The antigay group urges its members to contact the theme park and demand that it "maintain a family friendly atmosphere."
One Million Moms, a division of the antigay American Family Association that recently threatened to boycott JC Penney after the retail chain hired Ellen DeGeneres to be its spokesperson, is now targeting Walt Disney World because of its unofficial event “Gay Days” tradition, HuffPost Gay Voices reports. “The first Saturday in June, homosexuals, bisexuals and transvestites will be at the Magic Kingdom with an agenda and purpose different than what would be expected at Disney,” the group writes on its website. “Homosexuals will be celebrating the 23rd Gay Day wearing matching Gay Day merchandise, such as T-shirts. There will also be transvestites dressed in drag showing their support for the event.”
The website goes on to urge members to send an email to Disney’s CEO in protest of the event. “Disney has been irresponsible for far too long. Disney representatives and security need to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere and require proper conduct and dress code on a daily basis.”
You can read the full One Million Moms post here.
Although “Gay Days” is not an official Disney event, organizers say it draws more than 150,000 LGBT travelers to the theme parks every year. Read more about “Gay Days” here.
Okay, so I know that I should be telling you about food and how wonderful it is and how the only thing better than your girlfriends cha-cha in your mouth is artisanal made gelato in Milan Italy. But, last month, I promised to tell you about my experience at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France - and this story has boobies, so we'll get back to food next month.
My experience began with my cousin buying us tickets via the Moulin Rouge official website. Two-hundred and twenty-five bucks got us a three course dinner and a show with a bottle of not-so-great champagne. We were seated family style right next to a lovely Japanese couple.
Funny story: My 65 year old cousin tried to explain to the Japanese couple that we were cousins, however, when she pointed to me and said "Italian" and pointed at herself and said "Irish" and then linked her hands together and said "married," the Japanese couple thought that we were married.
So we were served our three courses of mediocre banquet style food. I won't bore you with the details so we can get to the part about the boobies. While dinner was being served we were "entertained" by a cheesy lounge act of a curly haired French wannabe crooner and his manish sequined gowned lady partner. It was 2 hours of hell.
Right, so onto the ladies! The show went for about an hour and a half and was definitely worth the wait. The choreography didn't disappoint with the classic French Cancan frequently revisited throughout the performance. To be quite honest, it was like watching a show in Vegas with the addition of beautiful sexy breasted French dancers. It wasn't quite sensory overload and parts of the show were corny but there was an amazing act involving a half naked woman wrestling with a boa constrictor in a tank of water.
I would say Moulin Rouge is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Paris with a hankering for almost squeaky clean, yet still slightly naughty entertainment.
I've rounded up just a few places to wet your...whistle (clean up that dirty mind of yours!) and get your drink on while visiting. With so many places, but plenty of time, stay tuned for more reviews of spots that'll make you wonder why you haven't already booked that plane ticket to Austin. Pace yourself my lovelies, we all like to liquor up a señorita, but it's not always fun when it's sloppy!
This place has a really cool vibe and a totally integrated crowd, which makes it all the better to people watch. You’ve got your gays, preps, hipsters, cowboys/girls and everything in between mingling and playing like they’re on an elementary school playground. I know what you’re thinking…What the hell are you talking about? Hold on to your juice boxes my lovelies…on their roof top patio you’ll find a see-saw, those little animals that sit on coils (and you rock back and forth on) in the playground -whatever they’re called- GIANT Jenga and a variety of other games . The patio also houses TWO bars. SAY WHAT?! Yes, it’s awesome and it’s also laid back. Perfect. In the mood to dim the lights, want a more intimate space? Hang downstairs at their other bar where they have a DJ spinning (music is also pumping on their patio), a photo booth and the drinks flowing freely.
Another well integrated bar (psst- this is the bar next to the food trailer I reviewed before) that has rotating events and drink specials is Gibson’s Bar on South Lamar. Love this spot for its amazingly friendly bartenders, fast service, cool interior and large outdoor patio. Is it possible to fall in love with a bar? If so, I’m in deep. One of my favorite events that they hold is Bubbles, Bitches & Bingo. While playing Bingo they have great specials on champagne, which makes it oh-so-much-more fun to try and find and mark off your I8’s and your O69’s. The honey won Bingo one night and we were given a $25 gift card. All this plus food available from Luke’s Inside Out, makes this a match made in heaven (at least my idea of heaven).
