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On Top Of Mt Cockroach

  • 8:58 am Sunday, January 28th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

The Hillsborough County Hiking Spree has led me to some beautiful parks, some interesting ones…and then there’s Cockroach Bay Preserve. It was a new one to me but that’s what the Hiking Spree is all about. Discovering those parks right in your neighborhood that you’ve always meant to visit and discovering those you weren’t aware of. So off I went across the Sunshine Skyway bridge, up 75, off on 41 and up to Cockroach Bay Preserve, and as part of that the Aquatic Preserve. This particular trail is rated as a Class C, primitive trail with a 2, or [More]

Back Out On The Trails

  • 4:44 am Monday, January 22nd, 2018 by Ann Kelly

One of the nice things about the Hillsborough County Hiking Spree is finding those lovely little neighborhood parks with a playground for the kids, a solid walking trails and all right down the road from your house. Branchton Park on Morris Bridge Road in Thonotosassa is one of those. It’s in a great area that a lot of hikers and bikers already frequent but I liked it since it was less crowded the morning I dropped by. It was one of those very cool mornings, so that made for a brisk walk! So right now I’m up to [More]

Suncoast Animal League Puppy Bowl Bound

  • 7:50 am Saturday, January 6th, 2018 by Ann Kelly

With my schedule I always see more of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet than the actual big game. This year it’s very big and exciting news for the Suncoast Animal League as two of their puppies will be on the Puppy Bowl team! Executive Director Rick Chaboudy made the official announcement earlier this week:

“The Suncoast Animal League is pawsitively thrilled to announce we have two puppy players in this year’s PUPPY BOWL XIV. The cutest competition in sports history airs Sunday, February 4th at 3:00pm on Animal Planet. Kelly Barkson and Henry storm the GEICO gridiron and make the cutest [More]

Bear Aware

  • 4:17 pm Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 by Ann Kelly

There are certain things that get my attention on Ann-Ventures. Great views, beautiful sunrises….and signs warning of bears. You don’t have to go that far outside of the Bay area for that. But it is the first time I’ve seen that sign in Colt Creek State Park off SR 471 in Lakeland. Oh it’s a beautiful park with great trails but since I was a) on my own, and b) without bear spray the wiser choice was to stay close to path around Mac Lake and not venture out too far.

But it’s a beautiful park with equestrian trails, campsites, [More]

Will A New Year Bring A New Me?

  • 8:23 am Monday, January 1st, 2018 by Ann Kelly

So how are those resolutions going? I wasn’t going to make any but after a couple of less than stellar flights home I did. I saw a man wallop a woman right in the head with his carry on in the mad rush to leave one flight and barely apologize, then refused to give her his name and address and told her “the airline would take care of it.” No, the airline is about to take care of you, sir. Then as I was enjoying a nice approach to Tampa International Airport at sunset a women sitting next to me [More]

Celebrate First Night St Pete With Ann Kelly

  • 4:29 am Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 by Ann Kelly

Whether this will be your first or your twenty-fifth you have a personal invitation from Executive Director Allen Loyd to bring the family down to help celebrate the silver anniversary of the Annual First Night Celebration in downtown St Petersburg. It kicks off at 4 pm and includes 25 different venues than range from churches to office buildings as well as historic buildings. It’s a great way to celebrate the diversity of the local arts scene and give the kids a chance to experience Florida’s largest First Night Celebration. The best way to do that is to [More]

Peace, Quiet And Only 20 Minutes Away

  • 3:34 pm Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 by Ann Kelly

There are days when I need my trainer Jim Healy at the BayCare Fitness Center at Carillon. That was yesterday. Today was the need for a quiet place and that was in a park new to me. Boca Ciega Millenium Park in Seminole is a sweet little gem of a park with plenty of boardwalk, an observation tower and a glimmering view of the Bay. And most importantly for today a bench in shady spot at the end of the boardwalk that had my name all over it.  A few nice little shots of residents of the lake [More]

Add Three More To The Hiking Spree

  • 8:17 am Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 by Ann Kelly

I have to say being a part of the Hiking Spree has been a real pleasure. Not only does it make me slow down to enjoy the beauty of Hillsborough County Parks, it has introduced me to parks I have not had the pleasure of visiting. It’s very easy to join and since our weather has finally cooled down you have plenty of time to complete the Spree. I’ve heard it has already surpassed the last few years with over 1,000 happy hikers. My first stop was in Upper Tampa Bay Park and I can now add three more to the [More]

The Lights Are On In Largo!

  • 4:14 pm Saturday, November 25th, 2017 by Ann Kelly

This past weekend it was time to light the lights – a lot of them. More than one million lights have transformed the Florida Botanical Gardens for Holiday Lights In The Garden. Every night there’s entertainment for the whole family along with Santa’s nightly visits. What a magical place to make sure the big guy knows what’s on the kids list, and for you to create new family holiday memories! Holiday Lights is open through through Sunday, Dec. 31, every evening from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. A small donation of $4 per person ages 13 and over is suggested. And why [More]

The Manatees Are Back!

  • 3:35 pm Friday, November 24th, 2017 by Ann Kelly

The manatees are returning to TECO’s Big Bend Power Plant in Apollo Beach and I’m glad I took a little side trip on Black Friday before heading home for a little online shopping. There are not as many at the Viewing Center as you will see when the water in their usual habitats gets cooler but there were more than enough to charm the many visitors. Along with the manatees I actually had a quick glimpse at a few sharks! The tarpon were also around but the stars of the show will also be the manatees.

I found one mother [More]

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