LONG WEEKEND: What Happens in Gay Vegas, Stays in Gay Vegas

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

This was my fourth trip to Las Vegas, and for the first time, I saw something rather cool: Two guys were holding hands in walking down the Strip—in broad daylight.

I’ve always felt that Vegas was very gay, so to speak (I mean, where else in the world are there Louis Vuitton stores on every corner?)  However, during my recent vacations there, I found myself clearly surrounded by more and more LGBTQ folks in the open, playing slots, eating at some of the best restaurants around, shopping, splashing in pools.

Are there distinct gay bars in Vegas?  Yes.  But, they are all off the Strip, and, best put by a self-described “former circuit queen” who once cut my hair, they are “far too seedy.”  I mean, many things in Vegas are seedy, especially when you stray off the main drag of Las Vegas Boulevard; plus, there is no real reason to look outside the fabulous places to drink, party, and eat right at your doorstep.

It is totally doable to do a “quickie” (three days, two nights) Vegas trip from Philly—flights are relatively affordable, and if you catch a morning non-stop flight, you’ll end up having almost the entire first day to explore (Vegas is three hours behind us.) If you’re feeling lucky, here are some of my suggestions to enjoy a fun, fast, and furious Vegas weekend.

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10 Healthiest Road-Trip Snacks at Wawa

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A few weeks back, as my hubby and I were headed down the Shore, we made our ritual pitstop at a Wawa in the middle of New Jersey (That one at the end of 55? Where 47 and 347 split? Anyone?) for a few pick-me-up road trip snacks.

Chris scurried off to get his haul while I stood in the middle of the store looking around blankly. It occurred to me, not for the first time: What in the world can I eat here that won’t leave me with heaps of guilt afterwards? “I need to do a post on this,” I said, actually out loud, to no one in particular.

And so here we are, two weeks later, with the completed post in question. It came together thusly: I called my pal Jessica Procini, a Philly-based health coach whom you may have met at Be Well Philly Boot Camp. She was the one who wrote that awesome What to Get in Trader Joe’s Frozen Food Aisle post earlier this year, so I knew she’d be up for another food-shopping project. Last Friday, she and I trotted off to the 17th and Arch Street Wawa location to see what we could find.

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Day Tripper: Go Castle-Hopping in Doylestown

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I know what you’re thinking: A getaway? To Doylestown?

It sounds absurd, like I’m advising you take a Caribbean vacation to Haiti. But I promise there’s substance here—particularly in the Bucks County enclave’s collection of out-of-Philly museums you might actually care about, and some faux-medieval castles and forts.

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And the Germiest Thing You Touch on an Airplane Is …

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

I caught the segment below on the TODAY show this morning and almost gagged on my cereal. The NBC morning show sent a team of researchers on flights across the country to test various surfaces people encounter during air travel—security bins, check-in kiosks, seat belts, arm rests—for harmful germs.

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LONG WEEKEND: Gay Puerto Rico

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Jumping for joy on the beaches of Puerto Rico.

Leonard Bernstein begins his classic song “America” from West Side Story with Rosalia singing, “Puerto Rico, you lovely island.” (Anita has a rather guttural rebuttal, but we’ll let that be.) We feel Rosalia’s ardor: Lush, lively and lavish, sun-soaked San Juan is an exciting, gay-friendly getaway from the winter doldrums—and just a four-hour flight from chilly Philly.

The fashionable Condado district, with its pale blue water, white beaches, and easy access to nightlife, is your prime destination. Rest your head at the luxurious and welcoming San Juan Marriott, with a beachfront location and two alluring pools, one equipped with a swim-up bar. (Guess which one I parked at.) Afterward, the Condado has much to offer, including great shopping. Boutiques Monsieur and Root, both on Ashford Avenue, curate exquisite collections of menswear to drop a little change, or a whole lotta change, on.

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“Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” Campaign Turns 10 Today

history straight nightlife gay philly

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Visit Philadelphia‘s cleverly named “Philadelphia: Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” campaign, a project that Director of Public Relations Bruce Yelk says took Philly from an unranked position on Community Marketing’s “Top 10 U.S. Destinations for the LGBT Traveler” list to a solid No. 10. Not so shabby, huh?

A look back at some of the first ads after the jump »

NASA Set to Launch LADEE Explorer to the Moon Tonight

Or, well, at least one of our robots will:

The robotic spacecraft LADEE, will fly to the moon by way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Liftoff is set for late Friday night from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility…

It will be the first moonshot ever from Virginia. Almost all of NASA’s previous moon missions over the past 54 years have originated from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The most recent was two years ago.

LADEE (the, ahem, Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) will make her ascent tonight, and the Minotaur rocket she’s attached to ought to be able to be seen all along the East Coast. Now, I know it’s not the same as an Apollo mission, but this is probably as close as we’re going to get for a while since NASA started to privatize space travel in 2011.

So if you’re west of Pittsburgh tonight, glance up every once in a while. There’s a LADEE out there for you, I promise. [CBS]

VIDEO: Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash

Amateur video of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash at San Francisco airport has surfaced, showing that, as investigators earlier revealed, pilots had tried to abort the landing some 1.5 seconds before the fatal accident. According to new evidence, a stall warning sounded about four seconds before the crash, prompting the landing abort. The crash injured more than 180 people and killed two teen Chinese students, with one possibly dying from being run over by an emergency vehicle at the scene. Watch the chilling video, filmed by plane spotter Fred Hayes about a mile from the run way, below:

[DailyMail]

An Expert’s 10 Tips for Getting Through PHL Quickly

Want to cruise through the Philly airport? Of course you do! Since January, I’ve been through our local airport more than 30 times (mostly on business travel), so you could say I’ve got a little experience. Here, 10 ways to make a stay at PHL as short as possible.

1. Fly a lot. It’s true: It really is better for the one percent. Particularly when flying. And there’s no better way to travel comfortably than to just fly a lot. Particularly with one airline. When you’re a frequent flier you get to board and depart your plane before most others. You always get a space for your luggage. You often get the use of the airline’s lounge. If you need to change a flight, you’re accommodated, oftentimes without extra charges. And if you’re on standby, you’ll find your name moved to the top of the list. Read more »

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