Gasparilla

Up next for us on our show schedule was the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa, Florida the first weekend in March.  It was great to get out of snowy Baltimore, and though we were only able to stop through at home for basically a day before heading to Florida, once we got there the view out our hotel room more than made up for it.

It was clear, temps hovering around 80, perfect weather for an Art Festival.  Or so you would think…

Let me tell you first off, the show was in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park which is a beautiful location, but load-in for this show was an absolute beast.  Kristina was watching Jeremia, and because I was not allowed to take our small trailer directly into the park, I had to instead unload piece by piece, then trek each load app. 150 yards to our booth space.  What normally takes us 15-20 minutes to do, took me a full 2 hours.  By the time I was done I was sweating more than a fat cow in a hamburger commercial.

Once in the booth however, set up was fairly easy, and I was happy with the final look.

For this show, I tried to choose bolder and larger pieces which turned out to be a good thing.

Sales were good for the two days, and it was interesting in that people seemed to want to purchase the larger rather than smaller pieces.

I’m not complaining, with so many shows lined up one after another, it actually makes my life a bit easier by not needing to make as much work.

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Sunday evening came, and load out was a little easier; some of the volunteers came with golf carts which helped shorten the number of loads it took to get everything back to the trailer.  By the time we left, Jeremia had just had more fun than he could stand and promptly passed out in the car with a fry in his mouth.  We couldn’t resist a good picture before removing it.

The next day we headed home again, and as per the usual, we made a slight detour on our way home.  If any of you have ever been up or down I-95 then you know that on the border of North and South Carolina there is perhaps the largest and most ridiculous tourist trap known to man, “South of the Border.”  Seriously, its one of those places that understands what it is, so it relishes in it rather than try to deny it.  Its been there probably since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and its mascot is the most prototypical politically incorrect figure, “Pedro.”

Someone of whom Jeremia was not a big fan…

However, all hope was not lost, while stopping to look for me a leather hat which I could wear at shows to keep my head out of the sun (Yes, I naively thought that we could stop here and I could go into a building simply marked, “Leather” and there a hat would be, miraculously waiting),

we met none other than….

Fabio.

Yes, Fabio.

Well, a cardboard cut-out of Fabio, but close (and scary) enough for me.  I mean seriously, wouldn’t it weird you out to know that there were cardboard cutouts of yourself floating around in the world where you were sporting nothing more than a tight pair of jeans and chains?  I love how he guards the emergency exit.

Jeremia tried to work a new purse out of the deal (probably to keep things quiet), but we instead we talked him into a pair of plastic glasses with the goofy eyes.

And yes, in the entire store marked “Leather,” there was not a single leather hat.  Notice however, the ample supply of Pedro dolls.  Needless to say, I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Once we got outside we stopped to shoot a quick photo with a horse.  J was preoccupied with noticing that horse wasn’t wearing a diaper and should have been-

I just wanted to find the car.  Once we were loaded up and preparing to leave it was then that I spotted it-

a lovely Ferris Wheel just begging to have its picture taken.

So of course I obliged.  What I love about this shot is the “Convention Center” in the background.  Can’t you just see yourself entertaining some million-dollar clients at that locale next time you need to set up an important meeting?  Yep, me too.

I got one other nice shot; this RIDES sign-

then I was ready to hit the road…

Where’s the tequilla?

-M

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