Friday, November 30, 2018

Winner! HamiltonCHI

Our father taught us not to throw away our money. We were not allowed to toss coins into fountains, and we were not a family of gamblers, or lottery players. Those lessons have stuck with us over the years. But, a free lottery App with the chance to win $10 tickets to attend Hamilton, well, I'm not throwing away my shot! And, after several months of entering the lottery to attend the show in New York, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, and Durham, this announcement popped up on my phone! Winner! Two tickets in Chicago! With 24 hour notice, Angelica and I headed to Chicago, driving non-stop!

What a surreal experience! Lots of driving, occasional stops for gas and food, and back on the road. Angelica was the navigator once we hit the city. Locating a parking garage within close proximity of the theater, we explored the streets of Chicago before dinner and the show. Artistic sculptures and pretty floral areas brighten the windy city. Speakers with piped in music are tucked in some of these decorative sections. Musicians on the street corners offer their Paypal address on cardboard boxes in case you don't have cash to toss their way.
Can you tell we were beyond excited? The majestic CIBC Theater in Chicago opened in 1906 at a cost of over one million dollars. We were glad to see it!

What a memorable whirlwind experience! And I continue to play the lottery, although other family members think they are next up to attend the next $10 winning show! Angelica and I have been bumped to the back of the line!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tea with President LIncoln

We were thrilled to welcome 'President Lincoln' to the tea room earlier last month. AKA James Hayney, local to our area, he carries the height and look of Lincoln with authenticity. He greeted each guest with a very presidential handshake before he started his informative program covering many aspects of Lincoln's life and career in politics.

The Afternoon Tea began with an assortment of fresh fruit served with a creamy Caramel dip.

Sandwiches included Chicken Cheddar Apple Sandwich on white bread, Cheesy Artichoke Spinach Crostini, Creamy Lemon Pecan atop Pumpkin Bread, warm Chicken Fricasse over a herbed biscuit, and Pimiento Cheese on Rye. According to food history blogs, chicken fricasse is known as one of Lincoln's favorite meals.
The following course included Traditional English Cream Scones served with sweet cream and raspberry preserves and Poppyseed Tea Bread with a mascarpone cheese rosebud. Fresh fruit completed the plate.
Dessert included Shortbread in the shape of an eagle and glittered with gold sugar. Homemade Gingerbread with spicy cream piped on top. Warm gingerbread is also noted to be one of Lincoln's favorite foods. And, Lincoln preferred tea over coffee.

This article in The Burg (a Harrisburg, PA community paper) provides additional information about our local 'Mr. Lincoln'. 

For additional information, visit James Hayney's website, Looking for a Lincoln.

James Hayney's mission is 'keeping history alive'. And for this Sunday afternoon in October, we all felt as if we were in the presence of the 16th President of the United States!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Charleston Tea Plantation, South Carolina

A short hop to South Carolina included a visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation located on Wadmalaw Island, in the heart of South Carolina's lowcountry. Billed as America's Tea Garden, this destination has long been on the bucket list.

The gift shop is nestled among nature's bounty of old oaks, and upon entering, the visitor is offered a selection of self-serve tea, either hot or cold.

Hop aboard the green trolley for a tour of the tea garden where hundreds of thousands of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) stretch as far as the eye can see. Our animated guide shared the history of the plantation, the harvesting, and stories of the animals found in the area.
We hopped off the trolley to check out the tea plants up close and personal in the greenhouse. Rows and rows of young plants are tucked in here, being coaxed along and closely monitored until they are large enough to plant in a new field.

This large green machine is their one-of-a-kind tea harvester. Most proud of this monster, it harvests the tea bushes all summer long which are then dried and processed in their factory. A walking tour of the factory offers a glimpse into the actual production of tea. We visited on a weekend in October, both the big green machine and the factory were at rest.

What a fun stop!