Archive for the FLORIDA ADVENTURES Category

The SEA HAGG…have you seen it?

Posted in FLORIDA ADVENTURES, FLORIDA BEACHES with tags , on August 1, 2013 by disneychronicles
The Sea Hagg

Just before crossing the Cortez Bridge leading to the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a little shop that I drive past frequently.  I always said to myself ..

I must stop there! so finally yesterday I did.

If you love anything nautical you will walk through here in pure amazement! I cannot really describe it as just a shop,  they call themselves is a chandlery and I think it is a perfect fit!
What exactly is the official definition of a chandlery?

A chandlery was a store that sold nautical parts, gear, and other commodities to sea-bound vessels. The chandlery came into prominence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when ships were the preferred method of transportation for the lucrative industries of cargo shipping, fishing, and whaling among other areas. The chandlery in its simplest form acted as a storeroom for hoarding supplies of wax and tallow candles, soaps, oils, paints, ropes, as well as other things that sea-bound sailors would need to aid them in their journeys.
Now take that and add nautical jewelry, art, garden decorations including buoys, mermaids , fishnets, nautical instruments and so much more….
Check it out for yourself!
and there is even a Disney link…
who knows what this is from….
yup! Pocahontas! Grandmother Willow.
Where’s it at…
12304 Cortez Rd. West
Cortez, FL 34215

Gasparilla Pirate Festival…what is it?

Posted in EVERYTHING DISNEY, FLORIDA ADVENTURES with tags , on January 21, 2013 by disneychronicles


I have been wanting to go to this for years and finally made it there Saturday!

We attended the Family parade they do an “Adults” one a week later.

The Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade has been a Tampa tradition for over 100 years.


How did it start?

It all started with the legend of a fortune in buried treasure left somewhere along the Florida coast by Jose Gaspar when he died. Although that treasure has never been found…..

(hmmmmmm) 🙂

the story of the swashbuckler was unearthed and his memory revived in 1904 when Tampa’s social and civic leaders adopted the pirate as patron rogue of their city-wide celebration.

Forty original members of the first “Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla” met in secret and planned a surprise mock pirate attack on Tampa. In full regalia — masked and fully-costumed — the first krewe arrived on horseback to “capture the city” during the Festival Parade. Surprisingly, the first invasion was so successful that a city-wide demand lead to making the Mystic Krewe organization permanent. A tradition was born.

To celebrate their capture of the City of Tampa, the Captain and his Krewe share their wealth – throwing  glittering beads, candy and treasures along the 3.8-mile parade route.




“Make way, mateys!” shout Tampa’s original buccaneers as they wind their way down historic Bayshore Boulevard and into downtown Tampa – amidst colorful costumes and festive music.

The Gasparilla Parade features over 130 units – including more than 90 floats and  14 marching bands!

Vendors are also located up and down Bayshore Boulevard and you can’t miss the finale of fireworks at the end!

Today, over 400,000 attend the event, which contributes over $20 million to the local economy! and it is a great time!

Kayaking at Weeki Wachee State Park

Posted in FLORIDA ADVENTURES with tags , on September 12, 2012 by disneychronicles

How did you spend your Labor Day?

We grabbed the family and headed North….well not too far North! As far as Weeki Wachee….for one of my favorite activities since moving to Florida…KAYAKING!

Now I know you can kayak well almost anywhere but I do love it here because the springs are amazing! So clean you can see the bottom and the fish swim by. Year round they stay at about 75 degrees so even if you go when it’s hot you don’t feel it!

Paddling Adventures is the only canoe and kayak rental facility located on the river at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida. Your paddle will take you about three hours to complete without stopping down 5.5 miles of picturesque natural beauty and crystal clear waters. Much of the river is under natural canopy. The river’s depth averages from one foot to four feet. There are many twists and turns in the river so keep on the lookout for turtles, manatees, various aquatic birds, and the occasional otter.

It is a good idea to pack a picnic basket and non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy once you have reached your destination of Roger’s Park, where you can take full advantage of an observation deck, picnic tables, swimming and more. Don’t worry about paddling back; the Paddling Adventures shuttle back to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will pick you up here!  It being a holiday there was police on a jet ski that roamed the area. Safety I suppose, it was pretty packed. It was just a strange sight. On any other day it is just a relaxing paddle and I highly recommend it!

The HUB…Baja Grill…YUM!

Posted in FLORIDA ADVENTURES with tags , , on August 19, 2012 by disneychronicles

Had a chance to checkout The HUB in Siesta Key…liked it!

but finding parking!!!!! Grrrrrrr !!! GOOD LUCK!

It is laid out with a great outdoor seating area, live music and fans to keep you cool! The Hub Baja Grill is located at the north end of Siesta Key Village.

They serve food with a Tex-Mex flair. The kind of food that goes good with an icy Margarita! 😀

Attire is casual….very casual. Come as you are kind of atmosphere! They do cater to families also so you will have a children’s menu.

It is more of a restaurant then  a “BAR” experience. The food is good, great atmosphere as well as service AND its close to the beach!



What more do you need?!

Where’s it at?…..

5148 Ocean Boulevard Sarasota, FL


Give it a try…..if you can find parking that is!

Taverna Opa in Orlando……what FUN!

Posted in FLORIDA ADVENTURES with tags , on July 28, 2012 by disneychronicles

We had a friend visit from out of town and really wanted to go somewhere new to eat.

I got a recommendation from my hair dresser (yes she’s awesome!)

and I LOVE this place!!

It is so fun! and yes it is a family atmosphere!

The combination of great food and celebration created a new meaning for the concept of dining.

A different approach that energizes and gives the diner a different dimension in entertainment. Previous dining norms are broken, spirits are lifted, with every single broken plate and every single napkin in the air. So fun! we are talking belly dancing, tabletop dancing, singing ect….

Everyone is involved!…even the kids LOVE it!

It is located at…

9101 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

One tip that I would give is to valet. There is a parking garage there but it was packed and I can imagine it usually is. For $3 more just valet!

We opted for the Aphrodite family style dinner which is a very big amount of food! and it was fantastic!

Click link for full menu…

A hidden treasure…Pass-A-Grille Beach, Florida

Posted in FLORIDA ADVENTURES, FLORIDA BEACHES with tags , on July 13, 2012 by disneychronicles

We were originally heading to Treasure island when with a spur of the moment decision we decided to turn left instead of right! Ahhhhhh and we are HAPPY we did!

From the broad white sand beaches here you can see the pink towers of St. Pete Beach’s sprawling Don CeSar Beach Resort to the north. But south of Eighth Street (Pass-a-grille’s main boutique and café-lined drag), the sands are blissfully empty all the way to the tip of the peninsula.

Even the tourists here become locals of sorts, as many tend to return year after year.

The town stretches for blocks along the water, but is only two blocks wide from the bay to the beach, with not one high rise in sight.

On this sea-oat-fringed stretch of sand you will see sandpipers scouting the shore for treats the ocean delivered overnight. Their human counterparts arrive soon after, stooping to scoop up whelks, sand dollars, and other glistening treasures. The pickings are especially fine after a tropical storm.

Our recent finds after tropical storm Debby….

There are the regulars, like “metal detector guy,” whose fingers are decked with gold wedding bands he has found in the powdery sand, and the fishermen, who cast their lines from the jetty as brown pelicans by.

Want to see the sites?…transportation by Trolley of course…. we love it! and we will be back!

Gatorland….. is it worth it?

Posted in FLORIDA ADVENTURES with tags , , on June 25, 2012 by disneychronicles

Not to start off on a negative note but the last 2 weeks it has been raining. It has been hard to plan anything because your either in a serious DOWNPOUR or your sweating from the humidity! Ahhhh the luxury of living in Florida!

So we headed over to Gatorland.  Now from the time I was just a child coming down to Florida with my parents I have always had somewhat of an obsession with gators. Those who know me may speculate that this gator-fascination stems from my love of watching “Swamp People” not true….I don’t watch it THAT often. 😀

But you have to admit there is something fascinating about them!

Not too long ago, the American Alligator was on the brink of extinction.  Through a number of conservation efforts, these amazing creatures thrive today.  Scientists believe that the American alligator is more than 150 million years old. That means that these alligators once shared the same space as dinosaurs! Even though most other species that shared breathing space with dinosaurs are now gone, the American alligator lives on. Huh! bet you didn’t know that! pretty cool right?!

So as much as I prefer actually going down to the Everglades and driving down U.S. Route 41 State Road 90  parallel  to Alligator Alley, the trail is only one lane in each direction and has no fences to keep the gators in, or better yet jumping on an airboat!  I’ll take what I can get!

ok enough about me…thats how we ended up at Gatorland…

At 110- acres, Gatorland  has thousands of alligators & crocodiles to see, an aviary, breeding marsh with observation tower, petting zoo, nature walk, gift shop and one-of-a-kind reptilian shows including the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, Gator Jumparoo and the Up-close Encounters Show.

Gator wrestling, now I’m not really fond of people sitting on the poor gators but the guys running the shows are funny and informative, they truly are having a BLAST doing what they do.

You can also take a ride on the Gatorland Express train and then head on over to Gator Gully Splash Park where kids of all ages can enjoy a good ol’ fashion squirtfest!

The thing we missed (and are going back for) is the Zipline!  Otherwise known as the Screamin’ Gator, at heights exceeding seven stories, riders zip over Orlando’s wildlife (including more than 130 gators!) on five intense zip lines at speeds of 25 miles per hour. It was closed due to the rain. 😦

We also saw the new rare white alligators on display for a limited engagement at Gatorland’s newest exhibit, White Gator Swamp. Featuring four of the world’s largest white leucistic alligators known to roam the planet, these giant Ivory colored reptiles are each ten to twelve feet in length and weigh over 800 pounds. Their piercing blue eyes are believed to have the ability to command good fortune to those lucky enough to make eye contact with the blue eyed beauties.

Yup! totally made eye contact! 😀

Overall it feels like you are in an “Old Florida” atmosphere.  So go if you like animals of any kind. It is very clean and well maintained, and the animals all appear in good health, and fortunately for the gators, well fed.

Some of the gators are so big it’s ridiculous and, scary  knowing they are underneath your feet and you can even see them gliding past the floor boards! LOVED it!

In addition to being able to see and feed Alligators, there is a huge bird sanctuary where you can literally take a photo two feet from a rare bird’s nest. Beautiful white cranes are everywhere. It is a photographer’s dream (hopefully having better weather then we had that is)

You can easily do it all in about 3-4 hours. It is a good half day trip. Five dollars worth of turkey dogs is enough for two people to feed the gators. It is a different and fun alternative to the bigger parks in the area.

Heads up  though…THIS IS A TOURIST ATTRACTION… they WANT YOUR MONEY… so bring extra as there are some cool things you need it for… Pictures with Gator, feeding hot dogs to the Gator… Pictures with snakes… oooh and you can sit on a gator too….

so to answer the question… Is it worth it? you decide 🙂

Check out all my pics…

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