13th Birthday Adventures In Tampa Florida

Can y'all believe that I have a 13 year old?! Let me tell y'all how we celebrated my pumpkin's 13th birthday. Including our adventures in Tampa Florida.


Please bear with me guys as I’m still in recovery mode from two back to back trips, and I’m trying to play catch up with my content. I have LOTS of stuff from the past few weeks to share with you guys. Starting with my son’s 13th birthday adventures, which included a trip to Tampa Florida. I can’t believe that I have a 13 year old. Yes, a 13 year old. Boy does time fly. I remember the day he was born as if it were yesterday. His first birthday party. His first day of Kindergarten. Now my baby, wait let me rephrase that, my young man is 13 years old. It was a very sentimental day for me and I found myself really emotional, which I didn’t think would be the case. I should’ve known better.

Barboncino Brooklyn Pizza

To celebrate Esean’s 13th birthday we had dinner at one of his favorite brick oven pizza restaurants, Barboncino in Brooklyn.

Barboncino Margherita Pizza

 Margherita Pizza


After dinner we headed to his favorite doughnut spot- Dough.

Dough Doughnuts Brooklyn

Chocolate Salted Caramel, Chocolate with Cocoa Nibbs, Passion Fruit & Cafe au Lait

Dough Donut

If you haven’t tried Dough you are truly missing out. Doughy puffs of goodness in decadent flavors that melt in your mouth.  Yum.


Since 13 is a big birthday, Esean’s 13th birthday gift was a surprise trip to Tampa Florida. Well it was a surprise until my big mouth sister spilled the beans the week before lol. He was nervous to be on a plane since he hasn’t flown since he was a toddler. But he quickly got over it and enjoyed the flight. To make the best of our trip I purchased two Tampa Bay City PASSes so that we could enjoy five attractions for the price of one. First stop was the Museum of Science & Industry while we waited for our room to be ready. We had a good ol’ time for hours as there was so much to see.

Tampa MOSI Museum

13th Birthday at Tampa MOSI Museum

13th Birthday Trip MOSI Tampa Florida

By the time we got back to our hotel- Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa North, it was time for the guest reception. On the house dinner and snacks were served, including fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. The hotel was one of the highlights of our stay. We really took advantage of the delicious huge continental breakfast served every morning, as well as the complimentary shuttle to nearby attractions. And the pretty pool in which we enjoyed that evening. We got up bright and early the next morning to enjoy breakfast and head to Busch Gardens.Neither one of us are fans of roller coasters. But Busch Gardens is so much more than just roller coasters. It’s like a giant zoo and amusement park in one. We were brave enough however to get on the Skyride for an overhead view of the park. Along with the Congo River Rapids, bumper cars and a ride on the Serengeti Railway to tour the park and see the animals.

Busch Gardens Tampa Florida Vacation

Busch Gardens Tampa Vacation

Busch Gardens Tampa Vacation

We also got in a few games & shows, and enjoyed watching others on the roller coasters, which was quite amusing.

13th Birthday Fun At Busch Gardens Tampa

We got rained on. I mean really RAINED on.  We had to run through the park in the rain to make it back to our hotel shuttle on time. We stopped at Chic-fil-A on the way to get dinner.

Chic-fil-A Tampa Bay

Every time I’m down south I have to hit Chic-fil-A as we don’t have this simple pleasure in NYC. Aside from a heat lamp location at NYU. However it’s currently in the works and coming soon. Since I’m now a Pescatarian I’ll have to enjoy just the fries and milkshakes. Tears.

Sequin Bikini

After dinner we got in some more pool time.


The next day was a long but fun filled one. First stop, The Florida Aquarium. We did the trivia challenge and had to find sea creatures based on clues given in riddles. We quit half way through though because we were bored and just did our own thing.



Next stop, Channelside Bay Plaza for lunch at Thai Thani, which was quite the treat.

Thai Thani Tampa Channelside

Thai Thani Tampa Channelside

forever 21 smocked maxi dress

We then headed over to the Lowry Park Zoo. We enjoyed a bird show, the animal attractions and an African Safari ride tour with an up close view of safari animals.

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Vacation


Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Vacation

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Zoominations

There was a special event going on at the zoo after dark- the Zoominations Chinese Light Festival. I had tickets but we had a 3 hour wait before it started. So we met up with my friend Key and her cutie daughter Seven to get some ice cream from Bo’s while we waited. Best soft serve I ever had!

Bo's Ice Cream Tampa


Bo's Ice Cream Tampa

Cookies ‘n Cream & Fudge Brownie

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Zoominations

We really enjoyed Zoominations. The lanterns were a site to behold, so beautiful!

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Zoominations

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo Zoominations


We got back to the hotel really late and just relaxed for the night before heading to the airport. As a huge fan of Uber it was my best friend during this trip. I used it to go to and from all of the places that my hotel shuttle didn’t cover. Including the airport, aquarium and zoo. It was pretty inexpensive, made it easy for me to get around and I didn’t have to worry about carrying extra money for cabs. If you’ve never used Uber, you can get your first ride free if you sign up through my link here or use my code ericam127. I’ll get a free ride as well . It’s a win win situation. So give it a try.

Esean thoroughly enjoyed his 13th birthday trip, and I had an amazing time as well.

16 Responses

  1. Now that is your twin face!!! Happy Bday to that wonderful young man. I have a little fellow of my own and it’s great sharing moments like that! Many blessings, more to come and so glad you enjoyed the trip.

  2. This whole post was such a treat. My little man is 2. Can’t wait to share moments like this with him. Your son is such a handsome young man and you seem like a great mom. Enjoy and keep living it up! xo

  3. Looks like y’all had a blast! I went to college in Tampa and so I didn’t really ever experience the tourist life but considering I’m an hour away from now, I’m thinking the family and I should do a road trip. Happy birthday to your handsome young man! Can’t wait to do these things with my son.

    1. Thank you so much. You should definitely do it. We had sooooo much fun and my little man couldn’t stop thanking me! 🙂

  4. Awwww you both look like you had a blast! What a handsome young man! He will always be your baby…I’m a mother of an only child & my son turned 17 last month and sometimes I’ll hear him call me Mommy…children are such a gift and time just flies by….

  5. Erica, I just read your article and I’m pleased to see you enjoyed Tampa and took advantage of the CityPASS! As you found out, we have a LOT to offer here in terms of attractions and there’s much more to see. Maybe you can check out Ybor City, the downtown museum district and the Tampa Riverwalk on your next trip! Sincerely,

    Dave Reynolds
    National/International Media Relations Manager
    Visit Tampa Bay

  6. Just found your blog, I think you are such a beautiful black woman and I enjoyed your tutorials on natural hairstyles. Thank you so much. I want my daughter to leave the weave alone and go natural as she has such beautiful hair of her own. I have transformed and love my hair really short like yours. Again Thank you so much and keep up the awesome work.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad that you found me. Your daughter will come around in her own time 🙂

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