Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tiny short geocache trip

I printed out a few cache's the other day and Jake and I went looking for them at a park. Wouldn't you know that I forgot to print out the information for one of them, yet that was the only one we found! LOL. I think our geosense is better than a google printed map or even a gps! It was really cool. There was this big tree that just looked like the perfect place for a cache. As we were circling it Jake cries out "I see it!". Inside the hollow at the base of the tree someone had screwed in an outdoor electric socket - the ones with the door covers. Opening it up there was the log book inside. Cool!
After that we went along with our printed maps and hints but the mosquitoes were terrible! We decided some cache's weren't worth getting all bit up. But at least we found one - and a fun one at that!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Slowing Down

Alas, our adventures are slowing down a bit. School started this week and it will take us a while to get into the swing of our new schedule. However, after we've got that down I'm hoping to incorporate more adventures into the mix! :)
What will the next one be...????

Friday, August 21, 2009

FL Botanical Gardens & Heritage Village

Our park adventure this week was over in Largo at the Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Villlage. We chose this one because we were looking for something that was just a nice walk, not really a hike. And it had this cool historical village on site.

We did get lost on the way. I have no idea how! I was following the directions. Next thing I knew we were totally lost. We had to call Ted and ask him to get us back on track LOL.

We decided to start on the garden side, work our way through the art complex and do the village last. Jake said he wanted to save that for last because it sounded more interesting and fun. Best for last! It was a hot day too. When we went to the car to drive over to the village (because BOTH paths were closed - we walked an extra couple of miles to find that out!) it read 107!!

The bees were busy today....

Jake enjoying a rest in the shade.

This guy swam up right as we were passing by.

This one kept posing for us as he dried out his feathers.

Jake chatting on an old phone in the village.
We got to go into the house in the village, and the little church, and general store. It was fun. I was excited to see the wooden dough bowls in the houses and really, really, really hoped to find one in the gift shop. But they didn't have any.
It was a fun day, even if it was over 100 out. We came back and went for a swim to cool down :) .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lake Park

Took a trip to a park called Lake Park in Tampa. It was a HOT day today. On the brochure it mentioned an archery area, so we took our bows just in case there really was a good spot. We just have simple basic bows, but they are alot of fun.

On the drive down to the archery area a deer ran out in front of us! I got a pick through the windshield and then it bounded off.

We got to the archery area and it was so cool. They had targets set up everywhere, and stands for hanging your bow. There were stone circles with numbers on them so you could choose how far away to stand. And there were paths throughout the woods that led to different types of targets. We had a ton of fun!

After that we drove over to the other part of the park that had the fitness trail. No trees or shade on the gravel trail. There was some scrubby stuff along the sides, but nothing to shade the actual trail. After the first exercise area I suggested we just leave and go swim. That was a winning idea!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eureka! ... Springs

Finally, Eureka Springs was back open. This is a little park we found one day and when we got there they were closed for renovations. But today they were back open so we took a trip up there. We also saw the peacock wandering around the streets that we saw last time we drove out that way. And on the way out, we saw the females (pea fowl??) - about 4 of them pecking the ground in someones front yard.

Here's a few pics from Eureka. It is a small park. A few paths - paved and mulch, and a boardwalk. It didn't take us long to go through it, but it was pretty. We were going to stay and eat lunch, but the benches were wet. And with wet areas come mosquitoes. They did have an indoor picnic area, but we couldn't get the fans to turn on and it was a little stifling in there today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back from the Beach!

We had a wonderful time at the beach. Did we have any adventures? Hmmm, not so much. You know what we did all week? The same thing we do every vacation - and love it! Here's our daily schedule on vacation:

Eat Breakfast

Go to the beach and float in the water for a few hours

Eat lunch (leftovers from dinner the night before)

Go back to the beach and float in the water for a few hours; head up to the pool for a while afterwards. OR - Hang out just at the pool after lunch.

Clean up and go out to dinner somewhere yummy and fun.

Go back to the beach and float in the water for an hour or so.

Play a few games of train dominoes

Watch a movie and eat some ice cream.

The only thing that changes is where we go to dinner each night LOL. That's how we tell the days apart. For me, that is the perfect relaxing vacation.

