Vacation and Birthday Celebrations

August 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

My husband and I got back from visiting my husband’s family yesterday. Yesterday was also my 25th birthday! I’m a quarter of a century old now! *gasp* I’m still the youngest amongst all my friends, my husband’s family, and my family (except for my brother’s wife who is the same age as me), so I don’t mind, hehe. It’s hard to believe I’m already half-way through my 20’s though. I feel like I just turned 21. Such is life!

I had a great time visiting my husband’s family. They live in Tochigi in a town at the base of the mountains, so almost every day we were there, Hisa and I would drive up into the mountains (which a large portion of is a national park) and go hiking. It was so lovely and cool up in the mountains! It was great!



I also got some new hiking boots as a birthday present from my in-laws. They’re Merrell hiking boots with Vibram soles, and they are awesome! I tried them out on one of the more rugged hiking trails we went on. They’re so comfortable! Next month we’re planning to go to Nagano where we’re going to hike in the Japanese Alps for three days. I’ve never been to the Japanese Alps, so I’m super excited about that. And I’ll be able to use my nifty new hiking boots.

While we were visiting family this past week, we had a joint birthday party one night. My birthday, my brother-in-law’s birthday, Hisa’s cousin’s birthday, and my sister-in-law’s sister’s birthday are all within a week of each other, so we celebrated them all at the same time. We even had a birthday cake with all four of our names on it.

Group shot from the birthday party.

My sister-in-law’s niece, who I wanted to take home with me.

Yesterday was mainly spent driving back home and going grocery shopping to replenish our refrigerator. In the evenin, however, to celebrate my birthday, we went to my favorite French restaurant (where we only go on special occasions), and went to the best cake shop in town, La Cote d’Azurl, and got a cake. It was fun and delicious.

(note: I don’t like using the flash on my camera in nice restaurants, so all the pictures were taken without flash, and are thus, slightly dark)

Dinner started off with a glass of champagne.

My hors d’oeuvre plate. Yum.

Chilled soup. Also yum.

The main course. Shrimp and scallops cooked in champagne and served in a pastry pocket with a delicious, creamy sauce and mushrooms. This was so good, but so rich. It was also served with a salad and fresh bread. Super duper yum!

For dessert, Hisa had the pear tarte.

I had the grape sorbet. It was so good!

…And then we went home and ate birthday cake! Yay!! In case you’re wondering, the cookie says “Rachel” in Japanese after the “Happy Birthday”.

We were both really full from dinner, so we just had a little piece of cake each. It was so good though! I’m looking forward to eating the rest of it…

That was pretty much how our week went. It was a lot of fun, and great to take a break. I love vacation, but then, who doesn’t, right? Hopefully I’ll have some new recipes for you this week and some new lunch ideas.


Entry filed under: Japan, Life, Travel. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Tuna Veggie Patties Today’s Lunch

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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August 2011
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