While Michael was in Tampa in February, he stayed in a private house that was halfway between Tampa and Orlando. We decided to join him last minute because he couldn’t stand being away from his family a minute longer. Aw. The house was terrific. Classic Florida. I loved it. It brought me right back to my tweens.
Les Miz was playing in Tampa at a lovely theatre right behind what’s known as the riverwalk. So we drove into work with him one day and took the little man on the riverwalk and to their fantastic Glazer Children’s Museum.
located right behind the theatre. I hate to say it…but that museum leaves the Children’s Museum of Manhattan in the dust. Just look at the fountain that welcomes you…
On Michael’s day off we decided, ‘When in Rome’ and high-tailed it to Walt Disney World. We knew the baby was really too young to fully enjoy it, but we did it anyway.
And we were surprised to discover that G was right on board with the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, The Carousel (of course) and It’s A Small World (which they have really spruced up since I was there—20 years ago).
But what surprised us the most was how much he enjoyed the Haunted Mansion. He LOVED it. I don’t think he’s old enough to be scared of it yet, he just pulled that sort of contemplative face he gets sometimes…you know the one.
We left only after about 3 hours because Grandpa Michael couldn’t take it anymore…and that’s ok…because it was hot and crowded and Downtown Disney yielded just as much fun. Downtown Disney is open to the public, I guess. It’s a complex of shops and restaurants and I saw on-line the night before that this dinosaur themed restaurant was given high marks by reviewers.
I was a little leery, but I must say they spared no expense with their recreated dinos. Most of them were life-sized and every once in awhile one would roar and G would say…’oh no.’ They had several different dining areas and we were fortunate enough to get to sit in the ‘ice age’ which was a big blue cave with frozen dino bones in it. Every once in awhile our section would experience a ‘meteor shower’ and the blue cave would make a really loud thunder-ish noise that you couldn’t hear anything else above, then the room would flash orange and yellow. It was quite the atmosphere to enjoy a (really outrageously priced, but surprisingly delicious) goat cheese salad.
After lunch we wandered into the other rooms like this paleo-octopus bar—
and private group table with a big jelly fish hanging over it—
excavate dino bones with a little brush. See the family photos here. We really enjoyed ourselves. There was even a BabyCakes bakery next to the Lego Land. Go Erin McKenna! She’s the founder of BabyCakes NYC, and creates vegan, wheat free, gluten free treats. I love to see the lady entrepreneurs expand. I went down to her shop on the Lower East Side when G was still really little and she was there. She chatted with me about the baby and I kind of felt a little star struck because I’m so impressed with her creativity and diligence. I have sort of a small business crush on her!
We ended the day at Lego Land. I think that is just a great place to end any day when you have a little boy. Especially when they have a giant dragon made entirely of Lego in the water at the front entrance.