first Christmas

I’ve read that it takes 30 days of continuously doing something for it to become a habit. And thanks to Jerico’s post-a-day-counting-blessings-idea, I think I have sort of made blogging daily a habit, even during very busy days (although really there’s the mobile blogging that really made things easier. Otherwise, it would have been really tough). To those who have had read my posts, a lot of my count-thy-blessings posts have a lot to do with my husband. But really, who can blame me? 🙂

This evening though, I couldn’t help but cry from happiness and thankfulness, and at an auditorium at that. We attended the yearly mixed Japanese/English (with Spanish and Korean and Filipino languages for the prayers of the faithful) mass held at the auditorium of a Japanese Catholic school in Yamate. Come Communion, those who weren’t baptized yet were of course not allowed to receive the Holy Communion. They are however encouraged to queue and bow their heads to accept the blessings from the priest. Atsushi queued after me. But I wasn’t at all prepared as to the emotions that washed over me when I saw him solemnly bow his head as the priest put his hand over Atsushi’s head and prayed for him. Even now, I feel emotional. Thankful that I married a man who was not only admirable for a lot of reasons, some of which were mentioned from previous blogs. Thankful because he also respects my faith and my religion. His arms around me as we sang the last few carols before the mass ended, it was to my memory one of the happiest Christmas I’ve ever had. This ain’t technically our first christmas together but as husband and wife after the Church wedding and in our new home at that, it was our first. And I must say, it was a great one.

I was craving for hot chocolate but most of the coffee shops we passed by after church were already closed. And then we passed by Union. Bought champagne and some cheese and nuts/seeds to go with it instead. This then composed our Noche Buena. Funny because it wasn’t until today when the need has arisen that we remembered the purchase we made from Celetná Crystal in Prague back in September – delicate lavender champagne flutes.

Earlier, before going to mass, we passed by a show entitled “The Holy Gospel Night Show”. This made me smile. Because it’s another proof that Christmas in Japan is not just about commerce.

Having had started the night with good music, it’s just fitting I think to cap the night with good music as well. Atsushi’s Christmas cover of Kagemaru. 🙂

A Happy Christmas. 🙂

Happy Birthday A!

Hubby made me extremely happy on my birthday with how he prepared for it – gave me a bouquet of flowers & Godiva chocolates, went to shopping with me and had dinner at a posh French-Japanese fusion restaurant (the kind that takes off your coat off you and puts it back on after your dinner). And now that it’s his turn, I wanted to make it extra special as well.

First off, a meal on a very good resto would be nice. I had in mind Quintessence – a Michelin 3-star-rated French resto in Tokyo. But their phone is like forever busy! After more than an hour of trying, I tried to call their other number – the one designated for confirmation of bookings. And, well, naturally, I was told they don’t accept bookings made through that number. It has to be the other number. But she did cater to my request though – to inquire if they still have a table available for lunch on May 21st. After some checking, the reply: their Saturday lunch is fully booked till July! OMG. I tried 3-star Joel Robuchon (only La Table and Atelier, both 2 stars, serves lunch) and as expected, they’re also fully booked already. I checked out the Tokyo Michelin list; not all in the list is open for lunch. It has to be lunch for two reasons: one, these Michelin rated restos are so expensive, I can only swallow the price for lunch and second, lunch is most convenient for the sched of activities I had in mind for Atsushi’s birthday.

Anyways, after a number of calls, I was able to book for Modern Japanese Esaki. See our review for Esaki on my goodfood blog.

Birthday boy in Esaki.

The Aoyama district has a lot of interesting architecture, both traditional and modern. But we just have to stop at this non-negotiable:

hubby in his favorite place - the bookstore

Anyways, second stop for the day – Rikugien via Komagome Station.

It’s a rich park, if I may judge by how the whole park is walled.

We’re on the brink of the start of summer hence the place was all lush green. Would love to return here on different seasons.

The boon of these goens are the teahouses that sometimes offer pseudo tea ceremonies or even just plainly sell traditional green tea and  sweets. This was one of my main reason for bringing Atsushi here actually – for us to share this tea break.

The other was just for us to simply share a peaceful walk along the greeneries. And have a healthy talk and discussion, besides. I love those walks. 🙂

And of course, we just have to have a traditional picture.

Next stop was back in Yokohama – watch Pirates of the Carribean on the uber posh Colette Mare.Colette Mare has to be posh and really comfortable so that their tickets of 2000yen each is justified. Pirates was cool! Just the right movie for a birthday celebration. Hubby wanted to watch Black Swan as well but knowing how distrubed I was when I watched it, it just wasn’t a birthday sort of movie hence we decided to watch it the following day instead.

By the way, Hubby and I are aiming to have our house smell as good as Colette Mare does. Goodluck!

My birthday present. It’s just a few hundred yen I know. But I figure I ought to start replacing Hubby’s plants that I killed by not watering them more often. Apparently, the water vapor in the air can’t keep them alive. I was so positive the water vapor theory would work. 😀

And to cap the day off, we toasted Hubby’s birthday with the champagne that Maha gave us as her wedding/housewarming gift to us. I love Moet and Chandon! Glad it was with a chill box that we can re-use for later! We don’t have champagne/wine glasses at home yet so we used the mugs that the Hamakawa-sans gave away for their wedding. Tee-hee!

We also finished off the other red wine bottle that Maha brought during our housewarming. End result, I was blabbering coñotic English the rest of the night. 😛

Happy Birthday A!

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