The Traveling Steve's

St. Patrick’s Day blues

What a week this has been!  After spending the weekend in Roanoke visiting my family, I flew back to Tampa, Florida where I worked this week again on business.  This week I stayed in the historic Ybor City area of Tampa.  This area has been revitalized over the years and the once thriving Cuban cigar manufacturing area of yesteryear, is now a thriving area of restaurants, hotels, shops and museums, while still maintaining its Cuban heritage.

I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Ybor City, which is walking distance to the nearby restaurants, while downtown and the airport are a short drive away.  

While I had meetings in the daytime, I went out for dinner a couple evenings with my co-workers to nearby restaurants. 

The first restaurant, Tampa Bay Brewing Company was a trendy brew pub with friendly service, good food and a huge room displaying the beer making apparatus they use to craft the brews in-house.

I had a beer flight of micro-brews I selected from their vast brewski menu, which were custom marked in chalk on the wooden serving plater.

 I later had a yummy dinner of short ribs and wasabi mashed potatoes.  

The next night we went to an authentic Irish Pub, that truly had the St. Patrick’s Day spirit going on on Wednesday night, even though St. Patty’s Day wasn’t until Friday.

 A large group of retirees were celebrating at the tables next to us, complete with their green hats, shirts, and pints.  This restaurant was indeed more like a pub, and while we didn’t do the ’50 Tap Challenge’, we did try a couple different brewskis.  

I enjoyed the Cigar Pale Ale, so named from the Ybor City’s historic past.  The burgers were great, and we had a fun night out.   I even got my photo taken with Ms. Guinness, who was giving out free samples and a key chain bottle opener!

By Thursday evening, however, I was all set for the weekend, and drove home to Orlando after finishing work at 4pm.  Unfortunately due to the rush hour and spring break traffic, it was stop and go almost all the way back to Orlando.  I was driving a brand new rental car I had picked up in Tampa on Monday and was all set to return it in Sanford Airport Thursday night by 7pm (to save another rental day), but fate and Murphy’s Law had other plans.

I made it safely back to Orlando, and was only a few miles from returning the car, when I got hard rear-ended by a construction pickup truck and trailer. (Shown here later after we had moved our vehicles out of the way after calling 9-1-1).

 The force of the crash was so hard it pushed my rental car into the car in front of me, basically sandwiching me in between the two vehicles on the busy freeway.  Traffic had slowed down to a stop, but the vehicle behind me must not have been paying attention and slammed hard into my vehicle and forced mine into the car in front of me – quite frightening indeed.

I’ll spare all the details, but called 911 (ended up calling 3 different times) and nearly an hour later the State trouper and ambulances arrived.  The dispatchers claimed I got the location mixed up even though I clearly said where I was (I literally reading the sign post up ahead to them) and they had my cell phone to call back should they need to.  Fortunately no one was seriously injured, but I had some whiplash and soreness from the sudden impact.  We were on the scene of the accident until after 9pm (nearly 2 1/2 hours after the initial impact.) while the State Trouper completed his paperwork, charging the truck driver with reckless driving.

I then went to the ER after the tiring ordeal, and was there until after 11pm.  Starting my work day at 6:30am, it was quite a long and stressful day.

Needless to say, the weekend was a wash, and I’m recovering at home with the meds the ER doctor gave me.  I was supposed to go to San Diego next two weeks for work, but canceled the first week per the doctor’s orders to rest and the medications do make you a bit woozy.

That’s it for now. And Steve (DOS) is taking good care of me at home, fixing me a nice St Patricks dinner Saturday night, to help cure the St. Patrick’s ‘blues’.

After a big scare, Welcome Home!  



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