Tampa is proving to be very interesting. Yesterday I swam about 3/4 of a mile in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico at Siesta Key. My friend Dennis and his wife are owners of a "Thyme for Dinner" franchise in Sarasota. I got to see a very interesting business where the general public gets to save all the hassles of shopping and clean up for making nutritious meals by visiting the store site and assembling their meals on location and then taking them home conveniently packaged and ready to be served. Think of it as TV dinners except that all the ingredients are fresh and prepared by hand.
The Tampa Bay metropolitan area has roughly 2.7 million people and is adding about 97,000 residents per year. I can see why people want to live here as the weather is warm and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are glorious for all manner of recreation. But the Tampa Bay Area was largely built up in the age of the automobile and is very car dependant. It's common, as it is in many places in American suburbs for neighbors to NOT know their neighbors. People generally keep to themselves here but it still seems odd to me that the people are not friendlier and more open considering the paradise they live in.
There is a burgeoning New Age community here in the Tampa area. There are many places to go for Pilates, Yoga other movement classes. Dennis's wife is a financial planner in the Socially Responsible Investing movement. The Unity Church is popular here and I will be going to here a sermon from a highly regarded Unity minister in Clearwater on Sunday.
I spent the better part of today playing traveling agent and making all the last minute arrangements for my December 13th departure to Venezuela from Miami. I'll drive with a rental car from Sarasota to Miami on Monday. A few days in Miami to take care of any last minute trip preparations and to visit the Miami Beach area where I lived for roughly two years in 1988 and 1990.