|Fritz and The Flamingos|
(Sarasota Jungle Gardens)
I am back home after two weeks of vacation in sunny Sarasota, Florida and as one might imagine, I have not done much in the way of hobby activities during that time span. I brought a couple of history books with me, but I failed to crack them open, preferring to binge watch reruns of Chicago P.D. to while away the evening hours.
We were supposed to be in Sarasota for three weeks, but we had to cut the trip short by several days in order to get Lady Emma Cuddlestone-Smythe back to Illinois in time for the start of school.
Lady Emma enjoys visiting The Sarasota Jungle Garden in Sarasota and I think that she visited the park at least five times, maybe more, over the course of several weeks. I went with her maybe three times and she took an Uber to the park to make some visits on her own. SJG has a vast menagerie of flamingos, alligators, other reptiles, monkeys/lemurs and a Florida Panther or two. The best part of the visit is seeing the flamingos and letting them eat feed pellets out of your hand.
It is a rather odd sensation when a flamingo is nibbling out of your hand. They tilt their heads sideways and kind of peck away at the feed in your hand. It's an odd tactile experience, but it is fun nevertheless. I took a pass at holding various reptiles in my hands, but Lady Emma was nonplussed by the whole experience with slithering things.
|Monet's water lilies perhaps?|
|Some of the inhabitants of the Butterfly House|
It wasn't all flamingos and Key Lime Pie though. We paid a visit to the John & Mabel Ringling art museum (yes that Ringling, of circus fame) and we saw lots of Old Masters paintings from Rubens, da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rembrandt, among others. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon some 18th Century denizens such a The Marques of Granby and Lt. General Phillip Honeywood, both painted by Gainsborough.
|Marquess of Granby|
|Frederick the Great's sister|
|Some handsome French aristocrat|
|A copy of Michelangelo's David|
|Mr. Ringling's manse|
|18th Century gallery with harpsichord|
|Ringling collected whole rooms and brought them over to the New World.|
|Edouard Detaille painting from the Franco-Prussian war.|
I spotted this from across the room and immediately identified the artist.
|Lelia and Dad in the Everglades|
|A crocodile, waiting to be turned into a matching pair of shoes and a belt.|
|The garage of the house where we stayed. I'm seeing a wargame room here.|
|I could live in this house. No problem. I like the colonial style architecture and the outside porch.|