Monday, March 31, 2014

Sarasota Yacht Club

We docked at the Sarasota Yacht Club during our recent stay in Sarasota.  We had a great stay.  The marina is located about a half mile from the famous St. Armand's Circle known for it's great shopping choices.

Entryway of the club-notice the teak and holly flooring.

View of the the Ringling Parkway leading into town


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Unconditional Surrender

On August 14 1945, a celebration was taking place in Times Square, New York.  Japan had just agreed with the Terms of the Potsdam Conference stating the unconditional surrender of Japan.   Photographs of the celebrations around the United States were published in Life magazine.  One particular photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt  known as V-J Day in Times square became famous. 

Sarasota is home to a 27 foot statue by Seward Johnson resembling  this famous photograph.  The statue sits at the waterfront area of Sarasota just in front of Marina Jack. 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Ringling Museum of Art

 John and Mable Ringling enjoyed traveling throughout Europe during which time they discovered a love for Baroque Art.  In 1925 John decided to build a museum to house his art collection on the Sarasota property . Today that museum has 31 galleries to display Ringling's massive college of paintings and sculptures.  The Museum of Art includes a courtyard which include a grouping of Classical, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures. 

It was late in the day by the time we made it to the Art Museum--actually--it was just me.  Steve decided to wait for the taxi driver while I hurried through.  As I entered the building, I was drawn toward the courtyard.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Art after 5:00 at the Ringling

On Thursday evenings the Museum of Art and the Circus Museum and galleries are open until  8:00.  Cost of admission is reduced for these visits after 5:00 and often include special events and programs.  On the evening of our visit a band and dance floor was set up in the gardens with food and drinks.  This event is attended by  many  Sarasota residents--mostly the young at heart!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Clowns &TightRope Walkers & More

Although we often think of the tigers and lions and horses and elephants at the circus, there are many other talented performers.  

The man who walks on stilts

The bicycle rider on the tight rope.

The Clowns:  I discovered there are three types of clowns----Whiteface, Auguste and Character.  The Whiteface clown , has an all-white face with individual features -- eyebrows, nose and mouth -- applied with black and red makeup.  The Auguste Clown has a face painted with pink or red base color whose facial features are very large painted in red and black.   The Character Clown face is a comic variation of the human face often including large mustaches, whiskers, warts, large noses and ears and bald heads.  The most common of these character clowns are the hobo or tramp.  Emmet Kelly below as his clown character Weary Willie. 

Nik Wallenda of the famous Flying Wallenda's

Trying to walk the tightrope


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Howard Brothers Circus Model

Housed in the Tibbals Learning Center of the Ringling Museum is the The Howard Bros. Circus model.  This model is a replica of the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus.  It is on  is a ¾-inch-to-the-foot scale.  

Howard B Tibbals began playing with circus models when he was 7 years old in 1943.  He began building circus models when he was 12.  In 1956 he began his  work to create a model of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus which he completed in 1974.  His modeled was displayed in the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.  

The model contains over 42,000 pieces not including such small pieces such as the individual railroad stakes.  There are eight large tents with 7000 folding chairs, 152 circus wagons, 1500 workers and performers and over 500 hand carved animals. 

The model can be viewed at eye level and from above.  

The view from above

I took this picture to show the attention to detail--Tibbals included the electric company linesman working on the power to the show.  


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

John Ringling Circus Museum

The history  of the circus can be traced back to ancient Roman times with the chariot races and exotic animal battles held in an open air circular arena.  The Ringling brothers grew their small group of traveling entertainers into one of the largest circus companies in America during the late 1800's and early 1900's. 

Also housed in the circus museum is a train car in which the Ringling's traveled from show to show.  I was most impressed with the wood carvings.  The attention paid to every detail of the show is inspiring. 


Monday, March 24, 2014


The Circus Museum shows a  film illustrating the life of John and Mable Ringling.  This film narrated by Hal Holbrook states "The home of the circus king and his wife, a couple from humble mid-western origins, Ca'da'Zan (house of John) stands as a testament to the American Dream of the Roaring Twenties."  We couldn't agree more.  Mable and John Ringling loved Venice and the art and romance of Italy.  The architecture of their home reflects this love with its Venetian Gothic style.  

After a brief wait outside, the self guided tour began of the first floor.

View of the Palazzo and Sarasota Bay from the Sun room.

Gate to the breakfast room to keep the pets out.

              Paintings of dancing couples decorate the ceiling of the grand ballroom. 

Ringling had a special sink made out of a softer metal to prevent the china from breaking whenever it was accidentally dropped.  The "S" curve in the sink is the signature of the sink maker. 

Although the interior of the mansion is beautiful, we considered the palazzo the most exquisite with it's view of the Sarasota Bay.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

First Day of Spring Trip

Heading out this morning to Sarasota for a short visit there were many boaters and fishers(is that a word?) enjoying the first day of spring here in Florida!

We tried to reserve a slip at Marina Jack's which is in downtown Sarasota making it easy to walk around.  However, they were booked up solid with a boating organization.  We called over to the Sarasota Yacht club who had space for us.  We thought we had reciprocity with this Yacht Club because of our membership at Isla Del Sol.  Two different yachting associations so we ended up paying full price.  We have more research to do on the reciprocity opportunities.  

We called a cab to take us to the Ringling Museum.   It was after three when we arrived but luckily for us, Thursday nights the museum is open until 8:00.  The Ringling Museum is at the home of John Ringling.  John Ringling is one of seven Ringling brothers who started Ringling Brothers Circus and eventually merged with Barnum & Bailey Circus.  John began visiting Sarasota in 1909.  He and his wife Mable built a mansion which was completed in 1926.  They named the mansion which is build in Venetian Gothic style,  Ca'da' Zan which means House of John.  John and Mable were very interested in art and eventually acquired a large collection which they housed in a museum they built adjacent to the mansion.  

The Ringling is now the State Art Museum of Florida--John willed his collection at the time of his death.   The museum is administered by Florida State University.  We visited the historic mansion, the circus museum and the gardens.  I took a quick look into the art museum before we had to leave.  The Ringling also includes an historic theater, conservation library and research library. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Strange sight on the water today

We saw this building moving along the water today.  It has been docked at Maximo Marina for quite some time.  We are not sure where it is going and what it's purpose might be at some new location. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Windsurfing in the Boca Ciega Bay

Steve brought out his wetsuit and windsurfer today and hit the water.  It was a little too windy out in the Boca Ciega Bay and too swirly  closer to the shore for him to stay out to long.  He makes it look so easy.