Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tampa Weekend Recap


We headed over to Tampa around noon on Saturday and returned around 5pm on Sunday, so it was pretty much just a 24 hour trip, but we packed a bunch in and enjoyed the time there as always.  Of course 2 of our children did not want us to go, as you can see above.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Tampa, right next to the arena and it was a great experience!  Last time we were at the arena we stayed at the Marriott across the street, but the Embassy Suites was way better and cheaper as well.  All the employees were very friendly, the hotel was great and free breakfast was yummy also.  We had a 2 room corner suite on the 17th floor with fridge and microwave, which I believe was a free upgrade since we just paid for a regular room.   The cruise ship in port Saturday was the Carnival Inspiration, we took that cruise a few years ago.  Here are some pics:

View from the glass elevator

View of the arena from our bedroom, Carnival Inspiration cruise ship 'whale tail' showing

View from the other window in our entry room

View of the suite

View of the Marriott that we stayed in last time from our hotel atrium

View of the Carnival Inspiration heading out to sea Saturday around 4:30pm from our room

The main purpose of the trip was to root on the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team over the Tampa Bay Lightning.  A few Buffalo Bills Backers were also heading there and we saw them at the game in the row in front of us and one section over.  Unfortunately, we didn't have much to cheer for.  The Sabres didn't score at all and the Lightning scored 3 times, so that was a bit of a let down, but it was still fun to go to a game and it was a pretty packed house, which was good to see.

My favorite part of the game was getting to walk down to the glass close to our section to get some pictures of the practice.  Being that close to the action was great, with just a thin, but luckily very strong, piece of glass in between us and the players.  When they were taking shots on goal and the puck bounced off the glass right in front of me, it was insane.  I have no idea how the glass does not break, it's so fast you can hardly see the puck and the noise is like a gunshot when it hits.  It was very cool to be that close.  Here are some of my shots:

Up by the Lighning sign there is a 'new' huge pipe organ and person that plays it

View from our seats

A few guys heading in my direction

Ryan Miller in action

Close up shot of goalie Ryan Miller

That doesn't seem very fair, 20 on 1  ;)

Free concert outside after the game
All in all we had a great time and the fans there were friendly and we had a great time, despite the lack of anything to cheer about.  There were a ton of Buffalo fans, as is usually the case for the Bills anytime we've been to away games in Jacksonville.  We checked out the band outside after the game for a bit and then headed back to the hotel.  As we've said before, we really love Tampa and all the activities we've done there and be sure to stay tuned tomorrow for some more pics of what we did on the way home. 


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