gay-beach

The most gay friendly cities in Europe

When it comes to the gay friendly destinations, there are more and more cities that respect the gay communities. We are definitely moving towards a more tolerant and democratic world. However, there are some cities that exceed the level of one’s expectations when it comes to organizing events, having amazing meeting points and wild parties More »

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4 Ways to Stay Warm in Chicago

Chicago is a great town but it has some of the toughest winters in the continental U.S. Between the icy streets, infamous wind, and cloudy skies, it can be a real challenge to stay warm in Chi-town. Thankfully, there are some delightful and delicious ways to keep Jack Frost off your back. Here are some More »

WestJet Valentine’s Day – will you marry me?

Airline takes two couples to Barbados for the surprise of a lifetime CALGARY, Feb. 9, 2015 /CNW/ – WestJet has created another remarkable guest experience, this time for two love-struck, Toronto-area couples on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados. The story begins in November 2014 in a Michael Hill jewellery store in Newmarket, Ontario, where WestJet used hidden cameras to select two men, J.P. and Mike, from among More »

The most gay friendly cities in Europe

gay-beach

When it comes to the gay friendly destinations, there are more and more cities that respect the gay communities. We are definitely moving towards a more tolerant and democratic world. However, there are some cities that exceed the level of one’s expectations when it comes to organizing events, having amazing meeting points and wild parties for the gay communities from all over the world.

One such place is the sophisticated London. From Soho to Vauxhall, London proves to be a highly tolerant city when it comes to diversity. If it’s your first time in London, check out the famous Soho, where you can see what gay parties are on and which are the best places to go if you are looking to have some fun. Vauxhall complements Soho by adding more pubs, discos and entertaining opportunities for the gay communities to enjoy.

Spain is extremely well known for its many gay friendly cities. Gran Canaria probably has the most pubs and clubs dedicated to the gay community. The Yumbo Shopping Center is one of Gran Canaria’s most amazing venues for the GLBT people. Usually the people who come here are mostly Spanish, but there are some British and Germans as well. However, this shopping center is open to GLBT people from all over the world, no matter what nationality they are. Another fabulous place from Gran Canaria is Maspalamos, a more relaxing alternative for the gay people who want to meet up. MalagaBarcelona and Madrid are also famous for their numerous districts, amazing festivals and wild clubs dedicated to the GLBT.

Gay beach

Amsterdam is another magnificent location that embraces the gay communities as much as Spain and London. There are a lot of festivals dedicated to the GLBT every year in Amesterdam: the Canal Parade, the Leather Pride, the Amsterdam’s Gay Parade and the Fetish Fantasy Weekend are all festivals that millions of gay people proudly attend every year.

Berlin is awesome when it comes to gay districts and festivals. It’s simply a city that has it all. Gay libraries, museums, magazines, parks, parades, it’s really the Heaven of the Gay people here! Schöneberg, Nollendorfplatz, Kreuzberg are just three of the areas in Berlin devoted to the gay community. Here is where most of the gay people meet up to go to fancy clubs, classy restaurants or simply enjoy each other’s company and socialize in squares that have been a meeting point for the GLBT communities for tens of years.

Gay Pride Toulouse France

Copenhagen is another city where most of the locals are open minded and relaxed, so there are many gay people who visit this impressive city. Although there are plenty of gay pubs and clubs, the LGBT are not necessarily going only to those venues, because it is such a free city, that they can have fun wherever they want.

It is great to see that so many countries are not only open to LGBT tourists, but they are doing their best to organize thrilling festivals, exciting parades and amazing events!

 

4 Ways to Stay Warm in Chicago

Ice-skating-in-Chicago.png

Chicago is a great town but it has some of the toughest winters in the continental U.S. Between the icy streets, infamous wind, and cloudy skies, it can be a real challenge to stay warm in Chi-town. Thankfully, there are some delightful and delicious ways to keep Jack Frost off your back. Here are some local favorites.

1. Hot Chocolate in the Park

The ice skating rink at Millennium Park is one of Chicago’s top winter attractions, but it’s also one of the city’s coldest. When you need a break from the rink, there are two excellent nearby options for hot chocolate and other warming treats. The Park Cafe has famous (and affordable) hot cocoa with a floor of convenient rubber mats so skaters don’t have to change into shoes to enjoy their drinks. For those who are ready to call it a day, the Park Grill gets you indoors with some amazing hot chocolate on the menu.

 

2. Mexican Treats

Speaking of hot chocolate, local chain xocoatl serves up authentic Mexican versions of this most popular winter drink, plus fresh baked goods like cinnamon-dusted churros. It’s a bit more of a grown-up experience to take your hot cocoa original-style with the Spice Mexican, or delve into the creamy goodness of a White Chocolate cocoa. There are many other great flavors on the menu that do something special with a timeless classic. For something a little more upscale, Xoco Restaurant makes a fine Mexican sipping chocolate, as well as several other stone-ground confections and fresh craft cocktails.

