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Tampa Bay trip recap; panic attack April 9, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Travel, Weather.
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NOTE: At the end of this post, I recount my panic attack suffered early in my flight back to Islip.

Two weekends ago, I was in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region for a brief vacation and family visit.  It was my first trip to Florida in two-and-a-half years when I saw family in South Florida, specifically Palm Beach and Broward Counties.  This post contains pictures of scenery and roadways from this trip, all but two of them from Sunday, March 27.  The last two are from the following day.

The view from my room at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa:

Poolside:

Beyond the pool:

Tampa Bay:

Driving through Safety Harbor:

McMullen Booth Rd (CR 611) and Main St. (Sunset Point Rd. after the intersection):

U.S. 19 overpass:

Entering U.S. 19:

Nebraska Ave. in Palm Harbor:

Alderman Rd.:

The main entrance to Innisbrook (after the traffic light-less Belcher Rd. intersection):

Turning left at Klosterman Rd.:

Belcher Rd. and Glen Eagles Pkwy. (pic taken at the aforementioned light-less intersection):

Two random pictures inside Innisbrook:

Two more pictures from Safety Harbor:

The last two pictures were taken Monday, March 28, from my grandparents patio at Innisbrook, overlooking the Copperhead course’s 2nd hole fairway:

After nice weather the previous two days, we were inundated by rain and thunderstorms.  Our flight home in the evening was delayed a half hour, but avoided major turbulence.  Before coming to that conclusion in-flight, I developed a panic attack on fear of major turbulence for the first half-hour.  Here’s the story as I typed it from my laptop (partially revised):

As I boarded at around 8PM, I began to feel anxious.  The heat on the plane didn’t help.  Drinking water didn’t help, either.  As our plane taxied and waited to take off, I began to feel tightness in my chest.  Again, the water didn’t help nor did deep breathing.  When we took off, the tightness turned to numbness and quickly spread to my face, hands, and somewhat to my feet.  I was paralyzed in those areas for about five minutes as I continued to breathe as deeply as I could.  At one point, I uttered through my frozen face: “I feel so helpless.”  A man sitting across the aisle from me was reassuring, though I don’t remember exactly what he said.  Gradually, I regained feeling.  Once that happened, I thanked the man for helping me through my harrowing experience.  I thanked him again when we landed and he patted me on the back.

Thankfully, the turbulence worries were initially for nothing.  There were some bumps here and there later on, but I didn’t have another attack.

It was nonetheless a good trip.

3/29/12 UPDATE: This turned out to be the last time my grandfather, Carmen Chimeri, in person.  He passed away on December 9.  The last time I spoke to him was on the phone on my 30th birthday.  I took this last March 27 at Carrabba’s in Palm Harbor, for his 80th birthday (albeit three days late):

I’ll conclude this update with a picture of Carmen on Christmas morning in 1994:

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