Thinking of joining us in Tampa for our tropical Myeloma Beach Party on February 22nd? Let me twist your arm!
The plan is for a group of us to gather for lunch on Saturday. If its a nice day, we’ll sit outside by the water. If not, Bahama Breeze Island Grille features a lot of fun, tiki style seating areas inside; it’s a pretty big place.
At 2 PM we will have our own room with a view reserved until 6 PM.
I resisted the growing momentum that our party become a myeloma meeting or event. But a good friend of mine, author Dave Visel, has been working on a book now titled, The Myeloma Survival Guide, for over three years.
A free dinner–compliments of the TBA Foundation–will be served at 5 PM. Since I wrote the epilogue, I agreed to allow Dave to host a focus group about the book from 3-5 PM.
No obligation. Dave and the TBA Foundation are trying to do some neat things in conjunction with the book’s launch in June, looking for input from patients to help develop a study guide to go along with the text. Dave needs to know how patients felt–and what would have been most important for them to know–during those critical first months following their diagnosis.
Sounds like my mission doesn’t it; to speed up the learning curve for new myeloma patients and caregivers. So I wholeheartedly support this one deviation from our all day party plans.
Now, let’s get back to your travel options.
Try not to be discouraged by the price of lodging. When Pattie and I started visiting possible locations, we did consider the Grand Hyatt, located on the other side of the island. But it seemed too formal and expensive. Even two nice hotels next to Bahama Breeze–the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express–were pricey. All are on Rocky Point Drive; a quiet street that dead ends into the warm Gulf water.
The regular “high season” rate was $149 a night. But if we committed to 10 rooms, they would drop it down to $139. Ouch! Yes, it would be nice to stay 200 feet from the party site. But I decided to search out more affordable options, too.
And during my search, I was encouraged to learn that Expedia was offering that same $139 rooms for $92! So I quickly abandoned the “group rate thing” and did some comparison shopping.
Here are some Lodging options you may find helpful. All of these motels/hotels are located within four miles of Bahama Breeze:
Howard Johnson’s – N Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa FL 1-855-873-6566
Comfort Inn – Raymond James N Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa FL 1-855-809-3507
Best Western Tampa – S Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa FL 1-866-599-6674
Extended Stay – E Beaumont Center Blvd Tampa FL 1-866-599-6674
Hampton Inn Rocky Point/Airport – N Rocky Point Dr Tampa FL Expedia Hotel Expert: 1-855-799-6860
Located next to Bahama Breeze. Quoted rate when I called the hotel direct was $149. Expedia rate was $93 a night!
Country Inn and Suites Tampa Airport – Benjamin Road Tampa FL 1-855-873-6557
Holiday Inn Express Rocky Point Island – N Rocky Point Dr Tampa FL 1-855-799-6861
One block from Bahama Breeze. $120 night.
I encourage you to try sites like Kayak and Hotels.com, too. Let us know if you find any exceptional travel bargains out there. Save as much as you can to buy a few souvenirs or extra drink or two.
Having trouble affording the trip? Several support group members from the area have offered up spare bedrooms. Others have volunteered to pick you up from the airport or hotel and take you to the party.
I understand how difficult it is for multiple myeloma patients to travel. And I know many of you resist it at all costs. I’m just hoping you might consider making an exception this time as we bring our online multiple myeloma community together.
Come on! It will be fun!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat