Running Away To The Circus

It was only 4 days … but it was all I needed to put a spring back in my step.

With Gilles going out of town for work, I was reluctant to stay at home doing nothing.  So a last minute plan was hatched, a cheap flight booked, and I was on my way to my sister’s Florida home packing a sense of adventure.

Two northern girls can pack a lot of fun into a few short days and one of those days was spent at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota.

I have never actually been to a circus … I mean the kind with animal acts.  I’ve been to Cirque de Soleil performances on many occasions – including this past summer to Luzia, but there was something about the animal acts that never appealed to me.

August 2016

Combined with my ambivalence towards zoos, I always thought that perhaps I didn’t like animals and that was why the circus had no attraction for me.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized it was likely because I actually DID like animals.

I remember the circus acts on the Ed Sullivan Show and the big cats in particular bothered me.  To me, they always looked humiliated by the tricks they were forced to perform. As any cat owner can attest to, cats aren’t exactly easily trainable.  More often than not, it seems we are modifying our behaviour for them rather than the other way around.

What must it have taken to get those big cats to park their instinct?


However, I had heard great things about the Ringling Museum, art collection, and mansion, so it seemed like a logical place to visit … especially after the news that the long-running Ringling Circus would be coming to an end in May.


I quickly discovered that going anywhere on a January weekday morning in Florida means a gathering of people predominantly of the vintage variety.  Even worse is the realization that I am in that same demographic.

That, however, did not stop us from behaving like children and engaging in lighthearted silliness.

My sister is the first to fold herself into the mini-car

What amused us the most however, was the crowd attracted to our antics and the line that quickly formed to attempt the same.  It only takes one to plant the seed and we soon departed to the sound of giggling seniors.

Fun can be anywhere you choose to find it and for these 2 retired sisters, it was a day at the circus.  I’m convinced that inside all of us is a child wanting to come out to play.



  1. Great pictures! I very much agree that fun can be found anywhere. My friend and I spent an hour crying with laughter in Asda (Walmart!) recently, because we tried bras on over our clothes and then did the rest of our shopping still wearing them…yes, we are very easily amused!!


  2. “A gathering of the vintage variety” this made me laugh loud enough to bring the hubby downstairs.
    I love that you took this adventure, I loved that you shared it with us and I especially appreciate the airboat ride you took me on, too. xo


  3. It looks like you had a blast! I have not been to that museum. We would go to the circus occasionally when I was a child.
    The age demographic is January is the same in my hometown of Naples. I can’t say that I blame them. The weather is much warmer in Florida! If I can be a snowbird someday, I surely will!! 🙂


  4. Cheers to the “vintage variety” ~ keep on having fun. Sounds like a great time…

    Totally agree re circuses and zoos. They have always seemed like animal jails to me. So glad Ringling bros has shut down…finally!



  5. you write with such a smooth voice…
    and laughing at this: predominantly of the vintage variety.

    ha – I’m edging that way –
    and truly a special post with the timing as it is a milestone to have this company go out of business…. and enjoyed reading your thoughts about the animals


  6. That does look like fun, Joanne. I agree wth you on the circus animals, not my thing, but the museum would be interesting and worth the visit. Glad you got to spend time being silly with your sister 🙂


  7. I totally agree that ‘fun can be anywhere you CHOOSE’ and that ‘inside ALL of us is a child wanting to come out to play’. Glad to see that you and your sister inspired others to do the same.


  8. I’ve discovered that one of the best things about growing older is that I no longer give a s#%t about making a fool of myself, as long as I’m having fun and not hurting anybody. I would have been crammed in the clown car with you! I think it’s great that your antics encouraged others to take their inner child out for a spin too!


  9. Looks like a ton of fun was had by two little girls. I noticed that the Circus just announced that it’s coming to an end. Looks like you picked a great time to visit the museum.


  10. I never was a huge fan of the circus but I think the museum might be more fun. I like the bizarre images associated with it as well as the interactive aspect. I think once you show people you can be silly, it’s okay to follow suit.


  11. I am grinning ear-to-ear. So glad to read this.
    I saw the photo of you in the clown car on Facebook – so I’m delighted to read the sequel – that you and your sister encouraged a lineup of like-minded clowns.


    • No one was more surprised that we were! I think that we tend to have our *adult* on when we go out, but it only takes one person to encourage others to ‘let go’. We had a good laugh about it … both at the lion and the clown car. It was wonderful to see others wanting to give it a try 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Looks like you had a fun day. The family in my town provides enough of a circus show, so I don’t have to go to the Big Top.

    Glad the sun was out in Florida. And just think, in just 4 or 5 more months that good ol’ Florida weather will make it up to your neck of the woods.


    • That’s a sad commentary when your family provides a real life ‘Gong Show’. You have my sympathy.

      I am happy to see the hours of daylight start to lengthen here in Canada, even if the temperatures are still frozen. That’s the one thing I find “wrong” about going south.

      To me, warm temperatures mean daylight until at least 8 or 9 am – 10 am if I’m at *home* in the North. To travel south and have warm temperatures and darkness around 6 pm is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. My mind just can’t handle the reconciliation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve lived in the North a few times, but I never thought of that. I remember once playing an all-night poker game. Actually, we went home at about 3:00 am, but the sky was already getting light. Really amazed me.


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