This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
ISSUE #12 | FALL 2013
THE TRAVEL ISSUE
LGBT history is made in
Dude Ranch in
Most Beautiful Coastline
Life is But A Circus in the Cosmopolitan City
Vegas in a Nutshell
If You Aren’t Doing Something Wrong, You are Doing Something Wrong.
“Are We There Yet?” Steps to Help You Enjoy your Journey
A Place for Same-Sex Partners to Plan Their Dream Wedding. Verified LGBT-Friendly Wedding Vendor Directory & Forum.
2 58 www.connextionsmagazine.com www.connextionsmagazine.com
com .connextionsmagazine.www.swank-properties.com SWANK P RO P E R T I E S ◊◊ BOSTON ◊◊ 4 www.
Explore American History with a walk through Boston. From the Freedom Trail to Qunicy Market and the Boston Harbor Islands.com 5 . www. Click the cover to read the digital edition for free. find out why this is one of America’s top 10 tourist destinations.connextionsmagazine.
gives us his take on the latest ‘Krave’ in Las Vegas.connextionsmagazine. coming from a Vienna Virgin! But the travel features don’t stop there. which sits on the most stunning San Diego coastline. such as sun and sand in Puerto Rico. www. First comes love. we bring you some fantastic travel options. Cicero. Connextions Magazine will not knowingly publish or advertise text which is fraudulent or misleading. Drop us a note and let us know if you can handle the sarcasm. limit. 6 www. As such. where we visit The Orlando – a chic boutique hotel in LA. shelly@connextionsmagazine. Always ‘on-the-go’ David Duran brings us to California. or reject any text without cause. New York 13039.connextionsmagazine. The views and opinions stated throughout this magazine are not necessarily the opinions of staff at Connextions Magazine. You might notice that our tone has changed a bit.CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shelly Straub ART DIRECTOR Lucia Camarda ADVERTISING SALES (315) 380-6883 firstname.lastname@example.org it be a travel journey or a life dream. and to La Valencia Hotel. and that can only bring about happy couples on happy honeymoons. If any errors are found. Puerto Rico. Windy Dean (former track and field championship athlete) gives us her hysterical engagement story. Connextions Magazine. You really can’t miss this one! Laughter is always the best medicine and we are taking it to a whole new level in this issue. David Perry. I don’t know what is! And since this is our special travel issue and we didn’t bring you a wedding couple. overlooking Condado Beach & the ‘gay beach’ area.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Maria Lesetz David Perry Manny Velasquez-Paredes David Duran Bob Forbes Windy Dean r e t t e L Boy. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. then comes marriage – then comes the newborn in a baby carriage! Manny Velasquez-Paredes is our gay family travel guru and he gets personal discussing a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. gay travel is at an all time high. and Maria Lesetz radiates her joy with 8 steps to help you enjoy your journey . revise. In this issue. who brings humor into every article. cowboys and cattle in Ft Worth. please notify Connextions Magazine immediately. Connextions Magazine assumes no financial responsibility for typographical errors. the articles are a little more personal and we’ve added a lot more edge. diversity in Dallas. it’s been a busy year for the gays! from the editor Marriage equality is on the rise worldwide. The publisher reserves the right to edit.com . ISSN 2160-4347 (print) ISSN 2160-4355 (online) Read Connextions Magazine online or purchase your print edition through our website at: Shelly Shelly Straub Get social with us! @Connextionsmag Cover Photo: View from La Concha Resort in San Juan. David also takes us on an Un-Cruise Adventure in Alaska. and highlights in Austria. entitled: “The Modern Day Version of Sleeping Beauties”. Click for our review of La Concha Resort. LLC publishing office is located at 8601 Tartan Drive North.com WRITE TO US: Do you have a question or comment regarding this issue or future issues of Connextions Magazine? We would love to hear from you! E-mail responses and press releases are always welcomed. and finds a famed Fiesta in San Antonio. If discussing wedgies while riding a water slide isn’t personal. Brings us to a 5-star sparkling jewel in the desert of Arizona.com All submissions become the property of Connextions Magazine.
davidboothperry.wix.LovinLifeNow. really. Follow @mannyvp on Twitter Maria Lesetz Contributing Writer Health & Happiness Coach and founder of Lovin’ Life – a life coaching company that specializes in facilitating powerful. wonderful things can be achieved. He is a social media junkie and avid traveler. who brings the traveling family’s perspective to Connextions magazine.connextionsmagazine.com David Duran Contributing Writer David is a culinary. when there is teamwork and collaboration..“Unity is strength..” David Perry is a humor writer with a really. yet sophisticated eye-catching layout designs. Follow @theemuki on Twitter Manny Velasquez-Paredes Contributing Writer MVP is a multicultural & diversity marketing professional focusing on the Hispanic and LGBT communities.Mattie Stepanek CONTRIBUTORS Lucia Camarda Art Director Lucia brings innovation and creativity to create simple. www. design@connextionsmagazine. His love for discovering cities and travel spots is evident as he is away from his favorite place and home base of New York City the majority of the time.com/davep Follow David @GhastEald on Twitter www.com David Perry Contributing Writer Hailed as “one of the most recognized and well-respected travel writers for the North American LGBT market.” .com 7 . hospitality and travel writer who focuses on both domestic and international travel destinations for several different markets. personal transformations in physical and emotional well-being. really well-used passport.
10 12 14 16 20 22 24 26 28 34 38 44 50
The Best Cruise is an Un-Cruise Alaska Family Fun & Adventure at Great Wolf Lodge Pennsylvania Poconos The Orlando - $5m Renovations to this Chic Boutique Hotel Los Angeles, California Culture & Queers in Texas? Dallas Cattle Drives, Rodeo’s & Gay Politicians Ft Worth, Texas Cowboys, Longhorns & Hospitality on the Wildcatter Ranch Graham, Texas La Valencia Hotel Sits on One of The Most Beautiful Coast Lines San Diego, California American Airlines Upgrades - Getting There is Now Half the Fun International Travel Only - sorry! The Disheartening Truth About LGBT Residents & Businesses Puerto Rico An Unexpected Fiesta - With The Gays! San Antonio, Texas A Vienna Virgin Gives Us 10 Reasons to Put Austria on Your Bucket List! Vienna, Austria The City That Wants to Get You Off & Rip You Off - at the same time! Las Vegas Indulge in a City Where Luxury Meets Adventure Scottsdale, Arizona
photo courtesy David Duran
Subscribe & save 100% off the cover price.
Because a digital subscription is free! CLICK HERE
Gents - Stand Out From The Crowd!
A Burst of Color in the Concrete Jungle
An Engagement Story
The Modern Day Version of: Sleeping Beauties
Health & Wellness
“Are We There Yet?”
8 Steps to Help You Enjoy The Journey
A Unique Experience at North Jersey Pride
What Makes ‘This’ Pride So Special?
The Latest Must-See Releases
The Windy City Sports Leather, not Lace
Annual IML Conference & Competition in Chicago
It’s Not A Cruise...
photo courtesy David Duran
nothing wrong with cruises. I mean, we all love to take them. They are massive ships with everything you could want onboard. The problem is, sometimes you feel like a small fish in a ginormous ocean when on a standard cruise. Having to fight over people to sign up for activities, long buffet lines and traffic in the hallways back to your room which you can never seem to find. Cruise ships nowadays have so many options for destinations and when herded on these monstrous ships, you don’t really know who is on there with you and why they chose to take your cruise. Some are there for the adventure; some for the destination, and some are just there to indulge in their inner gluttonous beasts.
photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventure
For those wanting to experience the open water and the most important amenities of a cruise, mixed in with adventure and activities, there’s an option in the form of Un-Cruise Adventures. With smaller luxury yachts and maximum guest numbers capping at 86, this different type of cruise might be your best bet. The company offers a variety of small ship adventures in many destinations including Hawaii, Mexico and Alaska. These trips come standard with the basics; food, comfortable rooms and enough staff to attend to all your needs, but what you will most get from an un-cruise is the action packed custom day agendas.
photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventure
by David Duran
an amazing 7 night luxury cruise in South East Alaska spending two magical days in Glacier Bay National Park – something that the big cruises just can’t do
fine-dining prepared each day by their on-board chef and crew. This is the place to just marvel in the awesomeness of humpback whales. as well as taking advantage of more land activities or more kayaking if that’s more enticing. Guests can discover the fjord by kayak or skiff and view ice-covered mountains above a beautiful glacier. the quaint capital of Alaska.connextionsmagazine. Watch for wildlife when passing by Frederick Sound and Stephen’s Passage. Embarking in Juneau. mostly still in existence due to the daily cruise ships coming and leaving. Here is where you will see puffins. mountain goats. you will be sailing by Chichagof Island and Baranof Island. eagles and an unlimited amount of serenity encompassed in majestic scenery. moose. your eyes will not be prepared for the ultimate spot in whale sightings.photo courtesy David Duran Discoverers’ Glacier Country One of the signature voyages for Un-Cruise is an amazing 7 night luxury cruise in South East Alaska spending two magical days in Glacier Bay National Park – something that the big cruises just can’t do.an excellent place to view humpback whales and other marine wildlife. During the trip. bears. By day 3 of your un-cruise. Bring your wallet. a wellness staff. over-achieving guides and a hospitality department that will make you feel like it’s “your cruise” and not anyone else’s. Juneau takes full advantage of unexpected cruisers coming in for the day. All activities and adventures are included in one price and although the price may seem a bit steep at first. By the time you reach the Icy Straight on the way to Glacier Bay National Park.com 11 . This particular cruise offers an open premium bar. consider what all you are getting and the quality in which you are getting it. The final portion of your un-cruise takes you to the national park where you will travel nearly 60 miles up bay to the tidewater glaciers of Grand Pacific and Margerie. sea lions. stop at Ford’s Terror and Endicott Arm– a pristine tidal inlet and fjord. www.
