Gaycation Magazine Issue 7 June/July 2014

Page 1

Gaycation m a g a z i n e

the PRIDE issue

3 Perfect days in Sonoma A

Fresh take on Key West OGUNQUIT A hidden Gay gem

on the coast of Maine June/July 2014 Issue # 7

June 11-15 Founder/Editor-in-Chief DJ Doran Associate Editor/Social Media/Marketing Joe Morales Contributors Rick Barber MK Bateman Steven O Evans, PhD Erin Jimcosky Mya Reyes Guy A Ross Cover Photo Peter Arnow of Spectrum Imaging Advertising Department Subscription Department Article and Photo Submissions General Info Send address changes and subscription info to: Gaycation Magazine 931W 75th St Suite 137-215 Naperville, IL 60565 Social Media GaycationMagazine GaycationMag +Gaycationmagazine1 GaycationMag gaycationmagazine gaycationmagazine



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About the Cover Photo: Key West Pride 2010 100 foot section of the original sea-to-sea flag. After June 2003, Key West cut the 1.5 mile flag into 50 and 100 ft sections and sent them to various cities across the US that celebrates Pride. The 100 foot section is historically the last item in the Key West Pride Parade. It is carried by various volunteers visiting from around the globe. Photo Courtesy of Peter Arnow of Spectrum Imaging

SUNNY FLORIDA Welcomes you to Wilton Manors


Ogunquit Maine, Beautiful Place by the Sea


OGT Marketplace


EVENTS 35 5 & Dime 37 Travel products to help you get through your gaycation with ease. The Green Mountain State of Vermont 38 Postcards 46 Gaycation photos from the world over

About the Photo on this page: The skyline at the ocean’s edge while walking the beach in Punta Mita Mexico. Part of Banderas Bay located near popular gay destination Puerto Vallarta. From this angle you can see the tips of several palapas where you can relax and enjoy the sun, sand and view all the while having a cocktail and rolled tacos.

CONTENTS Letter from the Editor


The Wire Travel NEWS you can use


Diversity in Gay Travel: An Interview with Laurence Pinckney of Zenbiz Travel 16

Gay Key West


There’s This Place...


Out n About Roadtrip


BOOK IT! 76 Stories of travelers and how they caught the travel bug. Gaycationers 78 Meet some of the incredible people that have become part of our family of Gaycationers. No You Didn’t 86 Travel stories about I can’t believe it moments that happen while on gaycation Three Perfect Days in Sonoma


Advertising Index


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Letter from the Editor

Welcome to Gaycation Magazine! Gaycation, by its very name, Gaycation evokes a notion of being on any experiential vacation that is specificlally tailored to the lifestyle of the LGBT traveling community. I am elated to introduce Gaycation Magazine to an LGBT traveling community yearning for more from their travel magazine than naked torsos and gyrating 20 somethings on the cover and within the pages. The magazine will feature unique and off the beaten path gay friendly destinations and our strories will be a mixture of professionally written travel pieces and reader submitted content. Our goal is to create a publication that reflects the experiences of the seasoned and occassional traveler and encourages interaction between Gaycation and our readers on a personal level. I recognize that today’s mature, sophisticated LGBT travelers demand more than the superficial, the mass-produced, the mass-consumed and the mass-experienced. As two people who are also in that group my husband and I always look for the authentic in people, destinations, and products as we travel and we try to go out of our way to



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seek meaningful and memorable connections with the places we visit and the people that we meet. Gaycation Magazine is a fresh voice in LGBT travel offering you10 issues annually that will hopefully inspire you to immerse yourself in your own authentic experiences when you travel that will cultivate and create deep connections between you as the traveler and the places you visit, and the local culture. My team and I will continue to work hard to create a unique, fresh and vibrant gay travel magazine that both inspires you to travel and explore new and interesting destinations outside of the traditional, but also transport you to memorable experiences through insightful travel articles and amazing photography. In an endless ocean of stale content and tired, familiar formats we will continually challenge ourselves to offer our readers a unique and immersive travel experience by meeting and serving the editorial needs of the mature, sophisticated gay traveler worldwide.

The Wire


NEWS you can use...

The Castro Gets Rainbow Crosswalks

First, drinking alcohol is a sure way to lose! Though many travellers might count the free booze as a perk of gambling in Vegas, plying players with drinks is a clear house strategy. “Unless you’re some kind of alcoholic prodigy, your alcohol intake is going to impair your judgment and perceptions,” said Jon Mixon, who grew up in Nevada. “If you want to win, you’ll need to be a teetotaler.”

The whole Castro area is getting a multi-million dollar upgrade. Following West Hollywood’s lead, San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood is getting four rainbow crosswalks at the busy intersection of 18th and Castro streets. The crosswalks are part of a $4.5 million streetscape project that encompasses Castro Street from Market 19th and also includes pedestrian amenities like wider sidewalks, street trees, and better lighting. Drivers will also experience repaved roads and cyclists will have more places to park their two-wheels. The work starts this week and will wrap as early as July, sadly too late for the city’s legendary Pride celebration, though maybe the rainbow crosswalks will make an appearance on season two of Looking.

What the Casinos Won’t Tell You! With a motto like “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, it is no surprise that Sin City has it fair share of secrets, especially when it comes to winning on the casino floor. That said, a few savvy travellers were brave enough to break the code of silence and share a few things that casinos will not tell you about gambling in Las Vegas. 8


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Every game has a house edge, save one. Travellers reiterated over and over again that the house has an edge on every game – but they vary by type. Ilya Veygman, a software engineer in Menlo Park, California, and Jenn Tseng, a hotel operations professional in Las Vegas, agreed that roulette has by far the worst odds of the popular table games. While the generally accepted house edge is 5% for a double-zero roulette wheel, 1.4 % for the pass line in craps (the game’s standard bet) and only 0.28% for blackjack, Mixon mentioned that the smaller casinos in Vegas might have slightly better odds, as they cannot afford to retain the best dealers. As for the game with the best odds, Don Dawson, a Las Vegas resident, suggested live poker. “All other games favor the house. It’s the only game where the casino does not take money directly from the player,” he said. “It is strictly up to you and your skill on how much you win or lose.” You must play “max bet” on slots to win big. “If you play slots, there’s no point playing the lowest bet,” said Tseng. “Max bet = max win.” The maximum bet is usually two or three times the advertised price; for example, the maximum bet on a 25 cent machine will usually be 50 or 75 cents.

PROVINCETOWN your vacation just got sexier


Casinos are built to disorient. It can be a challenge to find your way out of a casino once you find your way in. “Casino floors are labyrinthine by design,” said Veygman. “You get lost because you’re supposed to, then you grab a seat at a slot machine or blackjack, and voila! You drop some cash gambling.” For the same reason, you will never see a clock in a casino. “They don’t want you to say, ‘It’s getting late. Time to turn in,’” said Garrick Saito, a Los Angeles resident. “The longer you play, the more likely it is you’ll lose.”

connection we make over the Internet, Airbnb involves an x-factor — the person at the other end of the wireless connection. Misterbnb, a web service launched last spring, takes an Airbnb-esque approach to finding lodging, but it tailors its service to LGBT people and their allies, helping to assure users their experience will be an open and respectful one.

Win, then walk away. According to almost everyone, the only real way to take home cold hard cash from Vegas is by stopping while you are ahead. “You are only going to win once or twice during your entire stay,” said Mixon. “When you do, stand up and leave. If you don’t, you’ll end up losing it all back – with interest.”

PVR-This is What a Gay Destination Should Be!

Source: Purple Roofs/Passport Author: Jake Folsom

Source: BBC News Author: Lindsey Galloway Photo: John Howard/Getty

Competition for Gay travelers has been really heating up in the past few years, with cities large and small vying for what is perceived to be a bonanza in pink dollars.

You’ve probably heard the buzz about the web service Airbnb–a cursory glance at Google News will show that the website is a hot topic. While San Francisco has made headlines for its banning of the DIY apartment-rental service, Airbnb is becoming increasingly popular as an option in lieu of expensive hotel rates. But convenient, affordable, and hyped as the service may be, some people (even those outside SF) have hangups about the website. Like any 10


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It’s true that Gay folks travel more than their Straight counterparts... and often spend more when they travel. But not every place that’s competing for your vacation dollars has the infrastructure in place to truly welcome LGBT visitors. And, while true that we are as diverse as society itself, and we all have our own expectations and interests in what we want out of our vacation, the “Gay Destination” still seems to be very much in the vernacular of Gay travel. We see the evidence for this in multiple surveys that ask LGBT respondents what cities are “most-visited” or “most-wanted-tovisit.” Building up the infrastructure to become a truly world-class “Gay destination” requires time, capital investment, and a willing partnership between city governments and private entrepreneurs. It’s more than a marketing program launched last month or last week. A general culture of welcoming acceptance - not “tolerance,” - but honest, heartfelt

welcoming acceptance, is obviously vital for any destination hoping to capture a share of the Gay travel market. Local government - including but not limited to the local Tourism Board - has to be supportive to the point of investing resources and having local politicians out front, vocalizing their support and welcome. And they must back up nice words with action on behalf of the local and visiting Gay community. Private sector entrepreneurs play perhaps the most vital, and challenging, role of all. For a city to become a serious contender as a gay travel destination there has to be a diverse business and arts community able to cater to the needs and desires of a Gay community that is anything but homogeneous. That certainly means having a broad offering of gay nightlife. Not just one big Gay dance club - but also a diversity of options, for daytime and nighttime activities. That might mean great shopping; sports and outdoor adventure; art and culture such as galleries, theater and cabaret offerings; and of course, accommodations to fit a broad range of budgets and tastes. All of this brings to mind one of my favorite Gay destinations: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Puerto Vallarta seriously has a lot going for it as a Gay resort destination. Besides being gorgeous - it’s nestled between the Bay of Banderas and the verdant green slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountains on Mexico’s Pacific coast, it boasts a bustling Gay scene centered in the Zona Romantica, at the south end of the downtown “El Centro” area. And despite the hip martini bars, pulsing dance clubs, and world-class restaurants, the downtown retains a feeling of “Old Mexico,” with cobbled streets, whitewashed buildings with tiled roofs, and Ranchero music blaring from rustic cantinas (some of which are Gay owned and attract many of the sizeable local Gay population.) Among the popular dance clubs, Club Enter, Paco’s Ranch and C.C. Slaughter stand out. These venues get busy late, so before the club, enjoy a cocktail at La Noche (go-go boys and a popular rooftop terrace); or La Margarita (busy, with music that’s just loud enough to have a conversation with friends.) For a basic, friendly cantina-style bar, there’s La Cueva (as “leather/cowboy” as you can get in the tropics), Bar Los Amigos, or Frida’s. For strippers, there’s Antropology and Wet Dreams.

