#TravelThursday continues, and in this edition we visit Tampa Florida.
Tampa is the actual big city – approaching 400,000 residents. It’s the 3RD biggest city in Florida after Jacksonville and Miami. Tampa Bay is the body of water adjacent to Tampa. The Greater Tampa Bay area is the metro area surrounding Tampa and Tampa Bay. Over 3 million residents live in the area, and that number surges past 4 million when outlying areas are included.
The Greater Tampa Bay area is home to the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the repeating Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, and the World Series Runner-Up (last year) Tampa Bay Rays. #TitleTown
I like Tampa a lot. It’s my favorite big city in Florida. I like the way it looks (the downtown skyline), and I like all of the activities that can be done in and around Tampa – at both land and sea.
Last #TravelThursday I revealed that I embarked on the Carnival Miracle for a fun 7-day cruise out of Port Tampa Bay exactly 15 years ago. It’ll likely be my future port-of-choice after I retire and move closer to the Tampa Bay area.
I once lived in Tampa – for about 7 months from August 1993 to March 1994 – when I worked at MacDill Air Force Base. That was after Hurricane Andrew destroyed my previous workplace at Homestead Air Force Base as well as much of the surrounding region. For a few months at the beginning of that time-frame it appeared that I’d be living and working in Tampa for years to come, but then political decisions were made to rebuild and reopen the airbase at Homestead, and in March 1994 I moved back. I’ve been here ever since. I like to say that I’ve been here in Homestead for almost 34 years – except for those 19 months right after Hurricane Andrew.
Had the airbase at Homestead not been rebuilt and reopened I wonder how long I would have stayed living and working in Tampa, and would I still be there today. What would I be doing ?
I actually haven’t visited Tampa too many times since I left 27½ years ago. I mostly visit nowadays to attend music concerts and sporting events at the downtown arena (now known as the Amalie Arena). Very near the arena is The Florida Aquarium – the 8TH largest aquarium in the U.S. You can spend all day there enjoying that impressive facility. I was last there in May 2019.
On March 21ST and 22ND of 2003 me and my little brother stumbled onto (OK maybe it was a little bit intentional) the Spring Break scene on Clearwater Beach where we had a hotel room overlooking the Gulf Of Mexico. That was a couple of days after the Iraq War began. College kids were blaring the Outkast song “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” up and down South Gulfview Boulevard. Those 2 fun nights on the beach were part of a 5-day / 4-night vacation in the Tampa Bay area.
Join me next #TravelThursday as we remain in Tampa, and then venture southward along the Tamiami Trail.
They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear. You will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. (Proverbs 3:23-26 NLT)
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