OK, this post is way overdue. I was extremely honored in March to receive the “Awesome Blog Content” award from Mark, the Mancunian blogger of the vibes, with whom I share a love of cats, travel, photography and the Kinsey scale, among many other things. Mark lives in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, England–a city that I’m dying to visit–and gives great blog.
Now to accept this award, the rules mandate that I describe myself or my blog using every letter of the alphabet and pass on the award to six fellow bloggers–easier said than done considering all the fantastic blogs I read and all the letters that compose the English alphabet. But I could not let his opportunity pass without 1) thanking Mark and 2) paying this award forward to a few of the fabulous people that touch my world-wide-webbed world. So here we go, the following is a bit stream of consciousness… some words are adjectives, some nouns, etc., but they all describe me, or the me I tell myself I am, or Traveling IQ or what it strives to be… or they are things I just really like… such as margaritas… I really like margaritas… they are like limeade with a built-in self esteem booster.
And now for my favorite part of this project. Six really cool people (in no particular order) who I hope will intrigue you as much as they have me over the last few years:
*EdSalvato.com: Ed Salvato has, as stated on his website, “spent the last 14 years in the world of LGBT travel and tourism on just every angle you can imagine: editorial, marketing, communications, product development, sponsorships, events and more.” The man juggles multiple gay travel balls better than anyone I know (insert joke here). He was one of the first editors that ever published my work and he’s one of the best, most professional communicators I’ve encountered in this crazy business.
*Carlos Melia Blog: Carlos Melia is pure travel porn, in every possible way. Not only is he extremely handsome and features prominently in many of his pictures, but this former Mr. Gay International (no joke!) is also constantly traveling to–and tirelessly posting from–the most fabulous destinations imaginable. The man is a traveling machine. Though it’s difficult not to envy his life at times (and his Mr. Gayness), I greatly admire his incredible work ethic (and, oh yeah, his Mr. Gayness too).
*The Butterfly Jar: This Tumblr blog highlights the versatile and beautiful work of NY-based photographer Chasi Annexy. Chasi is a kick ass photographer of people, travel, lifestyle, performance and all-around awesomeness (her official website is chasiannexyphotography.com). As the photographer of Salseek.com she captures the beauty, sexiness and flair of salsa dancers; as a travel and documentary photographer she manages to create infinitely intriguing photos of people in both exceptional and mundane settings. I’ve also been fortunate to take a writing class with Chasi and can tell you 1) she’s a fantastic writer and 2) her hips don’t lie… even when visiting a tea garden outside of Darjeeling.
*Voyage Addicted: Or “Adiccion a Viajar” is the travel blog of Jose Ferri of Valencia, Spain. Jose works with Valencia Guias and was the fabulous guide who took me on the walking tour of Centro Historico that I describe in my Washington Post article. He also, in a short time, became a great new friend and took it upon himself to show me a Valencia that I would’ve never found on my own. He writes about his fantastic travels and not only allows me to discover beautiful new places but also forces me to practice my Spanish.
*PhotoBotos.com: Created by brothers Charlie and Tom, this photography website uploads a new image daily with a detailed description. Photographers will appreciate all the technical jargon; I love the beautiful pictures. I first discovered this site when they posted “Go Your Own Road” by Swedish photographer Erik Johansson, and have been hooked ever since.
*Humans of New York: According to the website, “Humans of New York began as one man’s effort to construct a photographic census of the city of New York.” And boy do we have some colorful characters in NYC! This site captures New Yorkers from all walks of life and is a constant reminder of just how special this city truly is. Brandon’s captions are also witty, funny, and offer an insightful glimpse into the people that make New York… well, New York. If you like the photographs, I suggest “liking” the Facebook page as he posts photos even more frequently on Facebook.
(And while we’re on the subject of Facebook, I would be forever grateful if you visited Traveling IQ on Facebook and perhaps “liked” me too. Thank you!)
The festivities are already under way for Valencia’s biggest street party, Las Fallas. This festival to honor St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, consumes Valencia from March 15 to 19, attracting more visitors than any other event.
Every March the city erupts into the concert of gunpowder known as mascletàs. During this time, the city proudly presents its fallas: gigantic, building-high, papier-mâché sculptures satirizing politicians, celebrities and local customs. The non-stop partying, parades and fireworks, climax at midnight on the 19th, with the public burning of all the papier-mâché participants stationed throughout the city, except for one small ninot chosen by popular vote (a life-sized figure sitting at the base of one of the colossal fallas). The spared sculpture will then join his brothers and sisters dating as far back as 1934, at their current safe haven, the Museo Fallero.
I’m a greedy tourist. When I travel, I want to experience it all: the old and the new, the quaint and the cosmopolitan, the historic and the contemporary. So when I heard about a city that flows with the ease of a small town while boasting beaches, museums and architectural masterpieces on par with those of the world’s great cultural centers, I took notice.
Read the full travel feature in The Washington Post by clicking on the picture below:
Showcasing architectural styles to accompany more than 2,000 years of history, Valencia thrives on the pairing of old and new. Why should its hotels be any different? Located in the popular Centro Historico neighborhood, the Vincci Palace Hotel combines classic style and contemporary design in Spain’s third largest city.
Enter through the immaculately restored historic façade and check into the modern elegance of this five-floor boutique hotel. Accents of purples and reds pop from a background of shiny lacquered walls and sheer drapes to create a lobby area that can effortlessly double as an evening lounge. Upstairs, all 76 rooms are equipped with the modern conveniences we have come to expect from a four-star hotel: satellite television, in-room internet, full mini-bar, and a pillow menu for a cushion-to-taste rest. In keeping with the design aesthetic, the bathrooms are sleek and sexy, each with deep soaking tubs, black granite counter tops, and modern chandeliers to stylishly light your routine toward cleanliness… or dirtiness.
In the morning, refuel at the complimentary breakfast buffet which includes eggs, meats, fruits, pastries, and even a glass of cava should you wish to toast last night’s adventures. When ready to explore, you are a five-minute walk from the Cathedral and Plaza de la Virgen, the epicenter of town, and just a few more steps to the nightlife options of Barrio del Carmen.