Parque Natural Mexiquillo


Year # 4, Bring It On

April 25, 2012,  Serenity and I headed north out of California on our grand adventure. And what wonderful life changing road trip it has been.

A few of the many wonderful happening this year.

Roswell, NM balloon fest. Free with much easier
access than the Albuquerque balloon fest. 

Ancestral pueblo homes in Frijoles Canyon
The Very Large Array, back drop for many movies.

Family  time visiting my wonderful granddaughters

The 4th in Hancock with Linda

A most wonderful woman and the best lobster rolls
on the East coast

My sister's brain tumor was a real scare.
Every thing turned out OK

Habitat for Humanity build in Port Townsend, WA

More family time with my brother, left, and his wife

Linda comes to the West Coast. 

Visiting with son Sean, a graphic design professor.
Hike at Quartzsite with WIN friends

Christmas with the family.

So cold, the cave was warmer

Hoar frost at Carlsbad.

Paul's 75th

WIN's kayaking on the Hillsborough River in FL

Paul, don't make eye contact

Disney Word

Linda and her family had a magical time at Disney World, me not so much. By the time we reached there I was three days into a wicked repertory infection that had driven me to my knees. I did manage to go a couple of times and took a few pictures. 

I am very impressed with the packaging. These wrist bands that allow access to the park and the fast pass lanes on some of the rides. No longer do you have to wait hours in line for the popular rides. 

The gardens at Epcot were a feast for you eyes. 

Lunch while watching the fish at the Reef Restaurant.

Finding your inner totem at the Canadian exhibit.

The topiary is stunning

This acrobat never dismounted the chair tower while his assistant kept giving him more chairs.

A very impressive finish

Chandra, Linda, Callan, and Daniel finding their happy place


Red Letter Day

Linda was released today. We are very impressed with the excellent care that she received during her stay at Brandon Regional Hospital.

Can't tell you how excited she is about going home.

:-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  

Tonight we are in that most magical place. Camped at Fort Wilderness.  map

Three years ago I was counting down the days, 6 more, until retirement and the start of great adventure, and what a grand adventure is has been.


Just in Time Treatment

Linda's persistent, two weeks,  cough propelled us to the emergency room yesterday. A blood clot was discovered in her lung. This was a real time bomb, untreated it might have been lethal. She is on blood thinners and will be released in a couple of days when her blood has reached the proper viscosity.


The Ringing

In 1924 Mabel and John Ringling, one of Americas' richest men, built an Italian style palace, Ca' d'Zan that is perched on the edge of Sarasota Bay. Mabel died in 1929 and John was hit hard by the her passing. Next John was pummeled by the depression and died in 1936 with only $311 in the bank. Ca' d'Zan and his extensive art collection survived because he willed them to Florida.

The gang in front of the estates gate house

The circus museum

This 1940's cannon could hurl two performers 140 feet at 125 mph. The operating mechanism has been removed from the cannon - it remains a guarded family secret. 

Restored 1915 circus wagons
Arlene got legs

Linda checking out the large midway posters. They fold in half.

John Ringling's personal train car.

One man's marvelous tribute to the circus

Howard Timbals saw his first circus at age three and in his mid twenty's, 1960, he began crafting an historically correct 1930-1940's miniature circus. He is still at it today, creating more miniatures for his circus. My meager photos do not begin to communicate the enormous size and intricacy of his life's work.  Youtube video

You only see part of the circus here. 

The circus employed 1300 people and three daily meals were prepared in the cook tent. This required 2 barrels of sugar, 30 gallons of milk, 36 bags of salt, 50 bushels of potatoes, 110 dozen oranges, 200 lb tea & coffee, 226 dozen eggs, 285 lbs butter, 350 lbs salad, 1,300 lbs fresh vegetables, 2,220 loaves bread, 2,470 lbs fresh meat and 3,600 ears of corn. My question is how so much food could be purchased in the small towns of America?

In the dining tent, called The Hotel, 3,900 meats were served daily. Each person with the circus had a designated seat at a table set with china plates, silverware, a water pitcher, condiments, and bread and butter. Waiters took your order and served the meals.

Changing tent. 

The Midway

The Menagerie

The Main Tent
Every night the circus packed up and the circus train thundered through the night to the next town. The logistics required boggles the mind.

An Italian Palace.

Mabel and John Ringling traveled Europe seeking new circus acts and buying art. They loved Italian Palaces of Venice and built their own in Sarasota, FL.  3,600 square feet of Italian splender at a cost of 1.5 million.

The "Court", the focal point of Ringling's entertaining.

The breakfast room overlooks the bay

The formal dining room

Ceiling of the Ball Room

The terrace overlooking Sarasota Bay.