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Reality Bites

May 3, 2010

The problem with vacations is that when they end the reality of life hits me like rock.  The letdown I am going through right now reminds me of the Christmas season when there is all this anticipation leading up to December 25th and then wham, suddenly all the excitement is over and Target’s clearance racks are full of wreaths and Santa hats. 

In case my metaphor made no sense to you, and it likely didn’t, I’m having trouble adjusting back to real life.  I miss the breakfast buffets, the leisurely swims, and the 8 hours of sightseeing.  I want to be anywhere except in California doing mundane things like taking Maya potty, cleaning up Ali’s collection of cables, and brainstorming ideas for Maya’s letter bag (don’t ask).

My mom said a smart thing yesterday which was that I should plan 2-3 vacations a year so that when one is over I have the next to look forward to.  Good idea.  So as I brainstorm my next vacation allow me to share the mini-vacation my mom, Maya, and I took yesterday when we hit the Peninsula for afternoon tea and an early Mother’s Day celebration.

For those of you who can’t eat bread and need a good scone in your life, what I am about to say will your life forever – The Peninsula Beverly Hills has an entirely gluten-free tea!  Yes, it is now possible to enjoy tea time and finger sandwiches without a stomach ache.  Who would have thought?

Tea began with strawberries + whipped cream + a Lactaid tablet.  One can never be too careful you know.

After indulging in whipped cream I indulged in my gluten-free tea-tray consisting of a plain scone, a raisin scone, open-faced sandwiches (egg, smoked salmon, veggie), a macaroon, 2 tiny snickerdoodle cookies, a giant strawberry filled with mixed berries, and a little container filled with whipped cream, raspberries, and raspberry sauce.

I was very impressed.  The scones were definitely the highlight of this meal.  The smoked salmon was also good and my mom loved the macaroon, but as it usually is, the gluten-free bread was very dense and kind of hard.  Still, beggars can’t be choosers and I was glad to just be able to eat without stressing out.

My mom had the regular tea and I almost took a bite of her fluffy scones but managed to restrain myself.  I can’t say the same for Maya who probably ate half of my mom’s food.

In order to avoid the inevitable complaints of “I’m hungry, Mama!” I also ordered Maya a proper lunch of salmon and rice.

I can take my kid to a classy place but I can’t make her stop eating asparagus with her fingers. 

Nor can I get her to keep her shoes on.

But I didn’t freak out.  I have to pick my battles you know, so we can take “happy” photos to remember the occasion, like these:

We had a great afternoon and I highly recommend checking out the Peninsula’s afternoon tea.  I only have one suggestion for the hotel – it may be time to look into some new couches, chairs, and a carpet cleaner.  I don’t believe that much in the Living Room has been replaced/cleaned for at least the last decade. 

But whatever points you lost in cleanliness you made up for with your gluten-free tea.  Kudos to you Peninsula for understanding how important scones can be in a person’s life!

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44 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2010 10:03 am

    Soooo cute, shoes or not you and your daughter take lovely pics!

  2. whydeprive permalink
    May 3, 2010 10:23 am

    I LOVE that picture of you and Maya! Its perfect.

  3. May 3, 2010 10:49 am

    I was confused by the phrase gluten free tea (isn’t tea naturally gluten free?) until I realized that tea referred to the meal. I can be so stupid sometimes. Glad you found a gluten free tea to enjoy.

    That picture of you and Maya is stunningly beautiful.

  4. May 3, 2010 11:58 am

    There was actually a study done that supports what your mom said – the best part of vacationing is the planning and anticipation. Most people are depressed and more stressed when they come back.

    It sucks! 😛

  5. May 3, 2010 12:02 pm

    I REALLY need to treat myself to high tea sometime. Reading your blog makes me feel like I’m missing out!

  6. May 3, 2010 12:05 pm

    How fun! All the women in my family do a fancy tea once or twice a year and it’s one of my favorite get-togethers.

  7. May 3, 2010 12:14 pm

    That looks like a really fun little outing. We don’t get to take too many vacations each year, but I agree it is so important to find mini getaways for a little pick me up. Everything outside the mundane details helps!

  8. May 3, 2010 12:20 pm

    Eating asparagus with your fingers is always way more fun… lol.

    The pic of you and Maya is absolutely gorgeous. You look lovely and she is just too cute with her little pose…

  9. May 3, 2010 12:26 pm

    What a gorgeous duo you are!!!

