Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Meatloaf's Rail Adventures #8

Return to a Great Location

Heritage Rail Trail New Freedom, PA

Meatloaf was excited to be going back to New Freedom with Xyra, Franz, and Leg Lare. They went on Labor Day and were heading back for Memorial Day weekend. The trip was Friday and it was amazing how many people were still using the trail. Anyway, I thought his little tail was going to wag right off when he saw Xyra preparing her gear and packing drinks. and again when he saw one of the motorcars from the Virginia trip!

Bright and early they jumped in the truck and headed out to pick up Leg Lare and his motorcar. Then it was off to York County. They got there in good time and were one of the first to set on. Which means time to explore while others set on.
On Labor Day, Xyra took 3 books from the New Freedom Little Free Library. She and Meatloaf checked it out again. 
She brought three books to add and took two more. She also put a shout out to friends in the area to help fill the young adult and adult shelves. So I want to do that too! If you live near the New Freedom Rail Trail Cafe or are planning to visit, take along a few books to add to the shelves. 
You know, choose a few from the pile you're creating for your yard sale.

While waiting for everyone to set on, Meatloaf stretched his little legs and explored the area around the New Freedom station.

The cafe was not open yet.

Hmmm, I wonder if Meatloaf likes butter. (giggles) 
He does. He also love buttercups.

Soon it was time for the safety meeting. 
Meatloaf was quiet while they explained the trip, crossings procedures, and read the release form. Then it was time to be off.

There was a brief stop right away. 
A couple of the cars near the back of the line were having too many issues and went back to set off. It's really too bad when that happens.

Meatloaf found a Rockets Rock and relocated it along the trail. 

Xyra is pretty sure there was another one right by the Little Free Library, but it was so perfectly placed she didn't want to relocate it.

At Hanover Junction Station Meatloaf had a chance to go exploring again.

There was a pretty garden close to the road planted by Penn State Master Gardeners as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln.

Then it was off to the end or at least the turning spot. Here they waited a bit for everyone to get turned around and ready to head back with a stop for lunch.
It was a hot day, so shade was welcome at any stop. So was a chance to stretch.

One of the coolest spots was the tunnel.
On the way back a quick stopped at Hanover Junction again.
Then back to New Freedom to set off and head home.

Both Xyra and Meatloaf dozed in the back seat while Franz and Leg Lare visited in front.
Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the sites again. they hope to travel this one again. 

Which is your favorite photo from Meatloaf's latest trip?

Best wishes,

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tea Review: Royal Wedding Tea

Thirsty Thursday #28

Harney and Sons Royal Wedding Tea

Hello, everyone! Haley here! Our Monday post mentioned we'd be reviewing the Royal Wedding Tea we sipped while watching the Duke and Duchess of Sussex get married. So I thought I'd put my party clothes on again for this event. The Duchess of Cambridge wears her favorite clothes more than once why shouldn't I? (giggles) 

Usually the lighting is so strange in one of our regular reviewing areas, I convinced Xyra to try another location. You don't really need to see the kettle on the burner, right?
So, we opted for the 2 ounce tin. It's lovely!
The one side tells you about the character of the tea and rating.

"The white tea flavors are nicely married with the nuttiness of almonds and coconuts, and the sweet creaminess of vanilla."
According to the rating this is not a very brisk tea, but has nice body and bold aroma.

The other side of the tin give you the brewing instructions and ingredients.

"White tea, rose petals, blue cornflowers, marigold petals, almond flavor, coconut flavor, vanilla flavor."
Hmmm, maybe we should have read this more closely.

It's really a lovely blend.
Smells exotic, kind of tropical.
Looks nice waiting for the water.
Let's watch the leaves dance for a few minutes.

Oh, their really going now! (giggles)
[timer beeps]

Done! It does smell lovely. slightly floral and nutty.
Some of the leaves are still floating at the top.
This make a dark tea despite being a white tea.

So let's give it a try. Well, I've tried this already...(giggles)...that's why I'm doing the review. The first sip is interesting. 
There is a lot going on...you get the bits of floral and the almond and coconut and the vanilla tries to wrap everything together. This is how the maker intends it to be enjoyed.

This second sip is with a small spoon of sugar in the raw.
This is nice. I think the molasses in the sugar unites some of the flavors and notes.

Finally, I'm going to add a touch of milk.
This is good too. The milk blends actually unites the notes even more. I get the coconut note last with the milk. Maybe my sisters would have liked it better this way. 

So here is the low down. My sisters are not fond of this blend. Maybe too much vanilla in it. Some of the notes stick out over others. I kind of like it; it is not a favorite, but I like it enough to want to try it again. Also, we tried re-steeping the leaves Saturday; this blend should really only be steeped once. The second pot was really weak. 

Overall, I think it is a unique and pleasant blend. 
If you are interested, Harney and Sons offers a "sample" size that makes a few cups. 

[Xyra aside: I opted for the tin to keep as a souvenir. This is not a favorite of mine. Not sure if it is the vanilla or something else, maybe the almond. You definitely want to drink this while it is hot; it's terrible cold and gets bitter when reheated.]

Warmest wishes to all!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with Madame Alexander or Harney and Sons. The tea reviewed was purchased with our own funds for our collection and in celebration of the May 19, 2018 royal wedding. The review is unsolicited and comprised of our own opinions, thoughts, and words. Links are provided for educational and informative purposes; no purchase is required to enjoy the post. If you are interested in trying the tea, the links will point you in the right direction.