Florida Old Style Homes

As an interior decorator and design consultant, I became fascinated with the history of Florida and Old Florida style homes, including the Old Florida Cracker style home. So I began my research into the back roads of old Florida. I found that Florida is not only rich in heritage, but also rich in culture and architectural design.

Florida is a kaleidoscope of many nationalities like Spanish, British, French, Italian and Cuban and with them came many influences on architectural design styles. Settlers also came from other states like South Carolina, New York and Louisiana. This diversity of cultures influenced the architecture and decorating style of many buildings, historical hotels and Florida homes.

Florida’s first settlers were actually Native American Indians. Ponce De Leon, a Spanish explorer, was the first to discover Florida in 1513, landing in St. Augustine, the nations oldest city. St. Augustine is also the home to the Casa Monica hotel, a Moorish Revival and Spanish Baroque style hotel.

Fernandina Beach on the Florida East coast touts a Floridian seaport village with cobblestone streets adorned with Victorian style homes and beachside cottages.

The Breakers Hotel in West Palm Beach is a grand Old Florida Italian Renaissance hotel, built by real estate and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler in 1894. 75 artisans were brought in from Italy to complete the magnificent paintings of the main lobby ceiling.

Another popular Florida home-style design was the Renaissance and Mediterranean style homes found in both old Winter Park and Coral Gables neighborhoods. Also, mid-century architecture, based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas, was popular in Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale.

The Miami national historic district reflects 1950-60 architectural styles such as Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco and Miami Modern (MIMO) style.

Do not forget Florida old style homes in Key West, like Ernest Hemmingway’s home, a magnificent home in its day, decorated with French and Spanish furnishings. Key West also boasts the famous home of President Harry Truman; known as the Little White House. This is a Victorian style home in which many of our presidents visited. Key West is well known for the conch house style, introduced by the immigrants from the Bahamas. The conch house is an architectural home style using native conch shells, timber framing, low gabled roofs and large porches.

In Sarasota, John Ringling, of the Ringling Brothers Circus, built an Italian Renaissance style mansion modeled after a palace in Venice, Italy.

The Tampa Bay Hotel, located in Tampa, was built by Henry Plant, the railroad mogul. This hotel also uses Spanish Moorish revival architecture.

Old Florida also included mid-19th century Florida classic-revival plantation home styles like the Gamble Plantation house in Ellenton, the only surviving antebellum mansion near St. Petersburg.

Florida old style homes not only had some of the most magnificent, elegant old world hotels; it also had some laid-back, simple homes. One of the most familiar is the Florida Cracker vernacular style home that reflects green design by using local natural resources and is designed to withstand the Florida environment.

These homes were comfortable in the Florida heat since they were built off the ground so cooling air could circulate around them. They also had high peaked tin roofs to reflect the heat, shady wrap around porches with extended roof lines and lots of windows for cross ventilation. The Cracker house, now dubbed “Cracker Chic”, is making a comeback in the south with modern developments.

The next time you travel in Florida, why not take a side trip to some of these historical treasures? Better yet, take the scenic Old Florida Heritage Highway, rich in natural beauty where you can observe pastoral countryside and explore historical Florida old style homes like the Cracker home of the famous writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in Cross Creek, an environment that attracts writers, poets and artists. A place that will restore you spirit and refresh your soul. Happy travels!

Copyright 2011 Beautiful Interiors For Less, LLC

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New Jersey Governor Vetoes Online Gambling Bill Even Though They Need the Tax Money

When people gamble online are they really playing a person or are they playing a machine, or AI – artificially intelligent program, one which is designed to beat them, but not so badly they quit and never come back? Not long ago, I was discussing this with an acquaintance, who indicated to me that they were “not against gambling online, because if people wanted to give away their money so be it,” but they themselves never would.

Of course, online gambling has also trapped many an addicted gambler, who over time loses all their hard-earned money, yes it is an addiction which preys upon real human emotion and captures the psyche of the obsessive compulsive individual. But should gambling online be free choice, just as it is when one walks into a casino? Well, those who have online gambling websites think so, but there is a bit of politics involved, with interests on both sides.

In fact, there was a great article on Online Gambling Pro, titled “Online Gambling Bill Vetoed in New Jersey” by Gary posted on March 3, 2011. The article talked about how the New Jersey Governor said “no” to online gambling. This was good for the Atlantic City Casinos, and collecting taxes for online gambling would have proved quite problematic, not to mention a somewhat unfair advantage for real casinos with all their licensing requirements.

Nevertheless, folks in the US will continue to gamble online, even if it is illegal, they will find a way, even if they go through a website hosted offshore. Some say, and I am not one of them, but some believe that people who play online learn to play well, and eventually come into the casino thus, it actually helps the legal gambling industry. There may be some empirical evidence to prove that assertion someday, however, I will remain a skeptic until I see it personally.

