Thanks for reading! Next update is March 24! See you, Space Cowboy.
During my final month in Japan, my friends kept asking, “What will you miss most?” I always struggled to come up with an answer because I wasn’t sure. I had a feeling I’d miss certain things like how polite everyone is, or having my own apartment, but I didn’t really know. I’d answer that I’d miss the food. Which is definitely true. Japanese food should be hailed as some of the most delicious food in the world. I’m not just talking about succulent sashimi or scrumptious sushi – but every single meal I had prepared by Japanese people was amazing. Maybe there’s a part of Japan that has less delicious food, but I wouldn’t believe it. I sort of wish I was exaggerating. It’s a great place for a cook - the grocery store is filled with wonderfully fresh ingredients! I miss frying up tentacles. So good!
While the food was phenomenal, I ended up missing something a little more subtle. I miss the cleanliness. Japan is fucking clean. Yes, an expletive was necessary. The only comparable place is probably Germany, but I wouldn’t know. I’ve just heard tales of its cleanliness. Which I’m sure are true, however Japan as I know it, is the cleanest place in the world. Damn. They sweep, and scrub, and wash everything daily it seems. Sometimes the streets would smell like bleach. I’m not kidding. I watched people prune trees, meticulously sweep sidewalks, and of course always remove shoes indoors. Garbage didn’t seem to exist. You can’t even find garbage cans – no joke. Ask anyone who’s lived there, you’re lucky if a convenience store has one.
Japan is beautifully, magically clean. It’s my sort of paradise. I believe in keeping things clean and organized. Apparently, they’re on board with that. When I returned to my hometown, what immediately sprung to mind was how dirty everything and everyone looked. I felt grossed out actually. I feel sort of bad about my reaction, but it was unexpected for me. I took for granted how absolutely picture-perfect everything is in Japan. People painstakingly keep their clothes tidy, and nothing ever looks out of place. Men and women in suits, children in uniforms, and even people dressed in casual attire appear freshly washed and pressed. In Canada – more specifically my blue collar hometown, people seem to wear just about anything. Ripped sweat pants and a t-shirt dappled with paint are acceptable clothes to wear in public. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but I have to say I was a little spoiled. Even farmers in rural Japan didn’t appear out of place.
As an aside, the real reason Japanese people and the community at large appears so immaculate is due to their fear of offending anyone – or for that matter, bothering anyone. Seriously. They can’t even imagine intruding. It would be the worst, most horrible thing (another thing I have in common). Well, apparently my sensibilities became tailored to that environment and when I returned I…turned my nose up at it. I laugh at it now because it seems silly but it’s good to reflect in complete honesty.
So I miss the artfully clean streets of Japan, and the perfectly done up pedestrians – what else do I miss? I miss my apartment – as tiny as it was. It was my place. I ate what I wanted, came and went like I pleased, and on top of everything, had a sense of freedom and independence I’ve never known before. My family was in another country, but they might as well have been on another planet. I had no obligations outside of work. It was different. Now that I’m back home, things have more or less reverted back to the way things were.
What else do I miss? My friends, my students, the local grocery store, the 7-11 with my favourite clerk, washing and hanging clothes (oddly enough)…I miss my life there. My imaginary, brief life on another planet across the ocean. I had another identity, I was a different person. I became a person that enjoyed teaching children and adolescents. I should reiterate, I definitely miss some of my students (and others I'm all too happy it was the last time).
Thinking about how I miss everything now really makes me realize how ignorant I was before. I took the simple things for granted, and assumed I'd just be happy to be home. Which, don't get me wrong, I'm happy - but I can't help lament over the conclusion to a chapter.
May 7, a Wednesday afternoon, I arrived at the Toronto Airport (Pearson). Then I took a $60 cab ride to my hotel in the Church-Wellesley Village - a celebrated gay neighbourhood. I was wondering what I should do for my brief time in the city. I only had one night and I would be gone the very next day. I don't know anyone in Toronto, although I do have some relatives - we're not close. It would have been awkward to contact them after so many years.
So I called up the front desk after checking in, and asked about nearby restaurants. A nice one over here, a decent burger place over there, but his first mention piqued my interest the most - a restaurant where you dine in the dark. I had heard about the Montreal location before, on tv and in magazines, but I never thought I'd have the opportunity to visit one. Well, one night in Toronto with the likelihood of never returning, pushed my decision to a clear one. I would make a reservation at this unusual restaurant and take in a whole new experience.
