Friday, October 29, 2010

Florida Friday: Halloween, Baby!

Halloween is my favorite time of year.

Simply love it.

Some of the best spots to celebrate in my area will be:

Saturday, October 30

Eolaween at Lake Eola Park. 2nd annual Eolaween, a family-friendly Halloween event with arts and crafts, food, carnival games, entertainment, trick or treating and children/pet costume contests. Admission is free and the event starts at 10:00AM.

City of Lake Mary's Halloween Spooktacular 2010 at Central Park from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. A safe alternative to trick or treating. There will be a costume contest, games, music and more. Admission is free and open to everyone.

Sunday, October 31:

Sanford's Spooky Hollow Trick or Treating with the Downtown Merchants. Taking place on 1st Street & Magnolia Square from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Music, costume contest, carnival games and more. Costume contest starts at 7:00pm.

Day of the Dead Halloween Block Party at Mucho Tequila. A street party will feature live music from Junkie Rush and Dukes of Swagger plus there will be a salsa wrestling and a taco eating contest.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'd eat a cupcake the same way if people wouldn't look at me funny.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MyBlogSpark: Taco Night

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been notified. Thank you!

Nothing gets my mouth salivating faster than the words: Taco Night.

I know, it's crazy to get all worked up about food, but hey, food is really important to me!

I can remember doing Taco Nights when I was a little girl. My Dad would fry up the beef, mix in the seasoning, toast the crunchy shells, set out all the fun fixings and let us go to town.

It was always fun and now that I'm a Mommy, I want to share taco nights with my girls (well, with Roo since Turtle kinda can't have Mexican food yet).

MyBlogSpark sent me a taco night kit complete with taco seasoning, festive trays to hold my condiments and a gift card to purchase the essentials to make yummy tacos.

Roo, Turtle and I didn't waste any time. We packed up, hit the grocery store and brought home our goodies to eat some tacos.

I cooked up the beef, added the Old El Paso Seasoning Mix, set all the condiments up.
Heated the shells.

And ate four tacos in one sitting.

What can I say? They were Y.U.M.M.Y.

Old El Paso makes one heck of a taco seasoning! Plus, in an effort to really make Taco Night spectacular, they have an online game called El Tacodor™. It's the only Taco Night game out there and by playing it your family can make the night even more fun.

And because I love you and Tacos so much (I did eat four!), the generous people at MyBlogSpark and Old El Paso want to give you a Taco Night kit to get your party started.

You'll receive the Old El Paso “Family Taco Night” prize pack which includes a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip & Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase your taco fixings

All you need to do to enter is tell me what you put on your tacos.

Easy peasy.

Extra entries can be earned by:

Following my blog

Following me on Twitter

Tweeting about the contest

Or bringing me tacos.... seriously!

Contest ends on November 2nd, 2010 and please, please, please make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Thanks and good luck!

MyBlogSpark and Old El Paso provided me with a Taco Night Kit to review for this post. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy or email me for more information.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Review: Madeline's Christmas and Other Wintery Tales

Madeline was always a favorite of mine when I was little.

The beautiful artwork, the simple sentences, the fact that they were in Paris...

I always wanted to be a little girl in Paris.

Madeline has sure changed since I was a little girl. She's become animated and she is having lots of fun with her friends from Miss Clavel's class, her dog Genevieve and the next door neighbor Pepito.

In the latest Madeline adventure, Madeline's Christmas and Other Wintery Tales, there are five episodes: Madelines Winter Vacation, Madeline And Santa, Madeline At The North Pole, Madelines Holiday With Mr. Grump and Madeline And The Ice Skates.

In all five adventures, Madeline and friends meet Santa, explore the wintery North Pole and learn to ice skate.

It's a must have for all Madeline fans.

Watching this DVD puts me in the holiday spirit and makes me want nothing more than the Christmas season to begin. Roo keeps asking me when we'll see snow (and living in Florida is making this request pretty impossible).

Madeline's Christmas and Other Wintery Tales is available for purchase online or on your store shelves.

I received a copy of this DVD for review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Learning to Sew

I told you a few weeks back that I was trying to pick up sewing as a hobby.

And I have to be honest with you, I haven't gotten very far.

