Monday, September 19, 2016

Back from Michigan Tea Tour 2016

The Michigan tea tour ended last night [Sunday 9/18] and participants returned to their homes today. But you can travel along with us vicariously.  We had a wonderful time and were blessed with beautiful weather for all of our tea excursions. 

My hubby and I picked up Linda J. and Nancy R. who flew to Michigan from Kentucky and Pennsylvania last Wednesday [9/14] while my girlfriend, Lori [my right arm on this tour], went to Staybridge Suites in Utica, MI [our hotel the first two nights], to greet those who arrived at 3:00 p.m. for the official opening of the tour.

Linda was the first to arrive, and I snapped the photo of her below at luggage pick-up.  She writes Friendship Tea blog.

Nancy's arrival wasn't too far behind Linda's.  Nancy writes Rosemary's Sampler blog.

We got to Staybridge Suites just in time to eat dinner together.  Afterwards, Teresa W.  from Ohio, treated us to a fabulous tea and chocolate pairing in the hotel's conference room.

But first we opened gifts, and it almost felt like Christmas!  Linda J. gave each participant a container of Kentucky Blend - a black tea from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.

She gave me a lovely pill box in the shape of a tea table.  It's silver plated on pewter, and came from her travels in Wales, Great Britain.  Engraved around the base is: "Stands the church clock at ten to three, and is there honey still for tea?"

Nancy R. gave all the participants a postcard of her tea room, and a recipe card of the delicious scones she serves, along with a package of Creamy Caramel black tea - a Rosemary House loose-leaf tea, a tea bag caddy, and an adorable teapot charm.

Reverse side of the charm.

She gave me a McIntosh bone china mug with infuser and lid in the "Poppies" pattern.

Teresa W. gave everyone a box of Ohio products:  Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Buckeyes, by the Anthony Thomas Candy Co. in Columbus; Peppermints from Lakeside; Dum-Dums sucker and Candy Cane from Spangler in Bryan; an ink pen from Sauder Village in Archbold;  and a tube of Udderly Smooth hand cream made in Salem, Ohio.

She also gave everyone a clip board with a Michigan Map, 'Michiganisms', Michigan Trivia, You might be from Michigan, if..., and two adorable car games - Michigan Scavenger Hunt, and Tea Car Hunt [i.e. Lapsang Souchong - car with excessive exhaust, Matcha - green car, Decaf Tea - Hybrid car, and so on.]  Attached to the clip board was a bag of trail mix and Gin-Gins [chewy ginger candy].  Very creative, Teresa!

Twice on the trip [the first night and the last night] she gave us paper teapots and teacups containing quotes or proverbs.

"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."  Anonymous

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do."  ~ Mark Twain

"A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water."  ~ Chinese Proverb

"Tea purifies spirit, removes anxiety and nervousness, brings ease and comfort, and is conducive to meditation."  ~ Author Unknown

"Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss, dream?  Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt only by heart."

Judith, from Canada and writer of Lavender Cottage blog, gave me a Wedgwood teapot ornament and box of tea, a miniature ivory Battenburg lace umbrella, and a box of Maple Leaf cookies for Jerry [my hubby].  She also gave individual bags of Maple Leaf cookies to each participant.

Judith makes her own cards which are gifts themselves.



Gloria, Judith's friend from church, gave me a devotional book and an ivory Battenburg lace angel.

Lori B. had 10 open-ended necklaces made in various colors for each lady on the tour.

Linda P. and Joanie gave each lady the Michigan bracelet on the left [similar to Alex and Ani] and Joanie gifted me with the brooch on the right.

The crystal teapot bracelet was a gift from Linda P.   Now you can understand why I said it was almost like Christmas.  Thank you, ladies!  I was overwhelmed by your kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity.  It was my pleasure to plan this trip, and I didn't expect any gifts in return.

The following items were in the Michigan gift bags from my friend, Lori, and me to everyone on the tour.

~ Jumbo Michigan Mugs ~

I chose three different Michigan tea purveyors to be represented in the gift bags: [1] The Rendezvous with Tea in Grosse Pointe, MI.  The owner has two teas specially blended in Sri Lanka in honor of Michigan - Magical Motown black tea and Michigana green tea. 

We packaged them together in blue nylon bags.

[2]  Great Lakes Tea & Spice in Glen Arbor, MI.  When I asked the owner what his most popular teas were he said Mackinaw Breeze [a black tea], and Sunburst Ginger [an herbal tea], so those were the two I chose.

[3] Light of Day Organic Teas in Traverse City is Michigan's only tea farm.  I was told Creamy Earl Grey was one of their most popular teas, and it won awards at the World Tea Expo twice, so I had them custom package it in individual tea bags.

Linda P. found some cute Michigan shaped cookie cutters while vacationing this summer and purchased them to add to the gift bags, along with tea infused candy bars from a shop in Schoolcraft, MI.

Sanders Chocolates, which opened in Detroit in 1875, has been synonymous with Detroit for over 140 years, so it seemed fitting to include two pieces of Sanders Chocolates in the gift bags - dark chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, and dark chocolate Coconut Supreme, in honor of the Michigan based company, and chocolate's ability to pair well with tea. 

Next post will be about Teresa's tea and chocolate pairing.

*  *  *

Today I'm joining 
Antiques and Teacups for Tuesday Cuppa Tea


  1. Oh my fun! How I wish I could ha vet been there with so many of my dear blogging friends! I am so glad you are sharing the experience with us! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  2. Glad you had a great time! Love the photos ♥

  3. An amazing assortment of thoughtful gifts from everyone.

  4. What fun to get together for a tea tour, and what lovely gifts everyone brought!

  5. Wow! That was alot of gift giving. How wonderful! Loved watching for photos on FB. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time.


Thank you for visiting my blog. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!