Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Sterilization of Starbucks

The Sterilization of Starbucks

Whether you are a coffee drinker or not, you will turn into one after a while of living here (in Seattle). Most of my friends can attest to the fact that I am not a coffee connoisseur. I have low expectations, and typically drink one of three coffee variations: regular coffee, vanilla latte, or some mocha type of concoction.

Despite the fact that I've never been a huge coffee drinker, I've always chilled at Starbucks, and a couple of other coffee establishments; however, Starbucks had always been my favorite, because I'd get to know the Baristas and they wouldn't chastise me for my lack of coffee culture, and the environment had always been cozy and inviting; HAD being the operative word.

Prior to my move to Seattle from Denver, I had been seeing a rash of updating of the Starbucks in the area. Hey, I'm all for updating and staying "fresh." The problem comes when the cozy, comfy leather chairs and odd sofas are replaced by cold and uninviting furniture; which does NOT encourage lingering. Hmmm, maybe that's the point.

About a month into living here in Seattle, I scooted into one of the Starbucks that was close to my house. There was a sign on the door that read (paraphrasing), "We'll be open during our remodeling. Please continue to frequent our location during our remodeling process." I stepped inside and chose a space that was a long, bench like seating, covered in a soft fabric, with several single tables next to one another. It's one of those situations where you have to squish between the tables to sit down, and you hope your rear-end isn't in someones face before you plop down.

I hunkered down into my seat, and began working away on my computer. A short time later, a perfectly coiffed lady in her late 60's sat next to me; curled her legs underneath herself, and pulled out her Kindle (or could have been a Nook...I'm not sure). She glanced in my direction and gave a light smile. I returned the smile and continued working on my computer. 

About thirty minutes later she put her device down and looked around the place. It was humming with a lot of energy. The loud hissing of the steam machines; idle chatter, and heated discussions surrounded us. She turned to me and said, "You know this is all going to end don't you?" 

I cocked my head to the side and said, "How is that?"

"All of these places [Starbucks] are getting 'renovated.' They are taking the heart away and making it, Corporate. I mean, I know they are big time, but it's sad to see what they are doing," she uttered in a melancholy voice.

I replied, "Yes, it's a sterilization."

She perked up, "That's the exact word. Sterilization," she sighed.

We chatted a bit more, and then she settled back into her reading, and I returned to my work on the computer.

Now, with that being said, it's forced me to branch out and not seek out the comfort of a place I'd been going for sometime, but to try new places. I'm delighted to report that while Starbucks definitely has a tight grip on the coffee locations in this city; there are countless coffee shops and café's that are, and have been giving them a run for their money. I have a couple that are starting to become my "go to" places too, and I will share a bit about them as I venture out and spread my wings.

Bottoms up!

*Photo taken by That Chick Té


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Welcome to the Emerald City!

Welcome to the Emerald City

That Chick Té is baaaaack! The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity; therefore, I apologize for the delay in updating my blog with THE BIG MOVE!
I have quite a few stories about my drive out to Seattle, Washington, and I have to admit (coming from someone who prefers not to drive), I had a wonderful time driving out with my mother, as I start a new adventure and page in my life in the phenomenal city of Seattle.

This city is SPECTACULAR! You can be in the city; by water, or in the mountains (some of these things are accomplished simultaneously) in what seems like a ten minute time frame. Driving across the bridge over Lake Washington, to downtown Seattle when I entered the city took my breathe away. I'd been to Seattle on many occasions, but I rarely had the opportunity to get out of the city and visit the surrounding areas. The only other place I'd been before was Olympia, and while that was nice; there are no breathtaking views (to me) like there are in and around Seattle. 

I am looking forward to checking out the bevy of wineries throughout the area; some only a fifteen minute car ride from where I live, like the popular and highly recognizable, Chateau St. Michelle Winery, located in Woodinville, Wa.

While I enjoy and take in as much as I can of this vibrant city, I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all too.


*Photo taken by That Chick Té

Monday, February 10, 2014

International Wine Guild Cruise

My friends from the International Wine Guild will be hosting a wine cruise.  The flyer below contains most of the information.
Join Us For A Wine Cruise
June 28 - July 5, 2014 PLUS a trip to Umbria before the cruise

From Rome To Barcelona!
10-Night Luxurious Wine Cruise
Our June 28th, 10-day "Rome to Barcelona" cruise is in its final stage of booking. If you have not yet booked your cabin, please be aware we can only guarantee cabin inventory until February 15th! After this date, booking requests will only be honored on a "space available" basis.

So if you want to go, please book now so you can enjoy the widest selection of prices and cabins.  This 10-night luxurious wine and food journey would make a wonderful Valentine's present! Per person pricing, based on two to a cabin, begins at $4,474 including round trip airfare from 26 US cities.

And if you book now, Oceania's normal deposit payment has been reduced to just $750 per person.

This cruise begins in the "Eternal City" of Rome, and we know you'll want to arrive early to insure you don't hear those fateful words "You just missed the ship"!  To encourage early arrival, Food & Wine Trails has released their special 2-night pre-cruise package that includes a boutique Rome hotel, an overnight at a Tres Bicchieri rated winery in Umbria with a wine-dinner, a cooking class in the classic hill town of Orvieto and a transfer to the ship. Claude Robbins will be onboard as the host, and the full 10-night tour will count as one of your required Level 3 wine trips if you are working on a Level 3 diploma!

Onboard the ship Claude will host a Welcome Reception for the group, a special wine pared dinner and two private wine education seminars. All these events will be with wines chosen by the Guild.

During your cruise, you have the opportunity to participate in two optional private excursions. In the port of Livorno, you will enjoy a perfect Super Tuscan-day visiting Azienda Agricola Tua Rita , the very first Italian winery to receive a perfect 100/100 score from Robert Parker.  In Marseille, France the group will visit the world renowned wine region of Chateauneuf du Pape with a wine-paired luncheon cooked by a Michelin-starred chef and a private tasting Domaine de la Janasse, another highly rated winery.

Contact our travel partner Food & Wine Trails
or visit before it's too late to reserve your stateroom and pay a lower deposit PLUS FREE airfare to Europe, FREE pre-paid gratuities, FREE internet package and up to $150 in shipboard credit to spend on Oceania Cruises beautiful ship, Riviera. Those are some awesome perks!

Claude is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with you about these amazing wine producing areas and creating an experience that you will remember for a lifetime.

IWG 2013 logo

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wishing Our Olympians Success, Safety & Fun!

Wishing Our Olympians Success, Safety & Fun!

In a little more than a week, the Winter Olympic Games being held in Sochi, Russia will commence. There has been quite a bit of televised awareness around these olympics, but not for the usual reasons. Unfortunately, heightened degrees of security and travel alerts have been made due to the possibility (suspicion) of terrorist activity.

While safety is clearly the most important factor, I am disappointed that it has become the main focal point of these events. There are women and men coming from all over the globe in anticipation of winning in their respective events, as well as attendees coming to cheer on their friends, family members and fellow country men and women.

I am sending my positive vibes into the universe for all of the attendees and participants; while also wishing them safe passage, and the ability to enjoy this (possibly) once in a lifetime experience. 

*Photo "Skier in Power Snow," taken by franky242 and used from

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Looking forward to another fabulous New Year!

Welcome to 2014!

Chicks That Trip

*Photo from