In nature you are able to think more clearly. Words get muddled easily when I try to write indoors but outdoors I fumble for my notebook and pen to jot down every beautiful thought that flows from the sights and sounds that surround me. Soothing yet revitalizing just as I imagine God intended it, nature grounds us, brings us back to whole and allows us to be a little wild in our explorations of our environments and ourselves. Continue reading
First days of anything are rough, especially all those first days back to school. As adults we often only look at the time our kids get off (with envy) instead of the drastic change in scheduling and routine they endure when it’s over.
There are a few easy ways we can soften the transition and set expectations for the coming year. A successful start is the foundation for a more meaningful and productive school year and we do best when we know what to expect and what is expected of us.
Long weekend drives are fun; snacking in the car with antsy legs that are ready to explore. Anytime you plan a trip like this it has to be good to justify the time spent sitting. After-all not many like risking humidity styled hair and sudden rains to see, well, “just trees and dirt”.
Lettuce Lake Park is a large preserve nestled in Northern Tampa with open fields for playing, workout stations, trails, canoeing, and an observation tower. Judging by the crowd as we pulled in on our first visit this was the place to be, rain or shine.
I say ‘rain or shine’ because from the time we pulled in until the time we left, every cloud in the sky was conspiring to soak us something fierce, which kind of made the trip more fun.
People of all ages were coming and going through the trails and pavilions were full with those celebrating various special days despite the on again off again Florida summer rain squalls. It was a great family atmosphere on this particular Sunday afternoon, even if it took a few pauses to enjoy it all.
Entry to the park is $2 per car (up to 8 people) and it’s easy to get lost finding which end of the trail to begin first while driving through. There is a small nature center on the park’s ground where you can grab a trail map and learn more about the area before you begin your visit.
The 240-acre property is home to various wildlife including a surprisingly large number of alligators all varying in sizes.
Almost all trails are boardwalk style or lifted away from the waters for added safety while traveling through on foot.
Don’t be shy to stop and stare, you may begin enjoy playing a game of spot the gator because after a minute or so you’ll see some that weren’t exactly “visible” at first glance.
The trails aren’t that long to venture but do offer a longer experience as you will want to stop often to see the flora and fauna over the boardwalk rails so plan time to linger and enjoy. The boardwalk gets slightly narrow at times and you’ll need to be mindful of other explorers passing through.
Lettuce Lake Park is a wonderful way to spend the day playing, picnicking and viewing wildlife in a raw untouched way.
We certainly enjoyed it even in the rain as we walked back to the car. If you’re vacationing or local and want a great way to view alligators safety plan your visit today.
$2 entrance fee per car per 8 passengers
$5 Guided tours offered on the weekends
Spring/Summer Hours: 8am-7pm
6920 East Fletcher Avenue
Tampa, FL 33637
For more information please visit the Hillsborough County Lettuce Lake Park site.
Thanks for reading & enjoy exploring!
As the summer break (and season) wind down we are quickly reminded of the pending colder months ahead (and potential hurricane threats in the early fall season). We love to make the most of every moment and want to end the summer with a bang without the burden on our budget. Continue reading
AL Anderson park is what most will picture when asked to think of the ideal picnic and recreational fun spot for their summer activities. The warm breeze, active families buzzing around, deep dark shade within the pavilion and picnic spots, and wide open entry to spectacular waterfront views. This gigantic park eluded us for many years because from the entrance you don’t expect the wow factor you’ll see and feel once inside the gates. Continue reading
There’s so much to adore about an indoor rainy day with candles, music and good food cooking. While I cherish those content indoor rainy day moments there’s something so fun and exhilarating about riding the trails with raindrops chasing you, splashing through giant puddles with childlike laughter, and the feeling that you may be the last crazy soul on this earth here to live in this moment.
Almost 6 months ago we said goodbye to our car. It wasn’t necessary for our lifestyle moving forward and when something doesn’t make sense anymore, it’s time to let go. We’ve been biking and watching ourselves grow and change throughout this experience. In fact the depth at which this has affected me didn’t really set in until recently when we rented a car for a celebratory weekend and all I could do is look out the window and ponder how it felt out there and take mental note of new places we can bike and new ways I can push myself. My restless legs ached for the workout and adventure, my mind was already there. Continue reading
Brooker Creek can be summed up simply as an adventure through a gnarled wooded forest with varied terrain (some muddy) forest trails where large active birds fluttering overhead will quietly watch every move as you study them. .This is the kind of place that gives old sneakers a purpose.