Teatime With McMel

If you stopped in yesterday, you know that I am now home from a whirlwind weekend, driving a Chevy Traverse (for a review I’ll post at my other blog later in the week) to Tennessee. We saw lots of folks, including both Jim’s parents and my parents as well as Jim’s sister and her family, Kate and Squeaks (Bean and Kate’s hubby were out watching fireworks), and another high school friend, McMel.

All of that in a little more than two days, really. “Whirlwind” is appropriate indeed, don’t you think?

I had not seen McMel since our high school’s ten-year reunion (back in 1996) and we only briefly chatted that evening. Before that? We hadn’t seen each other, I’m fairly certain, since graduation. I was so, so excited to see her; it turns out she doesn’t live very far from my sister-in-law, who lives a good two hours from Knoxville (where our parents are). It made perfect sense for me to drive the extra twenty minutes with my mother-in-law in tow, after we dropped off the men at Jim’s sister’s house.

McMel operates a tea room AND a tea academy out of a lovely 100+ year old house (and her family lives upstairs!). She is very passionate about what she does and is branching out–in fact, the first book in her “Traveling Tea Ladies” mystery series will be released this fall!

As you can imagine, I was beyond excited to see McMel and get a glimpse into her life. When we arrived, she was waiting for us on the porch and I couldn’t help but run to her. She looks as beautiful as ever (am I the only one that has gained weight since high school?? SHEESH!), and we followed her around as she showed us around her fabulous tea room. I took some pictures to share with you, and yes, I LOVE fireplaces (in case you’re wondering).

Of course we had to enjoy some tea while we were there, and McMel had a table all set up for the three of us.

She made my mother-in-law an apricot tea, and McMel and I enjoyed her own blend of green tea. She made us scones too, which were awesome! I learned that, when the tea room is open and not on summer vacation as it is this week, she gets up and starts making scones and getting other foods ready at 4:00 a.m., cooking and baking straight through to 9:00!

We had some great conversation, and her husband stopped in for a few minutes to meet us. He was hilarious and a real charmer. I loved how McMel looked at him when he was speaking.

We couldn’t stay as long as I wanted to, but I guess that’s a great reason for a return trip!

What left an impact on me after our visit was how my heart was bursting with pride for my old friend. She is in such a wonderful place in her life (both work AND family!), and that makes me very, very happy for her. I’m trying to lure her to Chicago for a book signing…I’ll keep you posted on future McMel adventures!

Thanks for being such a great hostess, Melanie! Can’t wait to get together again! xo



©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • Tara R.

    McMel has a lovely home!

    My dad lives near Johnson City, I'll have to visit her tea room next time I visit.

  • Momo Fali

    How lucky she is to have found her passion. Can you ask her to look for mine?

    It sounds like you had a lovely time and that McMel is a great lady!

  • This Belle Rocks

    OMG, I think I might be in love with McMel! I wonder if her tea room is two hours from Knoxville towards me, or further out?

    Glad you had a great time!

  • nycgirl0501

    Her book sounds AMAZING and she has such a lovely home. All the best to her. Can't wait to read it!

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    How cute are the 2 of you? I think having a tea room would be pretty cool!

    Can't wait to read her book!