Wednesday, January 23, 2013


We spent 3 nights in Sarasota. This is a hustle and bustle town. We had the opportunity to go to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Ringling Museum. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens abut the Sarasota Bay there is an extensive collection of orchids, bromeliads and epiphytes. The Ringling Museum is a two day event. The interesting part is that the Ringling’s left no circus memorabilia. They left all art and their homestead. However there is an extensive exhibit on the circus. All of the artifacts were donated by other sources. Howard Tibble built and entire miniture replica of the circus and that is also displayed at the museum. When he originally made it the Ringligs did not give him permission to use their name so he called it the Howard Brothers Circus.
The history of the circus is interesting. In general back in the late 50’s and early 60’s the circus was a victim of modern medium of that time, TV, the big screen and also a change in lifestyle. The circus would travel from town to town throughout the country by train and set up tents for the day. Their arriving in town was an event in itself. Over 1,500 workers would set up 12 tents in 1.5 hours! The big top was 120 feet wide and 600 feet long. The cooking tent fed all of the works 3 meals per day. The entire operation was a scheduling feat. There are tons of facts and exhibits to see so I will stop here and you can come down yourself and explore.
Yesterday we traveled from Sarasota to Venice and below are some pictures of our trip and also of our visit to Ringling.

On the steps by the Ringling home veranda

One of the many huge homes while traveling Sarasota Bay

One view of Howard Tibble's miniature circus

Jess trying out for the circus

I never promised you a rose garden, I said bromeliad

Look close, even miniture circuses have rest areas

A view looking up at the frame of an open air gazebo

One of the many orchids at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

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