From Oxford to Hyde Park – Blogmas Day 6

Oxford Exchange Tampa

My bestie, BFF, sister-from-another-mister – Cyn – is in town and I’m so excited! Not only have I been so thrilled to spend some quality, uninterrupted girl-time with her, but I finally got to show her some of the places and things I love most about where I live!

She’s only been to the area a couple times since I’ve lived in Tampa (though she did visit me for a long weekend back in college) and I was so desperate to show her around.

We checked out all the key spots including my current neighborhood and future neighborhood (hopefully, fingers crossed), to show her the fun highlights.

Since I’m not one to go too long without a bite, I brought her to one of my favorite local destinations, for a refresher, some shopping and coffee.

So off to Oxford Exchange we went!

OE_OutsideI love how OE gets dressed up for the holidays. Subtle hints at some seasonal tidings on the outside, with artful window displays and classic wreaths, but inside, some lovely centerpieces and nods to the holidays peak out at you all over.

HolidayCenterpieceWe took the time to lose ourselves in the beautiful tomes as couples and groups whispered and laughed from cozy corners.

Looking_at_BooksSome books were an unexpected treasure!

Plate_Book

Plate_Book_InsideIt was easy to lose ourselves for a while, only coming up for air when we excitedly discovered a favorite story or an remarkable edition.

Peaking_Over_BooksWe picked up some inspiring bits of advice from the classic literary masters amidst the shelves too…

Great_EH_QuoteIf there’s one guy you don’t argue with, it’s ol’ Ernest.

Eventually our rumbling bellies led us down to the restaurant, just in time for our reservation (which I always recommend making, if you want to actually snag a table!).

We didn’t waste any time in ordering and were thankfully looking down at some delicious plates full of food before too long!

C went for the turkey club and sweet potato fries…

TurkeyClubWhile I felt a bit adventurous and went with OE’s twist on eggs Benedict, with a smokey jalapeno creme on a roasted tomato and griddle biscuit.

Clearly, I hated it…

Empty_PlateI was forced to restrain myself from licking the plate by the cool gaze of our stern server. No fun.

With food in our stomachs and smiles on our face, we meandered to the gift shop to poke around. We sniffed, starred, lifted and flipped our way through the wide range of items on their shelves, getting especially drawn in by the cocktail and kitchen section.

cocktail-goods

More_CocktailsAnyone craving a bloody?

I walked out with a stylish white bag with Christmas gifts. I couldn’t resist.

From OE, we toured some other favorite areas before heading back to the hood and one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tampa, Hyde Park Village, just in time for the lights to pop on!

HydePark_Lights

As dusk settled in around us, we made our way from shop to shop, stopping to admire the sparkling light show on the massive Christmas tree setup in the square.

HP_Christmas_Tree

We even stopped to make some bright little friends, who were looking a tad bored tucked away in alley to the shops.

MakingFriendsSo well behaved. My Jaz could pick up a couple pointers from these fellas.

We finally made it home and collapsed on the couch after our full day. I think it’s safe to say that the area made a good impression on C.

If only I could keep her around for longer, it was great having my partner in crime around!

2 thoughts on “From Oxford to Hyde Park – Blogmas Day 6

  1. Nichole C

    I love going to the Oxford Exchange! The shop alone is so fun. Then again, so is Bingo Night there πŸ˜‰

    Reply

  2. Crystal H

    I love browsing at OE. I have yet to eat there because the restaurant is always closed when I am there, but I still have fun. Next time take us a BEFORE picture…lol. I am glad you got to show her some of Tampa’s treasures. πŸ™‚

    Reply

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