Considering that most politicians will eventually cave into almost anything as long as they can tax it, it is interesting that online gambling has not made headway in the legalization process, perhaps it will in the future, but right now it is still taboo. There is too much fraud say authorities which is a charge that does have merit. And it is also suspected that there are unscrupulous individuals running these websites behind digital masks.

Well, those are just some of the issues, and there are many more challenges to be solved before online gambling legalization will be available in all 50 US states. It seems many states such as; Iowa, California, and Florida appear to have legislation in the works right now. Many other states are drafting bills to introduce too, and there is a fairly big lobbying effort surrounding these pushes for online gambling, as well as lobbying to prevent it from various concerned citizen groups and established casinos. Please consider all this.

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Gambling Is Growing World Wide – Perhaps at an Alarming Rate, You Decide

The other day, I was contacted by an eBook author with a new gambling eBook on Amazon, made for Kindle Users, he asked if I’d like to review it. Alan Samonte’s newest book on gambling; “The Gambling System That Works,” does sound interesting, and I think he’s touching on a real uptrend here. It is as if just recently we’ve seen a bit of growth in the number of gamblers out there in recent months.

Interestingly enough, I’ve done a bit of writing on the topic of gambling. You see, after traveling across the US, I have visited all the major gambling areas, and some small ones out of the way too, mostly on Indian Reservations or near state lines, rivers, or other areas in the gray area of law, allowing for such.

Indeed, I’ve seen mesmerized senior citizens at slot machines, brought in by the busload, Asian tourists, and high-rollers. I’ve also visited the outskirts of Las Vegas where the “Shanty Towns” are similar to the depictions in the movie “Pay it Forward” and I’ve met gambling addicts, as well as those who love to have some fun in moderation, so my experiences and observations indeed run the gambit. Still, it seems that things are on the rise in the gambling world, why I can only guess.

My conclusion is that the economy and prospects for the future are causing some of this. Of course, the rest is just good casino marketing, branding, and all the special offers, players clubs, and incentives. For those who just like to have a little fun and don’t blow it or gamble beyond their means it is a great way to entertain. For others, well, there are some sad stories out there of course, but being as we do live in a free country, we must also understand choice.

Why do I see gambling on the rise? Well, it seems everywhere I look, in the media, online and in the real world, there is growth in the gambling sector, and it’s very competitive, not just in the USA, but world-wide – and not just in the real world but online too.

Recently in Japan Today newspaper there was a story about how Japan is wants to open up gambling in the country stating that the government needs the money and could tax the revenues, rather than losing out as Japanese travel to Macau, Singapore, and Las Vegas.

There have been reports that the US Congress may yield to pressure to make online gambling in the US legal, as they clean up the current illegal online gaming sector first. For instance the WSJ had an article “Gambling Site Bodog Shut Down Amid Ongoing Crackdown,” and “US Shuts Sports-Betting Site, Indicts the Founder of Bodog,” published on February 28, 2012.

There was a cool article in the Atlanta Business Journal on Leap Day 2012 entitled; “Developer proposes $1 billion gambling complex,” written by Carla Caldwell, which stated that a GA Developer “wants to build a hotel, theater and a game floor with 7,500 video lottery machines, which could generate $350 million yearly to the state’s struggling HOPE Scholarship program. Even though state lawmakers are searching for ways to help HOPE, gambling proposals don’t typically gain widespread support.”

There was another segment on CBS News on March 1, 2012 entitled; “Florida House votes to ban so-called Internet cafes,” which discussed how folks were going online at Internet Coffee shops and betting online, which is against FL and US Law for people to do that, while the CafĂ© stated that they don’t tell people what they can and cannot do online, even though the place is set-up for gambling online in this way. The segment stated that FL legislators voted to close 1,000 of these types of ‘storefront operations and one legislator dramatically stated;

“These are truly the crack cocaine of gambling,” and the segment went onto say; Internet cafes sell customers either phone cards or Internet time. But they also offer customers a chance to redeem electronic sweepstakes on computers that use software that mimics casino-styled games.”

Okay so, what is it about gambling that so intrigues humans? Turns out there is a very real psychological reason for human gambling, and I bet that will increase as the human minds in our society continue down the path of instant information, entertainment, and the need to be globally connected in real time, and having continuous mental stimulation – something that gambling does definitely provide with all its excitement, fear, and fun.

Out in CA we have lots of Indian Casinos offering deals on meals, and gambling fun, even though in CA gambling is not allowed, but these are on Indian Property of course, which is common throughout the US. Because gambling is so fun, it attracts people from all walks of life; grandmothers, CEOs, the unemployed, and even those who are in charge of enforcing it all. It breaks all barriers of race, religion, nationality, socio-economic planes, and intelligence levels. Gambling is a human thing, I doubt we could stop it if we tried.

