Sending you hugs and cheers from sunny Seal Beach. There's much to discuss, so I'm gonna get right to it.
Our beloved tearooms are on the verge of going the way of the dodo.
No two ways about it. Beyond the current county-mandated closure of dine-in restaurants, places that purvey afternoon tea face a seemingly insurmountable challenge as to how to keep calm and carry on once they are given the green light to re-open.
To that end, the Travelling Tea Trolley will be rolling out in a few months, delivering and serving tea treats from your favorite tea spots while the eateries work to establish a new social-distance-acceptable norm. Details to come as state protocols evolve. For now, just know that we tea travellers will do all we can to support tearooms and keep them open.
I'll also offer more VirtualiTeas on Facebook, and am working on a scheme to reinstate our tea passport program in a new iteration.
Recently I was asked by a fabulous tea hostess to host an event at Elise's Tea Room in Long Beach. Sadly, that is no longer possible as the venerated establishment has closed its doors permanently after nearly a quarter century. Other of your favorites spots are hanging on by a thread, and are finding ways to "pivot." Coterie in Upland has a new take-out menu with an online order form on their new website. McKenna's in Seal Beach is offering a delightful Tea in a Box package, The Four Seasons Tea Room in Sierra Madre is putting together beautifully wrapped tea service packages for Mother's Day, and Paris In A Cup is fulfilling online orders of tea.
#2Things are changing, and my worlds are merging.
As many of you know, March 21 was to have marked the launch of a business I've been working toward for a decade. The focus was to be in-person immersive theme events with specialty food at specialty venues. That's no longer happening. I have no idea what form my business will end up taking (once it at last launches) given we don't yet know what the future of in--person events looks like, so for now, I'm just doing my best to get some infrastructure stuff done and adjust accordingly. Here's what to expect:
- As the tea landscape changes, I'm finding more and more crossover between my "tea world" and the world of The Academy of Omniosophical Arts & Sciences and its arts nonprofit Whimsicalidocious. So as not to bombard people with emails and newsletters from these 3 entities, I've ended up not sending out anything! And that's not good. Thus, I am creating one gnusletter to rule them all. There will be sections you can skip to depending on your interests, and it will come from the following address, so please consider adding it to your contact list: firstname.lastname@example.org . You'll know the emails when you see them cuz, well, they feature gnus!
- By ongoing whining request (you who have whined know who you are *wink*) I will be gearing up the Tea & Sympathy Investigative Agency. We'll have new cases to solve (online for now) and some swell must-have goodies for the sleuth on the go
- Big virtual hugs and sloppy kisses to communitea members Cheryl Turner, Kathleen Krueger, and Julie Russell who have become patrons of the Ocademy's Patreon page, thus helping to keep me fed. There are perqs aplenty, and I'll be updating them continually over the next few months to include the shipping of tangible items once "non-essential" trips are sanctioned.
- You may recognize Tea Travellers Robert & Jacki Clemens and Karen Holt in the Ocademy's tongue-in-cheek Omnicast news reports. Each of them is absolutely delightful, and will put a smile on your face. (Karen's debut is coming up on May 2). If you're interested in participating, just let me know!
- I now have a podcast! It's named The Snoring Bulldog after my erstwhile producer Molly. It's the best place to find out weekly what the devil is going on with all that I've mentioned so far. It's available in video and audio formats for your sensory pleasure.
- Marked for Adventure, the first novella in my opus 49-novella fantasy series is available in paperback as well as in a free chapter-by-chapter format and audio narration. Click here for the trailer
- Part 2, Destiny by Design, is available in both e-book and paperback formats
- And part 3, The First Crack, comes out this Friday May 1 in e-book and paperback (pending) formats and the e-version is available for pre-order now ... like right now ... hint
- Mother-daughter tea team Cianna and Sulynn Means will be knitting and crocheting fantasy critters to commemorate the series, with everything from mermaids to dragon eggs. We're oh so excited to purvey them for them soon!
There's more to tell, but I fear you've already nodded off, so I'll leave things there for now.
I hope to include a poll/form in the next email (remember, it will come from email@example.com) to get your input on activities you'd like to see me offer.
So much love to you all,