Thursday, June 26, 2014

Teachers Take Over Tampa

Hello friends! I am happy to report that my summer break has officially begun. It's been a whirlwind month of finishing up my school year and two and a half weeks of trainings and conferences, but it's all over now and I can relax and enjoy summer! I haven't had time to do anything creative yet, but I wanted to share my trip to Tampa for a conference I attended with three of my kindergarten teammates. We saw Dr. Jean, who is famous for her classroom music for young children. She has wonderful ideas for teaching! We had a great time!
We stayed in the business district, downtown Tampa. Here is the view from the window in my room.

Here is the view from the conference room in the hotel. So pretty!

We were there for two nights and two days. The second evening we were there, we ventured out into Ybor City (pronounced Eebor) to take in the sights. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the place....

Ybor City is a historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida located just northeast of downtown. It was founded in the 1880s by cigar manufacturers and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Spain, Cuba, and Italy.

Here's a picture I took of one of the streets, It is a unique area filled with a variety of shops and restaurants, tattoo parlors and bars. I was not really impressed with the place, but it did have some charming qualities. 

It is home to The Columbia, which is Florida's oldest continuously operated restaurant and the oldest Spanish restaurant in the US, as well as one of the largest Spanish restaurants in the world with 1,700 seats in 15 dining rooms and taking up an entire city block. This place is steeped in history and it was a treat to visit. They have a flamenco dance show nightly, but  we were too early for that. We did see them rehearsing though! Here's my friend and co-worker, Amy standing near the beautiful stained glass doors. There are many entrances and exits in this restaurant. I would love to take a tour of the entire place.

I had the roast pork with black beans, rice, plantain, and yucca. I do not care for flavor and I dislike the texture. Everything else was very tasty though!

This was the view from my seat. The statue is inside a fountain in the center of the room.

The details in the architecture and the decor is stunning!

This is one view of the outside. The doors are the ones I showed you from the inside above. There are gorgeous hand-painted tile scenes surrounding the building. 

After day two of the conference, we went by Ikea. I introduced two of my teammates to it back in December when we traveled to Orlando for a conference. Amy had never been though and she loved it too. We ate there before heading home. I had the Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingon berry sauce. It was very tasty, as was the slice of chocolate cake!

Of course I bought several things for both school and home. I will share the things I bought for my home. First up is this lacy planter. Not sure if I will put a plant in it or use it for pens and pencils.

I bought some wooden spoons and forks. I have been needing some and I love the chunky size of these. They were so inexpensive at just $1.49 each!

I finally bought my aqua blue Raskog cart I have been eyeing for quite some time! Can't wait to fill it up!

I love this set of nesting baskets.

And...I love Ikea's prices!

I bought two fake's one. The milk glass is my own.

And here's the other. I like that they look realistic.

And that's my trip in a nutshell! I had a great time with some amazing ladies, but I am happy to be back home with my hubby, son, and Sadie. She was happy to see me....:) Yesterday I went for my MRI and Mama rode with me. We had a nice lunch at BJ's and ran into Publix after my appointment so I could pick up a few groceries. After all the eating out I have been doing lately, I am happy to be cooking at home and trying some new things. I am trying to lighten up our supper for the summer. Last night I made a yummy wrap. I wish I had taken pictures, but forgot. I used a tortilla, homemade guacamole, sliced turkey, applewood smoked bacon, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayo. It was so yummy! Joey really liked it too. Tonight is another new sandwich recipe and I'll try to remember to take a picture to share. 
Have a beautiful day my friends.....until next time.



  1. Love that you got your cart. I have the cart and my daughter has the cart. A new duplex neighbor moved in next to Kendra and she has the cart. It is fun to see how each of us uses the aqua cart. Kendra's is a bar cart (although she rarely uses the alcohol, she likes the look), mine is craft supplies and Pam's is books.

  2. I love everything you bought...those baskets are great. Sounds like a good conference, and the view from your hotel is lovely!

  3. I didn't know ikea had a cart like that! It's fabulous and I love the color!

    That restaurant sounds amazing, and you're right about the architecture Vicky. They sure don't make them like that anymore, and if someone tried, they'd have to sell a few bodily organs to lay for it! I'm with you about the yucca, but that's a horse of a different color. YUM! Speaking of horses, I stopped eating ikea's Swedish meatballs when it became public that they used horse meat :(. Not sure if there is validity to that claim, but where there's smoke...

    Anyway, now that I probably grossed you out, I am happy to hear you're a free bird now! (Hope the MRI went well)

    1. That should read 'pay for it' not 'lay'. Although come to think of it...


  4. So glad you our having a great start of a wonderful vacation! Enjoy every moment of your time off! I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July...
    I did find a treasure today on our vacation, it was a vintage piece of fabric and I plan on making an apron from it!

  5. I am totally digging the cart! I can see why you have been eyeing it for a while - I would have been too. It is so you :)

    You found some other great treasures as well. And the food looks amazing! I love Swedish Meatballs and now I'm craving them.

    Have a great evening, dear friend!

  6. Hi Vicky, HAPPY SUMMER to you! I love that cart that you bought and the baskets. The restaurant sounds really nice too. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  7. Sounds like you had such a great time full of good friends, food, and even some treasures to bring back home.

  8. Welcome home Vicky! The trip sounds productive and also a bit fun too :)

    The wrap you made for dinner last night sounds delish!

  9. Sounds like a neat trip, I understand how good it feels to be home. I've never been to an Ikea and would LOVE to see one some day.

  10. I'm glad you're finally in holidays! The trip to Tampa semed fun, even if it was busy!

  11. Love that aqua cart... Happy Summer break to you!
    Hope the MRI went well. Blessings.


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