Tag Archives: Tampa

Tampa Aquarium and St Petersburg Winery

FRIDAY!! I tried to look up some fun…Today in History…but didn’t find anything that jumped out at me. Then I looked for the National Food Holiday…and found out it was National Eat Something Bold and Pungent Day. Cool?? Pungent isn’t something that I really aim for when I’m cooking…to me that has a negative connotation.

So for some Friday fun…I thought I would share with you some St Petersburg Fun! About a year ago, one of my best friends from College came to visit and we stayed in St Pete for the weekend. I had been looking at all of the wineries in Florida and set it as my goal to visit each one of them! With Lakeridge Winery already on the list, I had seen the Florida Orange Groves Winery in St Pete. I didn’t really know much about the winery when we arrived but it was DEFINITELY not what I expected. The groves were not locate don site, so it was mostly a cute little store and the fermenting vats. We learned about the history of the winery and had a tour along with a wine tasting.

Source

The most notable fact about the winery is that their wines are NOT made from grapes for the most part. I think of wine and grapes automatically pops into my head. At the Orange Groves Winery they make wine from bananas, mangos, strawberries, coconuts, cranberries and anything else you can think of. They have champagnes, ports, vegetable wines, smoothies and more. It’s mind boggling the things that they do here. The tasting allowed you to select which wines you wanted to try, as well as a smoothie. Each wine tasted exactly like the fruit that was used in fermentation and varied from sweet to dry.

Each one was more surprising than the last. Brent and I bought the Festiberry Wine, which was a wine made from cranberries and Florida Banana, which if you can’t guess is made from Bananas. I brought both of them back with me for Thanksgiving for my family to try. The cranberry wine was extremely good, and went well with the Turkey dinner. I thought the Banana had a very surprising flavor. It wasn’t as sweet as you would have pictured but had a true banana flavor. And I just love things that aren’t typical. The more different the better 🙂

After the winery, we headed to the Tampa Aquarium. I had heard some great things about the aquarium and had some high expectations, especially with it being located on the gulf. They had a petting area when you first walk in where you can get your hands on some slimy sting rays.

And above they had some beautiful tanks with all different kinds of fish. One of the neatest things was how they lit the tanks up. It gave the fish a completely different look. Some creepier than others.

I know sharks aren’t particularly nice…but man does that shark look mean. The look in his eye isn’t something that I would want to mess with.

Oh HARROW!

They also had an area to check out a few UNIQUE little birdies. The different types of animals and their adaptations are really amazing to me. They’ve all got their different ways to survive and it’s so fun to learn about their habits because each one is so different from the other.

And clearly they aren’t afraid to get right up in your face. There’s no super zoom on my camera here. But then again, it’s probably better because otherwise you might be getting a close look at this guys nostrils.

CUTIES. It’s almost like they stop and pose for you.

Overall, the aquarium was a bit smaller than I would have thought and you can get through it in about an hour or 2. I’m still a huge Boston Aquarium fan. I haven’t met one that lives up to those expectations 🙂

To top off the day, we drove around a bit and headed towards Davis Island. Davis Island is right off the coast of Tampa and is where a lot of nicer houses are. It is also where my fav Yankee player has a house! Derek Jeter, whoot whoot! So I’m upping my creeper status by sharing a photo of his off season abode.

I wish I had a photo from the bay, because you can really get a sense of how large it actually is. It’s very…cement looking too.

Anyways, it was a fun little trip and something fun and easy for a Friday! St Pete is breath taking and all of the locals agree that if you are going to the beach, anything on the gulf side is the way to go.

NOW, OFF TO THE WEEKEND!!

Any big plans for the weekend?! What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?? Something low key or something thrilling?!

Tampa Bay Devil Rays and a twist on a Grilled Cheese

I’m not really a fan of this back dating posting, but I have been running around each night, which is making it hard to get something up. BUT, today I have a valid excuse…or at least  I think so.

Yesterday morning, I got up and putzed around for a little while before Brent got here to go for a run. He wasn’t too excited, but we really needed to go for a short one. This run, Brent decided to take the lead and we just started running into the sunrise. We were goofing off a bit at the beginning of the run and then Brent just took off. I went off chasing him and at the end of the block he just abruptly stopped. When I asked him what we were doing, he said, “This is what I call INTENSE CONFUSION.” And yea, that’s exactly what it was, until he got us lost.

For lunch today, I wanted to give a grilled cheese a shot. But, I felt like a good source of protein was desperately needed after “Intense Confusion”. So this is what happened:

 

 

Ingredients:

1 Slice Honey Wheat Swirl Bread 1 Tablespoon Chives
1 Slice American Cheese 1 Tablespoon Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Over Hard Egg

 

It’s pretty self explanatory on how to put this together, but I did grill the bread with some Vegan butter to toast it up like all o four favorite grilled cheeses. If you make it on a skillet, that’s where I think you get the best results.

After work, Brent and I went to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays game! I had never been to Tropicana field and was so excited to go! It had been on our bucket list for the summer, and we just squeaked in a game. The last one of the regular season. It is completely different than any other field in the majors. For one, it is covered. There are a few other covered fields, but they have the ability to open up. Tropicana does not.

 

Here’s a picture of the inside of the dome. It’s definitely a different game here. The players are playing balls off of the ceiling and the distance to the wall is a bit shorter, or at least it seems to be.

 

The stadium is smaller than anything that I have ever been to before. Even as far as seating. Brent and I had some pretty fantastic seats just behind the Orioles dugout. TWO ROWS BEHIND THEM! You could see the frustration in their faces as they ducked off into the dugout. It was crazy, because up close they really look like just your regular person but in your mind you know they aren’t. I mean they are professional baseball players that make millions.

 

 

 

 

I absolutely love going to baseball games in general. It’s just the whole atmosphere. The franks, the beers that go warm after five minutes, the crackerjack, the whole crowd getting into the game and just about everything about the game. I love it.

For a little snack, I ended up getting some crackerjacks. I don’t remember the last time that I had them! What happened to the fun box of crackerjacks?! Why is it just a normal bag?? Not so fun.

But they still had a prize 🙂 I’ll share with you the jokes in the box because I thought they were little goodies:

  • Why do sharks only swim in salt water??

 

Because pepper water would make them sneeze!

  • Why was the frog happy??

 

Because he ate everything that bugged him!

Hahaha!

Brent, is a hot dog kind of guy. I HAD to get a picture of this sucker. It looked like a freaking rainbow on a footlong.

When it comes to snacks, I know there are the staples that parks need to have. But I have always thought that they should have a veggie option. Picture it, sticks of carrots, peppers, and celery sticking out of the french fry container with ranch as a dipping sauce! I can totally see it! Ball Parks, if you are reading this….get on it!

The little kid next to us actually got picked to play one of the games between innings. He lost, but they closed his eyes, everybody cheered and we made him think he won. CUTIEEEEE.

Look at the nugget!

The game overall was a goodie. The Rays ended up winning, pretty much because Longoria had 3 homers. Other than that there really wasn’t any offense by both teams.

There really aren’t any bad seats in the arena because it is such a small place. I really can’t argue with sitting behind the dugout though. I can see how the field wouldn’t be the players favorite. But, not having to worry about the rain and all of the crazy weather of Tampa is a serious plus. Fun Fact: Florida is the lightning capital of the country and Tampa seems to be the hub of that. There were over 1500 deaths due to lightning strikes in Florida. The number two…Michigan at around 700.

In case you were wondering, Africa has the highest in the world. I’m sure you weren’t but I figured I would throw it out there 🙂

 What are your favorite baseball fields?? My favorite just may be Fenway, even though I am a Yankees fan 🙂