After a couple of remote anchorages, we landed in Sarasota at Marina Jacks which is right in the heart of the city. From remote beaches to 4-lane highways and traffic jams, the contrast was quite dramatic. There are so many restaurants and places to shop in Sarasota. St. Armand’s Circle is well-known for their high-end historic district. Just looking at the cars in the area, we knew we had switched from affordable to we’ll just look type of shopping…. Lexus, Jaguar, Alpha Romeo, Maserati, and many more that you do not normally see.
Another highlight of Sarasota is the Ringling Circus Museum and Art Museum. We learned just how much we did not know about the Ringling Brothers circus and circuses in general. What an education! Together with Last Call, we spent the better part of a day exploring the museums and grounds. John and Mabel Ringling owned an extensive and expensive art collection. He also built an amazing mansion (called CA’ D’ZAN or House of John) for his dear wife overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. She was only able to spend three winter seasons there since Mabel died at an early age of 54. Sad to say, but John never fully recovered from this loss. Having no children, their fortune could not be left for descendants. John died with $311 in cash to his name, but possessed tremendous real estate and art wealth. They were wise enough to have much of their Sarasota estate covered in their will. Everything would be gifted to the state of Florida. Hence, generation after generation can view and enjoy. It was more important to them to love others and gift to others from their wealth.
The museum has extensive art from around the world. There are 66 acres of gardens and open areas with great views of Sarasota Bay. The Tibals Learning center has a miniature scale full circus. It has every detail of the circus taking years to create.
From Sarasota, we traveled to Venice and Cayo Costa State Park. We will update the blog with those details soon. Today we plan to travel to the Fort Meyers Beach area.
Train Car from the Ringling
This was John and Mabel’s personal car built in Wisconsin
Just a few samples of the many many art pieces available to view
House of John Ca’D’Zan