I’m not a huge fan of traveling which may surprise some of you because I do seem to travel non-stop (mostly for work) but , honestly, it’s not my bag. Still, when I do travel, I love the thrill of discovery as much as the next guy. And what I’ve discovered is that you can find that thrill pretty much everywhere.
The other day, I was in Sarasota, Florida, on business, and I happened to spot the Ringling Museum of Art near my hotel. Never heard of it so, since I had an extra 90 minutes or so on my way to the airport, I stopped there. Turns out the circus winters in Sarasota, something I had once heard, and that John Ringling, who made a nice bundle showing 19th century folks the wonders of the circus, had made his home there. I was in but I warned the nice docent at the entrance that my time was limited.
She said, “You’ll never be able to see everything in 90 minutes.” Wanna bet?
I may not have read every last card on every last painting but I saw quite a bit as you’ll see in these photos below. What really struck me afterwards was how varied the museum was, kind of like the Big Top where there is something for everyone. This place has beautifully manicured landscaping, a Venetian-type mansion on the water where John Ringling lived, an art museum and perhaps best of all, a circus museum which is, after all, how John Ringling afforded that beautiful mansion on the water. Scroll through the photos below and you’ll see what I mean.
The visit was great fun and much better than hanging out at the airport for an extra 90 minutes. (However, the joke later was on me since my flight was delayed about 90 minutes! Oy, traveling.)
John Ringling's mansion on the water...