Tricia and I.
And she's awesome.
First we went to The Oxford Exchange for coffee/tea.
I had an iced London Fog.
'case you were wonderin'
Her daughters and grandkids joined us:
|All 5 grandkids|
We spent an hour (maybe two) in the Oxford Exchange. It was funky and fun.
And used to be stables for horses.
I gave my phone to Kate and asked her to take a pic of me and her maemae:
Jessica and her crew of 4 left after half an hour.
This is Oliver. He's 3. I gave him my phone and asked him to take some pics for me:
I have a vision for what my next living space should look like.
LOTS of natural light.
I absolutely LOVED this building and everything in it.
I could even see myself buying a huge ol' velevet couch too.
Oliver was ready for a chance of scenery, so I suggested they drop me off at the hotel.
They thought we should go out for lunch.
And who was I to argue? I'd probably end up eating microwave macaroni and cheese again, so I was game.
So off to the mall.
We were on our way back to my hotel when Tricia decided to 'kidnap' me. And next thing I knew, we were headed west.
Notice the storm clouds and torrential rain that was forecast for today:
We ended up at the beach where Brewer used to take Tricia after she'd had a dentist appointment.
Yes. Notice the hat.
She is so elegant and classy.
(And has the most darling accent...)
The temperature was about 90 degrees.
And the humidity was like 10,000 units.
I had far too many clothes on.
And my hair?
Just gave up on behaving nicely.
We ended up NOT going into the water at all because of these lil buggers:
A gazillion of them.
Right Coast blogger meets Left Coast blogger.
Surprisingly the beach wasn't made of soft sand like I had anticipated:
Florida is a southern state. I was introduced to Oliver at Miss Jane.
And he called me MissJane all afternoon.
An absolutely memorable day.
Thanks, Tricia for sharing your kids/grandkids/life with me today.
Loved every moment of it.
They dropped me off at the hotel at 4:40 pm.
I walked into our room and Sandra was waiting.
"OK. We're going to pick up a rental car, then heading into downtown Tampa to do the River Walk. How soon can we go?"
We rented a Juke.
Yes, there is such a thing.
We are thankful it has Virginia plates, so that it's obvious to EVERYONE of the road that we are from out of town.
We don't have a GPS along, so we used a map.
She was driving, so that made me the navigator.
We got lost in the first 10 minutes.
Thank goodness it didn't matter. So relaxing being with someone who's up for spontaneous changes in plans due to someone's inability to read a map.
We ended up in an area called Hyde Park.
The first home was built in 1870, and the rest of the area was an orange grove.
The grove gave way to residences, with most of them being built in the early 1900's.
These trees? Are Oaks. And they are over 100 years old.
They? ARE SPECTACULAR.
And so are the houses.
We parked and got out to walk around.
I've got another vision for what my next home will look like.
And its impressive. And old. With intricate wood work details.
And it'll be made of brick.
The road leading into this area was called Bayshore Drive.
On one side of the road was the subdivision.
The other side?
Was the bay.
And between the road and the bay?
The World's Longest Consecutive Sidewalk.
We walked that sidewalk.
And it felt like an upscale Vancouver seawall walk.
When we arrived in Tampa, at like 1 am on Wednesday morning, we asked our taxi driver what we for sure should see in Tampa, "We're only here for 5 days. What do you recommend we do?"
"Get drunk," was his response. "There's nothing here. Well, there's an aquarium. And the University..."
OH MY GOODNESS! Does he not know about the World's Longest Consecutive Sidewalk? Everyone should walk along this. It's breathtaking.
From there we made it to the downtown inner harbour and watched the last colours of the sunset fade away while eating a salmon dinner on the pier.
There are days when I feel like I'm living a dream life.
Today was one of those days.
After supper we did the River Walk and ended here, (story below)
We strolled along the River Walk and snooped around the convention centre. It is a grand building. Just as we were leaving the upper concourse, a young couple asked if I could take some pics of them.
So I used their iPhone and took about a dozen, because I always appreciate it when people take many. I handed the phone back to her and told them I was sorry I used up so much of their memory... He leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Could you ask her for her phone back? I'm going to propose."
I looked at her and said, "Can I borrow this for a sec? I've got an idea for another pose ..." while he got down on one knee. I was snapping another dozen/hundred on her iPhone, when Sandra grabbed her camera and took the following pic:
The ring was amazing. And she kept saying, "OH!"
But she never said yes. And she didn't throw her arms around him. (At least not while we were there.)
She just looked happily overwhelmed. Hoping it all ended as he hoped. He was so earnest. Felt privileged to have been allowed to photograph it all for them.
And that was it.
Well, not totally it.
We felt sure that someone would go into labour in front of us, and we'd get to deliver a baby tonight too.
It just left like that kind of night.
Sadly, no one did.
So we got back to our hotel, went for a swim, and because it was still 80 degrees outside at 11 pm, we stretched out on the deck chairs next to the pool, and in our bathing suits, read our books and tanned by the light of the moon.
I adore you.