Thursday, August 22, 2013

At the Library

I had some books to pick up from the library (I LOVE being able to put in holds online then get a text when they're ready for pickup!) so I figured it only made sense to bring Anana with me to explore it.

The whole branch has been under construction for awhile now and they're doing a HUGE expansion making it like twice as large as it was. (It was kinda little before.)

Fancy entrance!

The building used to end where the arrow is pointing. Everything to the left of that is new.

There's a gazebo across from the entrance. (No clue why but they really are very proud of it!)

When you first walk in, there's this girl throwing a bone Frisbee to a bronze dog.

And here's the bronze dog. LOL

Big sections are blocked off and taped closed. Including the little honor system used book store (where you can drop off unwanted books and buy others for cheap to benefit the library.)
Went for a trip through some of the stacks.

...and we looked up the Florida travel section!

Anana wanted to look at the beach guide book.

Looking back towards the entrance and lobby.

You can see where the old part ended. They also added another big room onto the back so it expanded both left-to-right and front-to-back. It's obviously still a work in progress!

Anana took a ride on a return cart.

And we played with the digital catalog a little too before heading out with our books.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

At the Mall

Yesterday I spent the day with my Mom. We had a few errands to run and that included hitting the mall. I brought Anana with me so he could get some photos. I only brought my little point-and-shoot so excuse the lackluster quality of the shots. Thought my DSLR would be a bit too conspicuous!

I love taking LV's to the mall because the fact there is an indoor ice skating rink in a mall in Clearwater, Florida amuses me highly. :)

They do both ice skating lessons and public skates at the rink.

We were amused by the pineapple pitcher and platter in Macy's!

We stopped for our traditional mall snack of an Auntie Anne's pretzel and lemonade!

They have this train that just drives through the mall from one end to another with kids on it. No track, just a train driving through the middle of the mall. Cracks me up! It makes train noises and everything.

On the 2nd floor we spotted a painted dolphin looking down on the rink. (The sign said it was celebrating the new "restaurant row" they added when they also installed a movie theater.)

And just because it was too absurd not to get a photo of, I found this purse by "Patricia Nash" (?) that actually had one whole side covered in fake astroturf grass. Who does that?? Guess that's why it was on clearance! LOL

Monday, August 12, 2013

Scenic Gulf Blvd and Clearwater Beach

On the way back from Madeira Beach, we took the scenic route back along the coast to my sister's house. I took a screenshot of Google Maps to help give you an idea of the route.

We started south at Madeira Beach and drove all along the shoreline, crossing a few bridges and coming back past Clearwater Beach before heading inland.

Some of the many condos and hotels along Gulf Blvd. To the left is the Gulf side. To the right is the intercoastal side.

Crossing Sand Key bridge approaching Clearwater Beach.

Hard to read the sign but it says, VOTED USA TODAY 2013 BEST BEACH and CLEARWATER BEACH.

In the last few years they really did a lot of improvements and freshened the place up. It was kinda old and dingy and outdated before and now it looks really nice.

That's Pier 60 stretching out into the water. There are some little booths and stuff along it in addition to fishing.

Crossing over the intercoastal bridge back to the mainland part of Clearwater.

As we were on the drive, my sister pointed out that Philadelphia Phillies player, Ryan Howard (apparently a first basemen and MVP) is building a home right on Gulf Blvd on the Gulf of beach side of the road. It's on two lots and is costing something like $23 million dollars (give or take depending on what article you read) she pointed it out. It's MASSIVE and it's not even done yet.

I found this article detailing specifics on the 34,000 square foot home. I don't follow baseball so I didn't know the guy but holy cow the place is insane just from the outside driving past.

The arrow is pointing to PART of it. It takes up two lots.

Another shot as we drove past but still this is only PART of how massive it is!

John's Pass & Madeira Beach

My Mom's birthday was Thursday 8/8 (we went to the movies) but my sister had to work that day so we planned to get together on Sunday, 8/11 to spend the afternoon together. It was Mom's pick and she said she wanted to hit the beach.

So we went to John's Pass which is a boardwalk and area with lots of shops (mainly targeted towards tourists) and Madeira Beach which is the section of the beach right across the street.

John's Pass Boardwalk

Pirate ship you can ride on that goes for a cruise.

Drawbridge to give access between the inter-coastal waterways and the Gulf.

Shark Week: It's a bad week to be an anthropomorphic pineapple!
A very large foam pelican on display in front of one of the shops.
Pedestrians can walk under the drawbridge to gain access to the beach on the other side of the road.

One of the boardwalks to the beach!

Madeira Beach!

Anana's sand castle fortress.

Sailboat is coming in from the Gulf.

You can see the drawbridge is opening so the sailboat can come through.

The Gulf is calm and warm as always!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer Nights at Busch Gardens Tampa

Friday, August 9th was my fiance's brother's birthday. He wanted to go to Busch Gardens Tampa for the day so that's what we did! Now, Anana has been before (pics here) and we had a few hours of thunderstorms in which my camera and Anana were hiding in my waterproof bag, so there's not really a lot of shots I got during the day.

I did however get to stay for their Summer Nights event which runs nightly for a few months June-August. They have this show called "Kinetix" which is kinda like Cirque du Soliel but with modern music with acrobats, contortionist, etc. They finish it off with fireworks. It was actually really good and we enjoyed it.

We grabbed seats like 20 minutes early so we needed to entertain ourselves.

Trying a different glow bracelet configuration.

Show's about to begin!

Hard to see Anana once the stage lights came on.

So here he's sporting the glow stick headband again. LOL

She was AMAZING. So strong and so flexible it was crazy.

She actually shot a bow with her feet and hit the target!
They ended the show and basically said "turn around!" and BAM fireworks!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Going to the Movies

Thursday, August 8th was my Mom's birthday so she and I went out to see a movie just so she wasn't going to be stuck sitting around her house all day. We saw The Heat which was silly but funny. I didn't want to bring my VERY conspicuous DSLR with me so I just brought my little point-and-shoot.

But I was quickly reminded how HARD it is to take a good shot in very low light without all the awesome manual controls and such of a more advanced camera! LOL

As a result, the pics aren't great but darn it, I tried!

I had to brighten this up SO much just so you could see what it was supposed to be. Man I am spoiled by my DSLR!

The lighted stairs of the stadium seating.

This was a "medium" drink. Cost $5.50 and was larger then he was! LOL

Seat was a little bit big but he made it work.