After our show in Venice, the group had a well-earned rest back at the hotel and many took the opportunity of a lie in to recharge. After a slow rise some of us headed all the way next door (further than you might think!) to a McDonald’s. While most were quite familiar with the menu, Lewis somehow managed to end up with a breakfast much higher in syrup content than he expected, and a “medium” coffee with enough caffeine to last a lifetime.

Filled with food and drink we were ready for the 2 hour drive to Tampa. We loaded everything into the trailer and hit the road, still enduring the bus wide debate of whether or not to have the air conditioning on. We had a small break along the way to stretch our legs, and Will decided to try out his brand new drone, a Mavic Air, dubbed “Droney McDroneface”, and we were all impressed with its flying ability.

Following another stint in the bus, we finally arrived at our destination, the Ramada Temple Terrace. We unloaded the trailer only to find that two Semi-Toned members who prefer to remain anonymous (Charlie and Sam) had left their suit carriers in the last hotel. Fortunately since we had a few days before our next show, our brilliant driver Antonio was kind enough to drive them back to Venice to collect those vital burgundy blazers, and back again to Tampa to reconvene with the rest of the group. Meanwhile those of us that responsibly remembered all of our luggage had a great lunch at a nearby IHOP, where our waitress served up a typical American feast of cheeseburgers and pancakes, with as many refills as we could ask for.

Returning to the hotel, some opted for a mid afternoon nap and a rest by the pool. However, things took a turn for the worst as seemingly out of nowhere a sudden downpour of rain hit Tampa, with even some rumbles of thunder scattered in. This was nothing to worry about though, as the rain lasted for no longer than half an hour, and the Florida heat hit us once again.

The group split up once again, with some heading out to downtown Tampa, while others stayed back at the hotel to get some hard work in (we still have degrees you know!). The splinter group took an Uber into the city, and we were surprised by how picturesque it was, seeing many high rise buildings but still maintaining the homely and friendly feel with its cobbled streets. We headed to an Italian restaurant called Bavaro’s, where we filled up on pizza, and revelled yet again in the brilliance of American customer service. After the delicious dinner we took a stroll along the river walk, and took in the beautiful scenery of Tampa.

Retiring to the hotel, we all headed for our beds, in preparation for the 5 hour drive to Tallahassee the next morning.

Jacob S x