Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adventure San Francisco: Tea-licious

Staying in San Francisco's Nob Hill provided the perfect location for my children to visit (and re-visit) Chinatown. Of course I knew they’d enjoy it, but I wasn’t prepared for their new-found addiction—the over-abundance of toys and knick-knacks that they could easily afford with their own pocket money and all within walking distance of our hotel. After our ump-teenth excursion, I was more than ready to finally treat myself to a little something of my own. The answer was surprisingly right in front of me in three convenient Chinatown locations—Vital Tea Leaf.

The boys and I wandered in, attracted by the in-your-face sign that screamed “free tea tasting.” Since I’m a die-hard coffee drinker, my sons don’t exactly get excited about tea-time, and the place obviously catered to tourists, I was more than skeptical. But, on the other hand, I needed an immediate pick-me-up, so we quickly bellied ourselves up to the counter.

Vital Tea Leaf’s walls were adorned with shelves that house over three hundred types of tea, all sporting really fun names. Once inside, the ambiance actually felt more like a wine bar than a tourist haven. We were greeted by the owner who asked us what we knew about tea ("uuuuh, not much") and what kind of tea we enjoyed ("uuuuh, not sure"). Based on our responses, he selected an assortment of tea to taste, guaranteeing that we would feel better when we left and that my sons would enjoy some of the selections "more than Coca-Cola." After teaching us how to make, taste, and select teas, we sampled six and sat for over an hour soaking in the atmosphere, talking to the owner and some locals, crunching on fortune cookies, and sipping really diverse and complex teas.

Although I’m not sure my sons liked some of the teas more than Coca-Cola, they certainly had an easy time downing their samples. After buying their favorites—Iron Goddess King and Lichee Black, we were able to face just a few more souvenir shops revitalized and refreshed. Details: 1044 Grant Ave., San Francisco,

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sam steger March 16, 2009 at 5:17 PM  

Leah and Sarah, even tho I am not a mom, I have enjoyed reading some of your articles ever since we have placed your site on our "favorites". Of course, I especially enjoyed the Mrs. Peters article and just finished reading the one on Chinatown in San Francisco which made me want to return to the area. Sam Steger

Anonymous March 18, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

Thanks Sam! Good to hear we have a cult following. We heart San Francisco.

Anonymous March 18, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

Thanks Sam! Good to hear we have a cult following. We heart San Francisco.

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About Mod City Mom

After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.

About Sarah

Sarah is a passionate cook, fashionista, writer, actor, and mother. Like all actors, she ended up working at many-a-restaurant to make ends meet and shopping at countless bargain boutiques to maintain her sense of personal style. Her culinary journey, love affair with fashion, and desire to remain true to herself after becoming a mother are the inspirations for this site. Sarah lives with her husband and two sons in Chicago.

About Leah

A polymath wannabe, Leah loves books, films, music, cooking, and travel. After co-starting a writing and editing shop in 2002, Leah has spent her spare time frequenting her favorite cities, hangouts, and haunts. Her obsession with finding the new, innovative, and quirky is the impetus behind this site. Leah lives with her two sons and husband in North San Diego County.
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