Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

This last week was the magical week where I start looking at vacation spots and crazy adventures, I consider the plotting and planning to be half the fun of a good vacation.

One of the first things that popped up when I started my search was a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival that travels the east coast. In my world that is like Disney-world throws a Lady Gaga concert and my date is one of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural. (If you aren’t familiar with the Winchester brothers from Supernatural just Google “Supernatural Peta Ad” you will see what I mean).

This little festival of love is tops on my list, but I do have a limited time I can travel, with work and coronation and summer visitors I have to plan well.  There was one date the festival was on that worked with my calendar.  Guess where? North Carolina.  It’s safe to say I am no longer on speaking terms with North Carolina. Although I do have a few good friends from my traveling days down there who tried to convince me that I should come down anyways, it would be fun.  Well stick my tongue out and blow at you North Carolina.  I have already had a huge inner dialogue about whether I want to stay in a state that thinks voting against a civil right is okay.  In the end I have decided to stay in Alaska for a few reasons.  First I know a lot of brilliant folks here and there is no way i could find an apartment big enough for them all to come live with me if I had to leave state. Two I know some incredible local businesses that support ALL Alaskans.  Small business owners who wake up and go to work because they have a passion for people and this beautiful place we call home and I want to support them. Three, I have some fighting to do.   I said it before and I will say it again, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and my Hulk gloves are on.  I am ready to get back in the ring and get the initiative passed. Because it’s just not right to deny anyone their civil rights.

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WHOA!

Sorry I got all crazy preachy, I tend to get set off easy these days. What I am getting at is We have a lot of choices when we spend our dollars.  Whether that dollar is on a cup of coffee, or part of an all inclusive stay at a resort, when you spend your dollar you are casting a vote.  So where shall your hard earned pennies go to?  Below are a few of my favorite travel tips, near and far, and these are the folks I will be supporting with my dollars.

The Brown Bear Saloon
In the middle of a beautiful drive to Girdwood, nestled along the side of the road you will find this one of a kind bar, fully equipped with spare sleeping rooms, just in case you imbibe more than you should.  The Brown Bear is traditionally a biker’s bar, on weekends they are known for bringing out some great local bands. Most importantly twice a year they welcome the LGBTA community with open arms.
The De-hibernation Bus Run is held in the Spring (tomorrow in fact) by The Last Frontier Men’s Club.  And a second run is held during coronation weekend to show a bit of our state off to our out of town visitors.  There is nothing more you can say about this bus run expect EPIC! You have not lived until you are standing in the back yard of Brown Bear Saloon with a pitcher of Alabama Slammers in your hand.  Both trips have different activities from the host group, but it’s the bartenders who make this run fun for me.  You can imagine standing behind the bar when 74 folks come piling out of a bunch of buses and they all want a cocktail. With a smile and a joke they get everyone rolling right along.  If you have not buss-runned get it in your Google calendar and do it this year.  A quick get-away, for the Alaskan guy/girl who just wants to get out of town for an afternoon.

Alaska Airlines
In my research for this little ditty Alaska Airlines came up in my browser.  Not just for travel, but for a Gay Travel page. For this fact alone they have won over my travel dollars. For a quick weekend in Seattle or a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, your airline needs come wrapped in their big vessels.  And they have some of the greatest flight attendants you will ever meet.  You can catch the crew out and about at the Raven or Myrna’s from time to time.  They had my business anyway, but this confirms my love for the airlines and their respect for their employees and their guests. If you somehow missed out on their bonus deals for Alaskans make sure you sign up now.  They real know how to make a local gal feel special! Cheers to Alaskan Airlines for going the extra mile. I still have the wings from the last flight I took.

Atlantis Events
If you are looking for the full package in gay travel get a hold of Atlantis.  I first met these folks when I was working on cruise ships.  They would come in and take over the entire ship, bringing in special entertainment, incredible DJ’s, massive parties and even their own cruise directors.  They are the only group that specifically allowed the crew to come to any and all events as long as they were in theme.  The theme parties ran from The White Party to the Masqueer-ade. Needless to say these were the cruises EVERYONE wanted to work.  Great itineraries and the biggest party you have ever seen on the 7 Seas.  This is how I met RuPaul, this is also how I discovered expired aspirin does not work (unrelated, yet equally important in my life).  They now run many cruises throughout the year and in destinations all over the world.  Even if you aren’t ready to bankroll a cruise take a look at the website just for the pictures.  You may find yourself scrounging pennies!

These are just a few quick ideas on how to keep your dollars going in the right direction.  I am sure there are thousands of other companies out there that we need to give our support to and if you think of one put it in the comments below.  This is a great way for us to get out, have some fun and put your money where your mouth is!

Have an amazing weekend filled with great friends and gay old times!

About the Author
Darcy Kniefel was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska.  She has been everything from a bartender in Spenard to a Cruise Director on the seven seas, she currently runs a restaurant for a local brewery and acts as the Official Activities Director for The Better Beer Show on KFQD, Saturday afternoons from 3-5pm.  Darcy was voted Best Fag Hag in the 2011 Trollop awards and was Princess in Absentia to many reigns of the Imperial Court of All Alaska.  You can find her out and about town, usually with a good friend and smile on her face.  No kittens were harmed in the making of this blog, despite the photo shamelessly plugged in the beginning.

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