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By @ 12/26/15 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Miami, Paul Heney, Travel
Sunset in Ohio from a Megabus in ManAboutWorld by Paul Heney, Go, Daddy

Sunset in Ohio from a Megabus

Our Go, Daddy writer, gay-dad Paul J. Heney,  his partner and kids are heading to Miami for their first-ever experience onCarnival Cruise Line. The first leg of their journey proved less than glamorous aboard a MegaBus heading from Cleveland to Florida.

So maybe the “half” thing is overrated, but we’re trying to keep our sense of humor about things.

My family—including partner and two sons—are journeying down to Miami, Florida from our hometown of Cleveland. It’s all to experience a Carnival Cruise as an LGBT family, and report on it for ManAboutWorld. To economize, we decided to try taking MegaBus to Chattanooga, Tennessee, roughly the halfway point, before renting a car and driving the remainder of the way.

MegaBus was interesting. Our fares were pretty inexpensive, about $55 per person each way. We paid a couple of extra dollars for reserved seats, to guarantee some of the nicer spots and so we could be sure to all sit together. We left at 4:30 p.m. from a nice intermodal transportation center in downtown Cleveland.

Our pleather-like reserved seats were organized around a small table, allowing us space for some drinks, our phones, etc. We even pulled out our new Christmas gift (popular card game “Exploding Kittens”) and the table was great for that.

Luckily, we thought to bring a couple of throws, because, in spite of the unseasonably warm weather along the route, the bus itself was pretty cold. Lance supposed maybe the driver kept himself awake that way. The seats weren’t the luxurious coach type seats I’d guessed it would have, and sleeping was difficult. We also stopped in Columbus, Cincinnati, Lexington and Knoxville, waking everyone up about every 2 hours. We also stopped once next to a McDonalds. Although I’d packed plenty of snacks and protein bars, we were famished by that point at 1 a.m. and ate heartily. Go, Daddy, Eat!

Go, Daddy: 1 am snack stop for the crew heading towards their Carnival Cruise in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Time to eat

We stopped in Lexington to bring on two new drivers, and one immediately admonished us for having several of our carry-ons in what appeared to be shared storage space. She then took up all that space with multiple bags of her own and her daughter’s. Odd. We ended up simply moving them to a few other empty seats. (The bus was less than half full.)

I was also surprised by the random spots that Megabus picked for its “terminals” in some cities. In Cincinnati, it was literally in the middle of a large parking lot beside the freeway. Cars were randomly pointed at the bus with headlights glaring, and it felt like we were in some weird James Dean movie where a car/bus drag race was about to begin. In Chattanooga, it was simply on the side of a deserted road near an office park. It was raining heavily, and we had to retreat to a random office building nearby to wait for our Uber to take us to the rental car facility.

As I write, we’re approaching the Florida border in our rented Jeep Cherokee (nice ride!) and it’s only a matter of time before my teenaged son asks to stop at Zaxby’s for lunch. The southern fried chicken fast food restaurant is among his favorites, and he can’t get it back home. We also stopped at my partner’s favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel, for breakfast. It’s vacation, after all. But I’m struggling to avoid the “dad body” phenomenon—especially on tropical beaches this week—so I think I may have to hit the hotel gym elliptical this evening!



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By @ 09/30/15 in Baltimore, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel
Gay families in Baltimore, in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay families in Baltimore

ManAboutWorld correspondent Paul J. Heney, his partner and their two growing boys brought back this report from Baltimore after a recent visit. No kids? No worries! You don’t need progeny to enjoy this article or learn practical and important trip-planning information about Baltimore, like the use of Old Bay. You don’t know what that is? Read on!

Where

Baltimore has always seemed to me to be a bit misplaced — it has that “big city with a small town feel” that so many Midwestern cities tout. But this metropolitan area of 2.7 million people is strategically placed on the East Coast, about 45 minutes north of our nation’s capital. It’s easily accessible from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. And its modern airport has always gotten our family through efficiently. It’s not much more than an hours flight from places like Chicago or Atlanta, so it’s a nice option for a long family weekend.

Why go to Baltimore

Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor is the center of its attractions, and the density of things to do in such a small area makes it Gay family fun in Baltimore, in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinean ideal vacation spot for families of all shapes and sizes. The collection of museums, variety of restaurants, and waterfront activities can quickly fill up a weekend, making you wish you’d planned a few more days in this aptly named “Charm City.”