I had read some negative comments online about the food. Great Wolf Lodge is a massive indoor water park with over 79. so we didn’t request one. Pleasantly surprised to find that he didn’t fall out.000 square feet of rides and entertainment. since we are now experts on what to bring with us on long road trips to keep the kids occupied. sandwiches. but everyone in my family thouroughly enjoyed all the offerings. there is an adult bar inside the water park and another one in the restaurant! Check-in is 4pm. was surprised and a little scared to find out the beds were not equipped with guard rails. I usually pack snacks. the kids were instantly thrilled to see their room.” because we love shopping and are always looking for deals and sales. but if you arrive early. although they do offer cribs. we didn’t let our kids know the destination. I enjoyed a milestone moment. fruits and sweets. which are meant to be used as keys to your rooms and IDs for all guests. water. you can hang out in the water park until your room is ready. but the Journey by Manny Velasquez-Paredes I n order to escape what can only be described as one of the rainiest and coldest Spring seasons I can remember. which I recommend purchasing during the 12 www. but can also be programmed for use as your method of payment throughout the lodge. The drive from Long Island to Pennsylvania was very uneventful. is now 3 years old and hasn’t slept in a crib for a while. Max. Wristbands are given to everyone in your party. on our way to the water park. I didn’t get much sleep. a night stand and a TV. Finding that the prices were comparable and sometimes higher than that of shopping in New York. The park is always a comfortable 84 degrees and there are plenty of areas where everyone can get splashed and even smashed – yes. as I realized how quickly my children are growing up. prior to our trip. Amidst the kids’ DVDs. The walls were painted to resemble the inside of a tent. Although not recommended for bargain hunters. we couldn’t resist a stop at the Crossings Premium Outlets Mall.Family Fun & Adventure at Great Wolf Lodge It’s not the Destination that Counts. although I still feared he may fall out. When we entered our Kids Kamp Suite. because we love to see their surprised faces upon arrival. and etch-a-sketchers. juices. expressed their desire to climb each one. The breakfast buffet. As usual. the only thing we bought was lunch. my partner and I packed up the kids and drove to a water park in the Poconos. He slept on the bottom bunk. And what a surprise it was.connextionsmagazine. I. My little boy. which was beautifully decorated as a tent. to see the huge water slides sticking out of the building! The kids put every toy away and with huge smiling faces. So. on the other hand. and furnished with a bunk bed. which is about five minutes away from the lodge. including flabbergasting slides for the adults and zero-depth entry areas for the little ones. I definitely recommend attaching a credit card to the parents’ bracelets. with adventure maps and stars. anything to keep everyone happy and engaged. I always say that my partner and I are “outlet junkies. where we booked a Kid Kamp Suite at the Great Wolf Lodge. leap pads. it did give us an opportunity to stretch our legs. Hence. While researching the resort. this way you won’t need to carry your wallet or purse in the water park.com .
com 13 . The staff was absolutely awesome.com/ gayfamilytravel for engagement and interaction with myself and other proud gay parents. where you can receive a free 8x8 book. During breakfast. also head over to www. first serve basis. thoughts. they have games to keep the kids entertained throughout the day. and I was able to catch my breath with Max in the kiddy pool. with the code. We then went to the water park and this is when I had another milestone moment and realized just how brave and fearless my little girl. After breakfast. or questions and I will try to address them in upcoming issues. The fun never ends at Great Wolf Lodge. In case you forget your waterproof camera.facebook.com has an awesome deal with Great Wolf Lodge.booking process. which is described as “twin three-story slides offering the fastest escape route out of the Fort Mackenzie tree house. I got a wedgie and felt I was about to fly off the Totem. because you just may encounter one of Great Wolf Lodge’s mascots: Violet. the lodge’s shops have plenty of stock available. and they make balloon animals. but she was sporting a huge smile and a desire to go again. Oliver or Wiley. was fresh and tasted great.” Off we went.connextionsmagazine. Brieanna the Front Office Manager and Michael the Manager and let them know that Manny from Connextions Magazine highly recommended this resort. a pizza place. we relaxed by the Great Clock Tower in the Grand Lobby for story time. Virtually every area of the water park is supervised by lifeguards and we felt extremely safe.com). as well as a spa and gym for adults. has become. Email me your comments. (velasquezmanny@gmail. There’s even an ice cream-themed manicure at the kid Spa. which is repeated three times throughout the day. happy to have her picture taken with them. we were delightfully surprised when Violet came to our table and greeted the children. My favorite choice was the omlet station. say hi to Bill the General Manager. and upload your own photos. Jaslene. Just grab the card in your room. miniature golf. My four year old princess was pulling me to take her to the Totem Towers. www. that we returned a couple of months later for Fathers’ Day. My partner and I swapped places.and by the way they have feta cheese if you ask for it! Have your cameras ready. Kids and adults can get magic wands and go on scavenger hunts throughout the resort and even battle a dragon in MagiQuest games located all over the lodge. a bowling alley. also lifejackets are available free of charge on a first come. where the chef will create your specialty omelet with all the fixins -. If you are obsessed with vacation photos like I am. If you go. a sweets shop. an arcade. you will be thrilled to learn that Shutterfly. We had such an amazing experience. and before I knew it. or follow me (@mannyvp). Ready for action. we started with the kiddy slides. she was doing belly slides and wanted to try the bigger rides.
The Orlando .LA’s Boutique Hotel by David Duran Nestled between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. 14 www. the Grove and the Farmer’s Market. the location couldn’t get any better. this chic boutique hotel lives on one of the most vibrant streets of Los Angeles – West 3rd. Dining options are unlimited and the West Hollywood bars are a short cab ride or adventurous walk away.connextionsmagazine.com . West 3rd is lined with independent shops offering everything from clothing to furniture. Blocks from the Beverly Center – the premiere shopping in LA.
with its in-demand patio seating.connextionsmagazine. The second portion to the suite is where the party truly happens. welcomes you. With a private master bedroom and decadent bathroom. dining table and living room. The Orlando is serving up something different in a town where everyone is competing to be the same. But why would you waste your time inside when in beautiful LA? For that exact reason. With it’s own powder room. Location. the Entertainer Suite. Within the small property lies a hidden gem of a room . With moderate LA prices. Serving a twist on seasonal American cuisine with an extensive craft cocktail list and over 20 regional beers on tap. photos courtesy The Orlando Hotel www. as the crowds will gather. The warm chocolate brown and orange décor throughout the hotel radiates a combination of elegance and comfort. but beautiful reception desk and lobby. The corner balcony is equipped with enough outdoor furniture to entertain a dozen of your closest and hippest Hollywood friends. the inside space offers up a great place to enjoy some wine with friends. including a separate soak tub and television. food and atmosphere makes this boutique property something to consider when wanting to standout and try something new. Each category of room has been transformed. location. is the perfect place to enjoy Sunday Brunch. feet of outdoor space in the form of a balcony overlooking West 3rd. location . this is the place to splurge and go big. a small. The Orlando has most recently undergone a $5 million dollar renovation to the entire property. but make reservations early.the newest renovation to The Orlando.the finest in shopping.com 15 . the suite offers 225 sq. The Orlando actually encourages you to make use of the space and benefit from what the room was intended for – entertaining. this “entertainer suite” offers privacy for those staying in it. this spot. Connected to the lobby is one of LA’s hot spot gastro pubs. The Churchill. With a decent size gym for hotel standards and a very cute mini pool on the roof.Inside the property.
obviously not ‘everyone’ in Texas is queer.Dallas Yes. The tweet was a version of a line from the 1987 movie Full Metal www. Photo credit: Nigel Young / Foster & Partners Jacket: “Only steers and queers in Texas. and I’m not a cow. I was thrilled to find out just how many gay and lesbian individuals are living and traveling there! Who knew? With the largest Arts District in the nation. but on a recent trip to Dallas. and hometown honkey tonk BBQ’s. the vast array of gay bars in the Oaklawn neighborhood.connextionsmagazine. it’s no wonder that the gays are flocking to Dallas. it’s BIG! T 16 Families enjoy the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Tyler Sequin made recent headlines in the Dallas Morning News.com . Well. for a homophobic term that was sent from his Twitter account.” He has since apologized and blamed hackers for the tweet.
with an incredibly versatile stage. and the Elaine D. with a striking Dallas skyline that boasts architectural wonders by I. Rem Koolhaas and Edward Larrabee Barnes. Annette Strauss Square –an open-air theater with room for 2.connextionsmagazine. the AT&T Performing Arts Center offers world class venues. is the AT&T Performing Arts Center.Arts District The unique 68-acre.a stunning 2. performance areas and a reflecting pool. Venues include: The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House . Renzo Piano. Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – a 575 seat theatre. 19-block neighborhood known as the Dallas Arts District is an architecture lovers playground. From free performances to the Lexus Broadway Series and top concerts. www. magnificent architectural design. and Chales A Sammons Park – a beautifully crafted public park filled with wild plants. Norman Foster. Pei.M. which contains some of the finest performance venues in the world.200 seat venue. and an unparalleled commitment to the arts.000 on the lawn and patio.com 17 . In the heart of this arts mecca.
and well-designed. Eden Lounge offers picturesque views of the Dallas skyline from their best seats in the house – the rooftop! Catch some rooftop rays or relax in the shade.Nightlife They say that New York is the city that never sleeps. sodas. With a handful of nightclubs on Cedar Springs Road. one thing is for sure – you will not leave hungry! If you’re hitting up a Cowboy’s game while you’re in town.connextionsmagazine. grab a drink. the five-star restaurant within the hotel SĒR Steak+Spirits. head to trendy Uptown. where bars and ultra-lounges sit on nearly every corner. I suggest a visit to the Oaklawn neighborhood. Head to the 27th floor for succulent steaks. barbecued beef. smoked brisket. Executive Chef Joel Harloff offers main dishes such as Oaxacan Duck Breast and Wild Boar Spare Ribs to Mexican White Shrimp + Jicama or Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos. just a fewblocks north of Dallas and surround yourself with beautiful people in a beautiful setting. offering fresh burgers. chili con carne. If you want to know the real meaning of ‘bar crawl’. Ride the historic McKinney Avenue Trolley up and down McKinney Avenue. and enjoy the moment. If it’s a Cosmopolitan kind of night. salads. along with the fresh onions that become deep fried hand-battered rings just moments after they are cut. rattlesnake. a cozy corner restaurant with a 1950’s vibe. listen to the band play.com . fresh seafood and one of the best views in Dallas. chicken breast. Their specialty hamburgers are hand pressed and cooked before your eyes. definitely head to the Original Market Diner for biscuits and sausage gravy or my favorite – eggs benedict! Variety is the spice of life. The crowd at Eden Lounge appears to prefer sipping a martini while washing away the worries of their week. dance til you drop. accommodations & entertainment in Dallas. stop by the Bodacious BBQ and find yourself captivated by the country western décor as you meander down the cafeteria style aisle. sophisticated. Being one of the largest hotels in the Southwest. There are more gay owned nightclubs in Dallas than I was able to visit. mingle like mad or two-step til 2am! For more alternative action. head over to the Deep Ellum neighborhood and party on the rooftop at Dallas’s newest lesbian owned establishment. looking more like a museum on the inside. was on the plane ride home. or smoked turkey. you can take in a live acoustic performance. and with that being said. Before your bar crawl on Cedar Springs Road. served up this tasting experience that also offered a tour of the art pieces situated throughout. A Culinary Tour of Cuisines from Around the Globe at Hilton Anatole Deep Ellum’s Newest Lesbian Bar . ordering up delicious mesquite smoked pulled pork. enjoy the outdoor patio at Ocho Restaurant in the Park Cities neighborhood. Cuisine Tex-Mex. beef brisket. but I spent 5 days in Northern Texas and the only sleep I got. the Hilton Anatole Hotel treated me to a phenomenal culinary tour of cuisines from around the globe. And the morning after your bar crawl. ribs. The atmosphere is inviting and the décor is modern. If you are entertaining friends. make sure to fill your belly at Hunky’s. & shakes. dogs. chill with friends or make new ones. The Freshest Meat in the Gayborhood is at Hunky’s 18 www. the main street of this neighborhood. wild boar. kangaroo – all cajun style! From 5-star dining to rib joints on the side of the road. Eden Lounge. rather than throwing back three shots of tequila and dancing naked on the pool table.Eden Lounge Click here for extensive reviews and photos on restaurants.
