Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Heart Lakeland

My parents told me that when they decided to move to Lakeland (back in 1987) it was simply because they looked at a map and thought, "That looks like a good place."  Wow, now there's a story!  But recently I have come to realize what a good pick that was all those years ago.  As a quasi-lifelong resident, I think I finally appreciate Lakeland.  For starters, it is in a wonderful location - right between Tampa and Orlando and close to everything from the beach to theme parks to cruise ports to sports teams. There are A LOT of really cool things we have access to that most other places don't. Secondly, Lakeland is actually a very beautiful city. It has wonderful lakes and parks, multi-million dollar properties and the sunsets here are second to none.  And one more thing it has is a lot of stuff to do around the community.  Lots of festivals, parades, events, etc.  Case in point, Friday night I took the kids to The Lakeland Derby, which is a fundraiser event at Lake Mirror where they race swan-shaped paddle boats for charity.  The swan is the official mascot/animal/waterfowl of Lakeland.  They pattern this event like the Kentucky Derby, so the paddle boat racers all have jockey-esque shirts, they have a hat contest, the surrounding bars and restaurants serve mint juleps, etc.  But they also had tons of kids activities, live music, food and even fireworks.  We had a great time and I managed just a few pictures....

Luke gave up on the cookie and just ate a cup or two of frosting.  Course #1 for dinner.

Cindy made that visor herself !


(Course #2 for dinner)

And they're off!  The kids were actually very uninterested in the paddle boat races.  The flare/firework they used to start the races scared the jinkies out of Cindy and she was not amused after that.  

Playing at the park while the sun goes down...

Cindy's climbing skills on display.

Sunset at Lake Mirror.  This is actually the lake where our Sweeney family Christmas pictures were taken two years ago.

And if you notice my right hand in this picture, it is inside a bag of kettle corn.  My kryptonite! I cannot resist its sweet and savory goodness!!  (Also, Course #3 for dinner.)

So what did I feed my children after all that vitamin-packed food we had for dinner?

Course #4- Krispy Kreme Donuts.

At ten o'clock we stopped by Krispy Kreme to use Cindy's straight A report card to get a free half dozen donuts.  I mean, it had been almost 20 minutes since we had had the Kettle corn, so basically we were almost dead from lack of sugar.  Whew! Close call...

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