November 19, 2011 – Being bedridden for 8 months and hospitalized 20 times, pregnant with my 2nd living child/3rd pregnancy overall (you do the math…I miss you everyday Serenade Rei) and suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the only positive thing in my life (other than growing a human being inside me) (and well, the support of my husband, toddler son + family) was scrolling through friends’ + family’s facebook pictures. Sad? I know. But it gets better, trust me! One album in particular was of an old middle school classmate’s baby shower. She had had it at some place that serves tea and other tea refreshments (as I knew it then). I fell in love with the idea + décor, and just couldn’t wait to see what it was all about! (I later found out it was at the original Crown & Crumpet in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco.) When my May-baby daughter finally took a bottle at 6mos (Thanks girl.), I searched for the closest tea house to me…called a few of my girlfriends + friends I wanted to get to know better…and suffered the worst case of Cuteness Overload as I stepped foot into my very first tea house, which happened to be Tyme for Tea & Co. in the Niles District of Fremont, CA.
I hosted approximately 4 tea parties there, before I became curious about what else was out there. I wanted to try different places, buuut I didn’t wanna go alone!? I sent an email to some girls, and see who wanted to join me on this quest. I found 12 more tea houses/rooms around the Bay Area to go to, and figured if we went to one new one every month, we would finish in just a year. Sweet!
What you don’t know (and what I didn’t know then either), is what was to unfold during this journey. Because of past experiences (that I’m not going to fully get into, but I will give you a broad description) with abuse + depression, I experienced a lot of trust + abandonment issues. Needless to say, though I made friends easily, I didn’t like to keep them. I used to always say: “I don’t have friends.” These girls I speak of when I say “my girlfriends”, are ones that I’ve met from my religious background. I never brought that up before either, and I would like my blog to remain neutral so as not to erupt ANY sort of political feedback. That being said, I knew who they all were but I was never close with any of them. Sure, my sister-in-laws came. But, that’s family…
When I invited these girls, of all ages from different backgrounds and different Congregations…some knew each other, some didn’t… I didn’t realize the upbuilding + encouraging relationships that would establish- over TEA!!?! We would laugh (a lot) and cry, share stories of heartache + triumphs. Some of these girls who didn’t know each other before, have bonded + created lifelong friendships! And me, as the host- it was SO NEAT to see it all unfold before my eyes. Girls that never knew each other- following each other on social media and experiencing each other’s small moments together… Girls that never knew each other- grieving over husbands lost in death… Girls that never knew each other- making future plans to meet with their families…
As I reflect on the last 5 years, it wasn’t just about the tea. Sure, we had lots of great food and met beautiful cups of tea. We talked about our jobs + family, books + art, music, recreation. But, we really formed everlasting connections and memories.
And me, I now have FRIENDS!!
I wanna thank each and every one of you girls. Not just for sharing this ride with me, but for growing with me.
October 22, 2016 – At our last tea party, I was excited, relieved, and sad. It’s not over. There are just different things we get to experience now! And btw girls, we were invited to London… 🙂
To our Readers + Followers: THANK YOU!!! I never thought when my friend suggested I blog about our Tour, that OVERNIGHT more than 400 of you would be half interested in tea parties!!?! Please continue to share your experiences with us! Ask your girlfriends to join you! Share tea, and bond, and grow!! I’ll keep you updated if/when we try any new Spots. Until then, hang out with us over at www.parTEAwithme.com Love you guys!! Peace.