Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A day to celebrate

We didn’t know how to celebrate our anniversary this year.

We have traveled the last few years, but felt like staying close to home this year because we wanted to go to the Marine Ball (scheduled for the night before our anniversary). We had a blast at the ball and are so happy we went. We spent the night at the hotel (such a good idea) and slept in. I took a bath and read in a real bath tub! Johnathan surprised me by hiring our old driver for the day. It was so nice that we didn’t have to worry about driving (and parking).


at the ball

We wanted to do something fun. Dinner and a movie sounded lame. So it was decided that we would combine two activities. One that he would plan (the bag of fun) and one that I would plan (scavenger hunt). The week before our anniversary, I went to Greenbelt mall a couple of times and found different things that I could use: menu item, store signs, specific baby shoes, a dirty expat with a much younger Filipina (which was the easiest and quickest, btw. He read the card looked up, turned, and said “there’s one!”), etc.

We spent three hours at the mall with him figuring out clues and me doing crazy stuff to embarrass myself. The bag of fun included activities like: pretend sword fighting every time he said “en guard,” freezing in place every time he said “freeze,” finding a stranger and posing like a model in a photo with them, going into a store and speaking a language not from earth while buying something, etc.


posing like a model with a stranger

We were tired from walking for almost three hours, but at the end we were so happy. We had so much fun.  He then told me that we had something after that and told me what outfit to bring for it. We went to a older office building in Makati (on a Sunday, so not only is it old…it was practically abandoned), and up to the 8th floor. We walked into a photo studio and I was really touched, John hates (hates!) portraits. I knew that he was really sacrificing for me to do a photo shoot.

I was wrong…he wasn’t sacrificing at all.

He had brought along a huge popcorn bowl, a large bag of popped popcorn and plain white paper cups and straws for them. As we were getting acquainted with the photographer John asked him to show me his work. He makes surreal photos. He takes the person’s (usually just one) photo and photoshops them into the requested scene. He’s done a lot of athletes, but some non-athletes as well. When he’s done with the photo it has a elegant comic book-like look to it.

Here’s what idea they thought of for our photo, in a nut shell: we’re sitting in a movie theater and John is trying to steal my popcorn. After shooting for about 40 minutes with different ideas on how to convey it, we came up with the one that works the best and settled on our favorite shot. He reserved the studio for two hours, so he also took portraits of each of us separately and just some regular ones of us. He also wanted to get in on a few, so he asked the guy from the studio to grab a couple of shots.

We had such a good time. It was a creative idea and I can’t wait to see the final photo. The amount that we paid includes a framed print that he’ll order for us and then we’ll also get all the other shots that haven’t been touched up.

We left there and John told the driver where to go next. Unfortunately where to go next wasn’t open on Sundays. He wanted to take me to a speakeasy we haven’t been to yet. Since that one wasn’t open, we went to the one that we’re regulars at and sat and had a cocktail and shared arancinis.

After our pre-dinner drinks we went to Sala. It’s a fine dining restaurant that we’ve been eying since we got here. I had an amazing steak and John quite enjoyed his pigeon. We had a celebratory glass of champagne with dinner and with the two drinks and our busy day I was practically falling asleep at the table.

After our yummy dinner our driver took us home. And I was happy. Really, really happy. I told John at dinner that it was anniversary #2 for me as far as enjoyment. It was such a fun day. Hm…how are we going to top it next year?!

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