What is this restaurant I speak of? A place called O.Noir. You sit completely in pitch black while blind servers bring you your meal. When I called the restaurant to make the reservation, they asked me for how many. I said, "Just me," to which he replied, "Just you? Are you sure? Are you afraid of the dark? Will you be alright?" I laughed easily at his response and reassured him that I would be just fine. So he tentatively made the reservation. I thought this restaurant was the perfect idea - not only is it a truly unique experience, but I also spent all day on a plane and didn't care to dress up. No one would see me! It doesn't get any better!
The time came around and I headed down to the restaurant, literally - it's underground. Which makes sense if they wish to create a completely pitch black experience. They would need absolutely no chance of natural light. The restaurant entrance features a long, dimly lit corridor that opens into a dead end with a bar and a few tall tables and a couple of low benches against the wall. It's quiet, a bit dark, and the ornate carvings around the bar along with the library wall make the place feel classier. On another wall there are large painted circles representing the alphabet in Braille. A nod to what the restaurant really features - a blind experience.
Upon entry, a hostess checked my reservation by memory and handed me a menu. You can choose either 2 courses (appetizer/entree, entree/dessert) or all 3 (appetizer, entree, and dessert). There were just a few selections for each course. I ignored them altogether. I noticed you could pick a surprise item instead, so when I ordered, I inquired about having all 3 courses be a surprise. I made one important note: I'm allergic to shrimp. Then I ordered a glass of Malbec and waited for my table.
I didn't wait very long before my table was ready. I was escorted to a door by the hostess where she released the name of my server and told me to wait. A small, brown man appeared from behind the door and stood erect before me. He repeated his name and made friendly banter. He asked if I was staying in the nearby hotel, I said "yes". He then said, "I thought I saw you in the lobby". I was dumbstruck for a moment, not really getting the joke until I realized that he was indeed blind and made it impossible for him to see me. I laughed and he smiled. I could tell he was a good server.
He asked me to put my left hand on his left shoulder and he would walk me inside. He knocked, then opened the first door. We entered a little alcove of complete darkness. Then he mentioned another door, knocked again and opened it. A waft of laughter and smells hit my senses as my sense of sight was completely cut off. He carefully navigated me through the dark maze and put my hand on the back of a chair. At first I attempted to sit down, but noticed I tried to sit on the wrong side. Then I tried again, but realized it wasn't pulled out. If it wasn't so dark, I might have been embarrassed. Finally, I pulled out the chair and sat down successfully. He asked, "safe landing?" I replied with a happy "yes".
That's when he introduced me to my close surroundings. There was a place mat, a fork, a spoon and a napkin. He told me to align my place mat with my chair. I then noticed the place mat was off center and quickly fixed that. The server disappeared and returned with my glass of wine which I carefully placed near the wall. I sat and waited in the dark. I could hear the chatter and hum of nearby conversations but struggled to make out the words. I noticed that the tables were separated by large gaps - so there would be a enough room to maneuver. I also noted that there must have been only 7 or 8 tables in the section. How could I tell? I listened to the different areas conversation emanated, I paid attention to noteworthy outbursts, and who left.
I know a few things about perception and sensation (due to my time in university). One of them is that it takes 8 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. After 8 minutes, there was no difference. I waved a hand in front of my face, I blinked, and saw nothing - no difference. I have never been swallowed by that amount of darkness before. I've never known what it's like to sit in true pitch black. I didn't feel afraid - and I think it was in large part due to the fact there were so many happy voices. Although, I must admit, if I had to spend an eternity living in a place with darkness and muffled voices, it might be a little too much like hell. I suddenly have a new understanding and empathy for the visually impaired.
Now for the meals - as I mentioned earlier, I ordered all surprises. The first course was set in front of my plate and my server commented, "I hope you like it alive and kicking". I laughed and heard him shuffle away. I stabbed my fork in to the plate and brought it to my mouth - I took the bite and discovered it was leafy. I kept eating and put my palate to the test. What did I think I was eating, exactly? Since I have quite a lot of experience with flavours, I thought I was up to the challenge. My best guess is that it was a spinach, arugula salad with kale sprouts, dried cranberries and a drizzle of lemon/raspberry vinaigrette. I had a difficult time getting all of the salad on to my fork, so there were a few times I assisted with my fingers. Thank goodness there was a napkin and no one could see.
