-Universal Studios-Orlando, Florida

In the middle of Florida, far from any beach lies the home of many theme parks. The traffic is outrageous for both driving and walking. As soon as I stepped foot into Universal Studios I found out the solution to the outrageous conditions: a moving walkway. There was massive congregation of people when we arrived at the foyer, the concourse was thick and evenly dispersed in the entrance hall. This enterprising theme park was hearty and filled to the brim, with an ardent and heedless populous.

Troves of people crowd the streets, even something as simple as ordering a cup of coffee became difficult, the adamant and contumacious people formed long lines in a perfunctory fashion. Every building on the premises was filled to the rafters, and every line to any ride could have you sardined in place with no exit strategy.

All the Good Foods in Pinellas County Fl!

Throughout the springbreak I have had a chance to eat at pinellas county’s finest establishments (food you can’t get in Arkansas). My tour of the county would have be incomplete without visiting these restaurants.

My native Floridian girlfriend has been going on about these delicacies offered by the bay area ever since we’ve been together- and this spring break I got to indulge in this “local” food.

1) Hungary Howies (http://www.hungryhowies.com/)

This pizzeria puts both Pizza hut and Domino’s to shame! I have ate many a slice of pizza, but none as fine as this. Hungary Howies is good for any occasion,

2) Hooks-St. Pete ( http://www.yelp.com/biz/hooks-sushi-bar-and-thai-food-saint-petersburg)

I have never been the biggest fan of sushi, I was a little hesitant when this restaurant was first brought up but after eating a boatload of their sushi I would have to say, it will ruin all other sushi for me because it is so good. The worst part about this sushi bar is that you will have to wait outside in the crowded sidewalk-

3)Tijuana Flats (http://tijuanaflats.com/about-us/)

Tijuana Flats probably has the best story of how it came to be- which is really interesting. I love the style incorporated in the restaurant. They also have a large selection of hot sauces, and the best  chimichangas in the bay area! Their jalapenos taste so fresh you would think they were homegrown.

4)Crabby Bills (http://www.stpetecrabbybills.com/)

Located on the sandy shore of St. Pete beach, this joint is always packed and the hardest thing to mange to find was a decent parking space. When we did get to snag a spot by a parking meter, an employee asked us if we wanted a better spot- so crabby bills gave us an impromptu parking spot-which i gotta give props since I had no idea how to . After waiting damn near 40 minutes we were finally seated. The food is piquant and enticingly pleasant- but be prepared to wait around a bit-

Kayaked The Weeki Wachee Today

http://www.paddlingadventures.com/

No reservations were needed on this day. We just walked in a kayak shack (paddling adventure) ordered what wanted and before you knew it we had a double kayak and a single kayak and we were saddled up with our gear.Along on the trip were my girlfriend, her long time friend Nick and of course my self

We launched out on the river, as well as a trove of other people.I may not have the proper kayaking experience; but that didnt hinder us too much- i was learning pretty fast. The only problem I had at first, was making those sharp turns.

weekiwacheeriver

I was seeing the side of Florida I have always wanted to, it was an up close and personnel look at the florida wild life. Weeki Wachee is as unique a river as it’s name, it’s crystal clear waters let you look down on the river as if it were an aquarium. My first thoughts in on this five mile trip were along the lines of pure excitement. the complexion of the landscape had a dominating green coloration, along the shore the trees would hang over. The river had a chill temperament, and was full of vigor.

weekiwacheegree

The tidewater was strong, and we were making good time traversing this river expeditionweekiwacheemenabbs. Some people were edging along and taking their time; not us. Not that we were in a hurry or anything, i’m sure we could have gone faster if we wanted to, i guess some people just had a slower pace than us.

We were keeping an eye out for the optimum spot to stop off and take a short swim. We found an over hanging tree on the edge with a nice little beach  so we stopped to check it out. The tide was at full swing, and we had to make it across to get to the tree. When we made it, we used a vine to get us up. As soon as we got up we had to wait for the all the people we passed to pass the tree- nick jumped first. Then I, the water was shallow- but the sand was so soft it cushioned us down. The water was chilling- and cooled us down- but maybe too successfully, we were all shivering.

weekiwachee

We got back out in the open water, making our way- and after passing the people who we originally passed before we came up to this spot with the best jumping spot. It was a tree with a makeshift ladder- and beside it were what i assumed to be the locals of the area just chilling- I told nick I would jump but only if he did first. He took the challenge jumped out of his kayak and made his way to the top of the tree. He cannon balled right into the river which meant it was my turn- I was already having second thoughts half way up- the shaky planks were bound to fall at any moment, but i braved it and made a big leap for the deeper side of the river. After the jump i felt exhilarated and boundless.

