Checking out Tampa

Back in October, while in Florida, we decided to head out to Tampa for the very first time. Neither one of us had ever been and we had a free day. We got in the rental car, hopped on the highway and jetted out to the lovely city of Tampa.

Everything that we saw in Tampa was just so pretty looking. The entire environment is so different than being back home in New England. Sure, we have tons of coastline at home but it just doesn’t compare to the beautifulness of Tampa in general.

Since we had never been to Tampa before and Dave loves anything fish related we thought what better way to spend the day than at the Florida Aquarium. We have visited the New England Aquarium in Boston many times before and found that the Florida Aquarium has way more to offer. We wonder if it has a lot to do with the location of the New England Aquarium, which just seems to not have much room to grow.

Any who, the day was spent walking through the aquarium and us snapping as many pictures of the amazing sea life as we could.

The aquarium also has an area with Ring Tailed Lemurs. They were quite fun but a little camera shy. It was a bit of a challenge to get the little buggers to stop and say cheese!

On the other hand some of the fish we saw were quite friendly and even tried to interact with us. Our absolute favorite was the Puffer that seemed to come over and pose. It was like he was saying to us “make sure you get my good side!”

They had a large amount of different birds and ducks that were able to roam about freely. One particular duck did not seem fond of having his picture taken. Anytime someone approached the area that he was in he would splash around and he made sure they got a bit of a soaking. It was quite amusing and we waited around to see his next unsuspecting victims.

Obviously we couldn’t forget about the always adorable penguins. They were a little difficult to see because their enclosure windows were not very clean. We assumed it was because they were constantly moving around their space and even splashing about.

One of our favorite things that we saw at the aquarium was a little sign with a friendly reminder in case you didn’t already know the obvious. Of course we had to take a picture of it!

We had so much fun at the Florida Aquarium and we hope to visit again. The staff was really friendly and the animals were awesome. We suggest if you are in the area to stop in and check out all they have to offer.



Day Trip #5- Summer Nationals Car Show

A few years back we found a car show that went on for a long weekend over the 4th of July. We absolutely fell in love with this car show because it was a way to enjoy the holiday and get out and about for a bit. We have tried to attend every year since but sadly this past July (2014) the show had been canceled.

We thought we’d share with you some of the fun we had back in 2013 in hopes that the car show will happen again this year. Some of the events that take place are drag racing and burnout competitions. We love the burnouts and found that the 2013 event was great because of the set up. (Who really loves smoke from burning rubber blowing in their faces?) It was held at the Thompson Motor Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut but is usually held in Worcester Massachusetts.

This is a video of some of the burnouts (and a little extra from Dave!)

We got to see some really great cars that were on display. These are just a few pictures of what we saw.

Day Trip # 4- Outlet shopping

We decided to take advantage of the nice weather we were getting after Hurricane Arthur. We didn’t take a direct hit or anything but we certainly got rain and wind and lots of it! It unfortunately messed up a lot of things that were planned for the 4th of July, not just our plans but everyone’s. The local fireworks shows were all put off until delay dates but it became too difficult to keep track of which city was having their fireworks show and when. But now onto the calm after the storm, shopping at the Merrimack Premium Outlets, located in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

We had never been to the outlets before and since we are on the hunt for vacation clothes and luggage we thought we would check out the luggage. It doesn’t take us too long to get to so mid morning we decided to hop in the car and venture out. The traffic wasn’t bad at all which leads us to think that most people haven’t come home from their 4th of July extravaganzas.

The shopping outlet itself is a really nice set up. It is essentially outdoor walking to each store, perfect for the weather we were having. It is really clean and set up in an easily accessible fashion. We didn’t think that the prices, since it is outlet shopping, were much different than the local stores we have at home. We did hear a lot of French speaking people which leads us to believe that many Canadians were visiting the area. We also noticed this in Kittery, Maine outlets too. For them, the prices are much cheaper than in Canada.

They did have a few luggage places but we didn’t see anything that the Mrs. has been searching for. The prices were not really any better than our local malls so there was no rush to purchase anything. We’re all about the research, as we’ve shared a lot, it’s all about getting the right price even if that means waiting a little bit. Thank goodness we have no kids, that wouldn’t go over well.

There were plenty of stores to check out. Here are some of the ones we looked in: Under Armour, Skechers, Reebok, Lindt Chocolate, Aeropostale and many many more. They also offer a small food court to have lunch inside or outside.

Let us know what day trips you have planned this summer!

Day Trip #3~ Mystic Connecticut


We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last August. We went and spent the day in Mystic Connecticut. It’s only a few hours drive from us so off we went on a beautiful but warm August day to see what Mystic had to offer. We were excited to visit the aquarium, the little shopping village and of course the seaport.

To start our day we visited the Mystic Aquarium. We were thrilled to find the weather held up and was perfect. The aquarium is set up in a way that you have to walk outside at some points to get to some exhibits and other exhibits were completely outside.
Here are some of the outdoor animals we found.

There were many tanks displayed inside as well. They have a large array of different fishy animals set up.

Here are pics and a video from their jelly fish exhibit, Jellies in Motion.

They also offer a sting ray exhibit that allows you to touch the them. You can even purchase sting ray food and feed them.

They also offer a Spongebob Square Pants movie available for a separate admission than the aquarium admission price in their 4-D theatre. They have a fairly decent sized cafe offering various sandwiches and lunch type food and a souvenir shop that had lots of fun trinkets.

We found the aquarium to be quite enjoyable. It definitely has a lot to offer for anyone that is interested in seeing marine life, especially ones they wouldn’t normally get to see. It is a great place for kids and families and we look forward to getting to visit again.

We briefly walked throught the Mystic Village. It is a little area you can walk around in that has a lot of cute and unique shops. We enjoyed checking out everything there was to trying out the fudge at various shops. It isn’t a place that we could spend an entire day but we surely enjoyed the experience.

We also walked along the Mystic Seaport which was really nice. They also offer tours along the water and through the old historical houses for additional fees. We didn’t actually do this as we were way too tired from walking around all day long. On our next trip we intend to start at the seaport.

Let us know about your summer day trips or new places in New England we should visit!

Day Trips #2~ Amusement Parks

This past weekend we ventured over to a local theme park to celebrate a family member’s birthday. This person turned 14 years old and wanted nothing more than to take a few of her friends and get on some rides. Our families are mostly from the New England area so we tend to go to fairly local places which is why we decided to go to Canobie Lake Park located in Salem New Hampshire. The drive to and from the amusement park is pretty easy and the weather was great. What better way to spend the Sunday afternoon.

Here is our New England version of the Portofino (hotel at Universal Studios Orlando)!!

We spent the day walking around, taking in the great day and of course riding some of the rides.
Here are a few pictures of some of the rides.




They also offer the typical amusement park food. Lot’s of yummy sugary things!!




Located towards the back of the park is a great view of Canobie Lake.

They also offer a small water play area. The younger kids really love this on a hot summer day.