Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer Trip to Tampa

I really am terrible at blogging promptly when things happen. It's been way over a month ( closer to two) since we went to Florida, and I still haven't gotten around to putting anything up here... So, I'm kicking myself into gear and getting it done today!

Originally I was going to present this in two separate posts... But I think I'll be able to combine everything into one good abbreviated post instead.

Our trip down to Florida in august stemmed from a couple of things, the main reason being Jeff's desire to visit his grandparents and spend quality time tying up loose ends with them. After my grandmother passed away he became very preoccupied with this. Other minor though no less important reasons included seeing other family members, friends, and a last opportunity to rest before this busy season of school, work, and endless tasks began.

While we were there we got to accomplish a lot. We got to see everyone on our list without feeling rushed, we got to soak up sun, visit old friends, and experience some of the nostalgia of Jeffs childhood. Enjoy the pictures and captions to follow:

Jeff goes on... and on... and on about his love for authentic cuban food. He was on a mission to find the real deal for me to try while we were there, and this place was the bomb!

I was skeptical at first,  but this deviled crab dish they make is pretty darn tasty. 
This is the much hyped potato ball that he's been talking about since I've met him. It's DELICIOUS, huge, and something that you simply can't find around here.

Ah, the Cuban sandwich. Every time we try to order one in Lexington, he gets very pouty and disappointed that it just doesn't live up to his standards. This sandwich here on the other hand, was phenomenal... and huge. One sandwich fed the both of us with leftovers to spare.

I made Jeff promise me that one day would be dedicated to the beach. So, the ONE day that was free of tropical storms, gloom, and wind was spent soaking in the rays and enjoying the ginormous waves.

The last day in Tampa we spent at the neatest zoo I've ever been to, Lowry Park, with some of Jeff's friends. He knows I'm a zoo nut to begin with, and this made the entire trip for me. This zoo was really interactive, with rides, petting zoos, train rides through exhibits, and much more.

I have a soft spot for a lot of animals, and penguins are just fun loving and great to watch. The two above with snuggling and kissing each other, while the one below was showing off for spectators flipping, jumping and all sorts of stunts in the water.

These meercats had to be the most hilarious bunch I'd ever seen. They were very curious, brave little boogers, and had a lot of fun trying to get our attention.

I adore giraffes... a lot. If you don't believe me, see earlier posts such as this one where Jeff and I found a petting zoo with a baby giraffe. This zoo also let you feed giraffes, although they weren't babies, and we also got to go on a train ride that went right into their exhibit!

This baby rhino was too much! Full of energy, playfulness, and awkward movements, he was only born two weeks prior to us getting there!

I really found it neat how they organized their animal environments. Most zoos I've been to segregate each species into their own area. This zoo chose to put animals that would normally interact in the wild safely together into one environment.
I love open markets. One of Jeff and My favorite things to do on the weekends in Lexington is to wander through the farmers market. The great thing about Florida is they are all over the place and are up all year round every day. Fresh, local produce ripe and ready to eat, and so much tastier that way too! Of course, Jeff had ulterior motives for stopping on this particular trip... Boiled peanuts. Another local novelty, and not something I've seen before I met him... I'm still getting used to them, and their smell.

Can you say banana split with mango cut that day, chocolate syrup and fresh strawberries? I can ! YUM

1 comment:

  1. Ashley, I'm so glad you included us on your list of people to see while visiting Florida. I had a great time just hanging out with you, and I know Chris enjoyed the shooting range with Jeff :) You two seem really happy together, and we just can't get enough of you ... so please come visit again as soon as you get the chance! I'm really happy that you had a great time here!

    (boo bear to Jeff, lol)