A Peek into my Stay at The Grand Resort and Spa, aka Paradise

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend more time at The Grand Resort and Spa in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. This time was even more fun-filled, special, and relaxing because I got to spend four full days and three nights there. The last time I enjoyed two days and was able to experience the truly top notch spa, lay by the pool, and explore the area. This time I was able to really RELAX, make some truly amazing new friends, enjoy the pool and the property, and of course that ridiculously luxurious spa.

As I mentioned last time I stayed, the staff at the Grand Resort and Spa is so attentive from the moment you arrive. And I’m not saying that because they invited me. I continually witnessed them interacting with the same kindness and attentiveness to every guest from the moment they checked in right up until they check out. This is not a place where the hospitality has limits. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Edward, Kevin, Chris, Jay, Tommy, and the entire team who took care of us throughout our stay.

There are so many desirable things about the Grand. The location is so close to the beach and restaurants, the property itself is a secluded paradise, and the rooms are luxurious. Even the smallest room is larger than my apartment in NYC. Of course, the spa is the icing on the already delicious cake. The staff in the spa is so knowledgable, have won many awards, and are constantly learning new techniques to keep up with what is healthy, hot, and beneficial.

One of my favorite parts of the spa is talking to them. I’ve never walked out of there without some new insight or information about my body, skin, hair, and wellbeing. JD is particularly talented and well versed in such things so I get great suggestions about what to do on a regular basis to improve my overall beauty routine (and YES, men should have a beauty routine!).

My original intention was to spend my days by the pool, enjoy the spa, and then explore the area. I only ventured out one night for dinner and one day to hit the beach. The rest of the time I literally spent playing card games, talking to people, and just chilling out among friends. I met this adorable, sweet couple named James and Brian who delighted me with their company. Of course, in true Teeco fashion, it turned out James went to school with one of my very good friends so there was a common connection that leads back to social media!

What made this stay so outstanding was the promotion we did prior and during. Matt Martin and I promoted the weekend so if you stayed, you got your room at a discounted rate AND the best part was that there were lottery drawings each day to give away two and three night stays, drink vouchers, and more. It was a great way to get to know everyone staying there and for them to get to know us. As I stated, I made fast friends with one couple in particular and it was James’ birthday. When I was drawing the winner for the three night stay on Saturday, my intentions were for it to be a special win for someone. I had no idea at the time that it was James’ birthday until I announced his name and he revealed that he was there to celebrate his day. You all know how I feel about things happening for a reason and from intention. The next prize was a $25 drink voucher and James’ husband Brian was the winner there! So, I actually felt like I was a winner too because the whole intention thing worked to make a special weekend a little more special.

Some of the Staff at the Grand Resort and Spa

The last time I stayed at the Grand Resort and Spa I got my haircut, had a facial and enjoyed a massage. The facial I chose in October was an age smart facial, which is an 80 minute rejuvenating and relaxing experience for your skin. This time, I decided to do a 20 minute Microzone Facial to target some of the damage I inevitably do to my skin by shaving and from exposure to the sun. I don’t think we actually realize how much stress plays a role in the health of our skin too. I learned that the moisturizer I am currently using is a bit too thick and therefore, not exactly the healthiest for my pores.

This time around, I also decided to try the Swedish massage since I had already received a deep tissue massage in October. I figured it was a good way to be able to sample more of the work they do here. Both massages are completely relaxing from the music, to the temperature of the room, and the smell of the oils used. An hour goes by so fast that you are left wanting more time to just “be”. I have to say that before my trips to the Grand, I didn’t really understand the need or desire for massages on a regular basis. Now, I totally get it! They are so necessary to promote healthy circulation, to calm you, and to remove much of the stresses or our daily lives.

If you are a gay man or a gay couple, I highly recommend a trip to the Grand Resort and Spa. Most airfare to Ft Lauderdale is affordable on any budget, depending on the time of year and the rooms are actually less than a room in a hotel that doesn’t offer spa services or a resort atmosphere.

Again, there is so much to do because you are so close to the beach and the strip. I can tell you first hand that Rocco’s Tacos, The Foxy Brown, and the Drunken Taco are all fantastic places to enjoy a good drink and fabulous food. Plus, with Uber Eats, you are pretty much open to everything in the area. My new friends Brian and James had a red velvet birthday cake delivered for James’ special day. What did we do without apps?

