June 29

Flying the Pride Flag at US Embassies Abroad:

A Story and Armor of Rainbows

By David T. Valentin 

In a shocking twist, but not so shocking seeing that it came from President Trump and his administration, requests by U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow pride flag alongside the American flag during LGBTQ+ pride month are being rejected. 

 

Contrary to President Trump’s adminstration’s predecessor, the Obama administration allowed for U.S. embassies to fly the pride flag outside for display alongside the American flag on the same flag pole as the American flag in a statement of solidarity and recognition of LGBTQ+ American’s struggle for equal rights. But Trump’s Adminstration has denied American embassies the right to fly the pride flag during pride month. Instead, embassies have stated that they are only permitted to display the flag within their embassies. Embassies can request to fly the flag. However, no approvals have been granted. 

 

Trump has once again contradicted his words with his actions, when he said in a tweet a day before June 1st:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems Trump’s statement, like many of his other attempts at appearing as an ally to LGBTQ+ Americans, is simply a statement to pretend as though America is the global power for human rights and equality, apparently forgetting that a basic human right such as marriage was only granted four years ago on June 26th, 2015 to LGBTQ+ Americans. 

 

In response to the Trump Adminstration’s ban on flying the pride flag outside U.S. embassies along on the same flagpole as the American flag, many of these embassies have decided to fly the pride flag regardless, some of which have gotten creative with their display. 

 

Here are the many embassies defying Trump’s wishes and showing solidarity and support for LGBTQ+ people around the world:

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump’s administration fails to see the importance and strength of a good story as one of the greatest weapons of humanity. The pride flag is a story of representation and struggle, one that I know that if I had seen when I was younger, would have instilled me with the strength to stand up for myself more often, and to feel more comfortable with being a homosexual male.

June 28

Sometimes, It’s Just Not All There

and There’s Nothing Wrong with That

By Lilli McHale

Thirty-something Natalie Compton works a lot, meaning she’s always away on stories covering exotic places for The Washington Post’s Travel Blog, By The Way. So when she found a connection on a plane, the last place she wanted to be, she was ecstatic. On the flight she found that she and her 30-something seatmate could talk about everything, from small talk to the things they wanted to do with their action-packed lives. He is a director and was shooting something for Netflix near the same South American location she was writing about. As time went by, the pair kept clicking and talking, which is uncommonly rare for those who fly as much as Compton, about 100 flights a year. The red-eye flight was cozy, with the guy throwing his blanket over her legs to share before attempting to nap together in the cramped seats. 

 

After the flight, the pair tried to text, but found it hard. Instead, they finally found time to go on a real date when they were both home in L.A. After picking Compton up at her house, her dark-haired beau took her to L.A.’s art district for his favorite sandwiches and ice cream cones. The date ended with a high school style hard-core make-out session. 

After months apart, the two went on a second date, this time to a museum where the chemistry clearly wasn’t there. 

 

Yet, the two tried one last time, months later when Compton asked him to dinner. It was then that she realized, this didn’t have to be a relationship. Instead, it could be two busy people who were close to right, but not there yet.

 

Compton shared this personal revelation in a recent article in dating column of the The L.A. Times, which you can find here.  https://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-la-affairs-natalie-compton-20190622-story.html

June 27

A Dash Of Color, A Pinch of History, And A Cup Of Technology: Reliving The Stonewall Riots Through Augmented Reality

By David Valenti

Under every rainbow flag being waved, every layered caked-up drag queen’s face with colorful and exotic make-up, and every pair of sparkly shoes dancing to LGBTQ+ pop anthem such as Born This Way by Lady Gaga, She Keeps Me Warm by Mary Lambert, and almost any song by Britney Spears, is a story of oppression, revolt and, eventually, self-discovered love which all began at a small bar and tavern in Greenwich Village named the Stonewall Inn. 

 

RYOT studio, an American immersive media company founded in 2012, which focuses on “the future of media by inviting our audience to be more than a witness,” decided to take on the story of the Stonewall Riots for the 50th anniversary.

