“You have no power over me,” Sarah proclaimed to Jareth in the movie Labyrinth. Similarly I declare, “your screaming baby has no power over my narcolepsy.” I fell asleep during the plane’s taxiing (as I always do) this time with said shrieking baby directly across the aisle from me. And I slept almost 1.5 hours, waking up with the shrill being still belting it out. Thus further proving that my super power really is that I can sleep anywhere, anytime, through anything. I am Sleeperman!
I decided to take a short four-day weekend and go North. Today I explored downtown Seattle including Pike's Place, the Space Needle, and the Chihuly Glass Gardens. Tomorrow I'm having breakfast with my cousin, then I'm driving to Mount Rainier for a couple days of day hiking and relaxing at a mountain lodge. Here are a few pictures of my trip so far. More updates to come, if the lodge has wifi.
I recently spent a week in Puerto Vallarta. Besides all the new friends I made and the amazing beach time, a key to my great vacation was my hotel. Casa Cupula is a boutique hotel located about ten minutes up the hill from the beach. There are approximately 20 rooms in total, and this small size is exactly what makes it so appealing. By the second day I knew all the staff by name and vice versa. I also made friends with some of the other guests over breakfast and spent time with them at the beach. Casa Cupula is warm and friendly, and feels like home.
Because the hotel caters specifically to the gay community, you can relax and let your rainbow flag fly high. Oscar and Jose, the concierge staff were fantastic and welcoming. Pancho was the friendly waiter who greeted me each morning during breakfast. Elliott, the restaurant manager, joined several of our conversations, including one about comic book movies. Junior could be spotted happily dancing around the hotel while attending to the mini bars. Marcos, who is in charge of marketing, had a great conversation with me about comics. (He’s going to dress as The Flash this coming Halloween. Which was fun to learn, because I want to dress as The Green Lantern.) Carlos kept the gym clean and even showed me how to plug my iPod into the sound system so I could workout to my music blasting over the speakers.
It was also nice to meet Don, the owner of the hotel, and have him ask for candid feedback on what could be improved upon to make sure our stays even better. As you can tell by the prominence I’ve given it, the staff excels at Casa Cupula. Their friendliness and excellent service made my stay enjoyable and memorable. When I return, I will look forward most of all to seeing the staff of Casa Cupula who I now consider my friends.
The hotel itself has been built in phases, and each building houses a couple of rooms. The rooms are very nice — nicer than I expected to be quite frank. The first few nights I stayed in a room in the original building. It had a King bed, icy cold air conditioning (which I appreciated a lot), and was a spacious room with an equally spacious bathroom. I welcomed the cabana-like aesthetic. When I’m on vacation, I like to feel that I’m somewhere unique. And, this room had a distinct beach community feel.
There’s a pool on the ground floor for everyone to use. Next to that there’s a hot tub which is also situated near the outdoor gym. I used the gym a number of times, and was pleased with the weight machines and free weight options. On the third or fourth floor there’s a small infinity pool that’s open to all guests 24 hours a day, and is a perfect place to watch the sunset. The restaurant serves decent breakfast options, fantastic drinks, and light lunch/dinner options from Noon to 7:30pm. The prices for the meals are very affordable and the drink prices won’t break your bank either.
In the final few nights when my friends arrived, I stayed in the penthouse suite with them. In the newest building there are a number of suites, but the penthouse takes the cake. It has a full kitchen, there’s an amazing bedroom and living room, and the living room can easily convert into a second bedroom. The bathroom has laundry facilities and a private outdoor jacuzzi. There’s a beautiful balcony on which you can enjoy the colorful sunsets. And then there’s the icing on the cake: The rooftop deck, BBQ, and private infinity pool. The pool is heated, which is perfect for taking a late night dip. It’s also a great carrot to dangle in front of cute boys at the beach. “Hey, come on over to my penthouse suite and we’ll take skinny dip in my private rooftop pool.” Let’s just say that worked more than once for me during my stay at Puerto Vallarta.