Whenever I felt the need to quench my thirst, I would have to reach blindly in front of me, carefully feeling for the wine glass. I would sip just a little at a time, and take time to consider the weight sloshing around in the chalice. The next meal was the entree. I once again blindly stabbed at my plate in the dark before bringing the fork to my curious lips. My tongue greeted the bite with new found excitement. My teeth chewed the seared animal flesh with delight. The texture, the savoury taste, the warmth tickled my senses. Each bite brought me closer to knowledge. I finally decided that it was braised pork tenderloin medallions with wild rice, roasted potatoes, and tomatoes. The tomatoes were probably the most frightening aspect. I'm not a fan of any kind of cooked tomatoes. The texture is unappealing. I pierced my fork into one and brought it to my mouth. Much to my chagrin, the thing burst inside of my mouth like a polyp. I immediately spat it out. Something I've literally never done before in my life. Eating in the dark caused me to behave with a little less discrimination. After my unfortunate bite, I avoided the tomatoes altogether. Then I heard a shrill scream, and an exclamation about an eyeball. I knew immediately that the girl meant the tomatoes. It was like an eyeball. I reiterate, cooked tomatoes are unpleasant.
I was quite satisfied with the meat choice, however the potatoes were boring, the tomatoes were frightening, and the rice was very difficult to eat with a fork. I felt like it was a poor choice for eating blindly. I certainly used my fingers a little. I would have used a knife to push food on to my fork, however they only provided a fork and spoon. Probably a wise decision in the vast scheme of things.
I sat in the dark for long stretches of time between meals and sips. I tried to eavesdrop, however most of the talking was muffled by space and other conversations. There was a couple who sat behind me, I met them briefly in the foyer before entering the dining space. They were my closest conversation, and from the pieces I could hear, they were there for their anniversary. What made me a little frustrated was the lack of attention from my server. Not his fault, I understand his priorities, but I felt neglected. The mix of muffled conversations, doors closing, and shuffling feet, left my with a fuzzy silence. I sat in contemplation, letting my mind wander over every topic. Mostly, eating alone in the dark is not ideal.
Before dessert even arrived, it was brought to the couple behind me - they eagerly proclaimed that was it cheesecake. I waited until they had finished their dessert and were escorted out of the dining room, before I received my dessert. It was cheesecake. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cheesecake. It just wasn't a surprise after all. Despite that, I dug into the cake indiscriminately. I savoured each thick, squishy bite. It was a little heavy, but it was still good. It was covered in a berry and chocolate drizzle, which I licked greedily from my fork.
After I finished, I sat there and listened. There were all sorts of people coming and going. Each time I would want to leave, someone else would ask the server's help. Eventually, I was able to ask the server for his assistance. He escorted me out of the restaurant and I thanked him for his help. He was a sweet, short man with a nice smile. He departed with a little head nod before slipping back in to the darkness beyond the door. I squinted, suddenly grateful for the dim lighting. After a brief, friendly chat with the hostesses and clearing up my bill, I headed back to my hotel room.
O.Noir is probably the most memorable, strangest dining experiences I've ever had. The food was honestly a tad mediocre. There wasn't any real flavour, and the meals were too simple. I was desperately hoping for food that made my senses jump for joy. Although I wasn't blown away by the dessert or salad, the pork tenderloin in the entree was delicious. Out of all the meals, it was the one saving grace. Despite the food being average, the experience is so unique and mind bending, that nothing can compare. You're forced to rely on everything but your eyes. I've never experienced darkness like that before, and I doubt I will again. I'm grateful for that experience, I'm glad that I had the opportunity to step in someone's shoes. I would definitely recommend dining at O.Noir (or any similarly themed restaurant) for the chance to share some true privacy. It's a world unexplored by most.
Following the consideration of Japan and South Korea, is Belgium. On the tourist website, Visit Belgium, they share this slogan proudly, "A food lover's dream. A beer lover's heaven". Guess what? I love food and beer! I suppose it should be the perfect place to live!
Last week, I thought it would be a great idea if I created a weekly menu before the week started so I could get ingredients ahead of time and be prepared. So I searched through my cookbooks but decided to find brand new recipes online. I poured through online recipes to find ones I'd like to cook. After I narrowed it down my partner helped decide which recipes they'd like to try. Unfortunately we did this Monday night so no cool recipe for that night.
