# tampa trip (May 2016)

Oh, how bittersweet to write this post! After my work trip to Miami in May, Joe and I drove to Tampa for a few days to visit my lifelong friend Bobbie, Robert and Abby. It was our last time to see them before they moved to E-N-G-L-A-N-D last weekend. *sniff, sniff* We wanted this trip to be about our shared Tampa Bucket List, which turned out to be–as it always does with me and Bobbie–a food bucket list. I’m not complaining! Here are all the pictorial highlights:

Joe and I arrived late on Friday night after Abby had gone to bed, so we woke to her sweet “goodmorning!” whispers and our favorite doughnuts from Datz Dough.

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These are the sprinkles of life, people! I’m glad Abby shares my affinity for these sugar bombs.

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She made Joe his own special breakfast in her play kitchen. He loved it — obvs.

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And she performed a lively ukulele solo for us, which you HAVE to watch by clicking here.

For lunch they introduced us to Bartaco, which was SO GOOD. The cauliflower taco with romesco sauce was mind blowing. Now I want romesco sauce on everything.

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Abby even found the England sticker by our table on her own.

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Afterwards we walked around Hyde Park….holding hands with our honorary niece….

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…sitting by the fountain…

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…and taking photo ops to celebrate their new adventure.

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Abby had one wish for our visit — to make sugar cookies! You don’t {ever} have to ask me twice! I’m well versed in my mom’s tried-and-true recipe, but we made Bobbie’s favorite recipe from Boston’s Flour Bakery. It was spectacular — thick and soft with just the right amount of icing. We added a 1/2 teaspoon (I think?) of almond extract to the icing that really pushed it over the top.

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If I wasn’t there when she was born, I’d think she was mine the way she’s drinking a LaCroix while baking.

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Or when licking the beater. Either way, she’s basically a Mini Marci.

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Flour Noses while we let the dough chill in the fridge!

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Before nap time (for all five of us), Abby requested story time with Uncle Joe. So sweet to watch!

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If Cora wasn’t trying to nap with me, she was trying to sleep in my suitcase. Silly kitty.

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Abby woke up a doctor and needed to check my vitals…

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…allll of my vitals, apparently. Ha! I feel like this is a photo we’ll be laughing over for a long time.

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We spent the evening taking a girl’s trip to the splash park and watching Abby go crazy in the water.

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The next morning we headed to Datz–our absolute favorite place to eat in Tampa–for brunch. Abby’s face is all of us when waiting for food.

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Post-brunch photos with cats and doughnuts!

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When you inadvertently dress exactly alike and don’t realize it until you’re in public.

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That afternoon was finally cookie rolling time. Oh, the excitement…in all of us.

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First order of all sugar cookie business: Flour those noses!!

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Expert decorating by our little artist

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While we waiting for those babies to set, we took Abby for a bike ride to the school track.

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On your marks…

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That night was truly the culinary highlight of the trip. Bobbie and Robert surprised us with reservations to Tampa’s speakeasy, Ciro’s, to celebrate our anniversary. We even got dressed up and everything.

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You had to say a password to get in. So fancy!

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And the food and drinks! Ridiculous. The drink menu was fun and long.

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We shared the wild mushroom fondue…

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…with our starter drinks. I had the “Hemingway Daiquiri,” because….Hemingway. I can’t remember what Joe had, but his is on the right.

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For dinner I had a luscious caprese salad (seen in the background).

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It was an unforgettable experience and the most perfect way to celebrate our anniversary with our dear friends.

With stomachs still digesting, we dropped Abby off at school the next morning and had a *light* breakfast at Oxford Exchange.

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Another place I had never been, but absolutely fell in love with every square inch.

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I had a carrot cake tea latte–my first tea latte–and a toast with lemon ricotta, strawberries, pistachios, honey and basil. Wowza.

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That afternoon we were treated to another ukulele concert, this time a duo. I looove Abby’s makeshift stage and bunny groupie.

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Annnd then I scarred her for life by trying to straighten her hair. She was on board at first, but as soon as she reached up to feel it she was screaming as though I had cut off her arm. I really thought she was going to throw up she was crying so hard. Aunt Marci Fail!

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That night was our last and we spent it with our mutual horn friend, Bob, with one last trip to Datz Dough for their doughnut ice cream cone. Yep, I did it.

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And then the next morning with our pants feeling tighter, we boarded a plane back to Utah. I am so, so, so grateful to have had this last hurrah with the Z’s while they were still living on US soil. Now I’m counting down the days until I can see them on the other side of the pond where we will undoubtedly find new culinary adventures to share. We love this family!

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3 thoughts on “# tampa trip (May 2016)

  1. Love this post SO MUCH. We were truly spoiled with incredible food in Tampa, weren’t we? I’m already feeling so nostalgic, *sniff*. I need to print and frame that picture of the 4 of us at Ciro’s. The pics of Joe reading to Abby are the sweetest — I wasn’t there to see that! And I’m cracking up at Abby’s check up picture. We always have the best time together!! Looking forward to the many years ahead of flour dusted noses and happy, full stomachs. Love you and miss you!

  2. Pingback: # a tale of two states | hashtag marci

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