st pete museum of history

Ryan chose the St Petersburg Museum of History

Ryan chose BBD to Fletcher to I275. We got to the museum about 10:30 and parked. 

The museum is nice though small. The cost is $12 for adults, $6 for kids & students with ID. Photography is allowed. The exhibits are similar to Tampa Bay History Center and Heritage Village. We were done in less than an hour. 

We walked to The Pier. Ryan said he had never been there. I thought he had. I will have to check. 

We went up the glass elevator to the 5th floor observation deck and walked around. Ryan took the elevator by himself to the first floor. Andy & I went next and met him there. We walked through the first floor and out again. People were fishing and it smelled. We walked back through to the main entrance and took the trolley to the parking lot. Ryan didn't want to take the tour even though he said the trolley was the best part of the day.

We drove to McDonald's on S 4th Avenue then back up to CFA. Then we drove home. Andy chose I275 to I4 to I75 to BBD to CLR. 

lowery park zoo

Wednesday Adventure Club. 

Andy's choice this week. He chose to go back to Lowery Park Zoo

We left the house before 9:30. I realized when we got to Bruce B Downs that we didn't have our passes. I put the on the counter so I wouldn't forget them. Dad must have put them back in the microwave. Ryan wanted to cancel WAC. I tried explaining that life is like this and you need to learn how to deal with these little problems or you will never be able to handle the big problems. He still wanted to stay home. I gave him the choice of staying home alone or coming with us. He won't stay home alone. 

We got to the zoo just after 10. It was not crowded and we parked close to the entrance. We walked through the aviary near the entrance. There were not many birds about. They are doing modifications to the exhibit. We walked to Wallaroo Station. We went inside to see the Wallabies. They were hiding because of the heat. We did see one.

The water play area was closed for renovations. The Wool Shed was gone, converted into bumper boats. The boys are too big. We walked by the emus. Ryan read every sign out loud and heeded the warnings. The Dingos were sleeping. The bats were fewer. 

We walked in the Pony Shed but the stalls were empty. We only saw a Llama getting ready for a walk. Ryan stayed clear of the goats, afraid they would eat him. 

We walked to Safari Africa through the tunnel. Andy liked the echo. Ryan was glad for the shade and cooler temps. It was hot. When we stopped, I could feel the sweat rolling down. 

The Meerkats were sitting up but there weren't many. They were not active.

The Giraffes and Zebras were hanging out in the shade. It always smells by the Elephants. We walked down to the Rhino Feeding area but they were hanging away from the area. 

Ryan started walked back and skipped the Ituri Forest. He was hot and tired. I checked the weather. It was 86 but felt like 99. I told him to get a drink. Both boys smuggled in drinks. But Ryan didn't want to get in trouble. So why bring it in? Andy wouldn't drink because Ryan wouldn't drink. Ugh. 

We left the park just after 11. We went to McDonald's & CFA for lunch. We were home just after noon.

polk museum of art

Ryan chose the Polk Museum of Art. He looked at the info in the book and said “...students with ID. Where is my ID?” I assured him it meant adult students. 

We left the house about 9:30. Ryan gets to choose the route there and Andy gets to choose the route home. Ryan couldn't decide which way to go. He got upset and wanted to go back home. This made Andy upset. This was not going to be fun. But I realized that we have been lucky this summer without any major melt-downs. I also felt like I had to pee the whole way there. 

We got to the museum about 10:30. We walked in and saw the rules. No backpacks or cameras. Ryan was not happy and wanted to go home. He was really concerned about was the threat of rain. We took the backpacks back to the car and I carried the umbrellas.

We went back in and paid the fee. It was only $5 for me and the boy were free. It wasn't worth much more. They have only a couple of permanent exhibits and they are small. One exhibit is upstairs but the elevator was out of service and Ryan didn't see the stairs. When he found them on the map, he no longer wanted to go upstairs. 

The Polk Library was across the parking lot and we walked over there. It is really nice with separate rooms for kids and teens. The boys walked around and checked everything out. 

Ryan said he wanted to go downtown. I was hoping he would say we could wander around the park. I brought my dSLR just in case. He started directing me and we passed the park. Ryan directed me to turn onto US98 and I knew he meant to go home. 

