Tea, Art, Happiness…

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I think my visit to St. Petersburg, FL came at the most perfect time.

The amount of items I could write about is going to be endless.   And I will be spacing them out.  Last week it was Tampa, this week and for the foreseeable future it’s going to be St. Pete and all St. Pete.  No not every week but sporadically through the summer I’m going to expound upon how incredible the tea culture is here.  And incredible might be an understatement.

I found tea places, I stumbled upon tea places, tea shoppes found me, and my reaction to a few were that of a kid in a candy store.  Yes it’s these little things (that are the big things) that give me natural and spiritual highs that words may not always do justice. I’ve made that proclamation before but I stand by that.  Sometimes words an pictures aren’t enough.  Memories are for us and all we can do is our best to share them in our own harmonious and sentimental way.

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With that one of my first stops in St. Pete was Pom Pom’s Teahouse.

I know, how awesome is that name?

And just as awesome is the place.  Everything about is, was, or whatever you want to call it a constant reminder of why this town is beautiful.  And why it now has my heart.

When I first arrived in town my friend guided me through St. Pete and I noticed so many amazing looking shops, restaurants, businesses, and everything else in between that makes this place (that’s on the rise) already look like it’s there (in a good way) and I wouldn’t want anything about it to change.  I probably put this paragraph in the wrong part of the post.  It’s as if I put the finish or the crescendo here, before I’ve even gotten into the tea and this incredible salad that I ordered.

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So let me get to that and see if I can come up with another finish with some big words that will enhance this experience that doesn’t need any more enhancing but deserves all the praise in the world.

Ok…

So I was there on a weekday afternoon, presumably on the tail end of the lunch rush.  If there is a lunch rush here it doesn’t mirror other major cities, and I found that so refreshing.  It was a mix of students, police officers, office workers, tourists, and overall a lot of people that seemed genuinely happy to be there.

I was happy to be there.

There was so much art adorning the walls, which is a point that Pom Pom’s wants to promote.  They’re all about local art, and creating and promoting art is one of the greatest things in this world and in this universe.

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After taking so many pictures of the inside, I requested to my friendly server, Brett, if I could sit outdoors.   He kindly obliged.  I was surprised that I was the only one out there. But how could I complain?  I was the only person on Earth for about an hour, or at least in that moment.

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I made a new friend outside, as you can see.  I felt as if he could read my mind.  And maybe he could.  I think he was saying everything is great, everything is going to be fine, and you’re on vacation, enjoy yourself.

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And I did…

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My meal comprised of a Kiwi Pear Iced Tea and their Seasonal Berry Salad, which may have been one of the best things I’ve eaten, not only on my holiday, but in a long while.  It almost looked too pretty to eat.   But those berries were heavenly.    I almost forgot there were almonds and peanuts in the salad.  It was that great.  The goat cheese and onions made for a simple yet artistic looking salad.  This really was a masterpiece.

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Those berries were something out of a smoothie or freshly made ice cream.  And on a gorgeous day in Florida, what could be better.

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The tea was the understated, yet still elegant part of my meal.  It was light and on this day this was a welcome treat versus something a little too sweet, since the berries were sweet enough.   I did wish I could taste a little more kiwi and pear, but really no complaints from me whatsoever.

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Brett, who like many of my friends I got to visit, is a transplant from Maryland.  I can see the appeal.  I can see why so many people like the mellow vibe and harmonious ways of being in beautiful St. Petersburg.

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More posts are coming and if they can match this experience than I’ve already succeeded.  My time at Pom Pom’s was one of joy, of peace, and of art.  Yes I did take many pictures but then I just sat, relaxed, and started off into the distance.

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I might have been there an hour, two hours, or somewhere that time can’t measure.  But this one hit my heart in a different way than many other tea and dining experiences. And I want to believe it was more than just being away from home, being somewhere else, and being one with the universe.  Well the latter part is great.  But I hope you know what I mean.

This was beautiful.

