JOHN AND MABLE RINGLING MUSEUM OF ART
We toured the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art while visiting the Florida State University in Sarasota, Florida. Designated as the official state of art museum for Florida, it houses grand galleries of different paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and antiques from around the world. Aside from the art museum, the estate also contains the circus museum, the waterfront residence built for John & Mable Ringling known as Ca’d’Zan, Rose Garden, Asolo Theater and, what fascinates me the most, the Ringling’s mansion.
While exploring the majestic estate of the Ringlings, I couldn’t help but wonder how beautiful life was for this fortunate couple. Their bountiful unique and varied collections are just awe-inspiring!
For more information: Visit: http://ringling.org/
“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”–Anonymous
HAPPY 2ND AT BORACAY MANSION
Set in a secluded exotic jungle mountain, Boracay Mansion is a totally private single home that has panoramic breathtaking views of water and green lush of forests. On our first night, we were treated to splendid views of sunset similar to a ball of fire dropping down into the sea. The following morning, and the days thereafter, we witnessed the tapestry of colors dancing across the sky every morning. It was indeed magnificent. Away from the hassle and bustle of everyday life, our five days stay at the mansion gave us a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. My husband described it as oasis respite, I simply call it heaven. To us, there’s nothing more romantic to celebrate our special day than spending it in a spectacular view of undisturbed nature.
1. Infinity swimming pool, elevated sun deck, 6 person Jacuzzi, 4 person Sauna overlooking the ocean, outdoor rinsing shower, and garden.
2. Koi pond, and 200 ft. of wraparound deck
3. Spacious and beautifully designed living area with 4 separate bedroom suites, each with a separate entrance, master bathroom and balcony.
4. Large covered outdoor Lanai with bar and dining.
5. Great staff and driver ready to assist at all times.
One thing I like about travelling is the opportunity to see landmarks changed by time and learn their story. I got that chance when, accompanied by my neighbors, Nan and Dolly, we explored Ybor City, a historic neighborhood known for its cigar factory.
According to history, Ybor City was founded in 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers led by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and was originally populated by the Cuban and Spanish immigrants who worked in the many cigar factories. The community was unique in the American south for its multi-ethnic nature and its civic organizations, which included mutual aid societies and an active organized labor presence.
As Nan, a museum’s volunteer, toured us to the Casitas or small houses, which were provided to the workers by cigar manufacturers, I was reminded of my hometown, Marinduque, where life is much simpler. According to Nan, back then people didn’t have electricity or plumbing; women did all the sewing of their clothes; men made their children’s own toys; only one doctor was available to serve the whole community; and interestingly, porch played a very important role to people’s lives as it connected them socially to their neighbors.
As history relates, Ybor City grew and prospered until the Great Depression, and a sharp reduction in the worldwide demand for fine cigars started the neighborhood on a slow decline. By the end of World War II, a steady stream of residents were leaving the aging neighborhood. This process accelerated through the 1950s and 60s, when the federal Urban Renewal program and the construction of Interstate 4 resulted in the destruction of many buildings in the area, including most of the housing units. Virtually abandoned, Ybor City lapsed into a decades-long period of neglect and decay.
Beginning in the 1980s, the area around the old Ybor City business district began a slow recovery; first as a haven for artists, and then as a popular nightlife and entertainment district by the 1990s. Since 2000, many multi-family residential units have been built and the population of the area has steadily increased. To tourists who are interested in seeing the remnants of Ybor’s past, this is a must see in Florida.