9. March 2017 11:11
March is Women's History Month and staff curated a great list of audio visual materials for you to enjoy not only this month, but all year long. I've listened to 3 audio books on this list; I Am Malala, Victoria the Queen, and Hidden Figures. I loved all three books, but the story of Malala is truly something else. If you haven't read that book, you most certainly should. Quick summary....15 year old Malala is shot in the head by members of the Taliban. She wasn't expected to survive. But survive she did. You will certainly want to read this inspirational story.
Have you read any of these books?
4. March 2017 18:27
For the sixth consecutive year our family participated in the Gasparilla Distance Classic. But unlike in past years, this year we all did the 5K. And what a blast we had!!
We started off our morning like we usually do on race day. The kids pick where we go to eat breakfast. This year they picked Dunkin' Donuts.
Not my choice for race morning, but it's what they wanted. I did not eat any donuts.
We arrived, parked and made our way over to the staging areas. Ronin was in a different wave than the girls and I based on how fast he can run. I told him he was welcome to wait and head out with us, but he chose to go with the first wave. He didn't want to take the chance of getting behind any "slow people."
We took a quick selfie, and then he was off with his fast group. His wave left at 9:15am and the girls and I weren't going until 9:45am. I joked that Ronin would probably be done by the time we started. I was only joking, but it turned out to be true! He is one fast little dude.
Haley is in a mood lately where she doesn't want her photo taken, so this is Ella and I just before the start!
And soon we were off! Haley managed to get ahead of us at the start line and we didn't see her for the rest of the race! Ella and I stayed together the entire time, just walking, talking, holding hands, making goals, and just enjoying being with each other. We finished in 54 minutes. Haley and Ronin quickly found us on the bridge and we got a post-race photo!
We went through the Expo so that they could see what was going on. Ella and Ronin both did the line jump.
Ronin then asked if I thought he might have won anything for running so fast. I hadn't even thought about his time, so I asked him what his finish time was and he said "oh I think like 24 minutes or something." 24 minutes?!?!? Could he really have finished in less than half the time it took me and Ella?? So off we went to check out the race results.
And you know what? He won something!
We knew for a fact that he placed in the top 10% of his age group and he won a cool coffee mug. But what we didn't know until the next day is that he finished in the TOP 3% OF ALL RUNNERS!!! He finished 593 out of over 10,000 runners!!! How amazing is that?? I am so proud of him.
Here's a little flashback photo. The trio at their first Gasparilla in 2011 and at their sixth in 2017. They grow up so fast.
We had a very nice time at the 2017 Gasparilla 5K and are all looking forward to 2018. Though Ronin will be in a different age-group, so he better get to training!
3. March 2017 11:50
The Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival opens THIS WEEKEND!! We're heading over tonight for a special VIP preview. We won't get to see any of the cool bands that are coming, but we will get to sample all the yummy food!!
The festival returns with signature dishes and exciting new cuisine – including duck tacos, lobster ravioli, bacon mac & cheese, brown sugar rubbed pork belly, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, and cabernet-filled chocolates – as well as an expanded selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails.
Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages.
How much does it cost? The festival is FREE with park admission. How much is park admission?
For a limited time, buy a Busch Gardens Fun Card and get an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE. And don’t forget about the Busch Gardens Preschool Card – kids 5 and under get in FREE. I prefer the Annual Pass which offers unlimited admission all year, free parking, no blockout dates and special benefits totaling more than $300. With EZpay, Annual Passes start at just $14 per month for one park, and $16 per month for both Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.
Will you be heading to the Food and Wine Festival this year?