Spending Time around FL

I have been slacking on my photography recently, so I apologize for my lack of high quality photos in this post, but I will try and get a few good ones before I head home. Most of the ones I am posting will be from my smartphone.

Tampa, FL

I arrived in Tampa on Saturday evening around sundown, and it felt great to be back. I had visited for a week back in the spring of 2012, and it was nice to see a familiar city and be able to move throughout it by car. Walking on foot previously helped me determine how to get around. My aunt lives just outside the center of town, so getting around is nice and easy via bike from where she is. The trip in was tedious. US Route 301 has a very large number of small cities along the way and the speed limits changed about every 15 minutes for close to an hour and a half. The areas outside of Jacksonville, FL and the drive along US 301 have some very beautiful green fields. The sun was setting around the time I made it to I-75 too, so everything was just beautiful.

Saturday morning, at the Lake Aire campground near Charleston, SC before driving on to Tampa, FL
Retrieved the Mo-ped from downtown Charleston after getting lost into nightfall. (See previous post)
At this point in time I believe I was still in SC. I-95 opened up a lot in Georgia

Crossing the Florida state line with 1 mile left on my first tank of gas (I filled up in Virginia after using the remaining third of a tank I started with)

Arrival in Tampa right at sundown, roughly a 7 hour trip with stops

Beautiful full moon over a southern sky

Final trip time so far to reach Tampa, FL (just a note for new
viewers, this trip started in Potomac, MD)

I didn't spend too much time around Tampa this time, but I will be coming back on my way home for a day or so. Two notable restaurants I stopped at while there are Cappy's and Ella's. Cappy's is a retro themed pizza joint off of Florida Avenue on the outskirts of town. The one thing that bothered me about this place was their accoustics; they have concrete floors and hard walls, which creates for a very echoing environment when its crowded. Very cool retro decorations on the inside, and their pizza is also pretty delicious. You can choose between Chicago style and New York style crust, which is somewhat unique because a lot of places usually only offer one or the other. The only one I can think of is Domino's. Ella's is more of a bar style place, which had fun live music, and was also well decorated. Their decorations were more artsy, and utilized a lot of metal work stuff which is always fun to look at, especially as a welder. I do not remember the exact location of this place, but it was also in the same general area as Cappy's. It too had a loud atmosphere, but it was larger and more crowded. Their food was excellent as well. I really hope to try Taco Bus on the stop back, as I heard that is one of Tampa's most famous food places.

The suburbs of Tampa where I was staying

Rode my mo-ped out to watch the sunset over the University of Tampa

Naples, FL

I left Tampa Sunday night and arrived in Naples about 10 minutes into Monday. It was nice to be there again, I hadnt been there since 2010, but everything was still familiar. So far I have just been relaxing and haven't found that many new places, but below is the trip there and then a list of places I reccomend.

Minutes before I took this picture, I found out we were recieving 8 inches of snow back at home,
while here it was 75 degrees. 

I hope SunPass works with EzPass because I discovered this was at toll road
Final  trip time, fuel consumption, distance, and fuel economy to Naples, including stops and driving in cities. 
As I stated on a post on my Instagram account, here are some interesting statistics about my trip from Potomac, MD to Naples, FL

Time stuck in traffic : 0
Times I was cut off: 0
Times I was tailgated by someone else: countless times
Times someone honked at me: 0
Times I honked at someone else: 0
Number of bathroom stops: 6
Trip time (including driving time in and out of Charleston SC and Tampa, FL): roughly 20 hrs
Tanks of gas used: just over two 35 gallon tanks
Total beverages: one bottled water, one fountain water, and two Gatorade. (Does not include food and drink consumed at stops)
Most severe car accident: Northern VA (only car accident I remember seeing)
Cloudiest weather: SC
Sunniest weather: FL
Number of rain storms encountered: 0
Snow: 0
Most active state troopers: NC
Least active state troopers: VA

First fill up location (started with 1/3rd tank in MD): southern VA
Second location: northern FL 

Arrival to the final destination at about 12:10 AM on St. Patrick's Day 
Places in Naples I know of that are great:

- Ma Ma Mia's pizza: probably some of the best pizza around. Owners are Italian and have that New York attitude and accent. They may be a little intimidating at first, but once they know you they are very friendly. The restaurant looks like a Jersey sub shop; red booths, wood paneling on the walls, very basic atmosphere. Outstanding food. They are however cash only, so do bring change. All our welcome but I have heard they are a little more bitter around families from others and reviewers on the internet.

- Tin City: fun little shopping center, family oriented. They have souvenirs for kids and adults alike

- Naples Pier: fun attraction, especially for fishing. I did not get the opportunity to fish but I hope to next time around.

- 5th Avenue South: this street has all kinds of restaurants and shops. This area is a little fancier than other parts of the area, not as "beach" or "vacation" oriented, but very fun place to explore and shop. Good food too.

The Naples pier does excellent fireworks on New Years. I imagine they do the same for the 4th of July.

Ma Ma Mia's Pizza

Fun videos:

Aerial view near Tampa, FL

Time lapse from Charleston, SC to Tampa, FL. as mentioned above, you may notice the speed limit patterns along 301 towards the end of the video. It is really fast though so it may not be easy to spot.

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