Happy first day of September! Can you believe it’s September? I sure can’t. Where did the summer go? The big, yellow school buses are back on the roads. The kids no longer smell of pool water and sunscreen but erasers and cafeteria milk. The neighborhoods are quiet in the mornings now. And while the temperature is still well into the hundreds in El Paso, the sky seems less royal blue, the sun not so sparkling. This is the desert’s version of coming autumn.
I was on the East Coast last week. (My trip was impeccably timed to arrive post earthquake and pre hurricane). I got a glimpse of what I grew up with—the four true seasons. On the Sunday after Hurricane Irene, I took Gilly for a forest walk. I’d forgotten how thick and green Virginia’s woods are. We hopped over weathered fences that looked like they’d been around since the Civil War, pushed aside fern banks and gingerly made our way across moss-covered stones. The temperature had dipped into the low 80s and so many leaves had fallen from the hurricane that all at once, I felt it—fall. Glorious, crisp, leaves-shuffling-in-the-wind fall. I leaned back against a fat oak, closed my eyes and said to Gil, “You feel that?”
I like to think he did because he sat and cocked his head to watch the trees sway, curious how the sky could be a moving mosaic. I’m heartsick for fall, for Virginia, and my family there. So I suppose it was divine intervention that led me to my dear friend Sarah Pekkanen’s novel, Skipping a Beat. Sarah lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and set the book in my hometown area, DC Metro. To stave off my melancholy as I departed from Reagan National Airport, I dove headlong into reading and it hasn’t disappointed. I’m fifteen chapters deep and so enjoying it.
While east, I had a truly monumental experience. I was introduced to Wegman’s grocery store and I can tell you quite simply, I will never be the same. It was a wonder. I could do an entire post extolling the fabulousness of Wegman’s but here and now, I’ll force myself to focus on the tea and not discuss the old-fashioned butcher shop, the fishmonger, the organic selection of fruits and vegetables, the artisan cheese café, the International foods aisles, the sit-down-right-here-and-order-yourself-dinner bar, the gigantic wine cellar, or heavens to Betsy, the German bakery with every bread and sweet treat imaginable. No, instead I’ll simply talk about the one area that rose above the rest—the Tea Shop. And yes, that is its official title. I was that crazy woman in Wegman’s snapping photo evidence of its glory.
First thing first, I bought a box of Bewley’s Dublin Morning Tea, and this is what I’m drinking today. Here’s Bewley’s description:
Bewley’s Teas have been an Irish tradition for more than 160 years. For generations the Bewley family have been blending the finest teas, providing people, both at home and abroad, with a real taste of Ireland. As synonymous to Dublin as Molly Malone, Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Dublin’s fashionable Grafton Street has been at the heart of Irish hospitality, attracting poets, writers, politicians and actors with its enticing teas, coffees and fine connections. Bewley’s Dublin Morning tea is an invigoration blend of African Teas which will ease you into your day as only an Irish cup of tea can. Try some Dublin Morning Tea now, and wherever you might be, you can sample for yourself that wonderful, legendary Bewley’s experience.
I love it. But then, I’m partial to a solid, full-bodied black tea and anything Ireland-related. (It’s the Mc in me.)
Sarah’s Sipping Summary:
I bought this tea in the area that Skipping a Beat is set and I could absolutely imagine the main character, Julia, picking out lobster and wine at Wegman’s. I’m not sure if she is a tea drinker. There have been no references to tea in the book yet, but if she were, I’m sure she’d sip something equally decadent as this hearty Dublin brew.
Cheers, my dears, Sarah