We hit a residential area of the float, just a long lines of houses along side the river. Guarded by a sea wall and almost all of them had signs that warned of security camera usage- and had a clearly stated message “Keep Out!”. One of the houses even had a diving board over the river.

We were about a half a mile away, and the soreness from paddling started to kick in. when we finally made it to the end and got loaded up, we also witnessed several other tourists flip their kayak trying to get out of the river. The float was worth the price of admission and recommend anyone that is visiting the sunshine state to check it out!(see the link above)

http://www.weekiwachee.com/

Welcome to florida !- First Expirence with a tow truck

There we were, just rolling through the city and on route to stop by an old friend of my girlfriends for a quick visit. She Lived in some apartment complex in the maze of St. Petersburg, as we pulled in we looked all over for a parking spot. When we got in front of her building we saw a row with a spot open. It looked like somone just didnt know how to park properly, what was unknown to us at that moment- was that was sadly not the case. The row was big enough to park four, but it had lines for three.

We inadvertently left the car and went in to visit her friend for not even 10 minutes, and when we came back out we were met with much bewilderment, a purley astonishing moment. The car was Gone! and when you are over 1000 miles away from home, stuff like that can freak you out. We instantly gravitated towards the conclusion that some half baked shmuck took off with it and left us high and dry; marooned to the sandy streets.

We immediatly just turned around and ran up the stairs, and started pounding on her friends door. We called the local police department to get the wherabouts on the missing vechicle. Turns out it was “good hands”, locked away and the only way to get it back…. come meet up with the towers CASH in hand, and yes they add an inconvince to the already established incovienance by rejecting the payment by credit or debit card. So like the true bussiness men they are, they only accept cash.


A Musing

After going across the greater part of the U.S. i saw the intrinstic side of our country.  This triumph of distance, did not veil our sunny forcasts. Through thick and thin we stay vigilant, and on our feet. Focus was an imperitive objective, and needed to be checked in line at all times. We couldnt forget our meaning for such journeious endevours, and what ever was ahead of us, i knew we would take it in full stride, we were hell on the straight stretches and cautious in highly dense areas.

Arkansas and Missipssipi were the short parts, it was in Alabama where I thought time might have stood still for a little bit, and in Florida(snorida) I thought we were stuck in a perpetual hamster wheel- over a thousand miles in one day- and by the time we reached our preferred destination it felt as if all those miles collapsed right on top of us.

Tampa- St. Petersburg

As we approached the city lights, the roads were suddenly jaunty and full of life. Right on the side of us were a line of cars merging on in a screaming fleet. The roads were unconstrained no more, and as we approached the Courtney Campbell bridge, the traffic lights had us at a full stop in the middle of traffic( which to my girlfriend -a Florida native- was not bad).

The Courtney Campbell took us across the Tampa bay. The resplendent and glorious lights along the coasts were sublime, and the water was lustrous and reflective from the translucent city. When the light turned green everyone was at full tilt, all speed ahead to beat the next light.

Florida drivers are very velocious and drive in a very breakneck fashion, nothing can impede these people- and nothing can slow them down. If you ever come on vacation to any Florida beach town, I suggest you leave that slow driving where you came from. There is allot of energy in this part of the country, and the interstates in this city can take you anywhere at hyper-sonic speeds.

As we neared my girlfriend’s sister’s house, we gave a sigh and relief- we finally made it. As we layed down and closed our eyes the only thing we saw in the back of our minds’ was the sights of the roads. After you have taken a long cross country journey, the minute you get out of your vessel, you still feel like you are moving. after being so tired; you somehow become the opposite.  Nevertheless we got our nights worth of sleep.

Snorida- U.S. 19

The Longest part of the trip was U.S. 19, this long stretch of highway was am interminable treadmill. Five long hours, and at some points, you would think you were going in circles. An effortless deja vu this road was, every 20 mile or so there would be an ephemeral small quaint town. Sometimes you could get lucky and not hit any stoplights, and other times you could be stuck in some disconsolate town for 5 minutes more than you intended.

The Route in-between towns gave opportunity for faster speeds. I wouldn’t drop the gas pedal too far, all along the roads at any moment a Patrolman could waiting for some heedless driver in a hurry to get somewhere. The road did make us anxious, and kept us awake with anticipation- at this point we had been driving for about 11 straight hours.

When we finally reached the 589 toll road, and we jumped on with a sun pass for a more expeditious pace. The sign said 55 miles from Tampa, and at 75 miles an hour our destination wasn’t too far from reach. As we got closer we saw the sparkinging city lights in the distance.