On the day that it rained, we went to Sarasota to visit the Ringling Estate, which was actually not what I was expecting.
You would think (or at least I would think this): Ringling and then think circus and then think circus people and clowns and then get scared. The Ringling Estate was pretty classy and sort of reminiscent of the Rockefeller Estate, but the Ringling Estate was more whimsical. Take this snail statue for instance.
Another statue, one of an angel, was buried between some banyan trees, but the tram we were on moved too quickly to take a photo. Here are some banyan trees though:
Yes, we had to take a tram around because it was initially way too cold to walk around the estate's grounds. However, after warming up and eating delicious hot dogs and chili, we summoned ourselves to walk to the art museum. (The brochure claims the museum to be one of the nation's best collections, and while it definitely wasn't a New York art museum, it was impressive. I enjoyed it a lot more than my tour of the "masters" at the Tate anyway.)
While walking (uncle and aunt are above), I found a beautiful statue that reminded me of poop.
The Ringling home was very much like the Rockefellar home--big, ornate, interesting, and ancient as far as American architecture. I was too cold to take photos (which is ridiculously funny now having been at the inauguration), but here's one of the house. On the other side of the house is a beautiful porch with steps that lead to a dock on the bay.
The most notable thing about Sarasota is that while the Ringling Estate might seem like the freakiest thing there, it isn't. This is the freakiest thing:
You know that famous image of the V-J Day kiss of the sailor and nurse? Someone thought it was a good idea to make a humongous statue of them in full color and put them in the middle of Sarasota. It was bizarre. Also, I believe I saw a statue-viewer look up her skirt. Pervert.