One of the unexpected bonuses of the stay at Casa Cupula was the Friday night free cocktail party. The party is open to anyone in town, and the staff uses the event to promote the hotel to the other gay tourists in Puerto Vallarta. Because we were visiting during the off season, the party wasn’t overly packed. But apparently during the high season, Friday night sees hundreds of hot gay guys enjoying free cocktails at Casa Cupula. I’ll definitely have to return during the high season to witness that!
Casa Cupula more that makes up for being just slightly off the beaten path. The gay friendly staff (most of whom are gay themselves), the fantastic amenities, the gorgeous views, and a sense of being home away from home, are all reasons why I’ll be returning to Casa Cupula on my next visit to Puerto Vallarta.
Yesterday I had brunch with an old roommate and her parents in midtown Manhattan. After we parted ways, I spotted a Baskin Robbins. I haven’t been to a BR in years, so I popped in. I got a single scoop of my childhood favorite flavor, World Class Chocolate. I sat outside next to an office park water fountain and ate my scoop. The weather was perfect and a cool breeze was blowing. Life was perfect, and was about to get even more beautiful.
I finished my scoop and figured I would just head back to my hotel and figure out what to do from there. As I walked toward the subway, I noticed I was only about four blocks away from the South end of Central Park. Change of plans!
I entered the park and grabbed a quick look at a map of the park on my iPhone. With my bearings in tact, I headed North, wandering along trails and enjoying the natural beauty and the sights of happy people all around. Eventually I came upon the Bethesda Fountain and rowboat pond. A crowd had gathered to watch an acrobatic comedy troupe perform. I decided to stay and watch too. These three guys were hilarious. They really had the crowd engaged, and people just kept flooding in to watch. The whole performance lasted about a half hour and was riotously funny. I was so engrossed and laughing so hard, I lost track of time. When the show was over, my cheeks hurt from laughing and I had a little tear of happiness in the corner of my left eye.
I crossed over the rowboat pond bridge and entered “The Ramble.” What a perfect name for this area. Trails lead you this way and that, always yielding some beautiful view of a small meadow, a hidden nook of the pond, or just a quiet tree covered hideaway. And I did in fact ramble about, forgetting my Northbound goal. I’m sure I didn’t see even half of this section of the park, but the parts I did see were such a peaceful experience.
When I exited The Ramble I headed North again. I decided I wanted to make my way to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Resevoir (or “The Big Lake”). I stopped for a pretzel and a soda along the way. When I finally got to my destination, I was impressed with the size of the Big Lake. I decided to circumambulate the reservoir with all the other joggers and walkers. About half way around I realized that the lake is much larger than it looks. Despite my feet feeling a bit tired after two hours of walking through the park, I kept on going.
Once I reached the North end of the lake, I decided not to go any further North into the park. Instead, I continued around the lake, took some pictures, and found my way back through the park toward my hotel. Essentially I started at 55th Street, meandered through the park up to 97th Street, then Walked back South to 77th Street where my hotel was.
Three hours of walking in the park left my heart swollen with peace and happiness. The laughing of children in playgrounds, the cheerful barking of happy dogs running about, the canoodling of lovers on blankets, the laughs of the crowd at the acrobatic performance, the shouts of excitement at the baseball and volleyball parks, the groovy beats and moves at the disco roller-skate park. All of these wonderful sights and sounds filled me up with joy and made me feel connected to nature and my fellow man. There’s no question that yesterday I fell in love with Central Park
And, though I am returning home to San Francisco later this evening, I’m quite certain that I’ve left my heart in Central Park.
Bill, one of my regular readers and commenters, left a comment today wondering what happened to me. I guess I have been missing in action the last week or so. The last half of my Puerto Vallarta trip was so insanely fun that I just didn’t have time to blog. (Well, add to that the fact that the internet at my hotel went out every night just about the time I was returning from the beach!)
Since Sunday I’ve been in NYC for work meetings. It’s been go-go-go, and I’ve been too tired at the end of the night to read the internets. My Google Reader is so back logged I’m not sure how I’ll ever catch up.
