Tampa Tourist Temptation Therapy

“It’s  very refreshing to go away and take a break, to clear your head, and just get into something else.” (Francois Noirs)

On most occasions, Ruth and do not need an excuse to travel and do not hesitate to pack up and go. Yet we recognize that dealing with life’s harsh realities do impact our travel decisions as we get older and hopefully wiser. Some basic question thus can arise quickly. Would it be right to isolate ourselves from an ailing loved one for an extended European vacation stay? How easily could we arrange travel home in a family emergency? Can pending financial decisions regarding my loved ones be best handled abroad? Such concerns would thus weigh heavily on our mind in our decision to cancel our monthlong stay in Paris this fall.

Reflecting about my blog theme that one can enjoy the present moment of travel at anytime/place thus enlightened me to consider some new travel alternatives for Fall 2019. Feel the youthful energy again of a new semester on a revered college campus. Follow your favorite football teams this fall by visiting more games on the road. Celebrate the music of one of your favorite rock stars out of town in a magical theater setting. Settle into the pleasing nostalgia of a quiet walk in a historic city of your youth.

We thus foresee such quick “getaways” as a new travel therapy for us in adapting to upcoming times of life crisis. Thus acting boldly to test our new lifestyle alterations for the first time in late August , a brief sojourn to Tampa, Florida would surprisingly fulfill several of such desired, short travel options. I thus present the following photographic snippets from this most satisfying, fall inaugural weekend.

My favorite football team, the Cleveland Browns, just happened to be playing a preseason game in Tampa last Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium, I purchased an inexpensive ticket to the game and enjoyed the collective feel of other Browns fans similarly showing their faith in the new winning version of this team.

“Go Bulls” chants came alive for me as I enjoyed a morning walk around the campus of our undergraduate alumnus, the University of South Florida. The  welcoming presence of new students at the USF Student Center also provided vivid memories for me of the campus “buzz” surrounding the first week of college classes.

So few rockstars from the late 1960s remain active today as relevant role models for the aging “baby boomer” population. Thus, a Saturday film documentary of singer David Crosby at the historic Florida Theatre became a “must see” event for me. For his past/present life path depicted on screen, provided a brutally honest look at the youthful naïveté combined with magical music that inspired “live together in peace” ideals during my college days.

This grandiose theatre attraction opened on October 15, 1926 as a “Roaring Twenties” spectacle in downtown Tampa. As I curiously entered the theater lobby, I immediately noticed its ornately sculptured lobby punctuated by the melodious sounds of a genuine Wurlitzer organ in the distance.

Ascending my way along a narrow staircase to the balcony, I obtained a spectacular panorama of this unique stage/seating venue.

During my four year tenure at USF as a student and frequent visits to Greater Tampa later, I rarely ventured downtown. Taking a short walk to the river from the Florida Theater, I now witnessed for the first time a visually pleasing blend of both old and new.

In spring 1974, I received my undergraduate college diploma at Curtis Hixon Hall in downtown Tampa. Rekindling my memories of this milestone along my riverside walk, a fountain lined park now stands nearby the site of this demolished facility amidst the mystical Turkish dome backdrop of the University of Tampa.

Choosing a slower route of the Interstate to to exit downtown, I noticed shades of Bourbon Street New Orleans along the historic Franklin Street corridor. What was the Reverend Billy Graham thinking when he started his fervent religious crusade in this seemingly raucous area?

4 thoughts on “Tampa Tourist Temptation Therapy

  1. I enjoyed your trip to Tampa, Jim. I also have to ask how much the ticket was because I can’t even afford to go to the local Warriors games.

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