Category Archives: Travel

Hotel Week Boston Feb 16-23

hotel week bostonElizabeth Stefan and Kim Greiner of Summer Street Communications have helped create Boston’s first Hotel Week Boston.  The program is designed to help travelers secure great deals at some of Boston’s best hotels from February 16 – 23, 2014.

Contemplating a staycation? Want to see what other perks and discounts are being offered at participating properties?  Check out the website, hotelweekboston.com.

Forte de Copacabana

Rio de Janeiro CopacabanaForte Copacabana provides amazing views of Copacabana beach and Sugar Loaf off in the distance.  In recent years, Confeitaria Colombo has opened a second location here, offering visitors a great option for dining with a view.  We actually visited for a cocktail one evening and then came for breakfast.

After dining you can walk the grounds of the Fort which also offer great views of Guanabara Bay.  Below are a few photographs of my recent visits to Forte Copacabana and Confeitaria Colombo – Cafe do Forte.
Copacabana Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Corcovado – Rio de Janeiro

BrazilAtop the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro is the city’s most famous site, a 125′ statue named “Christ the Redeemer”.  While there are several ways to get to the top of this granite mountain, the most popular is to buy tickets and take the electrically powered train.  Although I’ve been to the Corcovado a few times already I don’t get tired of the impressive view.

Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Enjoying the train ride up the Corcovado.

Brazil

Goofing around with the guys

Brazil

Amazing views of Rio de Janeiro from atop the Corcovado

If you are planning a trip to Brazil or Rio de Janeiro and you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Paraty – Brazil

ParatyParaty, Brazil is a tiny coastal Brazilian town, approximately 4 hours south of Rio de Janeiro. Sergio and I decided to make a road trip for a few days to this historic town known for its Portuguese colonial architecture.

Paraty, BrazilThe streets of Paraty date back to the mid to late 1600′s and provide a romantic backdrop to the green, lush mountains and blue/green waters of the South Atlantic. In addition to walking the stone paved streets of Paraty, one should hire a boat to see some of the many beautiful islands and beaches that are just a quick boat ride away.

Paraty BrazilOur slow moving but comfortable boat that provided ample shade to keep my pale skin from blistering from the unyielding sun, while we cruised around the harbor for more than 5 hours one day. Below are a few photos of Paraty and our boat ride.

BosGuy in Paraty

Paraty, Brazil

Paraty Brazil

Paraty, Brazil

Paraty Brazil

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema

I feel as if the board of tourism for Rio should offer me a free stay at The Copacabana Palace for all the hype I’m providing this city, but I love Rio and can’t help myself.  Rio de Jaeneiro has no shortage of famous, beautiful beaches, but I tend to spend most of my time at the gay section of Ipanema Beach.  I feel more comfortable here and the people watching is great.  Last week at this time, my butt was firmly planted on the sand of Ipanema Beach.  Here are a few photos of me relaxing with Sergio and friends at Rio’s gay beach.

The Maverick Men

Sergio on Ipanema Beach

Ipanema BeachIf you have an upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro or travel to Brazil planned, feel free to reach out to me.

Copacabana

Copacabana Beach RioPerhaps the most famous beach in Rio de Janeiro is Copacabana. The beach offers spectacular views of one of Rio’s most famous sites, Sugar Loaf. The 4 kilometer long beach (~2.5 miles) is one of my favorites. I’ve included a few photos to give you a glimpse of this beautiful beach.

Sugar Loaf Rio de Janeiro

The large ‘rock’ in the background is Sugar Loaf.

Copacabana Rio de Janeiro

The black and white swirl you see behind Sergio on the sidewalk represents two rivers from the Amazon that Copacabana Beach has adopted as its own.

Copacabana Rio de Janeiro

Not exactly an image of Copacabana beach but representative of what you’ll see.

Copacabana Rio de Janeiro

Giant sandcastles that span 10′ proudly display some of Rio’s most famous sites.

Boston to Beijing non-stop in 2014

travelEarlier this week both local papers reported that Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines has received federal approval to offer nonstop service from Boston to Beijing starting in June 2014.  According to The Boston Globe, Hainan Airlines still needs to sign an agreement with MassPort before it could begin service from the airport. 

Hainan Airlines would join Copa Airlines (from Panama), Japan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Emirates Airlines as new airlines to start offering non-stop service from Boston’s Logan Airport.

As you start to think about travel plans for 2014, consider some of these new destinations that will become a whole lot more convenient.

