Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ringling museum

Last month's book of choice for my book club was Water for Elephants. It is a story that takes place during the depression, about a man named Jacob going to school to become a vet. He loses his parents, drops out of school and unknowingly joins the circus. The story is about the adventures he has and the people he meets while in the circus. I really loved the book and so I was stoked to say the least when I found out that the Ringling Museum was located just an hour away from us in Sarasota.

The museum consists of a few different buildings. The first is the one David and I are in front of. This building has the worlds largest miniature circus. It is 50 years in the making and is astounding. I took a few shots, but since there was no flash allowed only a few of them were half decent. The detail in all the people and the animals was incredible.

The next building contained a bunch of props, clothing etc, that were actually used in the Ringling Bros. Circus. There were costumes, animal cages, the Ringling Bros. actual train car. It was all very interesting. Unfortunately my camera died at this point.

The last building we went to was John and Mable Ringling's summer home. It is ridiculously ornate and over the top. There are 56 rooms and a huge veranda on the water with an amazing view. They let you tour through the first floor of the home. All I could think during it was "why? why would you spend so much money on so much wasted space?" I guess so it could be a museum one day?

We didn't make it to the last building which was the art museum. John and Mable loved collecting art and when he died he left all his possessions to the state of Florida. I hear it is an amazing collection of art and I am bummed that they close at 5 and we didn't make it there. I would say maybe next time, but I don't think there will be a next time.

(David and I at the circus back when we were dating. I was as giddy as a little kid.)

The circus definitely has changed over the years. What once was a refuge for people that were different or considered 'freaks' has now become a showcase of real talent and entertainment. If you have not read the book, I highly recommend it. Also go to the circus, it is the greatest show on earth.

No comments: