The last time we went to the Circus, Ali had just turned four, and Noah was a very impressive five weeks old.

For the last two years, Noah has been bitter about the fact that the only time we ever allowed him to experience such, his eyesight wasn’t developed enough to see the row in front of us, let alone the elephant’s tramp stamp(s).


So we felt that it was time to go back.

This year, we were able to go in early, seeing the arena in an eerie, quiet, calm-before-the-story kind of way.


It was pretty thrilling.

They also had a Ringmaster wardrobe available.  Ali had not had her customary thirty minutes of warm-up time to de-shy herself, so she wouldn’t try any on, despite the fact that they were colors that had previously only existed in her dreams.

Her Father, however, was not so shy.  He enjoyed playing the part of Evil Emperor.


I decided to join in the fun, hoping that possibly it would tempt Ali to get over herself.  I begged.  I pleaded.  I bribed.


But she’s a hard sell.  This was as close as she’d get to the beautiful furry fabulousness that she could have experienced.


(For the record, I distinctly remember being just like her as a kid.  So chances are, one day she will find that the safest way express herself will be at the safety of  the keyboard.)

Chris and I got to meet our favorite hometown celebrity, The Best Meteorologist in The World, James Spann.


After that, nothing else could be as exciting for Chris.

…except for maybe walking on the tightrope.  With help.


Ali relaxed quite a bit when we found our seats, where we could watch the clowns from afar and buy Cotton Candy that came with it’s own hat.

Noah, however, had issues with both the hat,

Noah Hat

and the cotton candy.

Noah Cotton Candy

But once the show started, he was hypnotized,


(After all, Traffic Cone Stilt-Walkers look a lot like they belong in the Cozy Cone Motels from his favorite movie,)


And Ali had her last moment of silence for the entire show.


After that, she made herself hoarse pointing and screaming “LOOOOOOK!” in my Mom’s ear at least once every other second.


She was especially amazed at the guy and girl walking upside down.



But she had her first ever Circus-Anxiety-Attack on behalf of the girl on the chair on the pole between two bicyclers on the tightrope.


The whole arena was silent out of respect for her concentration.

Except for Ali.  Who involuntarily screamed in terror.  Quite loudly.

I’m pretty sure one of the bicyclists jerked just a bit before I clamped down on her mouth.

Noah did well for the first half, but due to a short and early nap, he was exhausted, and kept trying to lay down across all of us.  Luckily for him, we had come in two vehicles, prepared for that contingency.

Ali, however, was at the perfect age to stay up late, stay focused, and love every moment of screaming “LOOOOOK!” at every. single. act.


The trampolinists convinced her that she wanted to take up Gymnastics again,


And the dog act made her desire a dozen alternately-colored canines.



I, too, was taken in by the dreams of the Circus.

The elephants dancing to Gangnam Style made me once again wish that we had a real football mascot for Alabama halftime shows,


And my favorite act totally reminded me of my intense need build a giant duel hamster ring in my backyard.



In summary, Noah’s Circus Bitterness no longer has justifiable cause, Ali’s career goals are now more focused, I will become a lobbyist for a University of Alabama Elephant, and Chris got to meet James Spann.

What more could you want?

Disclosure: We were given Circus Tickets, but were planning on attending anyway.  I was not asked to blog about it – we just enjoyed ourselves.  Also, I gave away two four-packs of tickets for others on my Facebook Page – follow me there for completely random thoughts and so that you don’t miss out on future opportunities for fun free stuff.

20 thoughts on “Circus Dreams and Ambitions.

  1. Wow that looks amazing!!! And as two years ago I STILL haven’t been to the circus! We have got to go the next time they come! For some reason I always think of dirty, grimy, peanut shell covered floors and animls who are treated cruelly when I think of the circus. One too many movies! Haha :) how cool that you got a backstage look at everything!