One fun thing this year is all of the manatees we saw over on the bay side at Jensen's dock. We saw at least 8, maybe more. But we could verify 8 at one time. 2 sets were mama and baby! I've never seen a baby manatee out in the wild, and here I got to see 2!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tubing MisAdventure

Well our tubing adventure on Saturday was a bit of a disappointment. We drove to Rainbow River State Park to take a 2 hour trip down the river. It was raining when we got there, but we were going to go anyway after making such a long drive. It was 45 minutes just to wait to get ON the river. Oh, and surprise... we don't tell you this on our website but if you bring your own tubes you will shell out EIGHT DOLLARS PER PERSON to ride the tram 2.5 miles to get dropped on the river.
I was so upset. This was supposed to be an inexpensive adventure for us. Just a few bucks to fill the tubes with air. Now we're up to over $30 in tram fees, park entrance fees, and air fill fees.

To top that off the river was not as nice as Ichetucknee. There is housing all along the opposite bank, motorboats and pontoons and fishing boats with motors are allowed. It was not at all the peaceful trip I expected.

We made it down the river in about 1.5 hours and of course we were sunburned because the sun decided to come out LOL. I didn't bother lotioning because I thought we'd be going down in the rain so didn't even bring it with. It was a nice day though after that. We did get to see a mama duck with her babies. But no otters. I really wanted to see the otters.

So we will NOT go to Rainbow River again. We will drive to Ichetucknee next time. A fee to get in the park, but no hidden tram riding fees. It is worth the drive.

I do have a few pictures, but they were taken with the water camera so I'll have to wait until I get that developed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Urban Adventure

Today we did things a little bit different - and it was fun! We had an urban adventure. I chose a city - Tampa - and we had to take pictures of ourselves at different places throughout the city. Some I wasn't sure if we could get to today, but overall if we hit most of the stops we would get Jake an ice cream cone afterwards.
So here was the list of places we needed to go to:
Ybor Museum State Park
Centro Ybor
Centennial Park
American Victory Museum Ship
The Florida Aquarium
Channelside - needed to get pics in front of 3 restaurants
Cruise Ship in background
St. Pete Times Forum
Harbour Island
John F. Germany Public Library
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Tampa Museum of Arts

We bought a streetcar pass for the day and rode the streetcar all over downtown. That was fun! The idea was to then ride the trolley down the part of town that the streetcar doesn't go to. Well I read the trolley hours wrong. It was from 6AM - 9AM, not 9PM. Ooops!! We did alot of walking instead LOL.

So, what did we accomplish? Well we only missed Harbour Island (because of the trolley not running at that time) and we couldn't find the Tampa Museum of Arts. That was frustrating. Apparently they are building a new building. The spot on the map where they were supposed to be was a torn down building. There were 2 signs pointing to the Art Museum, yet the Art Museum never materialized. Oh well, we DID stop at 3 other places that weren't on the list so I figure we're covered.

Here are the places to which we went!

Tampa Port Authority The Florida Aquarium
American Victory Museum Ship

Channelside - 3 Restaurants

Centennial Park
Centro Ybor

Ybor Museum State Park
John F. Germany Public Library Cruise Ship in Background
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Tampa Convention Center

USF Park

St. Pete Times Forum
Ok. here is the streetcar map of the area. The red line represents the streetcar system and the blue and green lines represent the trolley system. We hopped on the redline at stop 8 after seeing the Port Authority, Aquarium, the Victory ship, the Cruise ship and 3 restaurants at Channelside. We rode it to stop 2 (centro ybor). We walked to Centennial park and had lunch. I packed two sandwiches and 4 waters for our trip and carried it in my backpack. Stopped at the Ybor Museum. We ran to stop 1 when we saw the trolley there and rode it to stop 9. Took pics at the St. Pete Times Forum and then walked to stop 10. That is where we realized my trolly mistake. The orange arrows indicate where we started walking and found the Convention Center, USF park, Library, then the end is the Performing Arts center. But that isn't the end...because we had to walk back to the start arrow to get back on the streetcar at stop 10. We rode that to stop 6, hopped in the car and headed home!

It was a fun and different sort of adventure for us today and it was cool to see all of the downtown places that we don't normally see. And yes Jake got his ice cream!

