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PLACES THAT SHOULD BE ADDED TO YOUR BUCKET LIST

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“Bucket Lists” have become a steady growing trend.  Everyone is now making a bucket list of things and places they want to visit before they essentially “Kick the Bucket.”  The idea of the bucket list is live without regret.  Mark Twain said it best when he wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.”  In other words, LIVE.

Here is a list of places to visit that should be added to any future traveler’s bucket list.

Top U.S Destinations

  • Boston, Massachusetts–  Boston is an amazing city rich with history.  You can visit sites that sparked abolitionism and feminism as well as taverns used by the Revolutionists to draft plans along the Freedom Trail.

                                                                

(USS Constitution in Boston Harbor) 

  • Kauai, Hawaii–  It is a city with beautiful scenery and tropical weather.  Rugged hikes, wild coasts, steep cliffs and unpredictable ocean currents make it an exciting place to visit.  It is home to the Napali Coast.

                                                                                 (Napali Coast Line)

  • New York, New York– Whatever your fancy or desire, it can be found in New York.  It is home of to the some of the best restaurants and fabulous shows.  There is nothing like visiting Time Square at night.  It is truly the city that never sleeps.

   (Times Square)

  • The Nation’s Capital: Washington, D.C.- Home to many monuments and museum.  It is great bike city with beautiful trails and amazing food.  A visit to Arlington National Cemetery is a must.  Watching the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a refreshing experience.

                                                       

(Tomb of the Unknown Soldier)

 

  • Chicago, Illinois- Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs but it is also home to the World Series Champs Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox.  The Navy Pier is a spectacular sight as well as seeing the Willis Tower (formerly named Sears Tower).  If you are ever there for St. Patrick day, be sure to see when the Windy City dyes the Chicago River green.

                                                                        

 (Navy Pier)

 

  • Las Vegas, Nevada- Las Vegas is not just for gamblers and party people.  It is for everyone.  Every hotel and casino offer a different experience.  Vegas can be a weekend trip or a week-long trip.  However long you choose to stay, I promise, you will come back.  Be sure to take a trip to see the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam nearby.

                                                                        

 (Las Vegas Sign)

  • New Orleans, Louisiana- There is nothing like wandering the French Quarter or Bourbon Street with a Hand-grenade in your hand.  The Crescent City is a beautiful place to let loose.  Enjoy the fine cuisine and eat at beignet from Café Du Monde.

     (St. Louis Cathedral)

  • The California: The Golden State- Whether you are a wine connoisseur, a surfer, an artist, an aspiring actor/actress or a person who loves the beauty of nature, California is a must visit place.  It home to Napa Valley, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles.  You can go to the beach, to Disneyland or to Hollywood.  Whatever you desire, California has it.

              (Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco)

 

  • Pennsylvania: The Keystone State– It is home to the famous cheesesteaks at Geno’s or Pat’s, historical war battles, Primanti Brother and the Liberty Bell.  Pennsylvania is a state the full of history and tradition with famous places like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Gettysburg and the Poconos Mountain.

              (Independence Hall in Philadelphia)

  • Florida: The Sunshine State– When the state is home to places like Disney World Resort and Universal Studios, you can’t go wrong.  Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  If you are looking to experience the nightlife, Miami or Key West is the spot to visit.  If you are looking for something more low-key, try places like Destin , Panama City or Tampa.


(Magic Kingdom in Orlando )

  • Texas: The Lone Star State– “Everything is bigger in Texas!”  It is a beautiful state with many cities and places to visit.  The Texas State Fair is a must-see event.  But with cities such as Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and more, you can’t go wrong.

   (Big Tex Statue at the State Fair)

What are the destinations on your Bucket List?  What are the cities and places that you feel were left off this list?  Feel free to comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. Mike

    November 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Re:Pennsylvania
    No one but tourists who don’t know better go to Pat’s & Geno’s. Want a great cheesesteak? Jimmy’s on South Street is the place to go. Also, it’s the Pocono Mountains or just the Poconos, not the Poconos Mountains.

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Ireland Travel Guide

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Ireland isn’t nicknamed the emerald isle without reason. Sprawling across the entirety of the country are woodland forests, wildflowers, and seacoast grasses. In the summer, heather blankets the mountainsides and a light dusting of snow covers the green grass in the winter. The entirety of the island, comprised of Ireland and Northern Ireland (UK) is only about the size of Indiana but it is certainly no day trip. With its rich history, natural beauty, and lively culture, there is something for everyone.