  2. We were planning on taking our kids this year, also. I went as a kid and wanted them to have the chance to experience it. While searching for possible coupon codes online I came across some very disturbing information. Apparently circus animal cruelty doesn’t only happen in the movies. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has actually been found to treat their animals, especially the elephants, very unfairly. I was heartbroken when I stumbled across this. I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer,” I just feel like I should share this information. Check out If anyone has proof that these allegations are false, please share it with me because I definitely don’t want to spread false information. Please try to understand why I felt like I had to share this.

    1. From my experience / reading, I do not believe those claims to be true, but am certainly no expert. No matter how well they treated their animals, I’m pretty sure there would be people accusing mistreatment, because certain groups just don’t approve of animals being used in entertainment.

      I’m personally more worried about what being used in entertainment has done to Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, and what fear it will do to Honey Boo Boo. :-)

      1. Thanks for understanding that I wasn’t attacking you or your choice of activities. I completely agree with the fact that there are people who don’t like animals being used for entertainment no matter what the conditions and one can almost always make the “facts” prove whatever they want. I’ll just have to do a little more research to determine what I believe to be true.

        I, too, worry about those like Lindsay and Britany. As for Honey Boo Boo – can it get much worse?

  3. I’m afraid to say that circuses are extremely bad to their animals. I am surprised it is not more well known in the US as they are banned in the UK and most of Europe. The only circuses people should be going to are human only ones. Elephants are the worst to suffer I am afraid and are beaten with big hooks, if they put one foot wrong (this is proven) The ringling bros have had a lot of fines because of this. Rachael please do not support this by giving away these tickets. Animal circuses shouldnt be something that is applauded I’m afraid, as much fun and excitement you would have felt when you were there, those elephants were once calves who received very cruel practices on them at just months old when they were ripped from their mother too young and taught how to perform tricks with the use of ropes and hooks. I cannot begin to explain the terror those little elephants must go through (and go through for the rest of their lives) , it makes my heart cry at the thought. Elephants are extremely intelligent animals and form very tight knit bonds with their family groups and should not be ket in cages and be hauled around the US it is extremely unfair. I hope one day that these will be banned altogether.

    I am sorry for the downer, but I would want to know the truth if it was me. I have love reading your blog, so please dont be offended

    Jen xxx

    1. There are two sides to every story, and I recommend exploring this website and especially this page:

      This isn’t really an issue I want to get in a debate about. I certainly hope that they do not mistreat their animals and sincerely believe that they do not (I’m sure many circuses used to,) but it is not something on which I can make a judgement call. I completely respect your opinion to not participate, however. I am no expert and can just relay our experience.

  4. Lol I had to go back & check out the elephant butt :-) looks like so much fun!

    On a personal note, we have been taking a battering here recently with large areas affected by bushfires and now other large regions by floods. Although not as devestating in loss of life at the fire and floods we have had in the last few years these are unfortunately in places that are only recently recovering and rebuilding. These poor people will have to start all over again for the second time in the last few years. If you can please remember them in your prayers.

  5. Oh my goodness! Noah’s reaction to the Cotton Candy made me laugh out loud (at work mind you.) You have the most adorable children!

  6. We went Saturday night and it was sold out. Something happened to the cannon though since they rolled it out, but never shot anyone out of it. Guess I’m bad luck since the last time we went the motorcycles in the ‘globe of death’ crashed and the riders were injured. My son LOVED the cotton candy though.

    1. Strange…and — they crashed??? That would be awful to see.

      I keep thinking that I’m going to be at the Circus when the Tigers finally decide to attack…

  7. Totally jealous that you met James Spann! :-) I won a four pack but we couldn’t go so the awesome Circus people let me pass them off to my best friend, Amanda. Her family LOVED it.

  8. i’ve never been to the circus, but after seeing Madagascar 3, i think my kids and i would really enjoy it. or be disappointed it wasn’t like that movie. polka dot polka dot polka dot afro!

  9. The hamster wheel!!!! It’s decided, I am going to stalk the circus and steal one. I have ALWAYS wondered why in the world they don’t make those as the last part of a swing set. Looks like you guys had a great time, I think we will wait another year before attempting the circus :)

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