Want to win FREE tickets to BrickWorld Tampa?
Over the Labor Day weekend, I had an opportunity to check out a camper manufacturing company called SignaTour Campers. It’s no secret that our growing family is looking for a camping solution, and I think that one of the SignaTour Camper models has just the right blend of features and specs to get us out into nature! Located in Tampa, it was about a 3 hour drive, but it was worth it. Although I didn’t pack the kiddos for this trip, I did get a chance to have a pretty cool read trip with my dad who shares my enthusiasm for camping and spending time with the family.
After a few emails back and forth, Jim, the owner and one of the primary builders of the SignaTour Camper line invited me to his workshop for an up close and personal look at their new camper products as well as a glimpse into their manufacturing process. I jumped at the chance, and he was even kind enough to accommodate my weekend schedule on a holiday weekend! Arriving in the morning, I was greeted by a row of campers that were just about to be hauled to an out of state dealer. Before they were put on the truck, I had a chance to sneak a peek.
Right off the bat, you might think that SignaTour Campers seem familiar somehow, not quite a teardrop design, but not quite a utility trailer either. It’s a great blend of both! Like many other great products, the SignaTour camper line was originally conceived as a project to fill some time during Jim’s slow season as a cabinet designer, manufacturer, and installer. While ordering the parts for his own personal SignaTour Camper, he purchased enough materials, lights, bells and whistles to make two. After the construction was complete, he was able to quickly sell his spare camper. Thinking he just might be on to something he crafted another three campers and they sold within days! Just like that, SignaTour Campers were born! While Jim still owns and operates his cabinet business, lately they have had such a strong demand for their campers, SignaTour consumes most of his time. Continue reading →
When we checkout an event, I like to write the review as soon as possible. here it is the last day of the Florida Strawberry Festival, and I’m having a difficult time putting the review into words. (Unfortunately that probably means I’ll be posting on this much later.) That is usually a bad thing, but in this case it’s that we got a chance to see so much it’s just difficult to know where to start! Well I guess I’ll try to start from the beginning..
In early 2013, I heard a radio advertisement for the Florida Strawberry Festival and thought it would be a fun weekend trip. We planned to go last year, but the timing just didn’t work out. This year we planned ahead and had it on the calendar. Nothing was going to keep us from checking out the festivities. Again we heard all sorts of advertisements, saw some news broadcasts, and have been hearing about all the fun and excitement for more than a week now. We decided to go on the second Saturday of the event, and we weren’t disappointed!
Our target time to get to the festival grounds as noon or so, and with about a 2 hour trip to get there, we left around 10am. It was a nice drive, and locally Bike Week is in full swing, so it was a welcomed change of pace. We decided to take the toll roads, instead of I-4, so we were able to steer clear of Daytona Beach, Universal’s Mardi Gras Event, and even traffic from The Central Florida Fair. It was well worth the $5 or so worth of quarters. We plugged in the address into our phone and Siri was kind enough to get us to where we needed to go. More often than not, the festivals and fairs we check out tend to be in the middle of no where, or small towns. We were surprised to find that the Florida Strawberry Festival was almost right in the middle of a bustling city. We have no idea if free parking was available at the Florida Strawberry Festival, but we saw tons of people offering paid parking on their lawns or places of business immediately surrounding the festival grounds. Rather than drive around in traffic with a toddler, we decided to do private parking for $10 right outside gate 5. It seemed somewhat legit, as they lady was wearing a bright yellow vest and flagging down traffic for parking off the main road. We generally park in public areas for the expense as well as the fear of being towed off private property, but seemed like a nice area so we decided to pull in. (Don’t worry, when we got back our car was still there, and so were the same people). These folks probably either lived in the home we parked in or was hired by the home owners to make some extra cash.
One of the many joys around Christmas time is spreading holiday cheer! When one of our readers mentioned Tampa’s Nights of Shimmering Lights, we couldn’t resist the thought of another great family adventure. Tampa is a pretty far drive for us, so we asked if our reader would be interested in doing some on site reporting for us. Luckily he took us up on the offer and was pleased to report that his entire family had a great time! Special thanks to the Jones family for not only telling us about this great event, but also taking the time to share some of their new family memories with us.
So what exactly is “Nights of Shimmering Lights”? It’s a great family entertainment value located at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds around this time of year. Now in its 3rd year, Nights of Shimmering Lights is getting better and better! The year features not only a lengthy lighted drive through topping out at over a mile of light displays, but Christmas Village is an experience like no other!
Awhile back, Frugal Florida Fun had the pleasure of visiting MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry while in Tampa Bay. We were amazed at large variety of topics and exhibits at MOSI, there was something for everyone! While not quite a children’s museum, adult museum, or a science center, we were pleased to find MOSI offers a wonderful mix of topics and exhibits that offered adventure for the entire family.
While visiting Tampa, we actually drove by MOSI a handful of times before our actual visit. Even from the outside we knew we were in for an adventure! Being one of the most unique buildings you will find in Florida, MOSI’s IMAX movie dome is hard to miss. Sandwiched between the main building and the “Kids in Charge” exhibit, a new addition to MOSI is the ropes course and zipline attraction. We didn’t check out this additional attraction, but it sure looks like fun! Maybe when my little guy gets bigger, and trim down a bit..
Walking in from the parking lot, we went by a beautiful butterfly exhibit which turned out to be an excellent capstone to a great afternoon of fun. Once inside we almost went into sensory overload! I was like a kid in a candy store wanting to run up to everything and check it out. I can only imagine how little guy felt. After our tickets were received, we explored the ground floor of MOSI including an awesome gift shop. High above our heads, we noticed a bicycle on a high wire, but more on that later. Continue reading →