And for something a bit upscale, Garbo’s Piano Bar & Jazz. And these suggestions just scratch the surface! There are at least 20 different options for quenching your nighttime thirst (however you may define it!)... so be sure to check the local Gay Guide to see what’s new and hot! In recent years, the show, theater, and cabaret scene has flourished in Puerto Vallarta. The Palm Cabaret hosts a remarkable array of Gay-favorite talents. Recent shows have included an extended run by Michael Walters as “Dame Edna;” Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace, Sordid Lives); Coco Peru; Bruce Vilanch, and others. The Red Room at Act II Entertainment features lesser-known, but no less talented entertainers, and on the adjacent stage, Act II has produced outstanding local productions of “A Chorus Line,” and “Steel Magnolias.” The Boutique Theater recently produced an outstanding production based on Bob Fosse dance choreography, “Fosse - All that Dance” featuring outstanding local talent. Hungry? There’s more to Puerto Vallarta than tacos and frijoles! While there are great Mexican restaurants, there are options to delight any palate. Mexican favorites include Lesbian-owned El Arrayán, offering unique regional dishes from recipes collected by the owner over many years of travel throughout Mexico; and the gay-friendly and oh-so-popular No Way José! that frequently offers live music, and always offers great service and outstanding, fresh Mexican fare. Of course, you’re right by the sea, so the freshest seafood is everywhere. The local tuna, marlin, snapper, shrimp, and shellfish are on most restaurant menus. And be sure and eat like the locals at least one night of your vacation at a streetside taco stand! Among the best in the Gayborhood is Las Gueras at the corner of Venustiana Carranza and Naranjo. There is great upscale dining with international and fusion menus at Restaurant Trio and Café des Artistes among others. And for the best steak in town, head north to Marina Vallarta (toward the airport, about 15 minutes by taxi) and check out Sonora Grill in the Nima Bay complex. For daytime activities, check out one of the popular Gay day cruises. Diana’s Tours leaves the Los Muertos Beach pier every Wednesday at 9:30 AM. The Wet & Wild Cruise features sexy strippers who truly do get wild while on the high Gaycation Magazine



seas! The Wet & Wild Cruise departs the pier every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:45 AM. Horseback riding tours in the jungle-covered mountains by Juan can be arranged any day of the week, and can be great fun for a Gay group. There is a Gay River Expedition Tour every Monday that includes zip-lining, river tubing, and a mule ride. And if all of that still hasn’t satisfied your need for adventure, you can go swimming with dolphins, go whale watching (December to March), visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, or just check out the local shopping scene. The city also offers a wide range of accommodations. Most gay travelers opt to stay in or near Zona Romantica, within walking distance of bars. Here you’ll find a nice mix of Gay and Gay-friendly options. If you’re on a budget and seek a clean, comfortable, and friendly gay property in the center of the action, check into the 28-room Hotel Mercurio, which is just steps from many gay bars and restaurants (and just a 5-minute walk to the Gay beach), and offers compact but pleasant rooms and a youthful, social vibe - there’s always plenty of frolicking going on around the pool, and the staff is super-friendly. Mercurio offers an outstanding full breakfast buffet each morning, as well as wifi throughout the property and international calling all included in their affordable rates. PV’s famed Blue Chairs Resort is a six-story hotel right on the Gay beach - the location couldn’t be better, but the property underwent some major management changes recently, and it remains to be seen how this will affect the quality of the place. An intimate gay B&B with a stunning view and a quiet location in upscale Conchas Chinas, just south of Zona Romantica, the lovely Arco Iris B&B is run by helpful owners Ran and Thom - the latter is an expert chef who whips up amazingly tasty breakfasts each morning. This elegant hideaway, just a 15-minute walk from the beach, comprises three smartly furnished units, each with sweeping bay views. There are also many condos available for vacation rental in the Zona Romantica and beyond. This option gives you more space, including kitchen where you can do your own cooking and dishwashing, thus saving on (and missing out on) restaurant meals. Most condo rentals do not include maid services, except at additional cost. 12


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Zona Romantica, or Gayborhood, is a compact patchwork of hilly lanes tucked beneath the Sierra Madre foothills. The neighborhood fringes Los Muertos Beach, and narrow auto and pedestrian bridges connect the district with El Centro. The relative isolation of Zona Romantica as well as its elegantly faded veneer and historic charm may very well account for its ever-increasing draw among gay visitors and Bohemian types. It’s a neighborhood that celebrates its insularity and diversity - everyone is welcome, but especially during the bustling high season (from about December through April), certain blocks of Zona Romantica seem at least as gay as the downtowns of Provincetown and Palm Springs. There are a few more general attributes that further enhance Puerto Vallarta’s standing. Although the city has become more expensive as its star has risen, it’s still less costly than many other alluring tropical resorts. Dinner entrees at top restaurants rarely cost more than $25 and often run $10 to $15. Hotel rates, cab rides, cocktails, fashionable clothing, and handcrafted gifts also tend to cost less than those in the Caribbean, Hawaii, or California, although it’s absolutely possible to find high-end exceptions to many of these rules. Although it helps to understand Spanish, you can get by easily in Puerto Vallarta speaking only English. Adding to its draw, this city set stunningly in the center of Bahía de Banderas (the largest natural bay in Mexico) enjoys a spectacular climate. The city is generally dry and breezy with temperatures in the 80s, the exception being the summer rainy season (generally June through September), when highs often reach the 90s (F) and humidity can sometimes be oppressive. Puerto Vallarta receives far fewer international visitors during the summer season, but remains popular with Mexican nationals, particularly from Guadalajara, a city of 7 million within driving distance of Puerto Vallarta. If you don’t mind heat, thunderstorms, and humidity, summer can be a great time to visit Puerto Vallarta and get a true “Mexican” vacation experience, and at prices well below those in the busy winter season. Source: Bandares News Author: Michael Sanchez Photo Caption: Puerto Vallarta has a lot going for it as a gay resort destination. Besides being gorgeous, it boasts a bustling gay scene centered in the Zona Romantica, at.

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Diversity in Gay Travel: An Interview with Laurence Pinckney of Zenbiz Travel by: DJ Doran

Gaycation Magazine had an opportunity to sit down with Laurence Pickney of ZenBiz Travel to discuss the portrayal of ethnic diversity in LGBT travel media and within the travel industry itself. Here’s what he had to say: GM: Can you describe the state of ethnic LGBT travel in today’s market? ZB: I think ethnic travel remains a healthy segment of the overall market. With the power of the Internet, you now have many blogs and websites dedicated to ethnic travel. What you don’t have is major travel companies taking advantage of this market and reaping the potential benefits. At least not to the extent that they could.

GM: What are cruise lines, resorts and airlines doing, if anything to attract more ethnic LGBT travelers? ZB: Well, I see that cruise lines like Norwegian, are doing more as far as putting ethnic images in their advertisements. But, there is so much more that can be done with regard to niche marketing to people-of-color. This market is ripe with potential clients who have expendable income and are ready to travel now. But they are looking for options that speak to them, their family, and their friends. The 16


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big mistake many of these companies make, is they don’t understand the power of groupthink within our disparate communities.

GM: Where do ethnic LGBT travelers get their travel insights and guidance when planning their Gaycations? How do they make travel arrangements? ZB: They could avail themselves to the niche travel agents, like Zenbiz Travel. We do bespoke travel, so it is highly customized. At Zenbiz Travel, our client base is 98% referral. However, there are thousands of websites and blogs online for customers to choose from. Most people will just Google a specific destination to see if there is a local contact. Or, get referrals from friends who have traveled to a destination they are now interested in visiting. We are also seeing many more individuals looking for a group experience. To that end, two to three times per year we offer group excursions for people to choose from. For instance, in September, we will be escorting a group to Salvador de Bahia Brazil for their gay pride, followed by a short trip to Rio. Then in February 2015, we are returning to South Africa for Out2Afrika II, a tenday excursion. We have just added the Focus Sessions Cruise, which is not specifically for the LGBT traveler but rather an edu-tainment music mini-conference cruise helping people navigate marketing and promoting in the music business. Honestly, there is no one destination for obtaining information. Gaycation Magazine hopefully will fill that void.

GM: What can be done to educate and encourage cruise lines and resorts to include a more ethnically diverse program in their itineraries? ZB: Great question. The cruise line, resorts, and villas are in business to make money. Once they can be shown that there is money to be made by catering to people-of-color, they will embrace the market fully. An analogy I would use is the big-box retailers. For decades they didn’t build stores in minority neighborhoods. Once it was determined that there were substantial benefits and profits from these neighborhoods, the building craze commenced. But, it will take outreach on the part of the cruise lines and resorts to properly market to our communities. They need to partner with those proven leaders in the travel business, like Zenbiz Travel.

GM: How can the gay travel industry as a whole do more to present a more inclusive representation of all LGBT travelers?

“Balance Life with Leisure”

GM: Why do cruise lines seem to focus on white males 20 - 30 as their primary target market? ZB: I can’t answer that. I don’t know what the marketing focus for each cruise line is. Some might say that it isn’t in fact white males 20 to 30. However, if you’re talking specifically about all gay cruises or party promoters, they could offer the best answer.

---Laurence Pinckney

ZB: It first takes commitment. As human beings, we tend to stay in an environment that is comfortable. We don’t often expand our comfort-zone outside our bubble. They just need to utilize the resources that are already here, with regard to travel professionals who are people-of-color. But, all it takes is serious commitment to begin.

GM: Do LGBT travel publications accurately portray the diversity of the LGBT traveling community? If not why? ZB: No, unfortunately they don’t. I think again, it is because it is a market with which they are unfamiliar. I honestly couldn’t speculate accurately as to why, because I don’t know. It is a question better posed to the LGBT travel publications. I would love to see the responses.

GM: What can travel publications do to be more inclusive and welcoming to the ethnic LGBT traveler?

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ZB: By covering stories that cater to different segments of the LGBT community. One story doesn’t necessarily fit all. Visual elements that are inclusive can also help. But showing different stories about all segments of the LGBT community would go a long way to capturing how this is a diverse market.

GM: What is the size and scope of this under represented segment of Gay travelers? ZB: According to the Travel Industry Association (TIA), the majority of African American trips (74%) are for leisure, with 44 percent traveling to visit friends or relatives. Twenty-two percent of African American trips are taken for business, including combined business and pleasure purposes. The Minority Traveler reports that compared to travelers overall, nearly three times as many African American trips involve group tours (10% vs. 3%). See more at: dpuf. I couldn’t find any credible numbers for the gay ethnic market. From my personal experience booking trips to locales all over the world, and from budgets up to $25,000 vacations-of-a-lifetime, there are many people-of-color traveling. GM: What is the potential economic impact of ethnic travelers within LGBT travel? ZB: I think the potential is huge. Those companies that get 4,000 white gay men to travel the world could use their expertise and put together a cruise for gay blacks & Latinos and garner the same type of numbers, and most importantly, profits. I am extremely encouraged by the mission of Gaycation Magazine, and I am honored to be in your first edition. I think your publication will be the start of the dialogue and of the opening up of opportunities for providing positive images of the entire LGBT community. That will be a great service for the community at-large.



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Zenbiz Travel, LLC is a special kind of Travel Company that not only manages travel arrangements for groups and individuals, but also offers media, event management and promotion services. Earlier in his career, Laurence Pinckney, Zenbiz Travel’s Principal, worked in various positions in the music industry with some of the world’s biggest entertainers. “Balance Life with Leisure is their motto.”



Welcomes you to Wilton Manors

by: Steven O. Evans, PhD OutClique

What words do you use to describe your ideal gay vacation destination? Or how about a gay place to call home? What things do you look for when searching the map for places, things to do, and new people to meet? Enter Ft Lauderdale and Wilton Manors of Broward County, Florida. For those that look for a combination of fun and sun, this slice of south Florida offers an array of choices. There is, of course, the beaches. With 23 miles of sand and ocean, Ft Lauderdale provides both visitors and locals an oasis for relaxation. A unique experience is Sebastian Beach - Ft Lauderdale’s “gay beach”. Here, beach goers can spend the day with their toes in the sand and soaking up the sun -- all the while enjoying the fashion show of speedo and square-cut swimsuits. It’s not a sight to be missed. Looking for a gay place to stay? There’s no shortage in Ft Lauderdale. With over seventeen guest houses that cater to gay men, visitors have numerous options of places to call home. Not only are the pools heated, but most are clothingoptional. Go “bare as you dare”, one says!

