Evening all, I returned Sunday from the convention down in Tampa. Other than a few references in some ads I have seen almost no mention of the event anywhere. It was a nice venue and though the layouts we visited were too far apart ie. way too many hours on a bus, I did get to see some excellent working garden railroads as well as a couple of indoor setups. I was impressed by the use of space (why do they put houses so close together down there even if they aren't on the water?) the thought and planning and the execution of those plans in nearly every instance. One indoor layout was completely computerized and another was a building full of scale modeling as good as I've ever seen. Plenty of vendors too and lots of good prices. I aquired a Little Critter set NIB for $60 which solves my problem of getting a new locomotive for this year's Christmas train. The CBAM&J has also aquired another U25 as well as some passenger excursion cars and some badly needed boxcars. Looks like the paint shop will be busy the next few months. I also got some outdoor plumbing and a caboose for the hobo village as well as various odd parts for future needs. There were about 450 registered participants from just about every state and several countries including Australia and several from Europe.I did notice something I thought was interesting. There seemed to be two types of garden railroads.There were several gardens that had railroads added to them as well as several railroads that also had gardens. It's a distinct dfference in approach as well as what kind of operations were found. The first type tended to have fewer operations, fewer structures and fewer trains running at any one time. It was very relaxed and the trains tended to just cruise. A prominent feature in one of these was a comfortable looking hammock. The second type tended to be much more complex with more operational detail, more trains and more separate tracks to run several trains at once, generally noisier and more intense. I can't say that one was better than the other but they all seemed to suit their owners. I came away with several ideas for the direction of the CBAM&J and also discovered a few things I plan to avoid. There were several workshops held in the evenings. I found most of the ones I attended very useful though aimed at newer railroaders such as myself. I missed a cople I would like to have seen though. I don't know where it will be held next year but if it is within reasonable traveling distance I may have to go. Rick H.