Tuesday, April 17, 2018

7 AWESOMELY FUN CHEAP THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA

Hello all,

There are so many things to do here in Florida. But many are so expensive. If you're on a budget like me, you are always looking for free or cheap fun things to do. I found 7 local places that your family will love! A few I have been to already and are well worth the trip. Enjoy:




1. FLORIDA BOTANICAL GARDENS - The Gardens showcases and educates by showing flowers and fauna in motivational surroundings. It has 12 gardens in all and even has a butterfly garden. It is open most every day of the year and admission is free. It is located at 12520 Ulmerton Rd., Largo. (727)582-2100.



7 INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - FLORIDA BOTANICAL GARDENS




2. HERITAGE VILLAGE - This is a 21 acre open air living history museum. It has 31 historic structures to explore, some dating back to the 19th century. Admission is free. It is open Wed.-Sat. 10-4 pm, and on Sunday 1-4. It is located at 11909 125th St. N., Largo. (727)582-2123.




7 INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - HERITAGE VILLAGE





3. LEEPA RATTNER MUSEUM OF ART - This small museum has 8 galleries featuring art from Rattner, Leepa, and Ester Gentle. Admission is $7. They are open Tues-Sat from 10am to between 4-8 pm. Sunday it is open 1-5 pm. It is located at 600 Klosterman Rd., Tarpon Springs. (727)712-5762.




7 INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND  FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - LEEPA RATTNER MUSEUM OF ART





4. AMERICAN VICTORY SHIP MUSEUM - You can come aboard and explore the entire ship with its 3 cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, bridge, crew cabins, mess hall, wheelhouse, captain's quarters, and all of the other rooms you expect to see on a battleship. They even have rare artifacts, photos, and exhibits to see. This is one of my family's favorite places to watch fireworks from on the 4th of July during their Family Fest. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for children. It's open Sun-Mon- noon to 5pm. Tues-Sat from 10 am to 5 pm. It is located 705 Channelside Dr., Tampa. (813)228-8766.




I INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - AMERICAN VICTORY SHIP MUSEUM






5. WILDLIFE SURVIVAL SANCTUARY - I have been here many times. This place provides sanctuary to many exotic animals. They have tigers, leopards, cougars, deers. emus. ostriches, a pot bellied pig, and lemurs. They take donations for their tours that you have to call and set up in advance. All of the donations are used for the care of their animals. A great place to go with the kids! You need to call (352)797-4785 to schedule a tour. They are located at 18212 Booming Rd., Spring Hill.




7 INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND  FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - WILDLIFE SURVIVAL SANCTUARY






6. TAMPA'S ELECTRIC MANATEE VIEWING CENTER - Many manatees seek out this area to stay warm in its discharge canal waters. Big Bends discharge canal is a federally designated manatee sanctuary.  They are open Nov.1st - April 15th. They have a rays touch tank, an observation tower, a boardwalk, and a habitat trail along with its viewing center. Admission is free and are open 10 am-5 pm daily. They are located at 6990 Dickman Rd., Apollo Beach. (813)228-4289.




7 INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND  FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - TAMPA'S ELECTRIC MANATEE VIEWING CENTER







7. SUNCOAST PRIMATE SANCTUARY - This is a non profit sanctuary to housing over 100 animals including primates, reptiles, birds and more. It is a place where these animals can live out the rest of their lives, and it is run by volunteers. It has been in business for 50 years. Come take a tour and see all of their residents. They even have meet and greets with some of the animals. Admission is adults $10, $5 for kids. They are located at 4600 Alt Hwy 19, Palm Harbor.






7 INCREDIBLY CHEAP AND FUN THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA - SUNCOAST PRIMATE SANCTUARY

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS

Hello all,

As you know, Florida is the world capital of springs, boasting over 1000. With us Floridians enjoying our water activities, its no wonder they are so popular. Here are some of the best worth checking out:

1 .Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River- This spring is the best place to see manatees. The water is a constant 72 degrees and provides the essential warm water refuge for the manatees during the winter months. To protect the manatees, the springs manatee sanctuaries  are closed from November 15th to March 31st. It is located at 601 Three Sisters Springs Trail, Crystal River.


FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS -  THREE SISTERS SPRINGS


2. Silver Springs State Park, Ocala- This is one of florida's first tourist attractions. It is also one of the worlds largest artesian springs. It is known for its glass bottom boat tours. You can also enjoy it by kayak or canoe. It is located at 1425 NE 58th Ave., Ocala.


FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - SILVER SPRINGS STATE PARK



3. Weeki Wachee, Spring Hill-  This is home of the live mermaid shows. It also has a beautiful spring for swimming, canoeing or tubing. It even has a waterpark with waterslides catapulting you into the springs. I go here yearly. It is located at 6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill.


FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - WEEKI WACHEE



4. Rainbow Springs, Dunnellon- This Florida's 4th largest spring. Here you can enjoy waterfalls, swimming and tubing. They have a beautiful 2 mile hiking trail here and campground. It is located at 10830 SW 180th Ave., Dunnellon.



FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - RAINBOW SPRINGS



5. Blue Springs State Park, Orange City-  This is the largest spring on the St, Johns River. During manatee season, several hundred can be seen from the springs overlook.  The water is a crystal clear 73 degrees and is enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. It is a designated manatee refuge. It is located at 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City.


FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - BLUE SPRINGS



6. Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White-  The crystal clear river flows 6 miles through wetlands and shaded hammocks till it joins the Santa Fe River. The head of the spring is a natural national landmark. You can go tubing, canoeing snorkeling. Scuba diving is only allowed if you're certified. It is located at 12807 US-27. Fort White.



FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - ICHETUCKNEE SPRINGS



7. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, Crawfordville -  This is one of the largest, deepest freshwater springs in the world. It has a lot of wildlife such as manatees, alligators, turtles, and deer. They have guided glass bottom boat tours. Swimmers can find  observation and diving platforms  at the head of the spring. Scuba diving is only for those certified. It is located at 465 Wakulla Park Dr.,Crawfordville.



FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - WAKULLA SPRINGS




8. Fanning Springs, Fanning Springs-  This springs is located on the Suwanee River. It is a second magnitude springs, meaning it produces 65 millions of water daily. Manatees visit here during the winter months. You can enter the park by boat or car. It has a boardwalk overlooking the springs. Many come here to swim and snorkel. They have a campground here with cabin rentals. I have went camping here and it is beautiful, but the water is very cold. It is located at 18020 US 19., Fanning Springs.



FLORIDA'S BEST  MUST SEE SPRINGS - FANNING SPRINGS


9. Madison Blue Springs State Park, Lee-  This is a crystal clear first magnitude springs, That means it produces 100 million gallons of water daily. Its 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep and bubbles up to a limestone basin. There is an extensive underwater cave system for those certified in cave diving. It is located at 8300 FL-6, Lee.



FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - MADISON BLUE SPRINGS



10. Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest, Ocala-  This is one of the east coasts oldest well known recreation areas. It has swimming, picnicking, trails and a campground. It has hundreds of tiny bubbling springs and a massive spring that gushes out of crevices in the earth underneath canopies of palm and oak trees. It is located at 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs.



FLORIDA'S BEST MUST SEE SPRINGS - JUNIPER SPRINGS



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOME FUNERICA PRETEND PLAYSET

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 


Hello all,

Looking to start stocking your gift closet? Do I have a deal for you! I have recently received this pretend playset from Funerica. It comes with everything a child needs to nurture their imagination. I was blown away with how much comes with this playset. This set comes with 50 pieces. 

It has plastic fruits and vegetables, play cooktop, dishes, tea cups with saucers, pots and pans, eating and cooking utensils, cutting board and all in a super cute plastic reclosable tote on wheels.My granddaughter just likes wheeling the tote around, and it makes clean up a snap. What she particularly loves is that she can pretend to cut the fruit and vegetables in half. They are in halves that are velcroed together so they can pretend to cut them, then put them back together. She loves that feature. 

