My daughter flies in from Toronto today. We will be picking her up at Tampa International Airport which just happens to be pretty close to the Tampa Guitar Center.
I really cannot see how we can bypass a visit to this music superstore since we are so close.
I have been receiving emails about my weather reports on this blog. Apparently I overlooked the foot or so of snow that fell over the past few days. Bitter cold and snow. At least there is a white Christmas back home. All we have down here is white, sandy beaches and warm weather.
I was so busy yesterday that I did not get a chance to update the blog. I had to spend an inordinate amount of time on the beach. Reading, walking along the shore, and making those really tough executive decisions like which song I should listen to on my iPod.
Oh, apparently the deep freeze in Canada is pretty much over for now. Wind chills are back to a balmy -3.
I spent some time browsing through one of the large music superstores that they have down here. I picked up several books on pro audio. They have a selection of such material down here. I have some training to do on live sound when I return back home and one of the books that I picked up has some great material for presenting live sound concepts.
There are a couple of engineers that I know down here through the web and previous visits. I hope to touch base with at least one and see what’s happening in this area.
Time to go wander on the beach.
What a wireless world down here. I am at a beachfront condo on the Gulf Coast in Florida. Just for a laugh, I thought I would try my wireless connection. And, of course, I am online.
We are struggling through yet another day of sunshine and warm temperatures down here. I checked the forecast back home and it looks as though the weather is much more attractive with snowsqualls and minus 25 wind chills. I really miss home.
No firm plans for the day today. I wandered around Anna Maria Island this morning in an attempt to gain some exercise. What a pleasure to enjoy unstructured time, sun and warmth. And, what a special time to spend with my family.
We finally made it to Tampa yesterday. The flight left on time and arrived on time. We make the move to our beachfront condo on Anna Maria Island later today. The weather, sad to say, offers brilliant sun and warmth.
We went to a large shopping mall yesterday and I could not help but notice that the Canadian dollar has gained sufficient strength that it is now much cheaper to shop in the US of A. A couple of examples: a new release DVD is $3.64 cheaper and a new bestseller novel is $5.78 cheaper. I had just purchased the same new release DVD and bestseller in Canada and compared prices at this mall in the States. I took into account sales taxes, which are 7% in Florida versus 15% in Canada, as well as today’s currency exchange. A casual review of other items suggests about a 15% advantage in price at today’s currency level.
The other thing that I could not help but notice was the relative opulence of their shopping centres. We have high end shopping malls in Canada but they do pale by comparison in terms of sheer size and finish.
And, they eat like pigs down here. We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I ordered a salad. Our server suggested that I choose the appetizer. He was right. The appetizer salad was roughly 5 times the amount of food I would normally eat. I left most of the food on the plate.
Did I have any cheesecake? Boy, I was tempted. But I worked very hard to lose almost 50 pounds this year. Ain’t going to go through that experience again. I did take a small spoonful from my son’s cheesecake. Although not the same as eating a couple of pounds of cheesecake it did give me a rough sense as to why it is much easier to gain weight than lose it.
We left our home just outside of Toronto yesterday at 4pm. And, 8 hours later, we arrived in Philadelphia. Stranded.
US Airways Flight 2909 bound for Tampa through Philadelphia arrived a mere hour later than scheduled at Toronto Pearson. And from there it became a series of delay after delay.
We were supposed to arrive in Philadelphia at 9:00pm and await the connection which was scheduled to leave Philadelphia at 10:10pm. We did not get to the gate until 10:40pm.
After much discussion, we were rebooked on a morning flight to Tampa as well as two hotel rooms at the smelly and dirty Ramada Inn. I can always tell the rating of a hotel by the number of bugs crawling through the room.Yuck!
With luck, we will arrive in Tampa a day later than planned. Our original hotel booking was good enough to waive our first night charges and our car rental company did the same.
They seemed to expect that US Airways would not get us there as scheduled.
We are leaving Toronto enroute to Tampa through Philadelphia. I am waiting in a crowded lounge area near gate B8 at Terminal 3.
Poorly designed terminal I’m afraid. Check-in to boarding gate is quite a journey. Good exercise I guess.
My youngest son, 7 years old, is having a great time playing with his stuffed animals. Our flight should start boarding in a few minutes.
I sneaked my Blackberry with me on the trip. Looks like I will be able to keep the blog updated after all 🙂
We will be spending a couple of weeks at the Bermuda Bay Club on Anna Maria Island. And, due to some difficulties booking our return flight, we had no choice but to spend some time at Walt Disney World. This will be our twelfth vacation at Walt Disney World as a family. We will be staying at the Grand Floridian resort.
And, as you can tell from the pictures, we won’t be missing the snow in Canada 😉