Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tampa: Go there.

OH.MY.GOODNESS.  Jon and I got to spend all of last week in Tampa.  It was amazing, y'all.  No kidding. Everything was perfect.  We were there for Jon to attend a class at MacDill Air Force Base.  Seriously, all of you Air Force wives, go there.  It is absolutely beautiful.

First, it was just plain amazing to finally be reunited with my husband after only getting 3 days together following the wedding.  The trip to Tampa was about 10 hours, crazy I know, but wonderful and fun when shared with your best friend.  We stopped at Perard's in Jacksonville to grab pizza.  Best. decision.ever.  It was amazing.  If you're ever in Jacksonville, check it out.

While Jon was in class during the day I read, adventured around and hung out be the pool in the gorgeous 90 degree weather of October, not a bad life. :)  I also got to have lunch on base with him each day, so that was nice.

Our first evening we ventured out to Clearwater Beach, which was a little drive from Tampa, but totally worth it.  We felt like two spoiled kids swimming about in the water, and basking in the warm sun.  We ate at Frenchy's on the beach, a restaurant recommended by a friend.  I wish I had pictures y'all, but the food was just too delicious to stay on my plate.:)  Before leaving the beach, Jon and I had to check out a good local coffee shop.  Spending time at coffee shops is our favorite thing to do.

The second day we decided to check out this place Jon found on the map, Picnic Island Park.  Love love love!  It's a sweet little park surrounded by water with a beach, a dog park, picnic tables, grills and playgrounds.  If we lived in Tampa, we'd go to Picnic Island often. Seriously.

Later, we ventured to downtown Tampa and checked out Bayshore Blvd and the bay front area.  It blows my mind that people really live here.  The homes are breathtaking.  The restaurants are endless, and the scenery is so gorgeous I tear up.

 One thing Jon and I wanted to do while we were in town was visit an authentic Cuban restaurant.  I'm fairly certain The Lord was placing us in the exact, most perfect places to experience Him in the most amazing ways.  While mapping our way to one Cuban restaurant, we end up at a different one, Lincoln's.  You would not believe how amazing this place is.  Hunt it down.  I am drooling just thinking of it, and my heart warms thinking of the sweet staff there. Best.service.ever.
The next evening we went for a stroll in Hyde Park and did dinner and a movie at Cinebistro.  I have been to a Cinebistro a couple of times, but Jon had never been, so I thought it would be a new, fun activity.  We saw "The Escape Plan", which I really enjoyed.  It was a nice time for the two of us to just sit back and relax.  Afterwards, of course we grabbed coffee at another local shop and sat out in the park.  We actually struck up conversation with a sweet believer nearby, and she told us about South Tampa Fellowship, the church she is active in, so Jon and I checked out one of their sermons on the car ride home. :)  Also, we had an opportunity to pray for her, which was awesome.  God is so good and so faithful.

Thursday, we headed over the Busch Gardens.  Jon and I are just about as opposite as a couple can come when talking about amusements parks.  He's a total thrill seeker, running to all of the most intimidating roller coasters, while I am a feet-on-the-ground kind of girl, petting the animals and eating funnel cakes. :)  Fortunately, our love for one another creates some sort of unit that seeks the thrill of roller coasters (even if I'm screaming at the top of my lungs out of fear), and also one that enjoys strolling about and taking pictures with all of the animals. :) Love him.

One thing that was so striking to both Jon and I throughout this entire trip was the incredible, unmistakeable outpouring of God's love and blessings.  So often we felt ourselves stop to question whether or not we were having too much fun, or enjoying ourselves too much.  Surrounded by all of the beauty and wonderful, Jon and I were not oblivious to the fact that what we were experiencing was almost abnormally wonderful, if that makes any sense.  It was seriously one of the first times in my life that I was completely aware that although I was experiencing absolutely beautiful things, I had done nothing to earn any of it, in fact, I am completely undeserving of it, and God chose to bless us simply out of His affections for us, and for His glory.  This was humbling, and allowed me to truly enjoy things for the first time in a light that I had barely experienced before in a world that seeks to instill in us that we must earn gifts, or that we are somehow entitled to them.

Oh, how He loves us, and oh, how I love Him.  To Him be all the glory. Forever.

 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
 --1 Timothy 6:17


  1. Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, Tammy, it was SO beautiful!

  2. Love love love this post! My sister in law and her husband lived in Tampa and I loved going to visit them. I'm so glad that you and your hubby had such a wonderful time, don't worry about having too much fun, God gave you your best friend (to marry) for a reason : )

    1. Aww thanks, Laurel! You are too sweet! I'm so glad you've been there before! I hated to leave.:)

  3. It makes my heart happy that your are experiencing such a sweet newlywed life! Ya'll look so happy! Everything looked beautiful! Love that we get to experience different parts of the country with our husbands!

    1. Yay! Thank you so much, Victoria! It was so fun! Yes, God is so awesome to give us such unique opportunities. I look forward to sharing our fun and different military journeys.:)