After months of planning and anticipation, my cousin’s wedding was absolutely amazing! The newlyweds ended the evening with a firework sendoff fit for a fairytale. I’m sort of back to reality while working remotely from Tampa this week — so here are four things I’m loving while in the 813. Are you surprised they’re all food-related?
- The Columbia: We celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday Sunday at this iconic Ybor establishment. From mojitos to the 1905 salad to “good rice” that’s to die for, it’s no wonder this Cuban cookery has been a Tampa tradition for 110+ years. Don’t pass through Tampa without stopping by!
- Moreno Bakery: What birthday dinner would be complete without a towering, tantalizing cake? My SIL’s mom provided a fantastic Bananas Foster cake that left us all with sugar comas beyond compare. I’m actually drooling at the thought.
- Publix Subs: These things have a cult following for a reason. The PubSub is actually life-changing, and being so far from this grocery store makes them all that more special when I’m in Florida. Boar’s Head Italian FTW!
- “Sugar” – Maroon 5: Full disclosure: I actually can’t stand this song (or Adam Levine’s voice, still). But something about hearing it at a wedding — or when my niece is in the car — just gets the people going. Plus, the video is just the cutest ever (fake or not).
Last week’s celebrations left me exhausted. With a full heart, no doubt — but I was pooped. Good thing I got home late Monday (after 10 hours of traveling, but more on that later) and had another baby shower invite waiting for me! The joys of being a 20-something …
- Lime Fresh Mexican Grill: We lunched at this new spot in Tampa before I departed for the big city again. Quick, inexpensive and totally delicious — my kinda Mexican fiesta.
- Clear Care: Many hours in airports mean many hours cursing my contacts. Thankfully, this stuff is a Godsend. Just make sure you follow all instructions: Lenses must soak at least six hours and you DO NOT put this stuff directly in your eyes, like a traditional solution.
- Golden Girls Cross-Stitch: My super-talented friend Faren posted a photo of her handmade artwork and naturally, I couldn’t resist. I’m trying to convince her to open an etsy shop but till then, you can just admire the one I bought!
- Baby Laughing at Ripping Paper: It’s only fair I share this hilarious video Sister-in-Law showed me. Belly laughs from a baby? Over ripped paper? Too cute for words.
This is absolutely the most difficult WO I’ve written since I began them 77 weeks ago. Today, I pay tribute to the city I’ve called home for more than seven years: Tampa Bay.
It’s not even possible to pick four favorites out of everything I’ve experienced here. From my days at USF to enjoying Gasparilla, downtown bars, Ybor City cigars and having co-workers become family … it’s all been too much.
I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to begin a life in New York City, but I’ll always be grateful for the time I’ve spent here. The farewell celebrations continue tonight, where absolutely no tears will be permitted. Well, maybe just a few.
Till next time, Tampa. Stay classy.