My first impression upon walking into this place was, did I just accidentally sneak into a "speakeasy?” This place has an über cool vibe without feeling pretentious. Jazz band playing on stage, fans are slowly turning above you, the dimly lit lights over the bar are liquor decanters and all the bartenders are dressed with vintage looking vests, button downs and slacks. Drinks are strong, so hold on tight, but hey that's not a negative in my book. They have great happy hour specials weekly and the service was great. I liked this place so much I almost didn't want to review them and give up this little "secret" on Brazos Street. Oh and before I forget to mention it, this place is also a hostel! I can't imagine a cooler place to crash and quench when passing through Austin.
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden:
I found this place while planning a Sunday Funday pub crawl recently, when my oldest brother and sister came to town to visit the honey and I. Yes, that is what my family enjoys doing on Sunday and no, don't be jealous. You too can do this upon visiting Austin. There are lots of spots in town to hold a crawl (see honorable mentions below). Anywho...we started our said "crawl" here and can I just say, this was a great idea?! They have lots of events going on here, but on Sunday's there's live music out back. Let me paint the picture for you. It's in the "Rainey Street District," which used to be residential, so it's a bunch of cute little row houses that are now bars. In the back of Banger's is a backyard lined full of long picnic tables and you dine, drink and listen to live bands and feel as if you're at a great house party...with waiters and waitresses...and great food. I liked it so much I'm going on a Monday night with the pup. They have Mutt Monday's and offer specials as well as free dog training. Did I mention I love Austin?
Cool spots you'll want to check out, but too many for me to review
Kung Fu Saloon
J Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge
Spots I've yet to try, but are on my "must" lists:
When I'm traveling alone, I like to stay at gay hotels. They are normally very cute, boutique style hotels that are centrally located in whatever town your visiting's very own gayborhood. There is normally a cocktail bar where you can find another lonely traveler and strike up a conversation. And who knows, maybe you'll end up sharing some room service with them later.
If you are traveling as a couple, these charming hotels generally offer couples massages and packages from their spa menu. Not that I'm in the closet, I'm far far from it, but I always feel more comfortable when I know I'm at a "family" run business.
On a recent trip to Barcelona, I had the chance to stay at Axel Hotel and WOW, what an experience! I made my booking through expedia.com and found a room for only $69 per night (I know right? of course it was $69). The prices vary at different times a year. Most people travel to Europe in the summer, but I like to feel a little less crowded and I find that hotel reservations and plane tickets are way cheaper. Plus it gives us Florida girls a great excuse to break out our faux-fur lined jackets...hawt!
Spain is very food centric. You can walk down just about any street and have really great tapas or you can stumble into a little gem like Moritz. Much like some of the craft beer houses we have in America (Hops, Big Bear Brewing Co.), Moritz brews an extensive variety of beers. The only difference is they are bloody good! My date and I snacked on a flat bread white pizza and a divine roasted eggplant dish that came in a little Dutch oven.
As far as night life goes, in addition to Axel Hotel's very own Sky Bar and ground floor Disco, there is another gay club within walking distance called Arena. All I have to say is that here in Barcelona, house music rules, but you can also get your Latin music fix for much of the night.
So what did we learn here? That's right you should no longer be afraid of traveling to Europe in the winter and try to stay gay all the way!
January 1st 2013. I was rushing around the galley trying to get lunch ready for my crew, when suddenly I realized that something was wrong...I had a strange feeling. It was an uncomfortable nagging sensation coming from...my butt. “WTF? Why do I feel like I have monkey butt all of a sudden? And, how long has this been bothering me?" As every good chef does, I fed my crew and then went to go and investigate what this bothersome urgent matter was. I was both relieved and sent immediately into convulsions of hysterical laughter when I had discovered it was none other than this.
