The mangrove trails at Weedon Island are the coolest ever

A few months ago, I posted a Friday photo from Weedon Island Preserve, in St. Petersburg. The photo was a few years old, but I revisited the park recently to kayak the trails for probably the tenth time.

There’s lots of great kayaking in Florida, and lots in the Tampa Bay area, but nowhere comes close to Weedon Island.  Watch the video for a good summary:

Weedon is located in on the Tampa Bay side (as opposed to the Gulf side) of St. Petersburg.  Even though it’s been open to the public for the last 80 years, you’d be surprised how many people in the Bay area have never even heard of it.

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6 essential tips for starting out with a GoPro Hero2

“I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” Four months younger.

Four months into life with the GoPro Hero2, there’s a bunch of things I wish I knew when I started.  Overall, I love the camera – it’s lightweight, waterproof, good quality and a great value.  But I’ve lost some good video because of stupid mistakes, and I’m hoping by imparting some of this hard-earned wisdom on other GoPro enthusiasts, I can save them some trouble.

If you have any additional tips, I’d love to hear ’em.

1) It’s a really wide angle lens

The obvious hurdle with the stock version of the GoPro Hero 2 is the lack of a screen on which to view the video you’ve just captured.  There are plenty of reasons why the GoPro doesn’t have one, and it really doesn’t need one.  But if you’re used to any other camera on the market, it’s a bit of an adjustment to move to a camera without any sort of viewfinder.

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Video of wild new coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa

I don’t usually write about theme parks (I usually leave that to thisfloridalife.com), but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about a cool new ride at Busch Gardens in Tampa.Busch Gardens Tampa

Cheetah Hunt, the newest in a park full of coasters, opened in the middle of last year (OK, not really new new, but new enough) and is a an interesting change of pace from the other coasters in the park.  Unlike the nauseating Montu or the rumbling Gwazi, Cheetah Hunt feels more like riding in a sports car than flying with the Blue Angels.

It has a top speed of 60 mph and you get to it straight out of the gate.  There are a few loops and twists and a really quick up and down section (like driving down the edge of a lasagna noodle).  And, unusual as it is, some long straight-ish sections that take you far into the park.  The coaster is designed to fit into the cheetah theme of that section of the park, but it feels like a cheetah too – particularly when it sprints out into the mock Serengeti.

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