Destinations - Summer 2004

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Fort Meyers, FL - 6/30...I had wanted to go down to Lover's Key for a while because I've been looking at all the state parks there are in Florida and Lover's Key looked great and it was. I went with my girlfriend, Ashley on one of her days off of work because she had wanted to go as well. The driving went well and the day was looking fine with a few clouds but as we got further south, the skies got darker and I feared a rain out. Luckily, the rain fell all around Lover's Key, but did not hit it, not even a small shower. I did catch a great photo of a lightning bolt, though. After we'd had enough sand, we headed 45 minutes north to Mike Greenwell's go karts, putt putt, batting cages, etc. I had gone to this place a few years before and remembered how fast their karts were. This time around, they were still good, but not as fast as I remembered. The 2 tracks we rode were still great. Got back in Tampa around 1 am exhausted.

Orange Park, FL - 7/13-7/14...I went to see Ashley for just a day in this small city in the northeastern corner of Florida. The city, which I didn't see much of, reminded me of Tallahassee...at least the traffic/road aspect, which is not a good thing. The driving in Tallahassee's awful, mostly in the main drag of it - there are way too many traffic lights and too many drivers. Anyway, there's a place Ashley took me to called Biscottis which has the best cake ever. I never caught the real name of it, unless the real name was 'pink cake,' that's what it was referred to by everyone. It consisted of delicious white cake under raspberry frosting separated in the middle by white frosting and bottomed by a half inch of cheesecake, but at $6.25 a slice, it was savored heavily (not like two people could eat more that one slice together anyway). The rest of the short trip was great, not much to comment to the public about.

Phoenix, MD - 8/4-8/10...the annual trip to see my grandmother, father's side, went well, as it usually does. The flight is around 2 hours and I never have to fight my sister for a window seat, she never wants it, so everything goes smoothly. This trip, the 3 story house had been worked on quite a bit. The billiard room (1st floor) used to have a skylight and a 2nd floor deck around the skylight on top. Recently, the deck and skylight were taken out and turned into another room with lots of windows. The food was great as usual and on the day before flying back to Tampa, we got to take a bus trip to...

Manhattan, NY - 8/9...I love the name of the city, the way it sounds is just awesome. I really didn't think I'd like the city that much, but as soon as I was off the bus, I was blown away. The only other experience that came close to the magnitude of everything there was being in London (which I liked better, but that's because all of England is amazing). We got off in Times Square and walked all around, I lost my sense of direction but didn't care where I ended up - everywhere was cool. My grandmother, sister, aunt and I took a carriage ride around Central Park but not before I requested going to see the Guggenheim (a 3 mile walk round trip from the south tip of Central Park), my first personal Frank Lloyd Wright experience. That man is a genius. I didn't go into the art exhibit because we had left my grandmother to read in Central Park for lack of ability to walk that far, but I did wander around the lobby and in the gift shop for a while and took plenty of pictures. The four of us hung around Rockefeller Center for much of the rest of the day until our bus departed at 6. My feet were sore, my legs were tired, but it was amazing. P.S. the kettle corn at Popcorn, Indiana was fantastic, but unfortunately expensive.

Las Vegas, NV...I got a free trip to Las Vegas from my employer at VH Video. There is a huge wedding/events convention in Las Vegas every year called WEVA - Wedding Events Videographers Association. The expo floor was great as were the many seminars I attended. And although I'm not old enough to gamble, I had my friend Tim who's 24, who also works with me, put some money down on Roulette. I came out of Vegas on top winning $25, not a fortune, but winning's great. While I was there I rode the Manhattan Express at New York, New York and Speed: the Ride at the NASCAR Cafe inside the Sahara. I think I'll make a new list about roller coasters...

St. Petersberg, FL...I go to St. Pete quite often for various occasions. The first time I went this summer was to see the Salvador Dali Museum on 6/28 with Ashley because she's a starving artist and has wanted to go for sometime and I like Dali's work as well. My favorite pieces were the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire and the Hallucinogenic Toreador which are probably everyone else's favorites. Another trip to St. Pete (7/26) was to meet with one of the leading guys at Florida Craftsman to discuss shooting a commercial for them which I am going back today (8/11) to shoot. Update: Could not shoot on 8/11 due to the ominous threat of Hurricane Charley (which I knew wouldn't hit Tampa, but it never hurts to take precaution), so I filmed the commercial on Friday, 8/20.

I went the Dali museum, and guess what...my favorite was The Hallucinogenic Toreador. I have a poster of it in my room.

It was amazing. Then I heard one of the guides explaining the different semi hidden images within it and it blew my mind. My girlfriend has a copy of the poster in her apartment as well.