We found McDonald's and Ryan said it was an old fashioned building. I said it wasn't, because to me, old fashioned meant the original design with large golden arches. This one was the standard design from the 1970's until 2006. After so many decades, McDonald’s is finally changed their design to a sleeker look with more subtle arches over the entry.

We found Chick Fil A and had to wait through 3 lights to make the turn. There was a back up if we went left so we made a u-turn. Turns out the back up was because of CFA. The drive thru is incredibly convoluted. The drive through wraps around the front of the store. But it works for the location.

Then I learned it was National CFA Appreciation Day and this traffic is not normal. When I had read there might be protestors, I didn't realize it was today. There were no protestors here. We saw long lines at our CFA as we drive home. Why I continue to eat at CFA despite the protests regarding equal rights is a post for another day. 

We had to drive through rain on the way home. It wasn't bad but it slowed us down a bit and made Ryan anxious.

I took my camera knowing I could not use it at the Museum. I was hoping we could walk around the park. I only got a few photos with my iPhone.


tampa police museum

Andy chose the Tampa Police Museum for Wednesday Adventure Club. Ryan put this option on the list from a travel guide that he read. I was surprised that it made the list. I have been there and didn't think it was very interesting.

Ryan chose the route downtown. He opted for Navigon's middle option which was the longest since it has more surface roads than interstate. And he complains when Andy's chooses a longer route on the way home. I know the downtown area around the Police Headquarters because we have had several photo walks there. Parking was easily found and a stranger gave us her parking receipt so we didn't have to pay.

We walked around the block to the entrance. Ryan saw the barricade and went to cross the sidewalk. I told him we could go this way since the museum was before the barricade. There were signs inside the museum windows saying to go around the building. I was confused but tried the door. It was locked so we walked around. The signs said we should go upstairs. I knew this wasn't right and we went back to the front. The doors were still locked but I saw a man sitting and talking on the phone. He got up and let us in. He didn't get off the phone. 

It didn’t take long to walk through. The museum is small and mostly a memorial to those who lost their lives in the line of duty. The exhibits consist of dusty uniforms and some badges behind glass.

We did see a robotic bomb diffuser and a jail cell door. Andy was happy to stand the faux jail cell. Ryan didn’t want to go in. I showed him that the key cannot be taken away and he got in. But he immediately set to unlocking the door. We were done with the place in less than 15 minutes.

We walked around a few blocks, following Ryan’s lead. The boys are very good about following the rules for crossing the streets and questioned anytime someone crossed against the light or jaywalked. They were very anxious and jumpy around cars.

We got back to car at 10:40 which was a bit early for lunch. We went to Barnes & Noble since the rained kept us from going after haircuts yesterday. The boys picked out their books while I ate lunch. I am very tired of chicken nuggets and was happy to eat a roasted tomato caprese panini.

Then we did drive thru lunch and went home.

Photos can be seen on flickr and I made layout.

heritage village

Wednesday Adventure Club was on Thursday. 

Ryan's chose Heritage Village. I took the boys there back in August 2010. We went after I had a photo shoot at Plant Hall. We didn't last very long because of the heat.

Ryan chose to go I75 to I4. I showed the boys the Raymond James offices where Gail used to work. We arrived at the Village just before 11. The parking lot was full and we had to park on the street. Ryan didn't this was allowed since no one else was there. I sprayed Off! on all of us knowing we would be walking around a lot of trees and scrub.

Ryan went first to the visitor center. He didn't walk around, just got the map to be on our way. 

We walked through the McMullen-Coachman Log Cabin, the Sulphur Springs Train Depot, HC Smith Store, McMullen House, and Walsingham House. The Walsingham House was set up as a doctor's office in the 1920s. The woman who gave the tour was just learning and did an OK job. Andy didn't want a tour. He wanted to walk around. 

We followed Ryan as he went the wrong way. Actually, it wasn't his fault as the map showed a path that had not been completed. We had to walk through some soggy ground to get back on track. I was glad for the Off!

We walked by the outhouses at Moore House and looked at the Union Academy. We looked at the fire engine and walked through the Lowe Barn and the Lowe House. The buildings are air conditioned which really helped. But it was still really hot. 

A lot of the scrub is gone and you can see most of the buildings clearly. We made it back to the visitor center and looked in on the wood carver. He looked bored. 

Ryan was done. We were ready to leave. We found our way to McDonald's and CFA for lunch. Andy picked the same way home.