Day 519 – USA (Florida): Up in smoke


So another day here in sunny Tampa. The day began with an interview with the boys from the Sports Animal radio show – 620WDAE – in Tampa at about 10:15am. I hope to get a recording of the show soon so we can hear it all again.

On the radio again in Tampa, Florida, USA

Rick’s* wife Robyn works with the company that owns many of the radio station in the Tampa area, and a great thanks goes out to her for hooking me up with this interview.

Before we left the offices, I was reminded of my time in Japan working at a desk. Those were good times. A nice airconditioned office, a routine of cycling to work, showering at work, regular pay check, great work mates. I’m not sure that I miss going to work in a suit and tie however.

Cubicle offices in 93.3 FM offices in Tampa, Florida, USA

Afterwards Robyn and I had a wander/drive around town, one of our stops being the South Tampa Cigars store. They are serious about their cigars in this store. The cigars are kept in humidors that maintain a constant humidity of 60% to 80% in the air. If they dry out, Jason the cigar expert shop assistant told us, the flavour would not be correct.

Cigar shop in Tampa, Florida, USA

They had all sorts of cigars there. Chocolate flavoured, mild, strong, Jamaican, Santo Domingo, spiced, clove flavour, Soprano…amazing.

More shopping ensued in the afternoon with Rick. The last minute Christmas shopping. We admittedly did spend more time looking at gadgets in the electronics shops, including the Apple Store. I did some crafty advertising of my trip by displaying my website landing page on the main computer display at the front of the shop.

Advertising 14degrees website at the Apple Store in Tampa, Florida, USA

No one really seemed to notice though…

On the way home I got to experience some real hardy nativity loyals. A church had live nativity animals and live nativity humans on display. Including a zebra.

“What’s the zebra for?” I asked one of the humans.

“Oh, it’s part of the nativity scene,” was the matter of fact reply. I left the scene confused.

A zebra as part of the nativity scene outside a church in Tampa, Florida, USA

Nativity scene outside a church in Tampa, Florida, USA


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4 thoughts on “Day 519 – USA (Florida): Up in smoke

  • Aunty Lyn

    Well Rob, it looks like the USA is proving to be a great place to travel through. I read the newspaper article and liked your comment that the world is an extraordinarily safe place. Interesting how ordinary people are pretty decent. Pity about those who aren't. I wonder what it would be like if you were travelling through the Middle east??

  • Chris J

    Hi Rob,

    One of the best lines of your trip so far, as far as I am concerned: "We's fixin' to get us sum gator!"

    You have to love that southern accent. If this starts mixing with your Kiwi background you will have some truly amazing English by the time you get home.

    I am also very happy to hear that you have a nice place to stay for Christmas. Let me wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from here in Nagoya!

    A cold rain is falling, but not cold enough for snow. Drat…

  • Mike C

    Good to see the regular updates again. Loving this part of your trip as much as the first part! It seems that the people of America are much more aware of your presence than the people of Asia/Europe were. 🙂 Keep up the great updates. We should have a goodie for you in a week or so…

  • Nana

    I keep sending you comments,but none seem to appear on your web site. I'll try again! I want to wish you a great Christmas. Nice you have some folks to share it with. We are all going to Jenny's for Xmas dinner – all 20 of us – including Nigel's children and various others. I loved the zebra in the nativity scene. I know we have distorted the Bible birth of Jesus story in many ways, but a zebra???? I pray your journey in the USA will be free from terrorists and people who want to sue you!!