That's right people, I woke up on New Years Day with a piece of tinsel wedged in my crack. I took a moment to take stock in what exactly was happening. I drank 600 mojitos last night. I am in The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The birth place of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and I had just removed a piece of tinsel from my ass crack while hung over after partying my face off. Oh Chuck, it seems I may be at the forefront of reverse evolution. Oh well, we can't all be responsible for bringing the human race into the next evolutionary phase!
When I'm traveling, I love to observe local traditions. On my night out on New Year’s Eve, my cohorts and I were baffled as to why there were paper mache figures outside of many of the homes and businesses. .
In my best gringo-that-grew-up-in-South-Florida-Hialeah-wannabe-Spanish I was able to gather that the people in the Galapagos hand make these figures. Some are super heros, some are political figures, and some represent people in the local's lives that they just want to let go of. At midnight, the whole town makes a big bon fire and burns these figures in effigy. Yeahhhh! Burn that mother down!! I think this is a great way to start the New Year with a clean slate and may adopt this tradition!
All in all The Galapagos is a very magical place. The people are friendly and the wild life is so protected and thriving that it is a privilage to be allowed to see how nature intended these animals to live in their eco system. If you're into diving, this is as close to sharks as you'll get without using a shark cage. The sharks have plenty of food and aren't interested in fighting with a evolutionary backsliding drunkard...they'd rather have tuna.
Here is an amazing crab cake recipe because I feel like it.
1 pound can of jumbo lump crab meat, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons green pepper, chopped very fine
3 tablespoons red onion, chopped very fine
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs for mix, 1/2 cup panko for dusting cakes on top and bottom
Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
Method of prep:
Mix all ingredients except the crab in a medium mixing bowl. The mixture should look like oatmeal. If it looks too wet add more mayonnaise. If it looks too dry add more panko. Gently fold crab into the mix, try not to break up the lumps! Form cakes and dust top and bottom. Sear each side in olive oil or butter. Place crab cakes on a baking sheet and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 350 degrees. And, Voila! The best crab cakes everrrrr!!
At the end of last year, about 57 percent of Americans had unused vacation time. According to a study performed by Harris Interactive for JetBlue, it wasn’t just a few days - on average, workers left nearly 11 days on the table.
Are you one of these non-vacationers? Instead of banking your time and saving your bonus, you should spend it on yourself. See a new place, learn something new, and, most importantly, make new friends.
Here are the top travel companies that can help you plan the lez-cation of a lifetime:
Olivia is the largest promoter of lesbian travel and services in the world, chartering entire ships, resorts and tours ranging from intimate boutique voyages in the Galapagos and France to Caribbean cruises on ships holding 2,000 women.
Check out their amazing 10-day adventure to the Galapagos from September 28 - October 7 2013. The Galapagos are a World Heritage Site, providing refuge and breeding ground for marine iguanas, sea lions, and penguins, among other animals.
R Family Vacations
Run by the Kelli & Gregg Company, R Family Vacations is the premiere vacation company designed especially for gays, lesbians and their friends and families. Everyone is welcome.
Kelli & Gregg’s Adventures presents, all LGBT French Riverboat Cruise. You will be among the 140 guests on a 10-day tour starting in Paris, then cruising from picturesque Chalon-sur-Saone to Lyon, France’s gastronomical capital, aboard the beautiful ship, Avalon Scenery. This dream vacation takes place from August 4 - 13.
Source Events is more than a travel company. They think of themselves as an "Experience Company," a producer of travel, events and memories, designed and customized for the gay community and friends who are adventurous, imaginative and free-thinking.
Think Miami Beach Gay Pride only lasts the weekend? Think again. The Gay Pride Cruise, sails aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky. Although not a full-ship charter, there are nightly, private parties, and exclusive tea dances throughout the week.
Sweet is a lesbian travel company with a twist. Merging the best of lesbian travel with social and environmental awareness, Sweet aims to make the world a better place while having a blast in it. All of Sweet's vacations are carbon neutral, meaning they offset the pollution created by our air, land and sea travel.
