Sunday, July 31, 2005

Week 1 Readings


7:20AM 147/84 Pulse 67 8:30AM 133/76 Pulse 64 1:00PM 145/81 Pulse 67
5:00PM 136/77 Pulse 63 10:20PM 135/76 Pulse 71


7:40AM 136/85 Pulse 73 10:50AM 134/81 Pulse 65 1:40PM 132/80 Pulse 67
9:00PM 133/73 Pulse 69

8:10AM 138/77 Pulse 71 3:00PM 141/83 Pulse 68
6:45 PM 133/82 Pulse 60 10:45 PM 149/77 Pulse 76

I took a blood test on Tuesday and got my results online today. My direct bilirubin count was high. I've always had high bilirubin but was told by my doctor years ago not to worry about it. Maybe I should. My red blood cell count was also higher than normal. According to the health boards I've visited, I concluded that best case scenario I have to give blood once a month, worse case scenario, I may have liver damage. Plus I've read that one of the symptoms is high blood pressure. Interesting.

8:05AM 135/77 Pulse 74 2:30PM 141/77 Pulse 71 9:00PM 141/74 Pulse 67 10:30PM 165/99 Pulse 71 11:05 PM 148/91 Pulse 67 (Pressure started elevating mysteriously again.)

8:20AM 124/79 Pulse 78 (my first 120+ systolic in over several day), 12PM 134/80 Pulse 60 4:00PM 126/78 Pulse 62 6:08 PM 136/97 Pulse 64 (I started feeling crappy for some reason, though I was having a half-way enjoyable work conversation.) 9:05 PM 142/81 Pulse 68

I made an appointment tomorrow morning with LifeSource to donate some blood. Since my red blood cells are high and I'm hoping there's some correlation with that and my elevated BP, I hoping for a noticeable deduction in BP and no elevations. I really hope so.

8:30AM 135/79 Pulse 62 11AM 120/80 Pulse 66 1:45 PM 148/80 Pulse 74

1:30 PM 130/78 Pulse 66 10:40PM 140/76 Pulse 73


Monday, July 25, 2005

Latest BP Readings

Sunday cont...

12PM 152/71 Pulse 72
4PM 120/62 Pulse 61 (after a brief nap...*LOL*)
6:20PM 128/70 Pulse 66
9:00PM 128/68 Pulse 68

Why I'm doing this?


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bursting The Dam

My health last week began to take a turn for the worse. It all started early last Monday. I was wasting time as usual online when at 12:50 AM I felt like my windpipe was beginning to close on me. I struggled for a second to let air into my system but luckily was able to. I went downstairs and drank a bit of water but I started soon feeling worse. I felt like my heart was being poked by tiny needles and I still felt a bit winded.

I went into my basement and measured my blood pressure. It was 153/96. That was definitely in the danger zone. It was like my mid-January experience all over again. I didn't feel as horrible as that night but it was awfully close. Moments later, I felt the urge to have a bowel movement. Yeah disgusting. Sorry. I just want to list all I remember happening.

I returned downstairs and measured my pressure again. It was around the same except my diastolic was 97. I laid down on the couch and relaxed the best I could until I fell asleep. I took my BP the next morning and it was 124/79. I was relieved.

That relief was short-lived when early Thursday morning, I experienced the same thing. My high this time was 169/97. I also experienced leg tremors and my chest feeling heavy when I lied down. When I got up, my BP was around 135/89, still kinda high but more borderline.

Friday morning my BP shot up to 152/102. I made an appointment with my doctor (actually another doctor in the office since my regular one wasn't available) and they measured it to be 130/92. I have to admit this doctor had one of those borderline annoying personalities. But I recognized that he was just trying to be humorous and I laughed along with him.

He didn't want to put me on medication. Thank God, because from reading all the different side effects and such, I wouldn't want to be on any. My parents have been on HBP medicaton for over 20 years now and at 32, I don't want to start. So he wants me to track my BP for 2 weeks to develop a trend. That gives me two weeks to shape up and try to bring it down on my own.

So I think I'll keep track of my BP on my blog so you all can share my joyful experiences.

In the meantime, I'm trying different foods and ideas in order to try and lower my BP. I've decided to go to bed earlier than I normally do, which seems to have helped my early morning BP, this morning for example, it was 115/73. I'm looking into some different green teas as well as other alternative methods. I don't want to go on any medication at all.

Wish me luck.

