Thursday, May 31, 2007


Found this site interesting :

Also, wetting the bugs that are stuck on your bumper/windshield, then using dryer sheets to remove has been known to work best, besides WD-40, and PAM spray also.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sakana Sushi-Donna's Last Days in Tampa

Donna is leaving Tampa for a great job in Jacksonville. I met this great girl a few through a buddy, and she is one of the friendliest people I have come across in a while, and very attractive. Tonight my buddy and I took her to Sakana Suhi on Gandy Blvd in South Tampa. My first visit here, and it was EXCELLENT!! Yoko's is usually my fav here in South Tampa, but Sakana was amazing, very fresh rolls, sushi and sashimi. The start each table with Edamame in a seasoned soy/oil flavoring-very good. The Spicy Tuna Bowl had the freshest, reddest tuna, with smalls bits of Mango and Avacado and a spicey soy. I will definitley be back to this place, the Sushi bar was large, and decor was very Asian and eclectic like. Afterwards we hit my favorite Gelato place, La Casa Dolce, on Howard Ave in SOHO/Hyde Park area of Tampa, then over to Hyde Park Village to spend some gift cards at Williams-Sonoma. The weather here is still DRY, and breezy, enjoy it while it lasts, I believe the humidity is on its way.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tampa Bay - Memorial Day Weekend 2007

Amazing weather this Memorial Day weekend! Very dry, breezy, sunny days, and cooler than normal evenings with great breezes...PERFECT(as long as you weren't on a boat)...
THURSDAY my buddy from LA came to Tampa, I picked him up from TIA(so damn convenient to park in the garage for free, grab his bags and head up to the top deck for a great view), we had to scout out the area for Heffe Weisen beer-first the Rainbow Mart Package store on Westshore, then Sweetbay Liquor store on Gandy, the the Warehouse Wine and Package on Gandy, only to settle for Corona's.....we relaxed with some chilly ones on the patio, and ordered Westshore Pizza. Had some friends come over and we headed out in Tampa for the evening. We met up at Mangrove's on Howard Ave in South Tampa, only a few people in the bar, DJ was spinning downstairs a mix of 80's/90's dance tunes. We tried to get some eats from the late night menu, but the manager demanded that we had to wait 20 more minutes(unitl 10:30pm) to order off the late night..with only a few people in the bar, I really didn't understand this thinking, and was extremely disappointed in Mangrove's!! We ventured out in South Tampa down Howard Ave to MacDinton's..there was a VERY lively crowd, many outside on the patio enjoying the cool breezes. I ran into some people I haven't seen in a while, and we chatted with quite a few people in for the Holiday weekend. My LA buddy was not too happy as they didn't have Heffe-Weisen, but settled for Hoe Garden beer instead(he insisted we get Heffe-Weisen everywhere we go)...we then ventured off to Whiskey Park a few blocks down, the crowd was ok, DJ was spinning here as LA buddy mentioned he was bored, so we left to the MCD's drive thru and called it a night.
FRIDAY we finally got out of the house around 1pm to head to Fort DeSoto Park. We parked along the grassy side road on the way to the North Beach area. The beaches in this area are so wide, and there is so much space, you are practically out there on your own, plenty of room for frisbee throwing, and the water was a lukewarm 82 degrees. Some of the most pristine beaches in Tampa area are here at Fort DeSoto. After the beach it was time to prepare for the Mojito and Meatballs party I annually throw different times of the year..since my buddy was in town, I decide this would be a good time to get some friends together for refreshing mojitos and yes, meatballs(the frozen balls are great heated in Pasta Sauce, served with toothpicks and crusty bread). After the rum was gone, it was a quick walk to the Green Iguana Westshore in Tampa for some shots, and great live music. Then it was on to Hyde Park again, this time Dubliner, where there was a great guitarist outside, and some interesting people to watch and mingle was about 2am, and we were a little hungry so some of us headed to The Deck for Pizza and beers, while others ventured to the packed MacDintons.
SATURDAY I wound up picking up my LA buddy at Rainbow Mart on Howard Ave in South Tampa at 11am..I didn't even want to know what kind of mischief he got into last night, just glad he was safe and not in jail. I dropped him off to sleep off his drunk stupor, and I headed to St. Pete for a great bike ride from 62nd Street to the Pier in downtown St. Pete. It great to bike through a variety of really nice neighborhoods in northern St. Pete along the waterfront Tampa Bay - Riveiera Bay, Venetian Isles, Snell Isle, Old Northeast to name a few...Tampa's Rock station 97X was hosting the annual memorial Day BBQ at Vinoy Park, with a number of bands and events at this all day long festival along the Tampa Bay in downtown St. Pete...again great breezy day, and DRY. A quick nap and it was out to dinner, we ended up at Seven17 on Howard Avenue in Hyde Park are of South Tampa...again! Seven17 is nice, they have outdoor seating, but it was pretty busy this evening around 9pm. A few disappointments will not have me coming back here soon for dinner, the meal didn't come out for about an hour, my filet was very rare when I ordered it Medium, and not once did the waiter ask how everything was, I had to tell him after a while, and he just shrugged his shoulders and just said "sorry bout that"...oh well. Being kind of tired from the Bike ride, we looked for a relaxing Saturday night, so we went to Fly Bar on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa. An excellent spot for great drinks, rooftop bar, eclectic surroundings, and there was a trio of guitarists and a bongo player..very cool and relaxing...then we checked out the new bar across from University of Tampa called The Retreat Bar, on Hyde Park Ave. The Green Iguana guys fixed this place up, great juke box, pool tables, dart boards, and a variety of beers, and ONLY beers...we played some darts, they did a great job fixing the place up, and are adding a restaurant soon.(The Retreat was the original name when it opened in 1938, there is alot of history to this place.)
SUNDAY I took my boy to the dog beach at Picnic Island in South Tampa. VERY busy today, but still alot of space for the dogs to explore and roam around the beach. My LA buddy decided it was time to visit family, so he took off for Ft Myers, and I headed up to Wesley Chapel for lunch with my brother, sis in law and my new nephew. Leaving South Tampa, and Tampa in general on the way to Wesley Chapel, I was what seemed like millions of love bugs...uggg, all over the wind shield and front bumper! There was some heavy mating by Lovebugs this season...Later Sunday evening we went to my friends in the Historic Roser Park in St. Pete, and took there boat out into the Bay to drive it over to dinner at Fresco's, on downtown St. Pete's waterfront. Not a great idea, as we got out of the channel and into the Bay, it was sooo rough, we had to head back, and just drive it to the restaurant, and the fact that the rough seas caused a lil bit of a spillage of our red wine we were drinking to kind of make a bit of a was alot of laughs though. Dinner at Fresco;s was great, a bit pricey, but the outdoor seating and views are worth the price. The food is excellent as was the service. WE then headed to BayWalk for some Ice Cream, and then called it a night watching "School of Scoundrels" on Pay Per View(hilarious movie).
MONDAY-MEMORIAL DAY, hung the American Flag out today, and did the family thing, we BBQ Brats and such in the backyard, enjoying the last of what we feel will be a non-humid, dry, breezy perfect weekend in Tampa Bay! One last note, I inherited a new little girl to my family, 5 year old Rica, a min-pin, from my brother. I have always thought about getting a second dog for my boy, and they wanted to keep her in the family, but two border collies, and a new baby were too much for Rica, so I was able to take her in, and very happy to have her!
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Monday, May 21, 2007

EG Simmons Park, Tampa Bay

Sunday was Family Fun Day again, hangin with my bro and his wife and the little guy, we all met at my Moms down near Sun City Center, and decided to venture out to EG Simmons Beach and Park. Its a rather large park, with a bayfront beach, great views of downtown, you really get a view of just how large the Bay really is from here. There are nice secluded little out coves on the beach, we found one near then end of the parking area and set up a blanket under the palms right on the water. There is also camping facilities, and boat ramps, bike and hiking trails.

Tampa Pond Tour, Gulfport

Saturday was the bi-annual daytime Pond Tour through South Tampa. It is sponsored by Pondscapes, and donations benefited the Tampa Bay Humane Society. It was a great tour, with 10 homes in South Tampa showing off there landscaped backyards and built in ponds. It really gives you a great way to see the different neighborhoods throughout South Tampa, and great ideas for landscaping and if you wish to put a pond in the backyard. Also a great opportunity to meet interesting folks from the area. The night Pond Tour through South Tampa homes is still my favorite, as most of the home owners usually have small parties, its like going from one party to another, and viewing these beautiful landscaped yards of South Tampa.
After the Pond Tour, we headed over to "Arts Alive" in St. Pete to partake in the free museum day for Hillsborough and Pinellas residents. We went to Sunken Gardens, as I have been to most of the other St. Pete museums. Although there were more than usual amount of people at Sunken Gardens in St. Pete, it was a great casual stroll through the many different types of plant and tree species. Great picture taking and scenery.
After Sunken Gardens is was time for a few late afternoon cocktails so we decide to go to the small village of Gulfport, just south and west of downtown St. Pete. It's a great little artsy town located right on Boca Ceiga Bay. Gulfport has an interesting vibe, many art galleries, and small cafes and restaurants along the main street, and lively bars with live music along the waterfront. Most of the cafe's have outdoor patios. We settled on Aqua Bella's for some Run Runners, and great views of the Bay and Intracoastal from the top deck. From there we went to Pia's for Italian..they had a great menu at Pia's in Gulfport, mostly Pastas with different sauces, and over a dozen types of Panini's. Eating on the outdoor pation reminded me of what it would be like in Italy, with Italian music in the background, and lots of trees shading the back area. There was a Saturday Evening Stroll happening in Gulfport, live music and art filled the sidewalks of this quaint little town.
We ended the night at Debi's backyard in the St. Pete neighborhood of Riviera Bay. It was comfy out sitting along her waterfront backyard gazing at the stars, and some good conversation.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Spidey and St. Pete Fun