This playset truly has everything your little one would need to when they want to play pretend to cook. My granddaughter uses hers to cooks food for her babydolls! So if your looking for an awesome gift for that little one that will keep them entertained for hours, this is it. It will be the best $15 you ever spent. You can buy it now on amazon through this link - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07983W5JF  .





MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOME FUNERICA PRETEND PLAYSET



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK

I received compensation in the form of free tickets in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.



Hello all,

Who doesn't love a good car show? It's great to be transported back in time looking at the beautiful timeless classics, or the newer sleek models. The 14th annual Festival of Speed was this past Sunday on March 25th at Vinoy Park in St. Pete. I was lucky enough to be chosen to provide some of the media coverage for the event. It did not disappoint!



THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK

                      



THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK



The Vinoy park location is at the downtown waterfront. The water provided a beautiful backdrop to 300 cars, boats, and motorcycles that were on display. It also provided cool breezes off the water. They couldn't of asked for a more beautiful day. The festival was packed with many people who looked onto the cars with admiration. Many trophies were given out to the automobiles that were best in their class.
Many beauties caught my eye throughout the day. Just take a look at some of my favorites:




THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK





THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK





THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK




THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK




The Festival of Speed has been going on for 13 years now, and have 3-4 events per year. Their mission is to provide upscale festivals for car enthusiasts for a weekend of camaraderie and relaxation. They take place in Orlando, Amelia Island, and St. Pete. This year in St. Pete they had many booths giving away freebies, and a few of them with games. They also had a cigar lounge, many stands offering wine, beer and soda, on site cafes, music and many food trucks. The cost was $20 adults, 12 and under for free.  For St. Petes VIP section, admission was $125 which included  special food and drink tastings. Orlando is next on their schedule on November 30th at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. For more information you can visit their facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/events/1603951736316878/ .  If you love cars, this is the place to be!


THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK



THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK


THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK


THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK


THE ST. PETE FESTIVAL OF SPEED AT VINOY PARK

Monday, March 26, 2018

SITTING DOWN WITH THE LONDON BAND CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS



Hello all,

So who is Calling All Astronauts? Calling All Astronauts are a West London based politically charged 3 piece alternate rock band. They have released 2 critically acclaimed albums,11 singles, and 1 EP in the past 6 years. They have had 6 successive number 1's on the Hype Machine Twitter Chart. They have shared the stage with many successful headliners such as Pop Will Eat Itself, A Place To Bury Strangers, Echo and the Bunnymen and Roger Daltrey.  I have recently had an opportunity to do an exclusive interview with this awesome band, and here's what they had to say-



All interview questions answered by David B, lead singer of the band.



1. Could you please introduce us to your band members and include a little background information?


We are - David B – Vocals, programming, production
J - Guitars
Paul McCrudden – Bass and Keys
We are just three regular guys with families etc, we’ve all been in bands before, with varying degrees of success, and we came together with a common goal of making music that we would buy.




2. What inspired you to get into music?


Punk rock and the idea that anyone can make music. In the mid seventies the major labels dominated radio and the charts, then punk rock came along, and independent labels took them on at their own game.




3. How did your band members meet?


I (David) was in a rap-metal band called US:UK with J’s brother, he was the drummer. We kept going through guitarists like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. And one day Paul said, my little brother (In Sheffield) can play, so we got him down to London and he joined us. Next we kind of had a thing with bassists leaving us. We advertised and Paul applied. We played lots of shows back then, opening for the likes of Faith No More, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Pop Will Eat Itself, etc. We got to play some large venues and had a great time. US:Uk ran it’s course and J formed the Pop-Punk band Caffeine. They went on to tour with The Offspring, The Dickies, New Found Glory, AFI, the list is endless. Paul joined UK Goth stalwarts The Marionettes. Fast forward about a decade, J and I bumped into each other at a gas station and decided we’d have a go at making music together again. After a couple of lineup changes, we rang Paul and the three of us are back together.