Numerous gay restaurants provide a fun atmosphere for socializing with friends, relaxing, or making a date with that special someone. Beefcake’s offers outdoor dining before you go in to see the boys at Boardwalk. If you’re in the mood for a great burger, Bill’s Filling Station really serves it up. The patio at Georgi’s Alibi is always a great place to eat, especially during their $3 Long Island Iced Tea Thursdays (served up in a quart Mason jar!). The ever popular and fabulous, Rosie’s Bar and Grill, serves up great food with service that can’t be beat. Their motto is “See and Be Seen” and Sundays are the most packed of all with the guys and gals that hang out at this popular venue. Lips offers the ultimate in drag dining. Ever been served mimosas by a guy in a dress? You’re in for a treat with their hilarious shows, one that includes a Sunday Gospel Brunch. Can you say, “Hallelujah!”? The Royal Palms is an all-inclusive guest house

right off Ft Lauderdale Beach. This all gay resort has two heated swimming pools, a full restaurant and bar, as well as monthly themed parties. The gay men and women of Broward County work very hard to provide numerous services to its residents and visitors. Trying to get your head on straight, so to speak? SunServe provides counseling and numerous other services to the LGBT community. Wilton Manors’ Pride Center offers such things as social mixers, education, fitness programs, and support groups. The Impulse Group of Ft Lauderdale throws lavish pool parties and social events to promote safer sex practices and HIV testing. There are also numerous events that are unique to the south Florida gay flavor. Are horses gay? They might be, but Wellington boasts its own weekend of Gay Polo. Want to play ... a sport yourself? Check out the gay tennis club, bowling league, softball teams, run/walk group, and flag football league. So for you pitchers, catchers, ball handlers, and those that like to punt, you have a place to go. Gay Pride is also big in Broward county. Each March, Ft Lauderdale provides two days of events with music, vendors, and a display of the AIDS quilt. June is gay pride for Wilton Manors with clubs open all day and night up and down the drive, music by local and nationally known performers, and a pride parade that would match any others. It’s a hot day of gay pride, drinking, friends, and a weekend full of things to do. Not only does Ft Lauderdale provide numerous musical and theatrical performances (what gay doesn’t love a good show?) at places like the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, but also offers unique gay productions by the Ft Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, Island City Stage, the Kutumba Theater Project, Rising Action Theater, and the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble. With both LGBT themed events and a commonly gay crowd, these make a fun night with friends or that special someone. Another great aspect of Ft Lauderdale is it’s proximity to so many other great, gay travel destinations. A short drive to Miami opens the Gaycation Magazine



door to numerous clubs, restaurants, musical concerts, and gay activities. South Beach, the art deco district, and Lincoln Road are always favorites. Go a few miles north of Ft Lauderdale and travelers can experience the upscale dining and shopping of Palm Beach. Orlando is only a half day drive with Walt Disney World, Gay Days, and One Magical Weekend. And a few hours south takes travelers to Key West with its gay clubs, guest houses, up close view of cruise ships, numerous shopping and dining experiences. Enjoy the journey, as the drive across the bridges of the Florida is Keys is something everyone should experience. Rent a convertible and do it Florida style! So for those that live in south Florida or come for a vacation, there is never a shortage of things to do or guys and gals to meet. The beach, the sun, the warm weather, and the uniqueness of the gay culture makes Ft Lauderdale a great place to be. So, get OUT, be yourself, and enjoy every minute of it.

For a full listing of gay events, venues, and resources, check OUT and www.facebook. com/Outclique.



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Ogunquit Maine, Beautiful Place by the Sea

by: Rick Barber

The year was 1988, probably before many of you were even born. I was a grad student in Boston. Many friends had been talking about this little town in Maine where lots of gay people hang out. It was only an hour or so north of the city. I decided to pull together a few dollars and take a mini vacation. I broke out my gay guide (remember kids, Al Gore had not invented the internet yet), called a couple of B&B’s, found a room, and into my Suzuki Samurai I went and drove to Ogunquit Maine. I arrived at my destination in no time, checked into my B&B and was greeted by friendly hosts who gave suggestions on places to go, including The Front Porch Piano Bar after the beach, and The Club dance bar after dinner. They also mentioned shops and where to go to on the beach (walk to the left until you cross a large anchor rope, and you will see the boys).

Their recommendations were spot on. I remember walking along the beach till I found that rope and the section filled with speedo clad men (not all of them should have been wearing them). I remember The Front Porch, casual tables of men singing showtunes and laughing the afternoon away. I remember the dark low-ceilinged Club, with its loud music & dancing men. I returned to Ogunquit many times with friends, sometimes weekly, for many summers. Then I met a man, settled down and our patterns changed. Fast-forward twenty-something years later and my now husband and I are searching to buy a Bed & Breakfast of our own. We had two criteria: a gay friendly area and ocean. We looked in Provincetown for a bit and then found ourselves searching in Ogunquit and bought Moon Over Maine B&B in 2011. We lived only 45 minutes away at that time. We had come to Ogunquit together often to walk the 28


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Discover Ogunquit... in all seasons

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Experience miles of beautiful sandy beaches, quaint seaport cove, fine dining, superior accommodations and a selection of unique shops and businesses in one convenient location.


Photo Credits: Robert Dennis, David Sullivan and Ogunquit Beach Inn

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MAY 24-26 ~ NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Display JUNE ~ Chamber Music Festival, Lifeguard Dash JULY 4 ~ Independence Day Fireworks! AUGUST 21 ~ Annual Sidewalk Art Show & Sale AUGUST 30 ~ Annual Labor Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale SEPTEMBER ~ Festival of Kites, Lobster Dash OCTOBER 24-26 ~ Annual OgunquitFest NOVEMBER 9 ~ Celebrations by the Sea Wedding Expo DECEMBER 12-14 ~ Annual Christmas by the Sea Celebration

OGUNQUIT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 36 Main Street (US Rt 1), Ogunquit, ME 03907


Marginal Way, to celebrate our anniversary, or to take our dog for a walk on the beach. But we didn’t spend a lot of vacationing time in Ogunquit. Moving here would be like rediscovering a new town we thought. It was more like reconnecting with an old friend. What is fun to realize is that while times have changed, the town really hasn’t. What is still our favorite hangout? The Front Porch Piano Bar. It has been updated and upscaled a bit since the late 80’s, and the crowd is a little more mixed: gay, straight, men, and women. But it still has the same casual, comfortable atmosphere that I remember. Some nights are a little more Billy Joel and Neil Diamond than Patti Lupone and Ethel Merman, but the piano music is still behind all those booming voices singing along.

If piano music isn’t your thing, you can always hangout in the downstairs bar (where you can also indulge on some of the best bar fare in town. The Porch Mac & Cheese is not to be missed). The downstairs bar is filled with locals and visitors alike, no cliques, no drama, just a great place to have a cocktail and meet new friends. The Club may no longer be with us, but MaineStreet is far and above the place to hang out if you are looking for the boom-boom beat. Recently expanded to include a roof top deck, Mainestreet is the place to dance, to meet, to chat, to well, you know… While predominantly a gay dance bar, MaineStreet hosts after beach tea dances, drag and cabaret shows, and theme nights. It’s important to point out here that the owner of MaineStreet, Norm, is very generous and offers his space to the community for several fundraising events.

If it’s shows you are looking for, The Ogunquit Playhouse, now 80 plus years in existence, continues to offer professional productions. Recently Clay Aiken, Tony Nominee Keala Settle, Gay fave Carson Kressley and our annual favorite, Sally Struthers, have appeared on the Ogunquit Playhouse stage; along with countless other Broadway and television personalities. (Admittedly, some a little longer in the tooth than others). We also have the Booth Theater, which provides a space for amateur

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productions, let’s call it Off Off Off Broadway volleyball games, Bocce tourneys, kite festivals, lifeguard competitions and of course the annual (maybe one more off). Labor Day weekend Mr. Gay Ogunquit Contest Ogunquit offers many fantastic restaurants and (aka Mr. Speedo). other smaller local bars (Bessie’s, That Place, Frills, Not to be missed is also the Marginal Way. Five-O, Fresh) as places to hang out day or night. But let’s be honest, during the day, you want to hit Running from the center of the village and ending in charming Perkins Cove, this mile plus walk along the beach. the rocky coast of Ogunquit offers panoramic views Grab your beach towel, a chair and maybe of the Atlantic and Ogunquit Beach. It is a spiritual a boogie board, and walk your way down Main adventure, allowing one to get lost in the beauty Street. Stop in at Village Food Market and pick up and heart that is Ogunquit. a sandwich for lunch. Of course if you are one of I have always experienced Ogunquit as being those “bring everything to the beach” people, fill up the rolling cart or American Flyer wagon and a friendly, welcoming community. That spirit hasn’t stroll down Beach Street. Once you get on the changed in the years I have been coming here. The beach, walk your way along to what we call Section locals and annual visitors have a passion for their G. Ogunquit Beach has been rated pretty high on “home” and love to share that passion with everyone many beach & travel site rankings (regionally and who visits. When planning that first visit 25 years nationally). The effect of this is more people on the ago, one B&B did not have any availability, but the beach, straight and gay. The crowds tend to thin owner invited me to Happy Hour to welcome me to out the further you walk down the beach, so fear town. That welcome is still alive and well in town, and I am so proud and thankful to be a part of it. not, there is room for everybody. Come visit! You won’t be sorry you did! The anchor rope I remember is no longer there, Rick Barber is the owner and innkeeper but now the dunes are marked with numbers. I tell of Moon Over Maine B&B with his husband people to look for the number 3. Of course, if you Mark. He has lived in Ogunquit for three are spending time looking for the number 3 and not years and is also an amateur photographer, at the hot boys prancing around in their speedos a local Realtor and serves on the Board of Directors for the Ogunquit Chamber of … we can’t help you. The beach is the home of Commerce.



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OGT Marketplace Amore Breakfast & Cafe Amore 309 Shore Rd Ogunquit, ME 207-646-6661 Hours 7 am to 1 pm

Gay Owned and Operated


<($56 ) $025


Featured on Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels

Summer in Salem! Go Out Loud Ushers Summer Sea Cruise Events For EVERYONE This Summer! For the latest events, merch, news & tickets :


Here are the events and shows Gaycation Magazine will be attending. We’re always adding more and looking for that special event for us to be at. If you would like us to attend your event, please let us know at SEE YOU SOON!

May 1 - 4 2014 Southern Maine Aids Walk Ogunquit Maine 207-774-6877 x8013

August 9 - 10 2014 Northalsted Market Days 3656 North Halsted Chicago, Illinois 773-868-3010

June 3 - 9 2014 Gay Days Orlando Orlando Florida 407-896-8431

August 16 - 18 2014 Montreal Pride

June 11 - 15 2014 Key West Pride 513 Truman Ave Key West Florida 305-294-4603

October 4 - 8 2014 Maui Pride Maui Hawaii

June 20 - 29 2014 World Pride Toronto 14 Dundonald St Toronto Ontario Canada 416-927-7433

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Travel series “Trip Out” Showcasing Luxurious Destinations & Events for the LGBT Community

Hosted By: Kristin R. Thomas

5 & Dime

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Movie-Screen Eyeglasses Plug your iPod into these eyeglasses, sit back, and you’ll feel like you’re in a movie theater. A tiny, rechargeable built-in lithium ion battery provides up to five hours of continuous use (perfect for domestic crosscountry flights). According to the company’s own marketing materials, this streamlined number transforms you from geek to chic: “Now you can look fashionable while enjoying the big-screen movie experience.” Look for them in this month’s Vogue (or not).; $294.99.

