The 5K Zombie Run 2016

Another year, another zombie run in Tampa!

Everything started off fine this year.  Happy faces all around.

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But then some of the runners started acting a little strange.  No offense, but people just weren’t looking all that healthy.  Myself included.  That’s what I get for wearing a dress to a run. How are you going to outrun zombies in a dress?  And so I became a zombie. So sad.

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I’ve been lucky enough to run in the 5K Zombie run for years, but this was my first time as a zombie. OMG Fun.  Since my partner in crime was not allowed to run due to surgery a couple days before we switched from runners to zombies kind of last minute.  I mean, plus there were those bites.

Turns out being a zombie is AWESOME. Much more fun than it looks on The Walking Dead.  I didn’t even get an arrow to the head or anything.  Want to take it easy? Just stand dead center and moan about it.  Want to get rid of an excess of energy?  Well there are all those tasty looking humans to try to catch. Being a zombie can actually be MORE work than being a runner when a long wave of humans goes by!

Being on the zombie team was every bit as much adult recess as being a runner.  Maybe even more because you are hanging out with strangers trying to strategize about taking down the next horde of humans. Not to mention the extremely scientific discussions regarding why there aren’t more retired age zombies in the movies and why there really should be. Amongst other philosophical discussions while awaiting the next victims.

I got to say, we were pretty good at being the running dead.

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Want to try the zombie life?  Take a look and see where you can catch The 5K Zombie Run next! You’ll have to be in Florida though, because these runs are put on by a local Tampa company.

 

The Cider Press Cafe

Being vegetarian forever and vegan-curious for a couple of years when I first saw that The Cider Press Café was opening in St. Petersburg I was inappropriately excited to go try out their food.  Everything on their menu is raw vegan, which may sound more healthy than tasty, but that’s only if you haven’t tried it yet.

After eating at a couple of raw vegan places during a trip to North Carolina I was hooked and wanted to try The Cider Press Café even more, seeing how it’s about a thousand miles closer to home. So, of course, I did.

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I went the first time a few months ago and started with the Florida Roll – tamari infused watermelon ‘tuna’, mango, riced jicama, avocado; ginger, wasabi & tamari sauce. Sounds so strange, tasted so wonderful. This is the only one of their ‘starters’ I’ve tried but I want it again.  The problem with that is they have a few other items on their starter menu I really, really want to try too.  Cauliflower buffalo bites, coconut spring rolls…  everything either sound totally delicious or totally so far outside of anything I’ve tried that I HAVE TO try it.

I’ve tried a few of their main dishes (if you eat out with me you share with me) and my favorite two so far are the Garden Lasagna and The Three Amigos – spiced dehydrated corn tortillas (3), walnut-sweet potato picadillo, cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, poblano cream, pickled jalapeños, corn maque choux. Heavenly.

For the record, the deserts are the bomb as well.  I tried the pineapple sorbet and will definitely be having that again.  The person I was un-guiltily stealing food from had key lime ice cream and there is no way you could go wrong with that choice either. And yes, I’m like that. The people at the tables next to me are lucky I didn’t try their food too.

Final piece of advice – drink the Pearly Pear –   it’s an apple & pear cider and seriously, what else is there to say about that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manatee Season!

You’ve probably seen news articles on all of the manatees at 3 Sister’s Springs, it seems that people everywhere I talk to have.  I’ve been up there a few times. Once I did the ‘swimming with manatees’ thing and the second time I rented a board from Manatee Paddleboard and wrote about what a great time we had on their tour.   But I never went when it was actually manatee season.  I think that is about October through the beginning of April.  In other words, when it’s cold enough you aren’t sure you want to be in the water.  Trust me, it’s totally worth it.

This time we brought our paddleboards instead of renting.  This way we could be on the water at sunrise, before the crowds.  We didn’t actually get there quite that early, but good enough. We were the first ones at the little park where you can put in your boards or kayaks. We had barely even started out before we saw our first bunch of manatees.

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Because manatees are gentle, trusting creatures and humans are human rules have been put in place to ensure that the manatees are kept safe and unstressed.  The springs themselves are closed at certain times because there are so many manatees in there it’s not really a good idea to add us humans to the mix as well.  We got there at low tide though, before the manatees were able to get in the 3 Sister’s part of the springs.  So we could go in, we just had to leave the boards outside of the area.  No one else had walked in yet when we got there so I got to take a couple of pictures of the springs completely unpopulated. What a beautiful place!

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The main rule is that you are not allowed to chase or hassle the manatees.  However, if you stay in one place long enough they will very likely come up to you to check you out.  There are always rangers and tour guides there, they will ensure you know and follow the rules.  The great thing about this is they are a wealth of knowledge. Be sure to take the time to talk to the rangers because they seem to know just about everything about manatees and lots about some of the individual manatees that are there.  Pretty awesome. One thing I learned is manatees like bright nail polish.  Good to know!

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The only downfall of the bring your own board approach is I don’t have enough boards for the kids, and ever since they saw my pictures they have been wanting to go.  My son prefers kayaking anyways, so next time we’ll most likely be renting. April’s getting here awfully quickly, so I better get a move on to plan the next trip!