It has a lot to do with time, two babes to take care of, a husband to feed, a house to clean, a dog to feed, miles to run, errands to do, etc. etc... I could go on and on about the things I have to do on a daily basis (notice most of them involve feeding people?).

And at the end of the day, I'm done.

I have no energy to sit down at the sewing machine and figure this whole thing out.

But deep inside I really want to do this.

I really want to make clothing for my girls, sew up awesome (does anyone still use awesome out there?) outfits for my husband's photo shoots, make cute burp cloths for friends and be that Mom.

You know which one I'm talking about.

The amazingly talented Mom who sews cute accessories to hand out to all her friends. The Mom that can sewing quilts for new babies and make matching shirts for sisters.

I want to be her!

And I'll never get anywhere unless I actually do it.

If you have any tips, suggestions, website I need to visit, please leave me a comment and tell me what I need to do to get this done.

And wish me luck.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Florida Friday: The Orlando Museum of Art

My husband and I are creative people. He is an amazing photographer, ceramicist, drawer, painter, etc. I can write essays in twenty minutes, draw a little and can doodle like a pro.

Since we have the creative bug, we hope to pass it along to our daughters.

Roo already can scribble a mean line.

Turtle can't really hold a pencil yet, but she'll get there.

The other day we took both of them to a favorite place of ours: The Orlando Museum of Art.

The main exhibit (until 10-31-2010) was the work of Edward Gorey and he is a favorite of ours, so it was exciting to get to view his work and see some of his personal effects. There was also an attached exhibit where students from UCF used Edward Gorey as their inspiration and the works displayed were amazing.

Roo's favorite part of the museum was the kids spot where she could build a Maya Pyramid and color African pots on paper. Turtle even got in on the fun, well, as much as she could.

While they did have the kid's corner for her to play in, that was really it. The museum bored her and she started acting out. It is a more ideal trip for older, more patience children.

But overall, it was a nice visit and didn't take too long to do (we were there less than two hours). And make sure you bring a sweater because it gets cold in there.

The Orlando Museum of Art is located at: 2416 North Mills Ave Orlando, Florida. Their hours of operation are Tues-Fri: 10am to 4pm Sat-Sun: 12pm to 4pm Closed Mondays & Major Holidays.

You can get more information by calling 407 896 4231 or emailing them at

This post was written for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitor's Bureau as a part of their VIP Journalist Program. They provided me with the opportunity to visit this establishment and report my opinions. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Roo: The Tootsie Roll

The other day when I was at the grocery store, I picked up some Halloween Candy that was on sale.

More specifically, Tootsie Rolls.

And you fell in love.


You ask for Tootsie Rolls allllllll day long.

I blame this instant love for all things Tootsie on your Grandpa.

He loves Tootsie Rolls as much as you do. I can remember when I was a kid he would always pick out Tootsie Rolls at the convenience store if we got candy.

But I can't lie, it's not only because of him that you love these chocolately, gummy, yummy treats.

I love them too.

And I'm the one that bought them, and opened them, and offered you one.

So it's all my fault.

But could you slow down on the Tootsie Rolls? You're gonna eat them all before I do.



p.s. I ate four tootsie rolls in the time it took me to write this post.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dear Turtle: 8 months

There are moments when I look at you and you look exactly like your sister. So much so that I, literally, stop and lose my breath.

Then you tilt your head one way and those ears of yours give you away.

Or you smile.

Oh, your smile.

Your smile is 100% completely your own. It's this beautiful smile that lights your entire face up and you, again, leave me breathless.

This past month you've increased your speed in crawling. It's ridiculous how fast you are. I put you down and the next second you've disappeared into the kitchen to knock around the dog bowl or crawl around under the kitchen table.

You've also mastered the art of climbing through the swinging door baby gate. If I dare leave it open, you are up and over it in a heartbeat.

Oh, and the TV, you've fallen in love with it. You motor over to it and pull yourself up to poke at the buttons which gives me a heart attack every time.

Your teeth (tooth?) count is up to four and you have the most adorable gap between your top two teeth. So sweet... but the biting while nursing is no fun, could you maybe give that up? Please?

You delight at everything your sister does and you tolerate her, even when she insists on covering you in towels or blankets.

You are so amazing, thank you for putting up with her crazies.

If you could just master the whole 8 hour sleeping at night thing, we'd be in there like swim wear.

I love you so much Turtle... so damn much.