The police sport rainbow patched uniforms. D Magazine put out a great story 6+ years ago. I think the strip is about as safe in Dallas as West Hollywood is in LA.There’s more to gay Dallas than Cedar Springs and drag queens. Bruce Willis is rumored to have a club over there where he'll occasionally pop in and belt out a tune or two. or lay low in the shadows. “Dallas is a place where you can be known if you want. Comparatively speaking. as well as former resident of Dallas. and a few others are absorbed into the thriving metropolis. JR's and Sue Ellens are the iconic legends that bring the ‘out-of-towners’ in for the weekends. former NCAA hammer champion. but The Round Up. that read: “The Pink Mafia . constantly patrol the area and are very friendly. former 3-time NCAA javelin champion. Texas. They have made Dallas’ gay community the most successful in the nation.connextionsmagazine. Many have come and gone over the years.” Windy continues: “The Strip (street and oakloawn) serves as the main drag for gay nightlife and many of the taverns along this strip all coin names within the TV series "Dallas". At the rate that the surrounding suburbs continue to grow. It's a conglomeration of three distinct areas that have grown together to create a city of opportunity and entertainment. Behind the scenes is an upper-class network that is conservative. white-collar and well-connected.com 19 . Mckinney. churchgoing.” Dallas’ Big Things Happen Here branding campaign sports the fiberglass B&G in various locations throughout the city. becoming the “I” in BIG.(L) Joelle Sebastian (R) Windy Dean photo courtesy: Lisa Miller @studiodiluce We caught up with Windy Dean.” “It's no secret that a fair amount of money in the city's upper echelons is controlled by what has been coined the "Pink Mafia". aka gay money.” “Deep Ellum is another diverse neighborhood with great restaurants and a couple of open biker bars. www. Plano. it won't be long before cities such as Denton. Windy brings us the ins and outs of gay life in the “BIG” city. That and a little collegiate football and basketball. encouraging photo shoots.
make sure to check the age policy before stopping by. and accommodations. For over 100 years. and the “World’s Largest Honky-Tonk”. pool tables and arcade games. and rich pride in its Western heritage. along with a barbeque burger restaurant. The family friendly facility is in fact an alcohol serving bar. saloons.connextionsmagazine. longhorns. a national historic district that offers: the Cowtown Coliseum’s rodeo’s and wild west shows. every guestroom is unique in its décor reflecting the era of the Old West and the early 19th century. Beautifully restored to its original elegance and grandeur.that now hangs on my wall at home. When I arrived in the Stockyards District of Fort Worth. which offers a souvenir picture .000 people. Before my first visit. shopping. Inside the expansive facility that can host up to 6.com . actual burger buns signed by famous musicians. cowboys and cattle barons. rodeos. A taste of this heritage can be savored in the Stockyards. dubbed as “The City of Cowboys and Culture” is shaped by its downtown revitalization and urban renewal. this venue is more than just a boot-scootin’ bar. From live bull riding in the indoor arena to live country music by the nation’s top performers. the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. 20 www. kings and queens of country music. the world’s only daily cattle drive.Fort Worth Texas It’s What You’re Looking For I Horseback Riding/Cattle drives/Rodeos | Saloons and shopping | Minutes from the Dallas Cowboys Stadium Elk Sliders at Lonesome Dove | Gay-friendly | southern hospitality Entertaining The infamous club known as Billy Bob’s Texas is an absolute must on the itinerary. stop momentarily and let the photographs flow through your mind as you imagine it. My favorite of all the attractions was the Photo Bull. I visualized cowboys. its world-renowned cultural arts district. the snapshots I envisioned were brought to life. Shopping I experienced a ‘first’ while browsing the unique shops that offers Texas attire and tourist gifts. therefore parents are required to accompany the little ones. take a load off – then resume If you’ve never been to Texas. you will find: a Celebrity handprint wall of fame. Note: For out of town visitors with children. Staying Located in the heart of this historic district is the Stockyards Hotel – which is notably famous as being a hideout for the legendary outlaws Bonnie & Clyde. I was able to take a break during my shopping excursion and have myself a ‘cold one’ – all without leaving the store! Prop yourself on a stool at the bar. Stetson hats and rhinestone boots. Stockyards District Fort Worth. it’s a family friendly entertainment destination. along with a plethora of restaurant choices. and even an outlaw or two have found comfort and true southern hospitality at the Stockyards Hotel.
along with dishes such as Wagyu Tomahawk. Having heard his story on CNN and MSNBC.8 million people have watched his heartbreaking story on youtube. Worth. and Rabbit & Rattlesnake. I was thrilled to shake his hand and offer my thanks for his honesty and service to our community. My visit to Ft. The service was that of true southern hospitality. Being female. Honestly. Of the dozens of restaurants I had the pleasure of enjoying during my visit to Texas. which both offer big belt buckles.com www. and a variety of boots in all styles and colors – for those of you that want to not only feel like a Texan. especially since I have spent years arguing that women shouldn’t be treated any differently than men. having watched his City Council meeting on youtube. including cowboys. Wild Boar. residents and visitors of Ft Worth can rest assured knowing that Joel Burns will not stand for gay bashing. would have left me completely fulfilled – but wait… there’s more! During lunch at Lonesome Dove. Two fantastic stores in the Stockyards District are: Fincher's White Front Western Wear and Maverick Fine Western Wear. which held true to all my expectations of Texas. cold craft beer. the server took my order before the other guests at the table. But this experience left me craving for more chivalry! With a menu influenced by all of the ingredients and cultures that have been a part of the West. cattle drives. along with several more. horses and hospitality.connextionsmagazine.shopping. www. custom hats. Rocky Mountain Elk Ribeye. and then proceeded to serve my drink and food before the others.JoelBurns. As an out and proud politician.com 21 . having read about his numerous awards as “Servant of the People”. bullying or intolerant behavior – he truly works FOR THE PEOPLE! Over 2. I was surprised to learn that Councilman Joel Burns would be joining our table. Chef and Owner Tim Love bring to the table an inventive selection of steaks and seafood. red meat. “Believe in Youth Award”. I was a bit taken back by this. but look like one too! Eating My dining experience at the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro was top notch. maybe you should check it out too? Or send him your own personal note of thanks on twitter or facebook. Kangaroo Carpaccio. the Lonesome Dove takes first prize.
each with private bath.wildcatterranch. find cowboys.T raveling from New York. Wildcatter Ranch offered the taste of Texas I was looking for. horses. The room was beautifully decorated. without lacking the comforts of home. only a perfect opportunity to unplug and unwind. full kitchen and rock fireplace. tons of stars and scenic landscape views! Find a taste of the old west at Wildcatter Ranch. to the separate toilet and shower room.com .and being the feminist that I am. and longhorns -. The most memorable moment during my stay. one bath and a full kitchen. big skies.500 acre ranch in Northern Texas.com 22 www. barbeque. microwave & refrigerator. I had the pleasure of staying in the Fort Belknap Cabin Suite. www. There are no crowds and no waiting lines. Find a romantic getaway.minus the tents and snakes.from the tall log cabin style ceiling and the large wooden doors. and back porch rocking chairs! The on-site steakhouse offers true Texas “hand cut” mesquite grilled steaks. fresh fish and chicken fried steak. dining area. and certainly spacious -. impeccable service. it was clean. The bedding was cozy and comfortable. mouth watering meals. Coffee. I have become accustomed to opening my own door – BUT. Wildcatter is a 1. find southern hospitality. along with an award winning wine list and great selection of craft beers. upon introduction – my jaw literally dropped. longhorns. Guest room amenities include: Internet access. and sitting in the rocking chair on the back patio offered serene panoramic views that took my breath away. The quiet surroundings invite you to relax and reconnect. large living room. one charming cottage with two bedrooms. 16 guest rooms within the western style hotel. I instantly felt relaxed and at peace. was the tipping of the hat by each cowboy. A real western experience with cowboys. The guest suites. Outstanding service coupled with fresh food and an incredible view give Wildcatter Steakhouse 5-stars. Their mama raised them right! I was truly under the belief that chivalry was dead -. the atmosphere is quiet and private. Wildcatter Ranch offers 16 individual luxury cabin suites. horses. it felt so good to be treated with such honest respect that this memory will remain embedded. Satellite TV with DVD player Fireplace.connextionsmagazine. and activities on the ranch will remain an unforgettable experience. as well as one completely secluded luxury guesthouse with two king bedrooms.
hiking. & so much more! www.connextionsmagazine. tank fishing. skeet shooting. canoeing. including: horseback riding.com 23 . wagon rides.Luxurious guest accommodations Infinity pool and hot tub Lounge Bar & Restaurant Conference Center Spa Activities. frisbee golf. ATV rides & tours.
The La Jolla coastline is one of the most beautiful in the San Diego community. Some of the most gorgeous beaches and streets are located here and offer all kinds of fabulous shopping and dining options. It’s true. With an iconic building at it’s most prominent spot along the coast.” is welcoming to all visitors. The nightlife is questionable if you are under 40. 24 www. but don’t let one person set a tone for what is generally a welcoming community of both young and old mixed together. referred to by locals as the “Pink Lady. but this affluent coastal city located just 12 miles north of San Diego. but a $25 dollar cab ride will get you and your friends to downtown San Diego where you can party it up all night. the La Valencia Hotel.com .La Valencia Hotel – La Jolla’s Icon by David Duran W hen you think of San Diego and SoCal.connextionsmagazine. shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed off your radar. La Jolla might not automatically register with you. John McCain does own a home in this beach city.
The Pool The Pool Now this is the reason you take those cabs after a late night of club bouncing. has been charming guests with its luxurious ocean views for 87 years. he led the culinary team at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine where he was named “Chef of the Year” in the 2011 Gaslamp Quarter Association’s annual Lamplighter Awards. This 112-room vintage coastal retreat continues its role as a gathering place where generations of celebrations have taken place. as well as 16 spacious villas. The historic patina of the property means that there is an array of richly appointed and unique accommodations available. Waking up to insanely gorgeous ocean views and walking down to the most sought after pool chairs in La Jolla. Known as a molecular gastronomy advocate.connextionsmagazine.com 25 .Then and Now Then and Now “La V. Signaling a more modern direction and keeping up with the times. won a “Chef of the Fest” competition in the 2011 San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival and was named 2011’s “Chef to Watch” in 944 Magazine.” another nickname for this iconic property. this beachfront property has just undergone a massive $10 million room renovation that was completed in 2013. Nashville and Atlantic City. La V recently announced the appointment of Executive Chef Daniel Barron. the pool at La V is definitely the place to recover after a long night out. an innovative pop up restaurant and catering company in San Diego. with many more updates planned. And what better way to help with recovery but with a mouth-watering craft cocktail! The magician mixologists at La V have created a devilish new pool bar menu and the absolute winner of them all is their version of a blackberry mojito. which is set to debut later this year. The Mediterranean style building features terraced gardens with exquisite Spanish mosaics and breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. having worked in top kitchens in New York City. Most recently Chef Barron owned and operated Evolve Cuisine Forward. and has always been one of the areas most premier hotel properties. Chef Barron also has a diverse culinary background. including specialty suites and studios. La V’s Blackberry Mojito *Muddled fresh mint and blackberry *Squeeze of fresh lime *Bacardi rum *Blackberry puree mixed with simple syrup *Topped with prosecco *Prepared by a handsome poolside bartender Blackberry Mojito photo courtesy David Duran www. Immediately prior. Now under new ownership and management. Dining options include the signature Mediterranean Room and Ocean Terrace adjoining the La Sala Lounge and Café La Rue.
