mid century travel

5

★ Another week, another miniature scene ★

This is what I imagine my future study to look like, complete with a non-functioning old timey telephone and spinny globe. Everything is handmade with the exception of the telephone, which I modified a teeny tiny bit.

I’ve also improved on my globe design (the dramatic arc of the first one and thick black lines just weren’t working, ya know?), and am now offering it in my etsy shop for all your miniature decor and gifting needs. 

Lastly, I’m running a small giveaway on my instagram (@honey.thistle) for one of these globes and a few other minis until May 22nd 2017, so check that out for some free miniature swag :)

Goals for 2018: Party Lions on my doorstep and colorful items to decorate them with. If you haven’t been to Palm Springs, this house is known as the ‘Party Lions’ house. During the year, the owners will swap out the decorations on the lion statues with colorful items like beach balls, pool floaties, etc. It’s always fun to drive by and see what’s new. By the way, it’s just a few houses down from That Pink Door!

5

Checking Out.  Arcadia, FL

A man in a plain white T-shirt, shorts and a black baseball cap sat, arms on his knees, on top of a rolled up ornate rug. A uniform stack of black storage containers, assorted furniture and art work walled around him taking up a portion of the room. To his right a framed poster reads, “Oak Park Inn”.

Built in 1904, this historical building is in the heart of downtown Arcadia’s antique alley. Chris J. Brown, the 73-year-old owner, restored it and turned it into an immaculate hotel.

“About $50,000 for rehabilitation and restoration of my hotel”, said Brown, “I had rooms booked out for two years. Now it’s all gone.”

Arcadia made headlines with its wind damage and flooding after hurricane Irma. Many of the historical store fronts suffered windows blown out and water damage to sensitive antiques.

Most of the shops in Antique Alley have a monthly or short-term lease and rely heavily on tourism to keep their doors open. 

Brown’s situation is different however, unlike the antique shops tenants, he owns his building and is fully responsible for its survival. 

“I’ve always had insurance, but not storm wind insurance” said Brown, “that’s so expensive! A policy for this building would be $35,000 to $45,000 a year.”

 Brown discovered his passion for hotels when he would travel to Hawaii during the winter to stay with a lady friend. She introduced him to renovating buildings and encouraged Brown to see the world, travel and explore.  

“Fiji, New Zealand, Australia for a month”, said Brown “Theaters, musicals and art museums.”


From Sidney to Singapore, China, Taiwan, Europe, Iceland, Egypt, down through Africa, then the Caribbean Islands ending in South America. Brown took his friend’s advice and stayed in Historic hotels designed by internationally known architects.

Finally, he settled down in southwest Florida and brought his passion for hospitality with him. With the help of skilled craftsmen, he gave Arcadia a living monument of his travels.

Mid-century modern, Victorian, French, Florentine and the Barcelona room. Each of his rooms furnished with antiques specific to a time and region of the world.

Today those rooms are nearly destroyed. According to Brown, a short-lived tornado formed during the storm, peeled off chunks of his roof and caused ceiling clasps as well as severe water damage.

“They were all immaculate, spotless,” Said Brown, as he shuffled to each of the rooms, carefully placing his steps, as he described the detail that went into designing them. “I just finished painting before the storm.

All that’s left now is stored away in black waterproof boxes sitting in the lobby. Brown spends most of the day sleeping on the first floor. 

“I got to watch this building for looters” said Brown.

The future is unknown for Brown.  The anticipation of an increase in business that comes with the tourism season is lost on him.

 “Now let’s see if the government is here for me”, Said Brown. “It all depends on upon FEMA.”