Beach Bums

I just figured since this is our blog of outdoor stuff that we do, I should at least log our beach days! So far we've done pretty well this year, more than last year. I think we've consistently hit the beach every other week.
Last week when we went it was raining here, but at the beach there was a little dome of sunshine holding back the storm for us :) . The waves were fun though since a storm was coming and they were big and plentiful. Lots of fun!
Each time we have been to the beach it has been gorgeous out and the water perfect! I'm very picky about the water, it must be warm or I just don't get in. Well this year it has been warm every time and we spend about 95% of our time in the water, just getting out to eat lunch.
In less than two weeks were off to the beach for a week! Yay!

Two more caches

Jake & I took the dog on a walk last night and found two more caches. We were going for three, but we just couldn't find the third one. I had printed out the satellite view map, but no luck on that one. Oh well, maybe we'll go back with Ted with the gps and have a better chance!
So one was hidden in a pretend sprinkler head, that was a fun one! The other one was easily hidden, but the normal passer by just would not notice it. I like those. We've probably walked by it hundreds of times and never seen it.
All in all we had a nice walk, about 3 to 4 miles. I wish I'd brought the camera, but that's what I always end up saying!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lettuce Lake

Today we strolled around the boardwalk at Lettuce Lake Park. I was looking for a nice little walk, but not a hike and this park was perfect. We saw a good amount of wildlife, including one cute little smiley gator laying on a log.
Isn't he(she?) cute!

Then we saw a larger version out in the main area of the lake from up on top of the viewing tower.

Here's "Patch" - poor little guy got hurt by something and has a patch of fur missing.
We also came across two male lizards having a turf war.

This guy won...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jake's Twisty Zip

This was our last zip of the day. Our guide Ashley had Jake twist his harness line around and around so that he would spin on the way down. He had so much fun!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yesterday we had a great time ZipLining. The place we went to had 7 zips so that was fun. After we went up the tower we had 3 zips - 2 across to other platforms and one down to a ramp. Then we walked up another tower and did the last 4 zips, those had some little sky bridge connections which were fun to bounce on as we crossed :) . The weather was pretty nice. Very breezy up on the platforms, lots of cloud cover and a bit of rain. It felt really good zipping in the rain. We were so fortunate that there wasn't any thunder and lightning so we could continue.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ride the ZipLine!

Here's a video I took of my last zip as I rode, so you can feel like you are ziplining too! :)

Ziplining Today!

Ok, I'm worn out!! So I'm just going to post some video and some pics, and will fill in the details later.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hitting the parks circuit for summer

Our plan is to go to a different park each week this summer. We'll see some new ones and visit some favorites :) .

The first week of June we tried to go to a botanical park called Eureka Springs, but they were closed for repairs! They didn't have anything about it on their site so that was annoying to make a drive out for nothing. We ended up at a park called Veteran's Memorial park that we saw on the way. It wasn't really a hiking park, but we had lunch at the picnic tables and walked around looking at the old war vehicles, missles, helicopters, and memorial sites.

The second week we went to a hiking trail called Alafia Scrub. We went right passed it because the entrance just blends into the rest of the woods on the side of the road. We had to park right out on the side of the road because there is no parking (??). I called the parks service to confirm and yep, just park on the grass after driving over the sidewalk (check for people walking first). :) It was a nice little hike. We had lunch overlooking the river on a little lookout spot.

Last week we didn't make it to a park. We just got lazy. Although we did get to the beach (LOVE the beach). So this week we have to hit two parks to average out 1 per week for the summer.

Today we went to Homosassa Springs park. That was really fun. I actually have some pics from there. We saw manatees, alligators, panthers & bobcats, tons of birds and a hippopotamus. That was a cute story because the park used to be privately owned, then the state took it over. When they did they decided to make it a Florida animals only park. They were going to get rid of the hippo, but all of the kids in the area petitioned to keep him, and the governer (Chiles at that time) made him an honorary Floridian, so they kept him. The best part was...the otters! I could watch them all day.

Barred Owl


Manatee eating a carrot

The Hippo

Then this Saturday to get to our second park we are going ziplining at a park. I'm so excited! I'll post about it later this weekend and hopefully have some pics.