Thank you for coming along.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Bravado! Design The Allure Underwire Nursing Bra

You know me when it comes to nursing, I'm in for the long haul.

We're about to hit our 8 month mark and I see many more to come, so I need to have sturdy, comfortable nursing bras that are going to function along with me.

Plus, I want them to be cute.

None of that beige, granny, over the shoulder boulder holders, please.

When your boobs leaks, get clogged, chewed on, tugged on, pulled on, bit, etc etc... the last thing you want to deal with is an ugly bra.

At least I don't.

That is why I am head over heels in love with Bravado! Designs entire collection of nursing bras.

I recently got my hands on (and my boobs in) the Allure Nursing Bra.

And I love it so much (p.s. that's not me!).

It has lightly padded cups that can hide the fact you are wearing nursing pads or if you're not, and you leak it hides that as well. It also has easy to maneuver clips to unhook, sexy lace on the back and adjustable straps.

The Allure is an underwire bra, but it doesn't dig into your skin or make it uncomfortable at all. To be honest, half the time I forget there's wire in there at all.

This bra also looks great under any kind of shirt you're wearing and is so darn cute you'll probably continue wearing it once you're done nursing

You can purchase your own Allure Underwire Nursing Bra online or at select stores.

I received the Allure Underwire Nursing Bra from Bravado! Designs for review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kolcraft Mom: Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All- Weather

Ever since I learned I was pregnant with our second babe, I've been dreaming about a double stroller.


Every time I went to the baby store I would insist we go up and down the stroller aisle so I could lovingly stroke the aluminum frames and test out the durability of the wheels.


I spent months doing research and reading reviews and comments about every double stroller on the market.

The one I kept going back to was the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather.

I have had many Jeep products (even a Jeep!) and I've loved every single one of them. I knew I couldn't go wrong with this stroller.

Kolcraft was kind enough to send me one to test out and I've been in double stroller heaven ever since.

Yes, I know I am weird.

Putting together the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather stroller was a task for the husband because it comes with these tiny pins you have to slide in the wheels to get them to stay, but he had better luck with them then I did. But all you have to do is slap the wheels on, maneuver the pins and you are ready to rock and roll.

The main reason I wanted a Jeep stroller was for the wheels. I live have a LONG dirt driveway and it is impossible to push a stroller through.

And while the Jeep did its best to keep up with the sand, I still had to turn it around and tug it through. In its defense there IS a lot of sand on my driveway.

Another cool feature of this stroller is that it has a padded backing that you can roll up to expose the mesh backing to keep your tots cool on your long walks. Plus, the backing makes a handy pillow to rest a weary head on.

The unfolding and folding of the Jeep stroller is also super simple. Every time I've done it I've had a baby on my hip and with the right amount of maneuvering, it's not a challenge.

The only problem I can find with it is that the canopies are a bit small and feel like after a lot of use the strength of the plastic will give out and there is no under seat storage, just two side pockets but those are the perfect size to hold two dinosaurs each.

Overall, we love this stroller. It is so convenient to have, it is easy to push, even with two three year olds in it.

You can purchase your own Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather stroller in your favorite baby store or online. It comes in three hip colors and retails for $119.00

I received a Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather stroller as a part of the Kolcraft Mom review program. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Florida Friday: The Orlando Science Center

I've been visiting the Orlando Science Center my entire life.
Even when it was located in the old building by the Art Museum. I have memories of seeing an amazing Pearl Jam laser light show in their planetarium a dozen times when I was in high school.

But visiting the Orlando Science Center with my children was an entirely different experience.

Being there and seeing the complete wonder in Roo's eyes was like visiting for the first time.

With Roo (Turtle was there too, she just mainly rode around on my hip) she wanted to visit every exhibit, touch every demonstration, feel every grain of sand in her fingertips.

And we did.

We spent 4+ hours exploring and crawling and playing.

And her favorite spot, the dinosaurs, of course! Roo was able to see life sized dinosaur bones before her very little eyes. She was able to dig for fossils and listen to dinosaurs roar.

She was also able to check out tiny alligators, turtles, spiders and snakes.

Then she was able to crawl around inside and under a tree in the Kid Town. Where she also built dams, pick plastic oranges and play in an underground tunnel.

The kid was in heaven.

