I’m checking in with you from the road as I head into a long weekend (don ‘t worry, I’m not driving). Nothing like road tripping, especially when the destination is one of my favorite cities. Which one? Details next week
Until then I wish you a wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Me, anchoring the evening news, Tampa, circa 1985
During my 20-year career in broadcasting I lived in many cities. From small market to large, I worked my way up the proverbial ladder, never having the time or inclination to go back to where I began. But when, during my recent road trip, Mr. Right suggested we take a detour so I could journey back down memory lane to one of those places I once lived and worked, I thought, “Why not?” All I had to do to enjoy a little time traveling was cross Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
It is a formidable bridge—all steel and cable and concrete, stretching out over Tampa Bay almost four miles. As it came into view, my heart starting racing, and not just because of its tragic history. Long before I had arrived in the area, the bridge was at the center of two devastating catastrophes—in January of 1980, less than a mile from the bridge, two ships collided, killing 23-people. Then, less than four months later, a freighter struck the bridge, causing a portion of it to collapse into Tampa Bay, taking with it ten cars and a Greyhound bus, and killing 35 people. Those events would be enough to make anyone think twice about crossing the bridge, but for me, it had more to do with what was waiting on the other side. Memories of my arrival in the Tampa area as a young, naïve, 20-something reporter washed over me like the waters in the Bay that were lapping up against the bridge’s concrete pylons. It was a time marked by the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, my coming of age, punctuated by perpetual drama. Bad bosses, the unraveling of a significant relationship, and the death of my beloved father, turned my time in the Sunshine State into an emotional roller coaster. Crossing the Skyway meant reconnecting with parts of my past I wasn’t sure I wanted to revisit. But it was too late. While I was deep in nervous and uncomfortable thought, Mr. Right kept on driving and we were already on the bridge. ”No turning back now,” I thought. ”Just look at it like another adventure.” And so it would be. We kept on driving forward— heading right into my past.
Thanks for stopping by! Make it a great day!
The Peach State, as it’s called because of the amazing peaches grown here, is undeniably beautiful! A lush, green, winding landscape greeted us as we entered the state, and at this point in our the trip we were finally able to take our jackets off. The air blowing in through our open windows was downright balmy, a sure sign that we were headed south. We were bound for Atlanta, where we had planned on spending a full day exploring, but because time got away from us in Nashville, that plan didn’t end up working out. We pulled into town on the late side, and by then we were exhausted and just a tad bit hungry (read: starving) Once we checked into our room at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead, we knew it was going to be a room service kind of night. We had a full day of driving ahead of us and really just wanted to catch our breath before the drive to Orlando and a business convention. In the end, all we really ended up seeing of Atlanta, was the city’s early morning skyline, shot from our hotel window.
This is the second road trip we’ve taken where Atlanta ended up being a quick stopover instead of a leisurely stay. We’re determined to change that the next time through and with the good grace of God, we’ll be back.