Monday, January 20, 2014

A Quick Trip to Tampa

M & I went to Florida last weekend to attend my Aunt's Surprise 70th Birthday party.  It was a lot of fun, she was surprised and didn't have a heart attack from the surprise, so it was a success.
My dancer man, dancing away to my cousins' bluegrass band!

It was easier for us to fly into Jacksonville, so we did that and drove down to Tampa with my parents.  Plus, we got to spend a few extra days with Grammie D and Granddad (M calls him "Dad-Dad") so it worked out well for all.  It was about a 3 hour drive from my parents' house to Tampa, driving through central Florida.  There's not much to see en route but it is an easy drive.

We spent the weekend mostly at our hotel and at my aunt's house, which is in a nice neighborhood not too far from the airport and close to everything.  I hadn't been there in 10 years, and it is funny how everything seemed much smaller than how I had remembered it.

When we would visit them as kids, her neighborhood was the big, fancy neighborhood with big houses, a huge golf course and lots of sun because there were hardly any trees.  As silly as it sounds, I loved that they had sidewalks!  We didn't have a sidewalk along the dirt road that led to our house in the country - it's the little things!  =)  But now the trees were all bigger, and the homes seemed normal sized, and the golf course even looked a little worn (or "well-loved" maybe?)!  It is still a beautiful neighborhood - just a matured neighborhood now I guess!
M LOVED riding in my Uncle's RV - the truck/motor vehicle obsession continues!

My sister and I actually lived in Tampa with my aunt in 2004.  I had an internship with a federal judge and my sister was working in the city too.  I loved running in her neighborhood (the sidewalks!)  and I even did a triathlon downtown that was a lot of fun.  There are some really beautiful neighborhoods in Tampa and I loved that you could see the water just about everywhere - I remember sitting in our office in the courthouse and you could see the bay out the windows - beautiful!

I still think Tampa is a beautiful city.  It was 80 degrees when we were there - yes, in January!!  So that is definitely one downside.  It is plenty hot, but lovely with lots of things to do - professional sports, arts & culture stuff, shopping, and the beach is close by.  I think it would be fun to go back one day and do one of the Gasperilla races - we did it many years ago, so I'd love to do it again sometime!

One funny note about our trip - we had the same flight crew all the way from Spokane to Jax - the flight attendants were fantastic (as they nearly always are on Southwest!).  They were all men (calling themselves the "male revue") and they made such a nice effort to help me entertain M on the 2 hour first flight, and then 3 hour second flight!  One of the flight attendants even carried him off the plan and through the terminal for me!  They were super nice.  We love flying Southwest, and no, they are not paying me to say that!

Have a great week, and happy MLK day!

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