Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pet Friendly Beaches

I have had some requests to post pet friendly beaches for your review.  I personally do not have any pets, but I found a good website that breaks the beaches down by region so it is easy for you to look through.  I am attaching the link so that you can check it out for yourself and have fun in the sun with your best friend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - Sanford, FL

The family is finally on board with helping knock things off the bucket list and adding them to the home page, so we decided to start with the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford.  The price is extremely reasonable $12/adults and $8/kids and we figured it was something that we would only need a couple of hours to do instead of the entire day.  It only took us about 45 minutes to get there and getting to the zoo from I-4 was extremely easy.  The first thing I noticed was that you do not have to pay for parking, which is definitely a plus.  Now let me start off by saying that this is not the normal very large, highly crowded zoo but more of a laid back smaller zoo.

Upon entering we noticed that for an additional fee that the zoo offers ziplining for both adults and kids.  The kids course was extremely cute as it is only like 4 feet of the ground, but allows them to have the fun without being scared of being to high.  There was also a train that you could ride for an additional expense $3/adults, $2/childrn, but we decided against both this time around.  Included in your admission to the zoo they do have a splash playground area that allows you and your kids to cool off if you are there when it is extremely hot out.  Just remember to bring their suits because it looked like a lot of fun running through the streams of water shooting out of the ground.

We saw many animals while at the zoo, but our favorite area by far was the petting zoo where we were able to feed the goats and Zebu's and pet the llama.  I think the kids would have stayed all day just in this one area. 

If you are looking to do something that is both affordable and enjoyable for your kids, I would suggest taking the drive and checking out this small friendly zoo.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Monster Jam - Citrus Bowl - Orlando, FL

This year a group of people I work with all got together and we to the Monster Jam at the Citrus Bowl.  We had an absolute blast.  I am not one that is really into Monster trucks so I wasn't sure how much fun it was going to be, but I will now go everytime they are in town and Cody absolutely loved it.  Before it was even over he was asking if we could come again.  Twice each year the Monster Jam comes to the Orlando area as well as Tampa.  If you have the opportunity to go I suggest you do.  The tickets are extremely reasonable and the amount of fun that you will have is so worth the expense.  Below are some pics from that event.

ICE! - Gaylord Palms - Kissimmee, FL

I have heard about ICE! at the Gaylord Palms since moving to Florida the first time in 94 and have never gone.  Duane's sister mentioned that we received discounted tickets through work so I figured it was finally time to go.  For those of you that do not know, ICE is an indoor ice wonderland that is at the Gaylord Palms from November to January.  There is over 2 million pounds of ice and is a chilly 9 degrees below 0.  No winter coat, no worries they will provide a large parka for you to use while you walk through the attraction.  Below are some pics that I took while we were there.  If you have never been I would suggest going at least once because it is extremely beautiful inside.

Osceola County Fair and Rodeo - Kissimmee, FL

For Duane's birthday this year we decided to go to the Osceola County Fair and Rodeo held at the Heritage Park in Kissimmee, FL. The kids and I had never been to either the fair or the Rodeo before so it sounded like a good plan.  We waited until the last day of the event figuring that it would be a little quiter and his sister, her husband and daughter came with us. We arrived right when the fair opened at 12:00 and purchased the Rodeo tickets right away.  They were very reasonable, only $15/adults and $10/children.

The fair had a lot of things to do: pony rides, elephant rides, carnival rides, games and tons of different food vendors.  When we first arrived Harleigh wanted to ride the pony, I think it was only like $5 or $10 and she rode for a good 10 minutes, mostly because no one else was there. 

I tried to get the kids to ride the elephants but neither of them wanted to smell like elephant for the rest of the day so they passed.  After that we decided to eat, but while deciding what we wanted to eat, Cody saw this Hamster Wheel thing that he really wanted to try.  It was the most hilarious thing I think I have ever seen.  The boy actually did the Irish jig while walking around in this thing. He had people flocking to this attraction in droves just to laugh at him.

Since we were waiting for the Rodeo to begin at 2:00pm we walked around and the kids got to ride some rides and we played a few games.

Around 1:45 we started heading over to the arena and got settled in for the Rodeo.  I loved it!  I had never been to a Rodeo before but it was very exciting watching the different sections.  There was something for everyone and even the kids enjoyed themselves.  Apparently they have two Rodeo's a year, the one we went to in February and then another in June.  If you have never been to a Rodeo, I suggest that you go.  It was a good show and relatively inexpensive.  Even the drinks and popcorn was priced reasonable.  Below are some of the pics from that day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scenic Boat Tour - Winter Park, FL

Since I have started writing this blog I have assembled a list that is pretty large of things to do in Florida and one of them that went straight to the top of the list was the Scenic Boat tour in Winter Park.  The first thing about it that made it attractive was the price $12/adults, $5/kids and the second is because I didn't know much about the Winter Park area or the chain of lakes.  After going on their website I found out that they are open 7 days a week from 10am - 4pm, with all tours going out on the hour. This weekend we were going to go to a festival but the radar didn't look like it was going to be on our side for that so I figured a 1 hour tour was right up our alley.  It was really easy to find and even though we got there at 11am it was already pretty busy.  You can not make reservations though, they live by the first come first serve philosophy, but luckily for us they had 3 boats doing tours.  I wasn't sure what to except but it was very educational and even the kids said that they liked it.  We toured three of the chain of lakes, Lake Osceola, Lake Virginia and Lake Maitland that are all connected through small channels.  The tour guide was very informative and made the time fly by.  I would definitely suggest this to anyone that would like a relaxing day.

A few things I learned -
1st.  There is a public beach and park that is on Lake Osceola name Dinky Park, Dinky Beach and a public boat access.  Small little beach area to go swimming at as the Lakes are spring fed.
2nd.  That Rollins college has one of the highest percentage of undergradutes move on to graduate school than the majority of the larger colleges.  There is ten students to every teacher.
3rd.  That Mister Rogers actually lived at one of the houses on Lake Osceola and the front porch was the one used in his show. (pic below)
4th.  That there is an island (pic below) that you can go and party on Friday and Saturday nights and the city comes on Sunday and cleans everything up for the following weekend.
5th.  The lone cypress tree (pic below) gets decorated by the residents every year for Christmas starting in November
6th.  The largest house on the Lakes is 24,000 square feet and was built by Horace Grant.  He lived there for a year before being traded off and sold the house and everything in it except his clothes to the new owners.