Casa Roig is more than a museum, it is a glimpse into the life of a wealthy sugar plantation owner, an architectural first in the region, restoration in progress, as well as a lovely exhibit hall for local artists.
Sugar production shaped the Caribbean culture in many ways including wealth distribution and overall agriculture. Casa Roig is a unique Prairie House style architecture build by renowned Czechoslovakian architect Antonin Nechodoma in the Frank Lloyd Wright influenced style of building. This house was unique to the region and would appear modern, futuristic even compared to the local buildings at the time.
Located in the heart of Humacao, Puerto Rico, Museo Casa Roig is hidden on a small street. A street that I have hurriedly driven down, not noticing this delightful two story former plantation owner’s home now restored and converted into a museum and art gallery. Continue reading Casa Roig Museum→
Perched on top of Cleopatra Hill in the heart of Verde Valley, Arizona is the old mining town of Jerome. Once a bustling copper mining town, Jerome officially became a ghost town in the 1950’s and finally a National Historic District in 1967.
Jerome is a family favorite for me since the 1970’s. Every time I visit Jerome, there is something new to see! This little ghost town is a hidden gem bustling with activity. There are hotels, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, art galleries, museums, and old fashion saloons!
The views are stunning throughout the town! Customers line up at the various restaurants and wineries that showcase the view. One of the most popular spots is the delicious Haunted Hamburger restaurant.
This little town is full of eerie sights and locations haunted by former residents from the days as the “Wickedest Town in the West”. These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects. The town’s Community Center is also known as Spook Hall due to a resident ghost and her odd behavior. The former brothels on Main Street are still popular for sightings of phantoms. These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects.
Puerto Rico is known for amazing beaches and a variety of rum drinks, including the famous Pina Colada. What about Art? Today, I set out to explore the art scene in Puerto Rico, starting with the capital of San Juan.
My first stop was the Centro de Bellas Artes de Puerto Rico. The building is surrounded by outdoor sculptures, murals, and paintings (FREE Activity). Early morning is the best time to visit, it is quiet, cool, and empty. I had the entire plaza to myself, with The Muses. These eight bronze female life-size sculptures are dedicated to the types of arts and culture found within the center; music, theater, literature, dance, films (my favorite pictured below), architecture, sculpture, and painting. Inside are three main concert and theater halls for plays, ballet, operas, symphony, concerts, and festivals. With a bit of planning, a performance here may be in my future.
Joined by Brenda from Traveleira, we ate a delicious brunch nearby, then walked to the Museo de Art de Puerto Rico, home to an eclectic assortment of local art. The docents (gallery workers) are polite, multilingual, knowledgeable, and passionate about the art. There are some beautiful, and thought provoking pieces which the docents are eager to discuss and admire with you. Paintings, sculpture, contemporary pop-art, modern art, impressionism, and more are represented in the gallery. With such a variety of styles, there are pieces that I immediately connected with and others that are not to my liking. The building itself is a simple design in a bright, whitewash surrounded by palm trees. The same air conditioners and humidifiers that protect the art, also are a cool refreshing break in the heat of the day. The cost of admission is very reasonable at $6 for an adult, with student, children, seniors, and other discounts. Continue reading Museum of Art Puerto Rico→
Mexico has a bad reputation for crime and violence, it is all over the news. Yet, there are some beautiful and safe parts of Mexico, like Cancun. It is on the eastern tip of Mexico, sitting on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is well protected from most of the hurricanes and enjoys gorgeous weather year round. There is no need to drive across the border, Cancun is easily accessible from most major airports.
Cancun boasts beautiful beaches, the northern section of the Great Maya Reef, Mayan ruins and museums, art, spa activities, shopping, nightlife, and friendly locals. Far less expensive than the Mediterranean cities, Cancun is a great value for the vacation budget.
The Hotel Zone offers spectacular views from the variety of resorts represented by the major brands.
Many are all-inclusive food & drink resorts and a few are no children under 16 allowed, like Hyatt’s Zilara Resort.
Aquaworld resides within the hotel zone offering boat tour & fishing excursions, SCUBA certification & dives. The Hard Rock, JW Marriot, and Paradise resorts are close walking distance to Aquaworld. Other hotels are a short bus or taxi ride down the street. Like most of the locals in Cancun, the instructors and crew speak multiple languages including English. I spent half my vacation getting SCUBA certified and a couple more dives, because the reef is stunning. Continue reading Cancun Mexico→
The most well-known Mayan ruins and archaeological sites are in the interior of Mexico and Central America which can be difficult to visit, often requiring long car or bus rides. The nearest airport to Chichen Itza is Cancun and then it is still several hours travel by car. There are two noteworthy Mayan sites located within Cancun.
El Rey is located along the Hotel Zone of Cancun, tucked away behind large trees and a small sign. For 43 pesos (per person) this hidden gem is an old Mayan village for exploration. The area surrounding the structures is cut back leaving very little shade. The site opens at 8 AM for the coolest temperatures. There are plenty of signs in both Spanish and English translation.
The entire site takes less than an hour to walk and take a few photos.
The Mayan Museum, Museo Maya de Cancun, is just down the street from the El Rey site. The museum opens at 9 am, one hour later than El Rey, allowing for a full morning of Mayan history. At a mere 57 pesos, the entrance fee is one of the best bargains in Cancun!