I hope that you will consider the Grand for your next vacation experience and continue following me for my next trip there, you never know what specials we will make available and you never know what you could win during a weekend I am around! If you have already enjoyed a stay there, please feel free to comment here and if you are considering going, definitely reach out to me to let me know. You can get me on Twitter and Instagram at @Teeco71 and on Facebook too! Visit The Grand Resort and Spa for even more information on their services, prices, and specials.

 

Onyx Movie promises to leave you questioning your reality

Do you love psychological thrillers as much as I do? If so, I think Onyx Movie will be the film for you! I am especially interested in this project because my friend Patrick White is acting in it AND directing. It also interests me since it is an indie project that can become a reality through crowd funding and fan support. Be sure to follow Onyx on Twitter and Facebook to find out all the latest info and be sure to support the campaign so we can get this film from concept to reality. Also check out the following interview I did with Patrick and Nati Rabinowitz and the trailer for the film below that. I think you’ll find it quite the teaser!

Q: Congratulations on your work with Onyx Movie! Can you tell me a little about what the film is about and what it means to you?

NATI: The Onyx story on its most basic level is about a man experiencing some very real realities while in a coma. It’s a film that can certainly be interpreted various ways, none are wrong.

PAT: Onyx really is about the possibility of losing everything. I mean when we are at our happiest is when we are most vulnerable. This is one mans battle with loss.

Q: This was your directorial debut, correct? What was that experience like?

N:Hard to say, as we haven’t shot the film yet, but so far the writing process, development and shooting of the teaser has been exciting. Overwhelming at times, but that’s been the advantage of working with a writing and producing partner. Patrick and I both keep each other motivated and on track with the project.

P: We haven’t shot the film yet so it will be a fun experience. Collectively we all have a lot of experience working in front of the lens, but this process from idea to completion is a huge learning experience about the business of making movies and is completely different than only preparing the script or our scenes.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow actors who want to direct?

N:Just do it. Start writing. Today.

P: if you really want to make a movie the first thing you should do is read other scripts. Decide if you want to write it and if not make sure you have some creative friends.

Q: What would you tell someone who wants to be an actor but isn’t sure about the right path to take or the right way to get started?

N:Sign up for classes. The rest will fall into place, the business aspect of things. Once you sign up I highly recommend my first acting coach Matt Newton’s book “10 Steps to Breaking into Acting.”

P: Take a class and see if you like it. Audition for student films and try to just get in front of the camera as often as you can.

Q: How can people help to make sure Onyx Movie is seen by the masses?

N: We need funding to make the film. The more funding we have the more amazing the film can be, and the more likely it’ll be to get into festivals, perhaps be made into a TV Pilot or feature film. That’s way down the line but right now we need your dollars. :)

P: the campaign is super important. Raising the money let’s us make the movie. We know not everyone can donate and that’s okay, but sharing the campaign with anyone and everyone is a HUGE deal. We want anyone who wants to see this movie, to have an opportunity to participate.

Q: Where can we find you and the film online and on social media?

N&P: We’re on Facebook at @OnyxShortFilm

Instagram as @OnyxShort

N: I’m @natirabinowitz on both Instagram and Twitter.

P: I’m @PatrickWhite_ on just about everything.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

N: I can’t live without a good kitchen, I absolutely love cooking and do so often. Without? ISIS. Seriously, we can do without them.

P: Food. Literally I love good food. Cheese specifically. I wish money wasn’t so important, everyone would be a lot happier and less stressed.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever received? Who gave it to you?

N: Advice is like food. There’s healthy, phenomenal tasting food. There’s terrible, bland, unhealthy food and there’s food that’s just mehhh. But there’s no best food. I’ve been pushed to not play it safe, to get out of my comfort zone. It makes sense - as being adventuring with food is important too. Don’t eat grilled cheese every day. As for giving advice, and following it, I certainly think I try and pass on and follow the lessons passed on to me.

P: My mom always told me not to be a dick, you’d be surprised how far you can get in life by just being genuinely nice and caring about other people. As for advice I would give? Never eat expired cheese. Seriously. I’ve done this once or twice so I guess that tells you how good I am at listening to my own advice.

