The 2nd Time Around

What a beautiful Tampa Bay weekend, and such perfect weather for the annual Gasparilla Parade! If you’re not familiar, this week-long event honors Tampa Bay’s well-documented invasion of pirates. You have your typical big event fare – personal coolers stocked with beer, girls in skimpy booty shorts, guys dressed in their best Buccaneer paraphernalia. All around good times during Florida’s winter.

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This was my 1st performance as a member of the Second Time Arounders Marching Band, and it was amazing! To dance, to smile while dancing, to dance as the crowd cheered me on…it was cathartic.

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If you happen to have pics, please share in my Comments field, tweet @VonSimeon, or post to my artist page on Facebook. Below is the band segment of the parade.

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Just A Reminder

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All Beered Out

Rapp Brewery Flights, Pinellas County, Florida rappbrewing.com
Rapp Brewery Flights, Pinellas County, Florida rappbrewing.com

Seeing how August turned out, it’s no surprise I went a tad overboard celebrating life via libations. After all, wasn’t it Benny Franks from Philly who said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”? Welp, I was happy to get out of the hospital, and BF was more than happy to school me on craft beers.

Jeepers I’m so bloated! Tried on a pair of jeans at my favorite thrift store yesterday and oh no…no bueno.

I gotta take a break from beer. This is where you can help; be my substitution?

Now I’m not a reviewer nor am I being paid to promote these places, I just find their beer suitable to my palate, so I expect you’ll be impressed too. All these places are within Pinellas County, and they meet my Beer of Rights, which are:

  1. There’s gotta be food – not on certain days; every day! I’ve visited some craft breweries which only offer suds. No, no my friend, if you want my patronage, you better have some comida!
  2. There’s gotta be diversity. There’s a place BF wants to visit but I won’t visit because their menu is entirely India Pale Ales. I don’t care for IPAs. Beer should be for the people, not a select population!
  3. There’s gotta be happiness. I’ve visited some breweries where it’s clearly a ‘see and be seen’ type of crowd. That kind of thing goes against my goal of community building. I wanna see everyone relaxed, laughing it up, having a positive moment in life, ya know? In short, if I have to put makeup on and figure out an outfit in order to hang out there, that ain’t my kind of scene. Beer = happiness = peace on Earth people; let’s make that a thing!

So you have my requirements, here’s where I need you to sub in whilst I work down this bloat (not ranked in any order, all meet my approval):

Dunedin Brewery – made me fall in love with apricots, menu pairs well with all their beers. Also, live music pretty much every night to amp the ambiance.

Sea Dog Brewery – $3 beers! Three dollars! THREE! Plus they have a Hemingway Saison that’s a meal in and of itself. They have a generous menu, but if you want full dining, they’re connected to Cody’s steak house. Or just toast to Il Papa for three doll hairs.

Rapp Brewery – that’s me and the BF’s Cheers. The manager knows his name, can pretty much make out what we plan to order by the time we get to the counter. I highly super recommend Taco Tuesday for Out of The Pot’s amazing selections.

Thanks for accepting this mission. I’ll get back into a proper 8 and you’ll have a good time drinking.

Slante! Prost! Salud!

Treading The ‘Burbs

Today is my Saturday. A grande bowl of Frosted Flakes and a whole banana kicks it off right! My dietary choices, the reward for a completed mile under the blaze of a Florida morning sun. Yes, even on days off the body should be conditioned; I’m a proponent of that! My trusty walking buddy, Roberto, happily dons his turquoise harness as he takes the lead. Smart little guy; our first full week living in the suburbs and he knows which direction we’re going to pad our feet along. In the unfiltered glow I notice the brown tufts of fur which give his black hind quarters a cool, conflicting pattern. Six years old now, so white fluffs are starting to burst back there as well.

Under his feet I note the pressure washed sidewalks and driveways, cumulus clouds drawn specifically from property line to rest of property line, beautiful little curlicues screaming, “Don’t tread here!” It’s easy to tell which houses are up on their atmospheric artwork and those whom allow Nature to make her mark.

The next thing I notice is, no one’s out with me. It’s 8am, where are the other daywalkers? At the Treehouse the place buzzes with dog walkers, bus catchers, gym rats, the whole shebangy bang. Here? I can practically hear the flowers sing about cats and rabbits. Just as I actualize my aloneness, a lovely display of fabric hanging from a beige stucco home unfurls. One is a black flag; another a yellow one, baring the well known “Don’t Tread On Me” icon. Ah. Tread lightly, little dog; we’re amongst score settlers!

Gadsden flag
Gadsden flag

We get to a point along the walkway where Bob decides to cross the street. How rude am I, wearing Ray Bans while his big brown eyes squint painfully. The sun must hit him like the very first sip of freshly brewed coffee not quite cooled off for safe consumption. Bob leads us under the trees, into the shade, and I marvel at what I miss: trees.

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Yes, my special home was once flanked by two oak trees until the property manager decided to cut them down. They’re gone but I can’t stop calling the place the Treehouse. The suburbs have lots of oak, Bobby reminds, as he swings a right, then a left, then a familiar right towards our new home.

Mountain Livin’

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New River, North Carolina

Afternoon Stroll

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Jones House, Appalachian State University

This Is 38.

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Birthday Cake Milkshake, Steak N Shake, St Pete Florida