You can read The Boston Globe article, here.

Tchau Rio de Janeiro

BrazilAfter spending nearly two weeks in Brazil, Sergio and I are heading back to Boston (please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold…) It has been fun and I look forward to writing more about the vacation.

Travel and Leisure: America’s favorite cities

Travel and Leisure Americas Favorite CitiesTravel and Leisure magazine recently released the results of its annual survey of “America’s Favorite Cities”.  How did your home city rank?

Boston received high marks from visitors for its classical music, culture, professional sports and history.  It is also perceived as a city filled with intelligent and tech savvy residents.  Want to see how Boston ranked in the nearly 30 categories created by Travel and Leisure? Link here.

Bem-vindo Paraty, Brazil

Paraty BrazilAfter spending a week in Rio de Janeiro, Sergio and I packed up to drive to Paraty, Brazil – a Portuguese colonial town on the coast approximately 2.5 – 3 hours drive South from Rio de Janeiro.  I plan to completely decompress by sleeping constantly, reading when I’m awake and doing nothing more strenuous than ordering a cold beverage from the beach.

This marks the last leg of the trip for Sergio and me before we drive back on Friday to fly back home to Boston. While I’m looking forward to returning home, I have to admit I’ll miss the sun and warmth. I’ll write more about that and my other adventures after I return home, but until then you can read about last year’s trip to Florianopolis, Brazil.

Praia Mole: Where the gays are

Jurere and Jurere International

Bistro Isadora Duncan Suite

Safe travels for your Thanksgiving holiday

travelTomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States.  While I don’t know the exact numbers, airports, train and bus stations as well as the highways will be filled with people eager to return home and to visit friends for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Are you traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving?  Give yourself some extra time, and I want to wish you safe travels.  I’m in Brazil this week celebrating Thanksgiving in my own special way, but my thoughts are with my friends and family in the US. Have an extra helping of turkey for me.

Hotel review: W New York

W HotelEarlier this month work brought me back to New York City and my usual hotels were completely booked so I opted to stay at the W New York. As a general rule, I like the vibe of W Hotels and the W New York certainly exudes that when you first walk in from Lexington Avenue in Midtown.

W New York - 541 Lexington Avenue

However, I found the rooms (at least my room) a bit tired. The sleek modern design and layout was starting to look dated and was certainly in need of a fresh paint job, judging by all the scuff marks along the white walls.

Hotel ReviewHowever, what really irked me was the bathroom; to be specific the shower curtain that wasn’t quite long enough to prevent water from the shower to splatter on to the floor and the bathroom towels that felt like sandpaper.

I’ve stayed at enough W properties to know how nice and comfortable these rooms can be.  Sadly, until I hear that a fresh coat of paint has been applied and perhaps the bathrooms have been updated, I’ll skip this Starwood property.

Off to Brazil

Brazil This afternoon I leave to fly to Brazil where I will meet up with Sergio in his hometown, Belo Horizonte. I’ll spend a few days with his family then early next week we’ll head to Rio de Janeiro.

I’ve missed you Rio. I’m looking forward to seeing you again.

Brazil one week from today

gay travelOne week from today (actually right about now) I’ll be heading to the airport to fly down to meet Sergio in Brazil.  Our trip this year is tinged with a bit of sadness as I head down to see Sergio’s Dad who’s health has rapidly declined over the past year.

On a happier note, after spending a few days in Belo Horizonte, Sergio and I will fly to Rio de Janeiro where we will meet a couple of friends and spend a fun week vacationing along Ipanema Beach. I’m looking forward to the warmth and energy of Rio.

Blogging will slow a bit while I”m away, but I’ve scheduled posts regularly and will check in to accept comments so keep ‘em coming.

Brazil ranked #1 by Lonely Planet

Brazil TourismLonely Planet has named Brazil the most exciting place to visit in 2014, and I totally agree. Brazil is preparing for two of the world’s premiere sporting events, 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

In a little more than three weeks I will be flying back down to Brazil where I’ll spend a few days in Belo Horizonte to visit family.  I’ll then fly over to Rio de Janeiro where Sergio and I will spend a week with a couple we’ve become friendly with over the past 18 months then just the two of us will drive down to Paraty; a Portuguese colonial village on the water three hours south of Rio for some rest and relaxation before heading home.

Floripa Gay Beach

My trip to Florianopolis Brazil in 2012

Want to see what other destinations rounded out Lonely Planet’s top ten destinations to visit in 2014?  Link here: Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014.
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