By Andrei Steel

I would have never believed it if someone told me I would have one of the best GAYCATIONS of all time in New York State.  So me and sum friends pilgrimage to a hidden hide away with sandy beaches, sexy boys and girls, and by far the best pizza I would ever eat. Bags packed and ready for adventure we travel only an hour and a half outside of Manhattan bound to CHERRY GROVE!

So let the good times begin as we are boarding the Ferry to take us to our destination we grab a signature watermelon margarita at Captain’s Grill. Truly paradise has and address in New York State. The clean air and blue waters made you feel like you had really headed to a tropical island. We step off the ferry and look around and notice there are no cars, a deer and fawn roaming free it was fantasy land.  We are greeted by a welcome committee member of FIBO right at the pier of Cherry Grove. FIBO (Fire Island Black Out) is an event that has been successfully drawing a large multicultural gathering of the LGBT community and their families and friends the second weekend in August for over 10 years. We check into Grove Hotel and quickly change to hit the beach and the beach and grab sum rays. FIBO had an amazing 3 days planned for us from the dance parties, BBQ’s, concerts by gay artist and pool parties. Saturday by far was the highlight of this Gaycation. We hit the beach for what most would think was a family reunion. Every shade, size and creed of gay, lesbian, and transgender were present.

We start at the greeter booth and pick up a wrist band for a small donation that goes to the Ali Forney Foundation and other non-profit organizations that support LGBT education, shelter and awareness programs. Glamorous and creative tents, vendor booths WET, HBO, and Bleu Magazine among a few and volleyball and tether games surround Cherry Grove. Signature FIBO temporary tattoos placed on my be the very attractive staff telling us all the benefits of the bracelet we just purchased and wishing a us a fun gay day!  Kids are frolicking in the ocean, hot boys and sexy girls drinking colorful cocktails. The sea of all the beautiful LGBT people and their family and friends was a peaceful and fun filled day for all.  The Sun starts to go down and we watch the sun set as we had back to grab a bite at Cherry Grove Pizza to discuss what festivities we should attend in the Grove Village.

Ice Palace did not disappoint. House music and Top 40 mixes spun by some incredible Dj ’s needless to say I GOT MY LYFE on the dance floor. The sun seemed to come up fast and the weekend came to an end.  We recapped the best parts of the night at Brunch at Island Breeze over eggs Florentine and pancakes before we head back to the Ferry off our enchanted gay Island. Fun, FUN, FUN!! Friendly, GAY , SEXY and we helped raise funds for a great cause for our community. How many gaycations can all that happen and not break your wallet and everyone in our group made a point to visit this haven during FIBO again!...So if you’re planning to go somewhere in August and want to do something new, have a great relaxing time surrounded by friends and make some new ones FIBO is my recommendation you want be disappointed! Check out more about FIBO at www.FIREISLANDBLACKOUT.COM

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