Although this vacation isn’t until 2014, it is well worth the wait. Join Sweet for a luxurious and unforgettable journey through South Africa from September 15 - 25 2014. From the urban jungle to the wild savannah, you’ll explore the best of South Africa with expert guide Jody Cole, whose passion for Africa has transformed her life and the lives of those she meets. Prepare to have the time of your life in one of the most amazing places on earth.
Throughout my travels I've visited ruins, cathedrals and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I've been humbled by volcanoes and euphoric from trying indigenous cuisine. However, there are times where I'm underwhelmed. Times when the expectations are so high that the reality has no way of measuring up.
Unfortunately, this happened during my trip into the city of Sorrento.
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of visiting Sorrento. (Not really.) I loved this magical place so much, I even insisted that the song for my first piano recital be "Torna a Surriento." (It was insisted on me by my piano teacher, as I wanted to play "La Guantanamera.")
A decade later, (two decades) I finally saved enough money (it was a free trip) to travel to Italy. It was no coincidence (yes, actually it was) that Naples was among the regions I would be visiting and, therefore, would finally make it to magical Sorrento (I really wanted to go to the island of Capri instead.).
Upon arriving in Naples, we hired (the men negotiated) a (cab) driver and had him whisk us away to the place I longed to visit (again, because Capri was not an option). We drove along the coast, where I snapped photographs of the scenery. (I took inappropriate pictures using the side-view mirror.) Hardly containing my excitement upon entering the city gates, I exclaimed, "This is it!" (I think I sighed, "Is this it?")
Overcome with emotion (Limoncello), I got out of the car and kissed the ground (I fell) like the Pope does on the tarmac. The first site I requested to visit was the church of St. Francis Cloisters (the bathroom at St. Francis Cloisters). It is a tradition of mine to visit the holy sites of ever city I visit. (Seriously?) Which is why I dress in a black dress with a matching mantilla. (Is mantilla a fancy word for flip flops?)
Only, before entering, I genuflected (ashed out my cigarette) before the statue of St. Antonio, patron saint of Sorrento, but by the time I got back on my feet and looked up I wished I had never paid respect to this horrible man. As a matter of fact, I wished I had never stepped foot in a town that allowed such a mean person be their patron saint.
When I looked up at Antonio, I noticed he was stomping on a dolphin with his gross monk sandals. What did a poor, defenseless dolphin ever do to him? I mean, was Sorrento overrun by marine mammals? The "horror." Was he really just stomping them out with his feet? Like roaches? Or, worse, was he responsible for casting tuna nets to get rid of them?
Regardless, he must have been a total dick. (Total dick.)
What a dick.
I am sure you are all wondering how a Cuban from Hialeah ends up with a Puerto Rican accent. Simple really; I love the island of Puerto Rico. When you go to Puerto Rico as often as I do and the majority of your friends are Puerto Rican, it is impossible not to pick up their signature “ay bendito.”
There are so many things to fall in love with in Puerto Rico – and I don’t just mean the gorgeous women. The food is amazing, the sights are awe-inspiring, and the people are even better –and almost every Puerto Rican has at least a gay cousin so it really is a slice from heaven.
Here are some travel tips for your first or next visit:
Where to Stay
San Juan is divided into old San Juan and new San Juan. You will probably be better off staying somewhere in the new San Juan like Condado Beach, Isla Verde, Ocean Park, or Santurce. This area is where all the best clubs, restaurants, and casinos are. If you are looking for a more romantic getaway, the place to be is the Waldorf Astoria El Conquistador Resort. This place is so amazing you’ll never want to leave the resort – or your room for that matter.
Sites to see
There are many places to go and so many things to see you won’t be able to do it all in one trip, so here are my top must-sees for any first-time visitor. Old San Juan needs to be the first on your list. Park your car anywhere and just walk around the town. Explore the authentic shops – and the not so authentic expensive ones - have a “piragua,” and then visit the 400-year-old Castillo de San Felipe del Morro.
“El Yunque,” the world-famous rainforest, is next on the list. It’s a two hour drive from San Juan, but well worth it. You can hike the trails, take a dive under a waterfall, or simply bask in the beauty of the lush greenery. The Camuy caves should be your next stop. This cave system is about 600 feet deep and the third largest in the world. If you are feeling adventurous, there are excursions that will take you rappelling down the mouth of the cave, mud-sliding, body rafting, and even free jumping.
