Monthly Musings: February 2024

Monthly Musings: February 2024

Hello, sweet friends! Happy February! How the heckidy heck are you? Welcome to our Monthly Musings: February 2024 post! I hope it finds you well wrapped up against the unpredictable weather of late, ideally with a hot beverage at hand. I myself am writing this from the comfort of our toasty kitchen, cup of earl grey tea in hand, while relentless sheets of rain hammer the window. It’s the kind of rain that looks as if it’s coming from every single direction, which is exactly the worst kind of rain if you’re out in it. But! As I’ve been inside observing it all day long, it’s exactly my favourite kind of rain because it makes me feel cozy. You’ll either totally relate to that last rambling thought or think the jetlag has permanently damaged my brain. ANYWAYS. Hello! Let’s dive in, shall we?

No but seriously, the jetlag has been kicking my butt. We got back from Japan last Saturday morning, and I think we’ve only had one proper night’s sleep since. It’s the pits. However: WE WENT ON HONEYMOON TO JAPAN and it was amazing! I’ve written a brief recap about each of the cities we visited below, but seriously, wow. It was my favourite trip ever. I can’t believe how fortunate we were to experience that as our honeymoon, because it truly couldn’t have gone better! I know we’re going to be reminiscing about it for a long time to come ❤️ Side note: it is so wild to me that I’ve already had my honeymoon! How grown up is that?

Our Monthly Musings: February 2024 post is below. It may be a little heavy on Japan content, but hey, give a girl a break! It ticked a couple of milestone boxes for me – honeymoon! 29th country! first time to Asia! – so please indulge me just a little. All the other usual suspects can be found in the lineup also: food, recipes, movie + TV chatter, book talk, etc. Enjoy, friends!

As promised, please enjoy a little Japanese honeymoon breakdown, starting with Tokyo. I’ll admit: I found Tokyo overwhelming. It was the city that caused me the most pre-trip anxiety, and it was the city I connected with the least – but I still loved it! Walking around some of the main areas of the city – Shinjuku or Shibuya – was mindbogglingly insane. There was just so much to look at – be it a giant 3D cat, the fashionable youths walking past, or the adverts talking at you 24/7 – and so! many! people! We spent much of our time in the city gawping in astonishment at nearly everything, but we eventually settled in. Highlights include: the Shibuya Scramble Crossing, drinks at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Peak Bar, Senso-ji Temple, and spotting Mt. Fuji from the Shinkansen into/out of the city.

Kyoto was next on our hit list, and we felt an immediate kinship with the city. We were staying in a beautiful hotel in the central Shimogyo Ward, and for four whole days we ate and drank our way around the city. We did the touristy things – Fushimi Inari and Nijo Castle being particular faves -, but largely following our nose + grumbling stomachs around town. Spoiler alert: we ate so well! There was gyoza aplenty, yakiniku, and, believe it or not, some surprisingly authentic tacos! We both really connected with the city, and it’s the one I’d feel the most excited to return to in the future. I also may or may not have shed a tear when it was time for us to move on.

None of that is to say that we didn’t love Osaka, our third & final city, because we really did! I was pleasantly surprised by this, because most guides you read advise only a day or two max before moving on – but we reveled in our four day stint in town! Known as the culinary capital of Japan, the motto of the city is ‘Kuidaore‘: financially ruining oneself by extravagance in food. With that in mind, we partook in a daily food crawl across the city; devouring okonomiyaki, the viral ¥10 cheesy waffle, the most luxurious Hokkaido milk Cremia ice cream, and so much more. We also lucked out and found not one, but two, of the best cocktail spots ever! Like, ever ever!

I’m so excited to sit down and write the actual travel guides about it all!! I have never come home from a trip with my fingers itching to write as intensely as they did after Japan! I have so many thoughts and feelings and just SO MANY AMAZING PLACES I neeeeed to write about. It truly was THE best trip I’ve ever been on. Hands down, no question! There will be blog posts aplenty and they will be packed to the brim with alllllll the recommendations – mark my words!

Related: don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my mini-moon travel guides, they’re on the way! I had only been half-heartedly working on them before we left for Japan, but there was just so much planning to get done that I barely made a scratch. However! I’m pleased to report that I’ve been chipping away at them & have almost all three ready to share! First up: Bologna 😉

Recipes I have on my to-make list this month: Ina’s Hasselback Kielbasa. Come on, doesn’t this look fab? Add in a couple of potatoes and I’m sold! I’ve also been craving some big salad-y dinners of late, and there are some fab recipes in Molly’s Home is Where the Eggs Are book I plan to cook my way through. This Mozzarella Stick Salad has obvz caught my eye, but also this Pretzel Chicken Nugget Salad. I love how fun Molly makes her salads!

Our movie viewing for the last month was not great. Pre-Japan we only got around to watching two new-to-us films: NYAD, which we both really enjoyed, and No Hard Feelings, which was disappointingly meh. We also rewatched Lost in Translation, for obvious reasons, which is still wonderful. On our lengthy plane journeys, however, we were treated to some wonderful movies! En route there, we enjoyed Past Lives – me moreso than Husband – and I adored Elemental. On the way back, we both watched The Holdovers and l-o-v-e-d it! It’s so fun! The two of us were laughing away while those around us slept and it was glorious! I also managed to squeeze in a rewatch of The Lake House because I just love it. That said, I did not love balling my eyes out on the plane even though I know how the movie ends. Oh well.

TV-show wise, we’ve really been enjoying 8 Simple Rules lately! I used to watch it years ago and loved it, so when it hit Disney+, I knew I’d have to share it with Husband. It’s such an easy and entertaining watch! We’re also itching to watch the next season of Somebody Feed Phil – there’s going to be a Kyoto episode!! I can’t wait to see if he visits any of the foodie spots we found and loved! Also on our to-watch list is the new docu-series on Netflix: American Nightmare. I’ve heard it described as a real life Gone Girl situation? Colour me intrigued! What have you been dipping into? Any especially great movies or TV-shows?

Have you read anything wonderful lately? I’ve made little headway on Memoirs of a Geisha since last month – damn you jetlag! – but it’s so good! It’s been years and years since I first read it, and I’d forgotten how good it is; I’ll definitely be making Husband read it after me!

And there we have it, Monthly Musings: February 2024! I hope you enjoyed it, and perhaps found something to take away with you? A recipe for a fun salad or maybe even a hankering to visit Japan? If so, take me with you!!

Until next month,

Vicki xo

February 2023 // 2022 // 2021 // 2020 // 2019

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