Q: What’s up next for Patrick White or what else do you have in the works?

P: What’s up next for me? Well that’s up in the air. I have a lot of fun ideas I’d like to develop but I’m taking it one day at a time and hoping this film is as fun for everyone as it was for us to make it.

Teeco71: Here it the trailer for your enjoyment, I hope you find it as intriguing as I do!

Aiden Howarth: Poet, Dedicated Father, FRIEND, and Game Changer

This interview with my good friend Aiden Howarth first appeared on Technorati in 2012 (wow! 2012! I’ve know him a LONG time… and we’re still SO young but Mia is no longer 7 years old) but since there were changes made to that site, it is no longer available. I thought I would share it here, especially since I know Aiden is working on his second project. His first was a collection of his poetry and I fell in love with it immediately. While you wait for his second, catch up with him and his poetry here:
First, let me thank you for doing this. I really do love your work.  It is totally true that “Without You” is on my night table and I enjoy reading the poems whenever I am unwinding from my day. My sister has also taken to a few I posted or re-posted from you on Facebook. I think a few of them remind her of her daughter. 
I always wonder about the thought process when it comes to poetry and I thought others might enjoy this exchange :)
Q: You dedicated your book of poetry, Without You, to your beautiful daughter Mia Liljana Jeane Howarth.  Obviously she is a great inspiration to you.  Is she old enough to understand what all that this means?  Does she share in your artistic skills? 
Aiden Howarth: Mia is an incredibly bright child. She always has been. She’s now 7 years old and doing great in school, escpecially in her reading and writing, which is great. She is forever writing stories of princesses and castles and she enjoys being praised for it which of corse, I do every single day. She is my incredible little angle and not a day goes by where I don’t look at her and wonder what I did so right to be given a chance at bringing up such a wonderful little girl. As regards her understanding, I don’t believe she has fully grasped the fact that a book has been dedicated to her. Yes, she has seen her pictures and her name in print and yes, she thinks it’s great but hopefully when she is old enough to understand the full meaning of all the work that’s written inside, she will thinks it’s even more amazing. Of Corse, I didn’t write a book just to make my daughter happy, I did it for myself and for sharing what I write with the world. The opportunity to share with her my work in such a way arose and I jumped at the chance.
Q: Many of the poems are about loss, separation, and love.  Do you think these go hand in hand? Is it inevitable? 
AH: Like the old saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, I do believe that loss, separation and love are inevitable. I believe that to truly understand what love is, first you must feel the pain of having someone walk away from a relationship. The hurt of walking away yourself when you realise that the person you once loved is not who you first thought to be. Love, to me, is an awe inspiring feeling. In that, in some way large or small, we all at some point will feel it. Only some of us want to keep it going forever.
Losing someone, especially a child, is a moment in life where you know what love feels like. What love is. What love was created for. Losing a child like I did so many years ago I believe put me on the path I am on now. The path which forces me to praise everything Mia does, Is thankful for her every waking breath, scared that I may not be doing a good job. All feelings that so far, have given me some of the best moments in my life with her.
Q:  ”A New Page of Old Emptiness” to me, seems to be about not realizing what you have right in front of you.  What was your motivation for this piece? What thoughts were you harnessing and what reaction were you hoping to bring out in the reader? 
AH: You’re exactly right. It’s about how it feels to have someone you love so deeply, finally give upon the relationship you thought would last forever, and it is actually all your own fault. The title itself ‘A New Page Of Old Emptiness’ means just that… another day gone by with still the same old pain. The same old guilt. The same blame. It’s also a reference back to an earlier poem I wrote where once again, pages of life seem to be going unwritten, un read, torn out and discarded. As you’ve propably gathered, most, if not all of my poetry is written about love and loss. Hence the title of the book ’Without You’. Somewhat referring to being without that special person in your life but on the most part, it’s speaking to one’s self. Without You meaning myself. The feelings I tried to portray within this piece where the feelings of despair.
Q: “The Fairytale You Had Wished For” feels like it is warning us of forcing ourselves to be in idealistic relationships.  Sometimes we try so hard to create what we need with someone because we really believe they are “the one” when in reality it may not be meant to be.  What period of your life was that about or where you relaying someone else’s story? 
