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RVing is one of the world's oldest vacation choices and thanks to COVID it's making a comeback.
One of the things we love to hate about celebrities is their extravagant lifestyles: new cars, designer gear, and personal assistants. These are all elements that come with the job.
Real-life couple Kit Williamson and John Halbach are probably not that lavish, but both of these stars have a long list of credits to their names. Williamson was a recurring character in the critically acclaimed Mad Men and Halbach starred in the long-running, Emmy-nominated Eastsiders which the couple co-wrote together.
Hollywood accomplishments aside, the duo is not letting fame hinder their love of no-frills travel. In fact, Queerty and GoRVing are following them for a special travel vlog this month as they make their way up the California coast in their RV.
RVing has seen an upward trend over the last few years. The pandemic has forced tourists to keep their travel plans domestic and what better way to do that than pack up your covered wagon (so to speak) and take it with you.
Summer 2021 was a little bit better than 2020 as far as traveling, but the Delta Variant is laying waste to a once-prosperous travel year as more and more people are taking cover, once again hunkering down waiting for this viral form to pass.
RVs seem to be a workaround as far as getting out of the house for a little change of scenery. LGBTQ RVing is on the rise and there are plenty of places that are dedicated to the community, or at least, welcoming of it. Take for instance Gay Camping USA. This site has a comprehensive list of inclusive campgrounds that just keeps growing.
Williamson and Halbach are going rogue on their adventure though; this will be their inaugural trip in a motorhome. Joined in the first episode by their friend Adrian Anchondo (and Mochi), the group goes surfing in Malibu, heads to the hills for an invigorating hike, and finally, sits around an evening campfire for a little bit of cocktail therapy.
Flexibility is one of the great things about RVing. Your point of origin and your destination are at your discretion. For example, one day you could be fanning yourself in the middle of the Arizona desert and five hours later your sitting around a shoreside campfire on a San Diego beach.
In their popular series EastSiders, Williamson and Halbach took their storyline on the road, literally. In season three the main characters set out on a real-life cross-country road trip from New York to Los Angeles.
After the series wrapped, Williamson gave some sage advice on always ending your adventure atop the sands of Malibu.
“There couldn't be a better sense of relief than when we put our feet in the sand and watched the sunset," he told New Now Next. “Our Herculean task was over, and we just soaked it all in."
Palm Springs is a desert oasis that beckons travelers from across te globe and every walk of life – particularly in the spring. From the annual Coachella Valley Music Festival weekend and Modernism Week to the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the annual Kraft Nabisco Championship Golf Tournament (formerly the Dinah Shore Golf Championship), there is something for every one.
Just as Mariah Hanson’s Club Skirts Presents the Dinah attracts droves of lesbians year after year, so too does Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party draws tens of thousands of gay men from near and far for “the largest dance music festival in the world.”
In its 33rd year, the White Party Palm Springs will take place April 29-May 12, Covid permitting.
According to Sanker, who we interviewed in 2015, 26 years previously his friends Sandy Sachs and Robin Gans invited him to Palm Springs to see their annual Girl Bar Dinah Shore event that coincided with the annual golf tournament.
“The tournament always attracts a lot of lesbian fans, so they had a really good crowd,” Sanker said at the time. “I saw it and said, ‘I can do the same thing for men, even bigger.’”
Sanker, who originally envisioned the weekend as a spring break getaway for men, said he cannot believe how large and influential the White Party weekend has become since its inception back in 1989 – which was one DJ in a hotel ballroom.
“I always had faith in the event, even during the first three years when I was investing a lot of money just to build the brand,” Sanker said. “Now, White Party has become an annual tradition of many, I’m thankful and proud of that. Sometimes I look out over the crowd and think, ‘My God, what have I done?’”
Last year, sadly, Sanker passed away.
“We get attendees from all over now,” Sanker told us. “We always get a great contingent from Arizona. It’s become an annual tradition for a lot of guys from Phoenix and Tucson.”
While the weekend attracts loyal White Partygoers year after year, there are always a large number of first-timers in attendance. Sanker always advised all White Party virgins, to pace themselves, be safe and have fun.
