As soon as February 18, 2019 ended, I was faced with the reality that 2019 was going to be my last year being 20+. I knew then I had to make the best of being Twenty Nine and that I did and that I did *winks* (more on this later).
Last year I wanted to celebrate my birthday at The Strings Hotel Nagoya, Japan (ストリングスホテル名古屋) by having a tea party, however, that idea didn’t go according to plan for various reasons that I mentioned in my birthday blog, Seven Months to Twenty Nine. A year later, I decided to revisit the idea. I took a tour of the location once again (not that I needed to but I’m extra lol) and I was still in love with it just as much as I did the first time I laid my eyes on its beauty. As is the norm for the New York Lounge (the area where they serve afternoon tea), there was a theme for this season. The theme for this winter was Marie Antionette. You know, the “let them eat cake” lady. Anyways, I was pretty excited about this because it meant they would serve colourful pastry with some very flavourful tea.
Frame Just For Me
Now, I needed something to make my birthday afternoon tea a real standout…well more than it already would be. I’ve always wanted one of those Instagram selfie frames that you see people with in photos for different events and thought this would be perfect. I did a quick search and to my surprise, there were quite a number of places in my city that I could seek info. Lord, please let it be inexpensive. One evening, I visited the closest office to the main train station I use to commute to and from work. I was lucky enough that a staff member was able to communicate effectively with me in English. Yes, I’ve been living in Japan for too long to not know Japanese, but that’s the way life goes. After gathering the information I needed about the cost for a specialized frame, I made the choice to make the project a DIY. The end result, perfection.
Who’s Coming To Tea?
I invited two friends to join in this intimate birthday celebration. Unlike last year’s wish for getting dressed up in fancy pastel garb, I opted for a monochromatic theme. When I mentioned this to my friends they were a bit confused at first but were right on board after I explained it to them and what I was going for (I had a vision of an explosion of monochrome, knowing in the back of my mind that I’d still get just a hint of pastel. I wasn’t fully letting go of that fantasy. LOL). The only rule was that they couldn’t wear any of the colours I had in mind to wear for myself. LOL. Even if they didn’t show up in monochrome, I knew I’d be.
Did Someone Say Monochrome?
As with any birthday or event, I needed to choose the perfect outfit for me. Read that again, I needed to choose the perfect outfit for me. I had bought this coat from Zara over the Christmas holidays for about 250USD and I was just dying to wear it. The Strings Hotel Nagoya was the perfect place. The problem though was finding the right shades of the colour I chose to go with to match the theme. I spent days and weeks trying on different pieces of clothing in multiple stores, sometimes the same outfit more than once but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. You see, it’s still winter but it’s also almost spring so the stores are in transition between the two seasons. This meant that most of the warm stuff were being phased out. Options that weren’t going to be available when I would finally arrive at a decision. Chidi from The Good Place would be proud. Haha!
Since I wasn’t sure what the actual weather conditions would be like on the day of my party, it was much harder to make a choice. The weather forecast said it would rain but knowing my city, I didn’t know whether it would be heavy or light rain, whether it would also be windy or even what the temperature would be. See my dilemma? Should I wear a sweatshirt? Carduroy pants? Should I risk wearing white sneakers? I pondered these questions and more for several days and I made the choice of buying all that I could, put the looks together in my apartment and return (yes, return) the items I no longer needed. I’m unapologetic when returning items. I ended with a look I was really happy with. A head to toe look with everything from Zara (I won’t tell you how much this costed me. Haha!)
Talk 30 To Me: Happy F-ing Birthday
The day finally arrived. The day I’d celebrate 30 Years Around The Sun. I was beaming with the utmost gratitude for just being alive. The weather forecast said it would rain all day but I didn’t care. It’s not like we were having the event on the outside. I reached out to my guests just to reconfirm the time and place so that we were all still on the same page. I started getting ready while blasting the speakers in my apartment with Troye Sivan’s Dance To This ft. Ariana Grande. I’m really 30. Wow!
I arrived at The Strings Hotel at around 13:31 and was just taken aback by the overwhelming feeling of pure joy. It was an indication that all I was really pleased with what I chose to do. The lounge had more people than I expected and I was definitely all right with that. My first guest arrived shortly after I did and we started the drinking until my other guest showed up. Now, when I say drinking I mean orange juice. LOL. Guest number two showed up and the tea party began. We glanced at the menu to see what we’d be served as the menu was set for afternoon tea. The only choice we’d have was for the different flavoured teas, my fav was the Marco Polo.
Tea Is Served
Our waitress brought out a pair of three-tiered trays filled with the sweetest scrumdiddlyumptious desserts, two plates of scones, biscuits with a cold savoury soup an two plates of savoury nibbles. Yum!
Let Them Eat Cake
Just like last year, I ordered a special cake from the amazing Trisha Painuyl. I reached out to her at the beginning of the month and explain exactly what I wanted. My cake was a cookie n cream cheesecake with a caramel crust and mirror glazed fondant that was dyed pink. I had to make it match the theme. The only thing we couldn’t do was have our cake and eat it too. LMAO, this so funny cuz it’s true.
The conversation kept flowing. The energy was just right and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I didn’t feel any different than I did at 29 nor 28 nor…well you get the picture. But I suppose I was different or I am now different. Whichever. The hours went by and it was time to leave the venue. Gutted. However, we brought the cake back to another friend’s apartment to cut it and for them to have a taste of what Trisha made. The cake was superb and met my every expectation. Thank you Trisha.
There’s so much more I could say but it wouldn’t be enough. I’m just thankful for this life. At times I thought (and maybe I still do from time to time) that things just don’t ever go right for me but so much has gone right and for that, I am thankful.
30 Years Around The Sun ain’t half bad.