  10. May 3, 2010 12:45 pm

    What a treat!! So glad you were able to indulge in a gluten free tea!! 🙂

  11. May 3, 2010 12:50 pm

    What a lovely time you guys had. That place looks divine. I’ll have to remember it for when I visit LA.
    Love that first picture of you and Maya – beautiful!

  12. May 3, 2010 1:11 pm

    I completely agree — coming back from a vacation can be so depressing. I think your mom has the right idea with planning 2-3 vacations a year. 😉 What a gorgeous tea that was!

  13. nadia permalink
    May 3, 2010 1:12 pm

    when can we do this?? looks so amazing!!!
    XOXOXO

  14. May 3, 2010 1:17 pm

    I agree with your mamma: 2-3 great vacations a year is a must!

  15. May 3, 2010 1:28 pm

    A lovely afternoon spent. Maybe I should take my mom there sometime. Yum!!!

  16. May 3, 2010 1:41 pm

    gluten-free tea! a whole section. WOW

  17. May 3, 2010 1:42 pm

    I’m drinking tea as I read this, but unfortunately mine didn’t come with scones, a jumbo strawberry, or whipped cream. I feel ripped-off. I absolutely love going to tea—my mother and I do it when we get together and I agree that the scones are the best. Those plus clotted cream and I am set. Love that photo of Maya with your mom.

  18. May 3, 2010 1:46 pm

    oh that place looks lovely – we gotta go sometime! and i know what you mean about vacations…i’m in the process of figuring out where to go for one with abe for xmas and i can’t tell you how much of a let down it’s going to be once we actually decide and do it – planning is too much fun!

  19. May 3, 2010 1:53 pm

    Your metaphor made perfect sense to me – I feel the exact same way after vacations and Christmas alike! (“This is no fun, now what do I do…?”) I love your mother’s solution – the delightful anticipation of planning for a vacation is almost as much fun as the vacation! 🙂

    Such gorgeous teas also definitely qualify as a vacation… 🙂 SO cool that they had a gluten free tea!!

    I love the photos – you are 3 amazingly gorgeous ladies!! 🙂

  20. May 3, 2010 3:11 pm

    is your life real? cause it seems so crazy neat — i cannot imagine!
    nice pics as usual ameena.

  21. May 3, 2010 3:27 pm

    That first photo of you and Maya is PRECIOUS! Seriously, it looks like a professional photo!
    And the fact that your child is eating salmon and asparagus puts her WAY ahead of the curve. Go you! And that tea sounds fabulous!

  22. fitandfortysomething permalink
    May 3, 2010 3:35 pm

    oh what a lovely early mothers day celebration! how wonderful. we will be shlepping to mothers house next sunday…….

  23. May 3, 2010 3:47 pm

    What a great recommendation. I LOVE doing tea with my mom. We do it every year for mother’s day/her birthday. I always take her to the Huntington Tea in Pasadena, but I have to admit it’s getting a bit old. We’re set to go May 15th. Maybe I should recommend the Peninsula instead…
    I’m right there with you on the post-vacation, letdown. I love being home, but there is some of that sadness… like being a kid at the end of summer. I always plan my next vacation immediately. We have a general vacation schedule for the next 2 years. Ha. That keeps me going! What are you brainstorming for your next trip?

  24. Caroline permalink
    May 3, 2010 4:40 pm

    I have never had afternoon tea, but after hearing you rave about your love for it, I have added it to my never ending to-do list. Perhaps I’ll find somewhere to take my mom to tea for mother’s day 🙂

    • May 3, 2010 6:22 pm

      Caroline – please do! You and your mom will love it. I promise. 🙂 And let me know if you do so I can hear all about it!

  25. louisianagrown permalink
    May 3, 2010 4:53 pm

    This whole tea thing is still beyond me. A hotel serving caring enough to serve GLUTEN-FREE tea is a bit more than I’m willing to handle this year.

  26. May 3, 2010 4:57 pm

    Let me just start by saying that you, your mom, and Maya look absolutely beautiful. and that your mom is a brilliant woman; 2-3 vacations a year sounds good to me 🙂

    I’m glad you finally got to enjoy tea without fearing any repercussions.

  27. May 3, 2010 5:40 pm

    Awww – lovely pics, Ameena!
    I´m sure you, Maya and your Mom had a great time 🙂
    Wish you a wonderful week!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    Gabriela

  28. May 3, 2010 6:08 pm

    I actually read a study recently that the greatest happiness boost people receive from a vacation comes from planning/anticipation. As soon as you come back the stressors of life pile back on and happiness goes back to base levels. I found the link again: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/how-vacations-affect-your-happiness/

    The conclusion of the study was that people really /should/ plan 2-3 mini vacations a year to elevate happiness overall. Your mother is a smart lady.

