Friday, March 30, 2012

The Friday Five

This week's Friday Five is:

Five cool things I saw at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida.

1. Banyan trees. The picture above is of a banyan tree swallowing a cherub statue. Banyans grow roots off their tree limbs that descend toward the ground, attach, and then grow into a banyan tree trunk. They are bizarre, and we sure don't have anything like in Minnesota.

2. Ca' d'Zan (which means House of John) the Venice-style home of John and Maude Ringling of Ringling Bros. circus fame. The mansion sits right on the water, and it was beautiful and ornate and enormous.

3. The world's largest miniature museum. This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is just inside the big top. The entire miniature museum is enormous. Dozens of tents, hundreds of animals and people, cars, trains, lights, streets, trees, rivers, and so much more. I could've stayed and watched it for hours. Unfortunately, our experience was interrupted by a fire alarm and we had to clear the building, though they let us back in quite quickly as it turned out to be a false alarm.

4. Palm trees. I know my folks got tired of me pointing out all the palm trees (and who knew there were so many different kinds?) but we don't have palms in Minnesota. This was one of the giants just inside the main entrance to the grounds.

5. The Rubens paintings at the the art museum. These things are enormous, all motion and color and symbolism. Four of the seven commissioned paintings of Biblical scenes are housed and displayed at the Ringling museum. They are breathtaking in scope.

Bonus cool thing:

6. This is a huge statue in Sarasota, Florida depicting the LIFE magazine cover taken in Times Square at the end of World War 2. I understand there is another one like it in San Diego, California. Here's a copy of the photo.

Have you been to Florida? Have you been to the Ringling Museum?


  1. Been to Fl on our honeymoon 27 years ago. Didn't go to the Ringling museum , but have been to the Ringling Bros. circus several times when it came to Boston. Saw famed lion/tiger tamer Guther Gebel Williams. Thud!

  2. Never been to Ringling museum, but I've been to FL and this past weekend, we attended the actual Ringling circus!

  3. Fun! I've only been to Florida once and I was too little to remember it. I need to go back!

  4. I would love to stare at that circus!

    A guy from our church is related to P.T. Barnum. My mom used to play all the songs to the play. I have most of those memorized. The colors of my life...

    ~ Wendy

  5. I've never been to Florida, but it looks like a place I would love to go. Of course, I would have to Go to Disney World while I was there. ;)

  6. Nope, I've never been to Florida, but it sounds like a fascinating place. Deb & Dave Ebright (author of the Jack Rackham Adventures for YA) keep saying DH and I should climb into our RV and come visit them in St. Augustine, FL -- the old town of ghosts and pirate history. I figured out how many miles it was from Vancouver, BC and decided it wasn't likely to happen.