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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Trevon's 16th Birthday - A Fun Filled Day in Tampa

Trevon's birthday was the day before yesterday,
April 5th.  

He turned 16!!!

We had a very fun day in Tampa, Florida.

Each year we make birthdays in our house VERY special ♥.  Each person gets to pick exactly what they want to do for their special day, what they want to eat, and of course what kind of cake they want ☺.

Trevon has always like to go somewhere fun and special for his birthday, and this year, with all his options, he picked Tampa Fl.

There are so many things to do in Tampa, and we're only an hour away so we like to go there quite often.  On this special trip though, Trevon was in charge of the schedule!

We left home at about 10am and got onto I-4 headed West, towards Tampa.

The first stop of the day was Starbucks!  

Trevon's White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

 Trevon tried a White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino and a breakfast sandwich, I got my favorite, Decaf Iced Mocha, Mahnara and Zarius got the Orange Mango Protein Shakes.

Trevon's bacon and egg sandwich from Starbucks
We grabbed our yummy drinks and we were on our way to our next stop (this one I had to sneak in there, lol.).  Exit 21 ~ Plant City strawberries!!!  


They have a produce stand right off of the exit and they sell fresh Fl produce.  We always stop there for strawberries and other fresh goodies.  They had a whole flat (8 containers) of strawberries for $5.99!

We picked out the fruits and veggies we wanted then hopped back in the car to finish our drive to Tampa.

Got our goodies!

 We arrived about 20 minutes later and took the first exit ~ exit 1 ~ and headed for the Port of Tampa. 

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship in Tampa

Where we saw a cruise ship!  Boy do I (we!) love cruises!  We went on our first cruise in 2003 and it's WAY past time for another one!

Trevon was 7, Mahnara and Zarius were 7 months old.  It was a Holland America (HAL) ship, the Zuiderdam (out of Fort Lauderdale), and it was wonderful!   After that 7 day cruise we proceeded to spend the next 5 weeks in Florida!  We spent a week in Miami going to the zoos and museums, then headed to Key West and the Keys for the next few weeks. 

After that first cruise we went on another cruise 3 months later, that was combined with our very first Walt Disney World vacation!!!

It was also on Holland America, the Zaandam (our of Port Canaveral), in a Suite (Thank you dad!) and it was incredible!  The Mahnara and Zarius actually learned to walk on that cruise, and at Disney World.

2 years later I went on the Holland America Masdaam with my mom.  It was a 10 day cruise out of Norfolk and it was an amazing experience.  We visited a lot of unique islands and went on a lot of incredible excursions but I  missed my family a lot, and I couldn't leave them again!

The Lido deck, balcony rooms and bridge

The Port of Tampa is home to the Florida Aquarium and some nice shops and restaurants.  We love the Victory Coffee and Tea Bar, right across the street from the cruise ship terminals.   

The boys trying to decide what to order ...

They have a wonderful selection of coffees and teas, and they make the best iced tea from your favorite tea!

Trevon giving me "the look" because I'm trying to take a candid picture, lol

Trevon tried a black tea with vanilla iced tea and I had to get the jasmine green iced tea.  

They were delicious (Mahnara ended up drinking most of mine☺) and if we hadn't just recently  had coffee we would have gotten some there.

Trevon ~ 16!
After we enjoyed our tea we headed back to the car so we could head towards our next stop.

Trevon wanted to visit Bayshore Drive.  It's a 4+ mile long continuous sidewalk that runs along the bay in downtown Tampa.

Mahnara and Zarius - Downtown Tampa

It's a place for locals to run, walk and bike and affords nice views of the bay and the pretty houses that line it.

It was a beautiful and warm day, and we really enjoyed Bayshore Drive.

On our way to our next stop we did have quite a creepy experience.  We were driving and saw this really old, rundown, abandoned house on the bay and turned around so we could pull in and take some pictures. 

Well, it wasn't abandoned!  When we pulled into the circular driveway I noticed an older lady near the old garage, working in buckets on tables.

I pulled up next to her and rolled down the window, to ask if we could snap a few pictures of the old house.

We said "Hi" and she ignored us.  We said "Hello" and she still ignored us.  I began to wonder if maybe she was deaf, or hard of hearing and then she looked up and we asked her if this was her house.

It was like a scene straight out of a horror movie!  She glared at us and said, "leave now" "leave now" "leave now"!  She was scary, and the way she said leave now, in a monotone voice, getting stronger each time she said it, and saying it in a row like she did, that was scary!

