This was all mentioned previously, in the last post, as a matter of fact. But I thought I’d refresh the memory.
So then, part two of J & my Florida weekend.
Saturday we got up, not too early due to the drinking mentioned in the previous post, and afterall, it was a vacation. Had coffee and some treats from the continental breakfast downstairs. Off to the checkout desk we went. There we discovered that, although we had pre-paid the hotel in advance, there was an additional “resort fee”.
“What is the ‘resort fee’”, queried Jamie, “What did it pay for?”
The reception clerk, looking a bit uncomfortable, said, “The soaps and shampoo, the towels…”
We let it drop. There is a price to be paid for staying on the Disney property. That price is the “resort fee”, a fee which entitles you to the amenities other hotels, even the low-end ones, supply for free. Ah well, it won’t stop me staying there. It’s really a fee for the convenience, the nearness, the shuttle buses; of being part of the Disney Universe. And it really is a Universe that I love.
We headed to Tampa, really Sun City Center, where the golf cart as vehicle rules.
Lots of hugs and kisses. Lots of catching up, because even though Jamie talks to his mom every Saturday morning on the phone, there’s nothing like a face to face.
Pat had a few choices of activities for the day. The first, Sunken Gardens in St. Pete, seemed to be her favorite choice, but Jamie was unconvinced as it was a bit late to head over there. The second choice, El Festival del Sabor, in Ybor City (a Tamp suburb), seemed more do-able. And so we headed out to Centennial Park in Ybor City.
It was great. A lovely celebration of Hispanic culture featuring great music and great food. We walked around the vendors, danced a bit by the stage and had some excellent pork and plantains. Bought some delicious pepper spread from Uncle Paul’s Peppers (not really a Hispanic business, but spicy nontheless). MomFLa went for the extreme, the Habinero spread, while we went for the less-hot, deliciously smoky Poblano. Of course, we later remembered that we couldn’t take it on the plane without checking our bags, and who wants to do that?, so we left it with Pat and ordered some online when we got back home.
Ybor city has revived its streetcar system and they were giving rides at 5 cents a pop that day, so we decided to tour Ybor by streetcar. They’ve got two types, a more enclosed model and the open, Rice-a-Roni, style. We went for Rice-a-Roni. Oddly, they were giving out yellow rice from Vigo (who sponsor the street-car system), not R-a-R. It was a nice ride on a hottish day.
After that, we headed back to mom’s place. We dropped her off for the night and headed to the Holiday Inn Express in Bradenton.
We usually stay in Tampa, or Apollo Beach, but this time Jamie wanted to try some place new. He’s better at picking restaurants than hotels. No really, it was fine. Really. The only problem was, on our first night there, there happened to be a travelling little league team also in residence. They seemed to have no adult supervision whatsoever. None. From the moment we got into our room at about 8PM until 2AMish, they ran though the halls screaming and careening off the walls.
Early on, Jamie popped his head out of the door and asked them to “Hold it down a bit.” The oldest of the group, 15ish perhaps, sneered and said, “What does that mean?” Showing perhaps why 15 years of teaching had been enough, Jamie replied, “It means ‘Shut the fuck up’” and slammed the door. It was a bit less unruly in our hallway for a bit, but not too long. About 1AM Jamie called the front desk and was told they were doing their best to control the situation.
Next morning, J went down to reception and said, “I checked in yesterday for a two day stay,…”. That’s as far as he got before the Reception clerk said, “They are checking out today.” Clearly we weren’t the only ones to have complained. And they did check out and the second night was quite peaceful.
And that’s that for tonight’s installment of Jamie & Kirk in FL a week ago.
One of these days, I’ll get through the entire weekend and move on to other things of little or no import. Until then…