If a picture is worth a thousand words, Suzanne Schneider’s Mayflower residence speaks volumes.

Every wall is hung with paintings and artworks gathered in her travels across the globe. And — from the machiner’s chests once used to store women’s jewelry to the collection of Haitian folk art she acquired in the Iron Market of Port-au-Prince — every piece has a story, an interesting insight, or a bit of sentimental value behind it.

“This is a piece by the Israeli artist Tarkay — I found it at a flea market,” she recalls, pointing out a painting of a woman in repose. “And they were selling it for $55. The frame caught my eye, so I asked if they’d set it aside for me to pick up later. After buying it, we realized what it was. It’s been appraised for upwards of $20,000.”

Other works in Suzanne’s collection tell the story of a life spanning the entire globe. Suzanne, who was born in eastern Poland (now Ukraine) just before the Second World War, survived the Nazi occupation and subsequent liberation by Russia before her family moved west to France, where she grew up. At 14, she moved to the United States for high school and college.

As an adult, she became a language teacher, but her true passion was travel. She and her late husband visited dozens of countries, from Argentina to the Netherlands and from the Middle East to the British Isles, collecting art and antiques along the way. The tale of her journeys is reflected in the quirkiness and bright attitudes of her varied collection — like the set of original works by Croatian folk artist Jovan Obican.

“We were on a visit to Dubrovnik, and Obican invited us up to his studio,” says Suzanne. “He painted those for us, right there.”

Because of their pick-up-and-go lifestyle, the Schneiders always preferred apartment residences as a low-maintenance alternative to a big home. With a smaller footprint, they gained more freedom and independence — and when Suzanne started planning her next move a few years ago, that was a big part of The Mayflower’s appeal.

“Everything I need is right here,” she says. “I have a two-bedroom apartment with a lovely view and plenty of space for my art collection — and I’m surrounded by friends. Being here is a delight every day.”

For culture buffs like Suzanne, The Mayflower offers another big advantage: It’s convenient to Winter Park’s downtown destinations, from local art museums and theaters to boutiques and restaurants.

“Aside from the fact that the community had an excellent reputation, what really appealed to me was the location,” she says. “The Mayflower occupies a very scenic spot, with beautiful trees and flowers, but it’s just minutes away from anywhere you might want to go.”

But as much as Suzanne loves her life at The Mayflower, she’s not expecting to “settle down” any time soon. In fact, she’s already looking ahead to her next destination.

“I’ve been chatting with a friend of mine here, and we’re making plans to go on safari in Tanzania in the summer of 2022 — something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “When I go, I’ll know everything here will be taken care of.”

Welcome to The Mayflower’s “Community Culture” blog collection! In this series, we’ll cover the importance of creative aging and artistic growth throughout life — and explore how residents are living better at The Mayflower.

Right now, a select number of residences are available — and ready for you to make them distinctly your own. Explore our array of spacious floor plans, from one-bedroom Traditional apartments to our two- and three-bedroom Deluxe apartments, to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

Don’t wait to join our thriving community! Call 407-672-1620 or send us a message to schedule a tour and learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!