Victorian Christmas Stroll

(Wow – images ended up getting distorted from importing this post from my old blog site.  Keep that in mind  They didn’t look like this in the original post.  Images have since been deleted from my computer, so unable to replace.  The text still offers information.  Sorry.  This post is somewhere between 2009-2011.)
Last weekend we were able to take a glimpse back in to grand old times. We attended the Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum, (formally the Tampa Bay Hotel and now houses the University of Tampa).  This event is held annually, although you’re able to tour the museum throughout the year.  The museum rooms are decorated each year with a different theme.  We also enjoyed Christmas Caroling, cider and cookies while we were there.

I wanted to go to this museum for two reasons. One reason being that it’s old and it’s had Christmas related activities. The main reason stems from a book I read by author John Jakes called Homeland which is part of The Crown Family Saga (Looking at Mr. Jakes’ website, I just remembered there’s a book II – I have to get it!). My mom insists on giving me these old books so that I learn a little bit more about history (I was horrid at it in school.). I usually dread them, but in the end I do learn and then get to brag about my new found knowledge!

The book is about an immigrant who moves to Chicago in the 1800’s. When the Spanish-American War is about to start, he signs up. On the way to Cuba, they soldiers stop in Tampa, FL. The officers, photographers, and reports stay in the new Tampa Bay Hotel . The troops camp out on the lawn and surrounding areas, including Lakeland, FL. It’s neat how they describe the area in the 1800’s. The real cool part is that I’m from the Chicago area, so it was neat to hear about the area in the old days, and now we’re in the Tampa area. Way too cool.  Anyway, that’s why I really truly enjoyed seeing this magnificent old hotel.

Flash photography was not allowed, so I brought my monopod with me, thinking it would be easier to carry than my tripod.  Monopods were also a no-no. Because of this, I had to crank up my ISO, so I apologize if any of the photos have noise (look grainy).

This is the first elevator in Florida:

They’ve got a short film that describes the hotels history:

These shelves are built into a door:

This part of the hotel is now the University of Tampa.  My mom and I wandered her to use the ladies room.  We were able to take a peak into a few rooms, including the Grand Salon:


These ladies had beautiful voices:



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