Yesterday was a special day. One year ago, I commenced on an adventure with more meaning and excitement than any other I have set on. This time, I didn’t travel alone. My partner on this journey is none other than my charismatic, caring, (and downright entertaining) boyfriend. Though we may not share a taste in humor and our music often clashes, I couldn’t have chosen a better match if we hadn’t met by chance at a weekend event in the mountains of Fukui some 366 days ago.
To celebrate the special occasion, we began the evening with a cafe break. I was quite tired from an unexpected morning and afternoon (cast as an extra on a drama filmed in the middle of nowhere), and couldn’t wait to spend time together. One frozen chocolate and mint drink and coconut-pineapple tart later, we were satisfied and ready for the next stage: karaoke. The rooms were all full so we strolled the neighborhood for shopping and free samples at a department store’s food floor. Appetizer number two. Back at karaoke, we crooned and rocked out to our favorite numbers (and a few first time tunes) over drinks for about an hour.
At six thirty (okay maybe a little later :P), we made our way around the corner to our dinner reservation: Turkish cuisine at Bosphorus Hasan. A fan of any food even mildly Mediterranean in taste, Turkish was the perfect choice. While the courses looked appealing, our endless snack frenzy didn’t allow stomach space for such luxury. We began with an appetizer (aka number three): Turkish pita bread (Ekmek) and spinach-yogurt dip (Ispanak Tarama). Next came the mains: Turkish meat pizza (Kiymali Pide) and chicken kebab (Tavuk Sis). To fill up the last possible bit before feeling too full, we ordered the rice pilaf-stuffed grapevine leaves (Yaprak Dolmasi) as an afterthought. Of course we couldn’t leave without the yogurt pudding dessert I’d been eyeing since the first course. Added Kazan Dibi to the bill. And on the house? Turkish tea – was it apple? – called Cay. We left full, yet light, and happy.
The night continued to Chinsanzo Hotel in Edogawabashi, for a garden stroll lit by black-light markings and fireflies. A romantic date ending reminiscent of a beautiful beginning one in the mountains of Fukui. I highly recommend the hotel gardens, even for a daytime stroll. The soba house and other restaurants in the garden would likewise be a nice date spot. Our garden walk ended around 9:30, when it was time for us to make the lengthy journey home.
It was a beautiful night, a wonderful celebration. Relaxed, purely to enjoy each others’ company. Which is really what it’s all about. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Starting with each and every day.