Saturday, December 20, 2014

A pre-Christmas dinner at Donosti, a trip to Japan in the spring, and two meals at Noma in Tokyo



In Manila tonight, living a Travelife, I had a pre-Christmas dinner at Donosti with three couples who are quite old friends. We'd all done a trip together in Japan some years back, and since then, we always get together for a long wine dinner just before Christmas.


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This pre-holiday dinner has become an annual tradition, and it's quite nice, especially as we see too little of each other the rest of the year.

One couple actually traveled with me around France and Spain earlier this year, while the two other couples were in Tokyo at the same time as I was, last October.

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A HOLIDAY IN HOKKAIDO

One of the pairs is even spending the year-end holidays in Hokkaido, and visiting some of the same restaurants and the same hot spring town that I'd gone to last October.

That's me in Hokkaido last October,
living a Travelife.

Of course, I gave them the low-down about a wonderful Michelin three-star French restaurant in Sapporo that we'd loved, and a two-star sushi restaurant that we'd had to miss out on because we just didn't have the time.

In other words, we're all crazy about traveling.

THE DISCUSSIONS AT DINNER



This time, we had really entertaining discussions about ghosts in Europe, grocery shopping lists, common friends, and good restaurants in Tokyo.

We also decided to plan a trip to Japan together in the spring, and I volunteered to create a trip to places they've not been to yet, to discover the local side of Japan.

Fortunately, they're all game and lots of fun to be with, so I'm really looking forward to planning this and it looks like this is going to be a good Travelife to Japan.

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A GREAT TIME NOT TO BE TRAVELING

"When's your next Travelife?" Someone asked me.

I'm actually staying put for the holidays, as it's a really nice time to actually not be traveling.

I plan to catch up with friends, get some work done, do some mental and logistical housekeeping before the year ends, and also to walk around a polo field at least three times every day -- just to get some much-needed exercise done.

AN AMAZING FOODIE TRIP IN JANUARY



Then, mid-January, I'm off to Tokyo for a pretty big foodie trip that involves two meals at Noma and a meal at the most coveted restaurant in Japan in between.

Two people are very kindly taking me to Noma, and I'm still trying to decide who to ask for a meal at the most coveted restaurant in Japan.



I don't know how I could be so lucky with my restaurant reservations, or with my friends. Or with my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife, for that matter.









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