Our issue this week is all about movies. You can read Steve Persall's reviews of new flicks including Deepwater Horizon and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, as well as interviews with Deepwater stars Mark Wahlberg and Gina Rodriguez.
Believe me. It's still hot enough that a crisp, cool movie theater is a tempting diversion for the weekend. But I am starting to feel a slight shift in the air. Are you?
Floridians have an almost supernatural ability to detect the most subtle differences in temperature change. You may have noticed it in the past couple of weeks. It's still blazing hot during the day, but as the sun starts to sag, the breeze picks up, and it's more warm bath than steamy sauna. It's enough of a dip, although small, to make outdoor activities tolerable again.
Here are some suggestions for ways to exit your house this weekend, ye fellow Vampires of the South.
Take it Outside
First, always check the Take it Outside Planner. This week on Page 26, we have information on the Super Boat National Championship and Festival on Clearwater Beach. And for all you runners, there are a slew of fun races this weekend, including the Fort De Soto 15K and 5K, the GoRuck Challenge inspired by the training of Special Forces soldiers (gulp, sounds hard) and the Komen Florida Suncoast Race for the Cure.
Wine and dine
It's a good time to load up a picnic basket and head out to a scenic park, like Philippe Park in Safety Harbor or Water Works Park in Tampa. Trader Joe's is an affordable place to load up a basket of gourmet goodies — a friend recently got enough gourmet cheeses for an entire bridal shower there for less than I spend on groceries in a week. Hot tip: If you take your picnic to Treasure Island or Madeira Beach, you can even bring wine.
Work it out
Hit up Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Friday for Critical Mass, a large group casual night ride through the University of Tampa, downtown Tampa, Ybor City, the Meridian Trail, around Harbor Island, down Bayshore, through SoHo and back to Curtis Hixon. Come back to the park at 6 p.m. Sunday for free yoga.
See a movie
Ah, here we come full circle. Around these parts, there are several appealing ways to take in a movie in the great outdoors. At Clearwater Beach's Sunsets at Pier 60 Friday, see Danny Zuko create Sandy in his own image in everyone's favorite high school songfest Grease. On Saturday at Pier 60, get Halloween ready with Goosebumps. Dunedin's films in Pioneer Park get going again every Friday starting Oct. 7, with upcoming selections Little Giants, Cinderella, Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Book of Life.
And if you see Deepwater Horizon, there's nothing wrong with a little stroll around the theater parking lot when it's all over.