Skellig Michael

Whether it’s the first or last thing you do, take a slow drive around the Ring of Kerry. The route itself is one of Ireland’s most visited attractions and will take you through the staple scenery of the island. Tumbling waterfalls, crumbling castles, and picturesque seaside villages are all accessible from the road. Star Wars fans, history buffs, and lovers of the ocean won’t want to miss the rare chance to visit Skellig Michael. With only a few boats going out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, you have to secure your spot well in advance but exploring the centuries-old honeycomb monastery huts, climbing the steep cliffs, and watching the nesting puffins will be worth the wait. Besides, the pilgrimage to the tiny island isn’t only about the destination but the journey too. The only way to get to Skellig Michael is by fishing boat early in the morning, when the sea is tumultuous. But the trip rewards those that take it with the chance to see whales and dolphins right alongside of them. The ships leave from Portmagee, a tiny town on the coast with tight streets, quaint shops, and cozy restaurants.

Make sure to pack your wellies for a trip to Killarney National Park. The first and one of the most diverse national parks in the country, Killarney offers spectacular experiences in nature. Dotted with lakes, the woodland environment is home to a variety of flora and fauna including Ireland’s only remaining herd of wild deer. Just outside of the park lies the lively village of Killarney. Almost as popular a destination as the park itself, Killarney offers music, culture, and history. Later, kiss the Blarney stone for the gift of eloquence like Winston Churchill and so many others have and tour the castle grounds.

Irish Sheep

Further north is the city of Cork and past that is Dublin . Whether you’re looking to have a wild night at the infamous Temple Bar, or just a quiet pub to sit down, you’ll find it in Ireland’s biggest city. Also the nation’s capital, Dublin is teaming with diverse experiences including castles, goals, and cathedrals. In the summer, the city hosts the Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival, the biggest of its kind on the island.

Within driving distance of the city are the Hill of Tara and New Grange, archeological complexes that have brought awe and wonder to people for generations. There, you can see the ruins and inscriptions left behind by Neolithic people thousands of years ago. Due to conservation efforts, New Grange is difficult to visit because tickets need to be bought in advance for a guided tour, but if history is what you came to Ireland for, it will be worth the trouble. On the other hand, the Hill of Tara is an easy drive and walkable park.

Poulnabrone Dolmen

The northern third or so of the island is Northern Ireland, a part of the UK. Though religious tensions caused the two sides to incite violence, that is now well in the past. The border is open and you can cross without any bother, not even needing to stop to show your passport. Just don’t forget to reset your speedometer to miles per hour and convert your cash into pounds. Northern Ireland is also covered in locations to stop and experience. From the bustling city of Belfast, to the sleepy village of Cobh where the Titanic last docked, this country is teeming with reasons to get off the highway. Cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, skip along hexagonal basalt columns at Giant’s Causeway, or drive along the scenic coast. Game of Thrones fans will also enjoy seeking out filming locations like The King’s Road (The Dark Hedges) and Dragonstone (The Mussenden Temple).

Musseden Temple

Of course, no trip to Ireland is complete without a stop at the Cliffs of Moher. The multiple hundred feet drop of sheer cliff is one of the most iconic locations in the country. Despite its size, Ireland has so much to discover. If you didn’t get a chance to see it all, it’s only a reason to come back again.

 

Originally posted 2017-10-27 19:25:29.

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LGBT History Month: Celebrating Sappho

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As some of you may know, I’m a huge fan of poetry. So are a lot of people, actually, and for good reason. Poetry is beautiful and allows us to say what the heart and soul can’t. Some of the greatest declarations of love and longing have been poetic, and there’s one poet who deserves a little attention for LGBT History Month. This month I’m documenting five of the most iconic and world-changing woman-loving women (WLW), and it would be careless of me not to mention the poet considered by many to be the ultimate WLW:

“Whoever he is who opposite you
sits and listens close
to your sweet speaking
and lovely laughing – oh it
puts the heart in my chest on wings
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
is left in me
no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
fills ears
and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass”
Sappho

The above lines are exactly what they sound like: Sappho confessing joy and admiration for a woman. Doesn’t that make you feel so gay (pun absolutely intended)?? Known for writing about her yearning and love for women, Sappho is a well-known figure in the “L” part of the LGBT community. Born on the Greek island of Lesbos, Sappho was a prolific writer, composing line after line of beautiful poetry, much of it on subjects of love and women.

