Yes, it is another Gasparilla weekend in Tampa..for the third time in 2007!! My buddy is still in town from San Diego, Friday we went over to Centro Ybor after work to see Eddie Murphy's "Norbit"..movie was just ok, but these theaters in Ybor have to be the finest i've ever been to, state of the art, modern, all stadium seating, the inside looks like a small village as you go to your theater(there are 24 in all)..and having the "Premiere" theaters(4 designated theaters) means no one under 21, plush huge leather seats, and all the free popcorn and soda(it does cost a lil more, but worth it). Shows here during the day and weekday evenings are rarely crowded. I have heard that they are possibly closing half these theaters to build condos..im hoping that dont happen!
After the movie we attempted to look for some clothes for our Friday night out...Urban Outfitters and Ocean Drive Fashions, both in Centro Ybor, did not make the cut for any stylish rags. Unfortunately, I HATE shopping so I need to find something that totally pops out and says "buy me"..and that wasn't happening. So we headed to Macy*s at Westshore Plaza, and after an hour of lookin around, and a huge headache afterwards, went home empty handed...is it me, or are there just crappy clothes out there...again I LOATHE to shop..need to find me a personal shopper. My frustration led to me hang at the house, and watch "Talladega Nights, the Legend of Ricky Bobby" on Pay Per View!
Saturday feeling refreshed cause of a mellow night last night, we headed to Cracker Barrell in Oldsmar for breakfast...The Cracker Barrel Country Big Boy Breakfast has to be one of the best breakfast meals out there...HUGE ham steak, three eggs, hashbrown casserole(yum), grits, biscuits and gravy and fried apples-all for around 8 bucks! I like to substitute the fried apples and grits for extra servings of hashbrown casserole. We then headed to Land and Sea to pick up some grub for our Pre-Gasparilla Night Parade BBQ. A few bacon rapped filets, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed baked potatoes, and vege kabobs..Land And Sea stores are great for BBQ's. It was another beautiful day in paradise(my friends were still in sub freezing temps up north), so took the boy the Picnic Island's dog beach to play for a few hours. The dog park/beach at Picnic Island is one of the best in town, very long, wide open beach and grass areas for the dogs to run, and it is relatively quiet and not as crowded as the other city dog parks.
We ended up in Ybor around 615pm and the garages were all ready full, so we ended up at the HCC parking lots for 10 bucks, quite a bargin for this night. Walking down 7th Ave prior to the parade starting we found it not nearly as crowded as we thought, especially on the south side of 7th Avenue. We ended up watching the parade from Gaspars Grotto stage, had an amazing view, and made it through the nearly 3 hour night parade. A lesbian couple from St. Pete wound up joining us(not sure how that happened, but the blonde was HOT!), and we made an appearance at Wranglers...again, a great time at this gay country dance club, it was definitely a mixed crowd in the really nice, large club. A few rounds of pool, watchin the dudes line dance to dance tunes, and lots of socializing and laughs, we headed to Green Iguana till closing, and then bought a Pizza over on 15th Street just north of 7th Ave(TASTY Pizza) and scarfed the whole pie down. Attempting to hail a cab on Palm Ave at 330am was mistake, we were trying to do the right thing and not drive of course, but there were NO cabs to be found, so after 30 minutes of attempting this, we slept in the car until around 8am, and headed home. I LOVE GASPARILLA!!
The Gasparilla Distance Classic is next weekend, the Gasparilla Film Festival starts on the 28th of Feb, and lastly is the Gasparilla Arts Festival March 3rd and 4th downtown Tampa....