Tag Archives: tampa

Tampa — the Beach and Beyond

I finally got around to putting up the pictures from the Tampa trip.

That Saturday was our beach day. We walked for a while on one beach, chatting and playing around:

Caught snapping pictures

Not quite the edge of the continent

We ended up increasingly in the water, despite the fact that Dre and Tyrone don’t swim:


Hell, I was wearing jean pants and a fancy shirt, and I got submerged. We finally bought me and Tyrone swimsuits from a little shack on our way to the second beach. We played for hours in the water: tag and variations thereof, me trying to teach them how to float and tread water, etc.

We ended up cooling down in a swimming pool (in the rain) after leaving the beach. It was a very wet day for us.

As I mentioned before, I ended up with my very first sunburn. Greg said it was mild, but I was plenty impressed with the pain. I even peeled for several days. Ew.

Dris did us a very nice tilapia fish fry that evening. I don’t have a picture of the final product (I was too busy smacking and licking my fingers), but I did get one of the fish swimming their final laps:

Tilapia... nom.

Of course, the star of the show (who didn’t accompany us to the beach) was Dre’s Little Man:


I’m always amazed at how much time and energy parenting takes. Kudos to Dre and Dris.

Two years without seeing someone is such a long time at our age. It was good to be around Dre again, but we’ve grown pretty far apart. We haven’t done much to keep up with each other, so I’ve only been hearing about the stressful things in her life (through Tyrone), and was worried that she was getting curb-stomped daily by everyone around her.

Very much not the case, thankfully, but she has become a Parent, while I’m more of a… I dunno… Career Woman (more self-centered, my time is my own to give, etc.), and I felt that divide pretty sharply throughout the trip, despite liking Dris and Little Man.

It was a lovely trip, though, and I was sad to go home. No beaches, Dre, and (Aun/I)Drises in Charlotte.

So many shenanigans

Greg ran his second Promethean game tonight. It’s my first time in a bi-weekly campaign, and that combined with my fatigue and the newness means I’m having a hard time getting a grasp on my character. I picked an unusual character type for me (manic and ditzy, albeit smart… like a “blonde” Miles Vorkosigan), which means I have to keep reminding myself not to be the firm and common sensical (read: grumpy) “leader” I usually feel I need to be.

We have a nice, small gaming group, and it’s a group that I think I can be comfortable enough with to play a manic and ditzy character. Less urge to control the game flow in my usual way, because we’ll pretty shortly be a well-meshed team, I think.

I don’t have enough of an opinion on Promethean. I made the classic mistake of forgetting to write down short-, mid-, and long-term character [mechanical] growth goals (like, “get another dot of Dex, then get another dot of Firearms and that awesome transmutation”) when I made my character up, so 2 weeks later, when I have enough experience to buy some small things, I’ve forgotten what I thought was cool in the books and appropriate for my character.

I still have pictures and reflections on my Tampa trip to post. We spent a whole day at the beach(es) on that Saturday, resulting in my first-ever sunburn (ew, it peeled!). When I came back to work last Tuesday, I was hit with a big project (not mine originally) that needed some major triaging. Got that “done”… all this weekend. Muchos kudos to my awesome coworkers that pulled that off. I’m even less a fan of the Nascar race vendors (since our office is within spitting distance of the race track) than I was last year.

Having not had a weekend, I’m in great shape for my move to our (rented) house this weekend. I have nine entire boxes packed (read: not enough!), and am moving on Friday. I’ll be happily taking Friday off from work to get that move done. Packing will happen tomorrow night and Thursday (which I also hope to take off). Sleep will happen in June.

I haven’t run in 2 weeks and I ate like shit all weekend in the office. I don’t have breakfast food in my house. I haven’t written in about 2 weeks, and I don’t have the mips to do so this week. I don’t feel unproductive, though. It’s just that the productivity is not in “normal” stuff right now. Heightened sense of stress, but invigorating rather than paralyzing (with rare exception).

Definitely the busiest month I’ve had in a while. June should be smooth(er) sailing, though. New house, I get to learn how to use a push mower (as in, motorless), I’ll have some space from my cats, I’ll have a home office, and I’ll have a live-in cook to take care of mundane things like dinner (leaving me for the awesome things like cheesecake and cookie making).

Tampa, day 1

I’m in Tampa, having flown in bright and early this morning (Charlotte to Memphis at 06:50 EST, Memphis to Tampa at 09:00 CST).

Memphis’s airport (the two gates I saw of it) was fugly as hell. Brown brick interior walls and square. Looked like some Langoliers shit.

Tampa’s airport was mildly confusing, with a shuttle to get from some gates to other areas. Looked new-ish overall, but otherwise unremarkable.

Awesome tidbit: the rental car is a Prius. Good stuff, although I scared the shit out of Ma Dre by mistaking the brake for a clutch when trying to park, as I’m wont to do. *stomp* Its little engine display is distracting; I have a heavy foot (an understatement) and am not sure how awesome the electric engine is supposed to be. Should I be able to ride above 45 mph just on the battery? I have a weekend to experiment with tweaking it.

Now Tampa proper… is obnoxious. I find that I rather prefer a more condensed city. Tampa reminds me of Phoenix in that even the downtown skyline appears to be missing buildings, it’s so scattered. Getting from one place to another today involved 30+ minute drives, distances that Ma Dre doesn’t seem to think much of. I’m used to a 15-minute drive being normal in Charlotte (and that’s me not living near a highway), but 30 minutes better be for something decently special in Charlotte.

Without a really good light rail system (and not the cross-style that Atlanta has or Charlotte hopes to have), I don’t know how public transit could be an option in a city that sprawled.

City aside (and really, who cares?), I’m having a blast. Being with Ma Dre is great, and Little Man (her son) is adorable, growly, and friendly, although it took him a little while to warm up to me. I am reminded again of why I had an IUD put in, though — I could handle the slobber and the mess just fine (although I cringe a little at it now), but the noise… I’m worried I might do a child harm if I couldn’t shut her up peacefully. And heaven forbid if I get a colicky/milk-intolerant baby. I’d probably never leave the house for not wanting the kid to bother other people.

Tomorrow’s the beach, a bit of shopping, and maybe some restaurants recommended by Michael.