You're a Long Way from Malibu... Dan

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by malibu_dan, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Four - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    I'd had enough of Cedar Key and the Putnam. It was time to say goodbye and head for the beach! But what beach? Well, I had a theme, Keys. I'm feeling a little tired. So... let's head to Siesta Key. Who doesn't like the sound of THAT?!

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    The lioness had earned her keep and breakfast. I think she was appreciative, because she took the valet service role very seriously after that!

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    Maybe she was trying to show me she has what it takes to go to 'Siesta' Key! One last resident to say goodbye to. You thought you'd met the owners--this is who really runs the hotel.

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    Today is not nearly as picturesque. I spent the days burnin' toward the beach, and dodging rain showers. I finally realized my estimated ability to dodge rain drops like a dragonfly were grossly exaggerated.

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    I finally made it to Siesta Key, well, technically I first made it to Manatee Public Beach. What a beautiful, crowded drive. 44 miles from Manatee to Siesta Key Beach--and not ONE open parking spot to stop, dip my toes in the Gulf, and get a picture. You think I'm exaggerating. Not one.

    Maybe I was fatigued, maybe I was tired--but I had had enough. I pulled into a lot, and traded the Spyder in on this >>

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    Heh. Those of you who called bullshite, give yourself 3 points and proceed to the next level. Your shite-meter is working great. I headed to the hotel, still on my Spyder; the Best Western Plus Siesta Key Gateway. Wow, that was a mouthful.

    =-=-=-=-=
    If you are an anti-vaxer or an anti-masker, please skip over the next paragraph. Not looking to upset you, start a debate, or raise your blood-pressure. You will not hurt my feelings at all if you want to move ahead, you have every right to your feelings and to avoid things you don't want to see. I just thought my check-in experience was funny, that's all.

    Checking into the hotel, the gal behind the desk and the table in front of the counter, which prevented me from getting to the counter, was bubbly as can be. She said, in a mixed southern accent, "Oh, honey, you're in Florida now, you don't have to wear that mask." I replied, "Oh darlin', I want to wear it. That way I don't have to ask you if you've been vaccinated!"
    =-=-=-=-=

    I headed to my room, lugged my dry bag and all my other bags up to the second floor, and stripped down to my skivvies. Then I cranked the a/c on high and flumped in the chair. Don't know how long I sat there. I might have checked my eyelids for leaks for a moment or two.

    Then I decided to paint some more, and checked in with my sister to see if her flight arrangements were still set for the next day.

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    I decided I had to stand in the ocean--cripes, that's why I came to the beach. So, I went and picked up a steak from one of the chains, don't recall which--it wasn't memorable. And went and ate my dinner beside the ocean. The traffic was all flowing inland, so I had a clear ride.

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    The kewl part was there was a drum circle... drumming on the beach. There must have been 200 people shouting, dancing, and playing. I cranked the iso up, held my breath, and took the best shot I could shooting hand-held at night. These latest generations of Sony mirrorless cameras are low-light monsters. They can see more than the human eye by far. I couldn't make out any bodies, only the glow sticks with my spying eye.

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    Hey PMR! I made it to Sarasota!!!

    End of Day Four
    #41
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  2. Riversong

    Riversong Adventurer Supporter

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    I’ve got my armor
    I’m both willing and able , I’m on my second Can Am Spyder !
    #42
  3. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Post us up a pic of your ride, @Riversong !
    #43
  4. Riversong

    Riversong Adventurer Supporter

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    2020 Can Am Spyder Limited- love it ! E885057F-9AA0-48F4-A839-AF75FEB95DE7.jpeg
    #44
  5. Riversong

    Riversong Adventurer Supporter

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    BTW, if your journey takes you in the vicinity of Everglades City consider staying at the historic rod and gun club . The food is average but it’s just a neat place to stay and is also a great place to take an airboat ride into the Everglades. If you’ve never done that , do yourself and your camera a favor and go for it ! Just a couple hours .