“Like always, I want everyone to come and have a good time, enjoy themselves,” Sanker said. “Drink lots of water. Don’t forget sunscreen!”
Photo by Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications.
Sanker added at the time that attendees are expected to dress in white, and he encourages everyone to be “white carpet ready”.
White Party Global (WPG) has announced the long-awaited return of White Party Palm Springs, the largest and most well-known gay dance music festival in the world, which will take the desert by storm April 29 – May 1, 2022.
“It is an honor to continue White Party Palm Springs for my dear friend Jeffrey,” says White Party Global Executive Producer Chris Diamond. “As we move forward with his vision of inclusion, diversity, and decadence, we are truly excited to once again showcase new dance music trends, global DJs, recording artists, state-of-the-art sound & visuals – and most importantly our returning guests… beautiful men from all over the world!”
Information on the host hotel, weekend pass pricing, and event details can be found at www.whitepartyglobal.com. (All tickets purchased pre-pandemic will be honored for Palm Springs White Party 2022 and 2023) Thousands of revelers from around the world will one-again descend upon the desert community for non-stop action beginning with three (yes, count them, three!) pool parties at the Hilton Host Hotel.
SOAKED! will feature poolside dancing, state of the art sound and video, hot go-go guys, and a sensational line-up of Global DJs including Orel Sabag (Israel), Isis (Mexico) and Bruno Knauer (Brazil), and Arno Diem (France).
Friday night, cruise into Rio’s Jungles and Rainforests with DJs Liza Rodriguez (Brazil) and Dani Brasil (Brazil) for an epic throw-down to kick off WPG weekend. Non-stop Jungle themed entertainment will keep partygoers captivated throughout the night and into the wee hours for a cruise-fest filled night!
Saturday brings the weekend’s most anticipated night as White Party Global celebrates 30+ years and moves forward into eternity with an “Eternal” themed White Party spectacle. This 6-hour superhero-themed party will feature jaw-dropping state-of-the-art staging, sound, lighting, and FX’s that will leave you marveling over. And as always, YOU are the dance floor “STARS;” so come dressed as always in traditional white or even better, as your favorite inter-dimensional superhero character! Your superpowers this night knows no limits! DJ’s driving White Party’s main event are DJs Rick Braile (Brazil), Chris Turina (Chile), and Phil Romano (Italy).
On Sunday, it’s time to converge under the beautiful desert sky for the world- famous T-Dance. “Big Top Circus” starts in the afternoon and continues into the night as the sun sets behind the spectacular mountains of Palm Spring. State-of- the-art sound, lighting, video, and all new surprises are in store for our guests at this year’s Big Top Circus. Warm breezes and hot dancing bodies fill the outdoor dance floor with music by International DJs Ben Bakson (Germany) and Dan Slater (Australia). The night culminates with a climactic firework and video display in a tribute to the White Party Palm Spring’s gay party impresario Jeffrey Sanker.
The weekend culminates in a high-energy closing party with “Afterlife” Sunday night. DJs Joe Gauthreaux (New Orleans) and Mauro Mozart (Brazil) will provide the night’s beats that will leave you dancing into a new dimension.
Additional special guests will be unveiled within the coming months. To be kept up to date on the latest announcements and new musical guests, please visit www.whitepartyglobal.com and follow us on social via Instagram and Facebook.
This year, White Party Palm Springs is powered by Kettle One Vodka, Andrew Christian, and Wet Platinum.
Curaçao’s appeal lies in its unique blend of cultures, queer-friendly locals, inviting blue-green waters and dazzling sand beaches, diverse cuisines, and long history. With a population of 160,000 the island nation encompasses 171 square miles and sits just 40 miles from Venezuela. Most people speak four languages: Papiamentu (a Spanish and Portuguese-based Creole language), Dutch, Spanish and English — a fluidity that helps engender an open-mindedness.
