To recap our hero’s adventure, start with Tea on the Sea – Part 1
It seems a bit obsessive, but I often bring a secret stash of tea and a tiny travel tea set when I’m on the road. This time, I had tried with all my strength to not let my tea addiction show, but I could endure it no longer. Staggering, I made my way through the unending labyrinth of identical hallways back to my cabin. I got on my hands and knees and reached under the bed where I had carelessly shoved my backpack. Without any disguise of gentleness, I pulled it from its hiding place and, like a wild animal, tore open the zipper and plunged my hand deep into its heart – fingers searching for my salvation. I felt the familiar shape and pulled it close to me. That which had sustained me so many times in the past would save me again. My portable gongfu gaiwan tea set in its comforting red pouch! I felt better just holding it. I was soon able to stand squarely on my feet again and with renewed strength marched courageously back up to the lounge chairs on the top deck (actually only up 2 decks, and I took the elevator).
I sat down at my throne and spread my holy utensils out upon the altar in front of me (a comfy lounge chair with a little table in front). I opened up the precious pouch of strong-roast, aged Rou Gui oolong tea and inhaled deeply the rejuvenating vapors. My heart raced. My spine straightened and my muscles surged with newfound strength. I charged over to the self-service beverage bar, looked down at the feeble tea bag assortment, and then with a dominating scowl took two clean mugs from the rack, filled them with boiling[-ish] water, and returned to my seat. With one mug of water I washed the long, black leaves and rinsed the gaiwan and cups. I inhaled the aroma of the moistened leaves and my spirit began to soar. The second cup of water was poured onto the leaves and within a few moments, I was sipping the elixir of immortality (some really good tea). I gorged on cup after tiny cup, refilling the water time and time again until I had consumed the full essence of the leaves’ power. I was whole again. My former weakness just a vague memory. I knew I would survive the next few days.
Oh, and the whole family and I had a great time in Honduras, Belize, and several places in Mexico. I found a cute tea shop in Costa Maya and paid way too much for a glass of fruity iced tea. We swam in the sea, walked on the white sand beaches, and ate way too much. We visited the Mayan ruins in Tulum and had such a great time that I’m thinking of going back for a visit in March for more fun. (I will be bringing my tea set.)
Images provided and copyright held by author