Who suffers from travel paranoia. Getting more and more tense and stressed closer to the date of departure. Especially if there is people involved that we are visiting. But anyway, lately we have realized that going on vacation even for just 2 or 3 days is highly important to keep your mind active and keep away depression. Still Christmas time are known for extended family and home.
The 2017 Christmas we spent Christmas in Tampa, Florida. It is a good place to visit to get away from the cold and getting to know a new place. Instead of cooped up inside your house watching TV reruns, Church, or exhaust yourself on entertaining and decorating or spending too much money on gifts that would be forgotten by the end of December. Tampa seems like a city that concentrate on fitness and health. Bicycle lanes were everywhere and one could always see joggers, bikers or walkers somewhere.
There is many things to do with kids. We Stayed 5 minutes from Ballast Point Park. Free. Right next to the sea but no beach for swimming. Children have fun there even in winter with the water play feature, the slides and swings and an area where they can skate. Now I have to say that I do not see the ocean much and was pleasantly surprised when we got to Ballast Point Park and the ocean was completely hidden by mist. Beautiful and yes a little spooky.
Drive to downtown to do the Riverwalk. This is a trail next to the Hillsborough River is called the Riverwalk. Enough parking but we were not aware of free parking, still paying for parking and then walk the Riverwalk is worthwhile. There is museums, restaurants and at the end another Water Park for vacationers. We visited the Children’s Museum which kept my kid busy for two full hours. And across from the trail is the University of Tampa that used to be the Tampa Bay Hotel. A gorgeous building with silver towers.
Tampa also seems like a pet friendly place. There is even a beach you could take your dog to play and swim called Davis Island Dog Beach. Free. Not far from Tampa is the Dinosaur World. A beautiful park where dogs are welcome as well. Our Dog Buster surely enjoyed these trips with us instead of staying in our rooms. The Dinosaur World feature huge sculptures of Dinosaurs within a beautiful jungle, and educational activities for the whole family.
At Treasure Island Beach, 40 minutes from Tampa, we spent time at the sea, walked and swam. A nice touch was the Sand Sculpture Competition and the huge blow up water slide.
Thanks to Tampa and us walking at least 7000 steps everyday, we came home to a cold Atlanta but happy and fit.