Tampa Bay: By Air and by Sea

One of the most exciting Tampa Bay experiences is sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, viewed by some, as even more exciting than sailing under the Golden Gate. It is for me.

Another spectacular Tampa Bay experience is flying into Tampa International Airport – the views are stunning, similar to the San Francisco Bay Area. After living in the Bay Area for 23 years, I’m excited to see the new “Bay to Bay” flight service newly offered by United Airlines. What a spectacular experience from both ends. We lived in Tampa Bay for a couple of years but never flew to Tampa – I can’t wait for our flight!

#FlashbackFriday 5 Years Ago in Orlando

As day to day life here in Las Vegas becomes the same old, same old, I think about other places we’ve lived, even if I sometimes think of them as less than. It’s important to remember the gift of that time.

Sanford, Florida is one of them. It’s interesting that Allegiant Airlines has a presence in Sanford, Florida for the Orlando area, so Rich often interacts with people in Sanford. We never meant to live in Sanford but when Rich was offered a job in nearby Lake Mary 5 years ago, we ended up renting a pool home in neighboring Sanford.

Windermere may have been too close to WDW (2 miles from Cinderella Castle), but Sanford may have been a bit too distant (about 45 minutes). What I did like about that area east of I-4 is that the climate was a bit different from the heaviness of WDW – subtle but apparent, at least to me, who is climate sensitive.

20131215-115549.jpgNovember 1 will mark 5 years since the movers showed up at our Las Vegas home, packed and loaded our belongings and then we were off to Orlando. Back then we traveled the same day as the movers loaded but we’ve since learned to stay overnight locally before heading out – much better to start the journey rested.

We spent 4 or 5 nights on the road via I-10: Phoenix, that place in West Texas I can’t stand but can never remember (Oh yeah, El Paso), San Antonio with amazing burgers and beer within walking place of our hotel (we’ve stayed there twice), Baton Rouge, Tallahassee, Orlando.

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Oh and then when we passed through Houston, which we now call “Poopston” when we took a wrong turn and ended up downtown. Apparently, that delay was too much for our Little Buddy – nothing like riding in a car with 3 cats when one of them decides they can’t wait for the hotel that night.

Ten days later our belongings arrived, which landed on a Friday so we could unpack a bit before Rich started his new job on Monday.

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I often rode with Rich to work, traversing some of the back roads of Lake Mary, traveling one route going and another one returning home, passing Disney Cruise Line buses. I also remember school buses and crossing guards and kids waiting for their bus on the sidewalk. Lake Mary is a popular family-friendly town with beautiful trees and flowering bushes – one reason we didn’t have much to choose from when it came to a rental home in November – the good stuff had been snapped up before the school year started.

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I sometimes ride with Rich to work here in Las Vegas just to get out of the house but the drive is longer and not quite as much fun, although I do enjoy driving past Red Rock Canyon ala Radiator Springs, blasting the radio on the way home, inspiring me to either write a new song or a new scene.

Rich’s Birthday Dinner at Pahrump Winery

We’ve been back from the cruise for almost a month now and almost recovered from our Pneumonia. Sorting through the GoPro photos/videos we took last month, I just realized I hadn’t posted Rich’s birthday dinner at the Symphony Restaurant at Pahrump Winery.

We’ve lived near a few wineries and they’re one of our favorite hangouts, so it’s really wonderful that we have a winery just about 50 minutes from our home in Las Vegas. And the restaurant is superb!

Here are a few pics from Rich’s birthday. Rich took a few from the GoPro and I took a few from my iPhone.

Rich started off with the Soup of the Day and went for the Ribeye with Mac n Cheese and  asparagus. I started off with my usual Lobster Bisque (yum!) and  I went for the Filet Mignon with baked potato and green beans. We also each had a glass of red wine (can’t remember what kind – waiting for Rich to get back to me.)

They brought us a complimentary creme brulee dessert for Rich’s birthday.

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Videos on Youtube here: