MacDill Happenings

Things to do in and around MacDill AFB

Pets And The Military Family

August 26, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, Military Spouse, PCS Move, Pets, Travel


Having a pet can be very important to military families. Our pets give us an anchor through many moves and deployments. For me, my dog especially, gave me a sense of security, she was my watch dog! But, unfortunately having pet and being a military family is not always easy. Military families have to consider many factors when getting a pet including housing breed restrictions, long deployments and cost of moving their fur babies.

If you live in base housing or thing you may in the future you will want to check with housing before you adopt. Military housing has many rules on the types of pet you own along with breed restrictions. I hope one day housing will re-evaluate these restrictions because so many rescue dogs fall in these categories.

Another factor that military families have to deal with is deployments. For single family members who deploy finding a foster family to look after their fur babies can be a challenge. I have even seen where a service member was looking for someone to care for his pet snake. Yikes! Dogs on Deployment is a great organization helping service members locate foster families for their pets. If you know of other organizations of this type I would love for your to share them with me on our Facebook page.

Cute happy reddish havanese puppy dog is looking out from a blue and gray pet crate, isolated on white background

Moving with your pet can be costly, whether it be across country or overseas. This is something to definitely think about when adopting a pet. The bigger the pet the more the cost. If you will be moving your pet overseas your best bet is to get in touch with your base installation veterinarian to inquire on what is required to get your pet overseas. These rules seem to change constantly so getting up to date information from the right source is important. I have known of friends who have gotten all the necessary shots and blood tests done for their pets to only find out they did them too soon or too late. When I took my dog and cat to Guam the vet here at MacDill was great and made sure my pets had all the necessary papers and shots to get to the island. Also, the vets office at Naval Base Guam and Andersen AFB were also helpful. Do your research! You will also need to consider the price of your pets airfare and boarding. Again, do your research check with the airlines on what they charge and require to ship your pet.

Owning a pet can be a great and stressful experience. Being a military family and owning a pet can be an even greater and stressful experience. To keep your stress down and be able to just enjoy your pet do your research and use the resources available to you.

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photo credit: Placid Oliver via photopin (license)

5 Tips to Enjoy Back to School

August 25, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Events, Military Spouse, Schools


For most of the MacDill AFB area school is back in session. I am sure some parents are jumping for joy and others are probably crying their eyes out on this first day of school! I know I was crying on my oldest child’s first day and had an ugly cry Sunday night after dropping my baby at college! That is when the I decided it was time to find ways to enjoy back to school!! Here are my 5 tips to enjoy back to school.

  1. Take a deep breath. Just enjoy the moment and be proud of your child and your self for getting to the first day of school.
  2. Take a nap. After all that shopping, getting hair cuts and school physicals we are all exhausted. If you are now alone in the house whoo hoo great time for a nap!!
  3. Time for a pedicure and a manicure or maybe a massage! If you still have little ones at home, a trip to the beach or park might make up for the massage. Get your spouse to watch the kids one evening and do the pedicure or massage then, you deserve it!
  4. Get organized. Now you may be thinking how is that enjoyable? Well, if you get organized now you will have more free time to enjoy later. Buy a calendar, planner or a dry erase board to keep all those dates and activities organized. I always had a folder for each child to keep all those school papers organized and in one place.
  5. Write down your memories. Along with all those first day pictures you will want to record those special moments. For instance, when your son comes home and tells you he has a girlfriend on his first day of kindergarten!

Now go take your nap or get your pedicure and enjoy these first days of back to school. You will be glad you did once all those school activities get started. Share your back to school pics with us on our Facebook page.

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Flea Market Shopping Near MacDill AFB

August 25, 2015 By: Laura Category: Events, Military Life, Military Spouse, Things to do Near MacDill AFB


Flea market shopping is all the rage these days including here in the MacDill AFB area. Florida’s great weather means we can catch Flea Market fever all year long. Shopping the local Flea Markets and resale stores is a great way to furnish a home on a budget.

As a military spouse being able to find fun decorative pieces along with furniture not only helps with the cost of a PCS move but gets me out to discover my new town. Watching way too much HGTV and DIY has encouraged me to buy items I may have turned my nose up at a few years ago. With a recent adventure in downsizing, I have really been hitting the Flea Markets and resale stores here in the MacDill area. Here is a list of some of the great Flea Markets in the area:

Along with these great Flea Markets, Tampa is home to several great thrift stores such as The Salvation Army and The Sunshine Thrift Store. With all of these options the Flea Market shopper in you will never be bored!! If you have a favorite place to shop for bargains please share them here with us on the blog or on our Facebook page. So, get the suntan lotion and a bottle of water and head on out to find the bargains.

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photo credit: DSC_0215 via photopin (license)






5 Resources For MacDill AFB Newcomers

August 18, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, Military Spouse, PCS Move, Self Improvement, Things to do Near MacDill AFB

5 Resources For MacDill AFB Newcomers

5 Resources For MacDill AFB Newcomers

Have you recently moved to the MacDill AFB area? If so, you are probably not alone. The Summer PCS season is still in full swing and we have many new military families in the area. Having lived here in the area for awhile myself, I wanted to share some resources I think may be helpful for MacDill AFB newcomers.

5 Resources For MacDill AFB Newcomers

  1. The MacDill AFB web page is a great resource. This page will give you info on everything from housing information to places to grab a bite to eat.
  2. Inside MacDill” an article I wrote in the Spring with a ton of great information on MacDill AFB and the surrounding area.
  3. Knowing how to get the kids enrolled and ready for school is important. Read these tips on getting the kids enrolled in school to ease some of your back to school stress.
  4. Looking for a place to call home? is your one stop resource for finding a home near MacDill AFB.
  5. Lastly, download the FREE E-book “Bloom Where PCS Plants You!

I hope these 5 resources will make your move to MacDill AFB a little easier! Remember to just breathe and enjoy all that the Tampa Bay area has to offer. If you have a resource that has helped you with a move to MacDill AFB, please share it here with our readers.

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Things to Do in the Tampa Bay Area

August 14, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Concerts, Events, Things to do Near MacDill AFB

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

The weekend is here and there are plenty of things to do in the Tampa Bay area.  It may be rainy this weekend, but don’t forgot the sunscreen. Maybe just a quiet weekend at the beach is in store for you if it doesn’t rain!

  • Ace Golf driving ranges in Brandon and Riverview are offering one free bucket of balls to children up to age 15 every day. Nothing like some free summer time fun for the kids!
  • Enjoy your Friday evening on the Hillsborough River at Brews and Bites by the Tampa Convention Center. There will be beer and food trucks on hand to help you enjoy the outdoors. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate!
  • Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa is offering a $15 admission to the zoo for Florida residents. The final day for the $15 admission price is this Sunday.
  • The Rays are out on a road trip, but the Clearwater Theshers take on the Tampa Yankees in minor league baseball in Clearwater on Friday at 6:30pm. There will be a free concert by a Dave Matthews tribute band following the game. Tickets range from $5 to $9.50. Bright House Field in Clearwater is just on the other side of the Courtney Campbell Parkway.
  • If you’re a veteran or active duty military member, make sure you sign up for the Rays Honor Pass so that you can receive 2 free tickets for the next home game!
  • On Saturday morning starting 9am, check out the Ybor City Saturday Market for fresh produce, baked goods and live entertainment.
  • On Saturday starting at 2pm, it’s the Patel Conservatory End-of-Summer Music Blowout at the TECO theater at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa. Students involved in Rock School, Jazz Improvisation and Patel-A-Cappella will display their talents. If you are interested in the Patel Conservatory, then this is a great opportunity to see what they have to offer!
  • FishHawk Ranch  in Lithia is having a Food Truck Rally on Saturday evening from 5pm to 9pm. It will take place at the Osprey Club. One of my favorite food trucks, Aloha to Go, will be there!
  • On Sunday, the Tampa Theatre will present a classic mafia movie “Goodfellas” starting at 3pm.
  • Finish up your weekend at Yoga in the Park at Curtis Hixon Park from 6pm to 7pm. It’s free, just bring your mat!

If you have ideas for the weekend, please share it with us.

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