3. Spice Up Your Life

For those who are more into the savory side of things, nobody does hot and spicy like the no-nonsense Thai restaurant, Pho’s Hot and Spicy. Part Northern Thai street food emporium and part challenge for your taste buds, Pho’s serves up some of Chicago’s hottest eats (literally), including the hearty noodle soup of its namesake and sweet, spicy chicken wings.

Pro Tip: if you’re a “five stars every time” kind of eater, ask your servers to make your food “Thai spicy.” You’ll be treated to some heat that’s off the charts.

4. Find Your Layers on the Magnificent Mile

Anyone who has spent a fair amount of time in Chicago can tell you that the secret to winter survival is layers. That means outfitting yourself from head to toe in the right pants, shirts, jackets, scarves and even long undies so the cold never touches you. There’s no better place in town to find the clothes you need for winter than the Magnificent Mile. It’s the stretch of North Michigan Avenue that’s lined with shops and high-rise malls with everything from designer labels to seasonal sales. There are also plenty of great hotels on or near Miracle Mile. Check out sites like Gogobot to get a great deal on a room that’s just a short walk to all the shops.

It may be a challenge to stay warm in the middle of a Chicago winter, but places like these make it a bit easier. Remember to wrap up, watch for ice, and keep an eye out for the best Chicago has to offer.

WestJet Valentine’s Day – will you marry me?

Airline takes two couples to Barbados for the surprise of a lifetime

CALGARYFeb. 9, 2015 /CNW/ – WestJet has created another remarkable guest experience, this time for two love-struck, Toronto-area couples on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados.

The story begins in November 2014 in a Michael Hill jewellery store in Newmarket, Ontario, where WestJet used hidden cameras to select two men, J.P. and Mike, from among those shopping for engagement rings that day. The airline approached the two and asked if they would be interested in proposing to their girlfriends, Stephanie and Heather, in beautiful Barbados.

“Both J.P. and Mike agreed, but of course they couldn’t tell Stephanie and Heather that’s why they were going toBarbados,” said Corey Evans, WestJet’s Manager of Community Investment, Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing. “The girls thought they were auditioning to appear in a new WestJet commercial that we were shooting in Barbados, and had no idea what was going to happen.”

And that’s where the twist comes in.

“The one condition for J.P. and Mike is that WestJet, not they, would decide when and where they would actually pop the question,” said Corey Evans. “The result was an experience the two couples will remember for the rest of their lives, and a funny, heartwarming Valentine’s Day story to share with Canadians.”

WestJet worked with Michael Hill Jeweller and the Barbados Tourism Authority to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for J.P. and Stephanie, and Mike and Heather.

To see WestJet Valentine’s Day in Barbados – will you marry me? please click here. At the end of the video, viewers are also able to watch two additional videos featuring J.P. and Stephanie, and Mike and Heather, sharing their experiences.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, WestJet is featuring a special seat sale to beautiful Barbados. Book by February 14, 2015, and travel by June 24, 2015, with fares starting from:


Departing

Arriving

Air transportation charges
(ATC)

Taxes, fees
and
charges

Total

one-way

price from

Base fare from

Other ATC

Toronto

Bridgetown

$161

$7.50

$56.15

$224.65*CAD

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada’s most-preferred airline, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country’s top employers. We offer scheduled service to more than 90 destinations in North AmericaCentral America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 120 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet’s extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods – even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.

Recent recognition includes:
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)
2014 Interbrand Canada’s Best Canadian Brands (Rank #20)
2014 Brands of the Year (Strategy magazine)
2014 Canada’s Most Preferred Airline (Ipsos)
2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine)
2014/2013/2012 Canada’s Most Attractive Employer (Randstad)
2014/2013 WestJet RBC MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (Money Sense magazine and RewardsCanada.ca)
2013 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study)

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet
Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet
Read the WestJet blog at blog.westjet.com

SOURCE WestJet

 For further information: Media contacts: Media Relations, 1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397), media@westjet.com.

Living Out Loud in Vegas: It’s Not Just About the Gambling

Horseback-Riding-Cowboy-Trail-Rides-Las-Vegas-NV.jpg

When you think about Las Vegas, you probably think about the casinos on the Strip. However, quite a few activities in Las Vegas don’t involve gambling. Whether you are looking for an activity for a trip with friends or somewhere to take your children, Las Vegas is a great vacation destination for just about anyone.

Jogging, Biking, and Horseback Riding

Las Vegas is home to 45 miles of walking, biking, and jogging trails that don’t allow any motorized vehicles. These trails have beautiful landscaping that provide shade, along with benches, rest areas, trash cans, pet waste areas, and lighting for evening walks. The Las Vegas City Council plans to expand these trails, hoping to create a network of trails that total 239 miles and connect to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. There are also 11 miles of trails where you can go horseback riding and take in the sights.

