Sunday, July 1, 2007

St. Pete Pride!...Gulfport Dinner(yuck)...Alafia Biking!

Another great weekend in Tampa Bay comes to a close. Saturday, me and some buddies decided to venture to an unknown territory, our first Gay Pride Festival. Boasting itself as the largest in Gay Pride Festival in Florida, and largest St. Pete Festival, with close to 50,000, and over 300 vendors, bands, and a diverse crowd, I was curious to see what its all about, and glad we went. The parade(or "promenade") was over two hours long, and interesting to say the least. The amount of businesses and community that came out to support this day was amazing, I really had no idea there was such a large community like this in Tampa Bay area. The 15 blocks of the Grand Central area of St. Pete was hopping with more entertainment than the eyes and ears could handle, even more interesting was there was only about half dozen protesters. And there were an unusual amount of straight couples and families with kids that also attended the day long event. Im putting this one on my list for an annual participation, it was a a great time, talked to many interesting people. That evening, went to dinner in Gulfport to Aqua Bella's, and to see my favorite local band, Buffalo Strange. Aqua Bella's is a nice casual place along the beach front in Gulfport, a cute little artsy town on Boca Ciega Bay. Buffalo Strange was missing their lead singer, Rob, but they still sounded good. I have only had drinks here, and now know why...the food was awful!! We ordered Beer Battered Onion Rings to start - they were dripping with grease, and very little batter, kind of like oily onions. Then we had a cheese burger which was the blandest tasting burger, that came with limp fries. We also ordered a chop salad with meats and cheeses, what came out was a soggy lettuce mess, small slivers of turkey and ham, and warm...Uggg! We will be back for the cocktails and great views, but plan to eat elsewhere in Gulfport.
Sunday, my brother and I ventured out for some more Tampa Bay area off-road biking, this time it was Alafia River State Park. Its a good 45 minute trip from Tampa, but well worth the drive. I have NEVER seen this type of topography any where in Florida, the trails simply just blew me away. Large rollarcoaster type hills, all kinds of terrain, very woodsy to swampy..totally kicked Flatwoods and Wilderness Parks off-road biking, but be prepared, cause some of the trails are NOT for the novice. They make helmets a requirement, and I understand time I plan to hike the Expert trails before riding(we rode the easy and intermediate trails..the intermediate was difficult enough), during the ride, my chain broke off, and I had to walk my bike really get a better glimpse of the abundance wildlife(deers, wild boars, exotic plant species), lots of shade made it great to ride and not get overheated.
My brother made an announcement at the family fun day dinner tonight, that he and my sister in law and their new baby are moving to Colorado in 2 weeks!! He got a job to move back, but we are all hoping that little Sebastian will be back in Florida by the time school starts in 5 years. It was nice having them around, but i'll be happy visiting them outside of Denver, and my other brother and his family in Colorado Springs. I had to include his pic of him helping me to repair my bike on the trails today.

My Brother Greg trying to Fix my bike at Alafia River State Park (nice look Greg..LOL)
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