I decided we should really record what gifts we get for each other during anniversaries because they are invariably very cool things but we can never remember what we received or got from the other person.
0th year (2010):
Ze just asked me out two days before valentines’, so naturally I didn’t have anything prepared or anything. He gave me a cute swing set he got from Minnesota the previous winter (before we even got together!).
It took him 3 days to get up the courage to say anything, and meanwhile these freesias
were slowly dying in his backpack. He lugged them around (in their vase and everything) for three days!
My birthday: He got me three books (that he liked) – The Man Who Was Thursday, The Hunting of the Snark, and A Severe Mercy. I think I read two out of three but decided that we would never have the same taste in books. As in, he likes the books I like, but I don’t like the books he likes. They’re too… boring and philosophical and unliterary.
Ze’s birthday: To pay back the favor I got him a creme brulee torch and a set of ramekins.
I also brought him to Boston for SingSem (he wasn’t invited on account of being an A* scholar). We got stranded at Providence because of Delta cocking up their flights as usual and literally had nowhere to stay because there were no trains or buses running to Boston (where our motel was booked). That was seriously lame but the seafood made up for it.
We went to Skipjacks for dinner :D
Their profiteroles are man-sized.
And then the Boston aquarium:
Here’s a bright blue frog we saw at the Boston Aquarium.
And some really fluorescent jellies!
I also brought him to his first BSO concert. Too bad we didn’t know about the 20 under 40 tickets then.
1st year (2011):
He brought me a bouquet of flowers for our anniversary while I was busy doing MCM. I don’t remember if I got him anything at all. It would be a little strange if we didn’t get anything for each other on our very first anniversary but neither of us remember :/
My birthday: He gave me a boxology box with a fairy mushroom ring in it cause I was doing the fungus course at cornell.
He also made me a crossword! And tiffany made me a piano haha.
The cat box with the ring in it.
His birthday: We were in Budapest doing a semester abroad and so we went to Salzburg and Vienna with Michelle!
We hiked in this ice cave in Werfen on his birthday itself. Werfen is about two train stops away from Salzburg. This is the trip in which Michelle remarked “Austrians are so lazy!” in the middle of Vienna and we were so embarrassed :P
Him in Mirabel Gardens
And us at some Mozartplatz in the Salzburg city center
For his birthday we ate at this so-so Italian restaurant. I think it was Michelle’s treat!
It had sparklers for his birthday though!
Here we are in Michelle’s apartment in Vienna and she gave Ze a big box of merci chocolates. I really ought to call her soon.
In Vienna we got to walk about the Belvedere when it was completely deserted cause of the rain.
Why are his birthdays always so much more epic than mine??? :P
2nd year (2012):
My birthday: Ze made me a paper mobile with a locket from etsy and brought me to John Thomas for dinner :D
And my scallops in with some sweet bacon sauce that I invariably regret ordering
Their chocolate terrine is pretty good though!
Ze’s birthday: I made him a really epic cake with hazelnut feuilletine
Wow my cake decorating skills were (are) so bad
Here’s the cross section of the truly epic cake. Mousse, ganache, flourless sponge, and feuilletine.
And then we went to the only restaurant in Singapore that has the Vera Pizza Napoletana certification, which is this tiny trattoria in the central business district
Ze and his wine
Their veal ravioli is amazing but they’ve taken it off the menu since :(
3rd year (2013):
What did we do for our anniversary???
My birthday: He brought me to the Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora in the RWS aquarium and we ate fish sitting among fish :P
It’s like this celebrity chef restaurant next to the huge aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa (one of Singapore’s many offshore islands) where yo usee rays and stuff swimming right up to your table.
And then you eat all kinds of delicious seafood in a happy sadistic sort of setup. This is a crabcake sandwich – absolutely how anyone should do crab cake sandwiches! Who needs the bread?
Portions in singapore are all this tiny. Although portions in celebrity chef restaurants are probably tinier than most. You don’t normally hear about people doggie-bagging anything. This was some mad delicious seabass.
I checked out their menu at the podium. The whole place was really fancy! It’s such a luxury to have a car in singapore and get to drive to all of these out of the way places for food.
I also got a purple teapot from him!
This was bought during our double date with ahem yanyan and he-who-shall-not-be-named lol, from a previous visit to the same aquarium. I really wanted to visit the SEA aquarium with them since we had free passes and aquariums are totally my thing.. and the gift shop inexplicably had some really nice pottery! This is my ‘Cinderella’ tea-set because the cups and teapot look very fairy-tale like.