4. What comes first with writing a song, the music or lyrics?


We write all our music in the recording studio. It always starts off with a drum pattern, and really just take it from there. Sometimes Paul and I will start building up from the bottom. Sometimes J comes up with the guitar riff first. I usually wait until we have got something that sounds like a verse and write one verse of lyrics so we have the melody, and the same for a chorus. Our songwriting process often takes some time. It’s kind of like three men making a sculpture together. We are forever adding different percussion, changing drum sounds etc. We take a lot of time writing our songs. Our last album took over 2,000 hours.




5. What message if any are you trying to convey with your music?


If we were American, we’d be firmly in the Bernie Sanders camp. Most of our songs have a socio-political element to them. We don’t preach, but we like to suggest things that may make people think.The idea, that seems popular nowadays, is that if you abuse people who have different opinions than yourself, it will somehow change people’s minds. It is just preposterous. It only galvanises extreme thoughts. You need to educate people just enough so they come to the right conclusions themselves.




6. What is your favorite part about touring?


As Calling All Astronauts we’ve actually never toured. J and I have young children, in fact I am Daddy Day Care to my baby daughter. We would love to tour but you have to put your families first. We’ve all done it in previous acts though. We tend to play some festivals in the summer. This summer we can’t fit any in, so we are concentrating on recording our third album.




7. What is your favorite place you have performed and why?


My favourite show was when we opened for A Place To Bury Strangers. I first saw them at SXSW a few years ago, and they blew me away. I’ve seen them several times since. When we opened for them, they watched us from right down the front of stage, it was really quite a thrill looking out  and seeing them.




8. Who are your favorite music artists?


J is a massive Kiss fan. When he was in Caffeine they got to play at a Kiss Convention in the US, and he was absolutely stoked. Paul loves Alice In Chains. I have so many favourites, I find it hard to pick just one, so I’ll give you a list 😊 New Order, Fad Gadget, NWA, Killing Joke, Sisters Of Mercy, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Offspring, Jimmy Eat World, Nine Inch Nails. This list could run and run, but I’m sure you get the idea.




9. Do you have any tours coming up in the US?


We’ve never played in the US, we would really love to one day, it’s an awesome place. I’ve visited a few times, it would be awesome to tour there and see more places.




10. What is your favorite song to play live?


I’m very attached to “Someone Like You”. It was our first single, and amazingly it got played on the BBC. We even got to go into the BBC 6 Music studio to be interviewed by Tom Robinson.On the back of it, It was the moment when I realised that we may have hit upon something that people may like.




This last question is just for fun and not music related.



11.  What is your favorite show to binge watch?

I have binge watched many shows. I like to wait until a series is several seasons old before I watch it, and then watch 2 or three episodes at a time. We watched the whole season of Breaking Bad like that, the first 4 seasons of Orange Is The New Black, and 5 seasons of The Walking Dead. I still haven’t watched season 2 of Stranger Things, I’m looking forward to that. I met Norah who is the music supervisor on Stranger Things. The first thing I said to her, was, “It’s great to have a meeting with somebody who puts Joy Division onto a TV show".



Listen to their newest music-  Smoke On The Water now:







       

Pre-order links






Below are a few links you can  follow them on:





Attachments area

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES

I received compensation in the form of free tickets in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 



Hello all,

There is such an abundance of things to see and do here in the sunny state of Florida. I love being out  in the beautiful outdoors here. I also love taking in the scenery of the beautiful waters here. So when I was offered tickets for a free dolphin beach cruise on the  Spongeorama Cruiseline I jumped at the chance.

