Jackson’s Bistro is located in Harbor Island, right on the water. Needless to say, the atmosphere was relaxing and the views were beautiful. Luckily for me there was outside seating! It was really nice outside, so this was the perfect arrangement. The outside seating is arranged like a waterside lounge. It was very sexy and suave. It’s definitely an upscale restaurant.
The server was really nice. He was attentive, and very helpful. He was able to provide recommendations, and answer all of our questions. Our table was clear of dirty dishes, and our glasses remained full.
I ordered the Brick Chicken dinner. It was a 12 oz. soy marinated airline chicken breast grilled under a brick, served with garlic green beans, truffle shoestring fries, and tomato demi sauce. The chicken was so good. It was juicy and marinated just right! Every bite was just as good as the last. The green beans were cooked perfectly. They were neither too soft nor hard; they had the perfect consistency. I was a little taken a back by the fact that this meal was served with fries. However, I won’t complain because the truffle shoestring fries were delicious! Parmesan cheese was added, and that just made my day! I wasn’t a big fan of the tomato demi sauce. I thought it was going to be more like a BBQ sauce, but it reminded me of A1 steak sauce. I also ordered a side salad, it was a good size and priced quite nicely. I also tasted a sushi roll, which was really good and fresh. I’d like to go back for their sushi, especially since this is something they’re known for.
I’ve been going to these Halloween-inspired month-long events at theme parks for the past five years. I’ve made it something like a tradition for myself. The first one I went to was Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). I enjoyed myself, but for the past few years I started solely going to Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream (HOS).
In choosing between HHN and HOS, I’ve come to conclusion that I prefer Howl-O-Scream for many reasons. Busch Gardens has way more rides, the tickets are cheaper, and there are generally fewer people. HOS never disappoints me. I always have a good time because I’m able to go through the haunted houses and ride roller coasters.
As expected, I visited HOS this year. It was fun, but I have to admit that I was a little bummed that they recycled the same theme from last year. I read on their Facebook page that there was a difference between last year’s theme and this year’s. I didn’t recognize it. Not to mention, one of the houses I went through was the exact same as the one I went through last year. That was a turn off, but not a big enough one where I wouldn’t return.
This year I went one weekend before the final weekend of HOS. Last year, I made the mistake of going on the last weekend. I had to stand in line for hours before I could go into a house. I think I only made it through two houses, which really upset me. Moving forward I vowed to always purchase a fast pass. On the night I went this year, it wasn’t really necessary because it wasn’t that busy. However, it was nice to skip the line and not have to wait in line for more than 5 minutes. I don’t regret getting the fast pass at all. We were able to get through all the houses, and ride all the roller coasters except for one in about 3.5 hours. That was awesome! I will continue to buy the fast pass from this year on out. It’s worth the extra $35, especially since you get 20% off merchandise, and BOGO photos.
I love Busch Gardens and Howl-O-Scream. I always recommend that people go here over Halloween Horror Nights. However, it’s hard to convince some people because HHN is more popular and main stream than HOS. I strongly believe you are getting more of your money’s worth when you go to Howl-O-Scream, especially since I’ve experienced both multiple times. To each his or her own though.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how there are so many things happening in the Tampa Bay area that I don’t have the opportunity to experience. The reasons vary, but I decided that I am going to try to experience more things. With that said, I LIKED a page on Facebook that is dedicated to informing people of different events occurring in the Tampa Bay area. This is where I found out about the Wyclef book signing. Inkwood Books, Tampa’s only full service independent book store, linked up with the publisher of Wyclef’s memoir and put Tampa on the list of promotional stops.
I am a fan of Wyclef’s music, and thought this would be an awesome experience. I hadn’t heard much about his memoir, so I was also going out of curiosity. I am so thankful that I did.
The book signing took place at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. This church is big, and I had never been there before. Needless to say, I didn’t know where I was going. In the process of finding where I needed to be, I ran into Wyclef, who was chopping it up with someone. I didn’t know what to do, so I said, “Hi.” LOL. He stuck out his hand, I shook it and introduced myself. He then proceeded to say “Wyclef.” It was pretty insane! Well, after that awesome encounter, I went inside the church where I purchased his book. I was also able to get a picture with him, but it was not a good one.
When I got there, I was under the assumption that I would just buy a book, get it signed and leave. However, I was mistaken. I learned that Wyclef would be speaking about his memoir and would also perform. I was thrilled! The program started with a church member introducing Wyclef and speaking on the church’s mission work in Haiti. Then Wyclef was interviewed by a Tampa Bay Times music critic, whom of which I don’t remember his name. I personally did not like his line of questioning. I thought too much of the interview was focused on the negative. I didn’t think there was a balance between the negative and positive aspects of the memoir. At the completion of the interview, Wyclef took questions from the crowd. None of the questions were well thought out, or interesting. So, that portion of the program kind of lacked. Wyclef then went to perform for the crowd. He performed Gone to November, a freestyle, and a track from the CD, Carnival. It was amazing! At the end he signed books, and posed for photo ops. Thankfully, I was able to get a better picture.
My overall experience was moving. I learned things about Wyclef that I did not know, and found that he seems to be very humble and personable. I look forward to reading his memoir, and finding out more about him, his struggles and highlights. Based on the things I heard from Wyclef during the interview, his memoir should definitely be a good read. I strongly believe that we can learn a lot about ourselves when we take the time to find out about the lives of others. So, be sure to look out for my review!