Thursday, January 18, 2018

Is Robert is Here really the Disney World of Fruit Stands?

After your visit to the Everglades National Park in Homestead, you are not going to want to miss Robert is Here.  Located not too far from the entrance to the park you will find a pretty hoppin' fruit stand.

Yes, you read that right. A "hoppin' fruit stand". The Palm Beach Post refers to this fruit stand as "The Disney World of fruit stands" and after spending a few hours there with my family, I have to say I completely agree!

A Brief History of Robert is Here
Robert is Here is a family-owned fruit stand that has been around for over 50 years. In the early days, it was a young man with a desire to sell a few fruits and vegetables that has grown into a premier destination in South Florida.

A destination perfect for families, couples, or friends. You can read more about the history of Robert and his family in his biography, it is certainly going on my list of books to read!

Location and Operating Hours 

8:00a - 7:00p
Closed: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Easter Sunday 1p-7p

19200 SW 344 Street
Homestead, FL 33034

So what makes this place so MAGICAL and why should I take a trip to Homestead to check it out?



I visited Robert is here with my family on a Saturday evening, about 5 o'clock, and here are some things I experienced, and memories made... 

There were cars parked everywhere.
Live Music blasting. 
Families laughing.
Children playing. 
Robert serving guests, answering questions. 
An entire fruit stand of strangers singing happy birthday, because Robert asked us too. 
There were smiles and giggles, and memories being made all around me. 
Photos lined the walls of the fruit stand. 
The best and most unique milkshakes I'd ever tasted being served. 
Fresh Fruit.
Fresh Vegetables. 
A Splash Pad.
Play area.
Picnic Tables. 
Petting Zoo. 

There were people collecting Memories, 
not things and it was beautiful. 

The Palm Beach post got it right when they compared this place to the Happiest Place on Earth. The next time you visit South Florida, take a trip down to Homestead and have a milkshake with Robert and his family, you won't be sorry. 

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Monday, January 15, 2018

What to do in the Everglades with Children

Well, we survived our first Camping trip with the girls

After a cup of coffee and some lunch at a nearby Burger King, we headed home. 
We'd been home for roughly 5-minutes before my husband announces that 
we are going to the Everglades! 

So, we packed a lunch box, grabbed some water and headed over to the Everglades National Park. Back in May, when we visited Shark Valley, we became pass holders for the Everglades National Park, but due to Hurricane Irma, we hadn't had an opportunity to go visit. 

The Ernest F. Coe visitor center is located all the way down in Florida City, and can be accessed by taking the Florida Turnpike south until it merges with US 1. Once it merges with US 1 turn right onto Palm Drive (344th street) and follow the signs to the park.  


Address:40001 State Road 9336, Homestead FL, 33034 
Contact Number: 305-242-7700 

Once you arrive at the Visitor Center, be sure to take your time walking through the exhibits as there are special collections that rotate and other educational opportunities! You will also want to get your Visitor Center Stamp and talk to the Park Ranger about becoming a Jr. Ranger


We asked the Park Ranger to recommend a couple of trails for our family to explore, and then headed out for an adventure! 

Since we were arriving at the park in the late afternoon, the park ranger recommended two trails for our family to explore, both trails were paved and had plenty of animals for the girls to see. 

The first trail we explore was the Gumbo Limbo  Trail. This trail was a little less than a mile and completely paved, perfect for even the smallest of travelers. We didn't see very many animals on this trail, but it was full of beautiful trees, and the girls really enjoyed it! 

What is a Gumbo Limbo? 
A tree! 

Native to South Florida, this tree is known as the "tourist" tree because of its red bark that can appear to look like peeled sun-burned skin. 

The second trail we explored was the Anhinga Trail.  Located right next to the Gumbo Limbo Trail, this short trail was a combination of both boardwalk and pavement. While exploring this trail, we got face-to-face with an Alligator and even got the chance to see some baby gators. 



Another fun thing to do is the FREE trolley ride, every weekend until April 29 in 2018 you can ride a trolley. The city of Homestead has created a program to offer free public transportation to Everglades and Biscayne national parks with its "Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks".  This is the first of it's kind, and a great way to see National parks in one day! 


For More Information Call: (305)224-4457


Food is limited in the Everglades National Park, and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch, and if your kids are anything like mine, they are going to build up a pretty big appetite so you might want to pack some extra snacks.  ;-)  
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The Florida Everglades covers over 1.5 million acres of land and stretches over 3 counties. These parks are certainly ones you will want to explore again and again! 

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Did I meet my goal at the 2018 Disney Marathon?

If you've been on Instagram for 1/2 a second, you most likely saw too many a few photos from the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon! Today, I'm going to share photos from all along the course.
**SPOILER ALERT** I had so much fun at the WDW Marathon, and can't wait to run it again!

