Thank Goodness I’m Not Paying By the Mile!

(**check out the previous post for part one of today!**)

My flight landed EXACTLY on time at 12:32 pm. The last 10 minutes were pretty bumpy but the flight overall was excellent, and I was very impressed with the service and professionalism of our AC flight crew – thumbs up.

By 12:47 pm I was standing at the baggage claim carousel, and at 1:02 pm I was exiting the airport. Very impressed with the Tampa airport: modern, clean, easy to traverse.

I didn’t take any photos as I was focussed an figuring out my way around, then picking up my rental car – a cute Nissan Versa:

let's call it the Stealth Machine!

Now this is where things got interesting!…First, I got lost getting out of the parking garage: I went up instead of down (oops). I had planned to then go to Whole Foods – I had printed out the map and directions from Google maps back at home. Well…I found the right road, but by accident, not by the directions I had printed out. I went one direction, decided I was going the wrong way, went the other direction, (and went past two huge stadiums! Homes of the Bucs and Rays, I bet!) and decided that was wrong, back the other way…finally I stopped at a Comfort Inn to seek clarification. I think my Whole Foods is no more and has been replaced by a Natural Foods Market or something. Not what I wanted! I want Whole Foods!!! I decided to skip right to Publix after a break for lunch.

Beside Publix (which I had also planned to hit anyway after Whole Foods) was a restaurant called Crispers – and they had free wifi internet! So I brought in my laptop and had lunch and read blogs.

garden salad and half a grilled portobello mushroom flatbread sandwich

Unfortunately, this was just really horrible!! I waited for ages, the sandwich was luke warm, and not very tasty. Oh well.

Then, I hit up Publix. This was more fun! I found a cooler which I think will be handy for being on the road over the next two weeks:

haha! the coke theme makes me laugh and is fun!

Here’s my Only In America shot of the day (I hope to make this a daily feature):

different flavours of Cap'n Crunch!!! i did not purchase....yet!

{Side Note: if you’re wondering if I feel weird snapping photos in the airport, a restaurant, during grocery shopping, the answer is NO. The key is to act like it’s totally normal to take picture in the middle of the cereal aisle, to not make eye contact with anyone, and to act quickly. Besides, anyone who sees me and thinks this is strange behaviour will never see me again, so it doesn’t matter a twit!}

By this time, it was 3:30 pm, and I headed for my accomodations. Happily, I did not get lost and was there from Publix in less than 5 minutes.

this place had very positive reviews when i was doing my research

I am super happy with this choice! My suite reminds me of a mini-version of our condo in Aruba. Here’s a photo montage to show you around:

a little kitchen...

work station and sitting area...

queen size bed and four pillows!

...the bathroom!

There’s also a work area in the lobby, a large screen TV down there and complimentary newspapers (I picked up the weekend edition of USA Today) and free breakfast in the morning! The Suites are pretty new, built in the last year or two, but most importantly, my room (and the rest of the hotel) is spotlessly clean. All this for $79 a night! And the view from my window…

a loooong pool!

I settled in and set up my “home,” and watched the World Cup of soccer for the FIRST TIME! Caught the most important part of the tourney, I believe, as I saw Spain score and therefore win the Cup (or whatever they are playing for!), then I visited the fitness room. Looky, looky!…

there's a full tv screen RIGHT on the elliptical!

I played on the elliptical and watched women’s golf then walked on the treadmill and watched the news (no outdoor walk as this area isn’t that scenic). The fitness room is just that – a room, but what more do you need?

efficient use of space!

I had hoped to get a photo of the room, empty, but this guy came in just before I was going to snap a photo. So I took the picture anyway, then fled!

Well, it’s been a long day and I have a full day in mind for tomorrow, so I’ll call it a night! The weather forecast is 90-92 degrees and sunny with cloudy periods for the full week ahead. Sounds good to me!

To end: New Product Only-In-America Photo of the Day…

this peanut butter has flax seed and wheat germ in it - and it's delicious!

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Comments

  • Deb  On July 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks for all the updates through the day. Happy you are “home” and settled and that all (with a few minor exceptions) is going well on this beginning stage of your adventure.

    Here’s a challenge for you – 40 cereals (ok I’ll let you do products if you wish) not available in Canada. Restaurants don’t count.

    Have you used the pool yet?

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