First-Stop-Espresso

Necessary Stuff, And More Adventures

Finally got my taxes done — and I get money back! Good news for my bank account, but it definitely makes me thankful for the internet (without which I could not have done my taxes). I’m in a park now that has no free wifi, although it’s always questionable whether you can actually access the free wifi even when you have it. I’m using my 8 G monthly allotment from Verizon, which is pricey, but at least it works very well. The only problem with it is that I don’t have enough bandwidth per month to watch movies or anything. I probably used up two days’ worth doing my taxes! I’m going to be investigating whether there’s a better deal out there. After spending several hours at Starbucks trying to upload 12 pictures to my website, I decided Starbucks does not have good wifi. Fortunately, my friend in Largo offered to let me use her place to do my uploads (20 minutes, tops), and I even have my own key!
Speaking of my friend in Largo, I promised I would talk about our trip to Tampa for picture-taking. We started out in Ybor City, just outside Tampa, which began as a cigar-manufacturing center and is now considered Tampa’s Latin quarter (where cigars are still hand-rolled). Although the streets were deserted when we got there in the morning, it was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, so we had high hopes for our shoot. We stopped in to a restaurant for crepes and coffee (first shot of the day) since neither of us had eaten yet and then headed out with our cameras. 
First Stop — Espresso!
Old Building, Cigar Sign
Fabulous Tattoo Parlor!
Centro Ybor
Urban reclamation
We walked around Ybor for a bit, but then decided to take the trolley to Channelside, which is an area in Tampa alongside – of course – the channel. It’s also the place for cruise ships to dock and take on passengers. 
On the Trolley
Channelside, with a cruise ship in the distance
Sculpture in the park, overlooking the channel and Harbor Island
It’s a very popular place, apparently, and overlooks Harbor Island with its neat rows of condos. We had a very nice walk, and took a few pictures. 
Harbor Island from Channelside
Interesting Sculpture at Channelside
View from the Garage
Great doorknob, huh?
Waiting for the trolley
Overall, though, we decided that neither of us felt particularly inspired on this shoot, so after walking around for 5 or 6 hours, we decided to head back to Largo.
I finally got a bike – a 7-speed, with front and rear suspension and a tush pad (absolutely essential!). My first ride was 10 miles, and I loved it! I rode along the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin for a bit, then rode along the gulf, stopping at parks periodically to see the sights. Hammock Park (named for the trees, not the thing you lie in) is off the Pinellas Trail, and it’s a beautiful park in the middle of Dunedin. The paths were great for biking, and there were orange trees everywhere! I stopped at one point to try some (not allowed, I hear, which makes it that much better). I got lucky with the first one, which was sweet and juicy, but the second was really sour and I couldn’t finish it. It occurred to me there that we women just can’t resist forbidden fruit! I didn’t have my camera with me on the ride, but I do want to go back and take pictures of the park when I move the RV back to Dunedin. Here’s a shot from my ride along the gulf. . . My kind of place!

Taken with my cellphone at an outdoor bar on the gulf

Weaver Park is on the gulf, and it’s one of those parks just off the road with fabulous views. There are usually shore birds there, and there’s a nice long pier that juts out into the gulf, often containing fishermen. My sister and I had gone there while she was here to catch a shot of the sunset:

Sunset from Weaver Park
My final stop before heading back was Dunedin Brewery, where I had a beer and people-watched for a while. Apparently, this is the place to go in Dunedin, although I wasn’t sure why, aside from the craft beers. I was in no hurry to start back, but it was getting to be late afternoon. My legs were tired by this time, so I was a little more slap-happy on the way back and had difficulty getting off the bike when I stopped. All-in-all, though, not bad for my first bike ride in over a year!

4 thoughts on “Necessary Stuff, And More Adventures”

  1. Your Ybor City shots look much better than mine! I just couldn’t find inspiration that day ( but I’ve visited Ybor maybe 80 times in 30 years ). I hear a Seafood Fest is near our area .. I’ll keep you posted. Excellent blog!

    1. Thanks, Anna! It really is a beautiful place, and I’m glad I’m headed there next month. The photos are a labor of love, so I’m happy you like them!

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