arriving in Tampa for one short interview and an evening on my own
Tampa Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
Again, my flight had taken off late, yet landed early by 19 minutes. At 2:00pm, I was inside Tampa International Airport and began my trek to the onsite Marriott. From my arrival gate, I took the tram to terminal F and checked in at the hotel where Mark had booked my reservation. By 2:30, I was settled into my room, 513, with a partial view of the runway.
After an hour with no word from Mark, I gave him a call to touch base and find out what he had planned for our meeting. In our talk, he asked me to keep track of any expenses and let me know that I could put them on the room or get reimbursed later.
Downstairs, at the Skyye Lounge (bar), I had a grilled chicken wrap and delicious fresh fruit kebob. Following my late lunch, I broused around the Landside Building mall and found a Visitor’s Aid booth, where I spoke with the elderly gentleman manning the counter. He gave me a few suggestions of things to do in the area and how to get around and I took some brochures, maps, and bus schedules back to my room to wait for Mark to call.
While re-ironing my shirt that had wrinkled in the course of my travels, I received a call from Mark.
The guys were in a rush because Will needed to catch a flight home to Atlanta within the hour. The interview felt comfortable and seemed to go well, but as always, it can be difficult to predict which way they would decide. Both managers asked me about my future travel plans for concern that I might pose a flight risk, so I tried to deflect the question the best I could. Honestly, I would love to take more extended trips, but future circumstances will determine when and for how long.
There were only a few potential errors I felt I might have made.
My only other concern was for whether they might consider my spending habits in their decision making process. Mark had told me twice that the company would reimburse me for any expenses I incurred due to my visit and that I could put whatever I needed to on the room (i.e., charge it to his company credit card), so I did just that. I had eaten well and charged my meals (including drinks) to the room, yet wondered if they might use the dollar amounts (about $107 total) as a barometer to judge how large an expense account I might require on the job.
Back in my room before 7:00pm, the interview was over, so I changed out of my suit and ironed my shirt once more before packing away my formal ware. At around 7:30, I went down for an hour-long workout in the limited, though adequate weight room, which I followed with a ten-minute soak in the massaging jets of the outdoor hot tub. Once my swollen muscles and aching joints were thoroughly soothed, I took a dip in the pool to swim laps for another 30 minutes.
Alone in the water at first, I soon was joined by a mother and her two daughters. Shannon and I started talking while McKaylie, five, and Presley, 20 months, swam around us. The little girls were adorable, particularly McKaylie who sociably swam up to climb on me and participated in the conversation.
I took a quick shower and got to The View at CK a minute before their 9:30 closing time. CK is a revolving restaurant like Sky City in the Space Needle of Seattle , but not nearly as high and with far less spectacular views. Even though the panning night vista was predominantly of parking garages, the changing scenes still provided an interesting atmosphere.
For my meal, I began with a $4.75 Sapporo Premium (Japanese beer), and ordered the 20-piece sashimi platter for $28. Although it could not compare to the fish I had had at Tsukiji in Tokyo, the quality was still quite good and the presentation flaunted a lovely pallet of colors.
Served on a bed of romaine lettuce and shredded Japanese radish with sides of wasabi and shaved ginger, the sliced raw flesh looked fresh and vibrant.
In keeping with the Japanese theme of my supper, I added a second beverage before I was through, the Gekkeikan warm house sake for another $8.75. With tax and tip, the total bill was around $54. My stomach was full enough, so I passed on desert to spare the seven bucks, but thought I might grab another bite at the bar later on.
At 11:00, I was back at Skyye for a slice of the key lime pie.
Continuing our conversation, Pat and I were the last to leave the bar after finishing our drinks around midnight and we parted ways in the lobby. There was nothing else to do at that hour and I was planning to get an early start in the morning, so I simply returned to my room for the night.