Every single beach in Puerto Rico is fabulous (come on… it’s an island in the Caribbean). So instead of writing about EVERY beach, here are the best beaches suited for certain things. The best family beaches are Luquillo and Piñones because they both have very little coral reef which is great for children. When you get out of the water, stop by any of the “chinchorros,” grab your favorite greasy finger food like an “empanadilla,” or “alcapurria,” and buy yourself a medalla. You’ll find the best swells at Playa Higüero in Rincon. This beach is famous for the winter surf so if you’re looking to catch some waves from November to April, this is the place to be. The best beach to just get away from it all is Playa Rosado. It is just east from Cabo Rojo and a bit tricky to get there but totally worth it. The beast beach to snorkel is Playa Esperanza. The beaches that are gay-friendly and gay-populated are in Boqueron, Condado and Ocean Park.
The most famous gay and lesbian bar in Puerto Rico is Krash in Santurce, where there’s
always a party on Friday and Saturday nights. Also in Santurce is Starz club and it gives Krash a run for its money. Starz is known for its progressive house music and theme parties. Also very popular and located near Condado is Circo Bar – I love their Thursday night Karaoke of course. There is also the lesbian-owned Airenumo, which does a “Caberet” night on Saturdays. My best recommendation is go to one of these spots, meet a few people from the island, and go bar hopping.
The Hidden Gems
I wanted to leave this section for last because this is my favorite part of Puerto Rico. There are two islands off the coast of Puerto Rico: Vieques and Culbera. Vieques is the bigger of the two and more populated. Here you will find Playa Esperanza (mentioned above), the Black sand Beach, and even a 300-year old “ceiba” tree. Here you can also visit the bioluminescent bay. The micro-organisms in this bay glow whenever the water is disturbed. Go when the moon is hiding and you will see this bay turn neon blue. It is absolutely amazing. The smaller of the two is Culebra. The best part about this island is how isolated it is. This island is home to the third most beautiful beach in world, Playa Flamenco, and the most deserted beach in Puerto Rico, Zoni Beach.
So if you’re looking to relax on the beach, party with friends, or simply just try some of the best food on the planet get on a short plane ride and visit the small island of Puerto Rico. It’s the one vacation you will never regret.
Playa Flamenco Bioluminescent Bay
Los Angeles, CA: The only actors you’ll find in this city are working at the Cheesecake Factory on Rodeo Drive. But, princes do live in Bel Air, along with sheikhs and sultans. The rest of the population is poor, but they prefer to be called potentially rich.
Anaheim, CA: The only reason you’re here is to visit Disneyland. The good news is you can see it from the freeway, so you don’t even have to pay the entrance fee to tour Walt’s first park. As a matter of fact, you can check-in at “It’s a Small World” on Four Square from the Denny’s across the street.
Santa Monica, CA: You can’t help but sing every Sheryl Crow song you know when walking around this city. The pier is a must see and there are plenty of musicians to accompany your version of “All I Wanna Do.” Ironically you want to be there when the sun goes down, not up, over Santa Monica Boulevard.
La Jolla, CA: True to its name, it’s Southern California’s jewel and everyone that lives here has rare diamonds locked in the safes of the multi-million dollar homes. Whether you’re relaxing on the shore or seal-watching at the cove, you’ll feel like the million bucks you’ll never have. If you’re into interesting places, take the architecture tour of the Salk Institute. Make sure you wear an ascot.
San Diego, CA: Welcome to Panda Town, USA. The entire city comes to a halt just to watch a panda poo. Because it’s absolutely adorable. This only takes place in the San Diego Zoo, which is a must see, but everything else you need is in the gayborhood of Hillcrest.
Imperial Beach, CA: A blast from the past, this sleepy little beach town looks like the place where Gidget surfed. The population is 46 and 45 of them are professional dudes. Everything revolves around the beach, so don’t expect shops to be open if the surfs up. It’s just a quick car ride to Hotel del Coronado and Camp Pendleton.