These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Tampa

Tampa is a place I have loved, fell out of love with, and am learning to love again. Some of my favorite things about this growing  city are simple yet perfect. There are other things that are not included that keep me here such as the film festival and concert seasons, but those deserve their own posts.

  1. Treasure Island Drum Circle
    1. Better than church, every time I attend I feel more centered and at one with myself and the world around me.
  2. Flatwoods
    1. Best place to go for a nice long trek with the dogs, they love the trails and the smells of this park.
  3. Oxford Exchange
    1. Designed like a tudor mansion study, this coffee shop also sells books and other artifacts. They also hold events for all sorts of interesting things. Recently I went to a Book Fair for local authors as well as a Tampa Type event. You can read about that here.
  4. Indian Rocks Beach
    1. This beach reminds me of my hometown, I get a spoonful of nostalgia every time I park (for free) and walk across the quiet street to the beach access. This beach is much more residential than most in the Tampa Bay Area and thus much more relaxing.
  5. Felicitous
    1. Locally owned, purple building, has a yard with monthly open mic nights, and amazing coffee & tea. What more do you need to know?
  6. Thai Temple Sunday Market
    1. I didn’t expect to find this gem, the experience alone takes you to a far away place. Nestled along the Hillsborough River bed with temple services running while authentic Thai food is being served until it runs out – and it will run out so get there early.
  7. University of Tampa
    1. Albeit cheesy, my alma matter is hands down the most beautiful sight in downtown Tampa. The history that lines the halls and the grounds is an inspiration to students and visitors alike. I still enjoy a nice stroll in Plant Park and my breath still catches when my eyes take in Fletcher Lounge.
  8. Morris Bridge Road
    1. A quiet country road in north Tampa, lined by some of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen and pastures of heifers and horses. Something about this drive from Cross Creek to SR 54 captivates me. Perhaps it is the memory of a simpler time, driving down that old country road. Perhaps it is just my new found appreciation for country music.
  9. Gandy Bridge
    1. Bridges are beautiful for many reasons past merely the water it crosses. This particular bridge is lovely because  on the Pinellas side there are inlets on the bay where you can go and launch kayaks and paddle boards – even fireworks on the fourth of July. My favorite time to be here is on New Years Eve where we have made it our tradition to go build a fire out there and stargaze.
  10. Ella’s Folk Art Cafe
    1. If you like delicious food paired with amazing folk art, this is the place to go. Seminole Heights is an up and coming Tampa neighborhood, but this gem has been here for a while and has a fabulous reputation among the locals. Their veggie burger is heaven for your taste buds!
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Djembes and Sunsets

Sunday nights at Treasure Island Drum Circle is the perfect end to every week; the best way to gear up for a new one. The beach is captivating and offers some of the best sunsets I’ve seen. The drums are plentiful and fill the air with rhythm from the late afternoon to sunset. The entire island seems to crawl out for the experience. It restores my faith in humanity to see so many people coming together and enjoying the beauty in those moments. There is a spiritual feeling similar to a church gathering. People of all walks of life come and dance, play music, and watch the sun part ways with the earth. It reminds me a lot of old practices such as chasing the sun and praying it returns tomorrow. As the sun escapes, the glowing paraphernalia comes out. The sky is now lit up again with vibrant colors. There are drum circles all over the world with good vibes and good people. You don’t need to be afraid to check them out alone or with your own group of friends. To find a drum circle near you visit http://drumcircles.net and check out the plethora of information it provides. When I first began exploring these experiences I started there. Below are some pictures of the Treasure Island Drum Circle in St. Petersburg, Florida as well as a link to a video from June 7th’s circle.264528_10150669213045440_5266418_n 266623_10150669273845440_3216914_o

Sounds of the Circle

Jammin'

Jammin’

Treasure Island Sunset

Treasure Island Sunset