That being said, you should follow me on Twitter (@loganotron). Despite my lack of blogging, I have managed to tweet during both trips. And, as soon as I publish this post, I’m going to start my vacation post and relay some of the fun stories for y’all.
I’m offline for the most part for the next week. I am spending a week with Christian, his dad, and his brother down in La Paz Mexico. They own a sailboat that they dock down in La Paz, and we’re down here doing some work on the boat. Then, on Saturday we’re going to set sail and visit some of the islands around here. Fun times!!
The hotel & resort that the boat is docked at is gorgeous. (That’s a picture of the pool, above). We access to the hotel’s beach, pool, and other facilities while we’re in dock. Holla!
Anyway, don’t hate me too much because I’m beautiful or because I’m spending Spring Break in Baja California. 😉 I promise to post occasionally and I have made sure to pre-schedule the Humpday Hotness posts for the next week. I wouldn’t want you to be without the hot man flesh that gets you through the end of your week…!
I think Christian first showed this to me, then Orange shared it, then… well, everyone’s been sharing this awesome post today. I read about this some time ago when I learned that the Duboce overpass had once extended down Embarcadero and had been planned to spread its fingers throughout the city.
As I understand it, the first part to be built was the Embarcadero double-decker and Duboce overpass. The public was so outraged by the visual menace on the Embarcadero that the progress on the other splinters was stopped. Then the 1989 Earthquake came and destroyed parts of the Embarcadero freeway, and it was removed. Can’t say that I’m too sad about never having seen the monster obstruction down on the waterfront.
Since when did Sacramento or downtown Riverside, CA become tourist destinations? Why would they make any travel destination list?
How can “The Beach” (is that any and all beaches?!) be overrated? WTF?!
How can “Any place that’s not Los Angeles” be included on the overrated places list? I thought this was supposed to be the Chicago Tribune, not the LA Times!
Apparently Monterrey Bay sucks because “the weather was overcast.” Yeah, um… okay: “Stupid California coastal fog. Who cares that it’s responsible for the amazing flora/fauna of the CA coast and its biodiversity. The fog totally harshed my vacation-mellow.” (People are stupid!)
Also it appears that Italy sucks because one person didn’t do her homework before she traveled, people in Italy speak Italian (and not English — gasp!?), hotel vacancies were scarce because of the lack of advanced-planning, and the other couple she traveled with got on her nerves. Yeah, that’s all Italy’s fault.
Jeebus H. Crimeny! This is the worst list of readers’ picks ever. Christian put it best:
This isn’t “most overrated tourist destinations.” It’s “grumpy tourists whine and bitch about nothing.”
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I woke up, packed my stuff, ate breakfast and was on the road by 11am. It took about 2.5 hours to travel from Bryce to Zion. I checked into my hotel and hit the trails. I first set out on the Watchman Trail. But, only half an hour up the steep rock cliff, something started to feel wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but my intuition was telling me to turn back. So, I turned around and walked back down the hill. Continue reading →
I woke up and flipped on the tv to watch some of the 9/11 Anniversary coverage. In some ways it’s hard to believe six years have gone by since 9/11. On the other hand, it seems so long ago. After a few hours of watching the History Channel, I went to breakfast and then struck out for some hiking. Continue reading →
I woke up at 6:40am, was out the door by 7:40am, at Oakland Airport by 8:40am and lifting off by 9:40am. That was probably the only time in my many travels on Southwest that I’ve had a flight take off on time. Most of the time I fly Southwest, it’s to destinations like Burbank, LAX, or Seattle for work or fun. There are a few things different about flights to Las Vegas though. First the people on a flight to Las Vegas are all older and seem to not fly very often. They don’t understand the nuances of air travel etiquette. And they seem to notice and comments on *everything* that happens. For example:
“The patterns on these seats is interesting.”
“We started moving,” as we push back from the gate.
“The flight attendant tells funny jokes.”
“Look that plane says ‘Aloha’ on it. It’s headed to Hawaii.”
And as we’re in flight, “Look a lake. Look some snow. That mountain is taller than those ones.” Continue reading →
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