Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Turning 34 - my epic children-free day off!

The older you get, the simpler and smaller your birthday celebrations become.

I'm a December baby and every year, December is always a stressful month. There's Christmas presents to be bought, photo calendars to be done, Christmas cards to be written and last year one top of everything else, I had to make 3 photobooks by the end of November.

Needless to say, by the time December came around, I was so uninspired to sort out photos that I was toying around with the idea of not doing a photo calendar for 2017.

However, with the encouragement of my in-laws, I decided to persevere with my photo calendar tradition because its such a great way to remember the best moments of 2016.

Bottom line was, I knew that I didn't want to throw a fancy schmancy birthday party for myself because it will be more work and stress than anything else.

I decided to go for something more fun and simpler - A day out to Strasbourg with my hubby and 2 of my closest couple friends!

It was the BEST.THING.EVER!



We had such a perfect day! One full day without children. No stroller. No diaper bag. No looking out for children who disappear among the masses. No feeding someone else before myself. No additional job other than to take care of my own needs.

Heaven!

The only thing was that we had to plan our outing way in advance. We informed our friends and locked in the date a month in advance.

Having 3 kids make the logistics of having a babysitter way harder than with 2 kids. We knew we didn't want to trouble my in-laws for the entire day and evening. So we decided that my in-laws would take care of the kids during the day while my neighbour D. would take over in the evening.

Closer to the date, we hoped and pray none of the children or babysitter would fall sick. Our friend, D. broke her finger one day before my Strasbourg day! She actually had to babysit with her finger in a cast!

Sushi! (What else?)

I was the birthday girl so I decided on the dining venue! We went straight for my favourite sushi restaurant where I could satisfy my grilled yakitori and sushi craving! YUM!

See all our happy faces! No kids = Freedom!

Sushi boat!


Christmas market

After lunch, we headed straight for the Christmas market. Strasbourg has such a gorgeous Christmas market and oh boy! Was it jam-packed! I was so thankful that we didn't have our children with us! The terror alert in France is still on high, so there was armed police all around and they cordoned off the Christmas market. We could could enter and exit by going through police check-points.

I think this is actually a very good precautionary measure seeing what happened in the Christmas market in Berlin. We really do live in precarious times these days!


Absolutely love this shot!

Drinking mulled wine (Gl├╝hwine) in the cold

Finally a couple shot again!


After about 2 hours of walking around in sub-zero temperatures, we headed straight for the mall to thaw ourselves. I didn't dress myself warmly enough, so my toes felt they were going to fall off!

There's this superbly yummilicious chocolate waffles in the main shopping mall in Strasbourg, Riverie. This is INCREDIBLE! My friends were getting so hungry that they wanted to go for crepes at the Christmas market but I told them to wait for the chocolate waffles.

And it was SO. worth the wait! I dream about this waffle until today! They really should open an outlet in Stuttgart!

I didn't share my waffle with my hub!

We shopped for about an hour, during which of course we bought a winter jacket for Samuel. What else right? Well, to be fair, that boy needs a warmer winter jacket. His previous one didn't make the cut and I always felt so sorry for that boy.

We didn't have any dinner reservations. Somehow we thought that it would be no problem to find somewhere to dine since we don't have kids right? - Wrong!

All the restaurants were packed to the brim! The French are world-renowed for their culinary skills so you can imagine that the last weekend before Christmas was filled with people wanting to eat out!

Thank God really that after about 30 minutes of looking for a parking space and restaurant, we did find somewhere that had space for all 6 of us.

We ordered sparkling wine and everybody just had a jolly good time! I can't remember the last time I had hours of undisturbed conversation with adults! No, "Mummy, xx did this. XX did that". I could actually talk in peace!

That was epic! From the time we got into the car, to the time we got home, we were all just talking and enjoying each others' company.

I'm so so so grateful for this group of friends that we have. These people are also our childrens' Godparents and they would go out of their way to help us. We can really count on them to go above and beyond the call of duty to be there for us. We're so grateful! They are actually friends we got to know from our cell group! Thank God for kingdom friendships!




My dessert on the left: Chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice-cream (seriously the best!)
Hubby had the good old favourite, Creme Brulee

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