Let's Connect!


Saturday, February 4, 2023

LGBTQ+ Friendly Palm Springs

Queer/gay couples looking for a quick getaway in a very friendly city should absolutely look to Palm Springs, especially if you want a destination that's warm, easy to navigate, and doesn't require a passport or too much time to get to. The city caters to all types of visitors, including the queer community, and I loved it.

Queer/gay couples looking for a quick getaway in a very friendly city should absolutely look to Palm Springs.

I picked up two city brochures with 'best of' lists when I got to town. The first one was specifically for the Palm Springs gay scene and the other one was, too, though, I didn't realize it until I opened it up. It had quite a few things that would be of interest to most people, but the bars, hotels, and nightlife were targeted to the gay community. Both claimed that Palm Springs celebrated Pride everyday, and I could definitely see that while exploring the city.

If you know me at all or follow me on Instagram, you know I love brunch. Almost every restaurant in Palm Springs that was open for breakfast served brunch, even outside of the weekend, which is rare. Not only can you find a great brunch all over town (I recommend the one at Farm), but I saw a whole list of drag brunches as well. We weren't in town long enough to get in on one of those, but I would love to go to one next time we visit.

The city has it's own Walk of Fame, with stars that had a connection to Palm Springs and I noticed many of them were gay icons, like Elizabeth Taylor, Lynda Carter, and Kathy Griffin, and then famous gays, like Rock Hudson and Ross Matthews. I loved how they celebrated their famous residents and guests this way. It made walking down the street even more interesting.

The city is so colorful and exudes cheer that you can't help but feel happy looking around at all the vibrant colors of buildings, houses, and shops. Trixie Mattel, of Drag Race fame, purchased an older hotel that needed a lot of love with their husband and turned it into the Trixie Motel. The small lodging is bright Barbie pink and welcomes guests to their one-of-a-kind rooms by way of a private entrance and cactus garden. Celebrities, gay and straight, have stayed here, and the late great Leslie Jordan even handpainted lamps in the guest rooms. Though expensive, rates are not entirely out of reach for the regular person to enjoy a secluded getaway here.

A bit down the block and around the corner, you'll find Piazza di Liberace, an old residence of Liberace's when he wasn't living in Vegas while performing. It's now privately owned, but the front of the home is opulent and gorgeous with a mailbox that's a piano. I love that the new owners didn't change this part of the home. Liberace actually owned two other homes in Palm Springs, but this is the only one that still looks as it did when he was alive. Some years, during Modernism Week, this home is opened to the public for architecture tours.

Though small, Palm Springs has it's own dedicated area for gay shopping and nightlife. Arenas Road is an entire block full of fetish-gear, gay bars and more. The title pic at the top is from one of those bars that has a whole mural in front of the many faces of Freddie Mercury from Queen.

Another photo op was this pair of colorful sparkling wings. Even on a week night this street was hopping and I can't blame them. I imagine later it would be even busier. Everyone looked to be having a great time and if you drove down there, the parking was full and we had to park down the block on the street in order to pick up food we ordered around the corner from there. They were cranking out the jams and I'll admit that I danced down the street on my way to get our dinner.

So, if you want a gay-friendly getaway that's not too overwhelming, but also has opportunity to go hiking, skiing, dancing, and more, Palm Springs may be for you. And if you're traveling solo, I believe it's just as easy to navigate, since you know where all the hottest spots are, can stay at all-gay accommodations, and might even meet someone special while you're there.

If you've been to Palm Springs, what did you love most about it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Everything Eiffel Tower

So, I've been saving some of my Paris trip for this month, because I wanted to get through the holidays, but I also wanted to post for Valentine's Day, since most people think Paris is a very romantic city. I'm not saying I disagree, just that I think any place can be romantic if you're with the right person. This trip saw us visit the Eiffel Tower. This was our third visit, but the first time we did everything.

The Eiffel Tower is for everyone. Whether you're a tourist seeing all the sights, looking for a romantic experience, or just want to learn history.