 

Through augmented reality, RYOT brings to life the night of June 28th, 1969 when the LGBTQ+ community decided to fight back against years of abuse and oppression, which resulted in the beginning of the gay rights movement in America. 

 

 

Depicted here is Marsha P. Johnson, one of the many faces of the gay rights movement.  

The augmented reality features a virtual Stonewall, complete with five different characters who share their stories from the perspectives of rioters, policemen and witnesses. Historical figures include Sylvia Rivera, a Latina American gay liberation and transgender rights activist; Raymond Castro the first gay man to be arrested during the riots; Yvonne Ritter a trans woman celebrating her 18th birthday the night of the raid on Stonewall; Lucian K. Truscott IV, a journalist covering the Stonewall Riot; and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, the leading police officer of the raid.

 

The augmented reality experience of the Stonewall Riots can be viewed through the article on the latest version of the HuffPost iOS app using an iPhone 6s or newer. The experience is not compatible with Android. 

 

This article originally appeared in: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/experience-june-28-1969-at-the-stonewall-inn_n_5d014b63e4b0dc17ef0352c1

June 25

A Dash Of Rainbows And Sunshine

From The End Of A Tailgate

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In a country so divided over liberal and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, queers and the infamous bigoted south, it’s easy to forget that there are people who make sunshine even in the darkest of places. 

 

A picture trending of Oklahoma straight man Cody Barlow’s rainbow tailgate sparks global joy for his message of inclusivity and love in a statement to prove “not all country boys are bigots.”

 

Barlow says, “This is important to me, not only because I have family and friends that are LGBTQ+, but also because countless people have dealt with hatred and judgment simply for who they are, and/or who they love, for far too long. Obviously doing this isn’t going to change the minds of those who are intolerant, but hopefully it can help drown out the hatred with love.” 

 

Despite the overwhelming positivity there has also been some negativity from those in the “rural area” where he resides, but that doesn’t stop the 28-year-old from spreading love. “It doesn’t matter what negativity I receive for supporting this. I hope that this can help even the slightest bit to encourage and support at least one person that needs it.” 

Within Barlow’s message is an important example of being a positive ally for the LGBTQ+ community, one that does not override the narratives of LGBTQ+ people. Instead, his message reminds LGBTQ+ people that they do not have to be alone in their struggle to find identity within themselves.

 

This story originally appeared in: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/oklahoma-lgbtq-pride-pickup-truck_n_5cfe50d6e4b02ee3477a3cd1

By David Valentin

June 25

Judith Krantz Dies at 91

Judith Krantz’s novel Scruples was such an international bestseller in 1980 that when I traveled to Rome for my graduation trip from college, the Rizzoli bookstore had a billboard-sized version of the Scrupoli cover in the window. If I only had one image to remember that trip by, that would be it.

 

Krantz was larger than life, very much like a lot of the 80’s, when she was the best-selling author of women’s commercial fiction with ten novels that were required beach reading for the decade. For me, she carried on the delicious trashy novel tradition that Jacqueline Suzanne had started in the 60’s and 70’s.

 

I just loved her over-the top stories of driven, beautiful career women and rich, driven, equally beautiful men they loved.

 

Upon her death, I learned that her life was both a lot like her novels, and not at all like them.

 

She was the daughter of a wealthy New York Jewish family, growing up in an Upper West Side apartment full of Renoirs, Degas and Chiam Soutines, as her father was a successful Madison Avenue ad exec and her mom a Legal Aid Attorney.  She went to a private school (with Barbara Walters, who introduced her to her husband), graduated from Wesleyan and married the man who produced the movies Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic (so he was a millionaire in his own right).  Her brother married the ventriloquist Shari Lewis (Lambchop) and started the new age publishing company Jeremy Tarcher, and her son is successful TV executive.

 

After working for a number of women’s magazines in the Hearst Corporation (Cosmo and Good Housekeeping), she wrote her first novel at 50. Scruples was published in 50 countries, sold 85 million copies worldwide and was made into an extremely well-watched mini-series starring Lindsay Wagner. Most of her novels were made into mini-series.  Her son, Tony Krantz said that he is currently in discussions to do a reboot of the Scruples mini-series. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the successes of Scruples and Princess Daisy, she moved her family to Bel-Air, where she was often photographed wearing the clothes she wrote about.

 

In a 1998 article in Town & Country magazine, Krantz said of her work, “I’ve never written about real people…In a way, I write Horatio Alger stories for women.”

By Lori Perkins

June 23

Michigan Man Wins $80 Million Lottery:

Loses Half in Divorce

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MegaMillions

By Lori Perkins

A Michigan man won $80 million in the Mega Million lottery but an arbitrator has ruled that his soon-to-be ex-wife is entitled to half his winnings, as the divorce was not final when he won the money.

Richard “Dick” Zelasko won the $80 million jackpot in 2013, and thought it was all his.  Even without his ex getting half the winnings, Dick only received $38,873,628 after taxes and deductions.  So you can imagine how unhappy he was when an arbitrator told him that half of his winnings would be going to Mary Beth Zelasko, his soon-to-be-ex. The two were in the process of divorcing when he won the money, but the divorce was not yet final. The arbitrator determined that Dick’s lottery winnings were “part of the marital estate” and demanded that $15 million be awarded to Mary Beth, according to court documents. The Zelaskos, who married in 2004 and had three children, had been separated for two years when Dick won the Mega Millions lottery, and their divorce was finalized in 2018. 

Dick’s attorney, Scott Bassett, has vowed to appeal the arbitration decision and take it to the Michigan Supreme Court, if necessary. “An equal split of an asset acquired so long after separation, and in this case after the conclusion of the divorce arbitration hearing, is extremely unusual,” Bassett told People Magazine. “We believe the arbitrator violated controlling Michigan law when he awarded Mrs. Zelasko half of the $30 million net lottery proceeds.”

June 22

Hulu Launches Animated Series Featuring Two Gay Knights and Their 10 Year-old Daughter

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By Lori Perkins

Get ready for a whole new kind of fairy tale!

June 21st was the premier date for Hulu’s new forward-thinking, LGBTQ-inclusive animated series, The Bravest Knight. The series is based on a children’s book published by Schiffer Books under the title The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived by Daniel Errico which features a married gay couple and their adopted daughter. Sir Cedric is a former humble pumpkin farmer, (voiced by T.R. Knight), who is now happily married to Prince Andrew (voiced by Wilson Cruz). The two dads are a mixed-race family, and are raising a 10-year-old adopted daughter, Nia, together as a family they fight fire breathing dragons and rescue princes and princesses.

The Bravest Knight follows in the inclusive rainbow footsteps of the recent introduction of a lesbian couple on My Little Pony and the gay wedding in the legacy children’s TV show Arthur, but Hulu’s entry into this space is braver because the entire TV show is built around gay mixed race characters.

The first season of The Bravest Knight is 13 episodes and features the voices of RuPaul, Christine Baranski, Wanda Sykes, Donna Murphy and Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean. 

“This is a story about reaching your potential and being true to yourself,” the book’s author explained. “Regardless of whether kids grow up to relate to Cedric or not, I hope that they find a message of acceptance for themselves and others

June 21

The First Lesbian First Lady

By Lori Perkins

I bet you thought this was going to be another article about the possible loves of Eleanor Roosevelt.

 

But the first lesbian First Lady was Rose Cleveland.

 

An article in The Washington Post highlighted a newly published book, Precious and Adored: the Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple, which quite vividly makes the case that the spinster sister of Grover Cleveland, who was America’s “bachelor President” until he finally married in 1887, was in a 30-year long “romantic friendship” with a female companion.  Rose Cleveland had served as the First Lady of the United States from 1885 until her brother married his assistant because protocol at the time for unmarried or widowed presidents was for a female relative to become the first lady.

When Rose’s beloved partner (as she is listed in Wikipedia) died in 1930, she left orders to leave her home as it was, and the caretaker of her home did so. Whipple had married for six years in between her lifelong romance with Cleveland, and her spouse’s daughter eventually donated her papers and effects to the Minnesota Historical Society, which contained the love letters between the two women (which the daughter probably never knew existed).