First off, they offered free parking, which we liked a lot. I just hate scrambling to find parking. After we checked in at their kiosk we got in line to board the boat. The boat was big and roomy. It seated 49! It also had 2 small bathrooms on board the boat, which I liked a lot. My husband liked the on board bar, where he could buy a cold drink for a reasonable price. The boat was open up so you could feel the awesome sea breeze as we were moving.  It provided plenty of cool comfort.The seating was bench style that comfortably seated 3 per seat. The boat provided all the comforts you could need for a pleasurable 2 hour sight seeing cruise.



THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES


THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES


THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES




We started by boating down through the Anclote River. The boat captain started his narration by telling us some fascinating facts about Tarpon Springs, as we passed some notable buildings. Then he told us about some of the wildlife we saw along the way such as egrets, the bald eagle, and the american oystercatcher. He was very knowledgeable and professional. For a short interview with the captain, take a look at the video below. We even got close enough to an egrets nest for  up close and personal pictures. The captain told us the nest had been there for many years, but it had to be rebuilt after our recent storms.



THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES



THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES




After looking at more wildlife, we were finally in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a beautiful sight with water views as far as the eye could see! It was breathtaking! Not long after we entered the gulf we all saw what we were hoping to catch a glimpse of today, dolphins! There were several of them frolicking in the waves with one another, such beautiful animals. It was an awe inspiring experience to see them.



THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES


THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES




Not long after spotting the dolphins we arrived at Anclote Island. It was a beautiful stretch of beach that was only accessible by boat. It had a long stretch of white sand beaches and a historic lighthouse built in 1887 that was still in operation. We were given small bags for shelling since this was a popular spot to do so. The beach was absolutely stunning. There were a few boaters already spread out on parts of the beach either sunning, shelling, or building sandcastles with the kids. They gave us 30 minutes to bask in the sun at the beach, then it was time to board the boat and head back. On the way back they played music for us as we enjoyed the breeze. It was very relaxing.





THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES



THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES





THE EXCITING DOLPHIN BEACH CRUISE ON SPONGEORAMA CRUISELINES




We had an awesome time, and we will definitely be doing this again! It is family friendly and provides a great time to bond. The c dolphin beach cruise is $18.95 for adults, kids is $9.95, under 2 are free. It is located at 510 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs.  727-943-2164 /727-365-8795.






Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 


Hello all,

Florida has a lot of things to offer  to do and see. I love the amusement parks here. I have been to everyone of them more than once with one exception. I have yet to visit Legoland, so I jumped at the chance to go when I was offered tickets!

When we first got there we were fortunate to park up front, so it was a short walk to the entrance. Be warned though, parking prices are steep. We paid $17, preferred is $27. After we went in it was such a sight to see. It was as though everything was made of legos. It was all so realistic. I saw birds in the distance, and was surprised when I walked up to them that they were made of legos!



MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND


 Since we went on a weekday, all of the wait times for the rides were short. The longest we waited was 30 minutes. One thing I really liked was that they had lego building tables for the kids to play with while we waited in lines for the rides. That really helped by keeping the kids entertained.




MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND


The park has many sections to it such as pirates cove and lego city to name a few. I really liked the lego miniland. It was amazing to see all kinds of historical sites and cities painstakingly rebuilt with legos! There were many photo ops available with lego life size figures of movie characters such as Darth Maul. My son especially like the lifesize lego replica of a ford mustang! There was even a beautiful nature park section where you could relax called cypress gardens. Legoland has a water park too, but there is a separate admission fee for that and it wasn't open for the year yet.


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MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND


MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND


MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND


The park offers many rides to choose from. I especially like the lego boats you or your child could control through the water. More of our favorites was the lego horse and jeeps you could ride on a track. They even have rides for the bigger kids such as several roller coasters and a great disc coaster called mia's riding adventure.



MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND

MY REVIEW OF THE AWESOMELY FUN LEGOLAND


Whether your big or small, you'll have a great time at Legoland Florida! If you're going the park is located at One legoland way, Winter Garden. Admission is adults $95, kids $89.