... Stands on golden sands...

Okay, so, time for a fun topic...


It's a new year, and it's time for me to start looking at what I want to do for my birthday.  My usual is Maui, of course, but the Sunseeker's had some changes and I'm not sure how it'll end up being.  For one, while the sundeck looks a lot better now, they got rid of the hot tub up there, which was one of the highlights to me.  The result means everyone's likely going to be a bit more spread out, so the feel's going to change a bit.

My rough plan was to hit up Kauai or the Big Island before/after Maui.  I've got enough vacation time for up to a couple weeks out there, now that I'm earning 3 weeks a year, and I could easily spend a week on, say, the big island and then hop over to Maui for a few days.  The problem with that is that I'm kind of picky where I stay: one, I prefer gay-owned properties, just as a support-the-community thing (though I'm not adamant about it); and two, I really really prefer clothing-optional places.  That leaves me with like 2 options on Kauai and a handful on Hawai'i, none of which look all that appealing to me.  This is one I'm considering, though the reviews are a bit hit-and-miss on the facilities themselves (the staff is apparently great).

Perhaps a little oddly, part of why they're not appealing is that they're too private: one thing that's nice about the Sunseeker, as well as the Highlands Resort in Guerneville and a few other places I've gone to, is that while you can be private and alone, there's also the option to socialize a bit in the resort: they're big enough that there's a variety of people there.  The fact that I like traveling alone and making my own plans doesn't mean that I also don't occasionally meet cool and fun people when I travel.  Hawaii as a whole doesn't have much "centralized" gay culture outside of Honolulu, and I'm not much of a bar person anyway.  If the place I stay at doesn't have a socialization factor, I'm probably not going to get much of it at all.  While that's likely okay (and even sought-out sometimes) for a little while, after 4 or 5 days I'm liable to want to socialize.

That doesn't mean I've ruled those out as options, but it's just something to consider.

As a result, I'm also looking at a few other possibilities.  I've always loved sailing, and I've probably mentioned a desire to go to the south pacific and other places on sailing cruises.  So, I came across this - and, specifically, these.  The timing's wrong for a birthday trip, but I may keep my birthday down to a week (and just hit Sunseeker or something) and save the time/money to go on another vacation later.  I might save that for next spring's St. Martin trip, though Greece sounds interesting.

There's also still one of the more mainstream cruises, though I think the one cruise that I was looking at for Tahiti doesn't sail there any more.

In addition, I've been told I ought to hit up Cairns in Australia at some point, though that's definitely September-March thing.

I could also do something more tame, like heading to Key West or Ft. Lauderdale, or more adventurous, like Paris.

I don't know.  Too many options, none of them "perfect" yet.

So, any of you have any ideas?  I doubt any of you are also likes-to-get-naked-on-vacation people, but in general?

(Title from Somewhere Beyond the Sea)