Month: February 2011

Spain and Chocolate



One of my favorite things to do when traveling is try and stock up on various local sweets and chocolate.  Spain first began consuming chocolate in the 1600s, after conquering the Aztecs in the Americas, and discovering the cocoa bean. It’s rumored that the first official recipe for chocolate emerged in 1644 by Antonia Colmenero in the book A Curious Treatise of the Nature and Quality of Chocolate:

  • 100 cacao beans
  • 2 chiles (black pepper may be substituted)
  • a handful of anise
  • “ear flower”
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 ounces cinnamon
  • 12 almonds or hazelnuts
  • pound sugar
  • achiote to taste

Chocolate in Spain has evolved since then, and now is often served hot, and with churros on the side.

churros 2
photo by Lisa at spicy ice cream


Not being in Spain ourselves, we at Tea are big fans of Vosges‘s Barcelona Bar – which we can buy just down the street. It may be made in the USA, but the almonds, sea salt, and rich chocolate are all reminiscent of Spain.

vosges collage

Visiting Museums with Kids


Growing up in Santa Fe with an artist father, I experienced my fair share of galleries as a child. My dad would drag me along Canyon Road on nights with lots of gallery openings, and my attention would be held for about 0.2 seconds in each space before I got restless. It must have paid off though, as now I love galleries and museums and any opportunity to see art. But how can we help make viewing art, especially in museums, interesting and fun for kids?

Red Tricycle has a great article about visiting San Francisco MOMA with kids. They recommend visiting on Family Days, where there will be other kids to interact with, and signing up for museum tours that are specifically catered to children.

Many museums cater specific programming and events to be kid friendly. You can get information on the following museums below:

SFMOMA – San Francisco

De Young Museum – San Francisco

Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York

Museum of Fine Art – Boston

Museum of Contemporary Art – Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago

Walters Art Museum – Baltimore

Baltimore Museum of Art – Baltimore

Getty Museum – Los Angeles

MOCA – Los Angeles

What are you favorite ways to share art with your kids?

Wild Parrots of San Francisco and Barcelona

Parrotts 033

photo by Gerry Caps

One of our local tourist attractions in San Francisco are the parrots of Telegraph Hill.  Feral and free-flying, these Cherry-Headed Conures are often seen (and heard!) in flocks over Coit Tower and the North Beach neighborhood.  Originally from Peru and Ecuador, these parrots are believed to be descendants of escaped or released pets. In 2004 there was a film made about them, titled The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

Another flock of wild parrots can be found in Park Guell, in Barcelona Spain. A gorgeous park filled with architecture by Gaudi and rolling gardens, it also is home to a large flock of Monk Parakeets.


images clockwise: Tea’s Travel Photos, Trude, Tea’s Travel Photos, DJ’s Photography

The parrots and tile mosaics of Park Guell inspired our designers to create our Perico Mosaic top:


Have you encountered any flocks of wild urban parrots on your travels?