My BP readings:
4PM 140/82 Pulse 69

12AM 145/89 Pulse 70
12:20 142/90 Pulse 67
7AM 120/79 Pulse 79
7:30AM 136/89 Pulse 71
1:40PM 134/76 Pulse 89
10:40PM 144/86 Pulse 72

8:30AM 115/73 Pulse 75
9:20 AM 137/89 Pulse 70

Total Systolic: 1213, Total Diastolic 753, Total Pulse 662
Average so far (rounded): 135/84 Pulse 74


Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend In Suburbia

"Sally" invited me as her guest to a party in Lake Villa, IL Saturday evening. The party was being hosted by her friend Jeff who recently won over $60 grand during his appearance on "Wheel of Fortune". (Lucky bastard. He really of the puzzles he had to solve was six letters: _ _ _ L _ N, a THING. Any ideas?) Georgraphically speaking, Lake Villa is about 1 1/2 hours from where I lived. It was about the same amount of time from Sally, who herself lives a little over an hour from me.

I decided to ride with Sally, which meant I had to drive to her first. I got to her place on the northside of Chicago and thought I was the cat's meow with my baggy black Pelle Pelle (yeah they're so 1999 but whatever...*LOL*) and denim green shirt. Sally informed me that the event would be outdoors and I'd be mad hot in my get-up. She tossed me a black t-shirt, which I promptly placed on. She couldn't help me with the jeans.

So anyway we're caught in mad traffic as we drive north to get to Jeff's place. We finally get off at the right exit towards Gurnee Mills, a popular outlet mall in, umm, Gurnee. We drive for what seems like forever and a day before entering rural country. A few side roads later, we hit Jeff's subdivision, filled with McMansions. Sigh. I think I want one someday, well except I wouldn't mind having a bit more space between my neighbors. I guess I'm private like that. *LOL*

The party itself was relatively boring for me but Sally has some very nice friends. Jeff's house, which he shares with his lover, was cool and the tour was the highlight of the party. I loved his accent walls and his crown molding & the general decor. He had furniture in every room and is definitely living large.

I learned that Jeff did everything himself, including the crown moldings. I left his place inspired to turn my tiny chunk of real estate around with his decor ideas. I'll get it there yet, especially since I eventually want to sell it and move elsewhere. I've even thought of moving away from Illinois, though a very wise friend of Sally's at the party, told me that maybe happiness could be living in the city. She kinda had a point. We'll see I guess.

Oh well. I need to get my black ass to bed. I'm due at work later today. Joy! At least it's another chance for one of my stocks to blow up. Gotta look to the bright side of things...*LOL*. Good night!


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Give It Up, Let Them Loose

I've been an avid follower and lover of En Vogue for a number of years. I used to have fantasies of them just happening to be strolling by my job and us getting trapped in a closet (well a bigger one than R. Kelly's...*LOL*) I remember the summer of 1990 when they released their first single titled Hold On. Cindy. Dawn. Maxine. Terry. Four beauties taking America by storm each with their own unique soulful vocals. Their first album, Born To Sing, proved to be a platinum success. Hits from the album include the earlier mentioned Hold On, Lies, You Don't Have To Worry, and Don't Go. Their follow-up album in 1992, Funky Divas, proved to be even more of a hit and cemented the foursome as the divas to beat. The singles from that album include Never Gonna Get It (My Loving), Giving Him Something He Can Feel, Free Your Mind, and Give It Up, Turn It Loose. A year and a half later, they released a mini-EP that included the hit singles Runaway Love and Whatta Man (their septet with Salt & Pepa). They took a bit of a break, Cindy was off birthing babies while Terry released a solo album in 1995 that didn't quite take off. They came back strong in 1997 with the anthem Don't Let Go. (I still get chills when I listen to that song.) Sadly due to a combination of mismanagement and irreconcilable differences, Dawn left the group.

I remember being crushed and angry when she left. Out of the four ladies, she was the one I had the biggest crush on. Plus she had one of the more distinguishable voices. I couldn't see the group going on without her. But go on they did, though with less fanfare than Funky Divas.
EV3 (oddly appropriate name for the remaining 3 members, though it was supposed to mean En Vogue album 3, Dawn even sung the words EV3 on some of the vocals of hers that stayed on the album.) included the singles Don't Let Go, Whatever, and Too Gone, Too Long.