According to The Washington Post, a memo in the Historical Society warned that some of the letters “strongly suggest that a lesbian relationship existed between the two women” and that these letters should not be revealed to the public, but as the world changed, complaints in 1978 resulted in the ban on making the letters public being lifted. Since then, queer scholars and historians have mentioned the relationship (as in the above mentioned Wikipedia entry and the photo of the two women’s side by side gravestones in Italy in the book Queer Places), but a complete collection of the letters had never been published until now.

June 18

New Dads, Hot Dads and Good Dads Gone Bad for Father’s Day

SussexRoyal/Instagram

By Lori Perkins

Social media exploded yesterday with the second photo of Archie, newborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, this time for Father’s Day. More than three million people viewed this intimate sepia-toned photo of father and son holding hands on Instagram. The royal couple released a similarly iconic photo of Archie for Mother’s Day on May 12th, with only Archie’s adorable baby feet showing.

 

Jason Momoa, the reigning king of the DC universe sea, released an eight-minute YouTube video of his love for his two kids with wife Lisa Bonet and motorcycles that even has a title, “Where the Wild Stomped In.” He chronicles how he built a vintage motorcycle with his family over the years and how they created their own family heirloom. It’s just an amazing video love letter.

 

 

 

 

And then, just to remind us that it’s not all good feelings, we were all surprised by a tweet from Bill Cosby from prison trying to remind us that he was once considered “America’s Dad,” instead of America’s serial celebrity rapist.  Twitter quickly told him we weren’t buying it.

June 17

The Story of the Lesbian Couple Survivors on the Titanic and the Cane That Saved Them

Marie Young (left), Ella White (centre) and White's niece (right). Encyclopedia Titanica

By Lori Perkins

Guernsey’s

The reason the story of the Titanic’s lesbian couple is making the news right now is that the light-up walking stick of Ella White, which was used to flag down rescuers when she was on a lifeboat, is going to auction this week.

Ella White, an heiress whose father invented the burglar alarm, boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, France, as a first-class passenger on April 10, 1912, with her “roommate” Marie Grice Young. Historians generally believe the pair to have been in a same-sex relationship, and when she died, White left Young the bulk of her estate. White was 55 and Young was 36 when they sailed on the Titanic.

When the ship began to sink, Young and White escaped in a lifeboat and used her walking stick, which had a battery-powered electric light to signal other ships and to rescue them. The black enameled cane, capped with battery-illuminated amber-colored Bakelite, was cutting-edge technology at the time it was made.

“The only way they could locate us was by my electric lamp,” White said in testimony before the US Senate in the aftermath of the disaster. “I had an electric cane—a cane with an electric light in it—and that was the only light we had.”

In Walter Lord’s 1955 book A Night to Remember, he describes White and her walking stick: “Mrs J. Stuart White didn’t help to row No. 8, but she appointed herself a sort of signalman. She had a cane with a built-in electric light, and during most of the night she waved it fiercely about, alternately helping and confusing everyone.”

Objects from the Titanic are being auctioned by Guernsey’s in Newport, Rhode Island as part of the A Century at Sea: A Comprehensive Maritime Auction on June 19th and 20th. The light up walking stick is estimated to bring in between $300,000 and $500,000. 

According to Encyclopedia Titanica, White and Young lived together in the Plaza hotel in Manhattan until White’s death in 1942. Young had been a music teacher who taught President Theodore Roosevelt children.

June 16

Julia Roberts Reveals The Shocking Original Ending of Pretty Woman

By Lori Perkins

As part of a continuing series of dual actor interviews, Julia Roberts and Patricia Arquette, who are both 51, interviewed each other for Variety.  During the course of the interview, Arquette, revealed that she had tried out for Pretty Woman, that the original ending for Pretty Woman was much darker than what we have all come to love and that the movie also had a very different title.

“So many, many, many years ago, one of my early auditions was for a movie called 3,000. Most people don’t know that 3,000 was the original Pretty Woman script. And the ending was really heavy,” Arquette, said as she began her conversation with Roberts.

