Travel Diaries: Ruskin, Tampa, Clearwater, and Around

This past week, my family and I have spent 10 days visiting my younger brother in Tampa Florida. It was a great, relaxing vacation with a lot of fun field trips around the area. Its funny how the universe keeps bringing my family back to the Tampa Bay area, being that this is about the fifth time in the last year we have found ourselves down here. It has gotten to the point that I feel comfortable with being here and it almost feels like another home.

Our condo was in Ruskin Florida in a community called Little Harbor. It is located right on Tampa Bay, and you can see St. Petersburg from the beach and from me and my brother’s balcony. I have always loved the city skyline at night, so I would slip onto the balcony just to watch the flickering lights in the distance and think about life.

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We packed so much into this trip, so I am going to try and fit as much as I can into this post without going overboard! The first day, we went to Dinosaur World. Dinosaur World is basically a huge park filled with life sized statues of dinosaurs. It was so hot that day, so naturally my favorite part was the indoor museum filled with different fossils. We then headed into Brandon Florida for lunch and a trip to All About the Puppies. This place was an amazing place filled with puppies that you can take out of their crates and play with. It was so much fun, and a true highlight of the trip!

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We spent a lot of time on the beach near our condo. Of course I got horribly sunburned on the first day of the trip, so I had to sit under the umbrella the rest of the time. However, that was not a problem with a good book and snacks! My brother and I rented paddleboards and after some practice, we figured out we were actually pretty good at it. Despite a few good falls.

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On Wednesday, we went to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. I had been here before, but each time is so much fun and offers a unique experience. If you have not seen Dolphin Tale and its sequel, you need to. It stars Winter and Hope. Winter is a dolphin that lost her tail and she was crafted a prosthetic tale. It is truly inspiring, and it may sound silly, but they have helped me get through tough times with my health and with life. I even got to meet a cutie named Nicholas, he’s a dolphin of course, but more on that when I focus on this trip in my next blog post!

On Friday, we visited Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. It was so much fun and so cool to see animals I had never seen in person before. The primates area was my favorite because the monkeys were so active and funny. We also went through an exhibit and found a snake cage ripped open and had to find an employee so that they could make sure the exhibit was fixed. Luckily the snake was still in there and had not realized that the cage was open! Another highlight was feeding stingrays. It was the weirdest sensation I have ever felt!

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The same day, we went Goodwill hunting and went bowling. It was a super busy day, and by the end, we were all exhausted and our feet were killing us.

This vacation has been one for the books, and I have knocked so many things off my never ending bucket list. Helloooooo feeding and meeting a dolphin? Dream come true!

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