Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celebrating Like Royal-Tea

Hello Dear Friends!

It appears we have moved from Spring (?) to mid-August heat this week in Michigan, but despite the soaring temps, I am unwavering in taking my hot tea break this afternoon. I'm partaking in Twinings Earl Grey today - Queen Elizabeth's noted afternoon tea favorite - in the spirit of a recent Royal celebration.

In May, my husband, Chris, and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary. The weekend before the anniversary date, our children hosted a party for us at my eldest son and his fiance's new (to them!), lake-front home. They corralled the usual suspects to join us for a cook-out, champagne toast, boat rides and a lot of heavy duty lawn chair sitting. When the most taxing activity you do all day is climb on and off the neighbor's pontoon boat, you know you've succumbed to the ultimate in party-time relaxation.

So, in appreciation for all their hard work: to our kids owed, many, many kudos!!

But, wait! There's more! To put the cap on this week of pseudo-nobility, Chris and I treated ourselves to a special dinner for two at the Royal Park Hotel in the city of Rochester. It was such an extravagant experience, that if someone had placed jeweled-crowns on our heads and velvet robes around our shoulders, it would not have seemed out of place. We were seated in a cushy, intimate booth facing the lit fireplace (which only a month ago, was appealing). The hostess and waitress attended to all our needs - some we didn't even know we had - and the dinner culminated with an on-the-house dessert of vanilla ice cream stuffed into delicate cream puffs surrounded by "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate script. It was quite literally, the icing on the cake!

I suppose after all this attention, pampering, catering-to and indulgence, returning to our "ordinary life" could feel a bit like Cinderella after the ball. But, unlike our fabled princess, my little corner is filled with an embarrassment of riches. In my "real life", this weekend, Chris and I were in another world at our cabin up north, plowing through dirt-covered back roads in our Dodge Dakota pick up truck; the one who wasn't driving had bare feet resting on the dashboard, in true hillbilly fashion. The only thing missing was Ellie Mae, Granny and her rocking chair. We stopped at the "Kitchen Kettle" for a hot dog lunch, where nothing is written on the plate - - in ketchup or mustard. But, in my purse, I keep a letter from my son - something he wrote for Chris and I on our 25th. Like many of the best family moments, it was both funny and moving as it touched on the importance of family - the support, love and tolerance - that really make life's journey what it's all about. Whether that journey is via horse-drawn coach, dodge pick-up or ordinary pumpkin, really, who could ask for more?

So, dear friends, it looks as though it may be time to turn on the air conditioning and add some ice cubes to my Earl Grey. It seems there's laundry piling up and my desk is screaming to be decluttered. I'll get to my weekend chores sporting one glass slipper and one flip-flop, but I'll keep the tiara in the closet . . . for now.

Most humbly,


Dining at the Royal Park Hotel

Important Note: The Royal Park Hotel serves Afternoon Tea. Barb's TEA Shop will be organizing an informal excursion on a Saturday this fall. Any who are interested, just email Barb at for future updates.

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