Swamp Monkey

There’s nothing quite like a great swamp. Luckily, there’s a very swampy swamp only  few minutes from Kongo’s son’s house in Tampa, Florida named Lettuce Lake.  It’s named for the lettuce looking plants that grow all over the shallow waters. Giant cypress trees line the water and help support abundant wildlife that ranges from stink bugs to tropical birds to alligators. Now Kongo didn’t see any gators on this visit but he saw plenty of other wildlife. At Lettuce Lake there is a long boardwalk elevated above the swamp so visitors can explore in relative safety and not worry about…

Florida Spring Break

So, the monkey took off to Florida for Spring Break because, why not? Everyone else goes to Florida at this time of year. Actually it really was Spring Break for #3 Granddaughter and her academic parents so Mr. and Mrs. Kongo jetted across the country to Tampa to spend a week in the Florida sun. Or not. For the first few days the monkeys actually froze their little tutus off. We huddled around a fire, bundled up in sweaters, and wondered why the weather was colder here than home in L.A.  Then it warmed up for the full range of…

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Distance

  Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is DISTANCE so Kongo has included a few distance images from travels over the past year.  See more distance photos at Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack blog and join the fun in her weekly theme challenges.  The shot above is of downtown San Diego, California. Travel Safe.  Have fun.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Beaches

A harbor seal enjoys the beach at La Jolla, California.  See more beaches from Ailsa’s followers at her weekly blog theme site at Where’s My Backpack.  Read on to see a few more of Kongo’s favorite beaches.

Unexpected Tampa

The University of Tampa in downtown Tampa, Florida is host to one of the most unusual architectural buildings Kongo has seen in some time and was completely surprised to discover it during a business trip there this week.  The  former Tampa Bay Hotel was built by railroad magnate Henry Pant in 1888 as one of the premier anchors to his hotel line.  The unique stainless steel minarets are fascinating to observe.

Ybor City

Kongo took a walk through Tampa’s historic Ybor City district this afternoon. Ybor City, just about a mile from downtown Tampa, was founded by immigrants from Cuba, Spain, and Italy in the 1880s. The industry of the day was cigar making and Ybor City immigrants rolled millions of cigars annually. You can still find places where they hand roll cigars even today and then sit down and smoke them with say a Cuba Libre under an umbrella on the sidewalk. (Kongo did this and it was great!)