In December, I was lucky enough to have a business trip to beautiful and warm Tampa. Unfortunately, I missed out at staying at the conference hotel. This was sad on two counts. 1. I was horribly sick (which may have slightly affected my taste buds on this review), and 2. The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, the conference hotel, is a pretty spectacular spot. The hotel is located on on a 35-acre wildlife preserve right on the shore. It has a cute path and gazebo where you can spy on some egrets, pelicans, and ibises.
Before my cold took a turn for the worst, I managed to make it out to Ybor (“eee-bore”) City. Ybor is Tampa’s historic Spanish district with fun bars, places with flamenco dancers, cigar rolling places, and live music. My coworker and I were told to go to the Columbia Restaurant, est 1905, for great Spanish cooking. We ordered a salad, tapas, and paella.