We said goodbye to Grandma Becky and hit the road. But not before Hoggle got a chance to sit with her. Even as a cat person her whole life, Grandma could not resist Hoggle’s charm. We were happy she liked him.
We drove to Tampa the morning of the April 13th. It was kind of a hot drive. Jay likes to forgo air conditioning in order to save on gas. Em likes some A/C. Hoggle prefers A/C too (see photo for evidence) – so that’s two against one. Em offered the compromise of driving slower on the highway to compensate, which she feels was very fair. But Jay is still pissy about it. Em found that driving 10 under the speed limit is kind of relaxing. Because there is no real probability of passing anyone at that speed, you just sit there in the slow lane, letting all the crazies going the speed limit fly on past.
We arrived in the afternoon and spent a little time at Al Lopez park before meeting Farrah, Em’s childhood friend, at her condo. She then was gracious enough to take us to a comedy show at the Improv Comedy Club in the Ybor City district of Tampa. It was called the “Down and Dirty” show for adults only, and it was appropriately named.
Today featured a daring adventure today: canoeing on the Hillsborough River at John B Sargent Memorial Wilderness Park. We rented a canoe from a great outfit called Canoe Escape. If you’re ever in Tampa go rent canoes from them and canoe this river! Jay took the back, Farrah the front, and Em chilled in the middle drinking bud light limes and challenging kayakers to races.
We were only out for an hour and a half but we probably saw twenty alligators. They were sunning on logs, on rocks, swimming in the river next to us, all over the place. It was awesome. There were also numerous bird life like blue herons.
After canoeing we went to downtown Tampa and had dinner on the bay. Hoggle mostly behaved himself in the dog friendly city of Tampa. Farrah told us that Tampa is ranked as the most vain city in the country. And we could kinda tell. Everyone was dressed really nice. And if you are exercising you have to look good and look good doing it. We would not fit in in a place like this. Farrah says people were giving us dirty looks for wearing canoeing clothes.
We walked along the Bayshore Boulevard after dinner. We walked through a defense industry convention on the way there. There were a lot of corporate stooges talking their stooge talk there. It sadly reminded Jay of his past days, and probably some future ones, where he was on engineering business like this. Though this particular convention was quite the boondoggle it seemed.
We are finding out that our energy level is pretty low. We are getting enough sleep, but being on the road at different places every other night is taking its toll on our old-foggy bodies. It might be even taking a toll on Hoggle too.
We spent all of today lounging around. Except we made a nice egg breakfast. Em and Farrah did laundry though and Jay shaved his hair. We brought along our clippers so we can cut his hair for free.
For dinner Farrah ran and picked up some Colombian hot dogs. They consist of a hot dog, bacon, shredded chicken, melted cheese, crushed up potato chips, and pineapple sauce. Jay liked his alright, but they did not agree with Em’s stomach at all. She was sick for the next few hours. :( It curtailed our plans to drive to Bradenton to stay with Em’s Aunt Jan that night. Farrah felt really awful for “poisoning” Em with what, in retrospect, she deemed as being “probably the dirtiest food that Tampa has to offer.” Hahaha.
On a bright note though, Farrah, who has always had horrible pet allergies has been tolerating Hoggle’s presence really well due to her allergy shots and steroids!! We are super excited for her that the medicines are working and that our visit isn’t putting her into the hospital with an asthma attack (this has actually happened before when Em and Farrah were kids). She even got to cuddle with him some.