Stash Card This tiny, fiddly card slides into that empty PCMCIA slot in your laptop and turns it into a hidden safe. There’s only one problem: hiding valuables inside a valuable? It seems somewhat, well, counterproductive.; $9.95.

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The Green Mountain State of Vermont by: MK Bateman

Every March, Vermonters crowd into their town halls to make decisions about their communities. Without concern for race, creed, religion, education level or sexual orientation, each person is given the opportunity to stand up and have his or her voice heard. Live and let live, this is the philosophy here and it pervades every level of life. And, with some of the most progressive laws on the books protecting the LGBT community, Vermont is the place to come, be yourself and experience the charm, acceptance and beauty of this magnificent place. The best way to describe the Green Mountain State may be this way: cosmopolitan rural. While the phrase seems like a contradiction, it’s actually a perfect description. Vermont has one of the highest percentages of college degree earners, yet with only around 626,000 residents, it has one of the lowest population densities in the nation. As stewards of their land, few places have better caretakers than Vermonters – they don’t even allow billboards on their highways. What you’ll find then, is a land basically untouched by the development boom of the last 30 years: pristine, bucolic, charming, and with a unique sophistication all its own. No matter what time of year you visit, Vermont’s natural beauty will not disappoint. The LBGT community is deeply engrained in the culture of Vermont, yet the state is different from other popular gay tourist destinations in its reserved nature. To its core, this is hard working, buckle-down, 38


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and pragmatic New England. You would do yourself a disservice, however if you confuse reserved with conservative. After all this is the left coast of New England in every sense of the word. While people may be caught off guard by public displays of affection, it’s not a gay thing – they’d have a similar response to any couple. One thing that Vermont does better than most places in the US is branding itself. Whether you’ve visited here or not, if someone were to ask you to list some quintessential Vermont symbols, you’d probably come up with pretty consistent answers. How about skiing, maple syrup, farms with grazing livestock on rolling pastures, covered bridges, and fall foliage? True, the Green Mountain State has these things in abundance, but to dig no deeper is to miss all the things that make modern Vermont so vibrant. For one, the localvore movement – eating food grown or produced in local communities – is a cornerstone of life in the Green Mountains. For visitors this means truly amazing, fresh cuisine at Farm to Table restaurants, like Hen Of The Wood. You can’t get fresher than a hamburger from a local farm that’s ground to

order, a salad collected from the organic farm up the road or a dessert with blueberries picked at the peak of flavor. The food movement isn’t just about amazing restaurants. Cheese makers like Vermont Creamery, Grafton Village Cheese, and Jasper Hill Farm have created internationally awarded cheeses without equal. Vermont’s locally crafted beers are becoming such a craze that beers like the Alchemist’s Heddy Topper have developed a near cult following. Artisanal bakeries such as Red Hen Bakery and King Arthur Flour produce delicious breads and pastries, many times using local or heirloom wheat. And lest we forget ice cream – there isn’t a person reading this who doesn’t have a favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor! Modern Vermont’s style isn’t just found in its food, however. While the iconic general store sells all manner of product in most communities, don’t miss the chance to visit the treasure trove of artisans, handcrafting everything from pottery, to woven goods, to glass and wood. Whether you have a specific time of the year you’d like to visit, or you’d rather concentrate on a region – there is ample opportunity to Gaycation Magazine



design the perfect getaway. The question becomes what type of vacation would you like? How about a quintessential New England White Christmas with world class skiing? Would you like a week of sailing and swimming on Lake Champlain? Are you looking for hikes on the Long Trail and scenic vistas? Perhaps you seek quaint towns with great outlet shopping? Or are you looking for a destination wedding like nowhere else? All of these and more are available. It is much the same for your lodging. If you’re seeking the pampered relaxation of a 4-Diamond resort there’s the Essex Culinary Resort and Spa. If your sensibilities lean towards urban chic, then try the Hotel Vermont, a boutique hotel recently opened in Burlington. Of course, you would be remiss if you didn’t spend some time in one of the beautiful Bed and Breakfasts that dot the landscape. A warm fire, a cozy bed, and a hot cup of morning coffee will make for an essential Vermont experience. Keep in mind, many B&B’s are gay-owned and



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operated, allowing you to find just the right fit and support your community. Most of you have certainly experienced your fair share of seasonal weather. However, if you’ve never enjoyed the four seasons in Vermont, then you are in for a magical experience. Not many places change so dramatically throughout the year. In the winter, you’ll find crystal blue skies, a white cover of snow, and the green of ever-present pines, set against the hills and mountains: stark and pristinely beautiful. It’s the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities like skiing and snowshoeing or for more relaxing pursuits like a good book and a picture window. After the winter thaw, there’s a moment in the early spring when the tiny buds on trees are so vibrant they almost seem to glow. Then, suddenly the trees bloom and what had just been a dormant landscape is suddenly alive with sights, sounds and smells. This is the time of year to try Sugar on Snow, a local tradition

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where warm maple syrup is poured over snow. When it reacts to the cold it turns to a taffylike treat that’s a favorite for locals and visitors, alike.

experience this for yourself. Go apple picking, get lost in a corn maze, or sip some hot cider by the fireplace at the Trapp Family Lodge. You will be happy you did.

Summer in Vermont is like no other. The tree-lined mountains are so dense they seem as billowy as cotton. The rivers come alive with swimming holes, lakes teem with kayaks and canoes, hiking and nature trails abound, and Farmers Markets re packed with local goods. The hidden secret however, is the mild temperatures and low humidity (rarely raising above the mid 80° mark). While sweltering temperature force others inside for the relief of air conditioning, Vermonters are sleeping with their windows open and fresh mountain air blowing.

Vermont is a state of mind and particularly appealing for gay and lesbian travelers for its live and let live philosophy. Come experience the beauty and charm of the Green Mountains, safe in the knowledge that we are all members of its community.

It’s autumn, however, that Vermont is at its most impressive. The birch, maples, oaks, and elms come together to form the most beautiful mosaics of fall colors to be seen anywhere in the U.S. Travel the scenic byways of the Mad River Valley or the Northeast Kingdom to

MK Bateman is a writer and recovering urbanite, based in Central Vermont. After more than ten years in the Entertainment Industry, he shifted gears to complete an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco. Relocating to New York City, he worked as a Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager before journeying into the world of freelance writing. He has written and blogged about an assortment of subjects, including travel, food, cinema, health, and web content. He is currently working on his first novel.




We warmly welcome you to the LGBT Visitor Center, the proud voice of all things gay in Miami and the Beaches. We’re located in Old City Hall in the heart of South Beach at 1130 Washington Ave., Suite 100, Miami Beach, FL 33139. To plan your next vacation in fabulous Miami Beach, go to or call us at 305/397-8914. MAR Winter Party

APR Miami Beach Gay Pride Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

MAY Aqua Girl Sizzle Miami

JUN Out in the Tropics

JUL Miami Beach Bruthaz Conference

OCT Orgullo

LGBT VISITOR CENTER •1130 WASHINGTON AVENUE, 1ST FLOOR, MIAMI BEACH • This ad made possible through the support of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. For a complete listing of events, please visit Additional support generously provided by:

NOV White Party

Postcards GLAM OUTing to Snake Mountain Vermont

Somewhere in VT at a country store...

Cruising Through Savannah, GA

Queen of Salem with Samantha Statue

Autumn’s Cold Atlantic Water Ogunquit, ME

WINNING! Seneca Falls Casino, Buffalo, NY

Show off your Gaycation by sending us your photos and we might put `em here!

Key West Business Guild Mixer

Ogunquit, ME beach in October

Benny, the 100 lb Chocolate Moose, VT

Come Out Travel & MaineStreet, Ogunquit

Refreshing Cold One, Key West, FL

Six Flags Gay Days Chicago, IL

It’s ok, It’s Fat Free, Somewhere in VT

Roadtrippin’ Scarborough, ME

Thirsty at Flying Monkey Key West, FL

Touring the Old First Church, Bennington, VT

Business After Hours, Ogunquit, ME

Niagara Falls, NY (Canadian Side)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar Key West, FL

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar Key West, FL

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory with GLAM and RU12? Community Center Group Photo Op

rhythm to th e l t b is li su ttle a s i e isla Ther nd in


the stream..

photo courtesy of Terri Brentnall Photography

by: Guy A Ross Key West Business Guild

If you don’t live here or if you’ve not been born here you might miss it. But it’s definitely here. You can feel it, sense it, and sometimes even taste it. A gentle cadence that impels you to breathe deeply, lower your shoulders, chill. One of the bestselling bumper stickers in Key West warns: “Slow Down! This Ain’t the Mainland!” Locals call themselves “conchs” pronounced “konks,” like the shell. If you were born here on the island you’re considered a “salt water conch” or “bubba conch” or just “conch.” If you moved to Key West more than ten years ago you’re called a “fresh water conch.” But the official motto of the City and the bumper sticker that you will find affixed to all City vehicles explains who we really are: “One Human Family.” It’s more than a motto too—this little island lives it! If you want to experience Key West like a local, get on a bike—you know, the kind you peddle. We call our home the “two by four” island because it’s approximately 2 miles wide and 4 miles long. So you can get from one end to the other in a matter of minutes even if you have to dodge tourists and chickens. And at any given intersection on the island 52


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you might breathe in a heady mix of fragrant tropical flowers: confederate jasmine, ligustrum, euphorbia, allamanda, gardenias, angels trumpets, frangipani. And always the salt air on the breeze. Riding down any of the charming streets in Old Town lined with the highest concentration of wooden 19th century architecture in North America, you are likely to pass an artist or two deep in concentration over their easels. Or you might encounter a walking tour group following their docent like eager little ducks. And everywhere people nod hello. It’s that kind of place. Chances are, once you get to the other side of the island you’re on a beach. That’s right— Key West really does have beaches! Now these aren’t the kind of broad beaches of north Florida where you can drive your car up and down the strand. But they are indeed lovely sandy beaches that offer all the sun and fun you could ask for. Many locals are partial to the quiet sandy stretch known as Higgs Beach. Others opt for the long sweep of beach that winds all the way out to the airport known as Smathers Beach. But real locals know that Fort Zachary Taylor (aka Fort Liz Taylor) with its whispering shady pines and

shallow shore is the best place on the island just to relax with friends. That’s not to say that this island doesn’t know how to party. Key West is world renowned for its events like Fantasy Fest, Songwriter’s Conference, Womenfest, Tropical Heat and yes, Key West Pride. Over the years our island parties have developed and grown into international events. And each year even more people discover the charms and unique energy of these events. Locals look forward to each of these annual festivals like the changing of the seasons, comparing notes as to which year was the most fun or the most unusual or the most outrageous. These events contribute their own measure of rhythm to life here on the island. One particular event that locals still talk about is Key West Pride 2003 when the world’s longest Gay Pride Rainbow flag was unfurled the entire 1.25 mile length of famed Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The creator of the original rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, flew from San Francisco to Key West and for seven months supervised the fabrication of this fabulous flag. On the morning of June 15, 2003 more than 3,000 volunteers organized by the Key West

photo courtesy of Terri Brentnall Photography Business Guild held and pulled and hoisted the enormous flag all the way down Duval Street. And today it is still one of the most iconic images of Key West seen by millions around the world. After Key West Pride 2003, the famous flag was cut into 100-foot sections which were then sent to nearly every city in North America that sponsored a gay Pride celebration. Conchs are proud whenever visitors make a point to thank them for sending a part of their remarkable flag to their city’s celebration. It is the island’s way of spreading the message of “One Human Family!” And the rhythm continues.

