O. Henry’s Hotel Tea + Meeting The Pioneer Woman + Bein Adventures #1

Looking at pictures of beautiful places and artful tea arrangements takes you to your happy place, you say? Let Kayla take care of everything. Let’s have some almost-end-of-the-week happy. We’ve both earned it.

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I took yesterday off to go to a Pioneer Woman book signing with the Best Bein, who has tried to explain her love of Ree to me by saying “she is to me what Chris Evans is to you.” What friend would I be to argue with that logic? She has also asked me not to tell anyone that she has cried over three separate episodes of her show, and two separate posts on her official FB page. So this is me not telling you that, in an effort to give you some context here.

Anyway! I’m a good friend who likes not being at work, so obviously I said we would make the drive up to Greensboro together. It was my first time up that way, but she had been before when one of her friends from college got married and she really twisted my arm to go have tea beforehand at the O. Henry Hotel. Like, really twisted it.

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There aren’t any tea rooms within an hour or so of where I live, so whenever I get the chance to go inhale a pot of leaf water and a few scones I jump on it. O.Henry is cool being that it’s named after that O.Henry, who was a Greensboro native himself apparently, and is classy AF and makes you feel like you’re an extra in an establishing shot between scenes in a Real Housewives of Any City episode.

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(Thanks for this picture, bein!)

They serve tea in their objectively beautiful lobby and I think sometimes on the objectively beautiful veranda outside those big objectively beautiful doors you see in the picture above that I objectively stupidly didn’t snap a picture of. They also have “The Gift of the Magi” written around the perimeter of the room, because why would they not?

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The seasonal tea they had was Blue and Yellow, which they said was a lavender chamomile dream. I was sorely tempted but ultimately submitted to my earl grey addiction, which means I’ll have to go back soon and try the Blue and Yellow before they stop serving it 🙂 Bein and I just got the Light Afternoon Tea, though they have three different options and the others come loaded with more nibbles if you want a bigger meal. We had post-bougie tea plans, though, and managed to restrain ourselves from these plates and the champagne they offered, if only by the skin of our teeth.

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(Thanks for these pictures, bein!!)

Before I forget, I also want to mention that they have shoe-shiners in their bathrooms. Like the fuzzy machines? I’m assuming that’s what they are, anyway. I was wearing my $5 Walmart flats and couldn’t really test to be sure, but I’m reasonably confident they were shoe shiners. I’m telling you — bougie.

Everything was delicious and perfect, but you could probably guess that just looking at the pictures. I also got to try a Lamington for the first time, and honestly the fact that I hadn’t been offered cake rolled in chocolate and coconut before this is a crime I should seek legal restitution for. (And let me tell you — that peach curd changed my life. I’m thriving, hydrated, and no longer vindictive and habitually late.)

We’ve made plans for another bein adventure to just rent a room for a long weekend this summer and enjoy the place fully, since we did have to leave eventually. (Sad!) It’s a wonderful place, though, if you’re in the area or passing through. If you go, please detour to the first floor restroom and get back to me on those fuzzy machines.

After our pots were empty we made it back to the little plaza where Ree was doing her book signing and fucked around a bit —

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Fuckery Exhibit A: Sephora

— before we made it to Food Phase 2: Margaritas and Cheese Dip.

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(Above, me and my shame, trying to avoid the unflinching gaze of my bein’s camera)

Not pictured is Margarita 2 and the bag of Pioneer Woman merch we lugged to Barnes and Noble for Ree to sign. (Which she very gamely did! Even this plate which I think my bein now loves more than her husband and me put together, but maybe still less than her dog):

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Ree was very, very nice, and Bein only cried a little waiting in line, so her mascara didn’t even smudge. Did we really need another sign from the universe that this day was going to end well? There were tons of people there, though — more than I expected, but I suppose I’m not in the Food Network fandom anyway to have guessed an accurate number. She signed as many things as people brought with them and took all the pictures they asked for, which was very sweet considering how many bodies were squeezed in that Barnes and Noble.

I don’t love you enough to share any video of the car karaoke from the drive back, but look at what we saw halfway home!

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Woody! Buzz is in the backseat.

Now, I hear you thinking to yourself — man, even by Kayla’s standards that picture is super shitty. Well it is! Because this car thought we were tailing it since we were following so close in order to facilitate this shitty picture at all, and kept trying to shake us off by switching lanes and trying to move around us. I was under dire duress, is what I’m saying, and I don’t want to hear about it.

Anyway. Some days are capital G.D. Good Days, and yesterday was one of mine. Thanks for letting me tell you about it, a little 🙂

I hope everyone is having a good week — or at least that your week is starting to look up now that Friday is very nearly here.

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