Tagged: Vacation

Par-tea, Tapas, and Good Times!!!

My goodness does time sure fly. I haven’t posted at ALL  for the whole month of April and I’m just realizing this today!!! Wtf mate?! My apologies for the absence, but…




So where have I been, you ask?

Well, it’s been a busy month so far!

I spent the first weekend in Charleston visiting some of my hubby’s extended family. We had a super time!! We got to enjoy a street fair, some shrimp and grits (my first time! amazinggggggggg. so glad i don’t live where i could devour them every day!) and (my personal favorite part…) we got to visit the ONLY tea garden in the USA!

The Charleston Tea Plantation!!!

Goodness, gracious me I was so thrilled to get a chance to visit. Tea is, hands down, my favorite beverage. All kinds really – black, green, oolong, white. It doesn’t matter. I’ve hardly ever met a true tea I didn’t like.


By true tea I am referring to only the leaves that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant…which is the only plant that tea comes from. Any other “tea”  you may come across, like peppermint, roobios, or chamomile are herbal “teas”. These don’t contain caffeine naturally, like the Camellia Sinensis plant does. All black, green, oolong, and white teas contain caffeine naturally. There are various methods for decaffeinating tea that comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, though it will almost always still contain about 1% of its original caffeine content. Heh.

I became particularly passionate about tea while I was working as a Barista at Starbucks. When patrons used to come in and ask  if we had any decaffeinated green tea my store manger (who was the worst) would always respond “Yes! Our Refresh tea is a decaffeinated peppermint green tea!” LIESSSSSSSSSSSS! It’s peppermint tea. Period. In a green package. Ugh.

So now you know the difference between true “tea” and herbal tea!


ANNNYYWWHHHOOOOO…It’s really wonderful to have an opportunity to see the way something you enjoy a daily basis is planted, grown, harvested, and processed. Here I am with some baby tea plants!!!!

And here are some tea plants growing in the fields!!!


Charleston was a great trip!!! Then last weekend, John and I had an AWESOME time with some awesome friends/family in Baltimore!!

We spent our first evening at home in Harrisburg at probably my favorite restaurant I’ve ever been to there…Manga Qui’s Suba Tapas Bar.

The first time I visited Suba was for my bachelorette party and we had an amazing time sharing lots of outrageously delicious tapas and cocktails!!  It’s a tiny place, seating maybe 30 people, but it’s totally worth waiting for! I’d have to say my personal favorites from their menu are the Pa amb Tomaquet (Catalan inspired grilled bread rubbed with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and tomato) Suba Tacos (Fried crispy tilapia, salsa rosa, avocado,mango cilantro salsa, shredded cabbage) and Queso Flambeado (“flaming cheese” with chorizo and Bacardi 151). Here’s me and the Queso Flambeado and my bachelorette party (just in case the sash and silly veil didn’t give it away)!


When it comes to cocktails, Suba’s Red Sangria is amazing and loaded with fresh black and blueberries!! It’s not too sweet or  too dry and dangerously delicious. I also tried their Firefly cocktail, which is made with House-made habenero infused tequila, mango, Bacardi Limon, Midori, lime and mint. It was insane!! Having an icy cold beverage set your mouth on fire is such a bizarre and fun experience! If you’re ever in the area, you MUST go to Suba.

Then, of course, we finally got to Baltimore.  We visited the National Aquarium and got to see some fishies and sharks and turtles and tree frogs and puffins and sloths. I am such a little kid when it comes to visiting aquariums and zoos…I LOVE THEM!!!! Here’s the gang! (We did NOT plan our outfits out, btw. Just so happened to match … oopsies!)

thegangAfter the Aquarium, we hit up Fells Point. We wandered for a bit then grabbed some beer and dinner at Max’s Taphouse! An awesome bar and pub style establishment where you order your food and drinks at the bar! Such a cool place!! We all shared platefuls of guacamole, steamed mussels, buffalo chicken fingers, french fries, tortilla chips, and a crab quesadilla with chorizo. So much food!!! All delicious!!food

Finally, Sunday morning we grabbed brunch at Teavolve (can you tell I picked this place out?!). Everyone loved their food! We had wonderful service, too. My cousin, Bill, got their Funnel Cake French Toast which seriously looked straight from a carnival and it was super tasty, as he was kind enough to share! The hubby got a smoked salmon bagel and my gal Susan got a breakfast panini with chipotle sauce and avocado.  I had eggs benedict with crab and avocado and I can’t tell you the last time I enjoyed breakfast/brunch so much. It came with super delicious roasted potatoes and fresh fruit, which I shared with my hubby because I was so full!!! I enjoyed their house made tea infused white sangria, infused with a ginger peach white tea. It was lite and perfect. I had to enjoy the tea by itself, too, just for good measure. 🙂tea

So as you can see, I’ve been a pretty busy bee lately! But you’ll be getting some new recipes soon!!!! Until then. 🙂