The Orlando Science Center has four levels of exhibits, ranging from the dinosaurs to the an exhibit on evolution geared just for kids. There's also a huge theatre with an enormous screen to check out some scientific movies.

My personal favorite spot was this play room off to the side on the second floor. It had toys and cars to play in. Plus, I could put Turtle down and let her crawl. Plus, there were comfy chair for a nursing break.

The Orlando Science Center is the perfect place for younger kids to roam and discover. We definitely will be going back to make more memories.
Ticket prices are $17.00 per adult and $12.00 for kids.

The Orlando Science Center is located at 777 East Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida 32803. If you have any questions, you can call them at 407.514.2000
The content for this post was written for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitor's Bureau as part of their Journalist VIP Program. They provided me with the opportunity to visit this establishment and report my opinions on it. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Ultimate Family Vacation

Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine and Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

The Ultimate Family Vacation... those four little words make me stop everything I'm doing, close my eyes and let out a huge, long, wistful sigh.

This family needs a vacation... bad.

We've never taken a family vacation!

But we want to, boy, do we want to.

The Ultimate Family Vacation for us is hard to pinpoint because we love the idea of visiting everywhere in the world.


We love the beach and I can see the family digging their toes into sand, nice hot sun beating down on our skin. I see a gorgeous beach cottage that is all ours for a week. I see fishing poles, and kites flying high in the air. I see bonfires on the beach, smores and lazy days reading books and taking naps.

Then again, we love the mountains too. I can see us holed up in a cozy cottage tucked way high up in the mountains with sweaters and changing leaves. I can see us breathing all that fresh air, shopping in charming mountain shops, hiking trails with wildlife, fly fishing in freezing cold, clear water and eating heavy, calorie laded food that makes your mouth drool.

I can see us doing anything.

And you know, whether it's a road trip out west to see the West Coast, or a train ride north to find snow, I can see us doing whatever we deem our Ultimate Family Vacation as, as long as we're together because my Ultimate Family Vacation would be nothing without my family.


Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who Wants to Work?

Living on a farm means everyone has to do some kind of labor.

No one is safe....

But when Daddy has his back turned....

We play.

Shhh.... don't tell anyone.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nursing at Epcot

Whether you're a hide under the boobie cover or whip them out for whoever to see nurser, the most important thing when it comes to breastfeeding your baby on the go is comfort.

Comfort as in is your tush going to fall asleep on a hard bench or will it be cushioned in plush chairs.

Recently on a trip to Epcot I decided to put it to the nursing test and see if I could nurse like a rock star or not.

Upon entrance into the park, I scoured the nap and was disappointed to find that there was only one Baby Care Center in the entire park and it was clear on the other side of where I was at the moment.

I figured we'd do what we always do and just improvise. I could find spots to nurse without visiting the Baby Care Center, no problem.

Inside the Finding Nemo ride there are no benches in sight to nurse, which was kind of a disappointment because it's such a kid friendly area and I would've loved to have Roo play and watch fishes while I nursed, but I didn't really feel like camping out on the dirty floor to nurse.

I found a quiet little area inside the restaurant on the bottom floor of the Land exhibit. There were benches right at the entrance of the Land, but another nursing Mama had taken up residence there and I wasn't too cool with being on display with the amount of people that were coming in and out of the building. So I scouted around and found a great spot. It was a closed off area of seating for the cafeteria, but I just slipped under the rope and took care of business. It was cool, the seats were padded and we were happy. Of course the funny part was that where I was sitting was right where the Lion King cartoon lets out, so just as I switched Turtle to the other side, the doors opened up and everyone could see exactly what I was doing.

Turtle didn't need to nurse again until we were clear on the other side of the park so I took care of business while on the Mexico ride. It's quite comfortable for nursing and the length of the trip through is enough to get in a quick snack if your baby is fussy.

But along the way to Mexico, I checked out other areas and found that you could nurse. The United Kingdom had some hard benches to chill on, but I don't recommend them for nursing unless you have covers because they are on the main path through the park.

The American Adventure has a show where you can sit in the dark and nurse (the chairs are a tad small though) but the air condition is a nice trade off. If you prefer to stay outside while in America, you can hit up the outdoor theatre.

Inside Innoventions East & West there are great spots to sit, comfy chairs and air conditioning are a major plus in this area. Also, the lighting is dim so if you need to nurse and let your little one nap, it's the perfect spot.

