Monday, September 11, 2017

The Best Laid Plans...

If you follow my blog, you know I've been planning a Southern Belle Tea Tour for months now.

~ Our Southern Belle Tour Logo ~

Scottish poet, Robert Burns, had it right when he said, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

We were to depart on our 10-day tea tour this morning. Last week my girlfriend, Lori, and I had fun assembling gift bags for the ten participants at my house.

Since one of the items in the gift bag was a locally packaged scone mix - which coincidentally bore my name, Phyllis's Phenomenal Michigan Cherry Scone Mix - I decided to make a batch for Lori and me to sample.

We ate them as we sipped the Create a Blend Tea I ordered from Adagio Tea.  It  was a blend of two of their existing loose-leaf teas - Bright Ceylon flavored with lush peaches, and Classic Ceylon touches with the flavor of fresh cream, and I asked them to add cinnamon.  I already knew it smelled divine, but we discovered it tasted divine too.

The scones were good also!

The tins of tea were grouped in a blue nylon bag with a demitasse spoon and a teapot caddy.

In a light blue nylon bag was a teacup ornament from Hobby Lobby that says, "It's Always Tea Time!", along with a bag of Mary Kay products made from green tea.

We were so pleased with the way they turned out.  We set them aside for what would have been today's departure.

But as weather reports began appearing on television about hurricane Irma, which was to be one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history, it became very likely that our trip was in jeopardy. As forecasters talked about the enormous and far-reaching size of Irma, and the high winds, heavy rain, storm surges, and flooding that was going to accompany her, I made the decision on Saturday morning to cancel the tour. In addition to all the meteorological conditions, there would also be power outages, gasoline shortages, and crowded conditions due to the large number of evacuees. Every stop on our itinerary would be affected.

Teresa, an Ohio participant on the tour, sent an e-mail saying "Didn't anyone tell Irma she wasn't invited on our tea tour?"  ;-)

I spent Saturday contacting all the participants with the disappointing news, and cancelling all our reservations, but was very grateful the storm occurred before we left on our tour and not during it. I'm also grateful Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm status from her initial category 5 hurricane status, and the people of Florida and other affected areas can begin the clean-up process.

Since seven participants on the tea tour live locally, we're meeting at Royal Park Hotel for Afternoon Tea this Thursday.  We can all cry on each other's shoulder!  ;-)  As a small consolation, Lori and I will give them the gift bag they would have received on the tour, and I'll mail the others their's.

I learned a very important lesson:  Never plan a tea tour to coastal southern states during the fall hurricane season!

Instead of assembling gift bags, now I'll be helping volunteers at my church assemble Crisis Care Kits to be sent to Florida and Texas.  

The cost of one Care Kit is about $29, and we've been given specific instructions from our denomination's Compassionate Ministries division [Church of the Nazarene] about what items to put in each kit.  If you would like more information please contact me.


  1. Sorry for you and all of the ladies; you had a lot of great stops planned! I am in South Carolina, and I promise, you made the right decision. Try for spring-it will be pollen season but the flowers will be lovely with warm weather.

  2. Your gifts look lovely Phyllis! You are always so gracious to your friends! Have a wonderful tea time time this Thursday and I will be thinking of you!

    1. I can't take all the credit. It was a joint endeavor with Lori, and she had a lot of the ideas.

  3. Oh how disappointing! I was really looking forward to your trip news, but it was a very wise decision to cancel. I hope you get to reschedule it for a less eventful time!

  4. Lovely gift bags! I think you made a wise decision, although I am sorry not to be meeting you in Chattanooga today as planned. We had CRAZY winds all night last night here in the N Georgia mountains. There are widespread power outages and long lines at gas stations across the state. Georgia and South Carolina, as well as Florida, will have much to do to recover from Irma. Please do come visit the lovely South another time, though.another time though.

  5. We left Venice when the track was changed to go over Venice as a category 4. Luckily Irma went east and our home is fine, but you were right to cancel. We have made it to south of Atlanta, but there is very little gas in southern GA and none in north Florida. You don't want to be in this mess right now.


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