Tampa of Florida!!!

Again on my nostalgic mode, just glance at some old pictures and gave me the idea to do this post on Tampa dear to me. I have several posts on my dear Florida , but needed to do justice on Tampa. I will try to bring it to life in my blog for memories’s sake. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The quick anecdote in my road warrior youthful ways of Florida, came to Tampa as my university played soccer/football vs Univ of Tampa and USF=Univ of South Florida and came to know the city well. So well one of my longest running girlfriend was met at USF she been from PA=Pennsylvania. In later years, came to take my family with my Frenchie to see Busch Garden and other parks, restaurants, and sights and eventually with my boys. One sight closer to home was Ybor City and the Columbia restaurant.  Nowdays, 3 cousins live in Tampa so the memories continue strong. 

Let me tell you a bit on the history of the city of Tampa, the county seat of Hillsborough on the west coast of the State of Florida. It is located about 300 km from Miami, on Tampa Bay. It was discovered in the early 16C by the Spaniards, the town was founded around Fort Brooke. The conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez was the first European to discovered the Tampa region in April 1528. The following year, another Spaniard, Hernando de Soto, rescued the members of the Narvaez expedition. In the 18C, the region of Tampa saw the installation of Cuban fishermen, in the current district of Hyde Park. When Great Britain acquired Florida in 1763, in the treaty of Paris (Spain, GB, Cuba) ,the bay was baptized Hillsborough Bay (which is the name of the river). After a second period of Spanish domination, the Territory of Florida integrated the United States in 1821,finally becoming the 27th State in March 3,1845.

Tampa was a major center of cigar production, when Vicente Martinez Ybor relocated his tobacco factories from Key West to Tampa in 1886 (after coming from Cuba to Key West). Tobacco was imported from Cuba and processed by Cuban and Spanish workers. At its peak, Ybor City had nearly 12,000 tabaqueros (cigar workers) in 200 factories ! There are still a couple left in Ybor City (name after Vicente) , The Ybor City district has many historic buildings, including two former cigar factories, the El Pasaje Hotel, the Ritz Theater and the Ferlita Bakery, which now houses the Ybor City State Museum. It was the center of Cuban revolutionary actions for independence from Spain. The Cuban revolutionary party founded by independence hero José Marti.

In 1891, Henry B. Plant had the Tampa Bay Hotel built in the then fashionable Moorish style. 400 meters long and with more than 500 rooms, it was equipped with electric lighting and the city’s first elevator. The building is a testament to the tourist boom in Florida in the last years of the 19C. Three years after its closure in 1930, its premises were taken over by the University of Tampa (which I played soccer against them) In 1956 the University of South Florida was created (which I played soccer against them and had my girlfriend from PA,,,see above). 

The wonderful road I-4 reach the Tampa area from Orlando and Daytona Beach areas, I remember fondly visiting Busch Gardens (a zoo and beer park owned by Budweiser), Ybor City , where you will find the oldest Spanish restaurant in the USA ,est, 1905. Columbia our home away from home wherever they were in Florida, several location now.  Also Shells restaurant home of show business,  and shopping at Channelside, Hyde Park Village, Westshore Plaza,and Ybor City own stores. Also, the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, etc ; nice memories here. I ,stayed in nice hotels like the Grand Hyatt, Marriotts, Intercontinental, Embassy Suites, and Holiday Inn Busch Gardens locations.

tampa columbia resto outside MF et NF

tampa-busch-gardens-mf-et-boys-c1998

tampa-shells-resto-mf-et-pf-c1998

The memories of going to Tampa Stadium at 4201 North Dale Mabry Highway are huge this stadium was called Houlihan’s Stadium from 1996-1998 known also as the Big Sombrero (hat), then demolished to built the  Raymond James Stadium. The new Raymond James stadium webpage : https://raymondjamesstadium.com/

And for the historical incline like me info on the old Tampa Stadium where I came to see the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) football/soccer team with leyends like Rodney Marsh,  etc!! : http://football.ballparks.com/NFL/TampaBayBucs/oldindex.htm

I have an old picture from the later name Steinbreinner stadium for the spring training of the New York Yankees baseball team, my team since birth, their webpage :  https://www.gmsfield.com/spring-training

Tampa old yankee spring training stadium visiting with abuelo manolo

The city of Tampa on thing to do/see :https://www.tampa.gov/info/things-to-do

The Tampa Bay Area tourist office: https://www.visittampabay.com/

There you go folks, a short but very memorable post to have on Tampa in my blog for us. Hopefully, it will help your planning too visiting a wonderful part of my dear Florida. I lived last there 18 yrs in Central and South Florida before coming for good to France!  A lovely life only cut short for losses to dear mom and wife. Enjoy the post as I doing it for you , them ,and me.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

2 Comments to “Tampa of Florida!!!”

  1. I like Florida, Great post ! Have a nice day and week !

    Liked by 1 person

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