Thursday, February 19, 2015

Out and About in Tampa

Yesterday was the kind of amazing Florida day that calls people to move down from the snowy North. A bit chilly, but with a sparkling blue sky and showers of sunshine. It was a great day to be out on the town!

I worked on the house with Mom in the morning. We cleaned out her bookshelves, which mainly contained dusty, petrified calculus textbooks (she and my father were both college-level math instructors). We boxed most of them up. I think Goodwill may not want a lot of esoteric textbooks, so I may call the university library and see if they're interested in looking at them.

We also prepared our old computers for recycling, deleting files and that sort of thing. I have no idea how to safely dispose of a computer, but if I take them to the county electronics recycling center I'm sure we'll be fine. I can't imagine someone there will go to all the trouble to comb through our ancient, slow machines, restore deleted files and, in mom's case, install a new video card, just to collect whatever meager outdated private information may still be on the hard drive.

I drove into Tampa to have lunch and spend the afternoon with my friend Sue. My mission was to buy some new bedsheets, because Dave and I can't get sheets for our American king-sized bed in London. Mission accomplished, thanks to Target! We also went to the Sunshine Thrift Store, my favorite thrift store on the planet, where I got a great shirt, blue with thin stripes and an underlying white floral pattern.

We made a nostalgic visit to the apartments where we lived just off Bayshore Boulevard almost 25 years ago. The old place looks pretty much the same! It's much more secure than it used to be -- the hall doors are locked tight, and in our time they were perpetually open, with wind off Tampa Bay whooshing through the building. Someone's done away with the little outdoor fish pond, and the Norfolk Island pine outside my window is much bigger. (Truthfully, I'm not sure it was there at all back in 1991.)

Then we drove over to Epicurean, a new food-centric Tampa hotel that Dave would love. I am going to have to make it a mission to bring him there sometime. We had a great view of the skyline from the roof.

Finally we went downtown and visited Le Meridien, a new hotel in the old former federal courthouse. I spent a lot of time in that courthouse as a young reporter, so it was great to see how well it's been renovated. They've preserved all the marble floors and walls, and even some of the courtroom furniture. We had a glass of wine at the bar and then drove back to Sue's neighborhood to join her husband John for dinner.

All in all, a great day!

(Top: A soul food restaurant in West Tampa. We didn't eat here, but I love that building!)


Vivian said...

thanks for sharing your vacation with us...i too love thrift stores!

Ms. Moon said...

I have always loved Tampa. There's something about it that's just so cool.
St. Pete, too.
I need to get back down there for a little tourist jaunt. I love being a tourist in Florida.

ellen abbott said...

I wish we had some great thrift stores here but the town is too small. oh, we have thrift stores but the findings are mediocre. There's a big one in Houston (well, many big ones) called the Guild but it's not very thrifty to my way of thinking.

The Bug said...

That looks like a fabulous day!