Saturday, December 10, 2016
by Miguel Ramirez
As I wake up from a nap, I look around my room and don't know what bed I am sleeping in. The high ceiling in the room, the trim around the wall bases, the A/C wall unit nor the colonial furniture are familiar to me. As I approach the wood window shutter, I ask myself, am I dreaming? I open it and notice all the old 1950's American cars and clothes hanging on balconies. I hear music. Was I able to turn back time by dreaming? I try using my smart phone to get a hold of my wife, but it does not work. I am puzzled. I finally remember I am in Cuba!
Friday, November 20, 2015
|The warm springs and grassy shallows make |
Citrus County a favorite wintering spot for manatees.
The author, Beverly Smirnis, snorkeling in Three Sisters springs.
|A view from our Airboat at Wild Florida|
St. Augustine Delights Visitors with History and Legend
|Socialize with resident ghosts as your climb|
to the top of the lighthouse for a great view.
Ghost Tours of St. Augustine Inc. has dedicated more than 20 years to uncovering and cataloguing the old city’s darkest secrets and mysteries. Lantern-lit nightly walking tours lead guests to graveyards, and various buildings across the city including a jail and a lighthouse. At the city’s historic fort we heard of maritime hauntings and pirates. Most of the city’s ghosts are happy and prank-playing, but some are sad at the loss of love or life. None cause any harm. For those who “prefer spirits with their spirits” the tour operator has teamed up with the original City Walk Pub Crawl tour in town to investigate haunted taverns all over town.
General madness overtakes Mobile annually in the weeks and days preceding Ash Wednesday as chants of "Moon Pie! Moon Pie!" (the favored “throw” of Mardi Gras maskers) fill the air of this historic Port City. Mobile is the site of the New World’s first Mardi Gras, dating back to 1703. (That’s more than 60 years before New Orleans adopted the tradition.)
Mobile's first Mardi Gras celebration dates back to 1703, when Societé de Saint Louise was founded. Originally called Boeuf Gras (Fatted Ox), the celebration was one of feasting and revelry on Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras (the day preceding Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season which leads to Easter). In 1783 the Spaniards arrived in Mobile bringing their version of Mardi Gras which included torch parades held on Twelfth Night.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home offers 65 acres of year-round floral pageantry in a Southern estate garden. Also located in the garden is the Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain, the largest public collection of Boehm porcelain in the United State and the Bellingrath Museum Home, featured on A & E's America's Castles series, which is filled with priceless antiques and furnishings.
Built 1836, Fort Conde Inn is Mobile, Alabama's second oldest house and its interior and exterior finishes reflect its architectural vintage from original heart pine flooring and customer-milled stairways, moldings, and window and door trim to marble fireplace mantle, plaster walls, 12-foot ceilings and crystal chandeliers. Walking into the Inn today is like taking a step back in time to when the home was originally built.