Saturday, January 31, 2009

Port of Call: Tampa

Florida is the only state that I can say I know inside out. I am lucky to have cruised all around the peninsula, and to have driven up and down and across the state. Of all the places visited, I chose the Tampa Bay area to be my home. Having family in the area played a small part in my decision. More importantly, it was because of the diversity of the people (age and ethnic background), the arts and culture in the tri-cities of St Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, and an excellent international airport. Not to mention sports. This past October saw the Tampa Bay Rays playing against the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. And this weekend, Tampa is hosting the biggest game of all - the Super Bowl.

Several days ago, I drove by the hot spots (downtown, Channelside, and Ybor City) of Tampa. The city has been in a frenzy trying to get things situated for the big day - Super Bowl Sunday. I learned that my favorite band, the Eagles, was playing at the St Pete Times Forum Thursday night, and Celine Dion played the night before. Wow, lots of celebrities in town, and definitely lots happening ...
Tampa waterfront

Although I am no avid sports fan, I do like to watch the Super Bowl on TV. It is the height of creativity for the advertisers. The half-time show can be quite exciting. How could anyone forget Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction in 2004? This year, Bruce Springsteen, aka the Boss, promises a high energy 12-minute party at the half-time show. My observation is that most of the Tampa Bay area will be rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Me? I prefer the underdog, the Arizona Cardinals, a team who is playing in the Super Bowl for the first time. But hey, what do I know? Prior to an invitation to a Super Bowl party this week, I didn't even know who was playing:-) Go Cardinals!

Enjoy your stay in the Tampa Bay area!

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