AH: This stemmed, again, from a relationship. In fact, all relationships. Women and I guess men too believe and want THEIR relationship to be the best one anyone could ever have. The have dreams, goals, aspirations. Everything is so idealistic. Just like a fairytale. When in reality, a fairytale could not be further from the truth of what it is we live. Fairytales are given to us as children as fantasy. They portray a happy ending every single time. It’s when you learn that a happy ending comes few and far between in love, that you realise a small part of yourself has died. This poem was written as almost a letter to the other person. Stressing my angst at our failings and pointing out that none of us did anything wrong, it’s that we believed too much that we were the fairytale we saw as children. Finding out that we could not live the way we hoped (be it problem free and with a happy ending) I end that poem with the stark reality of what believing in the fairytale of life will do to us all…
Taken by the hand and misled into the arms of hurt.
The fairytale that you had wished for?
Q:  ”Be Still My Heart” could be about love that is not returned or one person feeling something the other doesn’t quite feel.  Is it about a specific time in your life? Do you think most of us have to go through relationships or feelings like this before we find the “right” one?  
AH: This poem is about falling in love. The passion. The want to feel that ache of needing someone so badly that it hurts. But, as is my usual style, there’s a problem. It’s a poem about falling in love with some you cannot have or be with. Falling in love with someone who loves you too but life has put you both on very separate paths. I wrote this one quite recently, be it a year ago I think. It’s not in my fav poem section but its nice that you would chose it to ask questions about as since, I’ve gone back and re-read it and I’m put straight back in the room I was when I felt those things. It’s funny how life treats us so unfairly in love but how it seems to work out better in the end. I think. Ha ha. I still remember that person and I always will.
Q:  ”A Life, When All Life Has Gone” may be about a breakup.  It has a feel of being about an ending, something that was coming for a while but maybe one or both parties pushed off, perhaps for a bit too long.  What can you tell us about this piece? 
AH: This poem is in fact about my drug addictions back when I was young. It’s about being so far gone that death no longer seems a threat, but a need. I openly admit that drugs caused allot of the problems I had, but I also admit that without them, I possibly wouldn’t have had a book out now. I look upon what drugs did to me menatlly, emotionally and physically with not only small amounts of regret, but with a fondness. Drugs gave me what I needed at a point in life where I had absolutely nothing. I was indeed just an empty, lifeless being with no stability in my life, no home, no friends, no nothing. Drugs gave me a release. They gave me something to look forward to. But, as with everyone who touches them, they promised so much and when they had me, they took everything back. You will find more poetry in the book about drugs. Not worded as such but if you read between the lines you’ll see it. There came appoint in my life where I knew there was no escape from addiction but death itself. There was a point in life where death itself took me but gave me back to the world, possibly because I had alot more to give. That I am thankful for these days. I’m wiser, I’m older, I have great plans and dreams that I look forward to making a reality. 
Q:  Where can people purchase your work? 
AH: People can grab a copy of either the paperback or an eBook for their ipads, iphones, ipods etc at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1964776 the eBook costs less than £2 and the paperback is £8.50
These, as you’re possibly aware, won’t be on sale for much longer. I don’t say this to try ramp up sales. Sales were / are never a priority. People can read my work for free at aidenhowarth.com if they wanted. I say this because as work on book number 2 is coming along nicely, I want to remove book 1 so that it remains special to the people who own a copy.
If people wanna get a hold of me, id happily invite them to join me on my many twitter exploits by just saying hello to @A1D3NH0
They can facebook me too if they wanna see more of my personal life, pictures etc by adding /AidenHowarth to the end of facebook.com
Or they can just leave me a note in the guestbook on my website 
Thank you for taking time out to show interest in what I write and I here by promise you a free copy of book 2 when it out. And believe me, that’s gonna be a game changer…… 
TG: If you don’t believe Aiden, then believe ME when I tell you that I believe Aiden and I know his next work will indeed change the game! Also, look out for a new interview with him as soon as he’s ready! 

