Push Away the Screen: Sea Lion Splash at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

**This is a guest post by my daughters, 8 1/2 year old old, Ella and 10 year old Haley.**


Last Thursday was take your child to work day.

My mom has a pretty cool job. She's a lifestyle blogger. That means she writes about fun stuff that our family does that she thinks your family might like to do too.  It just so happened that on that Thursday my mom had been invited to go to Lowry Park Zoo to see their newest traveling exhibit, Sea Lion Splash and she thought it would be a great opportunity for me and Ella to see exactly what she does for her job. Best part was that she told Ronin he had to go to school because it was take your DAUGHTER to work day. Ronin fell for it, and we had a very nice girls day out. Okay, so back to sea lions.

Sea Lion Splash is a family owned business. They even brought their daughter with them to work that day. I'm guessing she was about my age, maybe a little older. How cool to work with sea lions everyday!

The Peters Family travels all over educating people about sea lions. When they aren't traveling they live in Myakka City, Florida which is kinda close to where my mom grew up in Venice, FL. But she's never been to Myakka City.

We asked them some questions after the show and learned that the Peters Family has has 10 sea lions, almost all rescues, divided among four facilities: two mobile units that travel the country to state fairs and zoos, a permanent facility in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and a private base of operations in Myakka City, where the Peters and the sea lions rest between trips.

We saw 4 sea lions. 2 were Pategonian Sea Lions and 2 were California Sea Lions. Did you know Pategonia is way down at the tip of South America. It gets COLD there!

The 2 California sea lions were named Poonkie and Lily. They were SO CUTE!! California Sea Lions are much smaller than Pategonian Sea Lions.

Here are Lily and Poonkie giving each other a kiss. Adorable.

These sea lions were orphans. That makes me sad that they lost their mom and dad. But I'm so happy that someone like the Peters family rescued them!

Next up were the 2 Pategonian Sea Lions. These guys were MUCH BIGGER!!

We saw Stella and Kitty. Kitty was my favorite. She was so sweet. We learned all sorts of cool facts about sea lions and Stella showed us how to make sure to clean up marine pollution!

We saw them do all sorts of neat "tricks" like sliding on their belly, and they also demonstrated how strong they are! They can hold themselves up on ONE FLIPPER!!

 But my favorite part of the show was the after party!! We got to touch the sea lions AND have our picture taken with them. It was INCREDIBLE!!

The sea lions were very soft and they smelled like fish. But I didn't care! I got to touch a sea lion!!

I LOVED being able to see Sea Lion Splash. It was an experience that I will remember FOREVER!!

There were other things to do at the exhibit area too! There was a big inflatable slide, a bounce house, and a sandbox. We came back to this area twice during our visit and both times there was no one there but US!! That was so cool!

After the show we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Lowry Park Zoo. Mom let us go on Gator Falls 4 times, and 3 of those times we never even had to get off the ride!

It was such a great day and I got to see my mom's job. I have to say I think she has a pretty cool job. She gets to go to places like the Zoo and Busch Gardens, but she does spend a lot of time taking pictures and making notes. She also is obsessed with hashtags. I don't get hashtags. Not yet anyway.

Sea Lion Splash will be at Lowry Park Zoo until May 31st. It's NOT included in your daily admission, but it's only an extra $2 per person, so we highly recommend that you do it. You won't regret it!!

Have YOU ever met a sea lion??

Color Me Rad-Tampa Discount Code and Giveaway

Color Me Rad made its first appearance in Tampa last year. My family of 5 participated and we had fun!!  My husband decided he wanted to try to run, and Ronin loves to run, so those two headed off together. I stayed back and wogged with our girls. We all met up at the finish line.

We've been invited to come back and get colorful on May 24, 2014 and I'm already excited just thinking about it! I'll even have 2 FREE race registrations to give away!!

If you don't win one of my giveaways, you can register here and use the code RAD4JENNIFER25 to save 25% on your registration!!

What do you get for your $47.00 registration fee?? Along with an awesome T-shirt, you will get a pair of sunglasses (that my friend Denise from RunDMT swears are best sunglasses EVER!!), a race bib, a donation to a local charity, a decal for your car and some swag from the Color Me Rad sponsors. All of these items can be picked up at packet pick up before the race.  You'll also be able to buy additional color bombs and totally tubular Color Me Rad gear at the packet pick up locations. 

I'd love to see you out there getting colorful!!

Would you like to join us at this sensational event? 

Color Me Rad will be in Tampa, FL.  on May 24th at the Florida State Fairgrounds.  Registration is $47 until 5/9/14.  Start waves begin at 9:00 a.m. and are filling up fast.  

There are two ways to get in on the action:  

  • Enter the giveaway below (Psst....I’ll do two giveaways in the next couple weeks) or
  • Register Online (Don’t forget my discount code RAD4JENNIFER25 to save 25% off your registration fee)

If you'd like a chance to win ONE free registration just leave me a comment telling me if you've ever run a "color themed" race before. I'll pick a winner on Friday May 2nd.