With just Cindy, Maxine, and Terry remaining, in 2000 they released Riddle. The album attempted the unique concept of including classical music themes in their 'love done me wrong' songs. Unfortunately the single by the same name was the only song that was a marginal hit for them. Riddle would also be their last music video before being dropped by their label. The screencap above was from that video.

Maxine quietly left the group in 2001 and new singer Amanda Cole took her spot. Amanda mostly did tours with the remaining members of En Vogue, singing a lot of their older hits. En Vogue released their first Christmas album in 2002, which featured Amanda. She was also featured in a video that was released in Germany in which the girls talk about life on En Vogue and the various turmoils that have happened within the group.

Amanda Cole left the group sometime in 2003. There wasn't much of a stir caused by her departure but word on the street was she left due to not being happy with the financial dealings of the group & wishing to pursue a solo career. I hear that solo career's going well for ya. (I meant that in the most sarcastic not evil way. I have nothing but love for Amanda since she helped keep EV alive.)

The remaining ladies of En Vogue decided to go independent and open their own label at some point. They bought in Rhona Bennett, whose claim to fame includes being a Mouseketter and singing with Jaime Foxx on his sitcom show. She also released a solo album of her own, which unfortunately was only sold overseas. In 2004, the group released Soul Flower. Unfortunately the album barely got any play, though I do own it, and managed to enjoy it, even without Dawn & Maxine's vocals. Rhona actually holds her own and has a unique soulful voice.

So what was the point on my rehashing En Vogue's history when you just as easily could've read it elsewhere. I'm getting to that. Right now.

Since Dawn and Maxine's departure, fans of the group longed for a reunion of the original four members. According to the latest news, it's very possible that the four ladies will indeed reunite. They've signed on to new management under a group called "The Firm" and according to Dawn, she'll release her 2nd album this fall while En Vogue releases their reunion album sometime in 2006. I really hope it's true, especially since the original foursome appeared in Stevie Wonder's latest single What's The Fuss looking fabolous as ever. The saga continues.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Soap Operetta

I had the pleasure recently of watching R. Kelly's latest epic saga titled Trapped In The Closet. The saga couldn't all be explained in one video, so he made 5 parts to explain the drama. The buzz from my favorite hangout to talk about everything related to TV was that it was a hot mess. I have to admit curiosity got the best of me so I was excited to see what the fuss was about.

The convoluted (although that's too generous of a word) story is that R finds himself in a bed that's not his at some early morning hour. He tries to leave to go to his wife but his lady of the night Mary tells him that her husband's coming up the stairs. After going over their options, they decided that R. should hide in the closet. So husband Rufus comes home, makes out with Mary but R.'s cell rings and blows the cover & Rufus finds R. in the closet. R. comes out with a gun, arguing ensues, Rufus decides to tell the truth about himself and brings his lover Chuck to the apartment. More arguing ensues before R. calls home and a man answers the phone. So he's speeding to get home and gets pulled over by a cop doing 60 in a 40. He gets ticket and then makes it home. R. searches the bedroom and sees wife in shower in what looks like another man. He bursts open the shower and only finds wife. So they start making out while he's fully clothed, she freaks out when seeing a condom so she pretends to climax while R. complains of leg cramps. But alas, R. sees the condom, or should I say...'rubber, ubber, ubber'. Aruging ensues yet again before wife reveals that she's creeping with the cop that pulled R. over.

Alrighty then. Apparently R. plans on making 5 more parts of this travesty. He said in a BET special that he wants this to be like General Hospital & other soaps. Okay! Good luck with that one.

Funny thing, though. I have to give it to him. Even though he's an accused pedophile and was even caught on tape, he still has nine lives when it comes to his music. Eric Benet wishes he had R.'s pull. His career pretty much fizzled after it was revealed he was a sex-a-holic.

Anyway that's entertainment news for today.

Everything's pretty quiet on the eric g. front. I need to log into work at some point today to send offshore program specs. But otherwise I plan on being VH1's bitch tonight with the premiere tonight of Surreal Life 5 and Celebrity Fit Club 2. Fun times!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Pitch Imperfect

I recently became the proud owner of a refurbished RIO MP3 Player w/ 256 mb of memory. "Eugene" kept harping that I should get one due to the convenience of copying your own tunes and being able to take it wherever you go. After weeks of harping, I finally made that purchase and I have to admit it turned out to be a wise choice.