(Image of horse via Flickr by Lindsey B)

Art Scene

Chihuly glass ceiling art Bellagio Las Vegas

Image via Flickr by O Palsson

There are art galleries and exhibits throughout Las Vegas, so if you are interested in local or famous art pieces, spend an afternoon checking out some art. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art featured unique scientific art exhibits alongside Antony Gormley’s “Bodies in Space VII.” The exhibits at this gallery are constantly changing, so you can look at something different every time you make a visit to Las Vegas.

Camping

 

Lake Mead Camping Arizona and Nevada

Image via Flickr by Julie Vazquez

If you prefer nature to surround you during vacations, check out the Las Vegas campgrounds. Most of the campgrounds have running water and hookups, which are helpful if you travel with a camper or RV.

Race Track Fun

Go kart racing Fast Lap Las Vegas

Image via Flickr by Mitch Barrie

Another popular activity in Vegas is a visit to Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing. Drivers in these go-karts can drive up to 50 miles per hour, racing friends, family members, or fellow visitors around the race track. There is an option to sign up with a group of eight to participate in practice laps, a qualifying heat, and a championship where the winner receives a gold medal. Even those who didn’t win the race can still enjoy lunch or dinner: the package comes with two large pizzas.

Activities for Daredevils

 

The Big Shot ride at Stratosphere Las Vegas

Image via Flickr by maggiejp

Among other things to do in Vegas, thrill rides throughout the Strip let you soar over the hotels and casinos. The roller coaster at New York New York features twists, turns, and loops that will leave you spinning, while the rides on top of Stratosphere shoot you high in the air and may leave you gasping for breath. The Big Shot ride at Stratosphere features a ride at 45 miles per hour, shooting you up and over the top of the hotel with your feet dangling over the skyline. You can also let loose at Vegas Indoor Skydiving, which offers a thrilling way to test your limits.

The next time that you consider where to take a vacation, add Las Vegas to the list. Even those who don’t enjoy gambling can have a great time participating in many other activities there.

3 Tips for Island Hopping in Hawaii

Sunset-in-Maui-Hawaii

A Hawaiian getaway is on the top of just about anyone’s vacation bucket list. Why wouldn’t it be? Gorgeous beaches, crashing waves, unbelievable food and a unique culture all make for one unforgettable trip. However, you probably know that visiting Hawaii means visiting more than one island during your stay. There’s a lot to see, after all, and you’ll want to experience as much of what the islands have to offer as possible. 

 

How You’re Getting There

You’re obviously not swimming from island to island, so it’s important to get familiar with how you’ll be traveling. The islands only offer two ferry services: one between Maui and Lanai, and one between Maui and Molokai. Both services also offer guided boat tours around the islands. Keep in mind, however, that the waters can get choppy. If you don’t have your sea legs, consider sticking to the islands’ airport services.

Traveling by air is actually how most island hopping is done. Hawaii Airlines is the only major airline on the islands, but you can find smaller airports all over Hawaii. You can also opt to take a puddle-jumper flight between islands, depending on your preference.

Which Islands to Visit

Sunset in Maui Hawaii

Image via Flickr by palash.biswas

There are eight major Hawaiian Islands, but only six are accessible to the public. Of those six, only four see much tourist action. The Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai host millions of tourists a year, while Lanai and Molokai never see more than around 75,000. Each island has something special to offer, so your interests will largely dictate which ones you visit.

Adventurers can stay on the Big Island to enjoy scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, or a hike around an active volcano. Those with an interest in historical events may want to check out Oahu, where you’ll find Pearl Harbor as well as Iolani Palace, where the last monarch of Hawaii was forced into house arrest. Maui is a popular honeymoon destination, with adventures like stunning helicopter rides and relaxing luxuries such as world-class spas.

If you’re still not sure which islands to see, don’t be afraid to ask your hotel’s front desk for recommendations. With numerous places to stay in Honolulu, make sure you find one with friendly, helpful service by using a travel site that offers honest, unbiased reviews.

Convenient Ground Transportation

No matter which islands you visit, be sure to take advantage of whatever public transportation options are offered. They’re surprisingly affordable, and a whole lot of fun.

If you spend time on Oahu, pick up a pass for TheBus, a much cheaper alternative to taxi cabs. You can also find scooter rental services on several islands if you’re interested in a breezy sightseeing experience. Jeeps are another popular transportation option. Although they’re pricier than scooters, they’re a fun way to enjoy the fresh Hawaiian air.

Locals have an easy time navigating all of the islands, but visitors may not be as surefooted. Before you take that trip of a lifetime, get familiar with the ins and outs of island hopping so your experience will go as smoothly as possible.