The Christmas holiday was a little different this year for us. We got together with our kids on the twenty third, that allowed my kids to be a part of their significant other's family gatherings and to see their Dad too, and for my step-son to be with his Mom and his Grandparents. This also gave the hubby and I the chance to get things caught up at the office and to pack to head to Florida. A much needed and long over due vacation, well for the hubby anyway, since I was in Florida in June.
My step-son plays on an elite soccer team that participates in several tournaments in different states. He has been to Memphis, St. Louis, and Indianapolis this year. Tampa was the scheduled tourney that caught our attention. We weren't sure if things were going to work out so that we would be able to go, but at the last minute they did and off we went. (helps having a brother that is a travel agent for such things). It was hectic putting everything together, but we did it. The tournament started on the 28th, with the Championship Game on the 31st. My step-son's team won all their games and made it to the championship game, but ended up losing that game. We decided to stay in Florida beyond the tournament and get a little relaxation and beach time, as well as spending a couple of days seeing the Christmas decorations at Walt Disney World.
It was great to get away and I really enjoyed being in a warmer climate for a bit. Our hotel in Tampa was right on the Bay. Beautiful scenery and amazing sunsets.
The evening that we arrived we ate dinner in the hotel restaurant, a place we thought was called Crabby Bill's, (as that is what the signs in the hotel leading you to the restaurant said as well as the menu in our room)
However, after entering the restaurant we discovered it was called Hogan's Beach..
We decided to sit in the bar area because it was on the water. As we entered the area we saw that there was some kind of event going on. The area was pretty crowded. Scanning the crowd I saw several big guys sitting at one of the back tables. I told my husband I wanted to get a closer look at what was going on. So I walked closer and discovered it was the Grand Opening weekend for the restaurant and that Hulk Hogan had been there signing autographs for the past 5 hours. I looked to see if he was still around, but a waitress told me that his limo had left about 20 minutes earlier. Darn, just missed him.....
I did, however, get to meet Jimmy, "Mouth of The South" Hart. I was going to snap a photo of the wrestlers sitting at the table, but Jimmy Hart asked one of the guys to take the photo with me, so that is what we did. I didn't recognize any of the others anyway, but then it has been years since I have kept up with the wrestling world. (when my son was younger he loved watching wrestling and I knew who all them were).
Of course, one of my favorite things to do was to watch the birds on the Bay. It was nice to see a different variety of birds than what I find at home.
I believe these are some sort of Egret, I loved watching them soar over the water and then suddenly plummet into it. It was so funny the way they would dive bomb into the water. I know they were most likely after a fish, but it was funny to watch. I wish I'd thought to video it.
The Pelicans were usually sitting on the posts in the water near the pier.
I don't know what kind of birds any of these are, but I enjoyed watching the
I did manage to find a few shadows at The Shriner's International Headquarters that was next door to our hotel.
This is but a few of the photos I took of our vacation. I will try to post more in the coming days and tell you about our days spent on Melbourne Beach and at Disney World as I get the photos uploaded to the computer.