Our family returned to Ybor City for a walkabout visit yesterday.  We had a lovely time, with no bouts of moodiness whatsoever.

Ok, who are we kidding?  We’ve been all over the place for over a week.  Dean’s been sick, Keegan didn’t sleep well, and I…well, I’m just me.  Out of the five of us, the two that are usually the moodiest were the most upbeat.  That’s life, though.  We got over it.

By the way, the picture above is a perfect example of how our happy-go-lucky family had plummeted down to a pissy, annoyed state.  Earlier, this sweet cherub of a child kept photobombing every picture that I was trying to take of this sign.  After this, I had no interest in taking this child’s picture with the sign.  We walked a block or so away from this point with Keegan’s lip sticking out more and more the further that we got.  Since this was even more annoying that the initial photobombing, moody mom that I am, turned around with a growl and marched the child back to the spot to take the picture.  “Fine!  We took your picture!  Happy now?”  Grrrr…  Yes, happy folks on vacation.

Anyway, I love Ybor City.  It’s been very interesting watching it change throughout the years.  I remember going there in the 80s.  We used to see shows and hang out in the shops.  I remember getting my keys locked in my car when I was having a photo shoot.  The photographer found a piece of metal and jimmied the door.  Impressive. One night, we arrived just as a bunch of dudes in mohawks were lined up against a wall, hands on the wall and legs spread, getting searched by the cops.  In the 90s, they closed the main road for a while at night.  It became similar to Pleasure Island at Disney World.  I think it lost a little of it’s charm then…became a little too trendy for my taste.  In recent years, there has been a lot of renovations.  The trolley runs again.  I wonder how Ybor will continue to change.

A building for sale:

Colorful building:

Tile:

There are some very unique shops in the area.  One of my favorites was this retro, second-hand store:

Um, yeah…it’s for tobacco.  Really.

Yeah!  The Masquerade is open again!  I think it’s called “The Ritz” now?  Can’t remember.  Reel Big Fish is playing (I believe with the Aquabats and Koo Koo Kangaroo, but I’m not positive).  We’ll miss it by a couple of weeks.  Thank goodness we just saw them up at the 9:30 Club in DC.

Oh Gaybor!  I wish I could have talked someone into posing with the props up front.  No dice.

Are you feeling stressed?  Please let the Scientologists suck you into their cult.

Trolley!  I love this thing!  I remember riding it near Channelside once and some lady walked in front of it and got hit.  Made for an interesting evening.

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