Check out what The Grand Resort and Spa has been up to

SOUTH FLORIDA’S VERY OWN THE GRAND RESORT AND SPA IS A NEW PROUD SPONSOR OF VH1’S “RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE” SEASON NINE PREMIERE!

I’m so proud of and happy for my friends at the Grand Resort and Spa! Can’t wait to head back May 19th to the 22nd! You can even join me, learn more here: http://www.teeco71.com/?s=grand+resort&submit

Look at what they’ve been up to:

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Saturday, March 25, 2017: RuPaul’s Drag Race kicked off their season nine premiere on VH1 on Friday, March 24th at 8:00 pm EST.  During its first episode, Emmy Awarder Winner, RuPaul awarded contestant, Nina Bo’nina Brown, a trip to Fort Lauderdale Beach’s, The Grand Resort and Spa. The prize included a one week stay, for two, in the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Grand Penthouse that boasts an 800 square foot private, ocean view terrace with a Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Also included in this prize package will be airfare for two, and a complimentary massage and facial. The total prize value of $6,000.  Casey Koslowski, Proprietor of The Grand, states that he looks forward to seeing Nina and his guest, at his award winning spa-resort and sunning themselves on Fort Lauderdale Beach very soon!

The Grand Resort and Spa is Fort Lauderdale’s premiere gay-owned and operated men’s spa-resort that first opened in 1999. With 33 well-appointed rooms and suites, it is located just steps from the beach and convenient to all of Fort Lauderdale’s attractions and nightlife. As Fort Lauderdale’s first gay resort with its own full-service day spa and hair studio, they offer guests an experience that is unique and wonderfully indulgent. From a relaxing Swedish massage to a haircut before your night on the town, the talented staff can accommodate all your needs – guaranteed to “Exceed Expectations.” A sample of the property’s awards and accolades include “Certificate of Excellence, Hall of Fame” – TripAdvisor; “Editor’s Choice” – Man About World; “#1 in Fort Lauderdale” – Pink Choice Award; “Best Small Hotel or Resort in the World” – Out Traveler Award Winner; “Top 10 Resorts” – The Travel Channel; “One of the top 10 gay-owned spas in the United States” – Out Traveler Magazine; “USA TODAY 10 BEST” – USA TODAY.

At The Grand Resort and Spa, guests will experience first class service from their elite staff members providing a vast knowledge of the South Florida region, which includes the world famous “gayborhood,” Wilton Manors.  Some of the fantastic amenities for guests include free Wi-Fi, continental & hot breakfast catered daily (available while supplies last) and no hidden “resort fees.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race previously announced this season’s celebrity guest judges which included in the first episode, Lady Gaga.  The 13 previously announced Queens include: Aja, Alexis Michelle, Charlie Hides, Eureka, Farrah Moan, Jaymes Mansfield, Kimora Blac, Nina Bo’nina Brown, Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Shea Couleé, Trinity Taylor, and Valentina. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season nine is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe, Mandy Salangsang and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers.  Tim Palazzola serves as Executive Producer for Logo.

For reservations and information on The Grand Resort and Spa, visit their website www.grandresort.net or call 1-800-818-1211 ֪– 24 hours, 7 days a week. For up-to-date “The Grand Resort and Spa” news and exclusives, join the “The Grand Resort and Spa” Facebook page or follow #GrandResortSpa on Twitter at @GrandResortSpa. Follow along on our Instagram page by searching for GrandResortSpa.  For marketing and public relations, please contact Edward Otto Zielke at edward@grandresort.net.

You’re invited to the Twitter Party for Nobodies’ Premiere and Lopez’s Return on TVLand!

 

You’re invited to join me in a Twitter party Tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 29th) I’ll be at one of my favorite places, TV Land HQ for the series premiere of Nobodies and the return of Lopez! We all know Lopez stars THE George Lopez and he certainly brings the funny every week. Now, it is paired with a brand new comedy from Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone. From the teasers and the first episode (you can actually cheat and catch it on the TV Land app and online) I can tell you, there are going to be PLENTY of laughs.

Be sure to follow @TVLand @NobodiesTV @LopezOnTVLand and me @teeco71 plus use the hashtags #NobodiesTV and #LopezOnTVLand and tweet along with us starting at 10pm ET and then you can join us all season long as the laughs continue!