Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Trip to Tampa

Saturday we decided to make a run to Tampa

Henry’s parents are buried there and that is where he was raised. 

We hit I-75 here close to the campground to make the hour trek into Tampa.  Little did we know that there was basically road construction the whole way down!  We anticipated the traffic to be less than rush hour traffic through the week, but we still hit some traffic jams due to wrecks and construction.  It looks like they are adding lanes to the south bound lane and making all kinds of adjustments to exits and side roads.  Some are closed.  It will be years before all this work is completed.

We made a stop by his parents’ gravesite to pay our respects.  It is a lovely cemetery, with well manicured grounds, a pond with a fountain and a rose garden. It’s a very large cemetery and most graves are marked with the flat to the ground markers. 

Henry has talked about a place where he used to get Cuban sandwiches when he lived here in the 70’s.  He said it was just a little hole in the wall type place and didn’t know if it would still be open.  When we got there it was still there, open, and he said it looked just the same.

Place to get Cuban Sandwiches

They had not changed anything.  But the airport across the road was another story.  It was just a little airport back then, but now has grown to a pretty major airport.

Anyway, we purchased a Cuban sandwich, a crab roll, and a Mango Madness.  They have a double sided grill that they use to grill and press both sides of the sandwich at once.  The same grill they used 30 years ago.

We took our lunch to a local park and found a table facing a large body of water.

View as we ate lunch

  A nice view and a great sandwich, just as he remembered.

Crab Roll and Cuban Sandwich

We decided to go for a walk at the park, since it had a very nice walking trail.  It wound through a forested area, through a playground, across the water, and we walked about three miles.

Along the way, I spotted two Loggerhead Shrikes just posing at the tip top a large bush.

Pair of Loggerhead Shrikes

 I got a lot of photos of them.  They seemed to enjoy getting their picture taken.

I'll pose if you will take my pic

Toward the end of our walk, I spotted two green birds on a power line.  NEW BIRD for us!  I didn’t know what they were, but I got a good view and a few photos of them as well.  When we got back to the car, I looked it up and found they were Black-Hooded Parakeets.

Pair of Black-Hooded Parakeets

These birds aren’t native to this area, but escaped from captivity.  So now they have a population here.

Another reason for making the trip to Tampa was to run by Trader Joe’s for a few items we like to have on hand.  This was the busiest Trader Joe’s we have ever seen!  They had several people in the parking lot directing traffic and telling you where to park when a space became available.  Geez!

It was quite a disappointment because two items we like to get, they did not have.  So we got out spending less money than ever at Trader Joe’s!  That’s a positive.

Headed back toward home, Henry spotted these on the side of the road:

Wood Storks

There were about twenty-five Wood Storks and some were resting, some were trying to dry their wings, and some were just strutting their stuff.  And preening.

Aren't I beautiful?

We went back to the Cuban sandwich shop and bought two more for lunches later this week, then back to Sumter Oaks – home, sweet temporary home!

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