My bum is burned.

Not even kidding. And if I didn’t just recently make this blog public to family, friends and colleagues, I would totally post the picture I just texted my mom, which is a backside shot of me in my skivvies so she could see just how bad my sunburn is. Because it truly only marred my backside in what I like to refer to as an “avid reader’s tan.” In other words, laying face up gets too boring for me with nothing to do so I don’t stay that way long, but laying on my stomach with a book propped in front of me will keep my like that so much longer – hence the backside burn.

This Tampa sun is unforgiving, but I don’t mind. The thought of leaving this vacation literally makes me sick to my stomach; I’m so tired of the everyday.

But not to dwell! Let’s chat about this awesomeness first.

The day I got here I spent a couple hours hanging at the Florida Mall to wait for a ride and for Boy to be done with his work conference. It was a big mall, so it kept me occupied, but the best part was the large TV smack in the middle that had a grass green rug sitting in front of it with various black couches strewn about like wild mushrooms for people to plop on. Colombia was playing its World Cup game, and about 20 jerseyed fans were sitting in that area, cheering their faces off. I couldn’t even believe this was happening IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MALL, but it was, so I sat with them for the second half of the game. And I was probably the only white girl there. It was pretty great.

While there I also popped in at Bucca di Beppo, an Italian joint in said mall that was wall-to-wall kitsch: Photos of Dean and the gang with matching voices piping through the speakers; red, white and green everything; big statues of mustached chefs. The food followed suit for an Italian chain – certainly not freshly made, but passable. I treated myself with a glass of white zin (I got off a plane mere hours before, and I hate those fuckers) and a bread basket with olive oil and balsamic mix to dip in. The Penne San Remo was a tender chicken breast surrounded by artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes that I could’ve eaten by the handful and peas swimming in a white wine sauce.

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Friday brought us exploring this area and we stumbled upon Krystal Burger, which is sort of like White Castle but (gasp!) I like it better!

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That night we traveled to Lakeland to watch an NXT show, NXT being the branch of WWE (Yes, the wrestling federation) that contains all up-and-coming wrestlers. We were literally right on top of the ring, and I got a fucking handshake from RIC FLAIR’S DAUGHTER. WOOOOOO

This is how close we were:

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And I will leave you with this, my new obsession. It’s a food fad that I’m sure is already fastly fading, but I’m obsessed. Macarons. Not macarOOns, macarOns. There is a difference and I’m sure I’ll be espousing all of that to you in due time when I attempt to bake these suckers (which I hear is insanely hard to do), but for now please bask in the (expensive, 6 for $12!) glory of, clockwise from top left, lavender, lemon cream, raspberry, pistachio, white chocolate basil and Belgium chocolate macarons.

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