OK, I know it sounds a bit nuts, but I’ve just come back from a long weekend work trip to Florida. I know. Only instead of flying into Orlando or Miami, we flew to Tampa, on the west coast of the sunshine state, where it takes just 15 minutes to get through security. A huge bonus, and it meant we could pack heaps in.
It was my first time really exploring this part of Florida. Highlights included a return to Busch Gardens, of course, where we encountered a very handsome tiger, a beautiful white peacock, flamingos, got up close to a sleeping aardvark, paid a visit to Harry the sloth and viewed the very scary roller coasters from a safe distance; the Florida Aquarium, where we saw some super cool jellyfish; the beautiful beaches; Ybor, with its vintage shops and market; and of course there was A LOT of food, because Tampa has some superb restaurants. Special mention must go to the Monkey bread at Datz (warm, sticky, sweet), and the tapas at Ceviche.
We also went to Clearwater and St Pete’s, and swam in the sea, and apart from a brief argument with a segway (which I lost) it was the perfect getaway. Three nights, four days, and boy did we do a lot. The journey home was equally easy and thanks to the five hour time difference I can honestly say I don’t feel remotely jetlagged (although my cankles are rather unsightly). Who said you can’t spend a long weekend in Florida?