Monday, November 26, 2007

Tampa Thanksgiving: Hockey, John's Pass, Dali, and Manatees!

A great Thanksgiving Day loooong weekend in Tampa!
Wednesday, John, Steve and I went to the Lightning game against the NY Rangers. My friend John used his military ID to get us tickets on the third level(great promotion on behalf of the Forum, comp seats for members of the military in a certain section). It was a good game, but we lost 2-1. Prior to the game we ate at Andreychuks across from the Forum. There was a great guitarist playing on the outside deck, we were able to get a seat inside 30 minutes before the game, and order some food and drinks. The Philly Cheesesteak was large, and full of very thinly sliced beef and lots of cheese, peppers and onions, it was a bit greasy, but delicious. It was served very fast. After the game we stopped by Dubliner in Hyde Park area, the place and all of Hyde Park was very crowded. Alot of people were home for the holidays. I noticed at the Dubliner they built a high wall where the upper deck used to be, now a band plays in front of the wall where the stairs used to lead to the upper deck, making for a smaller outside area to socialize.
Turkey Day morning I picked up my brother Steve at TIA, which was empty, parked on the 9th floor of short term, and just came up and met me, the first hour in parking lots are free, plus there are great views form this perch. We picked up the pups from my house and headed to madre's. Stuffed from Turkey and football all day with the family, we watched Fantastic 4 second flick on pay per view and called it a night.
Friday we all went to John's Pass in the afternoon, my buddy Rob was to be playing guitar at The Hut today. Rob was no where to be found, but we did munch on some tasty black n blue burgers, and the Hut's special salad topped with shrimps, scallops and chicken. It was a nice day to walk around on the boardwalk and through the village. VERY touristy area, I typically am only here if there is a good band playing at The Hut, or maybe take certain visitors who like the touristy shops.
Saturday was with the family yet again, this time we headed to St. Pete to the Dali museum. Prior to entering the museum we grabbed a bite on the water a few blocks south of the museum at a place called Fish Tales. It's in a marina, and site directly on the water, very large bar areas, all open air, the menu was mostly seafood for dinner, but had lunch sandwich's and burgers. We got some cheeseburgers which were very plain, and seemed pre-formed and frozen, but the menu said "Angus", the Hammerhead Club was very large with turkey, roast beef, ham and cheese. Madre got the Lobster Bisque, which came very thin and luke warm , yet the half dozen lobster chunks were warm. Just ok, I would probably just come back from drinks. It was nice to watch the USF vs Pitt game during lunch(USF won!). The Dali museum was great as usual, we arrived for one of the tours that took us through his masterpieces, and explained his works. Dali was quite an interesting fellow and artist, his paintings are amazing to the eye. It was left over turkey sandwich's for dinner this evening.
Sunday we met up with the family again for brunch at madre's house, then took everyone to see the Manatees at the TECO Big Bend power plant. They have a great observation deck overlooking the bay area where warm waters are discharged keeping these gentle creatures warm during the winters. There were about 20 of them in sight from the deck. There is also a great museum detailing the Mantatee's and also the Power Plant workings. They have a long nature walk out towards the bay that also explains the coasts nature, mangroves and different species that live in the area. Best of all, its FREE! We then drove downt to Little Harbor area off Shell Point Road, there is a nice tiki bar/restaurant that overlooks Tampa Bay, with great views of the Skyway Bridge and downtown St. Pete. We were able to catch the end of the winning Bucs game against Washington prior to taking my brother Stephen to the airport. The weekend ended with family at Cappy's Pizza on Bay to Bay. This place is still by far some of the BEST pizza, with the crispy crust of the NY Style, rich garlicky tomato sauce, gooey cheese, but kind of light on the toppings. And also the dressing on the Greek Salads should be bottled, we can never get enough of that great Greek Salad, full with feta, olives, etc. They do a great job, service was quick and friendly(thanks Amy!), and they have outdoor seating as well.

This week, work brings me to Atlanta!

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