With the gentle

breezes from Cuba, the fragrant explosion of the Royal Poincianas, and the night harmonies of the tiny rain frogs comes Key West Pride. Time again to unfurl our island hospitality and show our friends old and new that they are not just merely accepted here, but truly embraced. When we say “Come as you are!” we mean it. Key West is indeed “close to perfect, far from normal.” Bring your tee shirt and flip flops, order a proper island drink, listen to some fabulous live island music, gaze at the astonishing southern night sky. And get into the rhythm. When you do, you will not want to leave. It’s that kind of place! Guy Ross has lived in Key West for 17 years but his love affair with the island began long before then. He is Executive Director of the Key West Business Guild, the oldest LGBT destination marketing organization in North America. Guy’s husband owns the best day spa on the island and makes the best mojito ever.

For additional information please visit: Key West Business Guild at and Gay Key West Florida at

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The other kind of gay cruising. Caribbean Windjammer

INTIMATE Our private charter is host to just 24 guests, not 2,400 passengers. And our crew of ten is always ready to attend to your needs.

RELAXING Kick off your shoes while you feel the warmth of the Caribbean sea breezes. Leave the world-class DJ behind and enjoy the sounds of island tranquility.

INCLUSIVE Surrounded by like-minded gay men, let the camaraderie fuel your sense of adventure with breathtaking hikes on the islands of Nevus and St. Barths, snorkeling the crystal clear waters of St. Kitts or floating on a noodle in the shadows of our ship. And it’s all included, no sticker shock bar tab at the end of the week! Pricing includes all onboard meals and snacks, beverages, beer and wine, snorkel gear, guided hikes, taxes and port charges.

Inaugural Sailing October 19-25, 2014 From $1,699 per person or call 727.776.5213 for more information

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Submission Guidelines Article Sections Features Stories and photos of interest to travelers about destinations, adventures or events. Typically 1000 - 1300 words.

There’s This Place (Feature) Stories on a hotel or resort describing the property and amenities. Must include photos of the interior, exterior and special features. Typcially 750 - 1000 words

Out n About Stories from LGBT travelers from around the globe. Typically 750 - 1000 words.

Book It! Short stories of when, why and how you caught the travel bug. Typically 750 - 1000 words.

Postcards Photos from your gaycation showing off the great time you had while traveling. Your submission should include your name(s) and location of your trip.

Gaycationers Photos with accompanying describing the photo. Description typically 150 words

No You Didn’t Short stories about common and uncommon travel related mistakes and resolutions. Typically 500 - 750 words.

Kids on Gaycation Short stories about gay travel with children. Typically 750 - 1000 words.


Any articles, photos or information submitted to Gaycation Magazine become the sole property of Gaycation Magazine. The views and opinions stated throughout the magazine are not necessarily the view and opinion of Gaycation Magazine. Gaycation Magazine and its affiliates will not knowingly publish or advertise information, which is fraudulent or misleading. The Publisher reserves the right to edit, limit, revise, or reject any submission without cause. Gaycation and its affiliates assue no financial responsibility for typographical errors. If any arrors are found, please notify Gaycation Magazine immediately. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the Publisher. Pay rates can be found on our website. Please send images in hi-res and articles to

There’s This Place... by: DJ Doran

Snout ‘n About… In the Bahamas there is a district called Exuma. Exuma is made up of around 360 islands large and small but among them is one island in particular is unique. Officially the island is called Big Major Cay, but locals also have a name for it because of its unusual inhabitants, Well ummm.. Pigs. Thats right! These swimming pigs have become so famous that they actually have an island named after them and the beach is unofficially known as Pig Beach by the locals… Because locals and tourists alike bring food, the pigs will run into the water and actually swim out to incoming boats, as

if to greet and welcome them to the dining table. It may seem strange enough on its own to see pigs laying around on a tropical beach of white sand surrounded by Palm Trees, but to see them then charge into the water to greet oncoming boats is just plain bizarre. There are of course there are the rumors and Legen… wait for it… dary tales of how these now feral pigs and their ancestors came to be bovine castaways on an uninhabited tropical pile of sand, but If you ask the locals and tourists they will gladly tell you that they were dropped off on Big Major Cay by bunch of hungry swabbies who had every intention of coming back to cook and eat them, but Gaycation Magazine



Swimming pigs of “Pig Island”

luckily for the these little bacons in the makin, they never returned; Through the years the pigs seem to have been able to eek out enough food to survive and thrive on from the food dumped by passing ships to keep them, well fed and fat. Another legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore, while yet another claims that the pigs really escaped from a nearby islet or that the pigs were part of some business scheme gone wrong to attract tourists to the Bahamas. You are probably already asking yourself the same question that has popped into the minds

of everyone that has visited the island. “Why would anyone want to swim with pigs”? A glance through these unusual photographs will answer that question for you. You do it because the surroundings are incredible and the water is warm,inviting and clear. You can’t help but to jump in the water with the pigs because it is by itself a unique experience. It is so unique that movie stars like Johnny Depp and Nicholas Cage and more have come to the Bahamas just for the experience. Mind you these are not dirty smelly barnyard piggies, but rather they are feral pigs that were seemingly abandoned on the island during some long ago forgotten point in history. Regardless of how or why they arrived on their island, the 20 or so little piggy’s accompanied by a couple of stray cats and goats are now fed by the locals and tourists alike and the island has become officially known as Pig Beach by the locals.



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Out n About Roadtrip by: DJ Doran

I think all of us have dreamed at one time or another about hitting the road and exploring this seemingly vast and diverse country at a pace slower and more relaxing than the oftentimes frenetic pace of jetting about from airport to airport. Such was the case with Joe and I. We had just finished living aboard our 60’ sailboat in San Francisco for 3 1/2 years (That’s another story for another issue) and found ourselves between adventures and visiting our family in the Pacific Northwest for a few months. As with all nomadic, adventurous types, we soon felt the familiar pangs of restlessness that always seemed to precede our next big adventure. Don’t get me wrong, we thoroughly enjoyed the renewed connection to our family, the big dinners, movie nights on the couch, our daughter, niece, grandkids and much more, but we both realized that the time was rapidly approaching for us to continue on our journey. Joe and I pondered what else we could try that would satisfy our wanderlust for adventure and travel and we playfully bantered about ideas of buying a small plane and flying wherever the wind took us (I am a pilot), I suggested a hot air balloon with a cabin hanging underneath and some sort of propulsion system as a unique mode of transportation. How cool would that be? Awesome, right? Yeah, I thought so too, but Joe put his foot firmly down on that possibility (although I am still optimistically hopeful that I may be able to convince him otherwise at some point in the future so stay tuned). Finally after some back and forth discussions we decided that our immediate next step was to just leave Portland even though we did not have all of the parts of our grand plan in place. Our good friends Mel and Trena who lived just west of Chicago had invited us to come and stay with them for the summer and after a brief discussion, a quick calculation of our finances and a little research of flights, we agreed that the time to buy our airline tickets was NOW. There really is something kinetic about buying tickets to somewhere; it doesn’t matter whether we travel on a plane, train, or ship. The thought of travelling someplace always makes our hearts beat a little faster. Neither Joe nor I knew 66


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what lay ahead of us beyond arriving in Chicago, only that “something” did, and that alone made the trip to the Windy City even more exciting for us. Our next big adventure was about to start and as the wise Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu once said, “The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step” and jetting off to Chicago was our first step. We once again said our farewells to our family and departed Portland for Chicago on a clear and brisk spring day in April of 2013. We spent the summer enjoying our time with Mel and Trena and even helped them launch a gourmet donut shop! We learned how to golf with Trena, we sat around the backyard fire-pit surrounded by a pair of immense but docile English Mastiffs named Bogart and Pumpkin. We puffed on cigars, sipped martinis and went to the movies. A LOT. It was a perfect

prelude to what was to come next. We discussed our plans with them about taking a yearlong road trip across the USA as we relaxed on the couch watching movies or around the dinner table and at every summer BBQ. We realized that this could not be just any old ROAD TRIP, but rather one on a scale that only Joe and I could imagine for ourselves! We decided that our road trip was to be a yearlong adventure across the United States exploring all of the things that we had always wanted to see. We shared opinions about how we thought our relationship would fare being in such close quarters for long periods of driving in a car, how long it would take before we got sick of living out of suitcases, how long before we were sick of each other, and what it would be like staying in different hotels every night. We imagined what it would be like to be without a real home for that long and would we miss not having a dog or a cat or even a bird? Would we miss our friends and family during the holidays and birthdays, etc.? Our original plan was to buy another Jeep Wrangler because we had recently driven our old 1997 Jeep Wrangler from San Francisco to Palm Springs CA through the desert to Scottsdale AZ and on to Las Vegas before driving

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back to San Francisco and then up to Portland Oregon during an impromptu month long road trip. We had a wonderful time just going where we wanted with no timetable or real plan. We loaded the back seat with suitcases and supplies and bought one of the trailer hitch platforms where you can load even more of your stuff. We drove whatever number of miles per day that suited us and stopped when we were tired or just wanted to explore. We lingered or departed places based purely on our level of interest and curiosity and we never missed an opportunity to take detours along the way if one grabbed our attention or presented itself. It was an experience that both of us enjoyed and it reminded us of an alternative way to travel that is rarely done and it allowed us to once again experience a type of freedom and spontaneity that we had forgotten and deprived ourselves of for many years. Little did we know then that it would serve as a primer for what was to come. After some careful thought and recalling many fond memories of that rough riding road trip in our Jeep, we decided that we needed to consider another

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Gay friendly St. Pierre Island! Be sure to see our August issue featuring this fabulous Gaycation destination just off the coast of Newfoundland!

Un rendez-vous élégant L’escale française par excellence, que ce soit pour des vacances ou un voyage d’affaires. Dans le confort luxueux d’une demeure historique située en plein centre-ville de Saint-Pierre, à 200 mètres du traversier. Une expérience exquise vous attend.

For a holiday, getaway or business trip... NSP is the quintessential French experience. Indulge yourself in modern luxuries. In the centre of town and a mere 200 meters from the ferry terminal our heritage building is a haven of elegance. An exquisite experience awaits you.

À Nuits Saint-Pierre le petit déjeûner est inclus At Nuits Saint-Pierre, breakfast is included

orial du To rrit

isme ur

Prix Te

Une petite faim? Besoin d’un cadeau ou d’un souvenir? A tad hungry? Need a gift or a souvenir? Rendez-vous au rez-de-chaussée de l’hôtel aux Délices de Joséphine Visit Les Délices de Joséphine on the main floor of the hotel

10 rue du Général Leclerc, BP 4445, 97500 Saint-Pierre et Miquelon 011 508 41 20 27 | 011 508 55 59 82 (cell)

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type of vehicle for a road trip of this duration and scale. Jeeps are awesome and for the most part Joe and I got along fine, but you know, we had this sense that we had “been there, done that” and both of us wanted to try something different, something unique that would be completely, you know, Joe and DJ. We considered Luxury SUV’s, Hummers (no comments please!) and various cars. We carefully weighed comfort, fuel efficiency, safety and more, but nothing struck us as the “One”. After what seemed like years, we finally decided on our departure date, route and most importantly our vehicle. We were going to buy a motor home! Right away we were confronted with questions such as, what model? Diesel or Gas powered, what length? With each new question that we answered another one reared its head. We began our search on the Internet and looked all across the country for the right one. We did not want to finance our purchase so our search was limited by our budget. Joe was more concerned with amenities

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and conveniences and my main priority was safety, systems and character. I figured if she was reliable and safe then we could always make do with everything else. We drove from here to there test driving all sorts of motor homes of various shapes and sizes but we just never felt like we had found the one for us. We had set a window for departure that was attached to the weather so we could make it through New England and see the fall foliage before the snow and winter came and that window was closing more and more during each passing day. We enjoyed the waning days of our visit with our friends, but like all good things we knew this too was coming to end. We had committed to stay with them for the summer and the weather was turning cooler each day as fall slowly roused from its long slumber making its presence felt. With our type of vehicle now firmly agreed upon, we jumped into the deep end of the planning process. Where do we want to go, what do we want to see? When do we want to leave Chicago? Over the next few days and weeks we researched others who had gone before us on similar road trips. We spent 74


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time in bookstores pouring over magazines and books about Route 66 from Chicago to LA, Route 101 up and down the west coast and everything in between, including Alaska. We slowly but surely began to create the framework of our potential route. During our many hours of research about the best and most reliable motor homes I had come across a little known brand called the Blue Bird Wanderlodge. This particular motor home was a luxury coach that was built by the Blue Bird Company located in Atlanta Georgia. Yes, it is the same company that still builds school busses today. With its signature flat nose and blue bird emblem above the drivers and passenger side windows, it is a solid motorhome built on a steel freightliner truck frame. I found her, the one that would satisfy both Joe and my requirements. But the problem I encountered was that the year and model I wanted was almost impossible to find but using the Internet, I searched all over the US for one that would be able to carry us on our journey. They are in very high demand and as soon as I found one it would just as quickly be sold. With hope fading and time running short I began to accept the fact that wee would have to purchase a traditional motor home and hopefully “trade up” during our road trip. But like a sign from above on the very day that I was to meet a seller and purchase a different motor home I was suddenly inclined to look “one more time” on craigslist in the Chicago section. I just finished taking a shower and was getting dressed as I typed the words Blue Bird Wanderlodge in the search bar and it happened… One listing Bogart. RIP March 2014. You’ll be missed big guy! appeared. I quickly clicked on it and there she was. A Blue Bird Wanderlodge. The right colors, paint scheme, # of miles and amenities. I couldn’t believe it. I clumsily picked up the phone and called as I finished getting dressed and yelled out to Joe. An older gentleman answered and said yes she was still for sale. I asked where she was and he told me Yorkville, I Googled it as we made plans for me to meet him and see it and almost gasped when I realized Yorkville was less than 20 miles away. Joe and I raced to the car and sped toward Yorkville. We arrived in less than 30 minutes and there she was. I knew she was the “One” the moment I laid eyes on her. After a brief tour and test drive I made my offer and he accepted. We had our Motorhome, our Chariot, and our Home for the next year. Life was good! Now for the hard part, getting her ready!

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Stories of travelers and how they caught the travel bug.

I have always been “Different.” I believe that there is something inside those of us that are not satisfied living life according to what others think you should do that drives us through our passions. I do not know why I cannot live in one place or do the same thing year in and year out; it’s just not in my blood I suppose. That is not to say that I believe that the people who chose that lifestyle are somehow flawed or less in some way, on the contrary, there have been many times where I found myself wishing that I could live in the same town for years and work and play with the same people that I grew up with. I wondered what it was like to be happy living in a house with a yard, raising a family and not have that feeling the gut wrenching feeling of restlessness for adventure and exploration that coursed through my veins and made it so easy for me to sell most of my belongings and just go! I am the middle child of a large Italian/Irish family made up of 4 boys and 1 sister with loving and protective parents. From my earliest recollection I have had this burning desire to do more, see more, live more experience more. I have always loved airplanes and flying and I remember telling my parents that someday I would be a pilot, forgetting the fact that I almost died several times as an infant from acute anemia, pneumonia, a heart murmur, a pinhole in my ear drum and a plethora of other maladies. I loved and excelled in math, science and reading and my world was always filled with the adventures and escapades of characters in the books that I read. Each story opened an imaginary window to the life I yearned for and inspired me to continuously reach for more than the expected ordinary. As I got older, my body struggled to keep up. I was skinny as a rail and a pale-ish shade of white with a slight stutter. Not really the best recipe for an active and fulfilling social life to be sure, so I often withdrew into my books. I found inspiration from those characters that faced and overcame their fears to achieve their goals. I ignored all of the advice that I should somehow lower my expectations about becoming a pilot borne out of the fears of others unwilling or unable to take the risk to go after their dreams or out of some misplaced sense of paternal like protection. I wanted to see 76


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the world and live the life that I had envisioned for myself and I couldn’t let anyone take that from me no matter how well intentioned they were. I worked hard during speech therapy to overcome my stutter because I knew that as a future pilot, I could not stutter. This was my motivation and source of discipline. I studied hard in math, science and reading comprehension because I came to realize that if I could read it, understand it and apply it, I could do ANYTHING. My parents were not overly active in my education and I understood and accepted that they had a big family to worry about and provide for and with only a finite amount of time to devote to each of us, so I knew early on that I would have to figure out my own path, take charge of my own future. All through junior high school I excelled in my studies and eventually skipped a grade at the advice of a guidance counselor. Though it was great for my scholastic future, it destroyed whatever social life I had left. I looked like I was 12 when I had achieved enough credits to graduate and could have gone to most any college that I chose, but I instead wanted to join the USAF. I had joined ROTC and Civil Air Patrol in my sophomore year and found a support and guidance network among fellow flight enthusiasts and future military friends. When I was ready, I decided to pay a visit to the local recruiter and got all of the brochures that I could carry. I read each and every one from cover to cover that I could and learned about all of the different programs that the military offered. I agreed to take the “ASVAB” (Armed Services Aptitude Battery) at a local “MEPS” (Military Entrance Processing Station). The ASVAB test in essence determines your aptitude and gives the recruiter insight as to what vocation you would be best suited for and where you should be placed. After a lot of research and questions, I decided that I wanted to join a program commonly referred to as the “Delayed Enlistment Program”, or DEP. I could join when I was 17 and delay reporting to boot camp until I was 18. The only problem I faced was that I had to have my parents sign the documents. I was reasonably confident that I could convince my father, but my

mother was another story. Fortunately I only had to have 1 signature. I waited for weeks before I felt like I was prepared to make my case and ask them for permission. I had casually mentioned it off and on to my mother during the previous weeks leading up to this moment, but she never really responded and looking back I now see how cleverly she deflected any conversation about me joining the Air Force. I decided to approach my father first hoping that I could convince him and then have an ally when I spoke with my mother. I waited until my mother was food shopping which she did every Friday, knowing that it took several hours for our family (Pre-Costco). My father was home from work and comfortably ensconced in his favorite chair with a bowl of ice cream as I sat down on the couch and said “Dad, I wanna talk to you about something important.” He looked at me for a minute and I suppose he must have seen the serious look on my face before he finally asked, “OK what’s on your mind?” I took a deep breath and began my practiced argument about why I wanted to join the USAF, why I was ready, why I didn’t want to go to college and everything else about how and why I reached my decision. I somehow knew deep down that this was some sort of pivotal moment but did not realize until many years later how profound an impact this had on me and will have on me until the end of my life. I had rehearsed for weeks ahead of this day and now my whole future life depended on how well I presented my case. When I was done the first thing I noticed was that his ice cream was melted. I sat there waiting in deafening silence for the proverbial hammer to drop, squashing my dreams and for him to tell me all of the reasons why he thought I wasn’t ready, why I couldn’t do it, why I should lower my expectations. When he finally spoke, it was with a sort of sadness that I now know comes from the realization of a parent that the time has come for them to let go. He asked me if this is what I really wanted and without hesitation, I said yes and with that he muttered OK, I will help you talk to your mother then. I almost started to cry, as I am now, recalling this pivotal moment in my life. I got up and offered to get him some more ice cream but he declined. I reached out to shake his hand and he grabbed me and hugged me and told me he was proud of me. I noticed that his usually bright blue eyes were red and full of water but there were no tears, my dad

would not do that to me. I walked away knowing that that my life was about to become everything that I wanted and I was shaking with excitement and fear so I went upstairs to the farthest bathroom in the house and puked my brains out. My life as a traveler and adventurer was born on that day even if I didn’t know it at the time. My father was true to his word and spoke with my mother about our discussion. I never really knew all of the details of that conversation and he never really offered to share it with me, but I know it must have been hard. He alone signed my enlistment papers and I will forever be in his debt for having the love and respect for me to allow me the chance to find my own way in the world in spite of any misgivings or fear. My mother didn’t speak to me for a while but after a couple of weeks things began to return to normal. I walked to the recruiter the following Monday and handed him my paperwork. All that was left to do was to sign the last remaining documents and I was officially part of the Delayed Enlistment program for the USAF. I remember that day like it was yesterday and for the year that followed I prepared for what was to become a lifelong career. The year flew by and my 18th birthday approached. We usually celebrated my birthday with my youngest brother because they were 2 weeks apart at the beginning of July. This year was no different and felt like any other birthday except that I was scheduled to report to Basic Training on the 14th. I remember the long and silent drive to Newark Airport as my parents drove me to my destiny. I had never really been an emotional child and I didn’t find it strange that I didn’t feel fee or sadness just excitement and anticipation, that changed when it was time to board. I think most of us would cry when they saw their Mother cry and I was no different. As I walked down the ramp it finally hit me that I was on my own and in a few short hours I would become an airman in the USAF. I learned right then and there that you should always follow your dreams, keep trying even if everyone around you is telling you your crazy or dumb or not good enough because only you can determine whether you can or can’t do something. I left Newark that day as a boy and learned to become a man while I was in the Air Force and I never once looked back or regretted the path that I had chosen for myself nor have I let anyone tell me that I should accept anything less for my life because, I knew better. DJ Doran Gaycation Magazine




Meet some of the incredible people that have become part of our family of Gaycationers. They can usually be spotted pretty easily by their warm smiles and willing to help attitude when you arrive in their towns or cities. Here are just a few that we’ve seen. Have you seen any lately? If so send a photo to

Guy Ross & his husband Michael. Guy is the President of the Key West Business Guild and one of a kind to be sure. When not sailing on sunset cruises, working tirelessly to promote Key West or saving someone’s bacon by writing an article with a moments notice Guy always has that 1000 watt smile at the ready. Michael is the owner of one of the best spas on the island and has a reputation as the best Mojito maker on the island (we’re going to do our best to test his skills out during Pride this year)!

