Thursday, March 31, 2011

Walk along the river

There is a cool park headed back to the hotel. It's part of the Tampa River Walk. And this cool castley thing is along the way on the other side. Cool huh? We've seen very few people out late at night here. .... there was a little group smoking pot in an alcove, and three guys chatting by the riverside on our 1/2 mile walk to the hotel. It's quiet and peaceful. And it's nice. Thus far, we find we can recommend Tampa as a place to visit. .....

On the food? It's good, and varied, and would probably be in the fabulous category if we weren't veggies. No flavor explosions yet, nothing we'll crave and want to go back for like the coal fired pizza dishes in Philly. But we'll keep looking

Late night snack! we don't go to bed before 1am here... must be the time change...

And you needed another view of the food. :D

Crys* with our invented veggie late night dinner

We first went to the "Potters Jam" at the Hyatt for a while but then decided that we needed a snack. We had properly prepared for our evening by taking a long and lovely nap during the late afternoon while more rain pounded down and the trees bent sideways.

For our late night vittles we went back to The Point. We missed the Thursday live music by a few minutes but did get in on the half off wine offerings and then got the repast you see above. We like to call it our Fusion Style of vegetarianism. The wait staff here was/is really friendly and there was entertainment. :D A nice young woman got frighteningly drunk and belligerent and ended up being carried out to the street.

"fuck you fucking fucks" was her exit statement and then she beat on the windows for a while.

We thought she was impressively passionate.

The wait staff kept apologizing. :D Which we found funny. We were in a bar after all. People do drink...... and it was fun to watch.

We finally got to bed around 2 last night. Odd. Way past our bed time. :D

Oasis in a downpour

In the pic you can almost see the torrential downpour that kept us in a parking garage for a while, chatting with the foreman from the worksite nearby. They're building a new training facility for Southern Florida University in which doctors will learn to do robotic surgery.

We kept looking longingly at the bar across the street, full of delicious drinks and snacks but a white-out rainstorm away, might as well have been Guam.

We only managed to get as far as we did because of the protection of the parking garage. :D having been run outta the municipal courtyard by a very safety oriented officer who kept warning us about ALL THE LIGHTNING!!!!!!!!! (It wasn't THAT much).

Eventually the frog-strangler settled into a lull filled with puddles and big drips spaced further and further apart through which we ambled back down to the convention center. Gosh it was a lovely rain.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Keynote speaker Carl Hiaasen was hilarious! He came out after some really great Brazillian dancers (and a lot of yammering)...

The yammering is the way the conference presenters always go on for about an hour extolling the virtues of whomever it was that we actually wanted to hear talk..... funny.... more of Carl and less of the BS hyperbole preceding him would have been nice....

The Brazilian dancers were great. Entertaining and I can't figure out how they got a brazilian of them on stage at once......

Mr. Hiaasen was wonderful. Funny and insightful and full of stories. We all love stories you know. ..... he talked about his life and career and quest living in Florida. And much about how the people there are an odd bunch that defies logic and continually confounds his attempts to trump reality with his creativity. He tries to invent odd situations and strange happenstances and every time he believes he's created one that can't possibly happen in real life one of his fellow Floridians manages to put him back to square one.

We're skipping the Gumby music tonight and sitting in our room with TV and beer and snacks. Early to bed and early to rise.......

Raining it's ass off

Just as we were swallowing the last of the wine and the last bite of delicious desert the rain picked up and we cleared away from our outside table on the river at Jackson's.

And it poured and poured and poured.

So what do the intrepid travelers do when the going gets tough?

We get a fancy three chocolate coffee and a cookie!!!!!!!

And take pics of the water pouring down the steps.

When it slacked off enough we screwed up our courage for a warm walk in a warm rain and headed back to the conference to see

Caral Haiessen.


It took us a while to decide on stuff......