We saw so many people taking photos in the middle of the street in front of the Eiffel Tower and I just want to say STOP IT. Don't do this. It's dangerous and ridiculous, and there are tons of other places where you can get an amazing photo of you and the tower and you're not in danger of being hit by a car, or just stand on the sidewalk on either side of the road. We took this photo across the bridge and I think it's beautiful with the water behind us. 

Hold on to all your belongings in the crowded platforms and elevators

We didn't buy tickets ahead of our trip, like we would normally do. I did try to book early, but they were sold out for months out, so I decided we'd get up early, head over right as the tower was opening and do our visit that way. We still had to wait about 30 minutes to get in, but that wasn't horrible. You will be going through two security checkpoints, so try not to bring a bunch of stuff with you if you don't have to. 

You don't actually save anything by buying tickets online, and I noticed this time that ticketed and non-ticketed guests merged into the same line at one point, but those with tickets got to bypass the line once it split after the first security point. 

You will go up in a tiny elevator packed with people, so keep this in mind on your visit. I try to bring as little as possible with me and we both wore our masks the whole visit, except for a few photos and while eating.

Behind us is one of the tower's lightning rods

While you don't have to go all the way to the top, I don't see the point of only going halfway up the tower, unless you've already visited and just want to hang out on the second floor where all the food is. The top floor has an inside and and outside portion. Both of them offer a 360-degree view of the city. Inside, look up and you will see how the Eiffel Tower compares to other towers around the world. It can be very windy at the top, so plan accordingly. We were blessed with nice weather. 

You can see quite a lot from the inside and outside platforms, but if you want to see more, pop a coin into one of these gorgeous telescopes. I took some lovely photos through the fencing though. I try not to linger, since I've visited several times before and there are so many people coming out to try to get their own romantic photos and selfies on this iconic landmark. So, I usually pick a spot that isn't crowded to take a break and enjoy the view, then move along the platform until I make it back around.

You'll find a cozy little gift shop at the top. It will always be packed with people. It has cute stuff in it, but I also recommend heading to the bigger shop on the lower floor by the bathrooms. Not only is it bigger, but we actually were able to shop all alone, despite how many people were visiting that day. This bigger shop has higher quality items as well, in case you're looking for gifts to take home. We bought things from both shops and the larger shop was just so much easier to navigate.

Not everything to look at at the top is facing outward. Make sure you take the time to look in the windows so you don't miss this awesome little room. This is an office that Gustav Eiffel designed for meeting important people. You'll see that he maximized the cramped space with a small desk, comfortable chairs and a library wall. It's very cool.

We did something different this time on our visit, which was to take the stairs. Down. We saw people walking, and we decided to check out the stairs between the 3rd floor and the 2nd floor, because the elevators were very busy and it's always nice when we can get extra exercise. We saw quite a few people walking up the stairs while we were going down. I wouldn't suggest doing this unless you are in top shape, because if you change your mind, there's no way to bail. You just live on those stairs now. Going down felt like forever and I saw people out of breath coming up when we were over halfway down and I wanted to tell them there were So. Many. Stairs. to go. Just keep that in mind if you think that walking up will be a fun time.


The second floor is full of interesting things, the least of which is this "glass floor". You can see through it if you look at an angle, but because it has this dotted safety glass, it doesn't really allow you the cool experience it could have. I thought it was funny though, so I took a bunch of photos of our feet.

This floor also has a step down where you can walk around the platform on the outside for (slightly less high) views of the city. Parts were being refurbished, so we couldn't walk along all of it, but if you hate crowds, this is a nicer experience of the tower. 

If you want to eat on the Eiffel Tower, there are a few options. I wanted to eat at Madame Brasserie, but the main dining room is very expensive. If you're lucky, you can get into the café. I wasn't optimistic, because it's first-come first-served, but there wasn't really anyone there right after opening and we were able to get a lovely table, with an amazing view, and get to dive into a French breakfast. (Eric was ecstatic.)

The inside of Madame Brasserie is so plush and feels like you're dining in the 1940s. The menu is small for breakfast, but what you get is excellent.

