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20 - 30 May 2014 Marina Jacks Sarasota, FL

     Our week in Sarasota flew far too fast but we didn't waste a precious second of our time there.  We really look forward to returning in the fall.  Below is the fountain and sculptures that were our first view every morning.

          An interesting sculpture on a street corner.

     We weren't able to take advantage of this cultural experience but have that on our Bucket List for our return trip.

     These pianos are all over town with big signs inviting passers-by to stop and play them.  They are well used and the tunes springing from these overly decorated instruments offer an enjoyable interruption for those strolling to strolls.

          An Italian restaurant has this eye-catcher on their street corner.

     Scott Gerber sells these aluminum adorable smiling face sculptures are all over town smiling on front lawns and displaying welcome signs outside storefronts up and down the Gulf Coast.  He describes himself as "a once-cavalier yacht builder humbled by the Great Recession of 2008."  He was accustomed to the good life but when his custom yacht business dried up, he admits to being at the end of his rope, so as a creative distraction,  he forged the Tube Dude.  So the story goes, the concentric grins and messages of SMILE, disseminated a cheerful defiance of the recession's lingering cynicism.

     Bill cycled across the bridge to St. Armand's Circle and I was on my way till I saw those ominous clouds.  He ducked into a shop to avoid the rain.  Looking in his direction contemplating braving the storm, I found this interesting sculpture on the edge of Sarasota Bay.

     This was our night view across the bay while at Marina Jacks in Sarasota.  Thought it kinda has a Van Gogh "look".  I'm sure my photographer friends could provide an analysis but I like it!

     Sarasota has a beautiful waterfront trail and this is the welcome greeting.

     The famous Unconditional Surrender sculpture celebrating the end of the war graces Sarasota's waterfront.

     Ca' d'Zan, John and Mable Ringling's mansion, is 36,000 square foot house, inspired by and designed in the Venetian Gothic style of the palazzos that ring the Venice canals. It is 5 stories tall with a full basement.  The mansion is constructed from terra cotta "T" blocks, concrete and brick---all frosted with stucco and terra cotta and embellished with glazed tiles. 

Back/Street Entrance
 One of the lovely paths through the Ringling estate.



                 View of bay from the mansion's sun porch

     Look closely within the roots of this banyan tree.  A small statue is being embraced within this tree.


 Beautiful condos across from the marina look
different throughout the day because of the sun playing on it from different angles.  The gold dome is especially engaging. 

     Wood textures and grains fascinate me.  Each piece of wood in this sculpture is silky smooth and when standing within "feeling" distance, the varying grains captivated me for a long time as I stroked and admired the "slices".

     Another Tube Dude and he's my favorite of all of them.

     A blast from the past!  The curved show windows appear to be original.  So happy to see old buildings being resurrected. 

                     My co-favorite Tube Dude
Had no idea this was here till time to go.

                              Another Tube Dude Favorite

Time to bid adieu to Sarasota and Marina Jack's for now but we shall return!!!

We're more than a little behind on our blog but trying desperately to catch up.  Till the next installment...

Bill and Laura Bender aboard Kindred Spirit III


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