Tuesday: Creamy Burrito Casserole
This was definitely one of the easiest, most delicious meals I've ever made. I would recommend it to anyone. The ingredients are very easy to come by and inexpensive. Some ground beef, onions, refried beans, sour cream, mushroom soup, tortillas and cheese. Everything you would use in making burritos but with an excellent twist, you combine the ingredients to make a casserole. The result is a warm, scrumptious meal. It would please anyone. I would make just a few alterations such as a can of diced tomatoes. I will definitely be making this again.
Wednesday: Baked Pork Chops
I'm not usually a fan of pork (outside of bacon), particularly pork chops but I thought, why not? I could try it and see if it works. I'm glad I did because it definitely worked. I didn't follow the recipe precisely but I never do. Preparing them is relatively easy, it just takes a bit of time. To accompany the pork chops you can practically make anything. I decided to fry up some small yellow potatoes in some butter and a variety of seasonings. It turned out great! I've never eaten pork chops like that! They're perfectly done and the taste is quite spectacular.
Thursday: Mushroom Cheese Soufflé
I have heard of soufflé but I've never made it before this week. I don't mind any kind of cooking challenge. That being said, this recipe was definitely the most time consuming and difficult to make. Before anything you butter the baking dish and spread parmasan on all the surfaces. Following that you have to create the cheese sauce, which requires constant attention while you fry up the mushrooms. In between you must separate multiple eggs. Luckily I'm fairly good at this. I carefully pass the yolk back and forth while letting the white fall. After the mushrooms are done you puree them and mix it with the cheese sauce. Then you have to deal with the egg whites. I didn't have the cream of tartar they asked for so instead I used a splash of milk. I whisked the egg whites with the milk until I deemed it sufficient. My arm was definitely tired. I don't have an electric whisk, just muscle. You fold the egg whites in the cheese mixture then pour it all together into a dish. Then bake for about an hour. Voilá! It will appear all poofy when finished. I enjoyed it but next time I might tweak a few things, like try it with a variety of cheeses.
Yes, yes, I know, lasagne. It's not exactly "original" but my partner practically begged me to make it. Let's just say they love lasagne. So I agreed. It turned out to be phenomenal. Simple and easy to make. The best part, the layers. Most lasagnes only have two layers of pasta, this had three. It made it a lot more sturdy and each bite was perfectly delicious. I will definitely use this recipe again and maybe next time with a few tweaks such as different meat or adding spinach.
I'm looking forward to picking some more recipes for this week! I'll try to share those too!
I haven't baked anything for dessert in awhile since it usually takes up quite a bit of time but recently my partner mentioned off-hand that I had never used my cake pan. Well, that was it! Obviously I was the perpetrator of this great injustice and knew right there that it had to stop or rather, "start". So I went online like I usually do for a really great recipe and found a few that caught my eye. I conferred with my partner and we both concurred that there can be only one.
Well actually, I think I said I was only making one. They thought I should "BAKE ALL THE CAKES!"
We picked, "Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting". Sounds delicious, doesn't it? If only I could share a piece with you through the monitor, alas I cannot.
Although the photo of mine is not terrific I can assure you it's truly delicious. It took a long time for me to make since I only have one cake pan and it's larger than the one they mention in the recipe. So instead of a three layer cake I made a two layer cake, baking the layers separately. There were a few other exceptions such as using different pineapple but all in all I think it turned out great! The taste is phenomenal! I'm not just saying that! I would definitely use this recipe again.
Meanwhile my partner and I are forced to eat all this cake. How terrible! I can't wait until the next cake. I'm thinking chocolate.
Today I finished the book The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais. I so lovingly titled this blog post as "The Hundred-Foot Read" since I finished this book while walking on my treadmill.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of a man from birth to success named Hassan Haji. Hassan is born in Mumbai from humble beginnings where his family is well known for their excellent and memorable food. As his family hovers in the disparity between poor and wealthy they are forced out all at once by raucous protesters. The Haji family moves to England and soon becomes lost in dreary repetition. Eventually the father sees fit to move his family around Europe, experiencing the delight of food all over again. This brings them to the sleepy little alpine town, Lumiere.