We quickly left ~ we were totally creeped out!  While we were waiting to pull out onto the road we managed to snap the pictures you see here.  It appears to be furnished, and I do believe that she lives in that old run down house.  Sure doesn't seem safe!  Looks like it would have been beautiful back in the day though, being on the bay surrounded by the trees ...

 By this time we were all getting hungry so we went to Moes!  Trevon picked Moes because he likes their burritos.  He found a Moes that has the Coke Freestyle Machine.  He was very excited about that!

I have never eaten at Moes.  Each time I take Trevon I never got anything because I assumed that their foods must have MSG in them.  

I was wrong!  I looked online and saw that they don't use any MSG in their foods, that their sour cream uses rBGH free milk and that their meats are hormone free and some are even free range!

I was impressed and excited to actually get to eat something there with Trevon! (I never get to eat out due to all the bad food additives found in most foods).

The food there was great, and it didn't bother me!  I had the tofu, it was yummy.  Trevon got each of the meats in his burrito, and the kids even ate one!

Everyone loved the Coke Freestyle machine ☺.  It has over 100 different flavors of Coke products in it!!!

Trevon on his way back to the table from one of his  many trips to the Coke Freestyle machine

Everyone tried as many as they wanted, they just put a little in their cup each time so they didn't waste it.  They also waited until no one was up there using it so they didn't make anyone wait.

Zar at the Coke Freestyle machine

We're not soda drinkers, Trevon and Mahnara like it occasionally as a treat.  Zarius hates carbonation and won't drink it at all, ever.  The Coke Freestyle machine offers non-carbonated drinks, which is nice.  It has flavored Dasani water, and Powerade.

I thought the Strawberry Sprite was good (grape Sprite, not so good), and the Vanilla Root Beer was good too, reminded me of root beer and cream soda mixed together, but I still prefer the regular, plain old root beer.  

Trevon tried a lot of the flavors and didn't find one he really liked.  They have orange Coke, and he was curious to see if it was anything like the orange coke drink at Club Cool in Epcot.  It wasn't.  He said he'd stick with the regular Coke.  It was fun experience though!!! 

When we were almost finished eating Trevon and I went next door to Gigi's Cupcakes to get Birthday treats.

Trevon picked out a Kentucky Bourbon Pie cupcake, I got that kind too, Amy got a Pistachio cupcake and the kids each got a wedding cake cupcake. 

They were around $4.00 each with tax and they were worth it!

I was worried that they wouldn't be very good, that the frosting would be bad.  I don't care for the cupcakes at Walt Disney World because they frosting tastes so much like lard, or shortening.  I was curious to see if the frosting on Gigi's cupcakes were going to be good or bad.

Well, they were good!  Very good.  I was impressed.  I really, really enjoyed the cupcake and the frosting was delicious too!  Everyone really enjoyed their cupcakes and the kids said they were the best cupcakes they've had (and I would agree!).

Gigi's Cupcakes are yummy!

Okay, we were full, and ready to go to the mall!  Trevon really enjoys the mall, and I really enjoy this particular mall.  International Plaza.  It's a great mall ☺.

We headed over to the mall and stayed until closing.  It was fun and we found some nice things.  The time really flew by, and already it was the end of the day!

We had planned on heading home after the mall but Trevon asked to go to the beach.  He didn't want to go earlier in the day, but now he wanted to go at night.

Sure!  Why not?  

So we headed over the bridge, South, towards the beaches.  It didn't matter which beach, just the closest one.

It took awhile, and by the time we got there it was around 10:30pm but boy, was it gorgeous!!!

We ended up at a beach we had never been to, Redington Beach.  

It was very nice.  The moon was bright and the stars were overhead and we just walked the beach under the stars and enjoyed just being there.  The kids took their shoes off and rolled up their pants and ran in the water, they really wanted to get in and play, lol.  I promised them we'd go back during the day next week ☺.

We were on the beach when Trevon officially turned 16.  I can't believe he's grown up so much, it seems like yesterday that he was my cuddly little baby or sweet little boy.

He still is my sweet little boy, he always will be.  I thank god every day for him, and all of my family.  We are so blessed to have each other, and I am thankful for each and every day together.

The beach was the perfect ending to a perfect birthday. 

 Trevon was very happy with his fun filled day and so was I, we all were!

We're looking forward to the next one!

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I just came across your blog today and I'm in love with it! I really agree with your life motto to have fun. Moving to Florida is definitely something I want to do and your blog is really helping!

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