A great long holiday weekend has concluded, only to be followed by another short week and long weekend this week for New Years.
Tuesday evening a bunch of us went to a buddies annual Holiday Party in the Seminole Heights neighborhood...lots of food, drinks, and laughs...over 60 friends and acquaintances showed up through the night.....and we couldn't end the night without a stop by the Green Iguana Westshore near my house..good times!!
Wednesday was Christmas Eve, easily picked my brother up at TIA to head to Madre's house outside of Sun City Center for the annual Italian 'Feast of the 7 Fishes' Christmas Eve dinner with family.
Christmas Day was nice and warm, near 80, sunny skies. We met up with my Aunt and Uncle at Centro Ybor in Ybor City to see the opening of the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". This was a very different routine for us on Christmas, but discovered that ALOT of people actually go to the movies on Christmas Day, the theaters were busy. Ybor City itself was a ghost town, with most shops and bars/restaurants closed during the daytime hours this Holiday. The movie was EXCELLENT.
Friday, decided to venture out to International Plaza with a buddy and grab some eats at BayStreet's Bar Louie. We got a great table outside, perfect for enjoying the warmer than ususal temps this December day, and people watching. Bar Louie's food was good, started with a Hummus Platter, which unfortunately had more taboule than hummus, and I decided to get the Friday Lunch Special, 3 Baja Fish Tacos served with Guac, Salsa and Black Beans and Rice, very filling and good; my buddy enjoyed the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, which was Buffalo Chicken bites on a soft roll with Lettuce and Tomato...fries on the side....there wasn't as many people walking around the Bay Street area, but once we entered the Plaza, it seemed a bit busier this day after Christmas.
Saturday, took the bikes up to Wilderness Parks off road biking trails, we biked a few of the more than 15 different trails, through all kinds of terrain and topography, the only wildlife we saw today was a few Armadillos. After that biking, we went over to Lenny's down the road off Fletcher Avenue for great sandwich's(there are a few Lenny's throughout Tampa), sitting outside an relaxing...then it was a bike tour of the USF campus, where I reminisced about the good old days, and couldn't believe the amount of construction and new buildings all over campus, it was a busy campus when I went to school there from '87-'92, and continues to grow to this day. A few hours of rest, and it was off to the Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida panthers Hockey game, and again our tickets included the Champions sports Lounge where we noshed on White Castle burgers, Parmesan Meatballs, Clam Strips and Roasted Turkey being carved, along with the all you can drink drafts and wines, and excellent view of the game...we pulled a third straight win, 6-4. A short 10 minute walk to a friends Clubhouse in the Seaport Apartments in Channelside area of downtown, and it was another Holiday Party for all of us to enjoy.
Sunday was a disappointing loss for the Bucs against Oakland, and we are officially done with the season. I met up with my family at AMC Westshore for another blockbuster movie, Valkyrie. There is just something about these true stories concerning Hitler's Germany that are very chilling and emotional to say the least...very good movie, I will probably see this one a second time, it was that good.