If folks don’t gamble in casinos, they’ll do it at the horse track, stock market, in business, or some other endeavor where they can pit chance against the potential eventuality for monetary gain. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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How to Improve Your Chances at the Florida Fantasy 5

A lot of people are addicted to playing the lottery. Hardened lotto players gamble all their lives and never hit the jackpot. They believe that one day they will win the jackpot and this hope makes them keep on playing. Results of the lotto show that over 95% of those who play lotto lose, and it is these people who can be termed as gamblers. If you want to be like these gamblers, go and play without a strategy. You have more than a 95% chance of losing. Despite this fact, people play the lotto and this is what keeps the state lotteries going on.

Every state has its own version of the lotto and in Florida, it is known as the Florida Fantasy 5. Every day, from a set of 39 numbers, five numbers are picked and the person or persons who predict all five picked numbers correctly get the jackpot. It is not easy to predict which five numbers are going to be picked. In fact there is no software or human method which can guarantee you exactly which five numbers are going to be drawn. This is the suspense which keeps the adrenaline flowing and the gamblers glued to the lotto.

Some people believe in their lucky numbers and keep on trying them without any luck. They think that their date of birth, their anniversary, their house number, their telephone number, or their pin number will prove lucky and will help them win the jackpot. In reality it is not so. In fact it is amazing to see the people trying their lucky numbers over and over despite losing repeatedly. Then there is another category of gamblers who believe in their horoscope and keep trying their lucky numbers based on their horoscopes. These gamblers are the life blood of the state lotteries like the Florida Fantasy 5.

With the long list of don’ts that I have mentioned, it would seem that playing the Florida Fantasy 5 is a sheer waste of time and money. It is not. In fact, it is possible to boost your chances and even win the jackpot. How do you go about doing that? One of the surest ways to improve your chances of winning is to narrow down the list of numbers to be selected. The best way of doing this is to study the past records of results from the archives. They will tell you about the numbers with very low occurrences so you can sort them out. Then there is a group with a medium number of occurrences. Keep them aside for the time being. Concentrate on those numbers which have been picked the most number of times. Now you can use your own strategy to pick a set of five numbers from these high probability numbers. Keep on playing with these numbers and sooner or later you will hit the jackpot and be able to live a happy and healthy life without having to worry about money

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State Campgrounds on Florida’s East Coast

With all the attractions Florida has to offer, it becomes hard at times to decide which one you may want to do. If the beach is what you are looking for, I recommend camping at one of the State Campgrounds listed below.

Gamble Rodgers Campground at Flagler Beach on A1A is a campground with only thirty four lots. Twenty four of these lots will accommodate any size camper while the rest is best suited for tents, popups, and small campers. Half the lots back up to the Atlantic ocean with most of these having a wonderful view of the ocean. On the North side of the campground is a park with a public beach and picnic area. The ranger station is located on the west side of A1A where there is a picnic area, nature trails, and a boat ramp with access to the Intracoastal Waterway. There is nowhere to ride a bike except on the highway. However, it is only three miles into Flagler Beach which is a good but short bike ride. Gamble Rodgers is an excellent place for the beach lover; however, getting a reservation during beach weather can be hard to do.

Sebastian Inlet State Park located in Melbourne on A1A is divided into two separate parts. South of the inlet is the campground which has over fifty lots that will accommodate most any size camper. Fourteen of these sites have an excellent view of the Sebastian Inlet. This campground is excellent for the fisherman as well as the beach lover. The boat ramp allows for easy access to the Indian River as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Fishing is allowed along the shores of the Inlet as well as the small docks located along the inlet. A short walk east of the campground is the Atlantic Ocean with beautiful beaches for swimming, surfing, and fishing. On the north side of the inlet there is a great place for the younger children to swim in the inlet where there are no currents or surf and the water is shallow. On the ocean side one will find bait and tackle shop, concession stand, bathhouse, and a jetty for fishing.

Little Talbot Island State Park just north of Jacksonville has one of the prettiest beaches along the East coast of Florida. The campground is located on the west side of Heckscher Drive with thirty six sites that are well shaded. Due to the large oak trees this campground has a thirty foot maximum for RV length. Across the road from the campground is five miles of undeveloped beaches, at low tide the sand is packed well enough for bicycle rides along the shore line. In addition, there is a paved road along the island that is great for bicycle riding as well as rollerblading. The nature trail winds through the woods and ends with a spectacular view of the ocean.

Fort Clinch State Park also located just north of Jacksonville at Fernandina Beach has two campgrounds. The circle on the Atlantic Ocean has twenty sites and has no shade, yet they are within easy walking distance to the beaches. The River circle has over thirty lots all under a canopy of oak trees. The campground circles are a little more than three miles apart and have a paved road connecting the two which is great for bike riding or jogging. Also there are several miles of beach that is great for bike riding at low tides.

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