Around this time every year I start to get the itch to travel. Unfortunately, more long-term travel is not possible until I sell my home in North Carolina and finish writing my book. In the meantime I’m scratching that itch by visiting interesting places around the Gulf Coast of Florida, where I now reside. Located on the bayfront just south of downtown Sarasota is the 9.5 acre Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, an oasis of serenity that overflows with exotic tropical plants and flowers. Its trails and boardwalks are worth a visit any time of year, but are even more interesting during one of their special events, such as this weekend’s Asian Cultural Festival.
This year’s Asian Fest featured displays of ikebana flower arrangements and sumi-e paintings, as well as demonstrations of origami paper folding, bonsai cultivation, Chinese brush paining, martial arts, and Tai Chi. Continue reading