winter break travel: Tampa

Sunrise over water- a bay?- in Tampa. Not an extraordinary feat consider how little day light there is this time of year. A hotel on the water, the convention center, cars and trucks dot the visible highways and a lone kayaker paddles across the bay. Something nicely propitious about the sighting. We are in the tourist center, our driver from last night told us.

Arriving after 10 last night, depending on the driver to get us where we need to be, so much darkness, great mounds of buildings and ribbons of highways, nothing available to serve as landmark but we were tired after the day’s travel and all we wanted was bed. This morning, in this first light, I am ready to plan a day with the help of my notes, Yelp and the maps app. There is sufficient seeings within a mile of us to fill the day– the Henry B. Plant Museum, the river walk, and possibly the Acquarium. We could even walk to the dock tomorrow if this be a walkable City. And last night we ran into a high school schoolmate of Cheshire’s at the airport and made plans to meet for dinner tonight. The day is planned.

Breakfast at the Oxford Exchange. A pile of pancakes Julia could not finish.

Harry B. Plant Museum


There was a room full of China garden stools that during the day were spread around the multi-acre garden.  I love these!  If I could I would collect them.


Original lighting.


Tampa’s Acquarium. Relatively small and noisy and filled with more than fish. but some lovely music playing in the shark observatory theater. We toured the whole facility in about an hour and a half, stopping to read only some of the explanations. One exhibit creeped me out—swimming snakes that hissed and made a whistle like sound. The sounds were piped out of the snakes tank and gave me shivers. No question what I would do if I ran into one of those in the . . . Body of water. Could I swim away quickly enough? We went back to the sharks and just watched and listened. Lots of peace.




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