Hunky President. George Washington Like You’ve Never Seen Him

Image courtesy of NCC.

This image of a handsome, bare-chested George Washington is part of a new exhibit coming to the National Constitution Center (NCC) called, Ancient Rome and America (Februar 10-August 1, 2010).

The statue in the photo is by Horatio Greenough, 1840. It’s paired with a similar, bear-chested, seated image of the Emperor Augustus from the 1st century BCE. I’ll update this post later when that image is available.

Breakfast and Bed with Ed on Sirius/XM

Be sure to listen in to the Derek and Romaine Show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio on OutQ channel 109 Tuesday December 22 from 7pm-8pm ET when I’m a guest of their show. We’ll be talking about holiday travel, new products offered by R Family Vacations, and other exciting news.

I’ll be heading to Park City, UT in January. To mark this upcoming trip, the Canyons Resort is offering Sirius listeners (and anyone else who calls in and mentions it) a very sweet deal indeed.

Here’s the deal in their own words:

  • We’re offering a “Breakfast and Bed with Ed” package, featuring The Canyons’ traditional Bed and Breakfast package AND an additional 15% discount on lift tickets. Offer expires 4-15-10.
  • The details on the traditional Bed and Breakfast package is listed below. Visit thecanyons.com for resort information. It’s recommended to call the resort to book this package directly rather than book it online

Bed and Breakfast package
There’s no better way to start a full day on the mountain than with a hearty breakfast. Choose The Canyons Winter Bed & Breakfast Package available at all of our official mountainside lodging properties and you’ll receive two breakfast vouchers each night of your stay that can be used at a number of restaurants throughout the resort. This package is available all season long and prices start at just $98.00* per person per night.

Note: Guest selecting 2-bedroom or larger suites will receive four breakfast vouchers each night of their stay. To book this package, call (866) 604-4171.

Making Waves with Sweet

Story and photos by Aefa Mulholland

Things get raunchy at the pool party on Sweet’s Caribbean cruise to Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan and Cozumel.

Despite a fast approaching hurricane, my friend Maggie and I practically galloped up the gangplank to get on board the very first Sweet Caribbean cruise — the inaugural voyage by eco-conscious, lesbian travel company Sweet. Sailing out of New Orleans with 1,200 women on board, we raced down the Mississippi, our sights set on avoiding Hurricane Ida and making it to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize and Roatan for sun, sand, tequila… and a slew of groundbreaking voluntourism projects.


Marybeth and Belinda from Phoenix and Maggie from Toronto cavort in New Orleans with actor Jill Bennett (star of Dante’s Cove, And Then Came Lola, and We Have To Stop Now), the night before eco-conscious, lesbian travel company Sweet’s inaugural Caribbean cruise.

Sweet is decidedly different from other cruise companies in that, as well as traditional beach and shopping port calls, there are voluntourism options offered before and during the cruise, from painting and stocking a kids’ library in Belize to planting trees in wetlands outside New Orleans with a Katrina relief organisation. Voluntourism isn’t something that’s taken off in the cruise world, so it’s really interesting that it’s such a major component of a lesbian cruise.

As well as some incredible voluntourism initiatives, including painting and stocking a school library in Belize and cleaning up beaches in Mexico, the 1200-woman cruise had a hot party schedule – from 80s night to a formal party.

It wasn’t all saving the world, one book, tree or beach cleanup at a time, though, the cruise had a fabulous array of parties, events and mixers. We practically had to be dragged off the boat when we docked back in New Orleans one week later.


Aefa with Beth from Boston at the pyjama party the last night on board Sweet’s inaugural cruise, everybody made plans to meet up again on the next Sweet voyage (April 16-21, 2011, Miami to Key West and Belize.)

India: Challenging and Oh, So Rewarding

india1

Story and photos by Ed Salvato

Leave your preconceptions at home. Yes, it’s chaotic and crowded, but India’s also sublimely beautiful, rich in culture and history and rewards all visitors with life changing experiences.

India is a country renowned for its sights, sounds, colors and aromas. It’s also known to be challenging and difficult — a chaotic environment with snarled traffic jams, endless noise, dust and smog, impossibly crowded trains, cows wondering the roads and many more obstacles to an easy vacation.

