Biking in your city

Do you own a bike?  Have you ever thought about biking through your city, not just your neighborhood?  Well, I only recently started using my bike again to take the girls to the playground in our neighborhood.  However, after watching Mia Birk’s Ted Talk, I decided I would “join the challenge” to replace one automobile trip with a bike trip.

So, I’ve been driving around Plant City running my normal errands looking for sidewalks and bike lanes.  Luckily, I live in Walden Lake, so I knew I could use the bike/walk path within the development.  The question then, was what do I do once I’m outside of Walden Lake.  How long would it take?  Would I be ok?  There was only one way to find out.  So today, I decided to try it out.


I had to go by Lowe’s and I forgot to buy spring salad mix while I was out shopping.  Two quick stops about 3 miles away from my house each way.  For sure I could do it, I mean I’ve ran a half marathon before, right?  Funny thing was that after five minutes in the bike, I started double guessing myself.  Could I make it there and back? I have a working automobile, why am I riding a bike?

Honestly, after 15 minutes went by, and I was outside of Walden Lake, I stopped double guessing myself.  I chose to ride on the sidewalk just to be on the safe side.  I made it to Lowe’s in about 30 minutes.  Yes, it took longer than if I would have driven.  It would have taken about 10 minutes to get there if I drove.  But this way, I was getting in my “workout”.  How many times have you thought about working out, just to find out you “don’t” have time to get to the gym.  Well, I’m here to tell you, you do have time.  Just run an errand or two by bike.  Your whole perception will change.  I promise.


I saw these pretty flowers while biking.  I enjoyed the sun and wind on my skin.  It was totally worth it.  So, here’s my trip comparison.  It did take 30 minutes longer to go by bike, but I ended up biking for 55 minutes!  Let’s say, after finishing the errands by car I stopped by the gym.  To keep the same time, my workout would have been 30 minutes instead of 55!

biking in plant city

Next weekend, I’m going to try to ride my bike to the market.  Wish me luck!Next weekend, I’m going to try to ride my bike to the market.  Wish me luck!  Let’s keep the conversation going.  I’d love to know your thoughts!

Do you own a bike?

Would you run errands in your bike if you could?

What keeps you from riding your bike?


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Memorial Day Weekend in Orlando

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend!  We headed to Orlando to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for the first time with the girls!  We were trying to figure out the last time we had been there.  It was so long ago, I think I owned this phone: original-nokia-8210-blue-colour-classic-phone-tradehouse2u-1205-05-tradehouse2u@1   Funny story about that phone.  While we were on the E.T. ride, the phone slid out of my pant pocket and I lost it.  I called the next day to report it lost and they found it!  The employees walk the rides every night and pick up tons of lost items.  It all gets catalogued and if you contact them, they’ll ship it to you at no charge.

Loews Royal Pacific

Universal Studios Orlando So, now that we were going with the girls, we decided to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, or as I kept calling it, the Royal Poinciana.  Don’t make that mistake. Once we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with leis.  So very cute.  We arrived on Saturday night, and headed straight for the pool.  They were playing Kung Fu Panda 2.  The girls kept going back and forth between the pool and the movie.  I had to call it a night, otherwise I would have fallen asleep on the chaise lounge.   Memorial Day Weekend Orlando   The pool was definitively very kid friendly with a “boat area” full of water guns and water splashing everywhere.  There was also a zero entry area and a separate kiddie pool.  During the day, there was a dj getting people to dance and play games with hula hoops.  Here’s a better shot of the “boat area”. Memorial Day Weekend Orlando   One thing that surprised me was that even though the hotel was full, it never felt like we were bumping into people.  Even in the pool area, it was never full to capacity.  I was skeptical about going away for Memorial Day weekend because I was afraid wherever we ended it up it was going to be packed.  However, that was not the case here.

Emeril’s Tchoup Tchop

Memorial Day Weekend Orlando

The hotel has three main restaurants inside: Islands Dining Room, Emeril’s Tchoup Tchop and the Orchid Lounge and Sushi Bar.  While we were there, we decided to have our “Wedding Anniversary” dinner.  This year, we celebrate 10 years of being married, so we chose Emeril’s Tchoup Tchop.  We shared the Chopped Salad and the Korean “bulgogi” BBQ.  Both delightful.  Jim ordered the skirt steak and I ordered the Snapper. Memorial Day Weekend Orlando I grew up eating Snapper every chance I had while living in Puerto Rico.  And while this dish is nothing like I’ve had before, I will forever remember that deliciously sweet and salty broth.  Words fail me. Memorial Day Weekend Orlando The restaurant itself is quite beautiful.  There is a water feature sort of like the one in Batman begins where the models go “swimming” and Bruce Wayne buys the hotel.  If you decide to go to Emeril’s restaurant, please make a reservation.  We saw so many people being turned away because they didn’t have one.  To make a reservation, they ask you to use Open Table.  I’m sure you can probably call and make one too.  While making the reservation under special requests, I told them about our anniversary and our server treated us to this delicious surprise: Memorial Day Weekend Orlando


If you decide to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, here are some tips:

  1. Make your reservation online through Universal Studios so you can get your Xpress pass along with your park admission.  Trust me, you want to get an Xpress Pass.  For example, the line at Despicable Me had a waiting time of 75 minutes.  We used our Xpress pass and got in the ride in less than 15 minutes.
  2. When you check in, ask if you can stay in Tower 3.  It seemed like we were always heading that way to get to the water taxi.  The gym, arcade and kids’ club is also in Tower 3.
  3. If the water taxis are shut down because of rain, it happened to us, you can go to the Hard Rock and ask a valet attendant for a ride back to your hotel.  Yay!
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Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate

Disney on Ice Sponsored Post

Last night we had the pleasure of attending Disney on Ice Let’s celebrate opening performance at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Downtown Tampa.  As I mentioned before, we received free tickets in return for a this blog post.  Coming from Plant City after work, I was concerned we might not make in time for the 7:00 pm showing.  Thankfully, the new I-4 Lee Roy Selmon Expressway connector is now open and oh boy is it worth it.  The connector opened earlier this year and it has made our trips to downtown Tampa so much easier and enjoyable.  It used to be I’d always get lost getting from I-4 to the Forum.  Last night, it was the easiest and fastest route there.  I think it costs $1 which was totally worth it to me!

Disney on Ice Tampa Bay Forum

Once we were there, its so easy to pickup your tickets at the Will Call window.  They had so many employees working we barely waited two minutes to get our tickets.  Love that! The girls were ready to see their favorite characters, so we headed straight to our seats.  On our way we noticed all of the Disney on Ice merchandise and the girls decided on these souvenir cups.  Super cute.

Disney on Ice

If you’ve ever been to a hockey game, the ice rink is half it’s normal size for the Disney on Ice performers.  Although my girls had been to the show last year, this was my first time seeing Disney on Ice.  Without giving too much away, I was very surprised and entertained during the almost 2 hour show.  There is an intermission which was greatly appreciated.  Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate definitively lives up to its name.

Disney on Ice Tampa Bay Times Forum

The show kept our girls interested and my husband and I thought the performers were excellent.  Some of the ice stunts performed were above what we expected.  All in all, the show was very well put together.  Next to us was a toddler who was captivated through the entire show.   If you have any doubts about whether your kids would be into the show for the entirety, I’m willing to bet they will.  I know all the kids around us were so well behaved because they were so excited about all the characters.  There are some surprises throughout the show with special effects which definitively captivated our girls.

Disney on Ice will be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum May 17 and May 18.  If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go check them out before they are gone!

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