Hometown Series - Krystal of Krystal's Kitsch

Happy Tuesday! Hope you all had great Mondays. Once thing I did want to mention about this past weekend was I did a lot of learning, particular marriage learning, it is a journey, always a journey and you have to continue learning all the time, it is part of the exciting part but also challenging part of marriage. More on that later :-)

Tuesdays and Thursdays I have dedicated to my series, From My Hometown to Yours. I should make up a map and place a star on all the amazing places you bloggers have posted about.

Take it away Krystal!

I loved that Meg was hosting a hometown series and I knew I had to join in. I've been feeling a little homesick and I knew this might cheer me up...perhaps even encourage me to make a trip back home!

I'm Krystal from Krystal's Kitsch and I'm a true Florida girl. I've never lived anywhere else (barely even visited other states!), and have spent my entire existence on the west Gulf coast of Florida. And, I wouldn't have traded it for anything else!

I was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area. Sometimes besides sports - I wonder what outsiders think of this city. I grew to love it and now I totally miss it. Tampa has everything that one could want.

Sports. From the Tampa Bay Bucs (okay, so MAYBE a winning football team night be nice) to the Tampa Rays (formerly the Devil Rays), we have sports covered. We have hockey (Lightning) and even arena football (Storm). If you're craving basketball, the Orlando Magic is just a two hour drive east.

My favorite weekend ever (besides my wedding of course!) was when the Super Bowl was in Tampa a few years ago. From stalking celebrities to free concerts, it was a BLAST. I have never seen so many famous people in one weekend!

Theme Parks. There's Busch Gardens in the city limits and TONS of other area attractions. From museums to aquariums, there is really no reason to ever be bored! The Disney Theme Parks are not a far drive (again, an hour or so east) and Universal Studios is also nearby in Orlando.

Beaches. Yes, the beach! I love Gulf Coast beaches. Clearwater is my favorite, but I'm a little biased. I had way too much fun there growing up. We even got married on this beach!

See pirate ship. Read on to learn why pirates are a big deal in Tampa.
Nightlife. Tampa is known for its adult establishments. I thought that was normal growing up -- that every town had a street in the middle of the city that had some...interesting places. That's definitely not the case! Besides those adult spots, there are tons of fun bars and clubs. We even got a Hard Rock casino. Like I said, there's really no chance that you could be bored around here. The diversity of nightlife is also apparent--beer bars, fancy wine lounges, crazy dance clubs--you name it, I'm sure Tampa has it.

Small Towns. Tampa is a HUGE city for some people. There's a lot of traffic, a pretty big population, and naturally, crime. With any big city, crime is a given. However, what is awesome about the Tampa area, are the cute little town that lie on the outskirts. My favorite, Dunedin, is nestled on the water and is a family & dog friendly city. It boasts local breweries (The Dunedin Brewery is one of my favorites -- craving an Apricot Wheat Ale now!) and beautiful views. Other small towns include Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, and Oldsmar. Tarpon Springs is best known its Greek population (apparently the largest amount of Greek Americans live there!) and tourist attractions.

Dunedin Brewery's Oktoberfest beer mugs.
Dunedin, also known as DOGedin, is a great place to hang out with (or without!) your pets!

Pirates. This entire area has a fascination with PIRATES. It's kind of amazing. Every year Tampa hosts a Gasparilla parade--basically an excuse to dress up like a pirate, indulge in some adult beverages, and watch a crazy parade. And, this isn't just a small city event. About half a million people head to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa each year to watch the mayhem.

I recently moved two hours south -- same vibe, different crowd! I still have a nearby beach with a variety of neat restaurants, but nightlife is a little nonexistent. At least Tampa is a short drive north!

Though, I shouldn't complain about my new digs. Being a bit more south, we are a LOT more warm!
Christmas Eve on the beach? Done. And... it was HOT out.
Ft Myers Beach Pier -- my new beach!

I hope you all started mentally booking your Florida vacation as you read this! If you have any questions be sure to ask! I love where I live and I love to encourage others to come visit. I've been quite the beach expert lately so if you're looking for warm weather and good times, head on down to Florida!

I blog pretty much daily at my site and hope you stop by and check it out!

Thanks for having me, Meg!

I love those Christmas hats at the beach, you definitely can't do that in too many locations, celebrate Christmas at a beautiful beach. I appreciate you writing for this series Krystal and showing me about Florida.


Katie {Miss Dixie} said...

Christmas on the beach always sounds like fun to me, especially if it's warm. Sounds like a great place to be!! :)

Tonia L said...

I've been to Clearwater and it was wonderful! We just got a couple of inches of snow last night so Florida sounds heavenly right now!

Amy G. said...

I have a special place in my heart for Florida! My mom lived in Tampa Bay from 5 years old until 22! We used to go back every.single.year. through grade school and I loved it. We still go occasionally as a family :) I'm actually heading to Florida on Friday! Ready for the sunshine! Great post!

Beth Dunn said...

We did New Years on the beach with fire works in Naples. I was so pregnant I think I just wanted to nap. But it really is lovely there

Krystal said...

Loving all the Tampa fans! ;)

Brooke Shemwell said...

I have lived in Tampa for 6 years and Krystal wrote up a great review of the city. The year-round warmth is phenomenal (coming from a Kansan). I'm hoping our downtown keeps developing into more of a walking city. Big changes have happened the past couple years with the addition of the Tampa Museum of Art (where we got married) and the Glazer Children's Museum on the Hillsborough River. I have high hopes of a big(er) city life soon!

Hilliary@ Happily Ever Healthy said...

Beautiful pictures! I wish I could be somewhere in Florida right now relaxing on a beach!

The Presutti's said...

Such a great post. I just recently moved to Florida and I already love it here :) Thanks for sharing all about Florida :)

CALLIE said...

Christmas on the beach, yes please!!

Crystal H. said...

Superbowl weekend was one of my favorite too! So much fun! We went to 3 free concerts and met some celebs. We need another Tampa Superbowl pronto! Great post Krystal (and love how you always ease in the strip clubs...haha).

Ps> Hi Meg! I love the idea of this "series" and I am going to visit now that I found you. : )

Stesha said...

nice to meet you Krystal!!


Jessica @ Lovely Little Things said...

Hey I live in Tampa!
Guess I need to go check out this fellow Florida girl's blog :)


Erin @ Currently Coveting said...

Oh I long for that gorgeous Tampa weather! Lucky lady! I love that pic of you guys standing in front of the Dogedin sign, so cute!


Shannon said...

So nice to meet another wonderful blogger. I've never been to Florida before, so it was fun reading a bit about it.


Kristen said...

I passed on a blog award to YOU today! You can find in here:


Alexa said...

Ah I love her and great photos. Love learning more about different cities! And Marriage is a learning experience I think. Always. That's what makes it an adventure! ;) Pretty sure I'm still going to be learning when Matt and I are 80 years old! Haha.

Daisy said...

I am booking my flight! That pirate celebration hooked me in :) It sounds like so much fun!

Ann On and On... said...

My parents and nieces were just at the F.M. beach last weekend. Your neck of the woods (beach) sounds pretty fabulous!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Yay Krystal! I am so dumb when it comes to Florida...since I've never been. I totally thought it was at the bottom of the state. I want to visit one day! I can only imagine how beautiful the beaches are!

TaraR said...

Yay! Loved reading this from one Florida gal to another :)

REBrown said...

Really fun! I've only been to Florida a handful of times. This makes me want to go back.

BeckyJo606 said...

I love the pirate festival!!! And, I really enjoyed looking at pictures of the beach, especially because it's so cold and rainy here! :)