Summer Adventures

When you live in a major city, sometimes you need to just get as far away from the crazy city life as you can just to get some perspective on life again.

Sometimes it takes a trip home, wherever that may be.

Sometimes it takes a drive into the country to seeing the trees and rolling hills of farmland.

Sometimes it just takes spending some quality, fun time with friends.

And sometimes, one trip can take care of all of these things.

For the past 12 years, I have been making a semi-annual trek to Saugatuck, MI. The reason for this trip is simple– to get as far away from city living as possible.

So I go camping. To a gay-owned campground.

When I started going to CampIt back in 1994, it was a pretty simple place. There was one area for permanent campers, and two areas for tenting. There were only three showers for the entire campground (for the men– only ONE for the women!), and a small ‘general store’ for various and sundry needs.

The place had the look and feel of a mid-century throwback to good old-fashioned Americana. Signs and buildings were painted in pale hues of turquoise and pink, and gave off a decidedly ‘retro’ feel. It wasn’t exactly pretty. In fact, it was quite primitive. But it was always a lot of fun.

The owner was a gruff, surly guy who lived in the trailer across the driveway from the office-slash-general store. Calling to make reservations was more of a hassle than a pleasure. They often lost your information, but let you in anyway. In some ways, his abrasive nature further added to the charm of the place… but that would soon change.

In the late 90s, the owner of CampIt died, and his partner sold it to a new group of people. They took this place with a lot of kitsch and charm and turned it into a destination with a lot of charm and even some pizzaz. They started to infuse money into improving facilities, expanding the options of the visitors, and adding new features.

They turned it, basically, into a resort, with amenities and added ‘perks’ galore. They added a pool and a new bath house. They expanded the tenting areas three times– once to accommodate a lesbian-only section. And this year they nearly doubled the size of the entire place.

Now imagine this. A campground filled with hundreds of gay men and lesbians. Some coupled, some single. All there to get a little closer to nature.

Now let your mind run wild. Put that many gay men and lesbians in one place, and things are bound to get a little crazy. And fun.

I’m leaving Friday morning and I don’t get back until Tuesday.

I can’t wait to get the hell out of here!!!

Five Questions for: Crash and Byrne

Last week I posted my answers to the questions posed by Dirk Mancuso… and I asked if anyone would like to be interviewed. Two people responded, and here is the first set of questions:

Crash (and Byrne) is a New York blogger that I met briefly while I was in out there recently, but I didn’t have a chance to really get to know him all that well. I’m glad he asked me to interview him, because as I read through his blog carefully, I noticed that he and I have a lot of things in common—especially when it comes to self-image and self-esteem… even down to the tone of voice used in our posts. I feel like I’m getting to know a kindred spirit. So Crash, next time you’re in Chicago or I’m in NYC… we have to talk. 🙂

Here are your questions:

1. In one of your recent posts, you talk about being hit on at a bar, and then you list the requirements for someone to date you. All kidding aside (as I am quite sure you weren’t serious when you wrote that, because in my cynical mind, I think a lot of the same things about myself), what are the REAL things that you hope for in a dating relationship?

2. You mentioned in another post that you have dreams where you are visited by your late grandfather. I have had similar dreams as well, only they are with my grandmother. I visit her in her second to last apartment (the one I liked the best) and we just sit and talk, although I can never remember what we talk about when I wake up. What would you like to talk to your grandfather about, and why do you think he wants to talk to you?

3. You’re in the middle of a pretty intense job search right now. I feel your pain about your current job, because I have felt extremely under-appreciated for the last few years—but I simply HATE the thought of having to update (in this case, re-write) my resume, hunt for job openings, and pound the pavement looking for something better. What are the three top requirements you have for a new position, and why would they help you choose whether or not the company is right for you?

4. Your blog name, Crash and Byrne, seems to be the running theme throughout your blog persona. Do you really feel that life is full of “Crashing” and “Burning”? How do you rebuild yourself after a “Crash and Burn” episode?

5. Your use of sarcasm makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. I fully believe that sarcasm is our friend. Do you subscribe to that notion?