Good Day Sunshine

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My sister stayed the night at a Marriott on a local beach this weekend, and was kind enough to invite us over to enjoy the pool. The weather here in west-central Florida is perfect right now, and it was so nice to swim, and warm ourselves in the sun. My mom went with us (that’s her with the girls in the waterfall photos), and she treated us to a Rita’s italian ice on the way home. Yum. I am looking forward to many more trips to the beach this spring and summer. We really do live in paradise.

A Picnic at the Springs

Today we traveled to visit my husband’s family, a little over an hour away from where we live. We packed a picnic lunch, so after our visit, we could visit Lithia Springs State Park, and let the girls swim in the natural springs. It was the perfect day for a swim, and the water was refreshing, as it stays at a constant 72 degrees year round. I am sure we will visit again once our Florida summer heatwave returns.

A Warm January Day

It is BEAUTIFUL today in Florida. The weather is sunny and warm with a high of 78 degrees. I knew when I woke up this morning, that today was not a day to be wasted. We decided to take the girls to visit the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. This animal sanctuary rescues animals, mainly primates, from laboratories, retired acting chimps, and failed attempts at keeping these animals as pets. For a small fee, you can tour the facility, and feed the many different species of primates. After our monkey viewing experience, we went to a favorite old roadside ice cream stand for a cold treat.

I know many of you are experiencing freezing temps right now, so I am sending you sunny greetings from Florida, with the hopes of warmer days ahead for you, too.

Outdoor Living

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We will FINALLY get our first cold front of the season this week, and I can not wait! I spent the morning tidying up the deck right off our house in preparation for the nicer weather and alfresco dining. After hiding out in the air conditioning for months, I am really looking forward to opening up the windows, and getting outside more for family time in the yard. Our deck really is magical at night.

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Downtown Tampa Fun

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I recently purchased an annual family membership for the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa. This museum is a favorite place for my little ones, and I am excited to have unlimited access to it for a while. Today we drove across the bridge and had lunch in downtown Tampa at the Taco Bus, (seriously delicious), then we spent the afternoon exploring the museum. It was the perfect activity for a hot July day here in Florida. I even remembered their swimsuits, so they could run through the fountains near the museum. If you ever find yourself in the Tampa Bay area, I highly recommend you take your little kiddos to this great hands-on museum.

Red, White, and Boom.

After a super rainy day, we were all excited when the clouds parted, leaving us with a cool summer evening to go see a baseball game. We decided it made sense to take the girls to the small stadium near our house to see their large pre-4th of July fireworks display, instead of fighting with the crowds tomorrow night. We ate hotdogs, popcorn, peanuts, and ice cream, and cheered for our home team, the Threshers. They won, in overtime. 

We are looking forward to a parade in the morning, and a bbq in the afternoon if the weather holds out. I hope you all enjoy a safe and very happy 4th of July!

Hello Summer.

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We kicked off the official start of summer the best way we know how, with a weekend at the beach! My mom surprised my sister and I by booking us a two night staycation at a small motel on Clearwater Beach. It was great for us all to be together with our families.

We played in tide pools, made bracelets out of seaweed, ate seafood & gelato, swam in the pool, shopped for jewelry made from shells, and danced to live music.

We learned that Maggie likes smoked fish spread, Amelia can swim the whole pool, even the deep end, without help, and uncles are the most fun in the pool because they will throw you high in the air. It reconfirmed for me just how nice it is to be together with your siblings and parents on a vacation.

Happy summer everyone!

Backyard Tourists

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We are so very lucky to live on the west coast of Florida. One of my favorite things to do is to act like a tourist in my own town. This morning, we took the girls to John’s Pass in Madeira Beach. It’s a fun boardwalk on the intracoastal waterway with restaurants, kitschy shell shops, ice cream parlors, and charter boat rides to see the dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. We had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and let the girls do a little shell shopping, they both chose starfish. It is officially hot here in the south, but the humidity is low, and that makes it more comfortable. 

I hope you all are enjoying the long weekend, and the unofficial start of summer!