I'd also love for you to join me, the Tampa Bay Bloggers and Color Me Rad in a Twitter party THIS Thursday May 1st, at 8pm EST. We'll be giving away 2 race registrations to the Tampa event!! 




My Week April 20-26

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter Sunday and a fab week!!

My week was really really nice!!

Sunday-Rest Day. It was Easter Sunday, so I had planned on taking it nice and easy with my kids. Truth....my kids woke up earlier than normal, got into their candy, made a mess, were very loud, and I lost it. We all have *those* parenting moments we'd like to take back, and boy do I wish I could take this one back, but I can't. My bad mood caused my son to have a VERY bad mood. But we turned it around!  We grabbed the dog and headed out for a walk!! A nice long walk. Just me, Ronin, and the dog. After 2 miles or so we ended up at the park. Ronin loves jumping on things, so he spent quite a bit of time practicing his "box jumps" at the park.

I took a short video of him jumping, and you can see it here. He's really good.

So after we turned around our morning, we headed home where we just chill-axed the rest of the day!

Steps: 10,824

Monday- I woke up fully prepared to head off to CrossFit, but when I woke up, my trusty Polar FT60 told me this...

A RECOVERY WEEK??? What in the world?? But I decided to listen to my trainer, and take a recovery week.

Did take a bike ride after dropping kids off at school.

It was a very nice way to flush out the legs.  I know some people might not think of this as a recovery, but it was for me. I loved it.

Calories: 763

Steps: 16,183

Tuesday- Normally I'd head to CrossFit, but instead after I dropped the trio off at school I went and got some sod! I laid down 75 pieces of sod around my backyard. That was quite the little workout! I was dripping sweat and got a nice tan in the process :)

Steps: 17,030

Wednesday- Again, normally a CrossFit day. I instead volunteered to chaperone my son on a school field trip, but I didn't have to be at the school until 9:30am, and I drop them off at 8:30am, so I went to CrossFit. But I didn't workout. I did a nice recovery row!

Just a hair over 4000m and then I was off to be a chaperone.

I have issues with riding on a school bus. I just won't do it. So I followed the bus, and the school allowed Ronin to ride with me. Ronin has issues with LOUDNESS, and the bus bothers him on field trips, too. It was an interesting ride. I knew where I was going, but the bus didn't.

We ended up on some dirt road to nowhere. Well, not to nowhere. It led us to a stinky dairy farm.

Ronin and I were just cracking up. We were laughing so hard we both had tears in our eyes.

When the bus pulled out of the dairy farm and got to the "main road" he took a wrong turn AGAIN! Since I knew where we were going, I just drove Ronin and I there. And we watched as the bus drove right past the gate to Crystal Springs. Again, we were laughing. It was a very nice day.

Steps: 13,650

Thursday- This is normally my rest day, so I didn't feel "guilty" about taking the day off. It was also National Take Your Child to Work Day! Kids are supposed to be 8 and older, so I took my oldest 2 daughter's on a trip to the zoo!! I was asked by Lowry Park Zoo to help promote "Sea Lions Splash", a traveling exhibit that will at LPZ until the end of May. I brought my girls along so that they could see a day in the life of a lifestyle blogger.

They got to touch, pet, interact with Sea Lions, which they totally loved.

But they both really loved Gator Falls, the log flume ride! It was their first time on it, and they were able to ride it 3 times in a row and didn't even have to get out of the log! They got SOAKED!! They said it was the "wettest log flume we've ever been on!!"

Such a fun day! They'll both be blogging about it, so look for a post from them in the next week.

We picked the boy up from school, I had his bathing suit with me, and the 4 of us headed to the pool where we spent 2 hours!

Steps: 15,000 (exactly!!)

Friday-CROSSFIT This marked ONE WEEK since I had last worked out, so I returned to CrossFit.

It was nice to be back!! I did a 2000m row, day 1 of a 12 week squat program, another 2000m row, and then followed it up with a 2 mile walk. It was AWESOME! And I felt so good. Any aches/pains that I had, had diminished over the course of the rest week, so I felt ready to hit it hard!

And then I came home to this....

We had an aggressive alligator on our lake. The trappers couldn't get him on Friday, so they left a baited hook up all night.

Calories: 903

Steps: 18,508

Saturday- WALK NOW FOR AUTISM SPEAKS!! This is an event that Ronin and I had been looking forward to for a few months!

But before we could do the walk....


The gator took the bait!! He measured 6 feet 3 inches!! Let's hope we got the right one!!

Then we were off for the walk!

We had raised enough money to be in the Grand Club and Tent Village.

Ronin and Logan don't see each other often, but when they do it's just like old friends reconnecting!

They just walked and talked and had a grand time!

We even had the pleasure of running into a CrossFit En Fuego friend who was walking for Airdric.

After the walk we came home and I mowed the lawn.

Calories: 243

Steps: 20,027


And that was MY week! Whew. I was busy!!


Weekly Steps: 117,180


How was your week? Have you ever taken a RECOVERY WEEK?? What activities did you do??