Time for Tea

I love tea. I didn’t always like tea but the more I have, the more I like it. Coffee is okay. (Gasp!).

There is this cute little tea place in Escondido (in North County San Diego) called The Grand Tea Room. The only reason why I know about this place is because I was invited to a bridal shower that was held here.

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That was over a year ago and I left with a Passion Fruit Oolong Tea. I haven’t gone back since. I only went back because I ran out of that tea and my sister loved it so we went again for my mom’s birthday and I was able to take some pictures.

The Grand Tea Room is a traditional English tea time experience. You get tea, there’s soups and salads, an array of sandwiches, and pastries. The tea is served hot with a side of milk and sugar cubes. There are a few different options on their menu and we chose to do an Afternoon Tea–The Grand Tea to be exact and it includes everything pictured below any tea you like. There is a two hour limit but that’s plenty of time! Food can be served a la cart as well.

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Flowery tea set anyone?
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Fruit with whipped cream~
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Tomato soup (some days might have more options)
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Various sandwiches! Egg salad, chicken salad, and cucumber
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Mini Shepherd’s Pie and a Scone
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Dessert!
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Here’s the fam! They have hats that you can borrow for the duration of your tea!

I definitely recommend trying this place out at least once if you’re ever in North County. The tea selection is amazing and the prices are very reasonable for loose leaf teas.

Vienna

The train ride was 3ish hours long. I was running a little late and had to power walk to the train station at 5:30 in the morning and I was a little scared. Good news, I made it. Deciding to go to Vienna for a day was sort of last minute. I bought my ticket online a few days before, while I was already in Budapest. The train was nice, no one sat next to me and once we crossed the Austrian border there was free wifi.

I did a total of three things. A palace, a museum, and the Christmas Market. Navigating the metro in Vienna was also easy! Honestly, there’s no way you can’t figure it out. I bought a 24 hour unlimited rides ticket thing.

I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to….something I will change once I start traveling more because this feeling of regret is sooo heavy. I actually wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the museum (where most of Gustav Klimt’s works are). BUT THEY WERE GORGEOUS OMG I LOVED IT.

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The Belvedere Museum

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Miles in Budapest

Story time! I went to Budapest, Hungary for 10 days. Well, eight days because the first and last days were dedicated to traveling. First, why did I randomly decide to go to Budapest in November of 2015?? As I mentioned in my last post, my relationship with my ex was stagnant and I was stupid dependent on him and after he ended it I was lost. I basically had to figure out who I was as an individual and just grow from there and oh boy did I grow! But my first step to reclaiming my identity was a solo trip to Europe to prove to myself that I can do whatever the hell I want.

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Hősök tere (Hero’s Square): I went here first…walked here first.

So, I booked my ticket, informed my boss (much to her horror, but she did allow it), trained my coworker to do my duties, and off I went. This trip was an eye opener for me and it was like testing the waters to see how independent I was. It was also to see if I have what it takes to travel the world, alone essentially. I believe I do, I mean I am preparing to move to South Korea (more on this later, I’m finishing up some things then I’ll start interviewing!).

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Seoul Transit Tours

When I was looking at flights going to (and returning from) the Philippines, I knew I wanted to do a long layover somewhere. The question was, where. When I found out that Incheon International Airpot had free transit tours, that was it. I chose a flight that had a 15 hour layover, but our flight leaving the Philippines was delayed by 3 hours. Not a big deal though because we had plenty of time to get to the first transit tour. You have to reserve your spot on the tour in advance and sadly, the one that I wanted was completely full. Also, if you have enough time during your layover, you can book more than one which is what we did.

First stop is the transit tour desk to fill out a short form and then customs/immigration. They verify your name on the list and you go through customs and get a stamp in your passport.

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Aw, look it’s purple!

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La Jolla Muraling

Do I have a bucket list for San Diego, California? Yes. Well, sort of. It’s all in my head and things get added when I see something interesting on Pinterest/Yelp/some list on Thrillist or Buzzfeed. But since I never write anything down, I haven’t been able to keep track of what’s on the list.

For my birthday I went to La Jolla with a friend. My actual purpose for going was to get a good full body picture of me for my applications to teach abroad. I know, right? La Jolla just for a full body picture? But they have great murals! And I wanted to show my “fun” side by having my picture be in front of a fun mural. But the way, the full body pictures were…okay. Not my friend’s fault but mine for not being specific enough and also not having a step stool so that the pictures would be taken at a higher angle.

My favorite mural is ‘One Pointed Attention’ by Kelsey Brooks.

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Makes for a great IG profile pic, right?

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Plan B.

I had grand plans. Don’t we all have grand plans? But guess what, grand plans change. For better or for worse. It’s totally fine, I’m not complaining. So let me lay it all out.

I wanted to be in South Korea this October/November to teach English. I was on track, I will have all of my documents ready next week in order to get a visa for a job that I haven’t even interviewed for. So I contacted recruiters (three of them) and one immediately suggested a school while the others said, “The hiring season is over, it will be difficult to place you in October but we would love to help you for the February hiring season.”

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Myeong-dong Street in the winter. More shopping than you can ever imagine. And this is just one of many shopping streets.

Okay, but first, let me explain why I want to leave in October. I am very tired of working at my job. It’s not my job’s fault, it’s no one’s fault. It’s time for a change. And that change could not come any sooner. Unfortunately, the school that the one recruiter offered did not accept my application which is totally fine because I like Plan B better anyway.

Now, Plan B. Plan B is a little risky, but also something I didn’t know I needed until I came up with it. Plan B is I move out of my house, send all of my stuff to the Philippines and spend around three months in the Philippines. Just being. (Being meaning a long vacation of doing nothing productive like watching tv/movies, reading a bunch of books, learning Korean, and trying yoga). And maybe volunteering to teach English online…or at my old school??? More experience?? Not exactly a vegetable??

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This is home. It doesn’t look like much but I was raised here. And I won’t have to pay rent!

Then from the Philippines, I will fly straight to Korea and start working. Well, maybe arriving a few weeks early and take actual Korean lessons and maybe going to the winter olympics?? Maybe.

This is risky because I won’t be working for three to four months and that’s not going to be great because I’ll be poor, but in exchange, I will hopefully be refreshed and be in a completely different (and better) mental state than I am now. I can’t ask for a better plan because I don’t want to bring all of this (as I gesture to my whole self) to my future students.

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Oh look, they have love locks in Korea too. This is at Namsan Tower in Seoul.

This is the new plan. I hope it works. There are some kinks but I’ll talk about that in the future “Document Gathering/How to apply to teach English in SK” post. Assuming that it all goes well and I get hired. Oh my gosh, please let me get hired.

In the meantime, I will be a tourist in San Diego and try to visit as many places as I can while also being as frugal as I can. One of the places I checked out on my birthday was the murals in La Jolla! That I will write about next time!