Gary Gill aka Gigi. Gary is the Marquesa Gigi and the official “Queen of Salem”. We had the pleasure of her being our tour guide during our visit to Salem during Halloween. Gigi is the goodwill ambassador for LGBT in Salem and beyond. Gary/Gigi works tirelessly to support LGBT rights and is a tireless advocate for the aging LGBT community. You don’t meet too many genuine characters in your lifetime but the next time your in Salem make it a point to introduce yourself to Gigi, tell her Joe and DJ sent you!



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We recently met Jameer at the GLBT Travel Expo in Fort Lauderdale and was struck by his bright and friendly personality. If you ask Jameer how he likes living in South Florida he would tell you that if you love the sun, fun and the beautiful beaches then living in South Florida is like living in Paradise! We look forward to seeing you again soon Jameer!

Trena Smith is the maven of the Yarmat household and the Queen of all she surveys. Trena is preparing her daughter for college and is the top chick at Joe and Dough Donuts in Naperville Illinois. She is a skilled golfer and a wonderful instructor to her “other” family, wink, wink. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her and you would too if you are lucky enough to meet her or take a road trip in a motor home to an all night gay event at Six Flags, just sayin…

Karen Marie Arel is the President of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce and one of the nicest and most helpful people you will ever meet. We met her and her staff during a road trip stop in Ogunquit last year and she is one of those rare people that give much more than she ever expects to receive. HUGS!

Kristin is a dynamo out of Charlotte North Carolina. A filmmaker, Producer and the Host of the travel show Trip Out, she does it all and much more. Watch for Kristin and her crew in the future as she creates travel content that is fresh and new for Gaycation TV. We love you Kristin!

Kevin Letourneau is the president and CEO of GoOutLoud in Salem Massachusetts. We met him recently while there during Halloween and his energy and enthusiasm promoting and hosting the Scream OutLoud event with Sharon Needles was amazing. We expect great things from Kevin in the future and look forward to following his progress. Gaycation Magazine



Guests from Six Continents Celebrate in the City that Never Sleeps! by: Mya Reyes

Evolve 2015, a unique gay New Year’s Eve celebration, is more than just a party, it’s a 3-day experience, and will bring men from more than 30 countries to Las Vegas, recently voted Favorite American City by OutTraveler Magazine. The exciting event takes place December 30, 2014 – January 2, 2015 and promises to be the event of the year in the city that never sleeps! And for those who want to continue the fun, a weekend in West Hollywood, California, one of the hottest gay meccas in the U.S., continues the celebration January 2-4, 2015. There are so many things that set Evolve apart from any other gay New Year’s Eve event, starting with the location. Over 40 million people visited Las Vegas last year, about 400,000 of them being gay, according to national averages, and that’s just the beginning. For first-time visitors to Las Vegas, there’s always the very pleasant surprise of finding so much more than slot machines and gaming tables. Las Vegas is home to some of the finest dining in the world including restaurants by Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Mario Batali, Nobu Matsuhisa and Michael Mina. There are also amazing stage shows for all tastes such as Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion and Elton John. And if shopping is your preference, Tiffany, Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Gianni Versace are just a few of the exquisite stores the city has to offer. In addition, you’ll find historical wonders of the desert awaiting your visit including The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Red Rock, Valley of Fire, even Mt. Charleston which features snow skiing….yes snow in Las Vegas! Who knew? SO WHAT IS EVOLVE ALL ABOUT? Evolve 2015 is unique for many reasons. First, the event takes place over three days and offers activities day and night especially formulated for

Evolve 2015 participants. Additionally, Evolve will be promoted globally through gay media and booking agents on six continents, which means the event will truly be international. The host hotel is the fabulous MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which was voted one of the best places to work in the U.S. for LGBT employees by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). As a matter of fact, there are more hotels in Las Vegas who have received this designation than any other city in the United States. The MGM Grand recently underwent a $175 million renovation, and offers beautifully appointed guest rooms of 450 sq. ft., with modern design and hi-tech features. The hotel is located at the busiest corner of the Las Vegas Strip and there will be loads of New Year’s Eve excitement right outside the front door. In addition to the newly decorated rooms, the MGM Grand Hotel features dining options for every taste, shopping, entertainment and of course an expansive casino for those who are feeling lucky! Upon arrival to Las Vegas, transportation is available for the quick ride from the airport to the MGM Grand hotel and the event will officially kick off with a private VIP reception, followed by Zumanity, a seductive twist on reality. Zumanity, the Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil, makes the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying! Leave all inhibitions at the door and let loose as this adult-themed production takes you on a sexy thrill ride full of sensational acrobatics and naughty fun. Part burlesque and part cabaret, Zumanity is one Las Vegas show you’ll never forget! After the show, guests will party at the Kick Off Reception at LAX Nightclub, where the DJ will get the party started and rock it to the delight of the crowd. With unrivaled décor, a top-tier sound

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of the club. The festivities will continue at Share Nightclub, the newest gay club in town.

system and impeccable service, LAX is one of the most talked about clubs in the country. The twostory space is outfitted in rich red leathers and shimmering chandeliers creating a modern and luxurious feel, complete with amenities fit for a king. Sexy go-go boys will get the crowd going at every corner and super special Las Vegas characters will entertain guests in their very unique way. Day Two will feature a Men’s Fashion Extravaganza with a peek at what’s new in apparel for Spring, accompanied by an exclusive wine reception. After the show guests can shop in the Fashion Show Mall with discounts that have been made available for Evolve guests only.

If that’s not enough, Day Three offers a slot tournament and a special private showing of Divas Las Vegas. This energetic show starring Las Vegas’ longest running headliner, Frank Marino, features an all-star cast of superstar female impersonators who not only recreate, but almost uncannily duplicate the likenesses of stars ranging from Britney Spears to Cher, Diana Ross to Beyoncé, and even Madonna and Tina Turner have been known to stop by. Recently added were Pop’s newest sensations Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Katy Perry as well as six of Sin City’s hottest male dancers, which help make this one of Las Vegas’ most spectacular production shows. Marino changes between every act, bringing an international whirlwind of couture to the stage with each spectacular entrance. After the show, KRAVE, the only gay club on the Las Vegas Strip, will welcome guests to party into the wee hours of the morning. CONTINUE THE PARTY IN WEHO

New Year’s Eve will kick off with another VIP party, before opening up to the main celebration at the Havana Nightclub. This event will welcome local gays as well as those visiting for the end of the year, and give Evolve guests the chance to make even more new acquaintances. Special entertainment has been planned for this party and midnight features a champagne toast to a global countdown video, as well as extravagant city fireworks that can be viewed from the patio 82


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For those who would like to extend their stay, a limited number of tickets are available for a weekend in West Hollywood, California. Transportation will be provided on luxury motor coaches, equipped with restrooms, TV monitors, DVD players and relaxed seating. After a short 4½ hour ride through the beautiful landscape of the Mojave desert, guests will emerge to the lights and action of Los Angeles! Luxury accommo-dations have been booked at the Sofitel Hotel at Beverly Hills, a stunning hotel offering elegant luxury accommodations and dramatic décor with an ambiance that combines see-and-beseen excitement and the calm of an urban resort. Here Evolve guests will receive the star treatment they deserve to start a new year.

be one you won’t forget! Sleep in on Sunday then head back to Las Vegas in the afternoon for one last fling, or fly home from Los Angeles and start the New Year pumped up from your amazing week on the West Coast of the U.S.A.! Evolve 2015 is a one-of-a-kind event you don’t want to miss. For more information, visit our website www.evolvevegasnye. com or our Facebook page, Evolve Vegas NYE. Write us at if you’d like to have the name of an Official Evolve Booking Agent in your area.

On Friday night, guests will have the opportunity to sample all of West Hollywood’s gay nightlife and festivities. Walk along Santa Monica Boulevard and make memories to kick off 2015. Saturday afternoon you will be free to shop along Rodeo Drive, visit a Southern California attraction, enjoy the West Hollywood scene or relax in your room. Just be ready for tonight as the evening promises to

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No You Didn’t!

Travel stories about “I can’t believe it” moments that happen while on gaycation.

So here’s the deal. Going on a trip or gaycation, if you will, is always an adventure. Or at least it should be. Every time we pack our bags to leave I have this feeling of excitement because we are off on another adventure. I never know what’s in store and I don’t usually think about it. I’m more concerned with getting to our mode of transportation, arriving at our destination and figuring out what I’m going to eat once I get there. Enter our annual Puerto Vallarta trip. DJ and I arrive at the airport, do the usual stuff like cab it to the resort, meet up with my parents, change into swimming attire and head to the pool for Happy Hour (2 for 1 drinks) and some rolled tacos. Even though we just arrived, we plan our stay which includes provisions and day trips. Luckily my parents arrived a day before we did and picked up a few supplies. These supplies are simple necessities like a few snacks, bottled water and some beer. We need to head to one of the local grocery stores to provision for our weeklong stay. Our list consists of food, any incidentals we weren’t allowed to bring onto the airplane, liquor and mixes. I’m simple. I tend to enjoy the local Mexican beer, Mojitos and of course, fresh margaritas. DJ, on the other hand, enjoys cocktails without the alcohol taste. No beer, usually a vodka with some sort of fruit juice or Mojitos. The few days we were there DJ got hooked on peach nectar and vodka, so add another item to the list. Peach Juice. Each time we go to Mexico, we try to speak the language as much as possible. My Dad is full-blooded Mexican and fluent in Spanish, I can speak enough to get by while my Mom and DJ don’t speak it. That doesn’t mean we don’t try our best to order in Spanish even if we’re not quite sure what we’re doing. This is where the hilarity ensues. DJ is forever putting words together expecting them to pass off as Spanish. Both my Dad and I have warned him to be careful because what he is trying to put together as a word doesn’t necessarily translate into what he’s trying to convey. Eh, but how much trouble can it cause anyway? 86


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I can’t remember where we were, it was either at a timeshare presentation or dinner but the 4 of us were sitting at the table getting ready to order food. I tend to eat a lot, especially in Mexico (ok, everywhere really). The waiter makes his rounds and gets to DJ. He does his very best to pronounce things the way they should be and then it’s time to order something to drink. He asked the waiter for ‘jugo de peche.’ It came out so quickly and without warning and I was like WHAT?! Oh. My. God. My Dad about spit his food onto the table and I couldn’t stop laughing. I said to DJ that I warned him about trying to make up words. He wasn’t sure what was so funny or why my Dad choked on his food. Then my Dad explained that in DJ’s effort to speak Spanish, he just technically asked the waiter for…dick juice. I thought my Mom was going to loose it and fall onto the floor with

laughter. Luckily the waiter was good with the faux pas and my Dad explained what he wanted. I told DJ that first of all, peach is a completely different word in Spanish although he managed to the the word juice correct! Our meal was much MUCH funnier after that but in true fashion, none of us let up. DJ wasn’t allowed to speak anymore, let alone trying his hand at Spanish again! Over the next couple of days, we couldn’t help bringing it up here and there. Still laughing. Every time we order something to drink we look at DJ and ask what he’d like. Still laughing. We make it over to the grocery store for our provisioning and my Dad and I stop by the liquor display. It’s habit. Next to the liquor display are all the different sorts of mixers. As my Mom is walking by she taps me on the shoulder and points. Then she yells out to DJ across the isle. “Hey DJ, here’s PEACH JUICE” and the laughing fits start up again. The store clerk handling the liquor section asked us if we needed any help and ended up asking my Dad why we were laughing and so, we had to tell him. All I can remember was the clerk laughed and shook his head as he walked away. It’s been a few years since the incident and every time we tell that story we all just laugh and laugh and laugh. As a matter of fact, there is no way I can see peach juice or a Jumex or del Valle juice box without recalling those events at the table. Of course I have to point it out to DJ whenever I get the opportunity. It was a harmless event that gave us years of laughter. I don’t know if it taught DJ a lesson because he still adds letters to the end of words while he’s trying to speaking Spanish. The only thing I can figure is that he can’t really top jugo de peche. Right? We’ll see. It’s always an adventure with that one and I wouldn’t have it any other way...

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Three Perfect Days in Sonoma by: Erin Jimcosky

Insider tips to help you make the most of your time in wine country. Choosing what to do in Sonoma can be a difficult task. From morning to night you, the traveler, are faced with decisions that will make or break your getaway. Do you start your morning with coffee and pastries at a bustling bakery on Sonoma Plaza or do you head out in search of down-home Sonoma-style fare? Is there a sun-dappled table and delicious food waiting for you while you’ve unknowingly taken a seat at the worst joint in town? What if you only have three days? How do you choose? Lucky for you I asked three Sonoma locals how to make the most of their wine country town. After all, who better to talk to about the best way to experience Sonoma than a couple of travel experts and local gourmets that happen to live in there?

Itinerary: Day One Local Guides: Mark Vogler & Gary SapersteinBusiness partners in the LGBT focused travel and event company Out In The Vineyard. Fuel up for your first day in Sonoma with fabulous home-style cooking at the Breakaway Café, which according to Mark, is “probably the best kept secret in town.” Try the Machaca con Huevos, a dish of scrambled eggs with shredded pork and pasillia peppers. For your after breakfast wine tasting, Gary recommends Ravenswood Winery. Not only does Ravenswood make a delightful zinfandel, but they also take an active role in supporting gay culture. You’ll notice upon arrival that they display a rainbow flag on their tasting room door. They also host LGBT legal scholars from UC Berkeley and

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hold to discussions on pre and post Stonewall LGBT history. Next on the list is Stone Edge Farm, a luxury boutique winery located just outside of town. They recently opened a new tasting room in an old 1920’s cottage on the estate atop the Mayacamas Mountains so you can enjoy delicious wine in an incredible setting. After a couple of wine tastings, lunch is definitely in order. For a great meal on the cheap, head to Taqueria La Hacienda on Sonoma Highway. The Mexican costal-style food is incredible and it gets you off the tourist trail for a while. After lunch a little more wine tasting might be in order, so head on over to Gunlach Bundschu, Gun Bun as the locals call it. They have excellent pinot noir, and a great cave tour, but what makes Gun Bun truly stand out is their Pinzgauer vineyard tour. You’ll experience a vineyard tour like no other with this rough and tumble excursion. By this time you may be tired of wine, so go relax at the Swiss Hotel with a cocktail. According to Gary, The Swiss is “where the local LGBT set gathers on the front patio Friday afternoons to celebrate the end of the work week over margaritas and beer.” For your first dinner, the Portuguese restaurant LaSalette is a beautiful introduction to the fine cuisine to be had in Sonoma. LaSalette is the brainchild of Azorean Chef Manuel Azevedo and a local favorite for romantic evenings out. Try the sautéed sweet breads and caldo verde they are incredible. Itinerary: Day Two Local Guide: Sondra Bernstein- Owner of wine country bastion girl & the fig, the Fig Café, and cookbook author. After a good night’s sleep, saunter on over to Crisp Bake Shop to start your morning off right. Their bacon, egg and cheese hand pie will set you up for the days activities. On your way out, be sure to pick up a few of Sondra’s favorite salted chocolate chip cookies for an afternoon snack. Next up is shopping on the Plaza. There are many terrific places to shop with two of Sondra’s favorite being Sign of the Bear with its dizzying array of kitchen goods and Chateau Sonoma’s drool worthy French antiques. One thing is for certain, there are 90


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plenty of places to make those vacation splurges. For lunch have a picnic at Sonoma Plaza, it is the epicenter of the town and is a great place to relax and people watch. Also, drinking on the Plaza is okay, so be sure to pick up some wine to drink while you enjoy the park. Be sure to check out Sonoma Market for picnic supplies with a little extra sophistication. After lunch, take the Mountain Top Tour at Kunde for a unique tasting adventure among the rocky mountaintop terrain. On a clear day, you can see all the way to San Francisco Bay to the south, and the hills of Sonoma County to the north. At dinnertime check out the old Sonoma favorite Harvest Moon, it is a local haunt that has been in the hearts of Sonomans for years. Sondra suggests that you try the meatballs; they are her favorite item on the menu. Itinerary: Day Three Local Guide: Sean Paxton- World-renowned chef and innovator of “beer cuisine.” On your last day head out early to beat the crowds at Fremont Diner. The coffee is hot, the biscuits are flaky, and Patsy Cline is on the radio. Be sure to try the Hangtown Fry, a Northern California specialty from the Gold Rush days. This roadside diner will knock your socks off. If you are there on a Friday, be sure to head to the Farmer’s Market at Depot Park after breakfast. You can stock up on local treats like Hector’s Honey and Redel’s Roasted Almonds. Sean likes to hit up The Bejkr for delicious breads and fire baked pretzels. For lunch, be sure to stop at El Molino Central for the real deal in authentic Mexican cooking. Everything from the masa to the tortillas is made in-house with the best local ingredients. Chefs come from far and wide to enjoy the delicious fare. Try the fish tacos fried with a Bohemia batter, you’ll be glad you did. With all of the delicious food and wine you’ve been enjoying, it might be time to get out and enjoy a little nature. Jack London State Park is part of the soul of Sonoma and was recently rescued from closure through local effort. Enjoy beauty and history as you hike or take a free docent guided tour and learn about the historic buildings and the man himself.

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Celebrate your nature excursion with a wine tasting at Sebastiani Vineyard & Winery. Located just a short distance from the Plaza, Sebastiani is one of Sonoma’s oldest wineries. Be sure to try the 2010 Sebastiani Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon.

For your last evening there is no better place to treat yourself than at girl & the fig, a place deeply entrenched in the hearts of Sonomans. From the moules frites to the local cheese board, everything is sourced carefully, locally, and prepared to perfection.

Erin got her start on staff at Mutineer Magazine in February of 2009, penning the column Hungry Mutineer. She went on to serve as Mutineer’s Food Editor, Team Coordinator, and Publisher. She is now the Editor in Chief for the new digital magazine CRAFT which makes its debut this June. At CRAFT, Erin works with writers to shape the content from the ground up while penning her own column Cocktail Hour in America. She is a freelance writer, as well as a columnist and Erin is currently keeping it real in Northern Virginia with her husband and emo dog. Follow her on Twitter @hungrymutineer.



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Where to Stay? Mark Vogler is quite possibly the most well traveled gentleman in Sonoma. If there is one thing a well-traveled man knows, it is a good hotel, and Mark had a lot to say on the subject of Sonoma hotels. The El Dorado Hotel is small and comfortable with their own line of organic toiletries and complimentary Wi-Fi. EDK is a “modern, boutique hotel right on the historic Sonoma Plaza.” Be sure to hit the bar for an aperitif and truffle fries during your stay, you’ll be glad you did. For the ultimate relaxing experience a little ways off from the bustling square Mark suggests the MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa the place to be. Each luxuriously appointed room features down comforters, European-style walkin showers and a laundry list of amenities. But, the Garden Suite tops them all with your own soaking tub and rainfall shower housed in your own teahouse in your personal garden. In addition, MacArthur Place actively supports the LGBT community’s causes, including Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, The Shanti Project and Gay-Straight Alliance. MacArthur Place is also the official host hotel for Gay Wine Weekend this June. For a great value, Mark recommends the Sonoma Hotel, a gay owned establishment located on the Sonoma Plaza. The rooms are small by some standards, but it is a historic hotel built in 1880, which was first owned by the famous winemaking family the Sebastianis. As for the value, “they offer some of the best rates in town, especially given the location right on the historic Sonoma Plaza.” Why should you visit Sonoma? Sonoma isn’t just gay friendly it is gay welcoming. The blending of communities is near seamless to the point that they made it official. When Mayor Ken Brown and the entire city council proclaimed, “Sonoma is a gay friendly destination welcoming all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or gender Identity”, denouncing Prop. 8. The following year they made an even deeper commitment and proclaimed June 13-15 as the Official Gay Wine Weekend.

ACROSS 1. Rush around in old car, to find escaped criminal in Oz (10) 7. A disease singular to sponge (4) 9. English is almost ever spoken poetically in Telford, for example (8) 10. Rotter is in modern art emporium (6) 11. Copper into Turner gets depression (6) 12. I am unpretentious? No (8) 13. Clothe with part of a corset (4) 15. Get mean about bird call (10) 18. Monster horribly present on the waves (3,7) 20. Who should really have written Diary of a Nobody? (4) 21. See 4 24. Enjoy the flavour (6) 26. Composer of Semiramide and La Mer? No (6) 27. As were the leftovers a man ate, being overdrawn? (8) 28. Scolded infant without a trace of leniency (4) 29. 4,21’s Mount is irregular cube next to a generation symbol (missing centrepiece) (10)

DOWN 2. Auntie hit boiling asphalt (9) 3. Told of journey to university to find poem (5) 4,21. The king of 7, this general axed threat strategically (9,3,5) 5. Not,we hear, a problem for 4,21 (7) 6. Province is to take up weapons again, changing sides (5) 7. 4,21’s country; a wine capital erected around the last stages of 300 (as it’s written) (9) 8. Aeolian and Doric, say, in 12 (5) 14. Quarrelled in Hell over a sin (9) 16. Outside port finally, make fast a vessel - one that’s engine driven (5,4) 17. Some garment to stitch, it’s said - or more than one (9) 19. One goes into troubled centre, having some guts (7) 22. Man ‘as old Erica (5) 23. Residential area in upwardly mobile part of Bruxelles (5) 25. Student priest in Guanaco (5)

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Solution to Crossword on page 95



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Last week Airbus announced a squeeze, which will make most frequent flyers groan, but today the European firm unveiled how passengers flying on its new A350 XWB might travel. Two test planes have been fitted out with full economy and business class interiors. The economy cabin has a nine-abreast configuration, with 18-inch wide seats, while business class has just four seats per row. Airbus boasts that the new, extra wide-body planes will have near-vertical walls and larger overhead baggage bins compared to its current fleet of aircraft. And for passengers with long legs, there shouldn’t be any more issues with inflight entertainment (IFE) boxes blocking the space under the seat in front of them; Airbus has placed all the electronic boxes and connections under the floor. Airbus A350 XWB makes first flight COO John Leahy discusses Airbus’ future Airbus A350 time crunch. Another innovation is the full cabin LED lighting that Airbus says can offer a mind-boggling 16.7 million possible colors. “Passenger comfort is an increasingly important differentiator for the airline industry, becoming a fundamental deciding factor driving passenger choice and business success,” said Chris Emerson, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Airbus. If cabin interiors are a deciding factor for passengers when choosing an airline, then Airbus has also tried to make it easier for airlines to customize them. Airbus says that 39 airlines have placed orders for 812 A350 XWB jets, with three versions offering passenger capacity between 276 and 369 seats. The first will be delivered to Qatar Airways later this year. The mid-size, long-range jet is set to go head-to-head with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and will be made of 53% composite materials. According to Airbus it achieves a 25% reduction in seat-mile costs and 25% lower carbon dioxide emission than existing, similar sized aircraft. Source: CNN

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