The Business Class Cabin has 52 seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. This aircraft provides American with more passenger and cargo capacity than any other aircraft in its fleet. Additionally. International Travel Experience with Top-notch Amenities The new premium inflight experience has launched onboard American’s 777-300ER. American’s Vice President – Marketing. including up to 250 movies. we are able to provide an enhanced inflight experience that truly meets the expectations of our premium customers.connextionsmagazine. “By delivering a service that offers such personalization. 26 www. Bose® QuietComfort® 1 5 Ac o u s t i c No i s e C a n c e l l i n g ® headphones are provided for premium class customers to use during the flight. The Main Cabin is outfitted with 30 Main Cabin Extra seats in a 3-3-3 configuration and 220 Main Cabin seats arranged in a 3-4-3 configuration. and reminds them of home or their favorite restaurant.” said Rob Friedman. featuring fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class – all with direct aisle access. every seat features individual 110-volt AC power outlets and USB jacks for charging personal electronic devices.” Entertainment and Connectivity Every seat onboard the 777-300ER has a personal in-seat entertainment option.com . Asia and long haul Latin America markets. 777-200ER. more modern airline. “As we build toward a new. The 777-300ER is the first aircraft in American’s fleet to offer international Wi-Fi. The First Class Cabin has eight Flagship Suite seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. more than 180 TV programs and more than 350 audio selections. we have thoughtfully considered each detail of the international premium experience from beginning to end by providing high-quality amenities and dining options that our customers expect.American Airlines the Upgrades Have Arrived! s e h c i r n E Seating Upgrades The Boeing 777-300ER is configured with three classes. 767-300ER and 757-200 aircraft flying in Europe.
increased bread options and a pre-landing sweet treat and spa water.com/flyincomfort www. In addition. First Class customers will receive other specially designed items including a textured placemat. having experienced these recent enhancements first hand. First Class customers’ entrees and beverages will be hand-delivered upon request.aa. as well as its loyalty and respect for customers. I prefer to spend my hard earned dollars on cocktails and accommodation upgrades. that doubles as a tablet case. more modern china along with new flatware and upgraded linens. stocked with Dermalogica® skincare products.com 27 . visit www. an additional pillow. gay. Arriving at your destination. Business Class updates include new slippers and an amenity kit with Akhassa® cosmetics. in lieu of spending extra money on the expense of getting to my vacation destination.connextionsmagazine. sandwiches and assorted sweets. and the choice of a specialty mimosa. employees and shareholders. In addition.S. Food and beverage enhancements will include more variety and selections. First Class customers will also see an expansion of American’s signature sundaes with a featured sundae option. American Airlines has been a pioneer in its fair-minded policies and practices for its lesbian. I will be flying with American Airlines. Getting there is now half the fun! For nearly two decades. that if my next trip includes international air travel. Business Class customers will also enjoy newly designed food elements and a customized sundae from the airline’s popular dessert cart. Ken Chase. To learn more. can enjoy a walk-up bar with a selection of snacks. airlines through its generous partnerships with the LGBT community.Free Amenity Kits Upon boarding. a breakfast card – similar to hotel room service. Food & Beverage Upgrades While inflight. and unflagging commitment to diversity. and a customizable pasta entrée – a first for an airline. First Class customers will receive a welcome aboard card and an amenity kit. bisexual and transgender (LGBT) customers and employees. However. available between the first and last meals. makes a world of difference. accent water glass and an amuse-bouche. Designed to resemble the personalized service provided in an upscale restaurant. A wine sampling will be offered inflight for First Class customers. Customers will receive a tasting card to assist in their selections for the remainder of the flight and all offerings will be specially chosen for the flight by American’s wine consultant. napkin ring. customers will enjoy upgraded closed-toe slippers. In addition. including the introduction of a soup option. a bite-size hors d'œuvre. Personally. premium class customers on the 777-300ER aircraft. American Airlines has consistently held the highest possible ranking on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and remains the most gay-friendly of all U. First and Business Class customers can choose from new menu selections that will be served on updated. feeling refreshed and relaxed. I can say without-a-doubt.
what I learned about LGBT residents and business owners in Puerto Rico was disheartening.PUERTO RICO I spent 5 days in the capital city of an island boasting clean sandy beaches.com .connextionsmagazine. 28 www. warm Caribbean breezes. and picturesque palm trees -.the perfect setting for vacationers. Aside from my leisure time thoroughly enjoying the sun and historic sites of Old San Juan.
In October 2012. who described San Juan. After two trips to the island. Jarl Haugedal & Michael Billy – co-owners of Humanity Pride Productions. but the shoreline has become a family-friendly tourist hotspot. although not in drag. and expenses ranging well over $4.) For the past 3 years. but rainbow flags and window stickers are hard to come by. However. and a great place for singles to mingle. which is known as the ‘gay beach. Puerto Rico as “a vacation destination with the best infrastructure and the widest variety of activities available for gay and lesbian travelers. have held an annual Mr Gay World USA competition. Gay World competition that takes place this August in Belgium. my expectations were apparently set too high as I envisioned an atmosphere similar to Key West or Provincetown. the Humanity Pride organization produced no formal event and no island resident was named Mr. There are plenty of gays walking the streets. there is certainly no shortage of gays wandering the downtown area.00. the Condado area was known as Puerto Rico’s gay mecca. I understand that in the 80’s and 90’s. and my experience as a first-time visitor to the island was not at all what I had expected.what has now been experienced as a difficult challenge – the task of finding a Puerto Rican representative to join the crowned USA delegate. the Huffington Post released an article by Mark Chestnut. Gay World Puerto Rico. mainly due to the fact that you can get your Caribbean fix without a passport. If your purpose to San Juan is solely for vacation. The beach does include a small section in front of the Oceano Restaurant. I was recently invited on a press trip to cover the Mr Gay World Puerto Rico competition.” While I agree that San Juan is a gay-friendly destination for travelers and there is quite an array of activities for fun and adventure while visiting. as the company took on .’ (Just look for the rainbow umbrellas.com 29 . where rainbow flags fly from every storefront and drag queens parade the streets at night.000.Puerto Rico has always been a gay vacation destination of choice for east coast American’s. based on articles I had read in several media outlets about this gay friendly island. even in the Condado area – which is the commonplace for LGBT travelers.connextionsmagazine. and this year will mark an ‘historic first’ for the island of Puerto Rico. Although I never experienced it for myself. www. Today. in the Mr. you may never notice some of the disheartening things I learned. and airline tickets are typically much less expensive than traveling to one of the US Virgin Islands.
Oceano hosted a Pride Celebration Party.” Up until a few weeks ago. in order to maintain their good standing with the locals.connextionsmagazine. located in the Condado area. made our first stop in San Juan to Oceano. a well-known restaurant/night club. Gay World Puerto Rico event.Old San Juan Top: Fort San Felipe del Morro Left: Finally found a rainbow flag! Middle: Best place for a meal . which is dubbed as San Juan’s “Gayborhood. this gay-owned establishment prefers not to attract national media attention. which would have been an ideal location and venue to host the Mr. after several conversations with Oceano management. Although on June 2. and the Sunday night gathering of gays is back on schedule. 30 www. 2013.com . the Humanity Pride team and myself. the event idea was politely turned down. Oceano hosted a weekly “Gay Party” on Sunday nights. Unfortunately. According to Oceano employees.Old San Juan! Right: Brightly colored row houses in Old San Juan Oceano Upon arrival.
even though Jarl took note of the flaunting gays overcrowding the lobby. with an overview editorial that reads: “This Hotel has also become a favorite place for the travel savvy and open minded traveler who enjoy its unpretentious atmosphere and its lively appeal to a wide variety of lifestyles. without question.Condado Atlantic Beach Hotel Another venue option was the Atlantic Beach Hotel.com 31 . also located along the ‘gay beach in Condado. But. that they welcome gay travelers.com website. the manager insisted that this hotel is NOT a gay-friendly hotel. This hotel has a gay-friendly directory listing on the PurpleRoofs.connextionsmagazine. which is a previously well-known gay hangout.” Reading this overview. www. after Jarl Haugedal and Michael Billy stopped into The Atlantic Beach Hotel to discuss the possibility of hosting an event. I would assume.
the poster had been removed. Michael Billy. and although not the owner. we were once again. We enjoyed a tour and spoke in detail about the gay scene with Cameron Chavis.connextionsmagazine. as we passed by an hour later.com . LIV Fitness Club A hot spot for residents (and good looking gays) in the Condado area. One such location was Punk Burger Bistro Bar on Ashford Avenue. Regional Sales Manager of the club. The girl behind the counter was pleasant and friendly. politely turned down by upper Management.Punk Burger Bistro Bar I tagged along as the Humanity Pride team went door-to-door and store-to-store. Upon request to host interviews at the fitness club for the Mr Gay World Puerto Rico event. who was extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the island. is LIV Fitness Club. asking associates if they could hang their event poster on windows or community boards. Shelly Straub. Juan Ortiz Pictured L to R: Andrew Xavier. Jarl Haugedal 32 www. she welcomed the poster on their storefront window. Unfortunately.
Puerto Rico is facing worsening economic and social conditions. Coming from a ‘business-only’ standpoint. where according to the US Census.connextionsmagazine.com www. Puerto Rico is always at the top of my list for sun-loving travelers. this is certainly understandable. Especially in the country of Puerto Rico. When asked for a travel recommendation. with almost half the population living below the poverty line approximately 45% percent of 3. the Humanity Pride Productions team crowned Juan Ortiz as Mr Gay World Puerto Rico – though he was found in New York City. If you are a radical activist for gay rights. If a business owner should choose to fly a rainbow flag above their storefront. but was told that while approximately 85% of residents claim to be catholic. I say this for two reasons: One. What we did learn was that most of the business owners in the area are gay-friendly and welcome gay travelers but prefer not to announce it in the national media because they fear they will lose business with the locals. but many cannot afford to throw away their livelihood just to make a point.com 33 . who shall remain nameless for their safety. and learned that there is no particular reason for the homophobic attitude of the residents on this island. Thomas – which is just as beautiful but much more expensive for the tourist. And the second reason I recommend Puerto Rico as a travel destination to the LGBT community is because I believe we should inundate the island with our love and support.9 million residents. and they were to lose local business. I specifically asked if religion plays a part in this non-equality attitude. but offers more bang for your buck than other US Virgin Islands. at the annual competition. other than possibly their fear of change. Juan will join the team this August for a chance to be titled Mr Gay World. not many attend weekly mass. since this is a predominately catholic island.We spoke with several Puerto Rico residents. you may say to yourself that these business owners should definitely take a stand for equality. they would certainly flounder and go under. Since my visit to Puerto Rico in early 2013. this island boasts the best of the Caribbean. such as St. For more travel highlights in Puer to Rico. Certainly no change will come for the residents of this island if we walk away. v isit connextionsmagazine. Tourists are not their only source of income.
