Story Time!

And Now for Today’s Story (No, Really)

I started my day at 6:15. Which was too early. So I restarted my day at 6:40. I got myself all ready for work, and then sullenly realized I did not have time to prepare my morning tea. This made me sad.

 Side Story 
I’ve recently become infatuated with tea. I shop mainly at Teavana. It’s my comfort zone. I’m familiar with their wares, I like the quality of their products, and I don’t mind their prices. And, generally, I have tea twice a day; I brew two cups in the morning, to take with me to work and have with breakfast, and another in the evening, to enjoy and have with dinner.

My current stock of teas are Honeybush Vanilla (herbal), Wild Orange Blossom (herbal), Strawberry Paraiso (flavored white), Apple Lemon Pomegranate (rooibus), Peach Bloom (rooibus), Blackberry Mojito (green), Moroccan Mint (green), and Almond Biscotti (black).

 

My next tea ambition involves purchasing maté tea. Maté tea has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. In the mornings, I need that. (Well, I want that) And right now, my Almond Biscotti (which packs 20% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee) is taking the biggest blow, since my herbal and rooibus teas are caffeine-free and my white tea has only the tiniest trace of caffeine in it. Don’t get me wrong – Almond Biscotti is incredibly delicious. But I need more variety!

After getting some maté tea added to my collection, I want to look for a way to both store and display my tea – airtight, stack-able yet secure glass containers, ideally. So far, I’m having a disappointingly difficult time finding a solution that makes me happy!

Breakfast!

So, I had to go to work without tea. I also missed out on preparing myself a lunch, but since there are several places to eat around my job, I wasn’t too stressed. In lieu of having no tea, and no breakfast, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and got myself a bagel with cream cheese. This endeavor almost made me late. There was a woman in line ahead of me ordering not one, but two boxes of donuts. Lo and behold, on the way out, she hailed my partner for a jump; her car battery had died. Mini-karma.

Regardless of the karmic breakfast circle, I got to work right on time, clocked in, then scarfed down my bagel. It was delicious. The day went well, I learned some more stuff in the print center (it will never stop, I’m sure!) and when my supervisor went on break, I held down the fort (well, the print center).

For my own break, I decided to go with Chick-fil-A. Like breakfast, lunch was delicious. I ate these things:

Only had an hour and a half left of work after my lunch break, so it went well. Ended up with a big copy job right at the end and went past my punch time by a few minutes. My stress was in getting to the bus in time. I had to run to the back to get my things, make a quick purchase, then speed-walk my butt to the bus stop.

Things went as planned until the “bus stop” part. I was waiting to cross the street to get to the stop, and the bus passed me by before I could cross. This made me sad. That bus only runs every 40 minutes, so I had to find a way to pass the time until the next one. Aha! Chick-fil-A has free Wi-Fi!

 Side Story 
I have two Wi-Fi devices. But until recently, it had only been one. My MacBook serves me well to this day. And my new-to-me iPod Touch is an exciting new travel partner. I don’t bring my laptop to work, of course. But my iPod is quite the perfect partner.

I was visiting a pawn shop with a friend looking for movies, and I saw them sitting in the locked cases. I’d been contemplating buying one for a while. They were one of the only ways to use Square devices without investing in an expensive phone and contract phone service.

… You do know what Square is, right? No, no, not the game developer. That’s Square Enix. I’m talking about SquareUp. Long story short, they let independent and small business folks accept credit card payments! See it over there on the right? You should click on it and check it out some more.

Back to that pawn shop: I also only had a 512 mb 1st gen. iPod shuffle. So the upgrade was well-appreciated both from a mp3 and business device perspective. Didn’t hurt that I felt like spoiling myself a little, either. (There is a free Teavana app that I use all the time on my iPod!)

I whipped out my iPod and blew through 30 minutes by checking some social sites and streaming through Netflix. Caught the next bus and found myself at the second stop on my way home at 4:15. And this is where my next adventure happened!

This new place opened up next to one of my favorite Chinese food take-outs. It’s called Ddrinks (they have removed their facebook page). Why did this place catch my eye? Well, in their sign, the “i” in “Ddrinks” is a cup of boba. I happen to really like boba. And the only other places in Tampa for boba are Got Tea? and the International House of Boba (facebook link) – both of which are quite nice, but a little out of the way to visit.

Wait… you don’t know what boba is? Oh dear. Well, here:
(If you already know, you can skip this next block of green text)

 Extra Information 
The word “boba” is a little bit of an onomatopoeic take on the real name; it’s actually called “bubble tea.” Why’s it called bubble tea? Because it’s known for the “bubbles” in the bottom – tapioca pearls! Yeah, they look like shiny little fish eggs on their own, but they’ve got a firm pudding-like texture that’s fun to encounter while enjoying the rest of your treat – the “tea!”

The “tea” part of the drink doesn’t actually have to be straight tea – in fact, most of the time there is only a little tea, if any, in the drink. Popular blends involve fruit, fruit juices, milks, and sweet flavors like vanilla and chocolate. There are a huge number of ways to mix and enjoy boba teas. Check out the picture to the right: it actually links to the Got Tea? website, since it’s an image of their teas!

If you want to learn more about boba, you can check out the Wikipedia page. Got Tea? also has a section of their site dedicated to explaining more about boba

As I mentioned earlier (and I’m sure you’ve forgotten), I got off the bus at 4:15. There is a 30-minute wait until the my next bus, so I had all the time in the world to check out DDrinks. And I did.

And it was marvellous.

The full name of the business is DDrinks: Smoothies and Sweeties (facebook page removed). So. Cute. And yes, they serve boba. So. Much. Boba. They also serve sweets. Delicious. Beautiful. Sweets. And the prices are some of the best I’ve seen! I spent just over $5 getting a large boba drink (called Strawberry Lane), a yummy chocolate brownie, and leaving a tip. They even accept credit/debit cards (which is a big down-side to Got Tea? – they only accept cash). Unfortunately, Got Tea? has a website, which DDrinks does not – yet. (EDIT: But they DO have a facebook page! Woo! EDIT2: facebook page removed) I want to make it happen! (The website, that is) I would exchange the site design for free boba for life! Or, at least one free boba a day. Or money. Or money and boba. Whichever!

After purchasing my delicious post-work treats, I walked to the next bus stop to wait. I noticed an above-average number of police officers and sheriff’s vehicles driving around. I didn’t think too much of it, though – I do  live in Tampa.

Here’s the kicker! One of the sheriff’s actually pulled into the parking lot next to my bus stop, got out of the car, and approached me.

“Ma’am? You kinda match the description of someone we’re looking for. What’s your last name?”

Luckily for me, I’m positive I haven’t done anything illegal. So I gave my last name.

“Ah, definitely not who we’re looking for. Thank you.” He nodded his head and slipped back into his car. He pulled back out of the parking lot, and his backup – I hadn’t even noticed there was backup – pulled into the street behind him from a parking lot on the other side of the road. I found it odd they didn’t ask for identification to confirm my response. But I wasn’t lying, so in this case it just saved everyone some time.

About six minutes later a low-flying helicopter flew by.

And… cliffhanger! That was the peak of that adventure. The bus arrived a few minutes behind schedule, I happily sat down in the air conditioning, and arrived home promptly at 5:00. I checked the mail and proceeded to unwind.

The End!

P.S. I had spaghetti macaroni for dinner. It, like everything else today, was delicious.

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