The Illusionists at the Straz Center Tampa May 26-31

 

On Wednesday May 27th, the #TampaTrio and I were invited to the Straz Center to experience The Illusionists. This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. The Illusionists - Witness the Impossible™ has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.

The Wednesday performance was Broadway Family Night and  we arrived early for fun activities and then we had every intention to stay after for a talk-back with company members, but a late show start, and some technical difficulties after intermission prevented us from staying late.

You can see with your own eyes how AMAZING this show was. 

Ronin LOVES magic and illusions. I mean LOVES it. Look at how intently he is staring at the illusionist from the Downtown Tampa Carnival in early May. He really tries so hard to figure out the tricks. 

 

Each of the kids had their own idea of who they liked the best simply based on this sign. Ella liked The Trickster, Haley like the The Warrior and Ronin liked The Futurist

I don't want to give too much away, but post show Ella had a new favorite....The Anti-Conjuror.

The #TampaTrio loved sitting up in the Starz Tweet Seats, which is where we moved post-intermission. Ronin needed a bit more space for dancing and after drinking a lot of Shirley Temples at dinner, bathroom breaks were frequent and I didn't want to keep walking in front of other theater guests. 

Overall, we had a great time! There were a lot of surprises, and some super funny one-liners. And while those one-liners are not really appropriate for the younger crowd, they will go right over their heads, so no worries.

The show did a GREAT job in interacting with the crowd, though my gang was disappointed that they weren't chosen to get on stage, but we sat in the back, and they only picked from the first 2-3 rows. Oh well. Better luck next time!

So...do you like magic/illusion shows? Have you ever seen one live??

Disclaimer: As part of my association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, my family was provided with tickets to experience The Illusionists. I had planned to only take Ronin but the girls demanded that they be taken as well. I don't regret that decision at all. 

Potted Potter at the Straz # PottedPotterStraz

Accio, the summoning spell is a very useful spell in the world of Harry Potter. I'd use that in my library to summon all the wonderful books I need to read. 

Also useful for me would be Expecto Patronum. When the world seems to be conspiring against you, just give your Patronus a call. No one will be able to take you out of your happy place when that glowing aura of goodness is hovering above you.

Life has been hard for our family recently. From broken bones, to multiple days of physical therapy, to the flu hitting our house H.A.R.D. I really felt that I needed to give my Patronus a call, and it answered with Potted Potter. 

This show is famous for showcasing all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes. As much as I love all things Harry, I was curious to see how a two-man comedy act was going to accomplish this. 

I met up with my fellow Tampa Bay Bloggers as well as a library co-worker (and fellow Harry Potter geek.)The first thing you need to know is that you DON’T need be a wizard to appreciate this show, and it's suitable for muggles of all ages. One character is a Harry Potter expert and the other pretends to be, but...well, he's not. This dynamic is what makes the show so funny. 

I went to the Potted Potter opening performance in Tampa and I was amazed to see the variety of ages of all those who attended. From little ones to adults, everyone seemed to get all the jokes and was laughing out loud. I don’t want to give too much away but trust me when I say Dan and Jeff were able to entertain an entire audience from start to finish. Without a grand set or grand props, both performers hit all major plot points of the book series while wearing ridiculous wigs, singing, and playing a giant game of Quidditch with the audience.

This show is a must-see for those who want a goofy version of Harry Potter, or anyone who just wants to witness a little magic on stage.

I left the theater laughing, feeling upbeat with the stress of my day completely removed. My Patronus worked.

You can catch Potted Potter at the Straz Center in Tampa now through March 15th. Learn more about the show and purchase your tickets HERE. 

 

Disclaimer: I was provided two tickets to view this show as part of my association with the Tampa Bay Bloggers.

Living a #RelentlessLife at the #NewCPK

The Tampa Bay Bloggers were recently invited to come out to the California Pizza Kitchen to sample some of their new menu items and to get a look at their new and improved design!

Photo Credit RunDMT

They were all ready for us!

 

They had a table of drinks ready, including California Roots, Blueberry Ginger Smash, and a kid friendly, Strawberry Mango Cooler.

My favorite, hands down, was the California Roots.

Made with Svedka Vodka, fresh avocado and mint, fresh Agave Sour with a fennel salt rim this drink was OUTSTANDING!!

They brought out appetizers including two different types of pizza, but it's not on my relentess life plan, so I passed.

But doesn't it look outstanding??

Egg on a pizza? According to my blogger friends, it was FANTASTIC!!

And Brussels spouts?? So creative! Thanks to Denise from RunDMT for the great pics!

We sat down at our tables and they brought out a yummy salad!!

The Harvest Kale salad was good. But I didn't taste much of the vinaigrette. It seemed more like the salad was just wet, so I think next time I'd opt to skip the dressing all-together.

And then the "real food" started coming out, and OH MY!

 

WOW!! Right??

Each of these portions was HUGE!! Normally I eat anywhere between 3-6 ounces of protein per meal, and some of these portions were in excess of 10 ounces, so I made sure to only try a sampling of each one.

My favorite was the Cedar Plank Salmon.

Had I eaten the entire portion it would have been 8 ounces, 650 calories, 34g fat, 52g protein. You can see all the nutrition info HERE.

But everything was so so good!! It's certainly a special place for an "every now and again" type of meal, especially for those of us that are watching our waistline.

And then they brought out the desserts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake, S'mores, Salted Caramel Pudding, and Butter Cake.

I had the smallest of bites, like the size of a #2 pencil eraser, of the Pumpkin Cheesecake. It wasn't for me. I also had about a teaspoon of the Salted Caramel Pudding. It was way too salty for my taste buds.

I did not try the S'mores or the Butter Cake, but again, my blogger buds said it was very good.

We also had the opportunity to try to spin our own pizzas.

I did good.

It's like riding a bike. Growing up in the pizza business, spinning a pie is like second nature to me.

My friend Tara from Everyday Ramblings of my Life, took a video of us and I'm at the very very end of the row. You can't really see me, but you can see my dough flying high.

 

We all had a great time at California Pizza Kitchen, and I just wanted to show that it is possible to live a healthy life, and still go out to eat. Sure you HAVE to be MINDFUL, and make good choices, but if you know in advance, you can get the nutritional information and (I did not know what would be on the menu) you can plan and enjoy your time out!