In October/November 2021, C and I took a quick trip to Tampa, Florida. C was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors, and I wanted to be with him for this exciting honor. Before the induction ceremony and related conference, though, we decided to spend a few days relaxing in Clearwater Beach.
We stayed at the Opal Sands Resort, which is a modern, semi-circular hotel right on the beach. Our room had wonderful views of the Gulf of the Mexico, and we enjoyed sitting out on our balcony with a book and a glass of wine and listening to the waves. Although the weather was a bit too chilly for swimming, we spent hours walking along the beach and biking down the coastline.
After two days in Clearwater, we went across the bay to Tampa. We stayed at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. I really enjoyed this hotel: the view and location were excellent, and the decor hit that sweet spot between classic and edgy.
Before C’s initiation ceremony and conference, we explored Tampa on foot and via trolley. One of our highlights was a delicious meal at the Columbia Restaurant (115 years old and going strong!) in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood. The food was pretty good, but it’s really the ambience that makes the original Columbia Restaurant worth a visit. We also enjoyed wandering the streets of Ybor City with Tampa’s city-protected chickens. (That’s definitely not a phrase I’ve ever used before.)
And finally – initiation day! I was thrilled to be able to join C for his initiation ceremony into the National Academy of Inventors and at the celebratory gala.