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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


    You don't have to go far to get far away from Miami.
  We stopped at a stilt house on Florida's west coast last week.  The two of us had been longing for a quiet holiday, a lonely beach, 

and of course, some old teeth. 

   Manisota Key had all this.  While Pi chased sea birds Francesca and I walked the beach looking for seashells and shark teeth.  There are millions of them, leftovers from a millennium of mollusks and those fast, finned creatures inhabiting these waters.

     A few days later, we headed thirty miles north to Sarasota.   We spent a day at "The Ringling", a twenty-acre complex that includes a  Gatsby-era mansion, picturesque gardens, and an incredible art museum.  Here are some of the things we saw...

The historic Asolo Theater, originally built in Asolo, Italy (near Venice), in 1798.  In 1949 they moved it here.   
Are there any more 18th century  Italian theaters available?  If so, we should move one to Coconut Grove. 


The Ringling Museum of Art houses an extraordinary collection of European art.  It was acquired by the guy who created all of this, circus magnate John Ringling, in the 1920's.
    We enjoy the special exhibitions whenever we go there.  Five years ago 
they had a machine that swallowed you in a cloud.  This time we saw a history of contemporary fashion design.  The one above. by Issy Miyake (1978), would look great on Francesca.  I'd be great to see her shoulders soar!

The newest room is a "Permanent Skyspace, Joseph's Coat", designed by artist James Terrell. That's another way of saying there is a large hole in the ceiling.


It really was a pleasure to relax and watch the vines reach up and clouds roll by.


You can see all this and more in Sarasota, just four hours away.

Tomorrow we'll visit Ringling's Circus Museum.

 and in a few days I'll send out the 2013 list of the Good, Bad, and Ugly for Coconut Grove.

 As the sun sets on 2013, Francesca, Pi, and I wish you a great new year.

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