10 April 2009

New Travel Plans

Up until now, my mother has tried to discourage me from "excessive" traveling, saying that I should travel only enough to relax from the stresses of work, and no more than that. But now, it's becoming clear to many, including her, that my travels are a source of inspiration and learning for me, and the more I travel, the better. My only limits are my money flow and my time allowance.

I am going to squeeze in two more quick trips, with minimal impact on my work schedule and only moderate impact on my bank accounts.

Memorial Day weekend should see me in Toronto; although I haven't made reservations yet, I will soon, and I am seeing some very good prices on air-hotel packages. I already have a favorite hotel in downtown Toronto on Yonge Street, near all the big-ticket attractions and close to mass transit. Air transportation will be a choice between Air Canada (nonstop convenience) and United (lower fares); both airlines will offer me Star Alliance frequent flier perks, though many of my elite-level benefits kick in only for United.

And based on Toronto Tourism Bureau's website, it looks like I'll be in for a treat - Toronto is, after all, Canada's answer to New York and Chicago, two excellent cities in their own right. It certainly will be wilder than Vancouver, itself a great city but a bit small/cozy for my tastes. Toronto will certainly also be way up there next to Seoul and Hong Kong - two cities that really entertained me last year - while at it too.

Late June should see me visit San Francisco, to attend the annual gay pride parade. I had boycotted the 2000 parade, due to the preponderance of the U-Haul driving lesbians (U-Haul had just overcharged me $1,200 a year earlier) and the white liberal political correctness (which, unfortunately, is still an issue). But as it turns out, I had to leave the Bay Area soon afterwards, and never got a chance to attend San Francisco's pride parade again. I'll certainly make it up this year. If anything, it'll be a great photo op - whether it's topless dykes on bikes, legally married beautiful dyke couples mad as hell over Prop 8, or muscular studs in leather thongs. While there will also be another pride parade in West Hollywood a few weeks earlier (and I might attend that one too), the right thing to do would be to attend the greatest one of them all, in the gayest city in America.

San Francisco will be done as a road trip. It'll be Gwaneum One's third visit to the area, and second to San Francisco itself. For the parade itself, I'll take BART into the city, but for other things, Gwaneum One will see some duty in San Francisco. In preparation, I'm taking the dealership-provided license plate frames off; while I don't mind the dealership itself, a Hyundai from Los Angeles is certainly a reminder of the theocrats of the Korean-American community who got Prop 8 passed (and therefore probably fair game for vandalism). I'll put on blank frames instead, and let the vanity plates themselves do the talking. My goal, as stated numerous times before, is to carry the good spirits of the fair-minded South Koreans, rather than the theocratic extremism of the Korean-Americans.

Eventually, I'll have to go to Europe too, probably in the fall. That also necessitates taking a week or so off from work. I'll see what I can work out. With some luck, I might even remain an elite-level United Airlines customer in 2010.