Zorilla Gorilla Webkinz Adventures, Part 2
You might remember that last weekend I went around the beaches and stores of the Pinellas County area to bring about the excitement about the Tampa Bay Rays upcoming promotion for the Zorilla Gorilla Webkinz. Well, it is finally only a day for the kids around Tampa Bay to get their own Zorilla to hug, snug or even just put on the bookshelf as a keepsake of their own. So with that in mind, this is the last installment of the Zorilla Gorilla adventures around Tampa Bay.
But what kind of antics will I have our furry friend doing today? I guess since we just had Earth Day recently we might as well take in a few of the natural wonder that make this region such a great place to live….and I might have a few other surprises down the line…You never know with me and the Zorilla Gorilla.
So I decided that the Gorilla needed to go and burn off a few extra calories and some adrenaline that builds up when you are traveling in a car for most of the day. So we headed on over to one of my favorite parks in the area, Lake Seminole and took in the kid’s playground area and also sat on the docks for a bit and watched the boats and jet ski’s streaming by before again heading back to the slides and artificial rock climbing area.
And the kids I saw at the park (along with some of the adults) were excited to know that the first 10,000 of them and their friends would be able to come on down to Tropicana Field on Sunday along with their families and get their own special Zorilla Gorilla for their own. Besides the kid’s getting this great collectible, the parents will see the extreme value that Sunday’s offers with the St. Petersburg Times Sunday Fun Days package where a family of four can come to a game with affordable comfort.
But what kind of day would it be if we did not go hit the best natural option available in this region….the white sandy beaches. So I took the Zorilla Gorilla for his first venture into the area of St. Petersburg Beach and we went out to the jetty area right at the end of Pass-a-Grille Beach and watched the multitudes of boats and watercraft zoom all around the sparkling emerald green open waters of Tampa Bay.
And I have had a few people remark on how the Zorilla Gorilla is a more defined Gorilla subject than his cousin who was given away near the end of 2009 by the Rays Baseball Foundation. His cousin is more in line with a big chimp than the current Zorilla Gorilla who definitely looks more powerful and is larger than life, even on the white sands of the beach among the sea oats.
And it was “Gorilla being Gorillas” while we were at the beach were the trio did paddle ball, swam in the warm waters and just made a day of it, but in the distance we could see a large object dominating the seascape and we decided to head on down the beach about a mile to one of the Rays favorite resorts in this area, the Tradewinds Resort where the team holds outdoor Rays Radio broadcast parties when the weather is prefect and the Rays are out on the road during the beautiful Summer months.
And the Zorilla Gorilla was just like a kid in a candy store as he went from corner to corner of the huge resort checking out all the sights and sounds and also causing a little monkey business of his own. Here he is in the main courtyard by a glorious fountain that he pushed his brother and his little cousin by “accident” right before into the fountain before I took the photo…How thoughtful of him.
I have to tell you, thanks goodness this boat was anchored on solid ground because these three monkeys wanted to get on it and sail out into the western seas of the Gulf of Mexico and really did not think about provisions or even a little banana pick-me-up for later in the day. But he did get to fulfill his fantasy of being “King of the World!” As he did reenact that famous scene from “Titanic” on the landlocked vessel.
But I did try and get that sailor’s anxiousness out of him so all four of us decided to shanghai a paddle boat and we did a lap around the man-made lagoon that encompasses the resort’s property with me doing all the work and the Gorillas all flirting with the girls. I was told since I was the least hairy of the bunch it was my duty to paddle the boat and be the “Captain”, but for some reason I didn’t even feel like the First Mate on this voyage. And why did they keep calling me Gilligan?
But I kept one of the biggest surprises for right after we got off the paddle boats and took them beach-side to see the towering water slide that is always fun
ctioning and also a wet and wild adventure here at the Tradewinds. All three of the Gorillas were eager, willing and sprinted for the line to be the first to try this awesome slide. And I got to say, all three were acrobatic and also very animated as they made their way from the top barreling towards the end of the slide and to again run and get into line…..about 40 times that day.
But while we were out there on the beach sitting in a nice Cabana, one of the Gorilla remarked that he would love to one day own some beachfront property and maybe settle down and enjoy this lifestyle for good. Well that got the rest of us working hard and we produced a nice prototype of his beachfront casa made out of the great sands. And besides, what day at the beach would not be complete without a picture of someone near a sand castle?
So as we were leaving the beach area, the Gorilla’s all remarked that they had a case of the munches, so we stopped by the local Sweetbay Supermarket to get some instant potassium, and one of the Gorilla decided to just be the clown in the store and he jumped right up into the banana display and would not come down without two pounds or more personally put into a bag and saved just for him.
But then, just out of my eye range, another of the Zorilla Gorilla’s had decided he wanted to purchase a bunch of Pepsi products for the trip back into St. Petersburg and was all excited that he could enter for a chance to win Home Plate tickets and a $ 100 food card for future bananas and essentials from Sweetbay. But I think the real reason he wanted to jump up on that display was to finally get a photo with Raymond, the Rays furry mascot.
So I finally got them all out of the store and into the car and we decided to go hit some of the downtown St. Petersburg sites before I finally dropped them off at their hotel for the night. Here they are in the Rays garden that encircles the eastern portion of Tropicana Field and is an example of one of the ways the Rays promote “green” living and provide a journey into some of the areas sustainable plants that do not use excessive water, or promote environmental watershed advantages to your own home planting scheme.
The guys even wanted to visit the Rays Team Store and see some of the great items and values they had for Rays fans, but the store had closed a few hours before, but you know them. They wanted to sit there and wait for the store to open in the morning, and if I had not talked them into visiting some other sites, we might still be there now.
One of the Zorilla Gorillas was actually feeling pretty brave today and wanted to scale the Trop. like his old Grandfather King Kong and lounge around on the sloped roof getting a much needed suntan. But I told him I could not get him to the hatch in the Cupola of Tropicana Field and he would have to just jump for joy and hope this photo remotely looked like he was standing on top of the roof…..Not sure it is totally believable, but he liked it.
And while we were standing in the parking lot of Tropicana field, we heard a sound of a wooden bat and a ball meeting and the Zorilla Gorillas immediately went searching for the sounds. It took us down to Progress Energy Field where a local amateur team was playing an exhibition game on the Rays old Spring Training stomping grounds. We could not get into the front of the stadium, so the Zorilla Gorillas acted like the old Knothole Gang and took their chances by scaling the fence and sitting in the bushes to watch the game.
But what day would not be complete without visiting the construction site of the new Salvador Dali Museum going up right within a Home Run of Progress Energy Field. The Museum is not finished yet, but it will be one of the most beautiful waterfront building in St. Peterburg, Florida when it is finally completed.
Not sure if it was the abstract look of the Dali Museum, or maybe the kiss from the sun and all their adventures of the day finally zapped the Zorilla Gorillas of their energy today, but the guys wanted head on over to Hotel Indigo and call it a night. Got to admit, this small chic boutique hotel has some interesting history as the Rolling Stones once stayed here while doing a concert in the now gone Bayfront Center arena. So I drooped the guy off just in time for “Happy Hour” and they saddled up to the bar for a virgin banana concoction.
But it was a great day for everyone involved, even me. And the Zorilla Gorilla wanted me to end this post with a photo of him outside Tropicana Field hoping that every kid gets a chance today to come on out to the ballpark and take him home for their own. And then they can also embark on the
ir own set of adventures in the far reaching areas of Tampa Bay that we all call home. See you at the ballpark!