Tampa Friends

10 09 2012

Howdy! Is it really Monday already? I’ve had a whirlwind of a weekend, but I got to spend it with my wonderful Tampa friends!

On Friday night, Courtney invited the Team XPers over for a Mexican dinner party! Despite showing up a lil’ late to the party, I  didn’t miss out on any of the spectacular food that Courtney had prepared!

(I was too hungry to snap photos, so I grabbed these from Meghann 🙂 )

She went all out, preparing chicken enchiladas, beef fajitas with all the fixins, homemade salsa, a yummy salad, fried plantains, and rice and beans. Court covered all the mains, Jess brought some sangria, I brought some margarita mix + tequila, and Meghann brought some churro cupcakes. YUM. It was quite the feast, and I left feeling very full!

Love this group so much!

I was a little worried on Friday night that someone was going to spill the beans about a little surprise that Mary had been planning for Meghann, but thankfully no one did! What’s the surprise you ask? Well, Mary had planned a super secret surprise bridal shower for Meghann!

I’d say we got her good!

Mary orchestrated the whole shabang (with Meghann’s fiancee Derek’s help of course), and opened up her home for the party. Check out Meghann’s post for the full recap. Man, was that fun!

I brought pumpkin cupcakes to the party, and while I was baking I was SO TEMPTED to tweet pictures. I mean, how cute is this?

I knew I couldn’t just in case Meghann saw one of my tweets. (I ended up tweeting it after the party:-) )

To make the cupcakes, I followed the Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe, and they were AWESOME. Man, I’m glad it is pumpkin season (even though it doesn’t really feel like it down here).

The cupcakes were topped with some cream cheese icing, homemade snowflakes and/or clear sugar crystals. Meghann’s wedding has a snowflake theme, hence my cupcake toppers:-)

Those snowflakes were TOUGH to make. I melted some candy melts in the double boiler a small saucepan on top of a lager saucepan, and filled a pastry bag with a small decorating tip. The melted chocolate kept solidifying in the tip, and I was constantly trying to unclog it with a paper clip. I tried dipping the metal tip in  some hot water to see if that would help, but it was a no go. So, I just had to take it one line at a time.

When it was all said and done, I was quite pleased with the final product.

Immediately following the shower, I headed home for a quick change before meeting up with my friend Jennica and heading over to St. Pete. Jennica had texted me on Friday asking if I wanted to go with she and her hubby to see the Marshall Tucker Band concert. I didn’t really know the band, but I was happy to hang out with them:-) So, on Saturday night, we headed over the bridge to a biker bar called Screwie Louie’s Porpoise Pub.

Yes, that’s a wicker Harley hanging from the ceiling.

And biker bar this was! I’m talking leather vests, guys with long pony tails and even longer beards, tight jeans, and lots of tattoos. This bar was definitely not my usual crowd, but y’know what, I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. It was definitely not the pretentious crowd that you get in South Tampa. It was a “come as you are” kinda place, which I appreciated.

They also had an assortment of crane games, including this one, where you could try to nab a live lobster. $2 a try! I didn’t see anyone playing 😉

Y’know what else I enjoyed? The people watching! Hoo boy! I think the funniest thing I spotted all night was a woman wearing jeans, and one of the back pockets was COMPLETELY ripped off. I’m talking like a 6 inch by 3 inch hole on her butt. We got a clear view of her lacy white underwear! The woman was either completely oblivious or had intentionally chosen these jeans to wear out to the bar. (I think it was the latter.)

Sunday was the first day of NFL football, so I had to find a place to watch my beloved Eagles. I did a quick Google search before the game and found out that there’s a large group of Philly fans in Tampa. The Tampadelphia group meets at the DoubleTree hotel on Westshore at their sports bar, the Player’s Club. The place was packed out, and I happily sang the Eagle’s fight song along with my fellow fans, as we cheered them on to victory! I will definitely be back.

And, one more friend related thing. Last weekend, I met up with a few other bloggers and Tampa area triathletes for an open water swim. The same group that organized that training meet up has also been emailing about the Miles For Hope event, happening in Clearwater on September 22nd. Miles for Hope is putting on a ‘Moving Towards a Cure’ Brain Tumor Awareness Event. The event includes walking, running, and cycling events. Pete, our fearless leader, sent out the link a few weeks ago, asking if anyone was interested. His mother has survived and fought the side effects of a brain tumor for over 22 years, and he is organizing a team in her honor. Recently, I have learned that a family member of one of my nearest and dearest childhood friends was diagnosed with brain cancer. Lisa is a mother of two, and the cousin of my best friend Gina. I’ve been wanting to do something, because I know how special Lisa is to Gina and her mom. So, I decided to join the fight and ride 100K (~60 miles) on September 22nd.

Although the event doesn’t require fundraising to participate, it is encouraged since the money goes towards research and finding a cure. Will you help me as I ride for Lisa? If you feel so inclined, please stop by my fundraising page and donate. I thank you, and so do the thousands of individuals suffering with brain tumors.

Have a great Monday everyone!