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Tampa traffic

Yesterday morning I dared to tackle the relentless Tampa traffic to meet Rich C at the Mac Store by the International Mall. Tampa has some of the worst traffic in the country. An eight-mile drive can easily take 30 minutes on I-275. The traffic is like a vicious tide, with detours and “exit only” lanes that act like rip currents to carry you far from your intended path.

The city should have a warning flag system like the ones I’ve seen at every Florida beach: green for those rare moments when you can drive right through; yellow for the normal gelatinous ooze of traffic; red for vicious rip currents; blue for “dangerous creatures” such as stinging jellyfish or construction detours.

But yesterday I was lucky: it took just 25 minutes to go ten miles, and the Mac Store got none of my money, which is a first since I’ve started visiting those places. (They should come with warning labels too, like casinos: “CAN’T STOP BUYING GADGETS? CALL 1-800-. …”)

Tampa Barrys.jpg
Our parking spot at Chez Barry. Click for larger.

This evening we are going to Haines City for an “organic community dinner” with Wendimere and Bill and about ten of their friends. Eleanor had to prepare an organic dish to share, so yesterday we all went to the grocery store at the end of the working day. While Eleanor shopped for menu items, Emma and I went to the Public Library in the same strip mall to read a couple of books.

That’s another Florida characteristic: everything is conveniently located in the strip mall. You can visit one strip mall and find a grocery store, hardware store, library, a fine restaurant, and a place that removes excess body hair, all right next to each other. The only thing I have never seen in a Florida strip mall is a cemetary, and it’s probably just a matter of time.

Our week at Barry’s is winding up. Today we will be starting to put away things that have spread out during our visit, and on Saturday we’ll be moving to Bay Bayou, about 10 miles north of here through heavy traffic. With luck, the drive will only take an hour.

One Response to “Tampa traffic”

  1. Terry Says:

    I don’t know about cemetaries, but several cremation companies have sales offices in strip malls. Does that count?