If you’re in the vicinity, or are a local and have never visited, I can’t recommend this place enough.

Here is more about them, their menu, the art, the buzz, directions, and their contact information.

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When I’m back in the area, and I will be back, how do I follow-up?  It may not be the identical experience, but I sense it will be spectacular, and will tell a different story of what makes Pom Pom’s and this town special to me and special to so many.

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Thank you so much.

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Spread That Love

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I will be self indulgent for a bit.  But when it come to blogging isn’t that what blogging is? I’m talking about a subject matter while throwing my personal spin on things.  That may not appeal to some but then again we all have a story, and I think all of our stories matter.

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My birthday was recently. And while I don’t expect anything, whenever I do get a gift I’m eternally grateful.  I’m annoyingly eternity grateful to the point I can’t stop saying, ‘thank you!’.  Spreading the love, showing gratitude, and saying thanks is what life is all about. It’s not much but a simple mutual gesture of comradery and friendship goes so far in this universe.

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This is why the gift of tea, and this most incredible teacup, from my close friends has had me grinning over a week later.

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Within all my charming gifts, I find the most beautiful canister from English Tea Shop.

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Now if memory serves me correctly, the last time, and maybe the only time, I had their tea was with the same friend(s) who gave me this gift.    I don’t remember what tea I had then, but the Chamomile they gave me this time is one I will never forget.  And not just because it was a present.

 

I mean that.  There’s so much to this tea.

When you see an inviting and bright pink container it’s automatically going to make the tea taste that much better.  And I haven’t even opened it yet.  That tea kettle design with all the images of the season are just adding to everything.  No added pressure.  But this tea needs to be good or I’ll be really sad.

It was really good.  Actually it was great. And it’s a lighter than usual chamomile.  And I brewed this on the sunniest of all days.  I would have made this iced but…

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…Not only did I get this amazing tea, but right next to it was the most beautiful of all teacups (that I alluded to before).   They hit my heart.  Animals are the best.  My cat is the best.

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This cup is one I want to use all the time.  But for sentiments sake it will be one I will love, appreciate, and celebrate all over, but I feel it should only be used for the most special of occasions and the most special of teas.

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This chamomile is just that special.  And I’m not just saying that.  The steeping process was as charming and organic as the tea.   It may not show up in all the pictures but start to finish the natural progression and changing of colors in my teacup was as good as I’ve ever seen.

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I literally could see it before my very eyes.  It’s those little things that make me excited. No, actually they’re big things to me.  I didn’t want it to stop.  Here I am still building up all this excitement and I had yet to actually grab a sip.

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After celebrating the packaging, this beautiful teacup with some lovely cats, I can safely say this tea was fantastic. Actually somewhere in this post I did mention the tea was great, it was light, it was colorful, and it was calming.  The calming part is big.

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Chamomile is an herbal and wellness tea that is meant to bring peace and tranquility.  In a chaotic world (and not just the crazy cats) it’s sometimes hard to find.  But tea is always there for you.  It’s authentic, affordable, and approachable.  Yes I used all those big words that start with the letter ‘A’, on purpose.    But how about my cat friends?  What about all the fun things that start with ‘C’?  Calming, charming, and comforting.

I took my few pictures and then enjoyed myself in the comfort of my own home, with my cat, and with the beautiful weather surrounding me.

Cats are my favorite and this chamomile is now one of my favorites.

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This makes me want some more.  I’m a fan of English Tea Shop (or Shoppe as I like to call it), and I believe this is only the beginning.

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Here is their story,  their expansive list of teas, where you can find their teas around the globe, contact information, and once again their link to purchase their teas online.

I hope the opportunity presents itself that I get to try another of their teas.  This chamomile is perfect in any kind of weather.  I imagine it’s amazing iced and chilled, but it’s light and refreshing taste makes it work in wall temperatures and all seasons.

Whether it’s another gift from my dear friends, the universe, or somewhere else, I look forward to having many more of their selections for the duration.

Plus the cats really seem to like it.

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