and don’t get me wrong. visiting Texas shouldn’t be an idea quickly taken off your list. Everyone in San Antonio was just so friendly and outgoing. I probably wouldn’t hold a boys hand and walk right in to all of them. tequila and guns. This is when I knew that San Antonio was going to be just as cool as Austin. I was pleased with two out of the three items of her factoid. This mega event that started off by being a single parade back in the day. It was my proudest San Antonio moment.An Unexpected Fiesta in San Antonio by David Duran T exas was never on my travel radar. and the views of Hill Country in the distance were spectacular. would be enough to keep me from getting into any trouble while on my visit. In her opinion. At this time. but the hipper. fundraisers and parties.com . the bartenders were sweet and patrons were equally as nice. And no. I was all in and ready for an adventure. not a place known for being overly welcoming to the LGBT community. The culinary scene was also delicious. The more you have. Even the Fiesta Royalty came by and graced the party with their presence. I mean. they are both amazing cities. I attended a massive Fiesta event that was LGBT focused and the turnout was brilliant. Trading and selling of the medals is common and encouraged. Apparently I had arrived to San Antonio just in time for their two-week celebration. On my flight over. newer places are mostly all welcoming. but only after looking at where San Antonio was located on a map. but why not branch out and try something new? San Antonio welcomes everyone and we should take advantage of the city’s openness.connextionsmagazine. I sat next to a woman from San Antonio and she was perplexed as to why I was headed that way. Fiesta actually has a royal court and it’s one of the best parts about the whole extravaganza. events. I wasn’t taken directly to my hotel. In addition to the standard gay bars. has turned into two weeks of non-stop parades. I’m not talking about drag queens. but instead to a massive street festival that was underway. and how great they were. the King of Fiesta and Mayor of San Antonio had each given me a medal. By the end of my trip. Fiesta. We can all visit San Francisco or Provincetown. in turn it should be added. fell 34 www. and so I did. The moment I asked about gay bars. The moment I realized that Austin was only about an hour away. The eclectic city filled with art. the more bragging rights you earn. those prickly pair margaritas are pretty much heaven sent! “The moment I asked about gay bars. The weather was just right outside. What a welcome! The Tex-Mex music being played on stage wasn’t my favorite. of course. but still added to the experience. These special medals are created each year by organizations. and taking a cab to and from was something that didn’t break the bank. I opted in. San Antonio was known for hot sauce. San Antonio surprised me. the bar scene was a good mix of everything downtown. With cities like San Antonio and Austin. its Texas. The Fiesta events ranged from educational to ceremonial to down right all night partying. I realized how huge this city was. It was massively packed with locals and tourists who all came together to victim to this phenomenon and quickly made it my trips focus to collect the best of the best medals. But when the opportunity to visit San Antonio was presented to me. I knew it was time to start my trip off with the perfect margarita. Aside from the famed Fiesta. culture and history really made an impact on my perception of Texas. Again. I. I agreed to go and hoped that by having the one and only well known liberal Texas city nearby. I was quickly informed about the Fiesta events that catered to the LGBT community” raise money for HIV/AIDS charities. especially if you enjoy Mexican cuisine! Overall. but I wasn’t going to let anyone burst my spirits at this point. Plus. The drinks were cheap compared to NYC or LA prices. After arriving and on the way to my hotel. I was quickly informed about the Fiesta events that catered to the LGBT community. Not to make visitors feel left out from the royal experience. restaurants. which I did. Some are considered more extravagant as they come from Fiesta Royalty or even politicians. I did manage to make my way to the gay bars and was shocked at how many there were. hotels and even individuals. There were small dives as well as huge dance clubs. I quickly got lost in the crowds of people in the streets dancing and drinking. Fiesta goers are encouraged to wear medals proudly. museums. each and every day.
connextionsmagazine.com “ www. contact their awesome CVB: visitsanantonio.Fiesta® San Antonio | April 2013 photo courtesy Fiesta Commission and Jon Alonzo “The eclectic city filled with To help plan your SA stay.com 35 art. culture and history really made an impact on my perception of Texas .
You may even feel like something is wrong with you. You rock! You can create anything in your life. like myself. assessing or judging that you are “not there yet” or “don’t have what you want” and then you feel discouraged and unhappy with your current life situation. looking at your life. Don’t listen to anyone else’s fears or stories of negativity 7. It actually makes the trip feel longer when you keep on asking that question. But luckily I had my honey remind me of what I teach and after a few nice deep breaths. doesn’t it? It’s that impatience that hinders the joy that exists in the journey itself! I know a lot about road trip journeys. Just take one step at a time and celebrate each step 8. Have faith that you CAN achieve your goals. judging where you are at as “not enough” and then choosing to feel frustrated by your perception of not being in the place you desire to be in your life. but I know a few adults who have asked the same question too. that were flowing to me while I was just living in the moment. call … “See-it-like-it-is-itis”. taking in the scenery. Appreciate the things that put a great big smile on your face 4. Kids are known for asking this question. Nothing is wrong with you. but for me I would rather enjoy the journey in the present moment and not keep on focusing on the fact that “we are not there yet”. but I chose to enjoy each moment of the journey. It’s a DIS-ease with your current life situation. It’s what Law of Attraction teachers. by Maria Lesetz H Have you ever been on a road trip and someone in the car asked you “Are we there yet?” and kept on asking that question over and over again. I chose to focus on what felt good.5 hours)! What a frustrating place to be. it’s a question that comes up in your everyday life. You find yourself stopping. How can you expect things to change for the positive. Do you find yourself asking “Am I there yet?” followed by “Why is this not happening?” as it pertains to your life goals or dreams? Maybe you have wanted something to happen in your life for years or you have been working “hard” to achieve your goals for what feels like an eternity. Maybe you’ve even done it yourself! I don’t know about you. It took me 5 days and 4 nights to get there and oh. You focus on “what is”. it got me thinking … “Am I there yet?” This is not only a question you ask on a road trip. I got stuck in some heavy traffic. 36 www. Stay grounded in the present moment 3. I conjured up deep appreciation for Oregon and felt such joy in my heart to call that home. on one particular day. There’s nothing like the open road and the freedom you feel when you are on a road trip like this. This summer I took another one of my Lovin’ Life Cross Country Road trips from Oregon to New York.connextionsmagazine. Some days were long drives.ARE WE THERE YET? traffic as an opportunity to appreciate where I live and how there is essentially no traffic there and very polite drivers. glass half full analogy – depends on which way you choose to look Here are a few lessons we can learn from my Lovin’ Life Cross Country Road Trip and from the story of Nik Wallenda about the journey to achieving our own goals and dreams: 1. I must confess. But that’s just a story you are telling yourself. snapping photos of this beautiful country we live in. Focus only on that which makes you feel good 5. I deliberately chose to pivot to a better feeling place and focused on what I was grateful for. I chose to enjoy the journey instead of focusing on whether I had arrived at my destination for that day. You have the power to choose! The only thing that stops you from achieving your goals and dreams is the fact that you are stopping to observe where you are at and if you are “there yet”. and even writing down inspirational quotes and ideas for my Lovin’ Life Coaching business. judge that it’s “not enough” or “hasn’t arrived” and then you feel like crap about it.com . Now. when you are primarily focused on the fact that what you desire to have is missing in your life? It’s similar to that glass half empty. what a journey it was. traveling through Illinois. no matter what’s in front of you. Realize that you always have a choice to let go of the stress 6. No matter how long each day took. Follow your passion 2. I started to see the Then. I found myself falling into that trap of looking at how many miles I traveled (24 miles) and then looking at how long it was taking (2.
Are you familiar with the tightrope walker. no matter what your current situation looks like. you can visit her website at www. And not only that.at it. you choose to focus on what you are grateful for. Deliberately choosing positive thoughts and feelings is your secret ingredient to being happy. what you feel blessed to have and what IS working in your life. Look around you. when you BELIEVE that what you desire is on its way. However.com or contact her directly at Maria@MariaLesetz. you will feel so much happier on the journey to realizing that dream! And the most important thing is that during this whole life journey. Feeling “lack” attracts more things into your life that will make you feel like you “don’t have enough”.connextionsmagazine. Nik Wallenda? He recently walked across the Grand Canyon! Do you think he was asking that question of “Am I there yet?” as he was taking each step on that wire? Do you think he was stopping to assess where he was at. no matter what bumps in the road show up along the journey. it is way more likely that the positive outcome will happen sooner than you think.com 37 .LovinLifeNow. The positive feeling that you choose to have throughout the entire journey towards achieving your dream is the catalyst to your success. Choose to see the beauty that is right in front of you and within you. This brings to mind another great analogy of how to achieve your life goals.com www. Enjoy this journey called LIFE! If you would like to hire Maria as your personal Life Coach. Negative feelings attract more negative things into your life. feeling frustrated that he wasn’t there yet and then worried that he would never get there? Of course not! “Are we there yet?” … a question that keeps us from appreciating the gift that is called the present moment.
10 Reasons to Put from A Vienna Coming Vienna Virgin on Your Bucket List N 38 Not only was this my first visit to the city of Vienna. When traveling in general. first and foremost. I am too old to be sold into sex slavery and secondly.” “If I get lost. the fears of international travel were outrageous.connextionsmagazine.” “How will I connect with anyone at all? My iPhone and iPad will be uncharged because I don’t have that funny looking adapter and all the wall outlets in Europe will fry my electronic gadgets. – honestly silly! “What if there is an emergency? I can’t even call home because I don’t know the Country code or how to make an international call. Prior to my trip. but this was a brand new experience all together. having never been to Europe. such as myself. who will help me find my way home since I don’t speak the language?” And best of all.com . I always recommend the buddy system! “What if I am ‘taken’ and sold into sex slavery? Who will call Liam Neeson to come and get me?” www. and looking back now. my travel companion was not a European virgin. whether it be internationally or just a weekend trip up the coast.” “How will I buy anything without Euro’s? I only have American money. apparently I have watched too many movies because my greatest fear was: “What if I am ‘taken’ and sold into sex slavery? Who will call Liam Neeson to come and get me?” Thankfully.
built to protect the city from invasion.connextionsmagazine. without-a-doubt. and many small towns can be toured as a day trip from Vienna and back. For all train schedules. the Austrian Parliament. Vienna’s ‘Ring Road’ (Ringstrasse) was constructed in 1857. but I will tell you. hugged me and nestled my head right into her cleavage. museum. the State Opera House. Being a newbie to the land of Europe. I never stopped to think how frustrating it is for the person in the drivers seat of that vehicle in front of me. There is a “Ring Road” that circles this city center. as the major airport is only a 15-minute cab ride to Vienna’s City Center and most of the notable tourist attractions are located in district 1. www. and Vienna University. had English speaking employees that were happy to accommodate my need for translation. café. while they navigate their map and decide whether they should turn right or left. and circles the city centre. For first time travelers to Vienna. that all the people I met were genuinely friendly and welcoming. There is no need to rent a vehicle in Vienna. I don’t have time to sit in my vehicle.1 Austrians Don’t Hate Americans 2 Vienna is an Easy City to Navigate Simply put. and most accommodations will specify what district they are located in. i s Having heard that Europeans aren’t too fond of American tourists. Being from New York and always in a hurry. A train ride will get you to the Alps mountain range. you’ll be happy if you find a hotel that is in walking or biking distance to the Ringstrasse (Ring Road). This road sits where there was once brick walls. Well. Just remember that “Vienna” is English for the German word “Wien” – I was in town for about 3 days before I figured this out. until I became an avid traveler myself. I can’t say that the people of Austria are any friendlier than those in other Countries on this continent. That was a warm welcome that won’t be forgotten! Every hotel. 3 Vienna is a Walking City Volksgarten park with the Natural History Museum in the background Not having to rent a vehicle saves money and a lot of frustration.oebb. which offers amazing views of monumental buildings like Hofburg. the Museum of Fine Arts. and districts 1-9 surround the Ring Road.com 39 . I toured the Ring Road via bicycle on the bike path. I was a bit leary of what to expect on my first trip overseas. But contrary to popular belief.at/en/ (this is the English language website). the “City Center” is obviously in the center of Vienna and is considered District 1. travelers are welcomed. behind a tourist. One of the first girls I was introduced to. and retail shop that I visited. restaurant. visit www.
and just prior to Vienna Pride is an event called the “Life Ball” which is held annually in May. so make sure to check your dates of travel if you wish to attend some of the most popular. they have succeeded in nurturing young. More photos of this year’s pride festivities and upcoming gay events can be found on the Vienna Pride English language facebook page. Life Ball kicks off the city’s rainbow flag flying and these colorful waving symbols are flown on buildings and even on train cars and trolleys until Vienna’s Pride week comes to an end. Being the most flamboyant and lucrative AIDS/HIV charity event in Europe. Whether you are single or traveling as a couple. and tickets for this event are somewhat hard to obtain.com . Alongside the city of Vienna’s traditional values. 40 www. Connextions Magazine was honored to be amongst the 150. For a slideshow of photos taken at Vienna Pride. Life Ball hosts power figures such as the Austrian federal chancellor to Hollywood stars and former US President Bill Clinton.Vienna Pride 2013 4 People With a Homophobic Attitude Are the Minority Vienna is the undisputed capital of gay and lesbian life in Austria.000 attendants at this year’s annual Rainbow Parade in June. click HERE. as well as developing strategies to ensure gay and lesbian guests have a pleasurable experience. dynamic homosexual AND heterosexual scenes.connextionsmagazine. the choices for gay-centric activities are endless! Events are held all year round.
I would say “colorful.in This Cosmopolitan City but not as necessary. From the common area book selections to the rooftop bar with its amazing view. with every color in the palate filling the walls with fun. this quirky colorful flamboyant hotel offers an ‘anything goes’ atmosphere. the term ‘colorful’ also has a figurative meaning. Perfectly located at the MuseumsQuartier.25hours-hotels. it is imperative to me that the hotel comes equipped with a restaurant.connextionsmagazine. http://www. The seven story building offers 219 rooms. capers and pancetta.” And I don’t just mean that in the literal sense of the word. I devoured my plate of mix ‘n match toasted bread filled with: Roasted pepper and an obscene amount of olive oil. Taking modern artistic style to a whole new level.com/wien/ www. which come in all shapes and sizes to suit your individual taste. when I travel.com 41 . Speaking of taste. and Buffalo mozzarella with garlic and anchovies. each room is decorated in circus themes. A bar attached to that restaurant is always welcomed.5 Life is but a Circus in This Hotel . Chicken liver pate. especially the Crostini. fries and onion rings! A little taste of home for me! If I had to describe this hotel in just one word. 1500foodmakers is the restaurant inside 25hours Hotel and I was happily impressed with the Italian cuisine. I visited during the summer and the Burger De Ville Bus was parked out back and offers classic American burgers.
Berg. One – I would find a way to order Vienna bread online because there is no way I will be able to live without it. such as Mozart. and is offered in red or white. As it so often happens in America. even if only once. And two – With recipe in hand. a lot of bread. And if you are wondering why the server hasn’t dropped your check. you can’t leave Vienna without having tried one of the most popular Viennese dishes. Restaurants here. making it one of Europe’s leading cultural centers. 4 opera houses. Well. 150 museums. it is because you haven’t asked for it. I savored “the taste of the third millennium” during a visit to Burschik’s. as I do. With its 50 theaters. Wiener Schnitzel.burschik. the first Austrian Vermouth winery.connextionsmagazine. Mahler. Beethoven. and craft beer to wash it all down. and an array of dipping sauces from Café Landtmann (Bottom) Dubbed as “The Most Famous” Wiener Schnitzel. more deserts that could fit in my belly. A common ingredient in the popular martini. Wiener Schnitzel is similar to New York Pizza – you can’t visit NY without having some. as a city of music. I opted for this choice! A lot of meat. This is how I will remember my culinary feasts while touring Vienna. SIDE NOTE: If you are new to European dining. Schubert. Brahms. The server then knows it is ok to remove it from the table. Upon departure from my travels to Vienna. enjoys a paramount reputation around the world. Vienna bread is a unique and influential style of lighter bread with fresh leavening that developed in Vienna. sautéed potatoes. Every dish I tasted was cooked to perfection and so fresh – it were as if my table of friends were the only guests in the restaurant and the chef was preparing dishes just for us. Pictured: (Top) Viennese Prime Boiled Beef with cream spinach. Schoenberg and Haydn. Strauss. Vienna is an extraordinarily rich cultural city. remember to place your fork on your plate in the 4:00 position.com/ The City of Music & Culture Mozart statue in the Burggarten Vienna. White being the sweeter of the two. I was intrigued to learn that Vermouth isn’t just an ingredient that becomes a mixed cocktail. two things were very important to me. when you are finished with your meal. Vermouth is a liquor made from wine. with several added herbs for flavoring. make Wiener Schnitzel for my family.6 Burschik’s Vermouth 8 Culinary Artistry If you enjoy the sweeter things in life. 42 www. welcome your patronage and don’t kick you out if they feel you have been sitting at the table too long. it can be sipped like wine. with potato salad from Plachuttas Gasthaus zur Oper 7 http://www. numerous galleries and several stage musical theatres. and every 2nd restaurant sells it but says they are the best.com . I will. make sure to indulge in Viennese Vermouth. No other city has been home to so many composers of international renown.
If horses make you happy. Filled with many courtyards. In the most beautiful riding hall in the world. Vienna boasts more than 800 of them. this is it. If history is your forte. Caffe Latte. http://www. Mocha with a shot of rum.landtmann. MQ offers visitors a schedule packed with fun for all ages. I plan to use Vienna as a centrally located home base – one week just wasn’t enough for me. MQ offers discounts and gifts for Foursquare users. Espresso. shops.connextionsmagazine. the city boasts 150 museums. or cold coffee with vanilla ice cream and whipped topping – there is no shortage in Vienna! One of the favorites I visited was Café Landtmann. such as miniature boating races. DJ’s on the weekends. houses one of the world’s most important surviving “cabinets of curiosities. The Spanish Riding School should be on your itinerary. Marlene Dietrich. with artifacts dating back centuries. If you have a vision of what an outdoor café in Europe looks like.com 43 . art nights. Cappuccino. Founded by Franz Landtmann in 1873. such as the famous strudel. Strangely unique all-weather loungers create an ambience that draws you to a relaxed state of mind. in addition to the numerous café bars. Coffeehouses in Vienna are much more than just places to drink coffee – they are a way of life. Irish Coffee. Bernd Querfeld offered an exquisite tasting experience. which just re-opened in 2013 after having been closed for nearly 10 years. renowned museums and exhibition halls. Romy Schneider. and is one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world. Coffee expert and current owner. If my place of employment were nearby. outdoor films and literary festivals – the list goes on and on. which once ruled over a global empire from this city. when I return to explore more of Europe. The Kunstkammer.” Now that my fears of international travel no longer cloud my judgment. you can experience a unique highlight of Austrian culture with the presentation of stallions in absolute harmony between horse and rider. which is located next door to the Burgtheater. along with TO-DIE-FOR deserts. Paul McCartney and Hilary Clinton. patrons have included Sigmund Freud.vienna.at/ Hofburg (Imperial Palace). I would spend every lunch break on a lounger! Overflowing with non-stop entertainment and activities. Hofburg is an impressive testimony to one of the most powerful dynasties in Europe. café restaurants and pizza café’s throughout the city. view from the Burggarten There is so much more to explore in the cultural and diverse city of Vienna. Catering to the young and hip crowd. c afés. Visit www. this is the place where diversity thrives. www.9 Coffee!!! 10 MuseumsQuartier The MuseumsQuartier is an incredible architectural wonder of urban design.info/en which features an extensive database of events and many useful hints for your stay in Vienna.
VEGAS BABY! photos courtesy David Perry 44 www.com .connextionsmagazine.
A city built on heterosexual fantasy now courts gay travelers by David Perry www.com 45 .connextionsmagazine.
Vegas exists in a perpetual NOW. gem-like lighting. each is trying to outdo the other. and I was giddy coming off that table. Steve Tyler of Aerosmith said.him-and-pet-him-and-squeeze-him-andI-will-call-him-George duh-duh look on their faces. The glowing green façade of the MGM Grand. you pervs. I ventured forth to where angels fear to tread. Like me. “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. It was my first ever.” That is Las Vegas in a nutshell. and crystalline pools. The casinos fell over themselves funding a sparklingly new and sumptuously appointed LGBTQ community center. where I was staying. Mornings began the right way: Sensuous indulgence of a purely physical nature. The visual equivalent of an out-of-body experience. Nobody does full-body like Vegas. why not have it in Sin City? Buffed and limber. what the hell?) at the Hard Rock Casino’s Reliquary Water Sanctuary. But what the space may lack in outside razzle. the Strip is what happens when you give an architect an unlimited budget and a Bedazzler. and since you never forget your first.com . but is not to say the city showgirls build. There is no safe place to put your eyes. and how hostile can the native habitat of Liberace be? I was not once called out for being the only gay guy at the jam-packed (and boozed-up) Ditch Friday pool-party at the Palms. So much so I signed up for a facial (oh. looking up at the lights with an I-will-hugThe Vegas glitter does dull a bit when it comes to gay visitors (and natives). Carpe diem! And you can always spot first-timers on the Vegas Strip: They all have their cameras out.connextionsmagazine. Ancient Egypt rubs shoulders with Arthurian myth in the forms of the Luxor and Excalibur. the illusory magic of David Copperfield. a warren of black stone. no two are alike. Each casino is a hermetically-sealed world unto itself. The New World faces off against the Old with the New York New York and Paris resorts. You gotta love a city that is just so damn direct about wanting to get you off and rip you off all in the same second. so focuses on boobies that gays are persona non grata. the hyper-melodic music of Tiësto. is downright stately by comparison. Put it all together and voila! — the free-associative candyland of the Strip. Its central location on the Strip makes it the perfect HQ to explore the city’s other LED-spangled showcases. no future gravid with consequences. I mean a massage. and the stupefying physicality of Cirque de Soleil (which has theaters all over the city) all combine for inside dazzle. and was in fact rather popular — nothing rakes in the slightly tipsy 46 www. Buried deep in the Mandalay Bay is the Bathhouse. there is no past full of regrets.
and Q for miles around. The upswing of this. such as Share. is the venues that do exist.bikini babes like saying “I appreciate your hands down my shorts but I’m gay…no. Elton John is a frequent Vegas performer. it did occur to me that. much more successful. really. and with its iconic jet-black pyramid as a backdrop. At one point.com 47 . the Luxor hosts Temptation Sundays. pull in every L. To its credit. and I don’t think there was one straight man in the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace when I took in Celine Dion. it takes all kinds). Moving right along… If poolside shenanigans aren’t your thing (eh. Put the usher in a hammerlock if you have to. The pool-party is a Vegas cornerstone. singing in a waterfall. however. a party there. T. Vegas can still satisfy via its showstopping stage spectacles. whose candleflame-slender figure belies the fact that she hail-marys every note to the back row of the cheap seats with lung capacity to spare. But a show here. G. and this explains www. Ms. and a club way over there (Share is far removed from the Strip) is hardly in the Vegas spirit of now-now-now/ more-more-more. Vegas is well aware where it comes up short. creating fantastically diverse crowds. gays and lesbians represent a whole new world to exploit enchant. but if you find yourself sitting smack-dab in a herd of drunk gay Canadians cheering on their country’s favorite daughter — like I was — change your seat. Dion’s five-octave range is as expansive as ever. and parties like REVO Sundays at the Mirage. in the immortal words of Big Bird. and her legs go right out the door. B.” Nevertheless. And for me.connextionsmagazine. one of these things is not like the others… Vegas does not suffer from bigotry — it is the least judgmental city in history. a vast gay aquafest as tactile as anything going on at the Palms. and the city is seriously getting its gay on. But it does have a dearth of gay infrastructure.
the largest gay club on the planet . and pop techno mixes. is.com “ “ Krave Massive. in true Vegas style. Also nearby: Park on Fremont.connextionsmagazine.000 square feet divvied into dance spaces given over to hip-hop. In the Fremont East section of the city. Latin. in true Vegas style. a rockin’ bowling alley/dance club/drag show that’s perfect for pre-gaming. and LGBTQ movie distributor run by TLA Entertainment. in the Fremont East section of the city.the June debut of Krave Massive. Fremont East has another plus — history. it’s right across from Drink and Drag. Crammed in is also the Tickled Pink comedy club. Highbrow pursuits usually aren’t first on the list in Las Vegas. country. Like any casino. 48 www. EDM. whose chronology of organized crime could have no more fitting a location. a store. it is. the largest gay club on the planet — a whopping 84. private lounge. Even better. The historic Four Queens and Golden Nugget casinos still stand. and down the way is the Mob Museum. but Fremont East is the vestigial remnant of the Las Vegas before the mega-casinos took to the sky. Krave Massive is a one-stop shop for vices of all sorts. and is a showcase of flashy Mid-Century Modern neon showmanship. an eatery whose quirky menu perfectly segues with the surroundings.
” and at least two cheap feels on my butt. the bar is so named because it is a chandelier. a vast gay aquafest as tactile as anything going on at the Palms. they were all giggles. I stood alone in the corridor wondering what the @#$% just happened. “What plays in Vegas stays in Vegas.com “ 49 . but not before downing a few of the infamous Verbena cocktails at The Chandelier. That’s Vegas. And then they were gone. If it has a Nobu (at Caesar’s Palace).“ The pool-party is a Vegas cornerstone. Luxor-ious: A bevy of beauties at Temptation Sundays at the Luxor www. a huge stalactite of draped crystal beads that is the centerpiece of the casino space. An architectural triumph at the Cosmopolitan. Wearing nothing but bikinis and stilettos and fresh from a pool-party. you’re doing something wrong. the Luxor hosts Temptation Sundays. bumps. Andrea’s at the Encore. the Border Grill nestled amid the golden towers of the Mandalay Bay. there must be some redeeming value. and Sage at ARIA are part of a five-diamond necklace of spaces indulging appetites of a more innocent nature. Even the most anal of moralists would absolve the sins of the city for the sake of its food. I hit ‘em all.connextionsmagazine. None of the slots players even batted an eye. Back at the MGM Grand. “excuse me’s. and with its iconic jet-black pyramid as a backdrop. I found myself in an usual position: I was in the middle of the casino adjusting my camera when I got hit by a wobbling wave of wildly wasted women.” and if you aren’t doing something wrong.
Arizona T is famous for it’s massive hotels. The best of the best is presented to visitors in this beautiful city nestled just a short distance from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. premier spas and first class dining. Mostly shopping and dining now. just be warned of the summer months where temperatures can be stifling.Scottsdale Where Luxury Meets Adventure by David Duran he sparkling jewel in the desert that is known as Scottsdale.connextionsmagazine.com photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau . For the blazing summers. known for cowboys and saloons. Scottsdale was at one point a very western town. nearby lakes provide a place to cool off. climbing and outdoor activities in the area. photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau 50 www. the old town area gives a glimpse to the past of what once was in a city that has now been taken over by pure indulgences. Scottsdale has some of the best hiking. some even equipped with lazy rivers and water slides. Taking advantage of the beauty of the Arizona desert surroundings. all you need to do is take advantage of any of the luxury hotel properties available. because this place is nothing less than 5 stars all the way. photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau which it should well be. and its “old town” district still has the original infrastructure to prove it. but in reality.
This is completely out of the box for the Four Seasons and it has become a massive success. The golfer’s massage is a combination stretching/massage that rubs your back and pressures those tight muscles using actual golf balls. www. Their pool parties are with strict dress codes. offers complete privacy and serenity away from everything else. The spa offers your classic massage packages and services. craft cocktails that leave you mesmerized and some decadent desserts. which is nested away in Troon North. they have a soda fountain bar with appropriate height levels just for them.Where To Stay W Scottsdale Want to be hip. Their various categories of rooms offer some of the most unique layouts and furniture of any other hotels. Here you will enjoy comfort food. the products in-room are the ones you will be tucking away each night so the maid service will replenish them the next morning. which offer some easy to strenuous hikes. a good place to burn off some of those spiked milkshakes from Proof. Lucky for guests. The property consists of all extremely spacious private casitas in different categories. in true Scottsdale fashion. and makes you feel like you are coming home rather than a hotel room. that’s a very notable title to have. Within walking distance of the property are some of the Pinnacle Peak trails. The lobby lounge/bar fills up quick at night. trendy and stay right in the heart of the nightlife district? If so. In combination with their Bliss Spa.” and in a city filled with over 600 restaurants. one of the cities “Top 10 Asian Restaurants. Proof. This is definitely the place to see and be seen.connextionsmagazine. What about the kids? Well. Don’t let that intimidate you though. you know that W Hotels are right on point and offer luxury within a modern and stylish environment. so be sure to grab a spot before dinner at Sushi Roku. VIP services and bouncers at every entrance. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North Can you ever go wrong with a Four Seasons? It’s just not possible. but has taken on adventurous new treatments developed by surrounding elements of the resort.com 51 . But the most exciting photos courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau amenity here is their new “fun-dining” restaurant. it’s all provided to ensure the maximum enjoyment and experience. and the Scottsdale property. a great beer selection. some which even offer a boost of alcohol! The casual spot has their staff in jeans with their sleeves rolled up. it’s located just steps from the lobby of the W.
is right off the main common area. Virtù Honest Craft. If you prefer to take a dip in the pool. which has one of the most beautiful on-suite bathrooms you will ever see. they offer a second story infinity pool. With only 4 guestrooms. which becomes part of your space after hours. special curtained off window sections are available and are hard to come by without a reservation. From top music acts. The B&B most recently opened its new eatery. Signature Room. one of Scottsdale’s bests. On the 15th floor of the property is their signature restaurant. This unique property in the heart of the arts district and walking distance to all is quickly becoming recognized as the place to stay if you desire complete privacy and a different experience. Orange Sky.Where To Stay Bespoke Inn. The daily-hosted happy hour is a great time to meet your neighbors! Across their courtyard is a bicycle shop where guests can rent bikes to cruise the city or just get in some calorie burning. The common space is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing. you can come home to a little extra fun before bed. and enjoy everything they have to offer. The small and intimate restaurant has seating for approximately 50 indoor and out so it’s a perfect compliment to the quaint four-bedroom B&B. For a more private dining experience. which offers a “wandering Mediterranean” cuisine under the culinary talents of Chef Gio Osso. while providing guests with a casino and full on Vegas-style entertainment. the Talking Stick is a resort has it all. It offers floor-to-ceiling windows that offer the best 360-views of the Valley’s signature orange sunsets. so after a night out. which debuted in 2010 offers all the over the top luxuries you would want. 52 www. to live sporting events broadcasts to cabaret type performances. It’s conveniently located close to major AZ highways and is only a short distance to the center of town.connextionsmagazine. each offers something different as all the furniture has been re-purposed or custom built by the owners. With only 4 rooms. The rooms are beautifully modern in style and Casino floor is alive and jumping 24/7. so don’t spend all your time in the casino. The 500sq ft. this one should be saved for that special night out. which at first view will leave you speechless. With plenty of dining options in the hotel. This unique Scottsdale property will easily indulge your inner lucky streaks. It’s massive living and dining room is complimented in massiveness by its gourmet kitchen. the pool is basically your private oasis in the desert. Café and Bicycles Scottsdale’s only luxury B&B offers something totally different. so book upon arrival. photos courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Talking Stick Resort Time for a little gambling! This hotel.com .
5th and Wine. the highest class of dining. and you wont be disappointed if shopping is heavy on your itinerary. The best shopping. Scottsdale Fashion Square. For more information on Scottsdale visit: http:// www. which lead you to the massive mall. Arizona Food Tours offers a variety of tours. Desert Wolf Tours has some sweet Tomcars for guests to drive around in the desert. For a little outdoor adventure. and the finest in accommodations – Scottsdale will not disappoint. Cowboy Ciao and Kelly’s. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Scottsdale offers first-class shopping and dining throughout their streets too. stop by The House. Stylish boutique shops line the streets of downtown. The Tomcar was originally developed for use by the Israeli Defense Forces special operations units. so you know it’s going to be rough and tough out there. getting out of a luxury hotel is tough.com www.connextionsmagazine. all must try restaurants on or off the tour! For a special treat and some tasteful craft cocktails. but don’t fret. If eating is more your thing. The Mission. The tour involves some light hiking to some of the best views of the Sonoran Desert.photos courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Get Out and Get Active photos courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau For some of us. Arizona offers some of the best almost year-round weather with comfortable climates that make anytime a good time to visit. Scottsdale.experiencescottsdale. For summer month planning expect some heat. try a culinary walking tour which will take you to the best of the best the city has to offer. but also take advantage of discounted hotel rates and package deals.com 53 . The Beverly Hills of the desert has it all. the unlimited outdoors. tucked away in Old Town Scottsdale where Chef Matt Carter serves up his re-imagined Mediterranean dishes. and takes you to places like. Whether it’s ultimate luxury and indulgence you are seeking or active outdoor adventures…you’re covered either way.
these pride volunteers at North Jersey Pride deserve huge kudos for their efforts in offering an event that the suburban gay community can bring their entire family too.. explaining to the friend’s mother. that we were headed to a “gay” pride event and her daughter may encounter some eccentric individuals. along with my partner and my teenage daughter. if you should choose to bring one. Pride events have always been the ‘safe zone’ to let your freak flag fly. with headlining entertainment including. and rainbow cupcakes.000 visitors. Having come out of Click here to view more photos of the 2013 North Jersey Pride 54 www. made a pit-stop to pick up my daughter’s high school friend who would join us for the day. and a delicious array of specialty food choices. myself. Finally. more dogs in attendance than drag queens.North Jersey Pride ve ents ha v e e id “Pr een the r b s y a alw you ’ to let e n o z ‘safe g fly.connextionsmagazine. although I have always found it somewhat disconcerning. with two kids in tow. such as lobster rolls. I went to great lengths. including grandparents! Having been to dozens upon dozens of pride festivals over the years. yet thrives at the chance to show the world what they look like in ass-less chaps. What’s unique wasn’t the attendees or entertainers. vegan wraps. North Jersey Pride offered me a festival I was proud to bring my children to! Various vendors with unique items for sale..com . Before making the 4 hour drive to Maplewood. Founded in 2011 and an attendance growth of over 400% in such a short time.” freak fla the closet at age 23. one of the first things on my agenda was to hit up a pride festival and meet others that I could relate to. The 2013 festival boasted over 80 vendors. since the LGBT community fights so hard to be treated as an equal. What’s more unique is that the great lawn area welcomes blankets for lounging and your own picnic basket of treats. New Jersey. But a pride event back in the early 90’s was never a place for children and families. either dressed in drag or barely dressed at all. and 3. Ethiopian buffet. it was the atmosphere. including face painting. after two decades and dozens of LGBT events over the years. a courtyard playground area for children. I can honestly say that North Jersey Pride offered something I have never experienced at a previous event. Newark Mayor Cory Booker who gave a powerful speech that had the crowd roaring with energy.