Roberts went on to explain that the 3,000 script ended with her character being thrown “out of the car,” before the driver “threw the money on top of her, as memory serves, and just drove away, leaving her in some dirty alley.”

“So it really read like a gritty art movie,” Arquette added.

Roberts said she was glad that that version of the movie was made, because the “small movie company” behind the script “folded over the weekend, and by Monday, I didn’t have a job.”

One of the producers and the script ended up being picked up by Disney, which Roberts thought was strange. “I thought, ‘Went to Disney? Are they going to animate it?'” she told Arquette. “[Director] Garry Marshall came on, and because he’s a great human being, he felt it would only be fair to meet me, since I had this job for three days and lost it. And they changed the whole thing. And it became more something that is in my wheelhouse.”

 “I couldn’t do it then. I couldn’t do it now,” Roberts said of the original script, adding, “Thank God it fell apart.”

June 15

My Little Lesbian Ponies

Equestria Daily

By Lori Perkins

It’s fascinating to see which brands and pop culture icons make an attempt to bring themselves into the 21st century.  As DC and Marvel grapple with if and when any of their characters are going to come out as LGBTQ+, it’s kind of reassuring to see that the My Little Pony franchise has introduced a lesbian couple on the heels of a gay wedding in the aardvark children’s show Arthur.  Who would have thunk it?

 

My Little Pony has been riding the gender bending wave for at least the last decade when the Internet brought together “bronies,” now grown men who grew up watching this brightly-colored animated show and have no shame in professing their love for what was intended to be a TV show and merchandising aimed at girls.

This weekend, A new episode of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” is set to air that will introduce a same-sex couple on the popular children’s cartoon. Titled “The Last Crusade,” Saturday’s episode will feature the animated horse characters of the same-sex couple Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty, who take care of the school-age character, Scootaloo.

These characters previously appeared in the 2017 book Ponyville Mysteries: Riddle of the Rusty Horseshoe, but this will be their first appearance on the Discovery Family series, which is a reboot of the Hasbro 1986 original series. 

One of the series’ writers, Michael Vogel, one of the series’ writers, told the Huffington Post that he thought the June `15th airdate was perfect timing. Vogel said he and co-authors Nicole Dubuc and Josh Haber aimed to “bring more EQuality to EQuestria” in June, which we all know is Pride Month

June 14

Author Nicholas Sparks Exposed as Homophobe and Racist in Emails Published By Daily Beast

United Talent Agency

By Lori Perkins

The Daily Beast published homophobic and racist emails from Nicholas Sparks, who is incredibly well-known for his best-selling, tragically romantic novels such as The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, who has been engaged in a serious legal battle over LGBTQ clubs and diversity within the prep school he co-founded. 

 

North Carolina’s Epiphany School of Global Studies was founded in 2006 with the help of Sparks in order to focus on “creating an extensive world-view for the students who attend.” The school’s basis is religious and it’s 500 students are taught to “Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself” at the Judeo-Christian school. Yet, sadly, Spark’s desire to encourage love does not include all types of love, as he has been in a serious legal battle with the former headmaster and CEO of the school, Saul Benjamin, as “Sparks and members of the Board unapologetically marginalized, bullied, and harassed members of the School community, whose religious views and/or identities did not conform to their religiously driven, bigoted preconceptions.” 

 

Sparks has since tried to deny the claims but The Daily Beast had access to emails from the novelist in which he creates an issue for Benjamin when trying to create a more inclusive schooling experience. 

Here is a link to the original story with all the gory emails reprinted in their entirety, 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/author-nicholas-sparks-tried-to-ban-lgbt-club-student-protests-at-his-christian-school-emails-reveal?ref=home

 

The romance community was quick to express their displeasure with this revelation (and their continued disavowal of Sparks as a member of the romance writing community as he has repeatedly said that he does not consider himself a romance writer), although it was not surprising to some.

Bea and Leah Koch, owners of the only all-romance book store in the country, The Ripped Bodice, sort of summed up sentiment when they tweeted this morning,

Damon Suede, a board member of Romance Writers of America and an author of M/M romance, added in his unique style “He’s a homophobe and a halfwit. Does anyone actually care what Sparks says about any genre in 2019?”