I've been taking it with me to the gym, my out of town trips, and even at work. The latter unfortunately led me to my latest most embarrassing moment. Typically I whip the MP3 player in the office. Unfortunately I'm surrounded by very loud talkers, especially whenever they're having conference calls. One guy in particular, a manager, stands up whenever he's on speaker and laughs and shouts so loud that it's jarring. Being a manager, though, there's not much folks can do.

I've found the MP3 player quite useful in drowning out the unwanted noise. If I got even better speakers, I'd be living large. So I've been enjoying my MP3 for several days. I get this email from my boss (who I've grown to get used to working with) with the title 'Please Hush The Singing'. I went through four phases starting at that moment. The 1st phase was shock. That didn't last long as then I quickly entered phase 2 - amusement. I immediately got up and talked to my boss. Apparently somebody had told him that I was loudly singing to the music in my cube. I flipped back and forth between amusement and anger, my third phase. I wasn't like angry at my boss for telling me but I pointed out to him the irony of my so-called disturbance being due to the 'loud' conversations going on all around me. I said it loud enough too for the ratter to hear. The said ratter is definitely guilty of being loud too. After telling my boss that I'd be mindful of my actions in the future, I went back to my cube and immediately entered my fourth and final phase -- embarassment. That phase lasted for the rest of the day. A co-employee (defined to me as someone who works for the same company but doesn't work with me) came up to me, hearing my 'loud' conversation on the matter with my boss and relayed that he heard my voice floating around the general area. He added that it sounded nice (yeah right) but I'd have to be careful. That made me even more embarassed as my bad singing has potentially been going on for at least a week or two. I was annoyed none of my co-workers came up and told me something and some co-employee (not the one that said I had a nice voice...*LOL*) had to tell my boss. I was especially miffed when learning the next day from a co-worker that said co-employee (yeah I know who the ratter was) had talked to him about it. It would've been nice to have gotten some warning, though I suppose it may have been awkward to say something. Ironically I'm considered soft-spoken. I guess my musical voice isn't.

Unfortunately the loud people around me will continue to be loud because some of it is 'work related'. So I'll definitely still be using my MP3 player. I'll just have to resist the urge to sing...*LOL*.

Happy 4th by the way! I'm just glad to be away from that nutty job. Sadly I go back tomorrow. Come on NCDP. Shoot up to $10 so I can quit my job. You're my last hope...*LOL*.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Tampa Redux - Part II

When I last left off, I was sharing my experiences at DNAP's annual stockholder meeting. One thing to note, I had the distinction of not only being the only black person in the room but also the youngest. Everyone else in the meeting appeared to be in their mid-40s to late 70's. That's not to say that other young folks or even black folks aren't in the stock (well actually I recently hoodwinked a black friend of mine into the stock - funny, he's not really talking to me anymore....*LOL*). It's just that none of them decided to attend the meeting.

So moving on. After the meeting, my intention was to drive myself to a local Tampa Border's and basically get recommendations of places to eat and do things. I wound up somehow getting lost. I was also getting pretty hungry since I only had a couple muffins for breakfast earlier. I decided to stop at a Coney Island like place called Hi-Tide. Hi-Tide was a seafood eatery that serves among other seafood dishes, shrimp, scallops, catfish, etc. I ordered a combo dish from them and I have to say that it wasn't half bad. I guess I could've been hungry too.

I left Hi-Tide and managed to find my way to Border's. I spent the next three hours pouring through several Tampa guide books and also listening to various CDs. I wound up getting hooked on Amerie's latest offering. It was just this "one thing" about her hit single that I couldn't get out of my head. It was so addicting that I went to a local Wal-Mart the next day to pick up the CD for an insane $14.95 (that included tax). After that, I played the single enough times to ween it off my system. Can I get my $14.95 back? *LOL*. Funny aside, I paid for the CD with a $20 and was only supposed to get $5.05 in change back. The lady was about to give me $15.05 back. As tempting as it would've been to take it, I wouldn't have been feeling guilty the whole time, especially since she appeared to be a really nice lady. If she were an asshole, I might not have felt as guilty. Fortunately she caught herself just as I was about to correct her.

So back to earlier times...After Border's I drove to a city called Safety Harbor and checked in at their local resort and spa. I didn't actually try any of their spa activities and I wanted to cancel my reservations but unfortunately due to my recent credit card issues, I wasn't able to. The resort was OKAY. My room was large but it was mostly just empty space. The biggest issue was a fucked up toilet seat that wasn't screwed all the way. Getting to my room itself was practically a workout and one of the longer hallways reeked of "old stale carpet". Speaking of which, I did stick to my workouts and went to their "cardiovascular" and "weight" rooms, both adequately supplied.

