Tuesday, December 29, 2015
A Dam and a Diner
Dave and I are back in Tampa today, getting ready for the big wedding party. I'm both anticipating and dreading it. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, but after all this thought and planning I'll also be hugely relieved when it's over!
Yesterday we drove up from Bradenton and had a chance to explore North Tampa. This was my old stomping ground back in my college days, and the bleak-looking (but very Ed Ruscha-ish) strip mall above was the location of the Scotty's hardware store where I was a cashier. It's a shell of its former self, and apparently some kind of office furniture outlet.
When I worked at Scotty's, I used to take my lunch to nearby Rowlett Park, and sit on a bench by the Hillsborough River listening to Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" on my walk-man. In my memory there was a dam on the river, but I couldn't really remember what it looked like -- so we stopped in to check it out. Yep, it's still there.
From there we went to meet two old friends (and faithful blog readers!) Kevin and Liz, as well as Kevin's spouse Brent, for brunch. We gathered at this great old diner, the Three Coins, where they basically dared me to take pictures. I couldn't resist, even though the placement of those gigantic concrete poles is a bit in-your-face.
I had a broccoli omelette, grits and toast -- which in a diner always tastes better than it does at home, and I don't know why. (Excessive butter?) We had a great time catching up. They'll be at the party today, too.
On the way home Dave and I passed the old Liz Salon, which has apparently changed hands and become something new (but equally, perhaps even more, photogenic).
And we passed the old Tampa Greyhound Track, where they no longer race dogs (thank goodness) but apparently still take bets on various racing events. I love the weathered old signage.
We got to my dad's and made an afternoon excursion to the Citrus Park mall -- with my stepbrother, his wife and their son -- to exchange some Christmas gifts. Then last night my brother showed up with his family and we all went to dinner (with associated other relatives, some of whom I have not seen in years) for a total of 16 people around the table. Chaos!