Category Archives: coffee

Stormy Island Tea…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Ocracoke Island Beach

so much can happen in a day and before you know it three weeks have passed…

Magpie's Nest Sunny Spell

 I am eager to catch up with everyone and hope that you are well…

Magpie's Nest Ocracoke Island Tea

our beach getaway was full of the unexpected…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke scenes

most of it wonderful and some of it a bit challenging…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz cloud dune reflection

certainly a memorable time…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz around town

midway I broke my pinkie toe by banging it on the wood frame of a bed…OUCH dastardly bed legOH! it hurt like crazy (if only I’d put those shoes there from the beginning…house slippers are my favorite shoes just now)…

Magpie's Nest pelican in RAIN

even with being on ice and my foot elevated for three days I did not miss much because it rained and rained and rained some more (dubbed “Ocrasoak” by the local newspaper)…

Magpie's Nest Down Creek 101 views

out of our thirteen day vacation we had three glorious sunny days that we were most grateful for…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke Boats

we were cozy and comfortable in our rental home away from home with windows on three sides situated beautifully on Silver Lake Harbor with boats and nature coming and going…

Ocracoke Pelicans and Kingfisher

and the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse captivated us from every view and angle again this year…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Ocracoke Lighthouse

in past years we enjoyed the brilliant sunsets from our screened in porch and we did manage to see a couple this year in spite of the very wet weather…

sunset first night boat and guy

I have some traveling tea cup adventures to share with you next week…

DSC04231 RAINY DAY SCONE

Hurricane Joaquin sent us packing a day early with a state of emergency and mandatory evacuation for all visitors from the island…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz Ocracoke Lighthouse across Silver Lake Harbor

I woke up at 4am on our last day wondering how our stormy 2.5 hour ferry crossing would go…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz last sunny dayreminding myself that it is never the things you worry about that usually happen…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz White Ibis

we waited in line for hours to secure a place on the Swan Quarter ferry watching the water rise all around us as we were entertained by a large flock of American White Ibis

Ocracoke BREATHE

it was a memorable vacation and we really have no complaints except perhaps about the design of that ding dang protruding wooden bed frame…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Ocracoke Coffee Co.

after a really long day of travel we arrived home safe and sound finding a good five inches of much needed rain had fallen here in Virginia while we were away (Ocrocoke Island remained closed for another week but is now open to visitors again)…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Longfellow Rain Quote

here’s wishing you a very happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

 

 

I like coffee … I like tea … I Love flowers Oh Yes indeed!

 it is a pleasant 30 minute drive to the country to visit Burnside Farms heading away from suburbia…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz gladiola fieldafter not picking any flowers on our first visit to the farm (I was just too excited taking photos and enjoying everything!) I had a wonderful time cutting some gladioli this visit…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz fresh gladiolasturns out my decision to take home just six stems did not quite fill my mother’s crystal pitcher so I cut three more stems on my third visit a couple of days later

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz third variety of gladswe were blessed with a few wonderful sunny low humidity days which were perfect for sitting out on the back porch enjoying a special cup of pour over coffee OR as we used to call it years ago “Melitta drip” coffee…

Patty Szymkowicz Melitta dripI was surprised and then again not really to discover that we still had our original porcelain filter holder for making coffee along with a box of unbleached filters

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Morning Coffeeit tasted especially good in the beautiful olive tree cup that a sweet friend sent to me all the way from Greece last summer…

Magpie's Nest Breakfast on the back porch lately I have been drinking more coffee than tea partly because I am paying a bit of extra attention to reducing my sugar intake and when I drink black tea (organic Earl Grey is my favorite) I take it with a little milk and sugar…

Magpie's Nest favorite yoghurtwhen I drink homemade coffee (half high test and half decaf) I only add a bit of coconut creamer which goes nicely with my favorite coffee yoghurt and flax seed muffin…

Magpie's Nest Van Dyke Be Glad quotehere’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz glorious gladiola

I stumbled across this tidbit about the gladiolus being the August birth flower representing strength, calm and integrity…

Traveling Tea Cup Snow Days…

almost 7 inchesMarch came in like a lion yesterday here in Northern Virginia dumping a nice bit of ice and snow on us closing schools and businesses…

3 March 2014 Snowour traveling tea cup did not have to travel far to enjoy some lovely white stuff…

Traveling Tea Cup of Snow

full of anticipation I placed the tea cup and saucer on top of a barrel planter just off the back porch…

snowglobe in back garden

baking some mixed berry scones was a nice way to warm up the house and feel cozy along with sipping some delicious French press coffee (we traded in our electric drip coffee maker for the French press last year and like it a lot)…

Mixed Berry Scones and French Press Coffee

joining with Elizabeth and Bleubeard this Fat Tuesday and wishing you a happy and cozy day…

Dutch Treat…

sometimes I like coffee and sometimes I like tea…

Dutch  Wafer Treat (5)

this caramel wafer treat called for a nice hot cup of coffee (decaf today)…

Dutch  Wafer Treat (1)

the steam helps soften the Dutch Stroopwafel making for a delicious sweet treat…

Dutch  Wafer Treat (4)

here’s wishing you a Happy T day 

♥ I will be enjoying some healing Acupuncture ♥

I like coffee … I like tea …

 a treat for me on the weekend is a nice cup of half-caff cappuccino…

Eggspectation Cappucino

at home I enjoy hot tea…

Patty Szymkowicz Picnic Tea Indoors 2this June we are looking forward to sampling lots of real English tea on a trip we have planned to the UK…

