I started off our previous 2018 travel summation piece, Travel Thursday: 2018 Trips That Were The Tops (Part I), with stating that we love our travel. When I published that piece on December 21st, it was at the beginning of a 19-day trip to the Pacific Northwest. I'll share my travels to Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, and our continuing love affair with Fairmont Hotels over the next couple of months, but let's finish the recap our 2018 year of travel with Part 2 of our Travel Thursday Round Up.
In no special order, here is the second half or our list with some pics and some text from the original posts. Click on the Travel Thursday to get the full content.
Taking the leap to travel overseas is a big accomplishment for some, but for others, you are pulled by some force to get on that plane and go for it. Our writer from Philadelphia took the plunge to skip across the pond. It was magical.
A year ago, I decided to buy tickets to see the Harry Potter play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This was both because of my being a major Harry Potter fan and also because right before that I had just had my first trip abroad. After realizing just how accessible the rest of the world really was, I was ready to explore it again.
And finally, earlier this month, the time to see the United Kingdom had come.
Smaller US Cities That Grabbed Us And Never Let Go.
My luggage has put on many miles, traveling somewhere new just about once every month, I get to see a lot of the country, but some of my favorite places this year were not the largest cities in the nation, but the still good sized cities that may not be on people's first choice to visit. I have very fond memories from these four cities mentioned below, making new friends, eating great food, indulging in the arts, and thinking about moving to each and every one of them. I am not sure if I could hold one above the other. In some cities I experienced some of the gay scene, met some great fellow rainbow family members, but others I did no ROYGBIV activities, even though they had things to offer, but instead soaked up what the city truly had to offer any human being.
It's not the end of the earth, but it is the end of the road. Key West, Florida is a place for anyone and everyone, people looking for something, and those looking for nothing. I've been visiting Key West at least twice every year for the past 5 year as it is an amazing ride from Miami to the end of Route 1. One of my trips coincided with another one of our writers being down at the end of Florida. This was the first time I would meet Devin in person. We shared a breakfast and some drinks during the trip, but if you read both posts, you will see we had very different experiences, and that's a great thing.
At the southernmost point of the United States of America, there lies an island full of culture, fun, and small town atmosphere.
The island of Key West originated as a close-knit community and artistic hub before revamping into a vacation destination in the mid-twentieth century. On top of that, the island has a strong gay community and appeal for vacationers. So, if you’re looking for the best spot to plan your next vacation, here’s some info about why you should pick Key West.
In all my travels to Key West, I’ve always stayed with a very good friend. Now that she has moved back to New Hampshire, It was time for me to find a different place to stay than a guest room. Since I had been to Key West many times, walked around, knew where all the hot spots were, I knew where I desired to be and at which resort I wanted to stay.
Ocean Key Resort & Spa at 0, yes, zero Duval Street was to be my home for the next three days and two nights. Arriving at the resort, I was greeted by the handsome hockey knowledgeable valet, Jeremy. He was the first and last face I would see staying there and all others at the resort would follow his lead of having a pleasurable and helpful personality. Cara Johnson, Director of Sales & Catering, would later give me a tour of the picturesque resort, educating me on everything from the spa to the hand-painted ceiling tiles in the Hot Tin Roof Restaurant to the soon to be reconstructed Sunset pier.
We were fortunate to have two different writers experience San Francisco this year, one was "unexpected" and the other was hungry for the chance.
David is one of our writers from southern California, so having his California take on the northern part of his state.
San Francisco, the biggest and baddest city on the West Coast, is a must-experience destination that has been one of the key players in California history. From its majestic Golden Gate and Bay bridges, to the richness found in Chinatown and around its diverse neighborhoods, San Francisco is the city that will make you feel like you are in a different place with each corner you turn.
It’s the place I go to when I’m sick of Southern California and want to feel like I am not in California. I know that sounds weird, but that’s totally the feeling SF gives you. The bay area, and Northern California in general, comes with different sensibilities. So if you go there, know you aren’t in typical California—and don’t you dare call it ‘San Fran’ or ‘Frisco’—they’ll make you into clam chowder!
Ryan, our New York City resident was able to get his Yankee bum over to the west coast and see how the Californians did things.
As a lifelong New Yorker, I scoff at the idea that any other city can compare to ours in many facets, one of which being the types of food my The Big Apple has to offer.
Yes, every city has their claim that they are the best when it comes to the diverse culinary scene they have, but I wholeheartedly believe that the only part of the United States that rivals NYC when it comes to food has to be San Francisco.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
This past week found me buying a home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I had been renting for about 5 years, traveling quite frequently, and coming home to one of the more accepting, relaxing communities out there. It was time to set down roots for at least another 5 years if not more. Within the embrace of Fort Lauderdale is an island city known as Wilton Manors, one of the gayest places (per capita) in the nation, and basically where they boys are. I often write about what I know and I know where I live.
I often write a Travel Thursday posts about one of my wonderful trips, going to Tel Aviv Pride, Puerto Vallarta Pride, visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, spending time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, enjoying a weekend in Key West, and so on (I do love my job!), but I also write about my staycations here, where I live, in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors, Florida. My trips are amazing, but staying home and enjoying what I have here is just as great. When friends visit me from out of state, they always ask, what is it like to live in a Gay Mecca? I guess when you live here, you don’t think about it.
Besides being a place that has 15 gay bars within 5 blocks, quick access to one of the best beaches in the world, and a climate with about 2 days of winter and the rest of the year it’s all summer, Wilton Manors, Florida just knows how to embrace the gay as well as embrace life.
Besides partying it up on the drive, enjoying great cuisine, and soaking up all of the Florida rays, people move to and visit Fort Lauderdale because of its healthy relationship with the water. Being from Maine and enjoying the lakes, rivers, and the coastline of New England, the interaction one can have with water in Fort Lauderdale has been a great perk while living here as well as a great draw for tourists.
Visitors and residents can clearly see that the nickname Fort Lauderdale: Venice of America is quite appropriate, for the city offers easy access to The Salt Life, with its busy cruise ship port, affordable and accessible water taxi program, watercraft rentals, and its world-renowned beaches.
Remembering where we've been and what made those places special will invigorate us for our travel this year. If you know of a place we need to visit, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send suggestions or other story ideas to the magazine at email@example.com