Zorilla Gorilla Webkinz Adventures, Pt. 1
I was talking to a member of the Rays Promotional team a few days ago in an email and was told that the Tampa Bay Rays were going to be pushing their upcoming “Zorilla Gorilla” Webkinz that would be given out to kids 15 and younger during the next home stand on Sunday, April 25th. So I floated out an idea that I would take one of these plush promos around the west-side of Tampa Bay over the weekend and get a few shots within a few of the Rays business partners and try and get the buzz hitting a fever pitch for the upcoming promotion.
So today my post will be mostly the photos I took over the past weekend all around the Pinellas County region of Tampa Bay. Sorry to those South of the St. Petersburg area, or to the East in Tampa, but my financial situation doesn’t merit a drive over either bridge at this time. For my travels, I decided to begin with a great morning pick-me-up at a local Tropical Smoothie location owned by the spouse of one of the Rays Front Office members, and got to say, it was one of the best blended and fruitful concoctions I have ever had in my life…Kudos for the Banana/Strawberry smoothie aka Jetty Punch offered by this awesome soda-alternative stand. You can definitely count on me coming back for another slice of taste buds heaven real soon.
So, for today’s post I will be throwing out a multitude of photo shots, and a bit of an explanation for each of the photos. I have to say in advance here, I had a blast because this was one of the first truly gorgeous sunny and steamy days this Spring and it was the perfect weather for not only cruising up and down the beach corridor, but also going out and meeting some of the Rays Republic in the stores and resorts around this great County.
I decided to start my day’s journey after getting a “wake me up” beverage at the place that outside of Tropicana Field holds the biggest set of Rays memories for most of us. That place of course is the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport where almsot 4,000 of us helped celebrate alongside with the Rays their clinch of the 2008 American League East crown. It was a festive day, and one of the best crowd experiences I have ever seen in my life.
So being at the airport, you knew I had to head on over to one of the Rays airline connections and see if I could get the Zorilla Gorilla a First Class seat on a flight to Boston for the Sunday game. But to my dismay, the airline could get me to the NorthEast that day, but I might be a bit north of the desired location, but would have been in a foodie mecca called Portland, Maine. But when the Zorilla Gorilla heard they were serving peanuts as a snack on the flight, he decided he would rather go Fed Ex….Stubborn monkey!
I was sitting there while trying to decide on the photo at the airport and I cam upon the great thought of including my little inanimate Zorilla Gorilla with this great cartoon interpretation of an Allegiant airline jet. Found it very “hip” that the image not only had a sunburst upon the tail section of the jet, but the smile and the sunglasses were an instant hit since this one of the best day so far this Spring.
So then I decided to head on west towards the sound of the crashing waves upon the shores of Florida and came upon one of the Zorilla Gorilla’s favorite spots for a virgin Banana Daiquiri and some great music. But then again, I noticed that tonight was Ladies Night, which showed me that the Zorilla Gorilla loved to dance and mingle and basically let his inner primate come out at night.
The decided to hit the Ambassador Limo location to see if I could set up the Zorilla Gorilla with some plush and elegant transportation for the evening. Well, he had other ideas in mind and was so impressed by the white Rolls Royce and purely extremely lavish transportation that he was really thinking of using this service that evening to make an impression.
So the Zorilla Gorilla called a few of his “Boys”, and away we went for a day excursion up and down the beach region of Pinellas county swinging from the chrome rails above the seats and stopping at every single location that had either Florida gifts or a thatched hut somewhere on the grounds. It was a great day for the Zorilla Gorilla and his cousins to just enjoy the great sights and scenes of the Tampa Bay area.
Since it was still early in the morning, the Zorilla Gorilla decided it was time for another Banana shake and to make get some grub for the day trip today. And since Checker’s was open early now, it just made perfect sense to grab a few great Chili dogs and maybe a few orders of fries to make the trip a bit more enjoyable with a full stomach.
And the poor Checkers worker here did not know what she was getting into as the Zorilla Gorilla group all converged on the “Order” window and did not want to wait their time ordering. For some reason 5 straight orders were given to her at once, and amazingly, she got it right the first time…True professional, plus the Banana shakes were incredible!
But we still had to go get some added goodies and beverages for the beach venture. So we made sure to hit Hess Express for some of our cold needs and unfortunately some good-natured fun at the expense of the Zorilla Gorilla. I have to admit, it was my fault here. He asked me to open the door for him, but I let it close not knowing he was still in there and had not grabbed the Gatorade G2 yet. But that was not the only good natured fun he had at Hess Express.
So we finally got out of the store and headed to one of my favorite sand and mediation spots around this region and the Zorilla Gorilla instantly liked John’s Pass and the activity of all the sunbathers’ and fisherman trying to get some action off the rocks surrounding the pass. Got to admit it here, but it was the perfect scenario, nice seabreeze and even some great commotion started becuase of the Zorilla Gorilla’s celebrity status.
The group instantly took to the fine grit sand and spent a few great moments together as a group before the towel-snapping and the crew all took to the waves to get the much needed feel of the sea water upon their fur. The water was a perfect emerald green today and mixed with the blue of the sky made for a perfect beach day.
After a few hours of paddleball, whistling at a few primates and acting the fool, the boys decided to bury their kid cousin up to his neck in the sand. But little did he know that one of the Zorilla Gorilla group had gone over to one of the fisherman and gotten a live crab he caught and put it right behind him as he was buried in the sand. He did not even know about the crab until one of his pinchers was firmly attached to his nose and he went screaming covered in sand and with a crab dangling from his nose into the swirling waves.
After leaving the John’s Pass beach area, everyone was a bit dehydrated and felt a bit peaked, so we head on over to Sweetbay Supermarket and got some needed potassium from the bananas the Zorilla Gorilla bought in the store. He was actually sitting on the top of this display imitating James Cagney screaming “Top of the World Ma” to anyone who would listen to him. He definitely needed a potassium fix.
But before we could get out of the Sweetbay store, the Zorilla Gorilla saw a Pepsi display featuring the Rays mascot Raymond, and of course, being a good friend of the Seadog, he had to get a entry slip to win Home Plate seats and a $100 grocery spree. Hey the Gorilla might already have his seats, but to get a chance to win tickets to a free food and beverage area, plus a chance to sit in luxury behind Home Plate was an opportunity he did not want to miss out on….He could actually win!
So that concludes our Zorilla Gorilla Adventure for Saturday, but he wanted to be sure to let the Rays fans know about the upcoming Rays Radio broadcast out on the sandy shores of St. Petersburg Beach. The event would include the awesome tall waterslide, plus a chance to win Rays merchandise and possible game tickets. It was an event you know he would not miss, and tomorrow, we will see a few more places that the Zorilla Gorilla hit this past weekend.