Saturday, December 15, 2012

Enjoying a night of the Blues in Tampa

December 1, Zephyrhills, Florida

One of my nieces, who has been visiting Florida for the past couple weeks, was supposed to leave today for Sweden.  About fifteen minutes after her flight time, I received a text message from her saying she forgot her passport in Colorado!  She had a serious meltdown at the airport as she had so carefully planned for this trip to move to her fiance’s home country and somehow forgot the most obvious necessity.  To help lift her spirits about delaying her trip to Monday, my other niece and I took Kathryn to hear Betty Fox and the Dirty Bastards, a blues singer, at the World of Beer in Tampa. Little did I know when I said yes I will go that we wouldn’t even leave for Tampa (about a 30 minute drive) until 9 p.m.  Guess I am feeling old because I needed some caffeine before heading out. 

The World of Beer is a relatively new franchise pub that began in Tampa in 2007 which was purchased by Outback Steakhouse in 2010.  They offer over 300 beers (most in bottles) and have flat screen tvs for sports and live music on the weekends.  I am not a big fan of franchises, but this one felt more like a good neighborhood bar. The highlight though was the quality of the music. My niece Shannon has become a bit of a groupie following Betty Fox to different venues in the area.  Betty is a songwriter performer with a voice that sounds like a mix of Janis Joplin and Etta James.  Her band is obviously seasoned and skilled in performing the kind of music that complements Betty’s gritty voice.  With no cover charge, no smoke, front row seats, and some good craft beer (Anderson Valley seasonal was my choice), I had no regrets about making a promise to go out with my much younger nieces.  The biggest challenge of the night was not getting too animated on the dance floor—and that’s a problem I will gladly choose.  About an hour after we arrived, two more friends of Shannon’s joined us and the five of us easily became Betty’s biggest fans.  She even spent part of her break visiting with us as she recognized my niece from seeing her in the Keys during Fantasy Fest.  I was sure impressed with her talent and was happy to hear she has a strong following throughout the state. 

betty fox

shannon and katie at betty fox

After listening to three full sets, we called it a night.  I arrived back to the motorhome by 2 a.m.  It has been quite a while since I stayed out that late, but the joy of being retired with few commitments is that I can sleep in and even take a nap later in the day if needed.  The best part of the next day was having my brother invite us all over for dinner so I didn’t even have to cook a meal that night. We said our goodbyes to my niece, once again, and wished her well in receiving her passport in time for her Monday afternoon flight to Sweden. 

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