Category Archives: Photos

Family Vacation to Florida: Day 3

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 3 of the vacation started off as leisurely as Day 2.   After sleeping in, the kids’ daily walk around the lake with my stepfather, my solo trip to a nearby cemetery for some genealogy work, and lunch, we went down to St. Petersburg to visit the Science Center of Pinellas.  I figured I couldn’t subject the kids to more “history” stuff so a Science Center seemed like a good idea.

The Science Center is an older establishment, having been founded in 1959, but they had some interesting things to see.  It was actually the first science education center in the United States. We began in their marine room where they had a tank with a few specimens of marine life.

One of the more interesting things in the tank was a horseshoe crab, I’m not sure I’d ever seen one before.

They also had owls.

They had a cabinet with skeletons in it, so of course we had to open it

One of the lovely treasures inside was a skeleton of the horseshoe crab!

and check out the Snowflake Moray Eel

Following the marine room we toured the rest of the inside of the center and saw alligators, a scorpion, a gecko, the wingspan of an albatross (did you know it was almost 15 feet?) and more. We even saw a tarantula and the shed exoskeleton of a tarantula.

Outside of the center they had a wetlands area, a Native American village replica (which had been recently burned down by vandals), and a sidewalk tile exhibit that represented the United States and the years each state entered the union. The boys particularly enjoyed the wetlands; they saw a snake, several lizards, a big spider and a big cricket. yucky.

Of course Kelli had to stand next to her Florida.

After the Science Center we tried to go back home, but Kelli got turned around and we ended up in Tampa. So, we went to the International Plaza so she could visit a particular store. At the mall we waited for her at the children’s play area – it was themed like a Looney Tunes baseball field.

One of the ladies next to me @ the play area started talking to me and she ended up forwarding me a text ad from Bath & Body Works to get $10 in free merchandise w/ a purchase of $10 dollars or more. That resulted in me spending $35 dollars there, but I got $40 worth of free stuff. Can’t beat that! The boys even got a new shower gel, the Oak scent from their mens collection.  That was a great social marketing ploy if I can say so myself.   I am a little disappointed that their Twitter account has not been updated since April 8th.

And finally, more swimming this night.  We’d picked up an inner tube for Kaleya, so she had a great time being a bit more adventurous in the water.

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.