Kitsch and Glass in Tampa

Kongo is in Florida this week visiting #3 granddaughter and taking in some of the local sites that include things like biscuits and gravy (twice), swimming lessons, and the wildlife that visits a lake in her backyard. In between sandhill cranes, whistling ducks, egrets, and mosquitos Kongo has spent a lot of time just watching the wilderness nearby.


Since this is Florida, trips to the beach are part of the package.  Persephone is pretty much a water nymph and spends a lot of time frolicking in the waves and sand.



One day we headed over to St. Petersburg because Mrs. Kongo had her heart set on visiting the permanent Chihuly glass exhibit at the Morean Art Center in downtown. Now the monkey has to admit the blown glass exhibit was pretty awesome. Although it was smaller than Kongo expected, what was there was over the top. And for a mere $50,000 or so you too can have some Chihuly glass in your living room.

Glass Flowers Cover an Entire Wall
A Starburst of Twisted Tubes and Colors
Fanciful Flowers
An Entire Garden
Spiky Red Chandelier
Bowly Baskets


Well, the visit to the exhibit was the glassy part of this post. Then there is the kitschy part.

Mrs. Kongo has seen these Carvana car commercials on TV about car vending machines. This fascinates her for some reason Kongo doesn’t understand. She’s been talking about car vending machines for over a year now and she knows that there are machines in Tampa and Orlando and maybe other places in Florida and one her priorities on this trip was to see a car vending machine. Seriously.


Se we stopped at a bank and got a great big bag of quarters and headed over to the car vending machine. (Actually we skipped the quarters…we were “just looking”)  Sure enough, there is a great big car vending machine in Tampa chock full of shiny used cars just waiting for their owners to come drop a token in the machine and see their car roll out.


Luckily for Mrs. Kongo a Carvana employee happened to pull up with a new car on its truck while she was gazing intently at the structure and she shamelessly convinced the guy to operate the machine for her. Sure enough, he pushed some buttons and you could see the elevators moving around and before you knew it, a shiny, new-looking Buick something or other was transported from the top to a doorway on the ground floor.  She actually said, “Wow, we were so lucky that he came when we were here. I’m always lucky that way with timing.” Sometimes good things happen to you if you live a good life. That’s Mrs. Kongo.


As we reluctantly drove away, Mrs. Kongo sighed heavily and said, “That was so cool seeing that Buick come down like that.” (She really said that)

Kongo thinks that if Carvana ever comes to LA then Mrs. Kongo won’t be able to help herself and we’re going to have to get her next car at one of these things.

Travel safe.  Have fun!




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