Tampa Bay LibCon 2017

by jennifer1. May 2017 20:32

Get your Geek On . . . LibCon is back! Are you a fan of anime, manga, and just general all around Geek stuff?? Then LibCon is for you!!! 

When? Saturday May 13th. 10am-6pm

Where?Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library and Southshore Regional Library.

Watch Adam Savage's 13-minute (PG-rated) TED Talk, "My Love Letter to Cosplay."

 

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General | Jenny

Push Away the Screen: Disney Dark Side Hollywood Studios 2017

by jennifer26. April 2017 13:23
For the 2nd consecutive year, the #TampaTrio and I have make the trek to the House of the Mouse. We started this tradition last year (you can read about those posts HERE) and I knew it would be one that would continue...hopefully forever. I can really imagine the kids coming home from college during a weekend in April to wog a 5K with their mama. I hope it comes true.  Walt Disney World offered me two guest tickets to explore a park of my choosing. This year the kids and I, even more so than in years past, really wanted the complete Star Wars experience, so we decided to go to Hollywood Studios. I registered all our tickets online and synced the app and the magic bands (that we had from last year) and we got in pretty quickly. Mind you, the park opened at 9am, and we were rolling in close to 11am because we went to the Dark Side Expo first. Once in the park we got Ronin's special needs pass and we were off!!  The kids decided that they needed some new ears. That they had outgrown the princess and toddler themed ears of their much younger days. And they kept the Star Wars theme going strong!While we were still in the gift shop we suddenly heard the Star Wars theme music begin to play, and play loudly! We (oh so gently ) put the ears down and ran outside to see what was going on!   [video src="parade.mp4"] I am glad that we had that opportunity to see the Imperial March. Right after the march we went over to see if we could sign the trio up for Padawan training. But we were too late. All the spots were taken. Oh well, there was still plenty of Star Wars left for us to see. In fact, we got to meet KYLO REN!Touring through Star Wars Launch Bay was really the highlight of our day. It was air conditioned and full of everything Star Wars.We also went on the Aerosmith rollercoaster. It was the first time for all of us and it was so much fun! None of us had any idea what to expect and we were all so surprised. One time was enough for Haley and I , but Ella & Ronin went on twice more!We had a snack and decided to do some more shopping!Ronin and I had an early morning for the Dark Side 5K, so we all decided to leave the park, head back to our hotel, swim, change, and go have dinner, and that's exactly what we did! We had a great first day at Disney, and can't wait to return next year! Ronin and I are already signed up for 2018, and have decided to visit the Animal Kingdom theme park!  

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#TampaTrio | Ella | Haley | Jenny | Ronin

Push Away the Screen: Patriots Point Charleston, SC

by jennifer26. March 2017 09:11
We spent Spring Break 2017 on Edisto Beach, South Carolina. Edisto Beach is a small (very very very small) beachfront community. I wouldn't call it a town or a city. It's a collection of vacation homes, some permanent residents, and NO STOPLIGHTS.  When he was a small child, my husband spent a few summers on Edisto vacationing with his grandparents. One of the memories he shared with us prior to our vacation was a day trip to Patriots Point. He vividly remembers seeing the USS Yorktown and wanted our kids to have a similar experience/memory. Patriots Point was kind enough to host us for the day, and we drove the 45 miles from Edisto Beach to Mt. Pleasant which is just across the harbor from Charleston, SC.  Upon arrival it's hard to miss the USS Yorktown. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War. And if you know me, you know I am a HUGE Hamilton fan. Therefore it was only fitting that I wore my "Guns and Ships" shirt which is the song where Lafayette explains how he is going to go to France for more funds and comes back with more guns, and ships, and how the balance shifts. This leads to the 1781 Battle of Yorktown, led by Hamilton, in which the Patriots WIN and the British surrender. The Revolution is over. Okay, back to Patriots Point.   This was the first time the #TampaTrio had seen a warship. They had NO IDEA how big these ships actually are. They were so surprised that the ship was like a mini town! In fact, this ship could probably house more people than Edisto Beach!  I found it very interesting that the Yorktown was the recovery ship for the Apollo-8 astronauts!They even had an Apollo 8 replica that the kids were able to go in to experience what it was like to orbit the moon and crash back to Earth. You can click HERE to see the video Ronin took while he was sitting inside the capsule.  On the hanger deck, each kid had the opportunity to sit in a F9F Cougar fighter jet. That was pretty cool.And then we went below deck. The kids were amazed by the sleeping areas, the kitchen, the dental office, and the brig.I think they forgot about someone and left him in the brig for just a bit too long! I found a bunk where a navy man had left his mark! I can't imagine sleeping over 2 years on this ship or this bunk. And imagine being a cook on this ship! Check out this recipe! That's a lot of eggs!! The flight deck was pretty incredible. The views went on forever!Ella and I climbed up to the bridge and she sat in the Captain's chair!But unlike when James visited Patriots Point more than 35 years, there is much more to do now than "just" the USS Yorktown.  There is also the USS Laffey, which is the ONLY Sumner-class surviving destroyer ship in North America. The USS Laffey was commissioned and supported the DDay landings at Normandy June 1944. My grandpa fought at DDay.After her time in Europe, she was sent to the Pacific Theater where off the coast of Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and Kamikaze, killing 32 and wounding 71 of the 336-man crew. The heroic crew shot down 9 Kamikaze aircraft and saved the damaged ship. This earned her the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die."  There is an interactive exhibit Mount 53 which gives the visitor the experience of what it was like on the April 16, 1945 kamikazse attack. The trio did this, James and I did not. Ella was impressed by how realistic it was. She said it was so loud. Click HERE to see a video and explore the USS Laffey. And then we went on a submarine!!It was the first time any of us had been on a sub. And let me say....submarines are not made for fluffy people, or tall people or people who don't like very small spaces. So....this was a little difficult for me. I had a hard time breathing and felt like the walls were closing in on me.But it was really interesting and I'm glad I can cross that off my bucket list.But we're still not done!! Patriots Point recently opened a brand new exhibit about the Vietnam War. I fully admit...I do not know much about the Vietnam War and this exhibit taught me a lot!Set in a "Brown Water Navy" support base and a U.S. Marine Corps artillery fire base during the Tet Offensive and the Battle of the Khe Sanh in 1968. There are more than a dozen components that simulate life during wartime.Ronin and I had a talk before we went into the exhibit because he often does not do well with loud noises, but he said he'd be okay, and I trust him to know when he's uncomfortable and needs to leave. He did fine. But other Autistic kids might not do as well, so just make sure you have those conversations beforehand. While they enjoyed walking from hut to hut what they enjoyed the most was the military car.James and I were both very impressed by the exhibit. It was very well done.  We all really enjoyed our experience and I'm so glad my husband suggested that we make a visit to Patriots Point. If you go, this is what you need to know:Open 364 days per year. Only closed on Christmas Day. Other Holidays have reduced hours, so make sure you check before you go. Open from 9am-6:30pm Only the USS Yorktown is accessible for visitors in wheelchairs. Parking is $5 Admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors over age 62, $14 for children ages 6-11, children under 6 are free as are active duty military in uniform.If you are planning a trip to Charleson, SC I highly recommend you take a few hours and visit Patriots Point.   Have you ever toured an aircraft carrier, destroyer, or submarine??  

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#TampaTrio | Jenny

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