In light of hard benches and the lack of benches, I was able to nurse my babe just fine while at Epcot. There's rides to accommodate you, benches along the lagoon and dark corners that work just as well.

Although I do have to admit, it wouldn't hurt Disney to think about nursing Moms when they design areas. Maybe at the next park?

I was able to visit Epcot with complimentary tickets to the park courtesy of Walt Disney World Parks. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Mommy Confusion

Sometimes being a Mom isn't a piece of cake.

Yes, shocking... I know.

Sometimes your kids act a certain way that does nothing but confuse you and leave you scratching your head.

Roo was acting that way today.

Today we were all good until we had to leave the park because it was wayyyy past time for Turtle's nap and I was just done with the whole dirty foot park thing.

So I loaded both of them up and off we went and the whole way home Roo declared every two minutes: I'm sad.

Then for the next hour and a half she clung to me, crying and weeping that she was sad.

And I have to be honest with you, at first I was so irritated with her.

So irritated that I was on the verge of losing my temper but I took a few deep breaths and dealt with it. Of course I was completely confused that entire time as to why she kept protesting that she was so sad.

And of course I tried every trick of bribery I had in my hat and each one failed.

Finally, yes finally (!), she calmed down and I won her over with Pez Candy and cartoons.

I've heard of terrible threes and wonder if she's getting a touch of it. She doesn't act like this always and that's why this post is titled Mommy Confusion... because I am so confused by her actions.

I'm also really grateful that's it is over.

Let's hope it never comes back.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Florida Friday: Get Outside

All of us Floridians have taken a big sigh of relief this past week.

Fall is finally here.

And while it's only in the mid 80s here, it's an amazing change from what we normally deal with.

So this week's Florida Friday is all about getting outside.

Go to the park and ride a slide, have a picnic in your front yard, feed some ducks at a lake. Or if you can't do that, just roll your windows down while you do your errands or pick the kids up from school.

You'll enjoy it, I know I will.

Your regularly scheduled Florida Friday will return next week.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: Pocoyo

It's no secret that my kid loves watching cartoons.
It's also no secret that I love cuddling up with my kid, popping in a DVD and smelling her hair.
In my defense, it's some yummy smelling hair.

But I'm getting off topic here.


We love them here.

And the newest addition to our "We love Cartoons" agenda is Pocoyo.
We started noticing Pocoyo a few weeks back because he'd pop up between our fave Nick Jr. shows and Roo loved him. We got our hands on the Meet Pocoyo DVD, popped it in and started the hair smelling... eh, cartoon watching.

What I love so much about Pocoyo is that its simple. The screen is not crowded with too much detail, the background is white and the colorful characters, Pocoyo and his animal friends, are the main focal point. Plus, the short episodes are just enough to capture any toddlers attention and keep it.

In Meet Pocoyo, Pocoyo and his animal friends, Elly the elephant, Pato the duck and Loula his pet dog watch an egg hatch, blow some bubbles and more. The DVD is 47 minute and is guarantee to get your tot laughing.

Roo is crazy about Pocoyo, so much so that she carries around the sleeve from the DVD case in her backpack and does a little happy dance when he comes on the television.

Meet Pocoyo is available online for the special introductory price of $6.99 and Pocoyo merchandise will hit store shelves this fall.

I received a copy of Meet Pocoyo for review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mommy Confession: The Binky

Egh, I hate to admit this... but Roo still uses a binky.

Her binky is her security blanket, along with her taggie (her other comfort/security blanket). Each night she cuddles up with both and goes to sleep.

Sometimes during the day, I'll catch her running around with both even though I've tried to push them as a sleeping only item.

For the longest time I didn't see a problem with her having a binky. I had the opinion that it wasn't hurting anyone so why take it away from her.

But now I'm getting concerned.

Is it normal for a three and a half year old to still need a binky?

Then I thought, well, Turtle loves her binky how can I make Roo give hers up when her sister has one?

Yesterday I tried to tell Roo that the Binky Fairy had written me a letter and asked if Roo would give up her binky for a baby that needs a binky and that the Binky Fairy would bring her a really cool toy.

Tears immediately welled up in her eyes and she said that she loved her binky and taggie and she wouldn't give them up.

I tried again and got the same result.