Same-sex marriages aren’t conducted locally though they are legally recognized. Curacao Pride occurs annually in the fall which is also a great time to visit. You’ll find exuberant art everywhere: colorful outdoor art; live music; and art galleries crammed into historic alleyways in Willemstad. Visit the official tourism website for more trip-planning assistance.
Entrepreneurs, including an openly gay one, opened the Bario Hotel, in a gentrifying neighborhood across a historic footbridge from downtown Willemstad with unique units (some with kitchenettes) in restored and colorful historic buildings. The restaurant/lounge area includes three local eateries. There is a small pool, and on most nights there’s a DJ or live music. Not to worry early risers; it quiets down by midnight.
Formerly the gay-popular Floris, the all-inclusive Dreams Resort Hotel, Spa & Casino and Zoëtry Curaçao share a gorgeous location in the quiet fishing community of Piscadera a 10-minute drive from Willemstad on Curaçao ’s southwest facing coast. You’ll find turquoise waters, magnificent sunsets and a laid-back vibe.
For fresh seafood reserve at Oceana at the edge of the bay. You may even find groups of local of LGBTQ folks hanging at Crafty Iguana Brew Pub. Zoëtry is pricier but there are far fewer families and while both are LGBTQ friendly, this one is enthusiastically so.
The Willemstad area features numerous culinary influences and fresh seafood and other specialties whether at a hoity-toity, haute-cuisine Euro dining room or a modest beach shack. Mosa/Caña Bar & Kitchen serves international, tapas-stye dishes and shared plates in a homey environment. Bario Urban Street Food at the Bario (see above) offers a range of food styles in an outdoor market environment: upscaled street food; plant-based delights; and a variety of dishes involving the invasive but delicious lionfish.
In the vibrant ex-pat popular Pietermaai area BijBlauw offers sophisticated Dutch takes on local cuisine. It’s pricey, and you’ll mostly find other North American and European patrons, but the outdoor beachside setting is gorgeous. While sightseeing downtown, grab lunch at Marshe Bieu, a local food hall in the heart of Punda with local dishes fished, farm or cooked up that day.
To really get a sense of how locals dine out, eat at Kas di Piskado Purunchi an example of what locals call a fish shack, a casual indoor/outdoor restaurant bobbing on a dock along an inlet just outside of Willemstad on route to the airport.
Step-By-Step CuraçaoEd Salvato
A wonderful, enriching way to soak up the complicated history (involving the slave trade) of Curaçao and its friendly vibe, delirious colors and endless art is with Step-by-Step Curaçao, on a two-hour city tour on electric-powered step-on, seatless bikes that can easily power up the occasional steep hills for $30/person. This tour covers the major sites including the 1888 floating Queen Emma Bridge, the 17th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the historic district of Willemstad, local neighborhoods and numerous stops to enjoy sample local snacks.
Curaçao’s flag includes two stars. One is for Klein (or little) Curaçao, an uninhabited island eight miles off the southeast coast with an abandoned lighthouse, shipwrecks and the longest and whitest sand beach in the country. It’s a two-hour catamaran tour with the seafarers of Blue Finn and features an all-you-can eat lunch, drinks, and music.
You’ll need to rent a car from your hotel to visit Westpunt, the rural, western part of the island, home to Curaçao’s most beautiful cove beaches, a lush national park and plantation houses — beautiful but stark reminders of slavery. Head to Shete Boka National Park, next to Christoffel Park, with the highest peak on the island. The park spreads over six miles of the north coast of the island, exposed to rocky waves and features 10 small bays where three species of sea turtles are known to lay eggs, and the famous Boka Tabla cave.
SEABOB Experience with Bearded Butlers Curaçao roar-assets-auto.rbl.ms
A highlight of your visit will be the SEABOB Experience with Bearded Butlers Curaçao at Playa Piskadó with Andy, the incredibly handsome owner. Think of it as a handheld underwater electric jet ski enabling you to dive and swim quickly underwater for as long as you can hold your breath. No training or certification is required. It’s $90 for an hour, and Andy points out significant underwater elements including sea turtles and art placed on the sea floor!