Our French breakfast consisted of coffee, juice, croissant, and baguette. Usually, you only have the choice of orange juice for this breakfast, but Madame Brasserie had two other selections, including apple juice. I was real skeptical by the color of it when it showed up, but this might be the best apple juice I've ever had.

Your breakfast comes with a selection of personal jams, honey, and real butter. So delicious! I don't know why I always forget how good this combo is when I get home. 

After you're disappointed by the glass floor, go check out the view from the overlook in the middle of the floor and you can see the same thing, but, you know, see it. This is a great catwalk and there were very few people walking around when we were there.

There's a grab-and-go food shop here and outside there's a bar that sells snacky foods, like big pretzels, and there's tons of seating. The view here is also lovely. This might be a great place for a romantic drink date if you don't want to spring for Madame Brasserie and can't get a seat in the café. 

If you visit with little ones, grab a free passport for them and let them do educational activities around the tower. They can learn more about things like architecture while having fun. You'll see these little peeps around that correspond with things in their passport.

We took a second to be nerds and take pictures in the kid back drops. Here's Eric rollerskating down the tower, I guess. It wasn't meant for us (clearly, because we were both way too tall and had to crouch), but we still love a good photo op, so we did it. We're fun like that.

Make sure not to rush through your visit and read the visitor guide. You don't want to miss anything. We didn't see half of these things on our last trips. It's possible some of it is new since 2013, but I don't know. 

The Eiffel Tower can be excellent for everyone. Whether you're a tourist trying to see all the sights, looking for a romantic experience, or just want to learn more history, it's worth the price of admission in my opinion. We have visited in both the day and the evening. If you'd like to do both, I suggest purchasing tickets in advance for an hour or so before sunset and that way you can experience both on one ticket.

What's a touristy landmark that you can't help but love?

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Simple Things That You Can Do To Maintain Your Health While Traveling

Are you interested in staying healthy on your travels? You might think that this is going to be tricky. However, I'm happy to tell you that that’s not the case. There are steps that you can take to remain fit and healthy regardless of where you are heading. You don’t need to let your diet go out the window. Here are the best options that you can explore to ensure that you don’t run into trouble.

There are steps that you can take to remain fit and healthy regardless of where you are heading. You don’t need to let your diet go out the window.
Photo by Pixabay

Workout Wherever You Are

First, you might want to make sure that you are working out regardless of where you are going around the world. There are lots of different types of exercise that will be perfect for traveling and provide real benefits if you are constantly sitting down on planes or trains. For instance, you might want to think about yoga. Yoga is beneficial because you don’t need anything with you to practice this activity. Alternatively, if you are interested in completing exercise movements such as a dumbbell lat raise, then you might want to think about heading to a local gym near where you are staying. 

Don’t Fall Into The Trap Of Eating Bad All The Time

One of the things that people tend to do when they are traveling is just eat anything they want. While this is absolutely fine, it’s probably not doing wonders for your health, which is why I recommend a compromise. Try eating whatever you want one day of the week, or for one meal of the day. But, for the majority of the time, you should be trying to eat healthy, ensuring that you are getting all those nutrients and vitamins into your diet. I always make a point of seeking out vegetables on a menu at least once a day and make a trip to the grocery store when I first arrive and load up on fruit for mornings (or anytime snacks).

Make Sure You’re Outside A Lot

Make sure that you are going outside on a regular basis. The fresh air is good for you, and it’s much better than being cooped up in your apartment or whatever place you are staying in. Being outside with mother nature is a fantastic way to keep up both your physical and mental health. 

The more that you are outside, the more steps you are going to be able to get in. You should be trying to reach your goal that you set for while you are at home, and then add more onto this. Walking is something that you are going to do a lot of while you are traveling and the more steps that you can get in, the better it is for your health. Take the stairs not the elevator when heading back to your accommodation, just to boost the count.

I hope that you have found this article useful, and now have a better understanding of some of the things that you should be doing to maintain your health while you are traveling. It’s not always going to be easy as you’re going to want to do different things while you’re on vacation, but your health shouldn’t suffer just because you’re not at home.

How do you stay healthy on vacation?

Pin It button on image hover