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#813DAY : It’s More Than An Area Code

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813Day

Today is #813DAY

Hillsborough County, Fla. – For many in the Tampa Bay area it is Monday August 13, but for those who share the area code 813 it is SO much more! Yep, you see it now don’t ya. August is the 8th month, the day is the 13th, pretty clever. So what better way to show our pride for the 813 than to take a trip around the area.

Our first stop Zoo Tampa

Our first stop on our #813DAY outing is Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. At the beginning the zoo shared the park with Fairyland, where concrete statues depicting fairy tales and nursery rhymes were along a winding path beneath the large oak trees.   And as you can imagine, the only way to get to Fairyland was across the large rainbow bridge.

Now things at ZooTampa are a little different

Today Chris Massaro, the general curator at ZooTampa, is giving the group an up close look at a Sloth. Through educational programs that help spark an enduring commitment to advance conservation, they hope to inspire everyone to join in taking action to protect and preserve wildlife.

Our next stop Lettuce Lake Park

Our next stop on our #813DAY adventure is Lettuce Lake Park. 

Prior to its 1982 opening, Lettuce Lake Park was used primarily for cattle grazing, hunting, and fishing. Today, this 240-acre site has proven to be one of the most successful parks in the County, with well over one million visitors annually.

But it’s more than just a park. The park’s property lies in the natural floodplain of the Hillsborough River. Consisting of a hardwood swamp forest, the park provides a natural storage reservoir for floodwater and improves water quality.

The remainder of the park consists of hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods plant communities. It’s also not uncommon to see some of Florida’s wildlife while walking the boardwalk……….would you have seen this little guy?

Did Someone Say Vegan Ice cream

After our adventures at Lettuce Lake Park we headed to cool off! What better way than with some Ice cream.

Now most of you know by now I am a long time Vegan, so I wouldn’t be putting this in my blog if there wasn’t something for us! Just a short trip from Lettuce Lake we arrived at Revolution Ice Cream Co. or what “us locals”  refer to as “The Rev“. Located at 6701 N Florida Ave in Seminole Heights, The Rev is part of a growing revitalization of the area. Don’t let this little place fool ya, they can pack a punch when it comes to unique and bold flavors. 

Today my Vegan choices where,Coffee and Oreos and Coconut Ice Cream…..guess which one I went with?!? With an always changing menu full of unique and unusual flavors we defiantly suggest checking them out for yourself!

So How Well Do You Know “The 813”

Whether you’re a Hillsborough County native or an “8-1-3” transplant you can probably relate to most (if not all) of these situations:

  • You know the staple ingredients for a true Hillsborough County Cuban sandwich include mustard, Swiss, ham, fresh pork, Genoa salami, and pickles on pressed Cuban bread.
  • Hearing the cannons roar on game day #ItsABucsLife.
  • Spending your weekend with your favorite amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles at Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
  • You never knew hiking was a thing in Hillsborough County, until you were introduced to our annual Hiking Spree.
  • You know better than to leave the house without a poncho or umbrella on any given summer afternoon between 3 and 4 p.m.
  • Wearing flip-flops 365 days of the year is normal.
  • You consider the Florida State Fair and the Strawberry Festival holidays in their own right and look forward to Fair Day.
  • Explaining to out-of-towners that one isn’t simply a Lightning fan… one must Be the Thunder.
  • Your inner pirate comes out once a year for Gasparilla.
  • You’ve run, walked, or rollerbladed Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, the world’s longest continuous sidewalk.
  • You consider yourself a foodie and know the best places to entertain out-of-town guests.
  • You’re less than an hour from any of the beautiful Bay area beaches.
  • And at the end of the day, you live, work, and play in paradise.

Want to show off your 8-1-3 pride? Add the official #813Day filter to your Facebook profile photo and use the #813Day hashtag.

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You can see more photos of my “Daycation” for #813DAY on my social media sites linked below. A big thanks to Liana Lopez of “The Borough” , ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Hillsborough County and Revolution Ice Cream for showing me around my own backyard. I loved it! #813Day

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Mike Blue

Mike Blue

Freelance writer, photographer, and vegan foodie

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