Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
Guys, this is Queenstown in NZ and it is one of my absolute favourites. True, it’s super touristy today but it’s so so lovely always. Thank you Delaram and Andy for organising this trip.
My 2017 resolution (gosh can’t even write “2017” without thinking “wtf”) is to read a book a week. Apparently that’s 52 books in total. Today i finished A Crack In Forever by Jeannie Brewer, a love story: honestly sad, truly sweet, overly sexy and incredibly hard to forget.
What A Crack In Forever taught me during its last tear-gushing chapters is to seriously appreciate each and every moment for a loved one can be taken away at any moment.
Another classic NZ dish: the humble meat pie (which I wrote a 3000 word University essay on one day), Castle Hill (famous from Narnia) and last: a nostalgic New Year’s Eve countdown in Hagley Park featuring back-to-back country music which took me straight back to Nashville and to my sweetheart’s arms.
So Yuko and her family are here. Here in NZ for the very first time and I think they’re loving it. Here are day one’s pictures so you can also be with us:
First up, omiyage or in English, souvenirs. These are a HUGE part of Japanese culture. We all received gift(S). That’s right, not one but many presents (including my sister’s dogs, Lucky and Ella).
After resting, we took the family to Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens where they exhausted their cameras.
Two beautiful roses.
Last remnants of Christmas…
Last but not least, our guests’ first meal in NZ: pneumatic curly fries and sliders at the world-renowned C1espresso. Come on, how cool is that?!
And…someone else happened to like them too! #embarassing.
Thank you for always being there. I love that we are on this journey together.
Today I went to Arashiyama (Kyoto) with my friend Yuka, her husband, her son (my bf) and her parents. Now, I want to tell you about how Yuka and I became friends. When Yuka was 16? 17? She did an exchange programme in Timaru, New Zealand where my family used to live. In super rural Timaru, fate brought her and my sister together. They became very good friends and eventually parted when Yuka had to return.
Flash-forward 15 years, Yuka is married with a gorgeous little boy living in Osaka and I (was) teaching English near. Thanks to Facebook (yes, it does have its benefits!) I also got to meet Yuka and become her friend! Further, when my sister came to visit, her and Yuka were reunited. Also, my parents met her on their trip. Can I just say, how very amazing is this incredible world we live in?
For all of August, Yuka’s parents have left their fully furnished city apartment, bicycle, unconditional love and fresh vegetables (see previous post) in my hands. Today, they took me to Arashiyama were they didn’t let me spend a penny and bought me a pair of very pretty, green and floral personalised chopsticks! I will never forget their kindness.
Though the grass is literally greener on my side, I can’t help but fall into the human curse of wanting what I don’t have. That’s where I live city/boyfriend-adventures vicariously through Oksana – my super adorable friend from Instagram. Yesterday, I asked Oksana to share some of her favorite Japan snaps and a little bio with us. I’ve kept everything as she sent it because it’s too cute to edit.
Hello! My name is Oksana.
I am from Ukraine, but it happened to me that now I live in Japan!
I study applied linguistics at University of Tsukuba and it’s actually more interesting and challenging than it might sound if you don’t know what exactly it is :D
Love traveling, love mountains, love my bicycle, sushi, Last Shadow Puppets and… it just doesn’t come to my mind what else.
My Instargam name comes from song by Kasabian – Fast Fuse. Oh! Love this tune too!
So far, day ten has been my favourite! Scroll through the pictures and you won’t have to ask why. From top to bottom: some serious squat and snap action at Fushimi Inari-taisha (that famous place in Japan with all them red gates), soba lunch, Nijo-jo Castle and last but never ever ever least, sushi at the best ever sushi restaurant where yours truly had a go at making sushi, too!
From top to bottom: picked them up from the airport Tuesday evening with a basket of goodies…in the airport we were the only ones hugging cos #Japan. Official day 1: Breakfast at Anisa’s (much better than Tiffany’s), their first ever experience of Ramen which they inhaled! Especially my dad who for the life of him, could not use his chopsticks. Disgusting. Just look at his lips! (LOL) Mum finally meeting the love of my life, and last but never least, dinner at Yuko’s where we ate a variety of delicious home-cooked Japanese things including Japanese korokke, salad, chicken wings, Japanese egg roll and red bean (adzuki) and chestnut (marron) sticky rice, my favourite! And, ichigo daifuku and matcha and adzuki cake for dessert (not pictured).
The majority of day 4 was spent shopping. First at a variety of 100 yen stores, which are like the equivalent of 1-2 dollar shops but so much better. Like, I swear, you can find the same $50 teapot from Teasme (sorry teasme) for 100 yen or about $1 there. Next, home-centres, which, according to my woodworker friend Lifa, are a man’s heaven. This, I can now attest is a damn accurate statement as I have never seen Andy, my brother-in-law so excited. Next next, Marugame udon and after, a stay for the love-birds at Katsuragi ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.