 

His twitter comment echoed the above:

June 13

YouTuber Marries BFF’s Mom To Prove a Point; Divorces One Month Later

By Lori Perkins

There are stories you read online, and just shake your head.  This is one of them.

 

E! News just reported that 22 year-old YouTuber David Dobrik filed for divorce from his wife of one month, Lorraine Nash, the mother of his friend and fellow YouTube star Jason Nash, whom he married in May.

Dobrik announced his marriage on Instagram last month saying, "Last night I became my best friends stepfather by marrying his mother," and he posted a picture of the couple in their wedding attire. He added, "So grateful for this opportunity. I'll treat you as my own. Love you Jason, now go take out the trash it's stinking up our living room."

Dobrik tweeted, "My friend told me I would never find love and get married. So I flew to his moms house and married her on the spot. Now that same friend is my stepson. True love always wins."

While many of their YouTube fans thought it was a prank, Dobrik also posted a video of the proposal and the Las Vegas wedding on YouTube. 

 

In the video, Dobrik flew to Boston to propose to Lorraine, explaining he wanted to be Jason's stepdad. "That would be hysterical," Lorraine replied, agreeing to fly to Las Vegas to get married.

Dobrik filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, June 11th.

June 12

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Break Up

FoxNews

By Lilli McHale

By Lilli McHale

Sadly, Bradley Cooper and model Irina Shayk are calling it quits after four years of dating. The two share a daughter who is two. 

There had been speculation that Cooper’s involvement in A Star Is Born caused rifts in their relationship and now there are claims that it was the end. Shayk’s relationship with Cooper dwindled as the movie star/director spent more time focused on his upcoming projects that included both directing and acting.  The couple had been suffering through the rocky relationship before the movie premiered but were asked to hold off on any relationship decisions as it might overshadow the movie’s premiere. 

The celebrity couple was still able to pull off an impressive award season as they went to many ceremonies throughout the spring. The only hint at the strain was when Cooper acknowledged Irina’s ability to cope with his musical practice for the movie that included him rehearsing in their basement for almost a year. They tried to rekindle things after Cooper’s success with A Star Is Born by spending more time together and Cooper tried to clear his schedule but ultimately they were unable to revive the relationship.

Celebrity gossip magazines have also reported that the relationship was doomed from the start as the pair didn’t seem to have much in common besides their initial attraction to each other. As Cooper’s work took more of his attention, the test of time showed the flaws in the relationship. Furthermore, Shayk had hinted of a wedding proposal from Cooper that never came, after the birth of their daughter Lea De Seine, in the spring of 2017.  Not to mention all the speculation about the heat between Lady Gaga and Cooper, both on screen in A Star is Born, and in front of the world in their rendition of Shallow at the Academy Awards. Now we’ll all see if there’s any truth to those shipping rumors, as Gaga broke up with her boyfriend right after the Academy Awards.

Guest Post

Romantic Hiking

By Mark Bennet

Do you fancy hiking to the mountains to enjoy the sunsets and sunrises from among the mountains? Or perhaps, just enjoy the feeling of being there for each other during the hike? A mountain excursion is a peaceful and calm choice for getting in touch with nature and enjoy some quality private time, away from the busy lives we lead. 

 

In this article, I’ll share some of the best romantic hikes in the US for your next vacation!

 

Arches National Park, Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Arches National Park is situated along the Colorado River of eastern Utah. Let alone the scenic hiking trails around 2000 arches in Arches National Park, the car ride up to the park itself is very picturesque. 

 

Hiking in Arches National Park is comfortable, peaceful and naturally beautiful. The Delicate Arch trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, that is the longest natural arch of the world. It is a three mile moderate hike, with spectacular views all the way up to the arch, and the arch itself. Camping at the Delicate Arch at nights is especially popular for stargazing with your loved ones. 

 

The Fiery Furnace is another romantic destination in Arches National Park. It is named so, owing to the red and orange furnace like sunsets that make the trail popular. Take this trail for romantic sunsets and stunning views of arches and narrow canyons all around. Point to note, this hike requires a hiking permit so make sure you get one before planning the hike. 

