Another great long weekend started Thursday evening when the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the NY Islanders at the Forum in downtown Tampa. I used to watch and follow the Islanders as a kid, my dad would take me and my brothers to the Nassau Coliseum for games growing up in Long Island. Being in Tampa for about 22 years, I was going for the Lightning tonight, and although a sloppy game, Lightning won 5-2.
Friday was a concert night downtown Tampa. We started at Cafe Dufrain, got a nice table outside overlooking downtown and the Forum along the Channel. Food is consistently GREAT here, started with Lamb Ribs(kind of small, and a little over cooked) and Calamari, cooked perfectly with a great lightly spiced oil. Then we enjoyed Sea Scallops entree, and Ahi Tuna. PERFECT. A short walk across the harbour island bridge to the Forum after dinner was perfect(parking at harbour Island is free in the garage if you dine or use one of the services). John Mayer was awesome, played lots of new and old, talked alot with the crowd of nearly 12000. A walk back to harbour island after the concert, we stopped by the Convention Center along the Riverwalk where the Jose Gaspar ship has been docked all week after taking over the city last Saturday.
And Saturday night was the Night Parade for Gasparilla, the 3rd and final parade for Gasparilla. We got to Ybor City early to visit to partake in the Ybor ART walk which occurs every first Saturday of the month from noon to 6pm, only to find out that may of the studios and galleries were closed, because of the parade this evening. We got to the Laughing Cat for the BEST Italian dinner, and were joined by some other friends....filling up on some of the best Italian food in all of Tampa area..Sea Bass Special, Seafood AuGratin, Eggplant Parmasean, Eggplant Rotini, and some soups....all very very good. By then it was time to hit 7th Avenue for the Parade, and what I like about the night parade is it is more 'intimate'...the floats are closer, the people are not as packed, you can get right up to the front, and get the most beads ever. the 2.5 hour parade was FUN..meeting friends from the Krewes at Gaspars Grotto afterwards, and then late night Pizza and NY NY Pizza.
Im looking forward to the Black Eyed Peas this Wednesday!