I've been doing a bit of visiting lately. After coming home from North Carolina, where I was able to see my two sons and daughter-in-law, and meet with bloggers Michele and Debby, I flew out to Denver to visit my mom and sister and her family.
And I got to visit with another lovely blogger, Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose. Many of you know Stephanie, who hosts the amazing teacup exchanges, one of which I believe is going on right now. I was just too busy to participate this time around, but they are so much fun.
I got to visit with Stephanie and her mom Debbie from She Graces Her Home in God's Beauty last year. This year it was just Stephanie and me. We missed you Debbie!
I had less than an hour drive to our meeting point, a tearoom where we had met last year, but got to see some beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery on the way. We had had just a bit of snow the previous evening, so the trees were lightly dusted. Beautiful.
|A bit of a sketchy picture, taken hastily while I was driving. I know, not a good idea, but it was so pretty.|
We had afternoon tea at a beautiful little tearoom and were able to visit for a couple hours.
I know Stephanie got more, and better, pictures, so maybe when the tea exchange is completed you will see a few from her.
Stephanie is a dear woman, as many of you know. I wish her many blogger friends could have been with us, just to see in person how lovely she is. I felt so privileged that she took the time to drive over to meet me again this year. I enjoyed our visit so much.
After tea, we went next door to a yarn and quilt shop we had discovered last year. I had picked up some beautiful hand-painted yarn then, thinking I'd like to learn to make socks.
I've only succeeded in making 1/2 pair from that yarn, and 1 1/2 pair from another kind of yarn this whole intervening year, but that didn't stop me from buying more. Hopefully, I will end up with three complete pairs of socks someday.
Stephanie gifted me with some lovely pretties she made.
There was a darling little fabric bag filled with lavender blossom-filled sachets.
There was also a cute little tea wallet filled with tea.
Thank you Stephanie!
You can see more of Stephanie's beautiful handiwork and tutorials on her blog and in her etsy shop.
And when I got home, there was also a little thank you package waiting for me, filled with more little treats!
Two years in a row. Maybe this will become an annual tradition?
While I was in Colorado, I also got to visit another, very different tea shop with my mom and sister and her boys, the Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder. The teahouse was given to the city of Boulder by its sister city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in 1987. It was built in Tajikistan, but then disassembled, shipped to Boulder, and reassembled there.
It is stunning. The colors and mosaics and carvings are so beautiful, and so exotic.
This is a picture of the ceiling inside the teahouse.
The tea menu itself was five pages long, and included many exotic teas from China.
A few were familiar, but most were not. I need to be more adventurous with tea. I tend to stick to the same black teas like English Breakfast, and this menu opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
My sister had a puerh tea. Our waiter said puerh teas are fermented and contain lots of probiotics. I tasted it. It tastes like dirt, but in a good way, I told my sister. Very earthy, but I really liked it. I would buy some of this, and am going to see if my local tea shop carries it.
Notice the descriptions -- "cooked puerh pressed into tiny bird's nests" and "aged in fresh bamboo stalks." They even have dates on them, like aged wines.
I had this oolong, ti khan yin.
We each got our own teapot with a timer to time the tea. After the three minutes were up, we were supposed to remove the tea strainer from the pot. I never time my tea, although I guess it's the thing to do to prevent tea from becoming bitter.
Our waiter said the only tea you don't have to time is herbal. Which is good, as I usually just leave my bag in the whole time.
This made a very light tea. I actually prefer a very dark, full-bodied tea, but this did have a nice flavor.
My nephews ordered various sodas laced with teas. They looked pretty tasty.
The menu included Indian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish foods. I had Afghan Mantu, which was beef and onion dumplings.
So I am back home now. It is rainy and cloudy and the weather this week will be in the 40s. I saw flowers in Colorado, and the trees are beginning to blossom there. We have another month or more to wait here in Michigan before we get to see flowers, but it will surely come. We Michiganders have learned to be patient.