Exploration has been in me since I was very young..."she got it from her momma". Family trips to upstate New York to visit vineyards, strolling the boardwalk in Ocean city, driving through endless plains of the Midwest, and melting in Georgia's heat are the catalyst to my unchecked wanderlust. My mind drifting somewhere between dreaming big and not dreaming big enough. All I knew was I would be off to see the world!
|She done already done had herses...okay, maybe she has some more done to had.|
The first trip I remember getting excited about was to Watkins Glen. A tiny village along the Finger Lakes region, home to an absolutely incredible state park and one hell of a gorge. Everywhere you looked was like a scene from a movie...Seriously, look at that fuckin foliage! *Pray Tell voice* ...and the category is....FALLLLL.
(/^▽^)/ (ﾉ･ｪ･)ﾉ (/ ‘з’)/ (╯✧∇✧)
Seneca Lake isssss massive!
This part of town is fantastic. Back in the day they did laser light shows of dinosaurs on the gorge walls. I'd imagine they still pull stops like that out from time to time. If you're into wine, camping, hikes, etc and don't want to do all the basic Cali things, try out NY. Esp during the fall.
Also in the upstate region, this lake has family friendly adventure written all over it. I recall my first trips here staying in a beautiful home on the water with my family and their friends. Interestingly enough, decades later I would go on to date someone who would also visit this lake...which was super fun and nostalgic until it sunk in that they literally come here EVERY year. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. Some kind of sick version of groundhog day, only with all of your vacation time you get each ear. you have a blast drinking and doing lake stuff...drinking.
New York City
full stop. City life is not for me, reckon I'm a total island and beaches kind of bitch. Whenever the opportunity to go to NYC came up, it would be shot it down like a plane over Ukraine. "Concrete jungle where dreams are made?" blah.. "It's been waiting for you?" nope, not me. However, add in a good cause (Point Foundation), a bourgeoisie venue (The Plaza Hotel), Broadway, and access to an elitist club (The University Club)... I am in!....for curiosity sake.
|The production was called The Prom, it rocked.|
|..a tale as old as time...|
The university club was something else. The library smelled incredible and was elegant beyond reason, I cant put it into words, the video below will have to do. Only managed to grab a couple photos thanks to strict rules about having your phone out. yada yada.
Welp, I came to this city for another Point Foundation event, loved all the gay guest speakers from Gus Kenworthy to JVN! If you have to pick any charity to support, this is the one! The largest LGBT scholarship organization in the US! Todrick Hall gave a so-so performance at the end...still, cute venue at the Plaza Hotel...where I still hope to have my June wedding.
Not much else was on my mind. Cold af in NY compared to home in Cali so I chilled out people watching in the park watching New Yorkers be New Yorkers.
Soooooo I did not expect to like this city at all! Virginia?? Richmond? Southern drawls, ew. Racist monuments? no thank you. Anti-gay sentiment? not here for it. When I found I would be forced to spend a month here on a work trip, I objected! Wont stand for this!
....holy shit, it was a cool city, I was really wrong. TONS AND TONS of museums, excellent street art, a cat cafe, Edgar Allen Poe's house, random Pride fest, seemingly impromptu Oktoberfest fest, and a popped up Pokemon Symphony turned this entire thing around! The food was prime!! you ever have Pimento Cheese?? OMG! , there was more to do than I could think, and as of now the city is finally getting rid of their racist monuments!
"I. fucking. love. cats." - Me
|that sweet bowl of cheeeeeese.|
|*skrrrt* Poe became a theme in my travels for years now.|
California holds a special place in my heart, somewhere behind the left ventricle. It is one of the places on this list that at one time I called home! Much of my professional/personal development would come from experience on the West Coast..*Picture it* basic ass Midwestern gay goes out to find a better life in Cali....groundbreaking, hot off the press * scene*
|Yep, this is what Alifornia Girls look like.|
....The majority of my SoCal life was spent living in Irvine, Costa Mesa, Newps, San Diego, and Palm Springs. [note this is everywhere except LA]. Living an hour from LA was as close as I ever needed to get. Actual traffic nightmare. With that in mind, San Diego is very livable because of ample green-space, shit traffic but not LA shit, and excellent proximity to the water. I digress! You can google everything you would want to know about these places, this is going to be an extremely esoteric locals suggestion:
I have close to 5500 photos around Orange County alone, yet you really only need to see one. There is a hike in Laguna off the 133 mapped as "The Willow Staging Area"; early into the hike you will see the view below... look closely.
|Some basic teenage cavegirl did this.|
When you do go to L.A. its to party! WeHo is of course, the gay place to be. Basic ass LA, you'll find yourself with some celebs at fun charity events in Beverly Hills.
|I adore Cheyenne Jackson|
When you're not bein fancy. Go to Weho! I'm a blazing saddles kind of guy. All of LA is discussed in the following formula no matter the type of person.... artsy types, hipsters, lesbos, whatever, they all do this.....
|always. partying. love these guys|
Don't have much else to say about LA. Its LA.
You can find a new adventure in San Diego every day! I adore this city and its neat layout. I lived just above its iconic Balboa Park, in the gayborhood Hillcrest. Hands down some of the best food in SoCal is in San Diego from "Queestown" in Little Italy to "Sallys" down at the Harbor. You could write all day and still have more to say about this city. A must see is Tacos Libertad, an unassuming taco spot with an incredible speakeasy in the back. I wont ruin the surprise with photos, but you absolutely need to check it out! Go during Pride and you won't be disappointed, there is tons of fuckery to get into. Personally suggest taking any path that goes from outdoor party to alleyway blowjobs.
|I may have an album of just skies|
...You see, I have this favorite tree at the edge of the park....this bish below:
|Oh, woofy Brazilian Rodrigo.|
|and my sweet southern belle|
Gay mecca! With 50% of the population gay, it was never hard to find a good ass time in Palm Springs. I love this city....just not from June - Sept when its 100+ degrees (37 C)!
|Country Club Living (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و|
|Palm Springs in 1 Photo|
lol you literally just partied all the time. *Priscilla Voice* that's what you do, okayyyyy? Honestly, the entire SD/OC/LA crowd looking for an escape goes right to Palm Springs.
There is one street called Arenas that has the best gay bars in the area. Blackbook, Chill, Hunters, you really can't choose wrong. Plus, this city has some prime seedy nude resorts called All Worlds for the adventure slut.. or is it the slut adventurer?
|Not a third wheel, this is a wheelbarrow. I'm dumping this load (*｀へ´*) 彡3|
Come on. Honestly, the only true reason to go here is because of Step Brothers. You live to understand the fuckin Catalina Wine Mixer!!!! Catalina is a tiny island across the Pacific from Long Beach. When I say tiny, I mean it! You can take a ferry, like a peasant, or do it the proper way and go by helicopter...duh!!! THE point!!!!! (its actually pretty cheap to go this way). Was a nice day trip,= to walk around the micro town, take a "safari" trip around the island, enjoy your wine, some good food, and then fly back.
Not sure what to say about this, you see, if you don't have a concept of what to do here; don't come.
I dreamt of this place for 20 years before I had the chance to live and visit. My dream itinerary seemed endless Fact: every American must dream about this place at some point or another.
Rule 1: Respect the people. respect the island. you'll have no problems.
Thats all the rules you need. Hawaii is another place on my list that after many visits, became home. Living there is the only way I could have made it through my list of island life desires. Skydiving? Check (if I'm gonna die its was decided I would be smashing into this island), snorkel with sea turtles? Check. Play in waterfalls? Check. run around with wild chickens? double check. You don't notice it but all the while the spirit of Aloha takes over you.
|ignore my little MJ.|
The skies and rainbows drive me nuts. #cloudporn
OKay, back to those skies.
Denver was a nice adventure. My first trip here ended up lasting about a month and was enticed by sexy men, great weed, and a 5K glowing foam thingy; I would have been a fool to say no. Denver is probably the best place to live in the US if you want all four seasons and all the best things to do. IT is a nature lovers paradise. Everyone has a six pack, even the babies.
Its not a wow kind of place in terms of the architecture, yet they do take some risks with this bridge thing. The views are more what this city is about, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Stapleton is my neighborhood recommendation for quite places to stay with easy access.....you know, the one spot that was an Airport in The Shinning but a suburb today.
|Love Denver, its a happier Cleveland.|
|suds n buzzed|
...side note, on my 3rd or 4th trip (1st road trip) to Denver I was snowed into Vail due to a closed road situation. Vail is an extremely uppity ski resort town, and. it. shows! Getting snowed in here was a trap, since most of the hotels booked up super quick with the rest of the stranded drivers...leading to some unexceptionally priced accommodations that....did not meet the standard of their price point lol beats sleeping at the church....now not much else to do but get schwasted and eat hibachi. Snow sports are not as interesting to me as sitting by the fire, which is a shame because this place is prime af for whatever snow things tickle your fancy.
PHEW! That white stuff is snow....a distant memory.... when water gets too cold.
This has been a nice TBT post.. Perhaps I will revisit some US travel in the future.
Honorable mentions: Chicago is cool and Seattle is slick too.