Spring Break 2016

Spring Break is gone. Sigh. It was a nice break, but over far too quickly. 

I took for granted being a school librarian and being a stay-at-home-mom. I had 10 great years with my trio, being on their schedule, being able to spend all of Spring Break at the pool, the beach, going to the movies, sleeping in late. Who am I kidding, my kids have only recently begun sleeping in. But the rest of it is true.

Now that I am a working out of the house professional mom my days of spending all of Spring Break with the kids are over.

But I still managed to take two days off during the break, plus Easter so we were able to have a little bit of fun together.

So what did we do?

On Thursday we went to Busch Gardens.

It was a very nice day. The park opened at 9:30am and we were right there at opening time!

We immediately did our normal routine: Cheetah Hunt, etc....but Cheetah Hunt was CLOSED!! SAY WHAT?? Yup. Closed. So we went on Montu first. Along the way we stopped at the display for Cobra's Curse. The #TampaTrio is excited and ready to ride this new thrill ride!


We then just walked through the park hitting all of our favorites. We even managed a ride on the train! We haven't done the train in ages and it was nice to get off our feet for a little bit.


And for the first time ever we went and saw the kangaroos. It was neat to see them so close. And yes, Miss Ella is even wearing her Busch Gardens summer camp t-shirt. Wink

The park was open until 8pm, but by 5:30pm we had done all the rides (thanks Fast Pass!!) and the trio were done!

We made it home by 6:30, ate dinner and went to bed. We had plans to go to the beach on Friday.

But Mother Nature tried to put a kink in our plans. We woke up on Friday to very overcast skies. The weather radar was very nasty looking but it looked like e might get a few good hours at the beach so we decided to go for it.

Off to Fred Howard Park we went. We went through some storms but decided that we should just go for it and perhaps it wouldn't be raining 25 miles away.

Well, it wasn't raining when we got there, but it started raining about an hour later. The duo wanted to keep building their sand castles through the rain and I said it was okay as long as there was no thunder/lightning. They made it about 10 more minutes after this photo was taken, but then a huge CRACK and a bright FLASH had us running to the car. We stopped by Twistee Treat on our way home (it's tradition) and then spent the rest of the day reading and watching TV.

I had to work on Saturday Frown but Easter Sunday saw us hitting up the Wellfield for a 4ish mile hike through the trails with daddy and Matthew.


It was a nice walk. The trio started off with their normal moaning and groaning, but after about 45 minutes they got into their groove and ended up having a nice time. At home I taught the kids how to play rummy and then we went and saw Batman v Superman. It was a good movie. I liked the introduction of the Extended Marvel Universe.

So while I may be missing out on an entire week of Spring Break fun I am doing the best that I can with the time that I have. And we're all doing okay.

What did you do during Spring Break 2016?

Push Away the Screen-Busch Gardens

It's no secret that the trio and I L.O.V.E Busch Gardens. I've been taking them since they were babies, and we all know the park like the back of our hands. We go every opportunity that we can.

This year Busch Gardens is helping to push away the screen by implementing a new campaign: getting your family together, getting outside, and getting active!! Those three things are the driving factors of our family, and when Busch Gardens offered us the opportunity to come and explore the park during Spring Break, we jumped on the chance! We had hoped we'd be able to make it over to the Easter exhibit, but the park was PACKED, so we weren't able to do that part, but we did explore some new (to us) areas of the park that we haven't done in quite a long time! My son has special needs, so he is eligible for a special needs pass that allows us to not have to wait in lines for the rides. If the wait is long, we get a fast pass to come back at a designated time, so we wait like everyone else...just not in a line.

There are some things that we do in a specific order though, and we kept to that tradition.

Stop 1: Cheetah Hunt to get our time for the Fast Pass.

Stop 2: Treat for the kids. Treat is ALWAYS a Churro.

Stop 3: Beer. Trio gets their treat, mama gets hers. Since I'm gluten free I had a Woodchuck Cider. It was SO GOOD

Stop 4: The skyride. And we get a round-trip and come back and it's usually time for our Cheetah Hunt ride!

Stop 5: But not this time...because of the crowds at the park, we still had some time before our turn on the Cheetah, so we went and explored Egypt. It's been a long time since we've looked at King Tut's tomb, but it was cold outside and Haley knew a lot of interesting facts about the Boy King, so off we went! And yes, I was so cold that I wore gloves and pulled out a Bondi Band to keep my head and ears warm. Wink

Stop 6: After Egypt we went and walked through The Edge of Africa. We saw lots of great animals, and the hippos were totally hauled out! We saw them from the skyride, but it was hard to see them from the exhibit.

Stop 7: CHEETAH HUNT!! We finally had our 90 minutes pass, so off we went for our favorite ride!! The girls rode together, and I rode with Ronin. That's typically how it goes, so no big surprise there! 

We're happy when we get on Cheetah Hunt and we're happy when we get off and ready to explore more of the park!!

Stop 8: Cutting back through Edge of Africa, and making a pit stop at Rhino Rally (thanks again Fast Pass!!) we came out at the hippo playground. The trio have loved this little playground since they were wee-ones, and they still love it now as elementary aged kids! 

Here is Haley at age 2 1/2 playing on the Hippo's!

Stop 9: After playing for a bit, we decided to stop in to the new animal care hospital. We've been in twice before and they have always had something cool going on, but today it was empty, just us and Emily the animal hospital guide. We stayed and chatted with her, and we told her all about how much Ella loves snakes, and wouldn't you know it...she called the herp caretaker and they brought in a boa just for us.

This snake was a female, full-grown, named Zeus. Surprised They named her before they realized he was she. Why they just didn't change her name to Hera, I have no idea. Wink

Stop 10: TIMBUKTU!! I love this land. Scorpion, Octopus, Sand Serpent, Merry-Go-Round, and Fest Haus, and then a quick jaunt up the "hill" to the bumper cars!!

This was the FIRST time all 3 were tall enough to ride the bumper cars WITHOUT me!! Ronin was just giddy with the freedom of driving his own car and chasing after his sisters.

A picture truly is worth a thousand words. This pictures makes my heart swell. Smile This is what Busch Gardens is all about!! Spending quality time with your family, watching your little ones explore and be active, and spending time outside.

If you are local, you should really invest in a Busch Gardens annual pass. There is so much to do at the park, and even though we are seasoned experts, we pick and choose what we are going to do, and no visit is ever the same.  The kids are still talking about what fun we had, and are excited to go back again soon, and so am I. Fun for the kids, fun for the mama. It's a win/win.

P.S. If I could just offer two bits of advice for Busch Gardens PR people...1) you need to have a Busch Gardens mom's panel that offers tips and tricks to making this a stress-free adventure and 2) you need to have a run through the park; a family fun run and a 10K would be perfect Wink


**Disclaimer: Busch Gardens provided me with passes to explore the park during Spring Break. All opinions are my own. And my opinion is that Busch Gardens is the BEST family friendly park in Florida, hands down. No tears were shed in the exploring of this park. And they serve beer."



Stay Active-Come to Jesus Friday

This was the first school break that the kids and I spent together since they started elementary school. And it was AMAZING!!

I kept them busy, engaged, active, very little down time spent watching TV. We moved with a purpose...daily!! We are living the life and I am excited for summer break!!