It is in Lumiere that Hassan finds his true calling after he is forced to cook for his father's restaurant. A 2 star chef (3 stars being the top ranked) takes Hassan under her wing after she discovers that he has a natural gift only found once in a generation. Under her instruction and guidance Hassan becomes uniquely skilled in French cuisine and soon makes his way to Paris. As the years roll by Hassan discovers his passion growing in leaps and bounds, eventually opening his own restaurant. With dedication Hassan eventually achieves the goal of a lifetime.
This book is truly a delicious read. Most of the time while I was reading I found myself hungry and desperate to try all the wonderful food. It's sweet and endearing while maintaining a wonderful simplicity. It's a book anyone could read and enjoy.
The best part of the entire trip was definitely the wine tour. It was something we both wanted to do. So during the week we visited a recommended website online and found a variety of wine tours by a company named Uncorked! Okanagan Wine Tours. We thoughtfully examined each tour then booked one we liked. We picked the "Trilogy Wine Tour" which included 3 wineries, a distillery and a brewery. It appealed to us the most since we wanted to try more than just wine.
The first place we went to was a winery called "Mission Hill". I've seen their bottles in liquor stores before but admittedly never tried it. I'm glad it was the first one because it certainly whet my appetite for seeing more. The winery is like a luxurious plantation, thoughtfully decorated with tasteful art and original historic pieces. I've never seen anything quite like it. It's impressive, it's grand, it's absolutely overwhelming and awe inspiring. It was obvious that the owner was a perfectionist, seeking out every wrinkle and ironing it out.
Everything was impeccable. An impressive feature was the amphitheatre formed into a grassy hill. In its entirety I have never seen such careful planning, such graceful consideration for every little detail. I appreciated the organized beauty to it all. Then came the wine. We tasted our choice of 4 different wines. I tried a Pinot Grigio which was delightful. A very easy and complementary white wine. I also tried a Syrah, a Pinot Noir and what they called Quatrain, which is a mix mostly composed of Merlot. The Syrah was delicious, surprisingly a nice balance of tart and sweet. The Pinot Noir was of course terrific, as always. All in all, a great winery.
The next stop on the wine tour was "Quail's Gate", another large winery albeit not nearly as ostentatious as Mission Hill but beautiful in its simplicity. The building was warm and welcoming, beckoning wine tasters forth with open arms. I eagerly stepped inside, ready to try something new. The best feature about the wine bar was the view. It was truly pleasing to look out into the valley while sipping on some very classy wine. We were lucky enough to taste all the wine they had available due to a deal with the wine tour company, so it certainly made the experience as enjoyable as possible. Afterwards we went for lunch at their restaurant and enjoyed pairing a memorable Foch with a meaty angus burger covered in gouda. It was an unforgettable compilation of flavours.
The last winery we visited was "Little Straw" a boutique winery. I loved being able to compare the different scales of wineries, Mission Hill as the largest, Little Straw as one of the smallest while Quail's Gate is at some point in between. Little Straw might have been my favourite. Sure, it's not money being slapped in your face but it's something a little more down to earth. First of all, I had the chance to meet one of the co-owners serving the wine. I loved that. Their attitude was genuine and modest, aspects I find particularly alluring. Then I tasted their wine. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. We ended up buying three bottles since it was something we couldn't find back home. Two bottles of Rosé and a bottle of Foch.
Then there was the brewery, "Tree Brewing" in Kelowna. I'm so glad we picked a brewery to visit. The beer was delicious. We tried them all from a crisp lager to a pale ale. It was like a rainbow of beer. To top it off there was a plate of hors d'oeuvres of crackers and pepperettes with cream cheese and a wonderful pepper jelly. It was a treat for the palette. I love variety.
Last, but certainly not least was "Ubran Distilleries". We sat down at what was recognizably a bar while the host presented us with shot glasses. Then he continued to pour us a sample of each spirit. Wow. Deep, intriguing flavours that certainly represented their company well. The greatest of the spirits was the espresso vodka. It's so smooth it actually tastes like coffee without the vodka aftertaste. I don't know how they did it but I love it. Of course we bought a bottle.
After enjoying a wonderful wine tour there is no doubt in my mind I would recommend wine tours to everyone. The guide was amazing, he provided us with all sorts of details, back stories and history, it created a comfortable atmosphere and a truly complete experience. The wineries, brewery and distillery were all class acts, truly serving their customers with the royal treatment. I would purchase liquor from any of these brands. That would mean they were successful.