    Back in February I , along with three buddies, met up in Crystal River Fl and road down the coast terminating in Everglades City. We then split up and took various routes back to our respective hometowns. I came back through the small towns up and through the middle of the state including in and around lake Okeechobee. My Spyder loved it in flawless fashion.
    #45
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  6. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Hey Dan, we're really liking the pics and the pace of the storytelling. Condolences as well. Funerals aren't my favorite either, but I've never regretted having gone.
    Are there not anti-hassle tassels available for the Can-Am?
    d
    #46
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  7. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Awesome, Riversong! What about your PanAm? Any bike pron to share there?!?
    #47
  8. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    excuse me :dirtdogwe're still waiting for you to out the. best. Mexican. Restaurant. in Sarasota. :deal
    #48
  9. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Hey Doc! How are you and Francine doing?! The Can-Am? There is one version of the AHT's--but the aerodynamics are already soooo bad on this snowmobile with wheels, it wouldn't barely roll up the big hills in Florida! I have to take full celebrity endorsement advantage of you stopping by (don't I feel like a 20$ hooker), to share one of my favorite adventure shots, by David, of Francine riding head-on into a storm from 2010. It was my desktop background for the longest time. From Mobius 6, I believe somewhere in the Yukon, no? This photo made me want to buy really expensive camera equipment so I could be better at snaps.

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    #49
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  10. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Oh, shite, sorry PMR. Spoiler alert, they close early on some nights.
    #50
  11. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    Taco Bell is open late, no?
    #51
  12. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Five - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    My 40-some mile trek down the beaches of Sarasota looking for parking the day before had dampened my bathing spirits. Time to pivot again. PLUS, the best Mexican restaurant had closed early the night before, forcing the consumption of steak with plastic-ware on the beach to my chagrin. How to save the day?

    Oh, and adding insult to injury, was my new found passion for collecting cutlery, in the form of pocket knives (strange the hobbies we've taken up during the pandemic, no?) had resulted in further frustration. I had left my epic We (brand) Sea Monster sitting on the dining room table at home in Atlanta. Google it, it's epic.

    Speaking of Google, the search for botanical gardens (fahk me, I was in the mood to photograph flowers) had potentially saved the day. Did you know (yeah, yeah, PMR--I know you already knew) that the Ringling is in Sarasota? As in Ringling bros. As in acres of museums, botanicals, and a epically gaudy version of the Biltmore now all under the care of Florida State University. Well, let's purchase an all-let-me-in pass for today! But they don't open for a spell. Let's solve the next problem.

    Let's go buy a knife from this guy!

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    At this place!

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    Yup, I went to the Gun Shoppe, to buy a knife fight... wait, no.

    They do custom engraving, and I was wasting way too much of Brian's time, and didn't want to have to eat Ramen for the rest of the trip (remember, still need to get to the best Mexican food restaurant in (near) Sarasota. THEN, he showed me a used knife. Used. Hmmmm, never bought a used knife before. What he shared was a Brous Blades XR-1, #375 of 500. A little old lady had owned it, and only taken it out at gun fights at church on Sundays. It was still the factory edge, still sparkly sharp.

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    Look! The day is turning around already!

    Day Five cont'd below
    #52
  13. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Five cont'd

    The Ringling had a note to please buy tickets online ahead of time. Okay, easy enough.

    What they didn't tell you was complying with their innocuous request would result you in getting to avoid a line that filled the lobby and poured outside into the Florida sun! Just walk right by all these folks who don't know how to read a web page, and walk up to a counter say, I have an online ticket and I want to take lots of peechurs!

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    That little exercise in interwebs compliance results in Joan saying "Would you like to photograph the Asolo theatre as well?

    Meet Joan

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    I didn't hear Joan's story, but she did tell me the story of the Asolo.

    "Given John Ringling’s passion for the theatrical movement, color, and emotion of Baroque art, it is apt that the Museum’s first director, A. Everett Austin, Jr., dramatically expanded the showman’s collection by acquiring an 18th-century Italian theater."

    He acquired a WHOLE FRAKKIN Italian theatre (notice I'm using the fancy schmancy spelling). The Asolo was built in 1798 in the great hall of Caterina Cornaro's palace--a 15th century Queen of Cyprus who was exiled to Asolo, Italy.

    The Ringling purchased the theatre for $8,000 in 1949 because it had been dismantled to to make way for a film theater in 1931.

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    The rest of the property consists of the mansion, Ca' D' Zan, two circus museums, the Museum of Art, multiple botanical gardens, and Mable Ringling's Rose Garden. I took hundreds of photos, I'll endeavor to be sparse and selective.

