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Messages - TBTourist

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Day Trips, Weekends and More! / Cocoa Beach Weekend Trip
« on: February 06, 2010, 12:25:58 AM »
You just have to go check out Cocoa Beach for the weekend!  I had no idea that it was the surf capital of Florida until August of 2009. 

When you drive down I-75 from Georgia into Florida, you see several billboards for the Ron Jon Surf shop, and when we went there, I didn't know it was such a big deal!  I've driven by those bill boards for years, but that store is huge and it's full of surf stuff and bathing suits and sandals and dang, is it ever expensive!  We bought some post cards for a couple bucks.  We're El Cheapo tourists!  LOL!

There are surf boards hanging all over the second level and you can even buy an official Ron Jon used long surf board for only $3,000 from his private collection!  What a deal!  LOL!  Three grand for a wooden surf board?  LMAO!

Anyways, we ate at a Mexican Restaurant at the beach called the Azteca Mexican Restaurant.  It was really nice and clean and you can see our photos below. 

It was located in a big hotel whose name I can't remember and we went to the beach afterwards.  Below are some photos from the restaurant and from the beach in front of the hotel on the Atlantic Ocean.  Click the photo to make it larger and enjoy! 

It's worth a trip over there from the Tampa Bay Area.  You can cross Florida on I-4 and the Beeline Expressway in about 2 1/2 hours.  It's freeway all the way until you get close to Cocoa Beach, so it's a nice ride.

Just watch out on the roads, because the Florida natives have lead foots and they go 80 when the speed limit is 70!  Stay out of their way and stay out of the left lane!  LOL!

Tampa Bay Entertainment and Attractions / The Florida Aquarium
« on: February 05, 2010, 05:43:19 PM »
The Florida Aquarium is definitely a fun day!  It's relatively inexpensive and of course, if you love fish you'll love this.  They have a wetlands area, a swamp area, a beach area, a coral reef area, a shark tank, a stingray petting tank, and all sorts of exotic fish. 

I especially liked the huge tanks with the coral reefs.  There's a huge two story wall of glass with a sitting area and it's soooo relaxing to sit there and observe the fish.  They even have rocking chairs in that area, so grab one of those. 

If you're interested in diving with the sharks, they will let you do so on certain days and probably by appointment for an extra cost.  But, seeing their diver in the shark tank and hearing them talk to the crowd to answer questions is way cool also. 

Click the link to go to their website for more information.

Hotels and Motels / The Beach Life
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:42:35 PM »
Here's a Florida vacation and travel guide site and it's a local search directory.

Hotels and Motels / The USA Hotel Zone
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:36:19 PM »
The USA Hotel Zone is a good place online to find hotels in the Tampa Bay area and other parts of Florida too!

Here's a link for Tampa:

Here's a link for the rest of Florida:

Tampa Bay Entertainment and Attractions / Lowery Park Zoo 1
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:24:10 PM »
The Lowery Park Zoo is a great value for the family and it's a lot of fun too.  We went in the Summer which is the rainy season here in Tampa.  First, it was very hot out there that day and then the clouds blew in and a nice shower fell on us to cool us off.  

The exhibits are real nice and you can get up pretty close to the animals.  They also have a great play area for the kids.  

You can see the photos below by clicking them to make them larger.  Unfortunately, the rain came before I could get any pictures of the chimps and apes, so that will have to wait until another time.  Go see them when you have a chance!

I forgot the link, so here it is:

Tampa Bay Entertainment and Attractions / Lowery Park Zoo 2
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:17:01 PM »
Here are some more photos from the Lowery Park Zoo.  Click the image to make it larger.

Tampa Bay Entertainment and Attractions / Gasparilla Pirate Festival
« on: February 05, 2010, 11:45:52 AM »
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival happens each year, usually in January.  They have a children's parade the week before the main event and people think it's great fun!  We went a couple years ago, so photos from that day are below.  Click the image to make it larger and here's a link to all of the information.

Day Trips, Weekends and More! / Kennedy Space Center 1
« on: February 05, 2010, 11:08:42 AM »
We went to Cocoa Beach last year at the end of August for the weekend to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary and we had a great time!  The highlight of our trip was a night launch of the Space Shuttle from the Kennedy Space Center.  We had never seen a Space Shuttle launch before and to see it at night was spectacular!  It lit up the entire sky and we could feel the ground shake and we could hear the roar.  I took some photos, but it's only an orange dot in the black sky.  I should have done a time exposure... hindsight is 20/20 as they say.  

The night launch was Friday night, so we decided to spend Saturday and Sunday touring the Kennedy Space Center.  When you buy a ticket, it's good for two days, so we managed to see everything that way.  It's simply too big to see in just one day.  

Kennedy Space Center has a new attraction/ride called the Shuttle Launch Experience.  It vibrates and tilts to give you the sensation of an actual launch and it was great fun to do after seeing the night launch the night before.  

They also have movies and an IMAX theater that took up some time.  Plus there are several buildings to walk through and look at all of the exhibits.  It's very fascinating as Spock on Star Trek used to say.  

On the second day, we took the several hour bus tour of the launch pads and facilities, preparation buildings, space station modules, and it really did take several hours.  That's why you can't see it all in one day.  See posts 3 and 4 for those pictures.  

I was especially happy to see the Space Shuttle launch pad that was used 2 days before we saw it.  It was cool to see the launch facility right after the night launch.  

We had a very memorable weekend and we highly recommend that you take a weekend to visit it.  As of this writing there are only about 5 launches left before the Shuttle Program ends, so go check it out!  

Day Trips, Weekends and More! / Kennedy Space Center 2
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:50:57 AM »
Here are more of our photos from the Kennedy Space Center.  Click the photo to make it larger.

Day Trips, Weekends and More! / Kennedy Space Center 3
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:47:19 AM »
Here are more of our photos from the Kennedy Space Center.  Click the photo to make it larger.

Day Trips, Weekends and More! / Kennedy Space Center 4
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:37:58 AM »
Here are the last of our photos from the Kennedy Space Center.  Click the photo to make it larger.

General Discussion / Welcome to!
« on: February 05, 2010, 10:13:33 AM »

Welcome to!

We're here to tell you all about the great things that the Tampa Bay area has to offer!  Membership is FREE and the registration is instant. If you have a question or a comment, please post it.  We'll research it and get an answer to you ASAP. 


Casinos, Dog/Horse Racing, Poker / Hard Rock Casino
« on: February 04, 2010, 10:27:11 PM »
Our local casino is the Tampa Hard Rock Casino.  We have been there multiple times and it's an entertaining place.  But, we have lost more money than we have won, so WATCH OUT!  :(

Restaurants and Reviews / Favorite Mexican Restaurants
« on: February 04, 2010, 10:10:40 PM »
We really like to go to Carmelita's.  They have several locations we have been to in Largo and Seminole.  Check out their link below.

We also like Miguel's Cafe in Tampa because it's close to home.

Restaurants and Reviews / Tampa Bay Restaurant Guide
« on: February 04, 2010, 09:59:37 PM »
The Tampa Bay Restaurant Guide is a great place to start your search for fine dining.  The listings are categorized by city or by the type of food they serve.  Click the link to go there

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