California Dreamin’ – Part 8 – Awards, Weather, and What to Wear

CalDr-REVTick, tick, tick. . . the countdown begins as we all prepare for World Tea Expo. All I want to know is how warm it will be since I tagged on an extra day to enjoy the beach.  Everyone else is asking me what to wear.  And now that top nominees have been announced for World Tea Awards, the excitement is almost more than I can bear.

In case you missed it, click here to view the World Tea Expo press release announcing finalists for the new World Tea Awards.  Voting commences this week and will end May 19. Registered delegates of World Tea Expo will be eligible to vote and will be invited to vote via email communication (one ballot per registered attendee).  Be sure to take time to pre-view the ballot – here.  One winner per category will be announced at the dinner on May 30. Tickets may be added to Expo registration. Individual tickets are open seating but tables of 10 will receive reserved seating.  It is expected to sell out shortly, so please click here for dinner ticket details.

Back to the weather… Here it is. As I write this, Long Beach is experiencing temperatures in the lowLBWeatherMay25-31 70’s during the day and upper 50’s at night.  We are not close enough to see a 10 day forecast, but the expected temperatures for Long Beach from May 25-May 31 are shown below in a screen shot I grabbed from  You may want to bring a light jacket for night.

What about Clothing? OK, yes it is one of the first things women talk about when preparing for any small event. But, plan a week away and the clothing conversation could span days. Guys have it so easy….pants, different shirts, dress shoes, sneakers.  We women need a full rainbow of choices for shoes, handbags, casual wear, business attire, evening wear, accessories, jewelry, and everything under and in between! Airlines should really allow women two pieces of luggage.

Black TuxedoMost importantly everyone is asking what to wear to the First Annual World Tea Awards dinner taking place May 30 aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.  So here it is: Black tie Optional.

Black tie optional for MEN means: A tuxedo is optional. Men may simply wear a dark suit if preferred.

Black tie optional for WOMEN means: Wear a long gown or a dressy cocktail dress.  (Pants are not typically accepted as black tie optional attire, however, you may opt to wear very dressy pants or a very dressy pantsuit if you prefer.)

Some of my friends have told me that they plan to wear traditional garb – typical to their country or culture. This excites me!   Others may make a showing in Victorian attire and hats. I know it will be a beautiful, elegant assemblage and I do hope to see men in tuxedos and women in gowns. Please someone – do not let me be the only one wearing a full length gown. I need support and camaraderie. Think – Queen Mary – think Titanic – let’s step back in time, add a little glamour and sophistication to kick-off this very important inaugural (“Oscars-like”) gathering to honor our tea industry peers.

Earlier this week, I was involved in notifying and communicating with some of the nominees for the awards dinner and learned that Jen Piccotti, An International Tea Moment, lives in Orange County, California. She offered up this last bit of advice for those of you seeking yet more tea during your travels. And, I’m not sure how close these are to the convention, but – “For three vastly different yet equally enjoyable tea experiences, consider planning a traditional British afternoon tea at the Sussex Teapot Tea Room in Garden Grove, or for a very non-traditional “Worldly Tearoom” experience (amazing food inspired by all corners of the globe) visit Coffee Tea and Tulips in Mission Viejo, or if you need a little taste of the 90210, visit American Tea Room just around the corner from the famous Rodeo Drive.”

If you are wondering what else is happening at World Tea Expo or in the Long Beach area, please go back to review all entries in my California Dreamin’ blog series.

As I close this out, I’d like to thank everyone who has shared their excitement with me, helped me find information, images, things to do, and places to go. More than that, I want to express my deep appreciation to George Jage for inviting me to co-host the new World Tea Awards this year. Starting something new takes very careful planning and teamwork, long hours, and dedication.  Thanks to the entire World Tea Expo team, too; they have been extremely supportive and we all pulled together to create an unforgettable evening that will recognize and show appreciation to our tea community. Yes, community. You all deserve awards. Together we can and will continue to do great things.

Please feel free to contact me directly, or comment here if you have something positive to share or a question I may help to answer.

California Dreamin’…is….NOW….California or Bust

See you at World Tea Expo!

Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times