    Day Five cont'd
    #53
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  14. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Five cont'd - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    I learned a trick years ago with amusement parks. Don't get distracted by the first big ride you see. Get there when they open, and race to the back of the park--avoiding all the crowds that get distracted by the shiny baubles. Then you will be ahead of the crowd for at least the first couple hours.

    So, I headed back to one of the gardens Joan told me I must see!

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    Passed by the two circus museums, and I was near the mansion. That will wait for a little while.

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    And nobody kicking sand in my face on the beach!
    #54
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  15. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Five cont'd - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    Ca' d'Zan (or House of John) was inspired by Venice's Ducal Palace, Ca' d'Oro. John and Mable Ringling had traveled Europe for nearly 25 years, acquiring circus acts and art. As one of America's wealthiest couples, the Ringlings, started building Ca' d'Zan in 1924 and completed it shortly before Christmas, 1926, for the then princely sum of $1.5 million. Sadly, their happiness in their Sarasota bay front home was short lived as Mable passed only three years after its completion from Addison's disease and complications from diabetes.

    The house is 36,000 square feet, is five stories tall, and has a full basement. The original 16th century Spanish tile roof was imported by the builder, Owen Burns. Dwight James Baum was the famous NY architect who designed it.

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    The house was built of terra cotta 'T' blocks, concrete and brick. and is covered with stucco and terra cotta and embellished with glazed tile.

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    #55
  16. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Five cont'd - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    Mable's Rose Garden may at times be epic. Interestingly, there was only one Rose in bloom.

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    I give you... "The Bloom"

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    It was getting quite hot, so I continued on to the Art Museum. I was not expecting what I saw.

    This was only one part of one wing of the museum, and there were two equally epic wings on this bird. This shot from one side through the courtyard in the middle.

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    While not the Louvre, it rivaled many of the smaller cities' museums I've seen over the years.

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    Hope you didn't want to see complete paintings... they were too big to fit.

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    This woman had a stone cold stare.

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    Tom Brady was there, just hangin' out.

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    Next up, let's go to the circus!
    #56
  17. ZigzagguzzI

    ZigzagguzzI Long timer Supporter

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    Really enjoying this…thanks.
    #57
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  18. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Thanks, ZigZag! Glad ya'll have joined with me.
    #58
  19. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Yup, still Day Five - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    It takes two buildings to house the museum at the Ringling dedicated to the Circus. The idea of the museum did not belong to John Ringling, it was the brainchild of A. Everett “Chick” Austin Jr.’s, the Ringlings’ first Director and a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

    These ladies were turning out for their day at the Ringling!! You go girls!!

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    Established in 1948, the Ringling Museum of the American Circus was the first to document the rich history of this form of entertainment. And because in 1927 John Ringling had made Sarasota the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, many of the performers moved to the immediate area. As a result of their contributions, the Museum’s collection of wardrobes and circus memorabilia rapidly grew.

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    One of the amazing finds for me was a display with Lou Jacobs clown car. I remember Lou as a kid. Christened Johann Ludwig Jacob, professionally known as Lou Jacobs--Lou was a German-born American auguste clown who performed for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for more than 60 years.

    Lou's clown car act is featured in the 1952 Cecil B. DeMille movie, The Greatest Show on Earth.

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    What a day! I took hundreds of pictures, and I still had the best Mexican food in Sarasota to look forward to!
    #59
  20. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    Day Five cont'd - Looking for my Keys in Florida

    Okay, I've been teasing the taquito long enough with PMR. Welcome to the best Mexican food in Sarasota!

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    It would HAVE to be housed in a gas station to even be in the running for the title. This little gem is ensconced in the Texaco Station on S. Tamiami Trail! Ding ding ding! Winner winner, Mexican dinner!

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    (credit Patrick Snow, 2019)

    for PMR, in case he's directionally challenged >>
    https://goo.gl/maps/pt6KEDmh88bQfjFE7

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    Sorry, no pics of the food--it didn't last long enough to photograph.

    Not much else to share for Day Five, except I barely beat the rain back to the Best Western--good thing I was only 2 blocks away.

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    This feller didn't mind...

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    End of Day Five
    #60
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