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!


  1. All of this sound like great fun and adventure but I have a feeling that it will make your return to your London nest with your husband and your Olga a joy.
    And yes- breakfast out is always better. I have no idea why but you might be on to something with the butter.

  2. That greyhound sign brings back memories. We used to have greyhound racing here too and I remember seeing these signs around the track. And, now I'm craving grits, something we don't see much here at all.

  3. they finally recently closed the dog track here. the dinner party sounds like it was fun. and your party will be wonderful so quit worrying about it.

  4. Looking forward to seeing you in a few hours! BTW, check your e-mail.

  5. You guys are going to need a week long vacation from your vacation when you get back home. I would have had to take that dog sign with me...What a cool thing. Googled Tampa, had no idea where it was or what it looked like. Pretty city!

  6. Great pictures! Enjoy your special party - once it gets underway you'll have a good time, I'm pretty sure :)

  7. Love that diner photo and didnt even notice the concrete poles till you mentioned them. I think you included them with their street sign most artfully.

    Have a wonderful reception today!!!!! I'll be thinking of you two married people fondly.

  8. Have a fabulous time at the party!

  9. Enjoy these times and the party...you will look back at them and have wonderful memories! Big congratulations to you and yours! And, yes, breakfast is wonderful out...my favorite meal to have at a diner; morning, noon, or 3 AM!