The jewel of Sarasota (putting aside the multi-million dollar homes which don’t impress us much, and the Gulf of Mexico, which does) is the Ringling Museum and incredible gardens and architecture which surround the numerous galleries.
John Ringling, apart from being the impresario of the Ringling Brothers Circus (later combined with Barnum and Bailey), was a multi-millionaire who was a major developer of Sarasota in the 20’s. The history of John and his wife, Mable’s, contribution is impressive, as is the legacy they have left to Sarasota.
Wandering the grounds around the galleries felt like being in Versailles or Rome, and the collection of art is astounding. Most fun, though, were the two circus galleries, with actual artifacts from the Ringling Brothers Circus – train cars, circus posters, costumes, etc., as well as an entire diorama of the circus grounds in miniature, complete with moving parts. Interactive displays allowed me to practice being a bareback rider and walk a tightrope J.
Our old friends, Ingrid and Chuck Bens, have been hosting us around town, and tomorrow we may go on an Anna Maria Island bike ride with them. Still having fun …