The Healer and the Pirate

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Tampa Bay Airport - Things to Do in Airside/Terminal C

So on my flight to Florida, I had a long layover in Tampa Bay. As in, I arrived at 4:30 PM and was scheduled to depart at 8:05 PM (with delays, it turned out more like 9:00 PM). I was tempted to find something to do in Tampa Bay proper, but I didn't want to be stressed for time, and certainly didn't want to go through TSA. So instead, I became intimately acquainted with "Airside C" of Tampa Bay International Airport.

As an introvert, I found it delightful toward sunset and later, when it was less crowded. Mid-day on my flight back, it was spacious enough that it didn't feel crowded...but I still liked it when it was empty.

Most of the pictures I got were lower-quality cell phone pictures...I didn't feel comfortable taking too many pictures with my regular camera.

The whole terminal has a lot of glass and just feels very airy. It's like a giant building with mini-buildings and walled-off areas inside.

I'm really not sure why they call it an "airside" but I guess they think there's just one terminal?

I personally ate at Quizno's.

The sandwich prices were very steep. The salad prices were less steep--not that much more than a salad you'd get outside the airport, though they didn't come with any flatbread.

It was really good, though I doubt "healthy" would describe it.

Other restaurants include a standalone Nathans/Samuel Adams and a Home Team, whatever that is.

Home Team was kind of a sit-down-ish place (and a sports-bar type place), though they did have a to-go window. Due to time constraints, I ate at Nathan's on the way back...the hot dog was OK but there was a great chip selection (I got popcorn!).

And there's a Chili's Too. I feel weird eating at a sit-down place alone.

Looking back toward the security checkpoint:

The outdoor smoking areas are little screened-in concrete areas. Not too friendly but I suppose they'll do if you need nicotine.

There is a newsstand and another store with overpriced food:

And spiffy art above it.

Don't worry about what to do with your purse when you use the restroom. They have Purse Wrap!

Things to do in the airport during a 4.5 hour layover:

Scrounge around for a newspaper. Who knew Prince Valiant was still around?

Visit the play area:

Wave at the giant aviator statue:

Tuck yourself away into a workstation...

...including free Wi-Fi (at least in March 2011)!:

Get some Tampa Bay Info to Go:

Make sure your luggage and personal item will fit on your plane. (Or commandeer a wheelchair!)

Take a picture of your plane:

Take a picture of your luggage:

I saw someone taking a nap on the floor by the window. No pic but he looked very comfortable!

Relax in one of the luxurious leatherette chairs:

Or just snap and finally start taking pictures of your cute tiny Duffy Bear.

Safe travels, everyone!

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