The next few days consisted mainly of treating myself to numerous dinners at places recommended by some of the tourist books I picked up & checking out a few museums and malls (one of which I visited before in 2003). Nothing really exciting happened on the trip. Actually if anything did, I'd have to record it in a separate blog...*LOL*.

So here's the list of places I visited over the course of my 4-day trip:

Thursday night
Bracci Restaurant: This wasn't on the recommended list but like Hi-Tide, was a random drive-by. I was looking for something other than Wenchies (Wendy's) to dine at. The place was described by my friendly waiter Chris as a Bistro/bar hangout. The atmosphere was dark and dreamy, a perfect date place. When I arrived, they were just about to close the kitchen. Luckily the maitre'd was kind enough to seat me. He said he took pity of me because I looked hungry. (Probably lonely too...*LOL*) I ordered a pricey (my friend Eugene claimed moderately priced $19.95, tax and tip not included, though that doesn't pale to how much I spent on the last restaurant I went to, but I'm jumping ahead of myself) but very tasty alfredo bow-tie pasta dish w/shrimp and scallops. I wished they had given me more than six seafood pieces (3 shrimp/3 scallops) but other than that, it was a very tasty meal.

Friday - day and night
Skwyay Jack's: Like the Frommer's site linked states, it's the place Cracker Barrel wishes they were. I enjoyed my breakfast there and the wait staff was very friendly. I could tell they had a lot of regulars, which says a lot for a restaurant. I ordered some O.J. and for my breakfast ordered a pork and corn meal mash w/scrambled eggs and hash browns. It came with a corn muffin. Very delicious and for under $7 (not including tax and tip), was relatively economical.

Salvador Dali Museum: This museum, featuring primarily Salvador Dali paintings, hence the name, boasts to have over 55 oil paintings, 18 drawings, 13 watercolors, and 22 prints among its collection. Mr. Dali from what I read seemed to be a prolific yet troubled man who expressed himself through art. A lot of his painting were of sexual nature, some bordering on bestality. One painting was based on a greek myth where a woman is impregnated by a swan. If it's any consolation, the swan was really Zeus in disguise. Weird. Dali's wife appeared to serve as his muse since she was featured in several of his paintings as various mythical characters. I thought that was sweet. Admission was $13, though I wish I were a student as their admission was $5. But it was worth the $13. I even picked up a few postcards from their gift shop that I'll frame up. Eventually.

Museum of Fine Arts: After Salvador's, I drove over near St. Pete's Pier area & stumbled upon this museum. It was a nice enough museum & I couldn't beat the $5 admission price, even though I'm not a student. They had the typical museum displays, including several rooms with nice crystal pieces. I don't think it impressed me as much as Salvador's (probably because I'm not the biggest museum person and two in a day is daunting for me...*LOL*) but it was cool.

4th Street Shrimp Store: WARNING!!!! Lower the volume before checking out this website. According to Frommer's, it was recommended because of their reasonably priced dishes and their generous seafood portions. I looked for the most unusual thing on the menu, basically something that I would remember having, and decided on the Shrimp Hoagie. When it came out, I was impressed. Basically it was a bun filled with fried shrimp and tomatoes. Best thing, there were plenty of shrimp. Looks like Frommer was right. I've had much worse with my $5. I'd definitely recommend this place.

Columbia Restaurant: My words would provide absolutely no justice to the excellent food and service received at this restaurant. The picture on the website's Ybor City page pretty much describes its decor. It's a very nice place once again to take a date. I had for dinner Spain's national dish called paella. Basically they fry in a "paella" pan a healthy serving of rice, peas, peppers, asparagus, chicken, beef, and pork. You could also have seafood or other types of paella's. The dish takes 30 minutes to prepare and the server brings it out to you still in the pan and then they serve it to you on the plate, being sure to save the asparagus pieces as a garnish of sorts. The paella I ordered came along with a sample of red wine (I couldn't tell you which one as I'm not a wine person...*LOL*). The cost of this elaborate meal...$25. It was definitely worth the money and if I had to choose one place to revisit next time I'm in Florida, this is it. They deserve all the accolodes that they've gotten. I didn't think I'd have room for dessert but I couldn't leave there without trying something. I decided to order another famous Spanish dessert, their Natilla Espanola. It's described as a rich Spanish custard topped with cinnamon. Rich indeed. To top it off, they also have a separate room for their bar where they entertain you with various acts. Unfortunately I went too late to enjoy a show.