I'm just unsure about her using her binky in general. Is she in the age range where a binky can mess up the structure of her mouth? Am I just babying her? Am I not being stern enough?

Egh, Mommy Confessions sometimes aren't very glamorous.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Big 3-0

Today I turn 30...

And it's not as hard as I thought it would be when I was 13. I mean, come on, when you're 13, 30 seems like ice ages away and it really is... but now that I'm here at the big 3-0 it's not too bad.

I mean, I didn't wake up with any gray hairs or any more wrinkles on my face.

I do seem to hesitate when I check the age box... I'm no longer in my 20s, no longer in that "cool" age bracket.

But you know what, I vow to make my 30s even cooler than my 20s. Besides, age is only a number how you feel everyday is what counts.

And not to sound cheesy, but here's to making it count.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Going Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I wanted to share some events taking place in the Central Florida area to help raise awareness and money for the cause.

Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Centre, Rosen Plaza --- Each hotel is offering a “Sleepover for the Cure” overnight package with a percentage of sales to benefit the Orlando Chapter of Susan G. Komen. All three hotels offer a two-for-one golf, 15 percent off food and beverages, and complimentary self-parking, with varying room rates listed below. Packages can be booked now to Dec. 31, 2010 with travel to take place anytime. Nightly room rates: Rosen Shingle Creek -$99.00, Rosen Centre- $89.00, Rosen Plaza- $85.00-

Pinkberry, located at the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips is donating 10 percent of sales made every Wed. in Oct. (Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27) from 2 p.m. – 11 p.m./closing to the Orlando Chapter of Susan G. Komen in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.-

The American Pie Council is donating 10 percent of APC Tote Bag sales in the month of October to fund research in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Visit this website for more information. -

Fantasy of Flight, Intl. World Cup Paintball-- Susan G. Komen “Take Aim at Breast Cancer”--- Guests can make a $10.00 donation to shoot pink/yellow paintballs at a canvas that will then be turned into art and auctioned off at a gala to benefit Susan G. Komen, along with the paintball donations. This event on Sat., Oct. 23 and Sun., Oct. 24, is free to spectators.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Florida Friday: Central Florida Zoo

Everyone loves the zoo.

I mean, how could you not? All those adorable animals doing their thing right in front of you and the best part is that they are all in the same area. No need to travel half way around the world just to see an elephant.

So Turtle, Roo and I checked out our local zoo, the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Roo was so stinkin' excited about this trip. She wanted to see the elephants, the snakes, the cheetah, the monkeys and most importantly: the splash park.

The zoo, originally opened in this spot in 1975, hasn't changed much since I was a kid, with the exception that the hippo is gone and the elephant rides are no longer.

It is a quiet, calm place that has nice boardwalks to get your around and there are just a few dirt areas that can trip up a stroller.

The snake collection was Roo's favorite spot. All those slimy snakes! They creeped me out, but she was in heaven. She loved checking out the elephant (there's a nice covered area to sit and watch the elephants if you need a break) and being able to check out the cheetah made her day.

The zoo offers a nice petting zoo where your kid can pet and feed a handful of animals for $1.00 and you can get a cool plastic souvenir for only $2.00.

We did notice one thing that was collective around the entire zoo and that was that the zookeepers, helpers, volunteers, whatever you want to call them, were all rushing about with a 'Don't Bother Me' look.

A lady with a bird rushed right past my friend and her daughter, even though my friend made it clear her daughter wanted to check out her bird.

There were no employees around to answer any questions and the one employee I tracked down (the drink lady at the Snack Bar) couldn't answer any of my questions.

The only helpful, friendly employee we encountered was the guy running the carousel outside the zoo.

While our experience wasn't the best, it wasn't a total bust. The splash park was a huge hit. It was perfect since it's still really hot in Florida.

Also, the lack of crowds throughout the place was nice.

My recommendation for the zoo is to visit on the weekend since all the shows and animal demonstrations take place only on the weekend.

Admission to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is $11.95 for adults and $7.95 for kids 3-12. You'll find the zoo located at: 3755 NW Highway 17-92 in Sanford, Florida.

The content of this post was provided/available by the Orlando/Orange County…’s Journalist VIP Program

This content post was written for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau as a part of their Journalist VIP program. They provided me with the opportunity to visit this establishment and report my opinions. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.