Le Pain Mint Tea

here’s wishing you a lovely day just the way you like it…

country “tea” …

driving to the country from where we live is about the same distance as traveling in the opposite direction to the city

we continue to be charmed by the rolling hills and dry stone walls of the nearby Virginia countryside…

as it turned out the tea shop in The Plains we planned to visit was unexpectedly closed for the day…

that’s when we heard Paris calling…

a relaxing brunch on The Ashby Inn’s covered terrace worked out beautifully as a Plan B…

the menu was an adventure and learning experience thanks to all of the special touches from talented chef Tarver King…

we chose appetizers like roasted beet gazpacho and fennel risotto …

all of the dishes were served on a variety of handsome and fanciful plates and bowls…

it was a perfectly lovely day to sit back and enjoy the fresh air and view with sunlight dancing on the canvas awning…

 for dessert we had tempting treats and delicious coffee...

it’s nice when you mention how good the coffee is and the waiter proudly tells you the back story …

while the Inn’s focus is on using fresh local ingredients the fabulous crusty bread they serve comes from the Tribeca Bakery outside of NYC … it is shipped partially baked and ready to crisp up in the oven … served with whipped butter that has a little honey and a touch of coarse sea salt…

no photo of that as it disappeared very quickly…

we still look forward to having tea in The Plains some time…

 stop by Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons for Tea and many things on Tuesday…

The Gallery Inn of Old San Juan…

overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and old fortress walls

we spent the first six nights of our recent getaway at The Gallery Inn

we knew after looking at the website that it would be special…

we just had no idea how completely grand and full of art…

with many thanks to Mrs. Busy B Jessica for telling us about it…

we were immediately charmed

with photo opportunities at every turn…

our rooftop room had a large veranda with a hot tub…

which was perfect for relaxing after making the climb up Calle San Justo each day back to the inn…

we decided against renting a car and enjoyed strolling the cobblestone streets and taking the occasional free trolley ride…

the inn boasts a rooftop deck that is the highest point in Old San Juan offering fabulous 360 degree vistas…

we discovered pots of night blooming fragrant blossoms on our terrace that reminded us of the moon flower vine we had growing in Virginia one summer…

day or evening the inn and gardens are captivating and magical…

there are charming nooks and lush inviting areas everywhere you look…

and a lovely spot with the morning sun streaming in on our cafe con leche with fresh fruit and toast…

we were charmed by the face key “rings” for each room and bought one as a souvenir…

our traveling tea cup felt right at home…

there is so much to tell about this one of a kind boutique hotel and

its resident artist Jan D’esopo and her beloved Campeche

 the “social director” who really took to Mr Magpie…

everyone was so gracious and welcoming…

it was not easy to leave but El Convento was waiting for us…

I missed you all for tea the last couple of weeks and even though part of me is still in Old San Juan I look forward to visiting with you over at Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons

SLO Tea

thought I’d take you traveling for tea today since my thoughts seem to keep going back to our recent getaway…

SLO stands for San Luis Obispo

I did a Silent Sunday post that showed a few photos of this neat town here

we had a lay over in San Francisco and boarded a small 30 seat propeller plane to continue our journey a little further down the California coast…

there was plenty of time on our stopover to get a loaf of our favorite Boudin’s sour dough bread…

landing at San Luis Obispo airport helped trim about four hours of driving time which was most welcome after traveling the skies all day from Virginia…

we found their one baggage claim carousel a pleasant surprise…

SLO was cited as one of this country’s happiest places by the Oprah Winfrey Show…

home of Cal Poly

we began and ended our California getaway there…

a fun little college town with nice shops and a creek running through it…

we stumbled quite by chance on gum alley…

very interesting…

we did a walk by and kept our distance with no urge to actually walk down the alley…

if I haven’t grossed you out too much let’s keep walking and visit Kreuzberg’s Coffeehouse and Books

I had a nice refreshing Kombucha and Mr Magpie had a cappucino

Loved the lamps hung upside down from the ceiling and the perfect coffee house atmosphere…

We write our epitaphs on walls with gum,
And though it may be meaningless to some,
We have a symbol of our gummy youth,
Whose walls may not tell some glorious truth,
But eloquently speak of better times,
Of cruising, shopping sprees, and nursery rhymes.
If gum is all you see upon our wall,
Your mind is closed, your spirit shrunk and small,
Though memories of youth may never last,
Gum Alley is our present to our past.” ~”M”, Arroyo Grande

well alrighty then…

wishing you all a very Happy T Tuesday

I am still finding reentry back into “real” life pretty challenging on several fronts…sigh 🙂

more than tea…

on weekends I enjoy coffee with Mr Magpie…

we have a favorite coffee shop within about 25 minutes walking distance each way…

this past weekend was a federal holiday here in the states which meant a three day weekend…

on our Monday visit there they already knew what we wanted…oh my!

a grande half caff cappuccino for me and a vente real deal for the Mr…

we like asking for REAL mugs instead of paper cups which cannot be recycled…

that way we stick around and get to do some people watching and take a nice little coffee break…

we often split an egg salad sandwich and one of these yummy salted sweet caramel bars …

I have plans for those brown papers …

instead of a cookout or a party or going to the pool before it closed for the season we have been clearing out a bit …

stuff…stuff…stuff …

so much in fact …

I will be having some giveaways soon to see if some of the books I’ve collected over the years might be useful to someone else …

more on that in future posts…

footnote update: click here for my first magazine giveaway

wishing you a Happy Tea Tuesday even though I had coffee and it feels like Monday…

the school children in this area go back to school today…

I still remember the feeling of needing to get to bed at a decent hour because early mornings came around all too quickly…

I tip my hat to teachers and all of you who have children in school while still making time to nurture your creative side AND blog too……..

for more blog stops visit Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons