Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nostalgia (28/90)

I’ve been feeling incredibly nostalgic lately.

I can’t wait to get to Tampa and have 9 days to enjoy there with my Mom and friends. The people, of course, are what I knew I’d miss. I didn’t realize, though how much I loved the city. I didn’t think I’d miss it, aside from the weather and the beach. But I do. I’m finding myself missing the city a lot and I’m longing to be at the places I used to frequent.

Passe- A-Grille is the beach where I spent almost every weekend one summer. Thankfully, it's not on the tourists' radar. On Friday nights I'd coach late at the gym, and then spend the night with friends so that we could head to the beach first thing in the morning. We'd wake up early, pack fresh fruit and water into the cooler, pack our beach chairs in the trunk and make the drive. Once we arrived, the first thing we'd do is take a walk along the length of the beach. We would pass the Ziploc bag full of grapes between us as we walked scanning the sand for starfish and the water for cute boys, talking and laughing all the while.

Xtreme Juice is one of the many amazing juice bars in Tampa. I know you're thinking, it must be hard to miss a smoothie. But, first, where are the smoothie joints in Anderson and Munice? Right, there are none. Second and more importantly, this was a bonding thing for my friends and I. We'd grab smoothies on work breaks or on Sundays in between church services when they were two for one. My favorite: Phunky Punch. 

You Do The Dishes is a pottery studio where I'd spend Friday nights sipping coffee and  painting ceramics with my girlfriends. This place is peaceful, artsy and inviting and makes you wish you could stay all night.  I even celebrated one of my birthdays there with the girls. It's conveniently located within walking distance of our place in Tampa and I may have to make have to make some time for it this trip. 

The amount of love I have for The Bayshore Boulevard is out of control. It has a special place in my heart, not only because it's beautiful and relaxing but also because I've had some pretty serious and memorable conversations there with friends in the wee hours of the morning. And some not so serious ones too.

Muvico is my absolute favorite theater. In my travels, (though certainly not extensive) I have yet to find one quite like it. It's huge, with roomy seats and an awesome concession stand. My Mom and I frequent this theater. We last saw The Blind Side over Thanksgiving Break we held back our tears as we sipped our sodas and shared candy and popcorn. Everything you could ever want to eat at the movies, they have. I like to get ice cream bites and a Diet Coke but they have everything from curly fries to shrimp baskets in addition to all of the usual items. 

I miss Spanish food like no other. Tampa is full of authentic Spanish restaurants and Cuban cafes. Early on I fell in love with the chicken dishes with red beans over rice and a side of plantains. I could try to impress you the with the little amount of Spanish I've learned, but to be honest the best Spanish food I've had has been in my friends houses and when we go out they order for me so I don't embarrass them. I can't forget Cafe Con Leche, which is how I fell in love with coffee. Cuban espresso with steamed milk and a bit of sugar, absolutely delicious. These are cravings that can't be filled here in the Midwest where I was raised. 

I could go on and on, but I'll share a bit more once I get back there. For now, I'm clinging to the memories I shared with my favorite people in charming little places and remembering that it's the simplest things in life that make me happy. 

And that's the way it should be. 


Brad King said...

I love your picture blogs. Also: it's good to have places that you miss. Hopefully you reach a point in your life when the melancholy is a longing happiness and not a sadness.

Tiffany Holbert said...

Thanks! :) Picture blogs are fun. I can't say that it's a sadness now, just odd to not really feel at home anymore in the only two places I've called home. But, the longing happiness is something I look forward to!

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