Yosemite National Park, California

 

 

 

Situated at the Nevada mountains of California, Yosemite National Park is all things beautiful and romantic. You are treated with views of stunning landscapes, waterfalls, pinewood trees and its wildflowers. 

 

Though some of the trails in Yosemite National Park are difficult and for the adventurous, there are numerous trails that offer gorgeous views that you can soak in just by taking a long romantic walk with your partner. 

 

The four mile hike is once such, an uphill hike that gives you the best views of the Yosemite valley, Yosemite Falls, Clouds rest, North Dome, Half Dome, and Tenaya Canyon. may sound easy but it is entirely uphill, right from the start of the trailhead till you reach the Glacier Point at the top. You could do the hike either from the top to bottom or vice versa. The views only get better as you hike your way up to the Glacier point which is the vantage point of the hike.

The Mirror Lake is one such that gives you breathtaking views of the Tenaya Creek to reach the Mirror Lake, where you can picnic for a short time, enjoy the beauty of the lake with the mountains as their backdrop.

Heart Lake Loop, Washington

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart Lake Loop trail is perfect for couples, with the forest trails as the highlight. It is a three to four km moderately trafficked hike that is mostly through the forests. It is a perfect hike to spend some quality time with your loved one, with the peace and calm the surroundings provide. The hike ends very close to the Mt. Erie, with a heart shaped lake that you can’t miss ;)

 

The Heart Lake is a romantic picnic spot for families and children alike. You can hear the birds chirping in the woods, and majestic mountains hovering over you wherever you turn. Make sure not to miss the Heart Lake if you are planning a romantic hike. 

Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

 

 

 

The Kalalau Trail, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii is for the adventurous couple perfect for backpacking, camping and hiking. The hike is difficult and is of 11 miles. The hike begins at the Ke’e Beach and ends at the Kalalau Beach, most of it following the Na Pali Coast. 

 

The hike is famous for the majestic views of the Pacific from the trails, and the mountain views. This is not the hike for beginners, so make sure you practice adequate number of less difficult hikes prior to taking this one. There are a number of camping spots on the trails, where you can sit back, relax and rejuvenate yourself for the next day’s hike.

 

Despite the difficult level, taking this hike with your partner can be a wonderful experience of a lifetime, as the difficult ones are the ones that bring out the best and worst out of you. And who best to experience this with?

 

Juat remember, romance isn’t about the place, rather about the person you are with. Have you hiked up any of these trails with your loved one before? Are you planning one in the near future? Let me know--I would love to hear your experiences. :)

 

Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site Outdoorily.

June 10

This is Keanu Reeves’ Moment

And We Just Live in It

By Lori Perkins

CD Projekt Red

You can’t ignore him (but who would want to?).  He’s everywhere!

 

Last night the 55 year-old action hero hearth throb rocked the stage of the E3, the world’s largest annual videogame news event and trade show (think the BEA of gaming), to personally announce that he is a character in the new Microsoft Xbox game Cyberpunk77, and the crowd of gaming industry professionals roared.  The game will be upon us all in April 2020, and you know you’ll be playing it.

 

That’s on top of the viral meme that went around last week of Reeves from the scene in Ali Wong’s Netflix rom com Always Be My Maybe set to every pop love song of the last two decades.

 

Not to mention his current domination of the box office with the third installment in John Wick thriller series, a peculiarly perfect action hero for our time when men need to kick ass but not be chasing tail. The men are strong, but so are the women, and there are some equally powerful nonbinary characters in this saga of power and righteousness.  Needless to say, John Wick 4 has already been greenlit.

And if you think that’s enough, just be aware that Reeves is the voice a Canadian (he’s technically Canadian himself) toy in the forth-coming Toy Story 4, which releases on June 20th.

 

But there is no Keanu rest for the weary. Bill and Ted Face the Music, the third film in this charmingly bizarre time travel bromance comedy that started when Keanu was a mere lad in the 80’s, hits summer theaters August 21st.

 

So strap yourself in for the Reevaissance. It’s here.