Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tampa Wrap Up

I love going to meetings with the PBS folk. I always meet fun people, learn lots, have a wonderful time. And I knew the rest of the conference was going to be great.

Thursday was filled with workshops. And, during one of the breaks, “Miffy,” a children’s show character, posed for photos. We took this because we’re thinking of bringing Miffy to Lansing and everyone wants to see what the costume looks like, because some poor soul will have to wear it in June.
I was also invited by the PBS brand manager to attend an award ceremony for community awards in Tampa called the “Be More” awards. They were started by the Tampa station and they’re launching the program nationally. Kelly thought it was something I should see and she was right.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to muster station support to do something like this in our market, but wow – I’d love to.

The station takes nominations for community service organizations doing wonderful things in different categories and honors these amazing groups with awards. It was highly produced and absolutely beautiful. I took these photos just to share with the people at home and they're not good ones, but you can see, it was very elegant (so was lunch!). I was glad to attend.

(I am now on my second margarita during my eternally long layover at Detroit’s awful airport, due to yet another flight cancellation. More on this on Chopsticks and String!)

Let me just say I'm in no hurry to fly again soon.

More workshops and then dinner out, at a Cuban restaurant with a good band, good group and good fun. It all started with a trolley ride!

Our fearless leader – Greg, from Penn State (here with Teri from Memphis) – knows how to pull together a good group and find a great spot to eat. The Columbia did not disappoint.

Terrific salads, excellent food – no complaints from anyone, except for the fact that the shops were closed in the funky neighborhood we visited. But I loved the use of tile on the interior ...

...and the exterior. (The whole front of the building was like this.)

Back for the hospitality suites. “Highland Heartbeat” is a Celtic show lots of stations will feature in pledge this March. Mostly Scottish music (and I can’t say I loved the entire television preview – the guys were a little weird. And not because of the kilts and bagpipes. That's OK... this one fellow, well -- maybe he's better in context.)

But he wasn't there. Instead, an astounding trio of women performed at the suite and they were fabulous – Maureen, Gillian and one other whose name I can’t recall. Simply amazing voices, beautiful women, and – the station rep says – very nice and easy to work with (not everyone is).

They performed a 20-minute set and then mingled. This is Maureen. (With me. Like you couldn’t tell.)

We also enjoyed good times at another suite with lots of great take-aways (like a flash drive, Italian coffee and cooking utensils, autographed books). For stations that show “Red Green” (quirky to say the least), Red was there – but as himself, Canadian Steve Smith. He’s always been a crowd pleaser at our special events, and signed a mug for Rick.

There was also some doctor who has written a book about depression and nutrition which he gave me autographed. The programs lots of these guys offer for pledge border on snake oil, but I’m glad to have the book. Depression and nutrition – I could learn something helpful here.

Most of us were too full to eat much or drink much, but we still had silly in us…

And of course waited around for the drawings! (I didn’t win – probably a good thing. I don’t know how the people who won the three-foot tall dalmatian and golden retriever are going to get them home.) (The tall beautiful woman with the big smile is host of an Italian cooking show some stations air.)

After the meeting ended Friday morning, I took off and surprisingly (and pleasantly) found a farm market.

For me, an outdoor farm market in January is unheard of.

Granted, it was only 40. But at home, it was –7 (without wind chill added in), so I thought this was pretty cool.

I did some damage at the jewelry booth – lovely things. (This was part art-fair, part farm market). And, I admired the orchids.

Best discovery? My first-ever pasta vendor.
I SO could not resist this place. Fascinating pastas like this one that is fruity (they include recipes with the pastas)…

And ones flavored with Italian or Southwest (chipotle, corn) flavors.

I got some for Rick and for myself, too. Who knows who else will taste these…Can’t wait to try them out.

Also took a few more pix of the Tampa Theatre in better light.

So, it’s back to Michigan. To cold. To being able to catch up and visit you all over the next few days!

That, I can’t wait for!


anno said...

Sigh. Fresh flowers. Fresh produce markets. ... I'm just going to sit here and look around for a while, ok?

Rosa said...

You have too much fun! I would love to see Arlo on our wedding anniversary in Tampa!

Anonymous said...

Looking at the life you - and others here! - live makes me feel like I'm five again, with my nose pressed up against the department store window displays at Christmas. Not jealous, exactly, but a little wistful for a life I chose to give up... travel, working with colleagues, all that.

But what wonderful reporting you do! And I love seeing it all because it gives me opportunity to think things through again. It's always startling to realize how many unforeseen consequences decisions have - learning to live with them is the trick.

Now, if you put a plate of that chipotle pasta down in front of me, all such musings would cease, pronto! That is some seriously good food!

JessInFocus said...

Beautiful flowers and pasta! How cold is it in MI right now? It is snowing today in Nashville. :) Too bad it is the dry stuff. I posted my ice pictures!

BONNIE K said...

Wow, you were busy! I love the monkeys and I love the pasta selections. Must've been hard to get home to the cold!

paris parfait said...

Love these photos of you! Sounds like a great trip! (And isn't this an absolutely thrilling moment in our history??!! Hallelujah!)

Beth said...

What a great time you have on your conventions and trips. Love the pic of you and Miffy! And the fresh farmers market and the pasta.
And wow,,Arlo Guthrie,,how cool is that!!! Sorry you have to go back home to the frozen zone.

jet1960 said...

You always get to do the most fun things! Glad it was not all work.

Claudia said...

Hey Jeanie! Long time reader, first time commenter...but your pictures of the Columbia restaurant took me right back to childhood. When I was growing up we spent every spring break from school in Florida, and the Columbia was one of the places we'd go. I still have the recipes for the wonderful garbanzo bean soup and the black bean and rice soup. Yum!


Sugar Bear said...

Now tell the truth - you want to be Miffy don't you?

Herzblatt said...

My dear, you are so often other states...areas....countries...are there days, where you only sit at home doing nothing??? Can`t imagine...*lol*

Beth Leintz said...

Ahhhh Warmish weather and pretty pasta- what a nice break from the winter deep freeze!

Mary Timme said...

I had fun just sitting here and looking at the good things, funny things and the farmers market in January! Unheard of in northern climes. What a treat!

Joanne Huffman said...

A greatwrap up. I like Tampa a lot and hope to get back sometime.


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