We took leave and we went traipsing around singapore –
1. To the national museum in the morning just to look at their exhibits and draw random stuff at the samsung s pen exhibition,
2. To Jumbo for lunch,
They write your name on these plastic reservation stands. I wonder how they got the spelling right.
The one thing I always order at Jumbo is their home made seaweed tofu covered in braised mushrooms and broccoli
3. To the Hort Park
with this lovely tillandsia exhibit. I’d never been there before this actually.
4. To the Marshmallow tree for tea
which was a stone’s throw from the Hort Park.
(they have a really nice rose latte)
3. And then to the Greenwood Fish Market for dinner
With his folks. I remember his dad exclaiming “Ivana, you don’t like seafood?” when I said I don’t eat sashimi or oysters. Seafood is my favourite thing to order on most menus if it’s cooked.
I got him two books –
presented by our entire menagerie in the car :P
My cool bike and My cool caravan.
which I saw in one of those hipster shops like Cat Socrates or Kinokuniya or something.
And the cake I baked this year (a concorde cake) fared much better on the decorative side than last years! Although last year’s cake with 5 different layers certainly tasted better.
4th year (2014):
We took leave and went to the ion Salt Grill and Sky Bar for the awesome view.
They had this really nice crab omelette, probably the best omelette I've ever eaten in my whole life.
Their curried scallops were also pretty amazing.
This was followed by my birthday: In Ithaca!
I can’t describe how glad I was to be back in Ithaca after two years. Flights from here to there are also not all that expensive so I should really visit more.
Cornell is unspeakably pretty in the snow.
We of course had to do all the things we used to do, like go back to Nasties and have a Mint Chocolate Chip F’real.
This was when he proposed!
And darling Chris made me southern fried chicken for my birthday which was amazing. I’ve never had anyone really cook me a special birthday meal before with champagne and the best table linen and everything. I think singaporeans just aren’t that great at making people feel special.
Chris also bought me this magnificent chocolate decadence cake from Wegmans which was really awesome, I wish I had packed it with me when we flew to Boulder after. The grocery store cakes here just aren’t as good.
His birthday: In Seattle.
He got a trophy cupcake; his cousin got him (us) a car radio, and I got him a purple hot water bottle from Etsy as well as Bob the Tomato plushie (he is a total Veggietales fan).
He got a lot of presents from home!
This is the beautiful polka dotted box from Paper Source that was housing an extremely squished Bob the Tomato
I brought him to Palisade for dinner during Seattle restaurant week.
Their seafood is amazingly fresh and the scallops were perfectly seared.
5th year (2015):
I got this judgmental zebra and erudite giraffe from him for our anniversary. We spotted them in 10000 villages (a fair trade chain) and I really liked them because they were so anthropomorphous. There’s just something super surreal about waking up and seeing a zebra with its legs crossed looking at you with an “Oh really.” expression.
He also gave me a box of Fran’s chocolates for vday
which was really exciting. I love Fran’s! They only do the best salted caramels in the world.
I got these roses from him about 2 weeks before vday and then a little pot of white roses on our anniversary itself accompanied by a lovely quote by Ian Burgham:
And you, a windrose, a compass, my direction, my description of the world.
He didn’t know a windrose is not a rose, which I found hilarious. And he’s a scout! Don’t they read maps and compasses and things??
all the meals were super crabby, from this dungeness crab melt from coastal kitchen to
this amazing crab and artichoke dip from Cutter’s Crabhouse.
I am extremely poor now since we’re waiting on our allowances to come in (I’m basically living off him right now), but I managed to bring him to
Paint the Town in the UVillage to paint some pottery.
My pottery looked much better pre-glazing.
He painted this cute tilted bowl for candy and stuff but which he uses for cereal. “It’s like you’re eating his brains!” he says.
We just collected them after glazing last week and they look like this:
His cereal bowl got a chip on it coming out of the kiln so they gave us a $20 voucher to go back and paint something else! I’m really excited.
My painted city (I was copying an illustration by Ji Mi) turned out kinda patchy :S
(something like this)
But I do like the splotchy typography on the other side that came naturally from a ceramic paint pen.
Phew that took a lot of trawling through my old photo archives, which are really badly managed. I also only keep the current year’s photos on my computer hard drive and am too lazy to go digging for photos out of my hard drive so I had to find everything on facebook or flicker. And we still have no recollection what we did for various anniversaries and vdays :P I resolve to keep a better record of all these special occasions!