As someone who works in the travel industry, a “staycation” is not usually something we encourage people to take. In case you don’t know what a staycation is, it is where you make a vacation out of what is around you -rather than traveling to a different destination. However, in my defense, I live in Central Florida. There is so much here that I take for granted. So, this weekend, my friend and I hit the road for Tampa.
Megacon Tampa Bay
I was incredibly disappointed when I wasn’t able to attend Megacon Orlando due to moving and a lack of funds. Thankfully, the timing worked out for us to attend Megacon Tampa Bay. I set out with the goal of getting signed merchandise for my sick little buddy Jay and I certainly accomplished that!
The beauty of Megacon Tampa Bay was the ease getting there. Parking was a breeze. We didn’t have to walk two miles to get into the event and the ticket lines to redeem pre-purchased tickets were well managed. We arrived at the venue at 10am and were in the con by 10:30am. That was wonderful! We did a quick survey of the con before getting in line to meet Rob Liefeld- the man behind Deadpool. As I said, I wanted to get something signed for my buddy Jay (if you don’t know Jay’s story, I wrote about him here).
After about an hour in line to meet Mr. Liefeld, we toured the rest of the con. It was much, much smaller than Megacon Orlando so we were able to see everything pretty quickly- particularly since you could actually move up and down the aisles. While there was the occasional “traffic jam” it was a lot easier to navigate and see the tables than previous cons I have attended. All in all, I believe it was a great first con for my friend and it was a nice break from the larger, crowded cons for me.
Salvador Dali Museum
After the con we headed to St. Pete to visit the Salvador Dali museum. I have been to the museum more than once. The permanent collection is familiar. I know the stories behind the paintings. I know all of the hidden nuances of each work. More than anything, I enjoy just sitting in the presence of surrealism greatness. However, this time, there was something new at the museum that I was incredibly excited for!
The Dali Museum was presenting “Ferran Adria: The Invention of Food.” Now, truthfully, until I watched “Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse.” In the episode, Emeril is taken to Ferran Adria’s El Bulli Lab by fellow chef Jose Andres. It is there the viewer learns just how revered Adria is in the culinary world and how his food has been likened to art. However, it is at the exhibit where you learn just how much Dali and surrealism influenced Adria. Just like Dali, Adria saw his work an experience. Adria’s meal service was something you would never forget- just like Dali’s paintings. Having my love for culinary history and everything surrealism in one building was a fangirl moment for me.
Mr. Dunderbak’s Biergarten and Brewery
As a total foodie, and someone who is half German, I love German food. Thanks to Yelp and Facebook, we found Mr. Dunderbak’s Biergarten and Brewery. There is a German restaurant local to where I live that my family absolutely loves. I had to make sure to keep an open mind. All in all, we were pretty impressed. While I prefer the potato pancakes at my local restaurant better, the rest of the meal was delicious. I even had a beer that didn’t taste like beer at all (for me, that ‘s a huge step!). It was a grapefruit based beer that was incredibly light and smooth. If you are in the Tampa area or on a staycation of your own, I would certainly recommend you check out Mr. Dunderbak’s.
The Magnificent Seven Movie
After a busy Saturday in Tampa, we started heading back towards the Orlando area. Our geeky staycation wasn’t over though! We decided to go to the movies and see “The Magnificent Seven.” I have always been a fan of old school westerns thanks to my Dad. However, westerns of recent memory have bordered on the cheesy. “The Magnificent Seven” was not one of those cheesy new school movies. It felt authentic. While it had humor, it was well placed. The action scenes were realistic (they actually had to reload!). The movie had an impressive cast of actors and yet one didn’t try to outshine each other. It all worked well.
A Successful Staycation
It was certainly a very unique trip. As you can see, I have a wide variety of interests and “fandoms.” I love that we were able to do so much in one weekend. It was a lot of fun and it was a great break from reality. While I certainly advocate travel whenever possible (after all I did visit 8 countries in one year once upon a time), I am also now a huge fan of the staycation. Make the most of what is around you and take advantage of it regularly!