Saturday, June 28, 2014

Two hearts forever one and one Handsome Devil makes for a tea-rrific anniversary at Torino

Two hearts necklace and flowers for the Lady
Handsome Devil red wine for Lord Gulley

Exactly one month ago today, my husband, Chris, and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. It's been a fabulous journey so far with three amazing kids (all through college - yahoo!), two homes, one cabin up north and a couple of spoiled mutts. This spring we officially became permanent empty-nesters - save the coddled pooches - and we're on to Chapter Two.

The other Handsome Devil and Mrs. Gulley
We celebrated our 30th anniversary last year at Torino, an up-and-coming restaurant in Ferndale. We love this restaurant and brought our friends back to join us for another great dining experience a few months later. We weren't surprised when The Detroit Free Press named it Restaurant of the Year for 2014 and we decided we'd go back for a repeat anniversary dinner celebration.

The gourmet menu changes monthly
Skip the "and movie" part of the dinner date when you go to Torino:  the multi-course meal will be entertainment enough. We also chose the "drink pairing" option where the chef and bar tender work together for optimal beverage accompaniments for each course.
Fourth course:  chicken, truffles, berries

We ended the evening with a few gourmet chocolates and a selection from their tea menu. I chose "starry night", (an herbal decaf), that couldn't have described the evening any better. With one handsome devil and two hearts forever one, may the next 31 years be as wonderful as the first.

Ending with Starry Night - "a calming herbal blend"
A nice finish, selecting from the tea menu

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hello Tea Garden . . . It's been a long cold (although not-so-lonely) winter

In February, I purchased these "TEA" tiles at the Lewiston ACE Hardware
It's actually hot here in Michigan!

Officially on the books as the record-breaking snowiest winter in Michigan, when May rolled around we finally experienced warmer temps.  Seasonal activities have turned from snow shoveling and skiing to deck sitting and gardening - and the latter includes a little plot of land up north designated for just that purpose.

In April, the snow was starting to melt a bit in my designated tea garden

In February, when we were at our place up north for a family ski trip, I accompanied my husband on quick trip to the local hardware store. They had a clearance section and garden tiles were marked down to $2.00 each. Not many letters were left, but I sorted through what remained and found "T", "E", and "A". Thought that would make a nice addition to this year's tea garden.

When I first placed the garden tiles  in the back clearing of our 20 acres in February, the snow was almost two feet deep. They tiles slipped out of my mittened hands and fell like hot toast slices through the snow. Took me a few minutes to recover them, but when I did, I placed them gingerly on what is to soon be this year's tea garden  and waited patiently. By April, we started observing some thawing.

Tea Garden is ready for plants and lots of tea drinking on the deck.

 Now that it's mid-June, the tea garden is open, ready for planting and lots of tea drinking on the deck. This month also signified the season's re-opening of my favorite vintage china store, The Antiques Depot, in downton Lewiston. Owner, Deborah K., says she will be open seven days a week. Each time we go to our cottage, I will be stopping in!

Warmer temps means Depot is open 7 days!
This weekend's purchase!

A lot has been going on since my last blog entry in March:  a birthday, a wedding anniversary, a Miss America tea, a Downton Abbey tea and a tea presentation I put on for the luxurious Townsend Hotel in my hometown of Birmingham (Michigan). I've got a lot to share, so please stop by frequently so we can all get caught up.

In the meantime, I hope you'll join me for a cup of iced-tea this afternoon. With a nod to my all-time favorite band, I join the chorus in singing:

Little darling, I feel the ice is slowly melting, Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, and I say, it's all alright.  .  .!