I can tell you that this event gets bigger and better every year.com/ www. Mr. what started as a small tavern contest. Leather (IML) is an international conference and contest of leathermen held annually each May. Powerhouse. fashion and even furniture. Black Eagle International Mr. San Francisco Leather 2013 Sponsored by SF Bay Area Leather Alliance. Leather Toronto 2013 Sponsored by Heart of the Flag Federation. Mr. proud to showcase their latest fetish wear. International Mr. Illinois.Mr. held at the Gold Coast Bar. As a previous contestant myself.It’s always good to bring leather to the by Bob Forbes 2013 IML 35 years ago. has been transformed into one of the largest leather events in the World. Santa Clara County Leather 2012 Sponsored by Santa Clara County Leather Assoc. including the exhibitors and vendors from around the world. McClellan’s debut international release album Fear Nothing has been released. OR. Inc. since 1979 in Chicago. Bootblack 2013 Winner: Sammy from Portland. Sponsored by Blackout Leather Productions Beverly McClellan was on the entertainment line up at this year’s IML. “Windy City” photos courtesy Bob Forbes 2013 IML Title Holders Andy Cross . Northbound Leather.connextionsmagazine. Best known as a top 4 finalist on NBC-TV’s The Voice. and NW Leather Celebration '14 Second Runner-up: Robert Miller. Troy Anicete Designs First Runner-up: Thib Guicherd-Callin.com 55 . Get the scoop on all things Beverly McClellan by visiting her site at: http://beverlymcclellan.
www. Bursts of color and architectural looks break through a sea of grey.com .com Men's Corset by Gregg Homme Jeans by Calvin Klein 56 www. and remains in the hustle and bustle of the city life. Brooklyn. NY White Shirt by Esposito Collection.connextionsmagazine. Photography: Kevin Moore Styling: Kai Waterton Model: Jonathan Davis at JB Model Management Location: Williamsburg.espositocollection. guaranteeing you won't be lost in the concrete crowd.Concrete Jungle Fashion in the For the man who is not jet setting away this season.
com 57 .connextionsmagazine.V-Neck Shirt and Underwear by Ralph Lauren V-Neck Shirt by Ralph Lauren Shorts by H&M www.
com Men's Corset by Gregg Homme Jeans by Calvin Klein 58 www.connextionsmagazine. www.com .espositocollection.White Shirt by Esposito.
Men's Corset by Gregg Homme Blazer by Kai Waterton Jeans by Dolce & Gabbana www.com 59 .connextionsmagazine.
as it is the story of one hysterically dysfunctional family. ROFL. and go-figure . Seriously – put this on your watch list! Released digitally August 6. I am a hopeless romantic at heart. the sister-in-law is depressed and just plain crazy. and having an affair with a gay man. 2013 Released on DVD September 3.In Review Petunia Comedy/Drama Starring: Thora Birch. who is married to a woman. Petunia will have you peeing your pants. LMAO and any other acronym you can think of .plays the Mom who is also a therapist. Tobias Segal. Christine Lahti and Michael Urie Writer/Director: Ash Christian If The Family Stone (2005) had you laughing. Brittany Snow. and then there’s the cousin. Part relatable and part unpredictable. The dynamics of this film are similar.she avoids any real feelings of her own. but one thing is for sure – it will have you rolling in tears of laughter! Christine Lahti – who had me LOL. either avoidance or over abundance. therefore the ending was my favorite part.connextionsmagazine. Though laughter is always the best medicine.com . The father has erectile dysfunction. all three of the brothers have sex issues. Eddie Kay Thomas. 2013 Twitter: @PetuniaMovie 60 www.
The movie addresses LGBT issues such as aging. call girl. starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker I laughed. Released on DVD July 30. With the help of friends and a Hollywood Madam. and this emotional ride offers a suspenseful ending that will surely have you in tears. they encounter many bumps in the road that bring light-hearted laughter. and marriage. John Heard. Award-Winning Independent Film.connextionsmagazine. Two geriatric disabled lesbians and one young gay buck. so does the complications at home. A Perfect Ending is a fun and relatable lesbian romance and drama film.com Twitter: @APerfectEnding1 Cloudburst Lesbian Romance Drama Internationally-Acclaimed. Jessica Clark. The cinematography is outstanding. family stigmatism. and anticipation with an unsuspecting ending.are slowly revealed. As the passionate love affair begins. Morgan Fairchild. I related. and I felt the heartache. Available at WolfeOnDemand. a beautifully sexy and much younger. On their quest to be legally married. Rebecca toils with thoughts of something missing in her life. intensity.A Perfect Ending Lesbian Romance Drama Starring: Barbara Niven. boasting an all-star cast with an honest chemistry between the main characters. should have this film in their que. Rebecca Staab Directed by: Nicole Conn Rebecca (Barbara Niven) is a wealthy housewife and mother of three. lesbian or not. I cried. Rebecca is introduced to Paris (Jessica Clark). It offers excitement. My partner and I watched this movie together and both agreed that every couple. 2013 Twitter: @Cloudburst_film www. who has dedicated her life to being the ‘family stone’. hit the road and head for Nova Scotia. The untold stories of the past – and the future .com 61 . humor. Now middle aged with grown children and a husband more dedicated to his work than his wife. I understood.
breathtaking. game over. First thought: Oh sh*t what am I doing?! Second thought: Why did that feel so good?! I remember our first weekend. pink t shirt. And then I decided to transfer and move to Dallas. perhaps it is.connextionsmagazine. In fact. While perhaps a little cliché. and to be with someone patient enough to allow me to catch up to who I want to become. leave her there? To this day. becoming a Part Time Supervisor and it was about day 67 when a curly long haired woman with little glasses. We constantly develop and refine who we are as we grow. I should of sent a Thank You card to my ex.finding someone who lives the definition of “unconditional love”. I became so nervous that my hands began to sweat. And to prove my slumber. her 9 year relationship had come to a screeching halt thanks to what we lesbians refer to as a “home wrecker”. jeans. wrong story…I digress. khakis and a polo on. was the day that door closed. to reach out and just say “hello”. we worked on developing a great friendship.The Modern Day Version of: Sleeping Beauties by Windy Dean girlfriend is going ballistic…consider it a red flag for yourself. The feelings and emotions that overwhelmed me – I began to ramble and say stupid things on the drive home. We’ve been together almost 4 years and truly I should send both our ex’s Thank You cards for releasing us from our slumbers. while I was gathering myself. The key seems to be -. it was Joelle. so. I am truly grateful to have such a wonderful woman a part my life. It wasn’t long before I caught up and was consoling Joelle. I had to have time to see her before she saw me. all I could say was “I like you…a lot!” She countered with “I love you too!” Jumping ahead. learn and experience new things and people. Where was I? Oh yes. Take it into warp speed and my lovely bride and I will be getting married in October of this year. right under my nose the entire time but “time” being the key word. for now nameless shipping and transportation company in Syracuse. Perfect. Anyway. or so I thought. I can’t even begin to describe my awakening. I hadn’t been awake in nine years…so you might have a point. While I was almost 6 years into a new relationship. I rose through the ranks fast. don’t be the one who sleeps through it! I It was sometime back in 1999. that my relationship crashed and I hit rock bottom. cleverness got the best of me. Now most people would start with something along the lines of. but I was 8 years behind the times and legitimately was catching up. Therapy also taught me the term “sociopathic narcissist” but that’s another story for another time. Joelle and I didn’t speak for a month. I remember her standing at the baggage claim. 20 feet in and I laid a kiss on her. It’s meant to be lived and shared with those who can appreciate you for who you are. We agreed to meet in Dallas on March 6th of 2009. me and mine would meet. but at best. waiting. Texas. [insert sound of screeching record] WHAT?! Wait! I just came out of a relationship! A damn long one too! What am I thinking? Yeah. my current girlfriend not only had raised eyebrows. my name is…” but not Joelle. Instead. I was starting to wake up from my modern day slumber. grabbed her stuff and headed to my place. Granted. I’d ended my sports career with a knee injury and the reality of becoming a ‘working woman’ was staring me down – and that’s when I met Crown Royal…wait. I walk up and say “Hi”. well between the talking and texting. Joelle had decided after all that time. For a year. “WINDY…what kind of a name is that?!” And that was pretty much the beginning and end of the conversation that day. Beautiful. it was Joelle. I literally ran out the door from work and raced 75mph down the freeway – 70mph was the speed limit for those of you who thought I was being reckless. [pausing to remember] Yeah what was I going to do. I remember getting to the airport about 30 minutes early and hunting down the perfect hiding spot. NY. The day I moved. And then in November of 2008. The end. Clever huh? Nine years and all I can come up with is “Hi”. well pretty much. cold turkey. Again. Little did I know I wasn’t alone. peace out. the end. She was [catching my breath] inspirational. unbeknownst to me. On the other hand. Regardless. sometimes aren’t. I got an email. For me. it sounded more like. For the next 8 years. Finally in February. Sometimes we get into such a deep sleep. We hugged. catching up. And yet again. I couldn’t find a more perfect person to spend my life with! Life isn’t meant to be something you sleep through. The door to my apartment flew open and I gave her a head start. but plenty to say about it. sayonara. it just seems in hind sight to make for such a better start of a new year. I signed on with a. I remember the drive to the airport well. We must’ve talked for. Apparently 1000+ texts is a bell ringer?! Okay. sitting at a bar in the West End and gazing into her eyes. the birds. back pack… just standing there. I wouldn’t see or hear from her. a slight point. come alive my friends! It’s a short life with no exceptions. decided to come up and introduce herself. Joelle was breaking out of hers as well. six months later I was living with her in New York. “Hi. when you’re legitimately doing nothing underhanded or inappropriate and your (L) Windy Dean (R) Joelle Sebastian Engagement photos courtesy Lisa Miller @studiodiluce 62 www. Something about ending a relationship on December 31 I don’t know. and well.com . longer than friends probably should. Therapy later taught me it was called “projecting”. dead animals on the side of the road. like watching a sunrise or feel free to insert your own serene moment now. I talked about the sun. when my long slumber began. She and her partner. we forget who we are – ever wake up completely discombobulated? When the alarm goes off. eat and hang out together.
com 63 . N Cicero. straight to your inbox.com SUBSCRIBE VIA Top 10 Florida Hot Spots Sweet Success $3. Includes option to pay via credit card.connextionsmagazine.. Cut Here www. Age Group 13-17 18-30 31-45 46-54 55 or over Would rather not say I am: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Other Would rather not say Annual Household Income Under $50k $50-$100k Over $100k Would rather not say Name Company Name E-mail Address City. Zip Subscribe online or mail this completed form to the address below. Across America! AUG 2011 Issue #4 WINTER 2011 Issue #5 Glenn 7 Reasons LGBT FamiliesRock Packard Canada’s New Gay Getaway CHOREOGRAPHER / TV PERSONALITY / RECORDING ARTIST / ACTOR / DIRECTOR Cruising what will it cost you? the Caribbean Spring 2012 Issue #6 IDOLS Domestic Violence The Unspoken Truth Massachusetts My Body made him gay Melissa Ferrick “Still Right Here” www. please send me the print edition of Connextions Magazine. Receive instant notification of the latest release.com $3. Issue 12 Connextions Magazine 8601 Tartan Dr. please sign me up to receive the latest digital release. Delivery Only) Please bill me. YES.95 USA/CAN TEXT MESSAGE TEXT: CONNEXTIONSMAG to 22828 and simply enter your e-mail address.95 USA/CAN Why Ohio? www. made payable to Connextions Magazine. Mail this form with a $18.connextionsmagazine.Join the Journey. Tax and Delivery is included in price! (Applies to U.. NY 13039 www.00 check. State.95 USA/CAN Justin Utley musicians & mormons Marijuana America’s Obsession 10 Steps to facebook success Fall 2012 Issue #8 LGBT Activist Sarah Schulman gives insight into the REAL fight for equality The Next American Gay 12 Reality Show Finalists $3.S.com 1 Standard text messaging rates may apply. Yes! I would like to receive Connextions Magazine all year! YES.connextionsmagazine.connextionsmagazine.
com .Your V illa Awaits You Ft.nyc-jc.connextionsmagazine. Lauderdale Guest Suites Booking and Information: www.com 64 www.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.