My Writers Circle

The Coffee Shop => Writing Games & Challenges => Topic started by: DGSquared on February 24, 2017, 09:37:26 PM

Title: A New Game. Tour Guide, Where Would You Take Me?
Post by: DGSquared on February 24, 2017, 09:37:26 PM
Let's try something new and see how far it flies.

We are from different parts of the world and I am curious about yours. I am open to suggestions but here's what I'm envisioning. I'll start with where I would take you if you were to visit California. I've been all over the United States, parts of Canada, and Mexico but I'll start with California because I don't want you to be one of those poor saps who spends a fortune to visit Hollywood and leaves feeling unsatisfied. Not to say I wouldn't take you to a live performance at the Pantages or The Manns Chinese Theater but I have a feeling those of you from older parts of the developed world could do much better in terms of venue and entertainment.

Use your own pictures if you like.

When I finish describing where I would take you, I'm going to ask you to take me somewhere. It doesn't have to be someplace you've been. I'm not even sure it has to be a real place but it might help to clarify in case someone decides to buy tickets. If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, mention it. Otherwise, let your tour guide take you away.

So, what do you say? Are you game?

I'm your tour guide and I'm taking you to the Redwood Forest in California. We'll take the Pacific Coast Highway up past San Fransisco in a ragtop with the top down so if you get car sick easily we'll grab some ginger snaps before we set out. Wear a hat and a warm sweater even if it is Summertime.

This forest has the tallest living things on Earth. The majestic giant trees with deep red, thick bark, sit in forests carpeted with ferns and cloaked in fog and mist.  Today we'll hike on forest trails that are mostly flat. Tonight we'll camp in a warm tent, eat vegan smores, and drink whatever your heart desires. We'll camp inland by a stream.

Tomorrow we'll explore tidepools on the Redwood Coast. We'll discover sea urchins, bright orange and purple starfish, quick black crabs and hermit crabs with impossibly large seashells on their backs. We'll laugh a lot and if you're up to it, play jump rope with seaweed. We'll investigate driftwood huts and rockhound on the beach then go back to camp hungry. We'll barbecue veggies seasoned with pepper and grilled onions. If you like meat, that's on you. I'm vegetarian.

We'll sit around the campfire and tell stories, laugh, drink and wish we had five more days.

Sorry, my photo application isn't cooperating.

I'd like someone to take me to a beautiful green place in the UK.
Title: Re: A New Game. Tour Guide, Where Would You Take Me?
Post by: Jo Bannister on February 25, 2017, 04:24:26 AM
You want green, I've got green!

Loved your redwoods, by the way.

It's axiomatic that the greenest place in the world is Ireland; so it figures that if you want green in the UK, you should come to Northern Ireland.  I'm not a great walker, but if you ride I'll borrow a spare horse and we'll take the farm lane that passes my house and wanders off into the countryside.  Before we leave, though, look east - if the conditions are right, there's a gap through the hills that lets you see all the way across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man.

This is drumlin country: little rounded hillocks left by the retreating glaciers that carved out Strangford Lough on our right.  You're always either climbing a hill or descending one - another good reason I don't walk much!  But as we get to the top of the first drumlin, look right - across Strangford Lough and the Quoile estuary to the Mountains of Mourne, still carrying the last of the winter snow like old ladies in mantillas.  Now turn in the saddle and look the other way.  The Irish Sea spreads beneath you, from the Isle of Man in the south to the Kintyre peninsula of Scotland in the north.  In particular light conditions you can see Ailsa Craig, the rock off the Ayrshire coast which provides the granite  for all the best curling stones.

Now the lane drops steeply and the view vanishes; but half a mile on it climbs again and turns to the left, so now we have the spectacle of the Strangford Narrows opening up before us.  Most of the water in the lough rushes in and out through a half-mile channel twice a day.  If we went to Portaferry, at the narrowest point, we could watch the local sailing club racing backwards - because the tide runs faster than the boats can sail.

Another half mile or so and we'll peel off to the left, onto an even less-travelled lane, that curls like a dying snake among fields of black-and-white cows and golden (in season) corn.  There's a little grassy hill here and if you're game we'll canter up it - the horses know to slow down at the top, because we can't go much further.  But we don't really need to: you've already seen some of the sweetest country around, and now it's spring the hawthorn is lacing it like a bride. 

I hope you enjoyed your visit, and will come again soon.
Title: Re: A New Game. Tour Guide, Where Would You Take Me?
Post by: Spell Chick on February 25, 2017, 07:37:56 AM
There is one and only one tea plantation in all of North America. It lies right outside Charleston, South Carolina on the east coast.

Some dude brought some tea plants over to the US and stuck them in the ground and miracle of all miracles, they grew. He kept up his tea plants for quite some time but after he died, no one else cared so much about them. Years later, someone else bought the plants and moved them just slightly east and set them in the soil closer to the ocean. It was perfect for tea plants (except when hurricanes hit, but nothing is much good then) and the plants flourished.

Black, green, and white teas are all made from the same plants. The processing is different and that's how black and green teas are made. White teas need a special harvesting technique to only remove the very tippy tops of the fresh growth. It is even more labor intensive to get white tea than either of the two others.

In America we have "herbal tea" but it isn't tea at all. It is flavored water elsewhere in the world where teas must all contain actual tea.

Flavoring can be added to tea and the concoction will always have some caffeine it. The best way to naturally decaffeinate tea (if you so chose) is to allow it to steep for a minutes, throw out that water, and use the same leaves to brew more. Most of the caffeine will have been dumped. It will take a bit longer for the full flavor to come through on the second batch of hot water.

The Charleston Tea Plantation designed a tea harvesting machine. It is one of a kind and "mows" the tops of the plants, bringing in leaves, processed on site. For the last few years, the Plantation has partnered with Bigelow Teas who will bag their leaves. However, loose leaf teas are grown, harvested, processed, and packaged right on site.

The closest tea plantation to the one here in Charleston is in China. That's fun.

The image included is the one of a kind harvesting machine parked in front of tea plants.
Title: Re: A New Game. Tour Guide, Where Would You Take Me?
Post by: Funk on March 02, 2017, 09:13:28 PM
I don't think anyone asked but... I'd take you somewhere special.

There a place not far from my house, but to get there we have to take the kayaks. They're green kayaks meant for one person but I have two of them. Be careful when you get in the water because they're a little topsy-turvey and they're alligators in the canal, but not big ones I hope!

I've only seen four footers but I'd be getting off topic to start talking about them. Once we get in our kayaks we'd head up the canal towards a low bridge. I live in Florida mind you, so I'll make sure to bring us some cold water, the kind the dews up with condensation against the hot humid air above the murky waters of the canal.

Luckily, Florida is so flat there's almost no current except for the slight breeze that carries the trademark swamp must smell of southern Florida. Once we got to the bridge and passed it, we'd round a corner find ourselves somewhere that nobody else has been taken, just me and you. The canal opens up to a wide area where dragonflies fly and the gar roll on the surface. I'd crack a cold one and hand it to you and we'd talk until the sun set.

Take me anywhere.
Title: Re: A New Game. Tour Guide, Where Would You Take Me?
Post by: DGSquared on December 09, 2018, 06:06:34 AM
Aw, this was fun.

On the off chance any of the contributors come back to this thread, thank you for the wonderful journeys. I loved them all!

I hope there are more contributors. We are writers, are we not?