I wasn't looking forward to yesterday at all but it seems no matter what you can still be surprised. I might have to admit as well that having a good day is largely dependent on yourself. No one else is responsible for your happiness, just you. It's a hard pill to swallow but every day is only as good as you make it. I digress.
Yesterday truly was a great day. It started off with my partner waking me up with breakfast in bed. That's truly impressive since they have to work early in the morning, yet they took the time to make sure I had breakfast. Very sweet. While they were at work I slept in a little then woke up and just lounged around instead of my usual write, write, write business. I watched a movie and played a video game. It was nice just to relax and not stress about submission dates or pages I need written.
My partner came home from work early just for me. It was nice to spend some real quality time together. We relaxed a bit before getting ready to go downtown. The day before my birthday I decided what I wanted to do. First we visited the art gallery. I love strolling through the rooms looking at all the different forms of art. We saw modernist paintings from the Automatiste Revolution (1941-1960). Many of them captured the essence of motion. I wish I could share my favourites but they did not allow photography. The best part of the art gallery was the exhibition of contemporary art and the baroque entitled, Misled by Nature. Never in my life have I ever felt such fascination and awe while I gazed at these installation pieces. I so badly wanted a million photos of each one. They were all spectacular. One piece could best be described as a yeti decomposing into the earth. Another was an impressive chandelier hanging in a room full of mirrors (there were even mirrors on the floor). There was also a magical hut that was made out of what seemed to be wax. It looked and felt like a fairy getaway in the middle of a forest. I particularly liked that one. My partner's favourite was three panels of framed decorative patterns made out of bindis. The most interesting installation was this giant open sphere that you could describe as a world under construction. There were so many facets to it that it was truly something to behold.
After the amazing exhibitions we had a dinner reservation with a restaurant I have always wanted to visit named, La Ronde. The restaurant is at the top of a hotel on the 24th floor allowing for a magnificent view. The best part, the restaurant rotates, doing a full rotation in 90 minutes. We were able to see a unique and stunning view every time we looked out the window, whether it was of the rolling river valley or the lights of downtown. What made it truly romantic was the sunset during our dinner. As though the view wasn't spectacular enough, the food was absolutely stellar. The menu is superb and thoughtful. To start we had Classic Steak Tartare with brioche toast points and Escargots Bourguignonne En Croute. The steak tartare was delicious but the escargots was phenomenal. The little dish had a pastry top that when eaten together with an escargot made me wish I never ate anything else. For the main course my partner had a lovely prime rib while I ordered Roast Brome Lake Duck Breast with bigarade sauce and roast baby potatoes. I have always wanted to try duck and thought it was the perfect opportunity. I made the right decision, I have never eaten anything so succulent. To round out the perfect entrees my partner ordered a seafood melange of shrimp, scallops and lobster. I'm allergic to shrimp but let me tell you, scallops are usually bland but these scallops were delectable, not to mention the outstanding lobster. To top it all off we had dessert. What I haven't mentioned was the outstanding service we received. When I ordered my Cinnamon Creme Brulle the waitress remembered it was my birthday and brought it out with a sparkler. She also tastefully sang happy birthday. It was a lovely touch. I love sparklers! The creme brulle was perfect while my partner's pistachio and white chocolate slice was amazing. All in all it was an amazing dinner. I would highly recommend LaRonde to anyone, just be prepared to pay the price for a truly wonderful experience. You won't forget it, I know I won't.
We returned home, happy and more than satisfied. My partner then gave me my present. It was delivered in a giant box from Amazon and had been teasing me for days. I had ideas about what it was, one in particular but the size baffled me. So I finally opened it. It was the Harry Potter Wizards Collection! All 8 movies on Blu-Ray, DVD and in digital copies! Not only that but it came in the most wondrous and impressive box that included 2 different maps of Hogwarts, many pieces of art, beautiful books and the Horcrux necklace. I had been looking at it online for months but I never knew how big it was! It's enormous! Not to mention heavy! The only downside about the box is the decision about where to put it!
After all that excitement we sat down for a relaxing movie. I picked one of my very favourite movies all time (should have included it in my Top 10). It's called "The Flight of Dragons". It's a brilliant animated film about the struggle for magic to survive in a world turning to logic and science. I really love it. My partner had never seen it so it was nice to share it with them.
All in all it was a stupendous birthday. I'm truly thankful to have such a loving partner. Now you can enjoy some scenic photos! (They were taken with my iPhone 3GS.) On a sidenote, today is the first day of snow!
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