Unfortunately, most of Sappho’s writing has been lost, and only one complete poem, “Ode to Aphrodite,” has ever been found. As a poet, this makes me want to sit down and cry for all the lost lesbian poems we’ll probably never see. But just because we only have fragments of some of her work, Sappho remains an iconic figure in LGBT history, for a couple of reasons.

First, you’re probably familiar with the term “lesbian.” This word didn’t come from just anywhere, and you’ve probably already figured out that it’s no coincidence that Sappho was born on the island of Lesbos. See the connection?

And second, there’s the more obvious allusion in phrases like “sapphic vibes” or “sapphic tendencies.” The term “sapphic” stems from the name “Sappho” and the belief that she expressed open homo-eroticism not just in her poetry but in life as well. Unfortunately, we will probably never know for sure, as little is known about Sappho’s life. To add to her mystery, the meaning and subjects of her poems are hotly debated, and over the centuries many have been intentionally heterosexualized by scholars.

Whatever her original intentions were, it’s clear that Sappho certainly idolized women, even if it wasn’t explicitly romantically or sexually motivated. And in the lesbian community, Sappho is widely accepted as one of the first openly homosexual women in literature. As for this lesbian, I’d like to believe that Sappho was loving ladies her whole life, and openly expressing that love to the world. After all, that’s the dream, isn’t it? To be open about our sexuality and not be ashamed to show it? It’s what the LGBTQ community is still working towards today, and why we celebrate LGBT History Month.

Thanks to Sappho’s inspiring poetry we have a name for WLW and a historical figure to study and admire. Which women do you admire? What’s your favorite sapphic poem? Tell us in the comments, and go here if you want to learn about last week’s featured lesbian, Barbara Gittings, and her influence in LGBTQ visibility. Next week I’ll be talking about Gladys Bentley, continuing my coverage of iconic lesbians who changed the world.  

Originally posted 2017-10-27 15:09:19.

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Tell It Like A Lesbian

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My mother refuses to refer to my partner as anything other than a friend. We’ve been dating for three years and my mother still won’t acknowledge our relationship. Am I crazy for being angry about this and wanting to confront her? I feel insulted and it really upsets my partner. –Clarke

Dear Clarke, You’re not crazy for being upset at your mother. It sounds like you have every right to be angry, especially if after three years your mother can’t even acknowledge your relationship. If talking to her gently about it hasn’t worked after all this time, it may indeed be time to confront her more forcefully, as your partner’s feelings are also being hurt by this behavior. If you decide to confront her and her attitude remains unchanged, it may be time to cut ties. After all, your happiness is what matters most in this situation, regardless of whatever is causing such denial from your mother. You must put the health of you and your partner’s relationship first, and eventually, your mother may come to realize what she is losing because of her denial.

__________

Dear Tell It, Do you have any suggestions for handling depression? I’ve been really struggling with loneliness and I have no energy for anything, even stuff I usually enjoy. I feel like I have no one to turn to. –Otto

Dear Otto, Depression often causes the loneliness and sense of isolation that you are feeling. It’s important that you recognize this as a symptom of your depression and do your best not to isolate yourself as a result. Because depression can take a lot of energy, remember that your brain and body need time to recover. And remember that focusing on self-care is not selfish. Depression is an illness just like the flu and other diseases and should be treated with the same care.

On bad days, make a warm drink that you enjoy, read your favorite book or watch a show or movie you love. Spend some time by yourself to recharge, and then contact a friend or family member to let them know what you’ve been feeling. Make a plan to spend time with them, even if it’s only for an hour or two, preferably away from your house. Getting outside and into a new environment is an excellent way of resetting your brain. While I wish I could tell you otherwise, depression doesn’t just go away. You will likely go through phases of good and bad, and it’s important to learn the symptoms that are specific to you. If you have suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask for help. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Hang in there, and remember that there are people who care.

__________

Have questions for Tell It Like A Lesbian? Let me answer them! Submit your questions below (you don’t have to use your real name unless you want to), and see your question answered on our website!

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Originally posted 2017-10-26 14:10:06.


Also published on Medium.

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