  29. May 3, 2010 7:22 pm

    What a fabulous photo of you and your daughter, but the sandal shot is definitely my favourite. Three generations all brought together by tea.. I’m telling you, tea can make this world a better place!

  30. May 3, 2010 7:47 pm

    Oh Ameena, I totallyyyy know what it’s like to come down from the vacation high. When I came back from Thailand, suddenly all I saw was…life. At home. Indefinitely. And it hit me HARD. I agree with your mom – always have something to look forward to@

    Aaaand that’s amazing. I love “going to tea.” It’s so quaint and lovely.

    Here’s hoping you don’t let reality bite anymore! ❤

    (PS – if you were confused, this is La from Love La but I've moved blogs and I'm back to calling myself by my real name haha)

  31. traynharder23 permalink
    May 3, 2010 8:00 pm

    you guys are so gorgeous! i love how you go out to tea! so high class and proper!

  32. May 3, 2010 10:46 pm

    The ladies are all lovely. Maya is so cute – I thought just hanging out with her should be a fun thing to do like vacation. After Christmas, there is Valentine’s Day, then bithdays, then Mother’s Day, then Father’s Day, then 4th of July, etc. I like the celebrated holidays but end of the summer is usually the hardest not to get depressed about. You have a great idea on celebrating Mother’s Day. Thanks!

  33. May 4, 2010 7:20 am

    great advice from Mom! we average one vacaction a decade so planning a few a year is AWESOME!

    and I totally got your metaphor. I absolutely HATE, DETEST the post christmas let down. I’ve suffered that since I became 18 and holidays were never the same ever since.

    we make ours a tad more low key becasue I don’t want our kids thinking the holidays MEAN chaos and you can’t enjoy just a slower, quieter holiday with freinds and family.

    I love that you and your mom and Maya got some Mother’s Day tea time!

    I live with Men… I am hoping my Mother’s Day just doesn’t include Xbox! haha

    I just want to get my 5 mile run in!

    Maya’s dress is so so so pretty..with her beautiful eyes and hair! gosh, that’s just about the one thing I never get to do with JJ. DRESS up usually means his flight jacket and cleaner shoes. kid LOVES his bug shirt and camo pants. it’s FUN but not the same!

    thanks for sharing Ameena!

  34. May 4, 2010 7:57 am

    Looks like you ladies had a great day 🙂

  35. May 4, 2010 8:19 am

    Ohhhh, I adore tea at the Peninsula! I always see a celebrity walk through the lobby too which is fun. Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  36. May 4, 2010 8:32 am

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes you come back home and you got so much junk to deal with, and something horrid always comes in the mail LOL. Still, at least you had a great vacation.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. few things are as wonderful as a good scone with all the trimmings 😀

  37. May 4, 2010 8:45 am

    I agree with your mom- once you get back from one vacation, start planning another! We got home from Paris last night, so I’m just entering into the “need groceries, need to work out” part of regular life. 🙂

    Gorgeous pic of you & Maya!

  38. May 4, 2010 8:57 am

    I want that spread! Whipped cream…yummm…great pics 🙂

  39. May 4, 2010 9:48 am

    great idea from your mom to plan a few trips.

    what a wonderful girls outing! i love the pic of you and maya in the chair. i think that’s one for the frames!

  40. May 4, 2010 10:00 am

    I am so jealous of your gluten free treats! My mouth is watering 🙂

  41. highonhealthy permalink
    May 4, 2010 12:23 pm

    Until your posts I never knew that there were places where you could go out for tea like that. I now plan to go to one.. eventually.

    Planning 2-3 vacations sounds like a great idea! Especially since people don’t take enough time to just relax anymore. You’re mom is smart. 🙂

  42. May 4, 2010 12:44 pm

    You definitely fit the ‘3 generations of beautiful ladies’ tag to the T!!!
    The spread reminds me of all the Enid Blyton books I read as a kid and her description of tea time 🙂

  43. oc2seattle permalink
    May 5, 2010 1:24 pm

    I am such a sucker for a good tea. If you haven’t tried it, tea at The Empress (a Fairmont) in Victoria, B.C. is a classic. Such a cute pic of you and Maya!

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