Saturday day and night
Frog Pond Restaurant: This place, located on the Florida coast city of Redington Beach, definitely is a crowd favorite. I drove to their restaurant for breakfast and was surprised by the crowd of people waiting for breakfast. I signed my name and waited for my "party of 1" table. Surprisingly my wait was less than 15 minutes (eating alone has its perks...*LOL*). Despite its froggy name, none of their numerous dishes in fact have any frog in it. The place, however, is adorned with every frog item you can think of. It was a "ribbit-ing" site (ha...I crack myself up sometimes). I was excited upon seeing an omelette containing mushrooms and krab. Notice I typed krab, not crab. Unfortunately when I asked my server, krab was in fact imitation crab, hence the spelling. I disappointly ordered their Frog Pond Quiche. That turned out to be a good choice as the quiche was to die for plus they gave a generous side of fruits alongside with it. I also got hash browns. It was a nice meal, though I don't know if it justifies the crazy crowds.

The Beach: When you're on the coast of Florida, what else is there to do. I didn't have any beach gear on me so I was content enough to walk along the coast and pick up seashells. The beach I was at wasn't crowded at all. The sun was beating mercilessly, though, and I wound up leaving after an hour, having my fill of sun and not wanting skin cancer. At least I can say I've been to the beach, something I haven't done in ages.

International Plaza: I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at this particular mall. I mostly did window shopping at Brookstone, Sharper Image (anyone know if their Ionic Breeze really provides cleaner air), Dillard's, and Fields among other places. It's a good place to waste time basically. *LOL*.

Crabby Bills: They had a location at one of their Radisson's. I had their Broiled Combination Platter, which consisted of fish, scallops, stuffed crab, and shrimp. It also included two sides. I ordered green beans and rice. It was adequate, though the service was pretty good, so I can't knock them too much. Plus the location had a nice ocean view, even though I had to endure some second hand smoke. That may have played into my views of the place...*LOL*.

Sunday day and night:
Jasmine Thai Restaurant: The place was just opening when I arrived for breakfast. The service was very good and I enjoyed the order of soft-shell crab curry. Very delicious and for $14, pretty reasonably priced. The order includes an egg roll and wonton soup. The restaurant is a bit cramped but they make good use of their space.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center: I went to their historical TBPAC to see a performance of CATS. It was my first time seeing a broadway performance in years (seeing Chicago the Movie doesn't count...*LOL*). I really enjoyed the performance. They put a lot of effort in design and acting. The one downer, kinda, a lady in the back couldn't stop talking at times about her love of CATS. It was cute at first, especially when she playfully scratched me as I took my seat and made a "CATS" joke, but it was a bit distracting during parts of the performance. On the subject of CATS, it was one of those shows that I wanted to see a long time ago but didn't get around to. I lucked out that CATS was playing at TBPAC during the time period I was in Florida. The one I went to was their 2nd to last performance in Tampa.

Bern's Steak House: This was my last major stop during my Florida visit. Very high class restaurant. Luckily since I was dressed up a bit from my earlier visit to TBPAC, I fit in, though once again, one was the loneliest number. A couple older ladies sitting at the next table besides me took pity on me and chatted for a few minutes before leaving. The waiter was very nice as well, though I forgot his name. This was the priciest of my excursions. For a starter, I ordered their Tasting of Three Soups, namely Vichysoisse (a cold soup containing caviar, truffle oil, and fried potato), French Onion, and Lobster Bisque. I loved the Bisque the best and wished I had ordered a bowl of that alone. The experience of having all three, the order I listed them was the same the waiter recommended, was great, though. For my main dish, I ordered their special of the night, Surf & Turf. The Surf was alaskan crab meat while the Turf was a 16 oz. New York Steak. That proved to be the most expensive dish at $45. It was pretty filling, though. I managed to save a little room for dessert, capping the evening with a $10 creme brulee. Yeah it was pricey as hell! My total bill came out to $96 (including a $23 tip...half of which, they automatically charged. I gave the extra $10 just because the waiter was very, very nice.) It was overall a very enjoyable evening and a perfect way to end my trip.

So concludes my trip to Tampa. I definitely enjoyed it.