Tea Journeys – Part One

Day after day we live on the edge of time. Sun and moon go as they may. Heaven and Earth change freely. With each cup of tea, I experience the birth of the universe. With each sip a new beginning. If you ask me to explain, I need only invite you to drink tea.” – The Minister of Travel

Recently while heading to a coffee bar with my mom, we ran into another neighbour of ours, Suzanne. She was on her way to the “Four Seasons” gathering at Huguette’s – where four dear friends come together to speak French, eat delicious food and toast the season. What I love about this celebration is that each friend hosts a different season! It is always a delight to be invited to Huguette’s apartment, her home is filled with bright colour, well read books, candles and an always listening ear. Her decorated table, no matter the occasion, never fails to enhance an already magical atmosphere. What struck me as we spoke with Suzanne, was her comment, she had just shared a tea with a good friend, was on her way to spend time with other friends and because of these moments, her day was already something special.

As mom and I made our way to sit outside, with a fragrant coffee and creamy hot chocolate, I began to think about and remember special places where a tea or coffee enhanced a moment. Moments of stillness while reading or journal writing, moments spent with good friends or loved ones and those special days when you’re on the road!

When not travelling and oftentimes on a budget, Terry and I will take a thermos of tea out to Stanley Park, find a sunny bench and take in the view. We may find ourselves at a picnic table, on a bench at Beaver Lake or sitting on the benches at the lawn bowling site (one of the warmest spots during the cooler months!). This summer found us taking a mason jar of thirst-quenching iced tea out to the park with a slice of lime and my mom’s balcony grown mint.

In Mexico we had special places where we wrote in our journals and on those pages, there are many references to “Cafe San Angel” (Puerto Vallarta); this coffee bar was usually our first stop in the morning on a writing day and provided fuel for any walking, exploring and picture taking to come. On our most recent long stay in Puerto Vallarta, we were delighted to start a new habit, afternoon visits to a local coffee bar not far from our studio and just minutes from the beach!

Journal Excerpt: November 18, 2011

We are sitting in a coffee bar close to our studio, a coffee bar new to us, called Dee’s Coffee Company. Terry’s drinking coffee (which he says is good) and I’m drinking a delicious chai tea. Today we stopped at “Lay’s” (a Mexican grocery store) after a morning walk on the Malecon; on our walk we saw a small group of dolphins – the colour of the ocean was stunning, it’s a beautiful aquamarine/azure colour. We also checked for and sent some e-mails, it’s really great to hear from family and friends when we’re so far away.

When not chasing the printed word, I can be found on some sort of tea journey, either drinking chai tea out of a handmade cup at a San Francisco tea lounge while watching the sun set or drinking jasmine tea at the Japanese garden in Golden Gate Park.  We’ve been known to grab a tea to go from funky tea shops in New York and Toronto or indulge in tea tastings in San Francisco, here in Vancouver or on Vancouver Island.

Card Note to Huguette: December 2003

Victoria, B.C. was magical, lots of fairy lights and beautiful store windows to gaze at. We discovered a wonderful tiny shop near Chinatown. The shop was filled with teapots. loose tea leaves in colourful tins, essential oils and other sensual goodies. We were served samples of hot, fragrant tea to sip on as we wandered. Heavenly!

Sharing or coming together over tea, coffee or a creamy hot chocolate can make an ordinary day special and a tea journey can do the same. With these words, I hope you enjoy having a taste or two, too!

Table For Two

An al fresco table for two at Dee’s Coffee Company

                                                                                                           

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About anotetohuguette

I'm currently blogging from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, British Columbia - a vibrant city by the sea, surrounded by mountains and a very unique urban forest.
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14 Responses to Tea Journeys – Part One

  1. Jacquie. says:

    Hi, enjoying your stories as usual and always eager to see the next exerpts. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Huguette your lucky neighbour . says:

    Again thank you for enriching our Four Season’s ceremony. It is our 20th year anniversary. This without fail. A great tradition. You always participate with lovely objects left at my door with one of your famous notes. You have a very special way to enhance the ambiance. You bring magic to the caravan.
    And what a great luxury to drink tea or coffee in Stanley Park under a canopy of trees. The pine and cedar scent add to the taste. It make all senses dance.
    I also agree with you .cafés are the greatest places to be and visit. Passerby feast the eyes.
    Small cafés are also one of my passion.
    Hey lets go soon for a Tête à Tête and enjoy a tea or coffee.
    Stanley Park , Berlin or Paris or maybe just my caravan?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. KatherineHouston says:

    Sitting here drinking tea myself and enjoying your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on anotetohuguette and commented:

    I’m re-blogging this post from the vault in anticipation of some unique tea journeys I plan to indulge in next month resulting in a Part Two – Vancouver has several new tea spots to explore and I want to visit one each week, some are a city walk away and others will be reached by transit!

    Like

  5. markmkane says:

    I’m glad you reposted this Kimberlee because it’s the first time for me reading it. Loved how kept a journal of your tea journey. Is that how you record all of your travel experiences? I need to do that instead of relying on just my memory, at least I can jot down everything that I see and feel in that moment so that it represents it in real time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Mark! It felt really good to edit and repost this piece…I could still hear my voice while realizing there has been some growth as a writer…I do keep a record of my travels and I’ve just started scanning my Mexico notes as the writing is beginning to fade. Thank you for reading this piece, it warms my heart!

      Like

  6. I think if I lived in a city, I’d make a habit of visiting cafes for tea or coffee, Kim. To sit and enjoy or to take with me for a stroll and some fresh air. Though I love my morning homemade lattes, there’s something special about getting out and about without a long list of errands. Just to sip and smile and enjoy. When I visit Vancouver, that’s just what I’ll do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. calmkate says:

    many countries have a tea ritual, a national custom … you soothing writing reminds us that these shared cuppas do bring a warm glow … thanks Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

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