Category Archives: Photos

Family Vacation to Florida: Day 1 & 2

Over the past week, we’ve been vacationing in Florida having a grand time! Kalonji had to work so it was me, my sister, and the kids. We went to go visit my mother in the Tampa Bay area.

Day 1:  Tuesday, June 1

To drive from Nashville to my mother is a 12-hour drive, so pretty much the whole day was spent in the car. Lots of conversation, snacks and bathroom stops characterized our day.

We arrived at my mom’s home at about 10pm.  However, we did stop at the University of Florida where Kelli did her undergrad so she could have a nostalgic drive-through of the campus.  One of the things that was interesting was a wall of graffiti they have and allow the students to paint.

We arrived at my mom’s house at about 10pm.  So, after some catching up chit-chat, it was off to bed we go.

Day 2: June 3, 2010

Sleeping in of course — we didn’t head out for the day until around noon.  My stepfather Ron does not go to work until later in the day, so each morning during our vacation he took the kids to accompany him on his daily walk around a nearby lake.  Miles took the following picture on their first day out.

After freshening up, we went to Heritage Village, a nearby living history museum where they have multiple historic buildings and they demonstrate how life was lived back “in the day.”  There were 28 buildings on the site, but we arrived late so several were closed off and we saw about half of them.  What we did see was very interesting though. One of the buildings on campus was the Union Academy, a hand-me down school for black children. It was active around 1915 and the building used to be in Tarpon Springs, Florida and was one of the first “negro” schools in the county.

After Heritage Village we headed down to the St. Petersburg Pier, a local spot for viewing the water and a beautiful view of downtown St. Petersburg, Clearwater, & Tampa.  At the top of the pier the kids looked through the binoculars to look at the view.

Even Kaleya got in on the fun

On our way out, the kids fed dead fish to the outside pelicans.

When we were leaving the Pier, we passed an interesting looking tree, a Kapok tree, so we got out to let the kids climb it.

Then it was time to call it a day so we headed back to my mother’s house for the evening.  Now, the great thing about Florida is that the pools in her complex are open year-round, so at about 9pm we went swimming and of course the kids loved that!

My Skecher Shape-Ups

Now that my schooling is coming to an end, I am trying hard to motivate myself to lose weight.  Step 1 in that process is to begin regular exercise and I plan to start with walking.  To that end, I splurged today and got me my very own pair of Skecher Shape-Ups!

These shoes are quite nice! Within 5 minutes of walking in them I could already feel them working.  I am hopeful that these will work out well and really add to my walking.  (and yeah, I bought the mens style – I have big feet and they didn’t have my size in womens. :-))

A Visit to the Park

Today, the kids and I took an excursion over to Percy Warner Park to just explore it and had a great afternoon.

We started by having lunch at a small play park near our house and stayed there for about 45 minutes.

Then I thought we should go explore Percy Warner Park. Even though I’ve been living in this neighborhood for over two years, I’d still never been over to it.  So off we went and it was gorgeous!

There is a driving trail that goes up the mountain side that we drove up and when we reached what looked to be near the top, we stopped and parked.

We noticed there was a trail that led down the side of the hill and the kids wanted to see where it went.

You see that the trail goes downhill right?? When we reached the first steep decline, I was going to turn around, but Kaleya wasn’t having it. How shameful is it that a 5-year-old is my motivation to continue :-) Along the trail, there were several people walking and some passed us who had walking sticks. Of course Kaleya wanted to know what they were and why they had them. When I explained, she decided she needed her own set of walking sticks.

We were walking the trials for a couple of hours and it was fun! The hike back *up* the mountainside was not as fun, but it was good exercise. The kids weren’t fazed though – they seem to have boundless energy!

In looking at the park map this evening, I think we were on the Mossy Ridge Trail, described as a 4 1/2 mile trail that “winds up and down wooded hills and hollows & crosses several springs and open meadows.”  Up and Down is right!  We didn’t do all 4 miles though; I’m guessing we walked on the trail about a mile before turning around to come back.  I’m going to sleep well tonight.  We are planning to go back next weekend and explore a different part.

Feb 12: Cheesecake Factory

Oh my, Kalonji and I went out on a Valentine’s Day dinner Friday night with friends.  We began the night by going to Cheesecake Factory.  However, the line was so long we decided to go see the movie first (Wolfman), then come back to CF for dinner.

The movie was so much better than I expected.  I love Benecio Del Toro & Anthony Hopkins both, so that made it enjoyable too.

Then, after the movie, we enjoyed our CF dinner.  I had the Spicy Chicken Cashew dish and had to bring more than half of it home.

Project 365 Begins!

My sister was telling me that she started taking pictures at the beginning of the new year for Project 365. I thought it sounded like a good idea, so I’m going to try it – let’s see how many pictures I end up taking!  Thanks to my handy dandy Droid phone w/ a 5.0 mexapixel camera  I don’t expect I’ll have a problem taking any.

Here is my first picture for January 6:

We were at Walmart tonight to buy groceries. They were predicting a snowstorm and Jihad was really hoping for a snow day!

Christmas Party 2009

Today,  I took the kids to our daycare provider’s Christmas party and we had a lot of fun!  Kaleya & Jihad seemed to really enjoy themselves, even though Kaleya was afraid of Santa!

Here is Kaleya w/ her bestie and you can link from here to the rest of the photos by clicking on the link at the bottom that says “December 2009″

From December 2009

and a video from today

Family Vacation Day 2

In the last post, I talked about the beginning of our family vacation where we went to Evansville, Indiana to pick up my oldest two stepsons.  Day 2 was spent on the road.

Our vacation destination was Talladega, Alabama, home of my father-in-law and his family.  My youngest stepson lives in Atlanta, so we had to pick him up.  So, on Sunday Jul 31, we drove through 5 states in one day! 

One of the highlights along the way was Jihad’s consumption of dried venison.  He’d been asking for beef jerky all week, so Kalonji bought him some smoked venison and smoked elk to see if he would eat it.

And, eat it he did!

it was a sight to see. :-)

The drive through Tennessee was of course beautiful as always when we approached the Chattanooga area. I always enjoy seeing the mountainside.

We arrived in Talladega around 10pm that night and I was very glad to hit the pillows. Road trips are tiring.