Enjoy lunch at Karakter, a beachside restaurant with light fare and fresh-caught seafood. Finish your western jaunt with a chill afternoon on the beach at Playa Kenepa Grandi on the far west side with vibrant blue-green water and the pristine white sand beaches of your Caribbean fantasies.
About the Author
NYC-based Ed Salvato is a freelance travel writer, instructor at NYU and the University of Texas at Austin’s NYC Center and an LGBTQ marketing specialist.
The state of Jalisco is Mexico’s most emblematic region, having given birth to so many of the country’s iconic cultural offerings, including the charro, or Mexican cowboy, and, of course, Tequila. This multi-destination state has plenty of space to maintain social distancing and remains a must for any fan of its signature spirit.
The following are Viva Tequila’s Mexico Experience top cities to visit in Jalisco’s agave-producing region, which is rich with the drink’s history and the culture that surrounds it, from mixology and gastronomy to the simple way of life in a hacienda.
Tlaquepaque was founded by the indigenous Totonac people. They produced everyday utensils and art objects before the Spaniards arrived. Today, the town continues to be an artisan city known for its galleries and handicrafts. It’s a must-stop because of its up-tempo culinary scene. Be sure to have lunch at Casa Luna Restaurant, right in the center of the city. The open courtyard under the shade of a large tree is a magnet for locals and visitors alike thanks to its hipster vibe.
Teuchitlán lies along the Tequila Route and is home to the most important archaeological zone in western Mexico: Los Guachimontones. The zone is the major site of the so-called Teuchitlán tradition, a complex society that existed from as early as 300 BCE until perhaps 900 CE. The dominant features at Los Guachimontones are circular stepped pyramids in the middle of circular building complexes. The 60-foot (18-meter) tall pyramid at Circle 2 has 13 high steps leading to an upper level, which was then topped with another four high steps. A post hole was located at the very highest level, most likely for volador (flying acrobat) ceremonies. The pyramids may also have supported small temples. Check out Hacienda Labor de Rivera. Built in the late 1800s, each of the property’s rooms are individually designed, with their own unique character.
Tequila has been designated both a “Magical Town” by the Ministry of Tourism of Mexico and a cultural UNESCO World Heritage site. The nearly 90,000-acre area is part of an expansive landscape of blue agave. Tequila’s fortunes have been shaped by cultivation of the plant, used since the 16th century to produce the spirit known as Tequila and for at least two millennia to make fermented drinks, such as pulque, and cloth. Within the landscape lie working distilleries, reflecting the growth in the consumption of Tequila in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, this agave culture is seen as part of Mexican national identity. The Tequila landscape has contributed to many works of art, including film, music, dance and paintings. Don’t miss Fonda Cholula, a wonderful colonial infrastructure — elegant, warm and harmonious with the buildings of the historic center. It’s a magical space to rest and enjoy the experience of Mexican cuisine that surrounds Tequila and its people.
Atotonilco El Alto is a town and municipality that covers an area of 246 square miles (638 square kilometers). The first part of its name means "Place of Hot Waters" in Mexico’s indigenous Náhuatl language. "El Alto,” or “The High One” in Spanish, was later added in honor of those who died in the Cristero War in the early 1920s. Make sure to visit Don Nacho Distillery, one of the most prolific agave-producing companies in the Jalisco Highlands.
Guadalajara is the gathering point of all Jalisco and the place where all the varied traditions of that vast territory coexist, giving rise to a unique urban identity. The city boasts artistic and cultural credentials long recognized worldwide. Guadalajara is also innovative and avant-garde, constantly undergoing a renewal and reinvention process that promises it an attractive future. It’s also full of rhythm! Guadalajara’s musicality is a source of inspiration. Check out La Tequila Cocina de México Restaurant, offering the best of the region’s gastronomic heritage, following traditional recipes of dishes while innovating with a contemporary intention.
Viva Tequila Festival’s Mexico Experience brings guests on a luxurious tour of these five exciting cities to embrace Jalisco’s Mexican spirit and provide a deeper understanding of the different regions that cultivate agaves, local foods and the local culture.