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...