But these difficulties shouldn’t prevent you from exploring this amazing country, where almost all visitors come away a different, more aware person than when they arrived. It’s worth pausing and considering this phenomenon. How many vacations actually help you become more self aware? How many trips have you taken that challenge or reaffirm your innermost beliefs?

It’s a special place that can accomplish that. India should be a must on your list of dream trips. Here’s one way to discover the best of India in a way that minimizes the stresses of journeying here. First, book your air on Jet Airways, which offers an economical business class option Called Premiere Class, with private sleeping pods at surprisingly low prices. This class of service includes delicious meals (frequently with both Indian and Western-style options) and, when available, an attendant who meets you at the plane door, whisks you through customs and immigration and onto your transfer or awaiting transportation. Jet Airways works with Jet Lite for domestic connections. Jet Lite is incredibly inexpensive.

Economy travelers fear not: Coach class offers amenities that nearly rival business class in other airlines, with seating considered the most comfortable economy class seat in the world. When the back is reclined, the seat moves forward and up to cradle the passenger at a 130 degree recline, and a foot net appears beneath the seat in front to provide support for feet and ankles. Each seat also comes with a nifty Panasonic eX2 entertainment system (with more than 200 movies and many more musical choices) as well as Bose noice-canceling headphones. You’ll appreciate all this since the Brussels to India segment of your trip can be at least nine hours.

Aman Resorts, which boasts three stunning hotel properties in varied locales in India, offers a specially priced deal which is a india3perfect way to discover India in pampered style with all transfers included. Dubbed, Aman India Journey, the special ($3,650 double occupancy through April 30, 2010; $3,840 Oct 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011) includes a minimum of two nights in each of the following properties. Also included is breakfast and transfers between the properties and one activity per stay. And let’s not forget the addictive lemon-scented cold towel compress that meets you at every juncture both cooling and sweetening your stay.

Aman New Delhi is Aman’s newest property. It’s also it’s first true urban hotel and the largest in terms of number of rooms. The india2sleek, modern lines, masculine subdued palette and abundant green spots are a truly welcome oasis of peace in the heart of India’s bustling capital city. Each spacious unit comes with its own butler and a plunge pool. The gym is gigantic and modern and is maintained by fitness trainers who are happy to help you burn off the calories you’ll acquire at the hotel’s fine restaurants.

Top excursion(s):
• Visit the colorful cacophony of Old Delhi
• Marvel at Humayan Tomb, precursor of the majestic Taj Mahal
• Bend your plastic at Khan Market
• Watch elephant polo at Dera AMer in Village Khurad

Amanbagh is one of Aman’s true jewels. Located in a remote valley in Rajasthan surrounded by palm trees and lost-in-time villages and monumental ruins, the property is almost entirely self sufficient with its own water treatment facility, organic garden, restaurant and bakery. It also boasts a 150-foot long pool as its dramatic centerpiece. Surrounding it are the accommodations which are huge and private and elegantly appointed with locally-quarried marble as well as a small but serviceable gym and a spa.

Top excursions:
• Visit the beautifully restored 17th-century Bhangargh abandoned village
• See the cows come home during the ‘cow dust’ tour of local villages
• Day trip to Jaipur, India’s Pink City.

Aman-i-Khas is Aman’s tented resort, also located in the state of Rajasthan but in an even more remote location along side the Ranthambore National Park. This is where you’ll enjoy open-top vehicle safaris in search of India’s elusive tigers and other wildlife by day and luxurious tented accommodations at night.

Top excursion:
• Safari in Ranthambore National Park
• Shoot (with a camera!) a tiger.

Ed in Sri Lanka

DSC01067

Sri Lanka was a revelation. So much to do and see. This is a snapshot of the town fishmonger who sells fresh-caught fish to locals from his motor scooter. The local cats love him!

Provincetown

Friend, Phil, on breakwater in Ptown
Friend, Phil, on breakwater in Ptown

Had a fantastic visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts, one of the world’s great gay meccas. This is my friend Phil posing along the breakwater, my favorite place for a morning walk in town.

Delhi, India

DSC00666India was fantastic. Here’s me in front of a temple in Delhi.

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