The Course! 
Bundled up at the Start! 
Twinning is Winning! 


Miles 1-3


The first 5k really seemed to fly by, I started the race with my friend Stephanie and we were sticking to a run-walk interval of 30/30.

Stephanie and I parted ways just after the ticket and transportation center (between mile 3 and 4) because she needed to use the bathroom. 


Miles 4-7

Here is where we enter into the Magic Kingdom, I wanted to run with my friend and I was doing pretty well with my timing so when I saw some short lines of characters, I decided to get some fun photos! 

Running from the sweepers! 

The third *evil* step sister ;-) 





 Miles 7-12

I saw my chEAR squad at the Grand Floridian, got a hug from my husband and kept on running. I had take my sweet time through the Magic Kingdom and knew I needed to make up some time while the weather was still cool and I was feeling good.

My daughters have recently been obsessed with Mary Poppins, so a photo with the Penguins was a MUST DO for me!


I actually kind of enjoyed this section of the course and even had negative splits! Around mile 8 I saw my friend Stephanie, and felt relieved that she was still in this! 

Miles 13-14

Animal Kingdom, ... I started to get emotional at this point in the race. I had been feeling SO great during the first half of the race, but now I was getting nervous. I hadn't heard from my friend in a while, I was starting to get nervous for her sake. I didn't want her to get swept, I didn't want to get swept. 

Another hug from my husband and a tissue from my sister and I was on my way to ESPN, Wide World of Sports! 

It was in Animal Kingdom that I had to finally ditch my blanket. I used the restroom and just couldn't get it tied back on me comfortably, so on trashcan just outside of the Finding Nemo Show, I left my fabulous tie dye blanket. 



Miles 14-18

After a clif bar and a hug, I was ready to head back out to Osceola Parkway for the long stretch to ESPN, Wide World of Sports.

Miles 18-20

ESPN... Oh, ESPN... I didn't remember it being this awful. Perhaps its because in 2015 when I ran the Goofy Challenge my sisters were chEARing for me in the parking lot... perhaps it is because there was a huge crowd of people, I don't know but RunDisney... You NEED to get some more support on this section of the course. - Seriously, hear our plea...


When I made it to ESPN, it was pretty evident that I was towards the back of the pack. I hadn't heard from Stephanie in a LONG time, and the sun was out and the winds were up. I was a weird combination of hot, cold and just plain miserable. With views of construction, direct sun, high winds and essentially zero cheering zones, I was one hot mess.

 Miles 20-23

Just leaving ESPN, I found myself amidst the 7-hour pace group. The Walt Disney Marathon has a time limit and you are required to maintain a 16-minute mile, or else you are at risk of being swept. So, when I saw that Jeff Galloway Pacer holding a 7-hour sign, I latched onto the group and with everything I had in me stuck with the intervals.

At one point I confirmed with another runner when we were safe from being swept because I was so scared I was going to end up on the "Parade Bus".

I didn't take photos during this time, I was focused on sticking to the intervals and not getting swept.

Mile 23-24

Finally made it into Hollywood Studios, where we were handed Halloween Candy... (Um, seriously RunDisney? Candy Corn M&M's?  - No thanks). I stuffed the Candy Corn M&M's in my bra and grabbed plain M&M's down a little further and tried to relax a bit since I was almost beyond all the sweeper busses!


"There you are"

I hear from the crowd at Mile 24, I look up and see Chris searching the crowd desperate to find me. I smiled a little brighter after seeing him there and started to make my way towards the finish line. I knew he'd never make it to the finish line to see me, so I made the decision to soak everything in. 

I would stop for any photo I wanted, and venture off course to find a snack to eat at the finish line. I worked hard for this moment, and I wanted to enjoy it! 

Miles 24-26.2









THANK YOU RUNDISNEY VOLUNTEERS!
26.2 Magical Miles! 


 So what's next for me? 
I promised my husband, NO more Full Marathons until after all our girls start school. Therefore, I'm going to focus on improving my time on the 10K, and Half Marathon before taking another 26.2-mile journey.

Thank you so much for all the love and support during this journey. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and ability to participate and complete the 2018 Walt Disney Marathon!

Finally, thank you to my number one fan, the man who sacrificed so many Saturday mornings of sleeping to watch our girls so I could complete my training runs. I wouldn't have made it to the finish line without the many people who took a turn watching the girls so I could run.

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P.S. I friend Stephanie DID finish the race! ;-) 




Is Robert is Here really the Disney World of Fruit Stands?

After your visit to the Everglades National Park in Homestead, you are not  going to want to miss Robert is Here.   Located not too far fro...