Tampa storms

Man, it can really storm in Florida when it wants to. It just so happens that July is the pinnacle months for heavy thunderstorms. The heavy weather is brushed from the Atlantic and flows directly over the state and back out over the Gulf of Mexico.

It was really clear on July 4th, but these last few days have been graced with lightning, thunder, and torrential rains. With Tampa Bay to our east, you can see the rains coming from miles away before it's finally on top of you. Off in the distance, the clouds will flash and growl. A few minutes later, streaks of lightning appear parallel to the several skyscrapers on Tampa in the distance. A few minutes later, part of the horizon disappears with a mess of gray. The rain literally pulls the cloud into the water. A few minutes later, the gray blob engulfs more of the horizon and lightning fires out of the clouds into the blob, up and around the blob. The white light dances horizontally through the sky before finding a spot to land.

Several minutes have passed and the view of the east-side is completely obstructed, but it's still really light on this side. On our side, the sky's mostly overcast with patches of sun shining through. There's a clear division of light and dark ripping through the sky almost right above our heads.

About half an hour later the storm finally hits us and that blurry gray mess blending sky and ground shows itself to us first hand. The rain is relentless, pounding and soaking the ground. The excess rain floods the highways, the streets, everything. Rain everywhere.

This really isn't anything all that new to us in the Midwest though. We already had these types of storms throughout the month of June that completely ripped through farmlands, streets, cities and anything.

We were driving around in this storm and got back last night. It let up quite a bit at that time, so I decided to walk around in the rain.


The streets and sidewalks had already been super-heated from the sun earlier in the day, so the water was very warm. Walking around barefoot in the large puddles surrounding both sides of the street, felt like walking in a pool or a man-made lake. I guess the rain was heated from the sun beating down on the tops of the clouds.


The beach was equally warm. Tip-toeing across the warm rocks, unto the rough warm sand, walking into the smooth warm muddy sand in the warm waters.. The only thing cold about this rain was the walking through the grass to get to the beach. The rain itself wasn't really all that cold either.


Well, I guess the other cold about the rain was getting back inside the house to the frigid air conditioning.

The next day, today, the sun pierced the sky and made quick work of any evidence left by the rain. Only to have the rains bring heaven to earth again a couple hours later. So, now I'm waiting in the airport for my flight which is still on time, admit several other flights which have been canceled or delayed until tomorrow. Lucky!

Anywho, Tampa is pretty rad. I also made Justin take me to the Green Iguana Saturday Night for Richard Vision and Ybor City during Sunday afternoon for sight seeing. These two events probably should've happened in reverse order since I found out that Ybor City is the heart of Tampa's nightlife. I bought a pretty slick record at the DJ shop. ^_^ Here's the Czar Vodka Bar which will definitely bring me back here before the end of the year.


Unfortunately, Justin isn't much of a bar-hopin', dance goin' fella, but that's understandable since the last 10 years have been akin to chaos living in the Army, shipping to Iraq twice, and two kids that constantly demand attention. Not too mention, they're still in the process of unpacking their belongings in their new home. A welcome couple hours of peace online or on xbox is his idea of vacation.

Whereas my life at the moment is fairly boring, calm and void of chaos. Especially now that I don't have to live with Dave and Gage's band practicing a night or two a week. My home is a calm center that tears down stress of work. A peaceful grove to watch TV shows, play games, occasionally read and casually work on errata. Ughh.. that sounds WAY too "Men are Mars, etc" for me to bear, but it's true.

Anywho, Heading out to bars and clubs is a welcome surge of energy to break up the stillness. Though, it's mainly because of the music and the beer. Speaking of Beer, I have found the most delicious Floridian beer during my 4-day stay here at Tampa: Land Shark Lager.


It's very smooth like Corona, but has a tasty crispness that doesn't make it taste like Crap/Corona. I drank a ton of the stuff. It would probably taste even more amazing with a slice of lime or lemon, but it doesn't need it.

...And to get back to the original conversation, here's a couple other notable places found in Ybor city.





That last shot was taken facing west about an hour before it rained and the chronological beginning of this post.

Post-Flight Update: Well, I must've jinxed that whole "on-time" remark as my plane came in nearly 2 hours later than I had hoped. But, I arrived back in Madison in one day and nearly finished my book, so I can't complain ^_^. Also, It's raining a bit here at the moment, so it seems I've traded one storm for another.

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