Tag Archives: travel

Summer adventures

imagesW and I are headed to New York state next weekend.

We’ll be visiting Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is another bucket list item for me.

First, an Olivia cruise to Alaska. Now, Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.

I’m wondering if I should be worried. My bucket list isn’t very deep.

“Just add more things,” people tell me.

Um, that’s not how it work. I prefer a carefully culled bucket list.

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Say cheeze!

After Cooperstown, we’re headed to Animal Adventure Park outside of Binghamton, which is home to Internet sensations April the Giraffe and baby Taj. W is a huge fan.

Usually, I’d be stressed out about leaving town and heading to a new place (or vacation, as some call it). But our Alaskan adventure has me feeling like I can do a short road trip no problem.

So, we’re looking for things to do in the Cooperstown and Binghamton areas. Send your tips and suggestions my way.

Where are you headed these last few weeks of summer? Crossing anything off your bucket list?

 

Happy trails

W and I are going away for the weekend.

It’s our anniversary month. We celebrate the entire month of October because we have an October 1st commitment ceremony to celebrate and an October 11th wedding ceremony to celebrate. We figure we are owed that much for not being able to legally wed when we wanted to.

Early tomorrow morning, we are headed to Philadelphia, which is less than an hour away. It’s not a big trip or a far trip or a long trip, but still being away from home overnight is usually enough to make me feel anxious and out of sorts.

Plus, we are taking a train into the city and then busing and Ubering from there to wherever we need to go.

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Just added to my T-shirt collection.

I like to pack a big duffle bag for a weekend away. I like options. I like my Wonder Woman chucks and my Dr. Martens. I like a T-shirt worn over a thermal shirt for walking around on a fall day. I’ll need a sweatshirt for the morning. I hate being cold. Plus, I’ll need a change of clothes for dinner. A crisp, button-down dress shirt to wear over a clean tee. At night, I can’t sleep without my fleece pajama bottoms and a fresh T-shirt. On Sunday, we’ll be attending a pride event. Do I want to go with traditional rainbow or something more cheeky? My new Hooters T-shirt or the I Love My Awesome Wife tee that makes W smile? Gosh, I need so many T-shirts. We haven’t even gotten to books–I always bring at least two–or writing paraphernalia. And ball caps. Penn State for Saturday, Steelers for Sunday and Phillies for just in case.

 

But that’s too much stuff to take as we traipse across the city. Saturday morning, I will wear the versatile combo of jeans and Dr. Martens (also known as standard butch uniform). I will bring a small messenger bag. I will pack lightly: underwear, socks and a T-shirt for Sunday; a toothbrush, one book, one small Moleskine notebook, one pen that fits in my pocket. I will sleep in my boxers.

I will be glad for the small load, the light burden as we go places and see things and remember what it felt like to fall in love all those years ago.

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What about you? Are you a light packer or not? And yes, I am aware of how that sounds. What can you not live without, even for one night?  

 

Boston bound

We leave for vacation this weekend. Me, W and the kids.

If you are a regular follower of The Flannel Files, you know I’m not a fan of leaving the house.  Except for my writers’ group and a really great sale on flannel.

W is a Sagittarius, an adventurer by nature.

Me, I think a good book and a bottle of a craft beer is an adventure.

W has the trip all planned out.  We will be trekking from Philly to Mystic, Conn., Providence, R.I., Plymouth, Mass., Boston and Salem, Mass.  I think that’s the plan.

These are a few of my favorite things.

These are a few of my favorite things.

I will pack those things that bring me comfort. My books, my tiny Moleskine notebooks and silver astronaut pen.  My fleece pajama pants, even though it is summer.  My bright-red Phillies cap, even though we will be in Red Sox territory.

I would pack my spirit of adventure, but I’m not sure I ever got one.  I will bring my sense of humor, because that always comes in handy.

I am hoping to score a Wonder Woman Pez dispenser at the Pez factory in Connecticut, a hot cup of chowder, a slice of pizza at Mystic Pizza.  And maybe time to write a story or two.

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Do you like vacations?  Suggestions for our trip?

Broadway and drag queens

Kinky BootsAs they say in Kinky Boots …

Ladies, gentlemen and those who have yet to make up their minds …

W and I have returned from our jaunt to the Big Apple.  Barely.  We almost died on more than one occasion riding in NYC taxi cabs.  Or “yellow cars of death,” as I like to call them.

Highlights include some really good pizza, Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waiters and waitresses serve burgers and Cokes and belt out Broadway tunes, and the glory that is the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.  W and I had third row seats, so we were right at boot level.

If you don’t know the Kinky Boots story, it’s about a drag queen who saves a shoe factory on the verge of bankruptcy.  But more than that, it’s a gender-bender of a tale about accepting others and loving yourself.  And drag queens.