Weather is generally pleasant from spring through fall, although humidity can occasionally be overbearing in the middle of summer, so be forewarned. Baltimore has a great variety of festivals (including gay celebrations) throughout the year, so you may wish to check out the calendar at VisitBaltimore.com before planning your visit.

Gay factor

While neighboring Washington, D.C. may get more media attention for its gay life, Baltimore holds its own with its queer vibe. The “gayborhood,” if you will, is the lovely Mount Vernon neighborhood, just north of the city center, and its environs are quite LGBT popular and friendly. There are numerous theaters, art museums and gay establishments dotting this area. And who can forget that Baltimore is the beloved home of iconic director John Walters? Fellow Hollywood writers Barry Levinson and David Simon also grew up in the city. Annual LGBT-oriented events in the city include:

Planning resources

According to Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore, his organization has an LGBT Tourism Advisory Committee that includes many of the city’s family-focused attractions, including the National Aquarium, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the American Visionary Art Museum. Noonan noted that there is a Baltimore LGBT Visitors Guide http://issuu.com/baltimoregaylife/docs/baltimorelgbtguide2014?e=1223151/7404635 that is produced by GayLife, the local gay monthly. The Visitors Guide offers a wealth of knowledge, with sections on accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, congregations, neighborhoods, and even a wedding guide.

For more about where to stay, eat, and what to do, download ManAboutWorld on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, iPhones and Android devices. There are a few FREE publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription.



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By @ 03/11/14 in Big Island, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay travel magazine for iPad, Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Aloha!

ManAboutWorld’s latest issue is ready for download. Subscribers: Open your iPad, tap on ManAboutWorld, go to Library, download and enjoy. Non-subscribers may find us in the AppStore. Or click on our website to subscribe and get access to all our back issues.

This is our coolest — and hottest — cover, yet.

Learn why we love Hawaii and its beautiful aloha spirit.

Other coverage includes:

  • Gay family travel to Kauai
  • Washington, DC
  • Merida, Mexico
  • Panama City, Panama
  • 6 fabulous honeymoon hotels
  • and more

Wait, not a subscriber? (Est-ce possible ?! :). Become one now and get access to all our back issues for free.

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By @ 10/15/13 in Correspondent, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay-Friendly, Haven Caylor, ManAboutWorld, Orlando, Travel

WDW haven

Haven Caylor is a ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, father to two incredibly cute kids and one of our “Gay Traveling Dads.” He and his husband recently took Ammon and Carter to Walt Disney World Resort. Here his update from the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

‘Let the Memories Begin’ … and treasure them in your heart when the awesome adventure is over. Ammon, Carter, Sean, and I spent the 3rd week of September at Walt Disney World Resort.  For 8 adventure-filled days, we spent time in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom. My synoptic advise for Walt Disney World is GO THERE! Save your money, plan your itinerary (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com was my all-inclusive helper), go, and ENJOY! I also have 3 other pieces of advice I would like to share.

1) Stay on the Walt Disney World Resort. The use of its monorail and bus system is first rate. I highly recommend the Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Carter, Ammon, Sean, and I stayed there, and it was in a perfect location. We could walk to the Magic Kingdom in less than 10 minutes, and in the evenings if we were leaving from the Magic Kingdom, it was the first stop off the monorail. We had chosen to drive our own vehicle from our home in Chattanooga to Orlando, and when we parked our car upon our Bay Lake Tower arrival, we didn’t touch it again until 8 days later when we returned home.



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By @ 08/16/13 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel

paul's kidsCall this mashing in vegetables with the foods your kids want to eat. But our Global Correspondent Paul J. Heney, a gay father of two, devised a strategy to blend fun travel and useful scouting. In his words:

I’m all about having fun on family vacations, but, as most parents do, I also like to throw in some educational things when I can. All the better if the kids don’t quite realize they’re learning something. Whether it’s a somber visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial or a lighthearted stop at a science museum, my kids generally go along with it, and we all get a lot out of the experience.



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By @ 07/11/13 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, Helena, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel

 

The Montana state Capitol in Helena. Quite beautiful inside.

The Montana state Capitol in Helena. Quite beautiful inside.

