27th Dec Sunday
Everyone is awake at 4.30 and we are out of the room by 6am. Drove into St Armands Cross and took the opportunity to do a little window shopping. Had a look in Galaxy of Characters – which features the art of Tampa Bay artist David o’Keefe. Pop culture caricatures. About Us
We popped into Starbucks for breakfast - skinny cappuccino + mocha + hot choc x 2 + oatmeal, English muffin, lemon pound cake $13.89. What a wonderful little hub of activity the Starbucks was – as the local shopkeepers and residents toddled in to collect their morning java and shoot the breeze.
Drove to Lido Beach to take pictures of the fabulous sunrise. Played in the park and watched the sun come up over the Gulf Of Mexico amazing. Saw lots of herons and pelicans. Texture of the sand was just like snow, crunching under our feet. Walked along the shoreline & found shells and an urchin.
Hulk Hogan was inviting all comers to Universal City Walk on Monday night. Might just pop in and show him who the boss really is.
Went to target to get Georginas new DSI as the one we bought at Christmas time is faulty.
The buses that go into and around St Armands were called “scat” this tickled us no end throughout our stay there.
Went to the Ringling Museum of art. A staggering 66 acre site which hosts more than 300000 visitors per year. The value of art collection is among the top 20 in the U.S. Museum of art 1931 built + opened to the public. The centre piece of the estate is the stunning Venetian Gothic house house Ca’d’zan. John Ringling commissioned New York architect Dwight James Bawm to build dream home in 1924. It was completed in 1926. We were all agreed that it would be a very fine place to live.
Also on the site is the circus museum which features a miniature of the Ringling circus. It took master model builder Howard Tibbals more than 50 years to build. 8 main tents and 152 wagons 1300 circus performers + workers + 800 animals 59 car train model built at 3/4inch to the foot scale and occupies 3800sq ft. Unfortunately could not take any photographs but a must see. Established 1948 it was the 1st museum of its kind to document the rich history of Circus posters, performing props and equipment including carved parade wagons. We snack in Banyan cafe $27 Hot dog, cheese pizza and burger 3 soft drinks and coffee.
Finished with visit to gift shop magnets and ornaments.
We head back to the hotel – there is a band playing on the beach but we are too hungry to watch.
Went to restaurant Columbia in St Armands Cross – we have bread and a delicious salad made at the table with lemon juice, olives, olive oil and parmesan. Main kids had steak and fries. I had the sea bass and ieuan had filet steak $117 including tip. Excellent meal and terrific staff.
Ieuan and girls went swimming before we collapsed into bed.