So, with that, I’d thought I’d share the six-step program from Kinky Boots:

  • One: Pursue the truth.
  • Two: Learn something new.
  • Three: Accept yourself and you’ll accept others too!
  • Four: Let love shine.
  • Five: Let pride be your guide.
  • Six: Change the world when you change your mind!  Just be.  Who you wanna be.  Never let them tell you who you oughta be.  Just be.  With dignity.  Celebrate yourself triumphantly.  You’ll see.  It’s beautiful.  You’ll see.  It’s beautiful.

Me and W in NYC

New York CityW and I are heading to the Big Apple tomorrow.

We have tickets to see Kinky Boots.  Because drag queens.  We’re planning on paying a visit to Stonewall and having dinner nearby.  Will be staying overnight at a hotel in Times Square.

Any recommendations?  What are your “must dos” when you’re in town?

Lesbians on the loose in Atlanta

W and I went to Atlanta over the holiday weekend and had a blast.  Who knew Atlanta is so, well, gay. Or maybe it was just us.

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We were warned not to breach the Perimeter.

When we asked some locals about where to go and what to do, a very nice lesbian couple advised us to stay within the perimeter and all would be well.  We thought this was general advice, such as don’t stray too far outside the city limits.  We later learned that the Perimeter is an actual road that encircles Atlanta.  It was all very Hunger Games (Catching Fire was actually filmed there) from then on.

Anyway, here are some highlights from our trip:

Decatur — I immediately fell in love with this little town filled with lesbians.  W and I took in an arts festival and browsed the shops.  The Indigo Girls hail from Decatur, but we did not run into Amy or Emily.  True fact: Decatur is nicknamed “Dick Hater” because of its lesbian population.

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 Selfie: Me and W acting silly at the World of Coke

The World of Coca-Cola — Sure, it’s one big advertisement for Coke, but we were able to get our picture taken with the Coke polar bear and drink Coke beverages from around the globe.

BBQ — When in Georgia, you have to get your fingers sticky with BBQ sauce.  “The wetter the better” we were told.  I had some finger-lickin’ ribs with a side of collard greens.  Ya gotta love a BBQ joint with vinyl tablecloths and rolls of paper towels right on the table.

Kids — None.  For.  Three.  Days.

Gay steak — We dined at a place in Midtown called Cowtippers.  It was a cross between an Outback steakhouse and a gay pride float.  W enjoyed the armadillo eggs (jalapeño poppers back north), and our waiter, the fabulous Q, was a lot of fun.

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And the butch gets extra screening.

Airport security — W got us routed into the quicker security line where we didn’t have to take off our shoes or open our bags.  I got pulled aside both times (arriving and departing) for extra screening.  The TSA agents used wipes on my hands to search for chemical residue.  (Apparently, it’s a fact that trans people are subjected to extra screening because they look different.)  I wanted to point out that W was more likely to build a bomb based on hours spent watching The Big Bang Theory, but I didn’t think that was a good idea.

I’ll be writing up our adventures in an e-book that I plan on selling on eBay.

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Have you been to Atlanta?  What’s your favorite attraction?

Are you visiting a particular city this summer?

The lesbian discount

W and I might be vacationing in Provincetown, Mass., in July.

We don’t get a lot of alone time, so this could be just what the Lesbian Doctor of Love ordered.  (Think Melissa Etheridge with a stethoscope.)

Initially, we had talked about going to Boston or Salem, Mass., but W texted me today and asked what I thought about P-Town.

I texted back that it is one of my life goals to buy something from the Provincetown Women’s Bookstore.

Cue flashback swirls and trippy music.

Flashback

The year was 2002.  A guy named Bush was president.  Later on, this will seem ironic or like heavy handed foreshadowing.

I am participating in a therapy group called “Married to a Man and in Love With a Woman.”  I am married to a man.  I can’t fathom the woman part even though I fantasize about it.

During one of these therapy sessions, a fellow participant talks about going on vacation in Provincetown with her family.  She is surrounded by hand-holding, rainbow flag-waving gay people but unable to tell her conservative family about her girlfriend.

She tells us that the Women’s Bookstore in town offers a 10 percent discount to women-loving women.  “You just have to ask for the lesbian discount,” she explains.

The bisexual in the group asks if she would get a 5 percent price reduction.

The moment that I hear about the lesbian discount, I want it.  It’s not about saving the 10 percent (even though I’m cheap like that) but about being able to identify as a lesbian.

At the time, it’s something that I can’t even imagine.  No one knows I’m a lesbian.  Not my husband or my parents or my friends.  How could I possibly tell a stranger that I’m one?

The Women’s Bookstore becomes a mythic mountain of sorts.  A challenge to train for and to conquer.

More than a decade later, I am ready.

I know that I can confidently ask for the lesbian discount.

Somehow, I suspect that they would give it to me anyway.