By Paul J. Heney

Our first day of our first gay family trip went well. We’d decided to save some money and use frequent flier miles, so we were somewhat restricted by the airline’s (United’s) whims. We flew from CLE-IAH-DEN-HLN. A three hour layover in Houston was actually a nice gift; the kids spotted a Chili’s and begged to have lunch there. We were fine with that, because it wasn’t McDonalds. We also took a tour of about every gift shop in the B and C terminals … but I convinced the boys to save their money, as they would probably see some really cool stuff in Montana.



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By @ 07/07/13 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel, United States
A healthy fear of bears;)

A healthy fear of bears;)

By Paul J. Heney

Our first gay family adventure—should I be nervous?

In a few days, I’ll be taking what I am deeming my first gay family trip. I’ve traveled extensively with my two sons—and I’ve traveled extensively with my partner—but the four of us have never taken a trip together. Lance and the boys get along quite well, and this trip seemed like a natural. Until I pointed out to Lance recently that he’d never been around the boys 24 hours a day for a whole week. That got him thinking a little. And me as well, I suppose. Will we get along in the car? Will everyone want to do the same activities? Who sits next to whom on the plane? Will the lack of internet connectivity and television where we’re going drive someone (me!) insane?



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By @ 03/23/13 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel
Ok, I could get into this.

Ok, I could get into this.

Our correspondent, Paul J. Heney, likes baseball enough to travel for spring training. Hey, he’s a dad! Catch his early ball-game fever.

It sure doesn’t feel like Spring across most of the Northern half of the U.S. But what if you could combine some glorious sunshine and warm temperatures with a close-up look at some well-muscled athletes right about now?

The Cactus League season is wrapping up, but it’s not too late for a last minute getaway. The season runs from February 22 to March 30, and encompasses 15 of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams (the rest train in Florida). All of the ballparks are within a 30 mile drive of downtown Phoenix, making it fairly easy to take in a few games at different ballparks over several days.



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By @ 03/07/13 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Gay travel magazine for iPad, Gay-Friendly, Haven Caylor, Las Vegas, ManAboutWorld
These dads are about to smooch.

These dads are about to smooch.

¡Viva el Romance, Viva la familia, y Viva Las Vegas!

“It’s good luck for sweethearts, lovers, or spouses to kiss under this bridge. Go ahead and Happy Anniversary!” our lovely, Greek gondolier at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel encouraged. Sean and I were seated across from each other and we blushed, smiled and leaned across for a husband-husband smooch.  When we kissed, Carter and Ammon didn’t blink an eye, and the gondolier sighed. “How lovely, and what lovely children you two have!”

It was Labor Day week of 2012, and it was my 8th Wedding Anniversary Vacation.  Sean, Carter, Ammon, and I were all together, and it has been my favorite anniversary to date. In Las Vegas (just like any city), we lived, loved, and enjoyed ourselves as family.


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By @ 03/02/13 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel
Gay parenting: a walk in the park!

Gay parenting: a walk in the park!

The two biggest joys of my life are being a dad and traveling. While I often travel with just my partner, I also very much enjoy taking time to show my two sons (ages 5 and 12) the amazing world we live in.

I learned an important lesson about traveling with kids many years ago. We were going to Europe and decided to take Joshua (then 5). Josh was all about trains, so part of the tour involved the high-speed trains he always talked about, including a ride through the Chunnel to London. It was a fantastic trip, encompassing much of Germany, The Netherlands and greater London.

Years later, what does he remember of the trip? The trains? The museums? The statues in London? The food? Heck no. He remembers feeding the ducks in a pond at the Munich Olympic Park. (He could do that three minutes from our house!) The moral is that you have to plan plenty of open, unscheduled time, to let the wandering attention of little ones call the shots sometimes.

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By @ 02/15/13 in Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

havenOur newest correspondent, Haven Calor, is a traveling dad. Here is his first blog post.

It was July 4, 2009 in New York City, Manhattan. Sean, my husband, and I strolled from  42nd Street back up 8th Avenue to our hotel after seeing a light-hearted, romantic comedy in the evening. It was a warm evening, the stroll was romantic, and we touched hands for a few seconds and gazed into each other’s eyes: what an apropos moment for a married, gay couple of 5 years.

We even had fireworks from the Hudson River as a backdrop; however, something/some things were missing … our two, 9 month old twins, Ammon and Carter who were back home in Tennessee with grandparents. Almost simultaneously we said, “I miss the babies.”

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