Sunday, June 10, 2007

Shuttle Launch from Tampa, "Totally Electric", and Fort DeSoto Park

Friday was the Space Shuttle Launch from Cape Canaveral, and you can actually watch the launch right from Tampa..we went to Darin's highrise condo on Bayshore Blvd, it was just after an incredibly strong summer thunderstorm, and overlooking the Bay were two double rainbows across the water, an amazing sight. Right on time, the shuttle took of from the East Coast of Florida, and you can watch the plume of smoke rising in the air through the rainbows. Afterwards we did some apt hopping in Darin's building, heading to John's apt on the 11th florr, then late night at Dan's on the 12th floor. Looking out over the Bayshore, you get a great vantage point to see just how beautiful Tampa really is, with the winding Bayshore Blvd to the skyscrapers of downtown, and all the greenery fom the many old trees throughout South Tampa.
Saturday, Debi and I went kayaking out in Riviera Bay in Northeast St. Petersburg. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water, temps were hovering around 90 today. Afterwards, we headed to Ybor City to see the M.A.D. Theater production of "Totally Electric" at the Ritz Theater(old Masquerade). The theater was done up so to look like a high school reunion, there were cocktails being served, and food from the Silver Ring Cafe. The play was very good, taking an interesting look at everything 80's(music, fashion, lingo), there was just about every type of kid you went to high school with in the play. It was amusing at times, and all in all it was entertaining. We headed to Big City Tavern for dinner in Centro Ybor. It was late(around 10:30pm), so many items on the menu were not available, but they were able to cook up a great 14oz ribeye, and the Salmon stuffed with Crabmeat was excellent as well. It was nice to get a table out on the balcony overlooking 7th Ave. Ybor just isn't the same anymore, as it's heydays in the 90's. The crowds are very different, and there are definitely alot less people in the evenings. With about a dozen people on the ground bantering Christian and religious verbiage, with huge signs condeming sinners, I wondered if they had a permit to make all that noise and Fuss, very disturbing. I miss the good old Ybor days, and it seems some recent incident from a couple of clubs(Empire and Fuel), have led to even less people taking advantage of some great restaurants and entertainment in the City's Historic District. I find myself just going into Ybor for an event, play, or dinner nowadays. After Ybor we met up with some friends at St. Bart's Island House on Howard Ave in Hyde Park. Great Band was playing Jazz/Blues/Dance, with a very lively crowd. St. Bart's is an upscale historic type lounge, great Martini Bar type atmosphere, they are known for their Rum Drinks. A nice outdoor patio with fountains had a lot of people mingling together outside as well. For our last stop, it was the Green Iguana Westshore, closing the night with the Band playing "Crazy Bitch" by Buck Cherry.
Sunday we made it out to Fort DeSoto Park with the bikes, the beach was busier than I had seen in some time, but still PLENTY of room for all to enjoy, while riding today along the paved paths from North Beach to East Beach, this has to be one of the nicest Parks in the Tampa Bay area, where you can truly enjoy everything Florida has to offer: Biking, Kayaking, Historic Fort, Fishing, Pier, Ferry to Egmont Key, Wide open pristine beaches, great views of the Skyway and area islands, and Great Homemade Lemonade!
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