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?
31. January 2017 14:18
How is it already the end of the first full week of February? I just can't even wrap my brain around how quickly this school year has gone by.
What really hit home for me was that last week I registered the #TampaTrio for a week at a speciality summer camp of their choosing. They'll all attend a traditional summer camp, but each year we allow them to each pick one week away from home. Consistently the girls have always picked a week at Girl Scout Camp. But this year, this year is something new for them, and it really shows me that they are growing up and becoming their own unique little people with huge ideas and an eye towards the future.
I know I mentioned that my oldest daughter, 7th grade Haley qualified to take the ACT as part of the Duke TIP program. We received her scores last month and YES she scored high enough to attend one of the Duke Summer Programs. It's a 3 week residential program at Rollins College. She was most interested in the program From Wonderland to Hogwarts which is a creative writing program. But as we sat and discussed her options, she decided that she'd rather attend BAND CAMP!! Yes, band camp. After lots of research she (we) decided on the music program offered at Stetson University.
My sweet little flautist. She has really come into her own this year and I am so proud of her.
And my Ella girl, she decided that she wanted to go to my Alma Mater, Eckerd College and attend their Summer Science Splash program!
Ella's choice of camp took me by surprise. I know she enjoys science, but to attend a week long science camp? I didn't think she had it in her. I thought for sure she'd be much more interested in attending a drama or modeling camp. I'm proud of her for stepping outside her comfort zone and giving something new a try.
And we're still working on choosing the right camp for Ronin. Last year he did an ID Tech program and he LOVED it!! But it's the same program this year, and ugh. I don't think I can handle another summer of MINECRAFT!! So I'm the hunt for the perfect camp for Ronin.
So as I sit here and reflect upon how much academic and personal growth my trio have made, I can't help but shake my head in awe and disbelief. Are they perfect students? No. Do they often forget to turn in assignments or study for a test. Yes. But I really try to let them know that these are the years (middle school) where they can feel safe to "fall forward." Now is the time where I am trying to teach them about good study habits and work ethics.
It's not going to be too long before they head off to college. I've talked about it many times on the blog, but I'm so happy we did the Florida Prepaid College Plan for all 3 kids.
I have no idea what path in life they will travel, but I'm happy to know that I have provided them with the tools to get there.
There are so many benefits to starting a Florida PrePaid Plan. With the years flying by as quickly as they are, don't put off starting a Florida PrePaid Plan for your kids!
Florida Pre-Paid Open Enrollment ends February 28. Use Promo Code BLOG1617and save 50% off your application when you enroll. For more information, visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com
20. January 2017 14:40
Last year my oldest daughter and I had a "mother-daughter" book club and read A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. We both absolutely loved this story. We laughed, and we cried. It made us think about our own dog, Matthew, and what he might be thinking when we talk to him, or he looks at us in his special way. We know his moods based on his ears. He has his playful ears, his tired ears, his content ears, his working ears. Working ears? Yes, working ears. Matthew is a highly trained service dog, much like sweet Ellie in one of the supplemental novels in A Dog's Purpose series. Matthew provides all of us with a non-judgemental sounding board and I honestly can't imagine our lives without him.
A few days after Haley and I finished the book we were chilling on the couch watching Jeopardy and the trailer for the movie came on during a commercial break. We both kept looking at each other, like "are you seeing what I'm seeing?" And then we both became hyper-focused on what we were watching. By the end of the commercial we had tears streaming down our faces. Go ahead, watch the trailer below and see if you don't have wet stuff coming out of your eyes.
Right? If you are a dog lover, this movie will fill you with all sorts of emotions!!
From the film: "A DOG’S PURPOSE, is a sweet and lovable family film that shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. Told from the perspective of “everybody’s best friend” the film highlights the importance of familial bonds, and the unconditional love we have for our best friends. The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, and John Ortiz."
If you'd like to WIN a $25 Fandango Gift Card, simply leave me a comment telling me your favorite breed of dog. I will select a random winner on Friday January 27th, the release day of the film.
My favorite breed of dog is the Labrador Retriever. I also love Great Danes, but have never had one of my own. My house is too small. LOL. I like big dogs.