Vacation days...

Yesterday, Monster Jam came to Tampa. As my men are fond of this event, I asked the boss if perhaps I could use some of my vacation time to get off work at 6pm and send two of them over to the stadium for this event. Older's son's sensory issues, coupled with his indifference for it (unlike his younger brother), made this seem like the most logical way to handle this event.

Boss decided Friday morning that I could take a whole vacation day in an effort to cut our payroll budget at the store. We're set up that sick days and personal days are counted in our payroll dollars, but vacation days are not. Okay, works for me, I'd do something with older son while the other two enjoyed the event.

Alas, Ed went to buy the tickets and they were sold out. I now have a vacation day, so this means we *must* do something with it. :) The kids had asked last week for Sea World and the Zoo, so the Zoo was today's destination.

It was a great day for it-nice warm temperatures, no pressure. One of the Gibbons saw all the people and decided he need to make his presence known to all in the primate area-rather comical to watch. The other thing that the boys always want to see are the sea creatures. We've determined that the stingrays at Lowry Park are much friendlier than the ones at Sea World-and they splash a lot more to get their food!

Once done with the zoo, we weren't ready to go home. We'd talked about mini golf at one point during the week, so out came the entertainment book to see if we could find a Pirate's Cove type place. No, they don't have coupons in the book (nor do I think there's one in Tampa), but we found a Grand Prix place. The complex is pretty big and I suspect we'll go back for the cars. We played a round that had scores to make pro golfers proud. Some of those holes did NOT have flat greens, preventing the light touch from getting to the hole. It was fun, so the scores really didn't matter that much.

Since it was a vacation day, that means no cooking, right? The Grand Prix's cheap pizza smell wafted out while tabulating our golf scores and the hankering for some began. Decided to hit a little italian/greek restaurant in Brandon (Romano's) because everything else there is so good. We get there and I realize that no, they don't make pizzas (just pita pizzas). That's okay, I think we all enjoyed our meals very much. I'd been there on a coworker's recommendation several times, and the last time, I'd finally brought Ed over. This time, the kids really liked it, so I think this is now another mom and pop they'll bug us to head back to.

Good day all around-I'm glad I took the vacation day. The best thing is that I have next Saturday off and Monster Jam is in Orlando. Ed found tickets online, and it looks like the two of them will make an afternoon/evening out of it. All's well that ends well!


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