.
Andover, NH, 03216
- The Highlands Inn
240 Valley View Lane Bethlehem
- Ammonoosuc Inn
641 Bishop Rd.
Lisbon, NH, 03585
- Sunny Grange B&B
1811 White Mountain Farmhouse
1354 NH Rt. 175
Campton, NH, 03223
- Inn at Bowman B&B
1174 US Rte 2.
Randolph, NH, 03593
- Mt. Washington B&B
421 State Route 2
Shelburne, NH, 03581
- Gauthier Manor Bed & Breakfast
34 Anna Dr.
Whitefield, NH 03598
This list is extensive throughout the state of New Hampshire. During the planning process, ensure you book this trip well in advance because rooms fill quickly. If possible, travel to your top picks to have an idea of what is included with the room, what amenities are offered at the establishment, and what the property is like. Before making a final decision, make sure everything you and your spouse would like to do is local. For example:
- How many restaurants are local to the bed and breakfast?
- Are there hiking or skiing trails nearby?
- Are there shops, galleries, and markets nearby to find local treasures?
- What types of activities are within walking distance of the bed and breakfast?
New Hampshire is a beautiful state sure to inspire the amateur photographer within you, so be sure to bring a digital camera with lots of memory. Not only is the scenery gorgeous, but you are going to want to capture all your memories during your honeymoon.
Keep this link handy! travel-research.com firstname.lastname@example.org
December 20th, 2012
Maine, the way life should be. It’s written on the welcome signs bordering the state, as well as on many pieces of promotional materials. Everyone loves traveling to Maine, too, which is touted as Vacationland. It doesn’t have to just be for vacations, though. People travel to Maine for so many reasons including to get married. A historical moment many are also visiting Maine for is its recent passage of the law allowing for same-sex marriages.
Mainers United for Marriage http://www.mainersunited.org/
When people visit Maine to get married, be a member of the wedding party, or attend as guests, there are several bed and breakfasts throughout the state that are LGBT friendly. With the passing of this law, it’s speculated that this list of establishments will continue growing.
• A Sweet Pea Pied-a-terre, Cottage Rental
80 Cottage Street, Ogunquit, ME
• Aysgarth Station
20 Roberts Ave, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME, 04609
• Black Boar Inn
277 Main Street, Ogunquit, ME
• Camden Harbour Inn
83 Bayview St, Camden, Maine, 04843
• Distant Sands Bed & Breakfast
632 Main Street, Ogunquit, ME
• Graycote Inn
40 Holland Ave, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine, 04609
• Hartstone Inn
41 Elm St, Camden, Maine, 04843
• Maples Inn
16 Roberts Ave., Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, ME, 04609
• Moon Over Maine
22 Berwick Road, Ogunquit, ME
As you can see, this list is extensive for particular areas of the State of Maine. Like any other trip you’re about to embark upon, it’s important to book your room well in advance and ensure all the amenities you’re looking for are present. Ask questions like:
1. Is there fine dining located near the bed and breakfast?
2. What is included in the room? (i.e. linens, television, views, etc.)
3. Are there any venues playing shows or concerts in the area?
4. Can you easily walk to shopping or sight-seeing areas?
5. What are the check-in and check-out times?
The beauty of Maine is unlike any other experience you’ll have. Not only is there a plethora of seafood cuisine to enjoy, but there are plenty of “turf” foods for those who prefer not to dine from the sea surrounding so much of this beautiful state. Beyond food, though, there are unique shopping experiences, theater attractions, and rocky coasts to explore.
I’ve never been disappointed with any of the time I’ve spent in Maine, and I doubt you will be either. Just make sure you spend some time planning first because there’s a lot to see!
December 4th, 2012
I recently returned from my trip to NH: Nov 20-25th. I stayed in one of my favorite B & Bs, The Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, NH.
Link to Three Chimneys
It is a home away from home. Sure we had the attic room. I’m avoiding Expedia. You can make reservations on the Three Chimney’s website. Its an ok website. Breakfast is included and the fruit is always fresh, the waiter always courteous, and arriving there at midnight was no problem at all.
This was pleasant November weather in NH. Also, we visited Ogunquit, ME. and shopped for T-shirts and jackets. Also, one of the candy stores. (Not I Want Candy in Portsmouth) Link to candy store.
There is a pleasant deli in Ogunquit where you can sit down and enjoy chowder. It is along that main corridor where everything’s located (other than that one offshoot with the wonderful gelato shop Link to Caffe Prego.) Ogunquit is a town where it seems all the streets converge at one intersection. There is no traffic light, perhaps none in the entire town. It is impossible to budge while driving during the Summer season. Forget it when people are leaving the beach. So go off season like we do.
November 27th, 2012
Houston is a city that is very dysfunctional when it comes to transportation. Visit my Pro Light Rail website (link above) to sign the petition that I started to increase funding for light rail to improve the traffic gridlock, noise, pollution, and the environment. I hope to keep the readership posted on what’s happening to light rail in Houston.