Founder Carole Baskin never dreamt she'd one day oversee a 55-acre sanctuary inhabited by some of Earth's largest cats. In 1992, she and her late husband were at an exotic-animal auction seeking out llamas for their farm. A man had a 6-month-old bobcat that he could no longer care for, and the pair decided to give it a place to call home. They then traveled to a bobcat breeder for another playmate, but upon seeing the horrible conditions the animals were kept in, they bought all 56 kittens. They rehabilitated them back to health, and gave them permanent homes on their then-40-acre site. Soon, word of her knack for nurturing spread beyond the Tampa area, and callers began donating abandoned or orphaned cats. Her mission to save these animals also reached the ears and hearts of many celebrities, including contributors Harrison Ford and Bo Derek.
After 20 years of hard work and learning, Carole is still caring for abused and abandoned big cats at her rescue site, accommodating more than 100 medium and large creatures from bengal tigers and black leopards to lynx and lions. Her staff of volunteers helps care for the animals and leads groups in tours that educate visitors on the plight of these animals both in the wild and in captivity.
The Murder Mystery Company's talented troupe of improv actors performs live-action murder mysteries at public and private events to sharpen guests' latent detective skills. Throughout the play, the cast drops hints and misdirects blame, inviting audience members to get involved in a web of intrigue and hilarity. Besides public dinner parties, murder mysteries can unfold during corporate events, team-building exercises, and birthday parties for aging Sherlock Holmes impersonators.
Tampa's Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is a cultural cornucopia celebrating the Mexican holiday with music, dancing, food, activities, children's attractions, and a car and motorcycle show. Follow the incipient online schedule—or flip through the Facebook page—for the still-developing calendar, which includes events such as salsa-dancing lessons, a tongue-tickling chili contest, and the glamorous Miss Tampa Latina pageant. During the daily happy hour 3 p.m.–6 p.m., thirsty guests can enjoy one free beer. Take in a salsa lesson, then meander over to the other salsa camp, where recently steadied shoulders will be tested against fiery tortilla-toppers at the salsa tasting station. While proud car owners buff their road babies for Friday's car and motorcycle show, their flesh-based brood can clamber (supervised) through the children's area and carnival rides.
The Show Palace Dinner Theatre piles plates high with cuisine from an endless buffet and salad bar while also sating cravings for entertainment. Their productions range from musical revues such as Swing! and New York Nights to more traditional musicals like The Sound of Music. Prior to the show, audiences mingle at a brief cocktail reception before taking their seats at linen-draped tables. A spread of comfort food fills stomachs with the fuel necessary to give a standing ovation, shout for encores, and scream at pet falcons to get down from the rafters.
Pedal into the sun and shine on the Pinellas Trail with today's Groupon, which gets you a day-long bike rental from Sun West Cyclery. Sun West is a family-owned-and-operated bike shop that rents comfort bikes, a limited number of recumbents and road bikes, and absolutely no bikes outfitted with road spikes and oil dischargers.“Bicycles. They seem harmless…but are they? Mostly yes, they are harmless…if being LAZY is harmless.
Wendy O’ Lenic, the Wendy of Wendy Fit, began her professional dance career in 1979 with a Vegas dance review. Over the years, her passion for movement evolved and found a new life in yoga. Her curriculum covers various disciplines including yoga, Pilates, and meditation. Within the earth-green walls of her studio, Wendy and her staff lead students through group classes, private and semiprivate personal training sessions, and specialty courses such as ballet core and kettlebell. Once annually, the studio co-sponsors a yoga cruise so that students can practice their moves in fresh air and catch views of dolphins doing planks.