Friday I finished work a little early and headed out to International Plaza to do some shopping(clothes and furniture) seems they will be building a Crate and Barrel in the area where Westshore Blvd meets Spruce Street, adjacent to the Mall. Afterwards we hit Channelside IMAX to see Spiderman 3. Recommend seeing it in it's loudest, and biggest venue, they are a lot of action packed scenes, although the movie was nearly 2.5 hours. The storyline seemed to go from one area to another, but it was fun watching in IMAX. There was an Elivs Tribute going on in Channelside, and an Arena Football game at the Forum, so they area downtown was packed with people as we were leaving after the movie. For eats, we headed over to Red Mesa on 4th Street in St. Pete. Probably on of the BEST restaurants in the Bay area, it goes on my top five. Southwestern Cuisine in a very nice, but casual setting. The Sangria is great, but the food overwhelms you with tremendous flavors and portions, GREAT service. Expect a wait, but worth it. WE had the combination platters, one with a Southwestern Steak and Cheese Enchiladas, the other with a Southwestern Steak and Stuffed Fried Shrimps. A MUST go in the Tampa Bay area. After dinner, we headed downtown St. Pete to meet some friends at the Bishop Tavern. There was a great band playing tonight, and a lively crowd. St .Pete's downtown was hoppin, George Clinton was at Jannus Landing concert venue, and it was a beautiful night with very low humidity, and a nice breeze. We then headed to The Lobby, and ended the evening at Cafe Alma. Both have DJ's and play very laid back dance, acid jazz type music. St. Pete's downtown is great, very laid back, flip flops, friendly people...absolutely no attitude.
This weekend seems to be busy so far, Saturday there is the annual Pond Tour, great ot look at some really nice homes, and landscaped backyards with ponds, Arts Alive is in St. Pete also with all museums free on Saturday.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Another Great Tampa Bay Weekend!

I ended work around 4pm Friday, Lisa was on her way over, and we were heading out to John's Pass at Madeira Beach to see my friend Rob play at The Hut. He's an awesome musician and singer, plays a WIDE variety of tunes(his band is 'Buffalo Strange'). The food at the Hut is great, I ordered wings this time, and Lisa had the Chicken Tacos. Wings were HUGE, with a flour breading and baked..the chicken tacos were stuffed with lots of chicken and cheese. The Hut is a great place on the Intracoastal, where you can watch boats coming in and out of the Gulf through John's Pass. There are tons of shops and restaurants/bars in John's Pass.
Afterwards we headed to meet some friends at downtown St. Pete's First Friday event. They close a few blocks of Central Avenue downtown, have a band, and lots of locals from around St. Pete and elsewhere have a great time. St. Pete has a great downtown, Jannus Landing was open to the public this evening with a free Reggae Concert, and the Blues Fest was going on at the waterfront Vinoy Park. We hung out at "Taste for Wine' bar on the second floor on Central Ave between 2nd and 3rd streets. It was great to watch the crowd below from the outdoor balcony seats we had. The place has all kinds of wines by the bottle and glass, and a few appetizers which were very pricey, and very small in portions(cheese and fruit plate).
We left St. Pete to head closer to home in Tampa, and ended the evening meeting some other friends at Green Iguana Westshore, a happenin spot always, the live band was great tonight, and they finally finished the new bathrooms which are AMAZING as far as bathroom's go...a great change from the past.
Saturday we went on a buddy's boat, out from Tierra Verde to Shell Island(the island just off the northern tip of Fort DeSoto). Lots of people hanging out, relaxing along the beautiful island, crystal clear aqua blue waters are getting warmer..and the temps outside are also getting was a perfect beach, boat, sunning day.
Sunday was 'Family Fun Day' as my brother and I call it, so we headed to my Moms new house in Southern Hillsborough, and all went to the Prime Outlet Stores in Ellenton, lots of bargains to be had at the outlets, and me being not the shopper found a few things with the help from the family.
The work week takes me to NYC this week, be back on Sunday, just in time for Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pre-Cinco De Mayo Dinner in Tampa

My buddy Bryan took me out for a belated bday dinner, we chose Algusto's Mexican on Kennedy Blvd near downtown. He is from Dallas, and was looking for some authentic Mexican, Ive been here before and always enjoyed it. The place had only a few tables at 8pm, so we aere seated immediately, started off with Chips and 3 kinds of fresh salsa, and also Guacamole Dip which was very fresh and excellent. I got the 3 taco dinner(Pork, Chicken, Steak), and he got the fajitas. Well, from a Texan, he said this was the freshest, best Mexican he's had since moving to Tampa, the food is plentiful as well. They are having Cinco De Mayo celebration all day Saturday with Mariachi Bands, and 2 for 1 Mexican beers, may have to stop by some time between the Ybor Arts Festival, and Blues Fest this weekend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tampa's Al Palonis Park - near Friendship Trail

Just discovered a new park in South Tampa have not ventured out to, Al Palonis Park, off Gandy Blvd just before the Friendship Trail, along side the Marine Corps Base. It's a small City of Tampa Park, on the Bay with a fishing ledge in deep water, small wooded trail bridge/path, and a few picnic tables. Great views of the Bay, dogs are allowed, and also a great area to launch a kayak/canoe into the Bay.