The end of the year is near and that means two things for frequent fliers – holiday madness and meeting year-end quotes for next year’s elite status. So with those in mind, I headed south to Tampa-St.Pete, Florida to de-stress with a weekend spa break and hit my mark, with room to spare, for next year’s travel adventures.
First stop – International Mall in Tampa. Yes, Wanderlust Women have their priorities straight, you land and you shop…….and along the way you eat. I had been to Tampa before but never discovered the mall until now. What a wonderful place to spend a few hours and drop a few bucks. It was all decked out in Christmas finery, complete with life-sized snow-globes and Santa. This mall has something for everyone: there are play areas for kids; typical clothing and department stores; design and home stores I had never seen before; and a wonderful food court. Nearby is the Renaissance Tampa Hotel with trattoria Pelagia. I had the pleasure of meeting and eating with Barry Frangipane and his sweeter half, Dolce Debbie. If you think they’re funny in Twitterland, then you should meet these guys in person. Better yet, check out their culinary adventures to Italy. Debbie commandeered the kitchen and we dined on a wonderful veal risotto and white chocolate cheesecake. Yum!
Second stop – St. Pete Beach and Spa Oceana at the Don Cesar. The Spa was nice with adequate facilities and the technicians were quite competent. However, this Wanderlust Woman goes to a spa to be pampered and not to be hassled into buying a line of skin and
body care products. You can bet that if a woman is plunking down no less than $250 at a spa, she already has her favorite line of hair and skin care products. Furthermore, how can she relax if someone is yammering on about the benefits of additional treatments and products too numerous to count? The spa lost big points with me for this hard sale tactic.
The best way, I have found, to de-stress is in the company of great people who make you laugh and feel loved. This trip was just as much a journey of spirit, as of mind and body. Along the way I reconnected with old friends I had missed for far too long and met new ones who brought laughter and light into my life. That alone was worth the price of any journey.