Thursday, June 30, 2011

it really is the Greatest Show On Earth!

let's just pretend that i blogged these photos on May 16---the day after we went to one of the best live shows i've ever seen. and let's just pretend that i'm not embarrassed that it's taken me 6 weeks to blog about it. because, really, i'm not. okay, maybe a little bit. allllllllright, who am i kidding? you know me better than that. a lot bit. *sigh*

when Grams offered to take us to the show it took me all of 2 seconds to say, um "YES, please!" i know i had been to the circus as a child because my daddy told me so. but we've already talked about how much i can remember from my childhood. refresher: um, not much at all.

so, anywho. back on May 15 (why does that seem like years ago already?) we went to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus show called Barnum's Funundrum.

and 6 weeks later, i'm still giddy thinking about the experience. what can i say performing arts fascinate me.

closest thing to the circus i've experienced as an adult was when my lover boy took me to see Corteo (a Cirque de Soleil performance) where no cameras were allowed. boo. guess what? i don't remember much about that show either......except that it was pretty amazing. but different than the Ringling Bros. Circus.

what made this experience so delightful? in my opinion, three things: 1. the company we were with---everything is always 10 times more fun when grandparents are involved. 2. getting to get up close and personal during the all access, 1 hour pre-show. 3. arriving early for said show and being on the floor before the crowd.

there was so many exciting things going on it was hard to choose where to go and what to see. i wanted to see it all!

there were clowns performing, acrobats on a trapeze, the dancers teaching dance moves, the elephant painting a picture, a costume area where you could try on many of the costumes seen in the show, interaction with the ringmaster, and FREE clown noses. um, yes, please. :)

ashlyn and i quickly got separated from everyone else, and i could tell ashlyn was starting to get a little overwhelmed with all the bright lights and crowds of people, so we made it our focus to try to get as many autographs as possible in the souvenir book papa bought for her.

i helps her to have something to focus on instead of feeling lost and out of place and looking for an escape.

so, that we did. i think she ended up with over 20 signatures. she was quite shy about asking at first as you can tell by her turned in feet and nervously picking at her fingers, but it wasn't long before she became a pro at it. this handsome fellow was from Brazil.

she thought he was awesome with a side of awesomesauce. he was more than double her height. that's all sorts of crazy!

i can't even tell you how awesome it was to meet and talk to so many of the performers. seeing them up close and personal, already in costume and full make-up was awesome. they were from all over the globe, many of them only speaking very small amounts of english but still very warm and friendly.

but none of them beat the clowns. i loooooove clowns. i know so many people think clowns are creepy, which i only learned a few years ago, but clowns to me = happiness. i mean, look at that smile. you think she feels the same?

Henry was special. i don't know what he said to her, but it took a long time for that smile to disappear.

and Oscar. he was just plain silly. i love when strangers can bring out the best smile she has.

then we planted ourselves in front of the elephant show to watch him paint something from the crowd. mind-boggling.

after that we rounded up a few more autographs and then found ourselves mesmerized by this clown act.

he had a million tricks up his sleeve and totally captivated his audience. and this was all just the PRE-show. i know, right?

we were all smiles after the pre-show. i felt like the luckiest girl in the world. and the show hadn't even begun yet.

we took our seats---which were awesome, just a few rows from the main floor---and watched in amazement for the next 2 hours.

i wish i could show you video of these gymnasts. imagine this.....gymnasts doing flips rocketing themselves three stories into the air and landing on flexible balance beams that are being supported by other gymnasts.........all in sync with another gymnast on another beam. mind boggling. guess you'll have to take my word for it.

i have about 250 photos, and just picked these to share. (aren't you glad!? LOL) this is the real excuse on why it took me 6 weeks to share. there are SO many, it was hard to narrow it down. and every attempt at putting them into a video format was a failed one. :(

the girls thought this elephant act was the coolest thing ever. i wish i had a better photo that wasn't so blown out. i tried to salvage it with a little editing. still not the greatest, but i keep telling myself it's better than not having one at all.

the act that made me say, "wow, how'd they do that?" was this one. it was a motorcycle high wire act. this guy rode his motorcycle on a high-wire that was going up an incline while his acrobatic partner did stunts on the stationary bar attached to his bike. at one point in the performance, right over our heads, they did an entire 360 degree rotation around the high wire----meaning she was above the wire and his bike was upside-down over our heads.

i thought that was all sorts of crazzzzzzzzzzzy.

until they did this. click the photo and open it larger. yes, that's him, doing a handstand (a perfect one) while the bike is moving on this high wire. WOW.

i had no idea elephants were so smart, and trainable.

not really anything special about this photo.....i just really liked how the Ringling Bros. signage looked in it, LOL.

and before we knew it, the Greatest Show on Earth was coming to an end and confetti was flying everywhere.

the girls had smiles plastered on their faces for days.

smiles that got even bigger when papa surprised them with snow cones in tiger cups for the car ride home.

cups that they've used to drink out of for nearly every meal since.

i'm SO glad that they are at an age where this was an experience they'll likely remember for the rest of their lives. we're so thankful to Grams and Papa for taking us.

(and i'm sure Grams is thrilled i've finally shared all these photos, LOL!)

good thing she's patient.


  1. I just love the circus and always have! Great photos!!!
    (Can you share the deets about your necklace?? It is lovely!).

  2. I've always loved the circus!
    Glad you had a great time!

  3. WOW your pictures are excellent!! I still have trouble in this kind of setting. So glad you all had fun. Did hubby go too?

  4. hi jill! (it's tania, even thought it says anonymous---dang blogger).

    anywho. my very talented friend in texas made the necklace. you can see more details and see it closer if you copy/paste this blog post:


    vicki...thank you.

    martha...i'm flattered you like them so well. i'm still learning. i had the camera set to AV mode, ISO at 800 (sometimes 1600 depending on the action), and the white balance set to automatic or tungent (depending on the stage lighting). no flash....except for the picture of the girls without snowcones.

    i was just using the kit lens that came with my camera. i was so happy that so many of them turned out and look just as i remember seeing them. :)

    now, if i could just figure out how to get good fireworks photos----i think i need a camera upgrade for that though. LOL.

    oh, and yes........hubby went, and my dad. they somehow avoided my camera the whole time. but that reminds me, i do have a few pictures floating around somewhere of emma on my dad's shoulders watching part of the pre-show. it melts me. i need to hunt it down now. :)

  5. Hi Tania! Thanks for answering! The necklace is even better because it was made for you by your BFF! I checked out her Etsy shop, but it was empty. Also, I was surfing around old blog posts of yours and saw that you were having problems with your back. How is it these days? I am really suffering because of the way I sleep and debating going to the chriopractor because I am afraid I will just undo in my sleep what they attempt to fix. (Curious?).


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