We started with a nice riesling wine to go with dinner, then added a miso soup. Following the soup were three lovely sushi dishes. There was a veggie roll, and asparagus roll and some kinda sesame veggie rice roll. You can see those just above. All tasted wonderful and went perfectly with that wine. We followed up the entree's with dessert.... Crys* had the tira misu and I had a chunk of key lime pie. Both of those were wonderful as well. And we amused the waitress along the way... always good.

Just as we were finishing up dinner, and watching the gulls/pigeons/finches battle for pieces of bread from abandoned tables, it started to rain.......

Keep scrolling up.......

Waiting for sushi :) wow, it's warm out here...

This is a place called Jackson's, which is across the river from the convention center in Tampa. We looked over and saw the joint and then as we got closer noticed that it also said "Sushi" in the logo over the front door. Oddly enough the menu on the door had no mention of sushi in it. We decided to take a chance anyway......

Look above....... a couple of pics up......

Will we get the good ones?

There were only 5 partly filled tables of cups when we dropped ours off today. We brought 4 cups like we usually do. There are already some there that are really cool. We liked this set that was a flask and cup along with a few others that we'll hope to get one of at some point. :D Not sure we'll get up early enough on Friday to get a crack at the really really cool ones..... but then one never knows. They do make really nice gifties...... if you've been nice to us this year.......

View of the river and our pool... can't wait to go swimming but first we have to check in and go to our hour long massage!

The massage was great!!!!!

We did a tandem massage, Crys* got the strong fella and I got the skinny chic. They both did a really good job. it's the first deep tissue massage I've ever had and only the second professional massage in my life. I swear there's more room in my back where I crushed that nerve 20 years ago..... they musta done something right. What a nice present!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First munchin spot in Tampa: "The Point"

Today was a very long travel day. :D We left the house at 8:30 AM to drive to Colorado Springs. That was all fine.... got on the little jet to go to Houston where we got on the big jet to go to Tampa. Everything went well. On the second flight we sat a row apart but somehow didn't die from the separation. There were the usual travel things, crying babies, crazy seat mates, taxi driver that didn't speak.... it's been a very good day.

For supper we had to hunt.... since the plane didn't get in till around 10 and then we still had to get to the hotel. We found this place "The Point" and they served wonderful food and didn't seem to mind that we walked in at nearly the time they close the kitchen. They took excellent care of us.

Now we're back at our room, all showered and relaxing for a few minutes. Tomorrow is the NCECA conference and it should be really fun. We've spied some other good eating place while we were wandering around hunting for food.

Life is good. Before we left home we got it all tidied up and got all the interior lights working. This involved some swapped neutrals and me getting the shit knocked out of me but it's all up now. :D onward.......

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time for a vacation

We're doing little things to the house right now. Putting in cat doors, adjusting other doors, putting up shelves and hooks and things like that. We've finally got nearly everything out there at the place and not scattered to kingdom come. We're starting to think about gardens and clothes lines and sheds and green houses and barns and studios.

Must be Spring. :D

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big doin's

Was fun watching the big super-moon rise over the place. We watched over a big old bonfire and then all took a ride up in the bucket truck to get a better view.

Way fun.

And other big doin's are afoot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Plate trimming


We've had a good week, even got a little done on the house. This is one of the plates we're making for the permanent dish set at the house. We made 20 so we're hoping to end up with a nice dozen or so to glaze and fire.

In other news we had our niece, Autum, over the weekend which was a delight. She and I hiked up to the top of the rock. She's the first youngster to go all the way up there. :D Brave beastie that one.

And we got the shower curtain up in the master bath, it involved lots of drilling into tile and cutting and assembling. The celebratory shower afterward was quite satisfying, all we hoped it would be. Thank goodness Crys* knows to remind me to drill through tile slowly. :D

The rest of the house is getting put away and we're hoping to call for that final electrical inspection before too awfully long. And we're getting some real rest which is really really nice.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Deer during sunrise at Valley View hot springs

Was up early today by myself and visited two pools and the sauna while the sun was coming up. It's really pretty up here in March, I think we're going to shoot for coming up once a month or so this year.