Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Happy New Year Vol. 2 after New Year Sunrise

While I was inspired by watching the New Sunrise I also was thankful for our health and many blessings.

Our usual New Year festivity is a full schedule:
After watching the first sunrise of 2012 I made “Ozouni” mochi (sweet rice cake) in vegetable soup. Usually I make a very mild Ozouni, but this year I made it stronger, making Eric cry out after his first bite “OMG this is an *** kicking OZOUNI!”

2012 is a dragon year and unpredictable year.
Personally I feel it is a revolution year so I wanted it to be different,
kicking off with my New Year Ozouni.
Well, life itself is never the same, but I really want to change voluntarily this year, for better or worse.

Ozouni 2012 L1040921
Photo: My Ozouni 2012

After we each had two servings of the delicious Ozouni, we felt full and relaxed. We watched the Rose Parade, but Eric soon fell asleep with the dogs and cat next to me. I took photos of them and also felt asleep.

All 6 dogs with Tintin sleeping L1040879
Photo: Our dogs and cat's napping

We woke up still feeling full, so we decided to go on a new-year bicycle ride on the beach. There were so many people there, and I imagined they all took a nap and came out for fresh air just like we did.

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Photo: Venice beach performers with so many audiences

It was a zoo on the beach, and we had fun watching the Venice beach performers who usually come to eat at Seed Kitchen.

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Photo: Eric with our tandem bicycle

There was a music band contest for the Rose bowl and we saw many people from Portland, for some reason. Found out that school of Portland was one of the band contestants.

As we were just leaving the beach there was a stunning New Year sunset.
Life is truly full of cycles within a cycle as our earth is circling the sun, and no moment is ever the same.

NY 2012 Sunset with Seagul photo-53
Photo: New Year Sunset

To cap New Year's Day Eric made a reservation at Shutter’s hotel on the beach in Santa Monica where we had our wedding dinner party for our family and close friends.
This was a surprise to me because he usually forgets a make a reservation,
but I can see he is trying to make an effort to start the new year on the right foot!
We sat by the window and had a wonderful meal.

After dinner we watched a movie (which is kind of a tradition in Japan to watch a new movie on New Year's Day), “The Descendants." We enjoyed this movie because they showed Lanai beach, where we went last year for our vacation.
The Lanai beach area had organic farmers and we really enjoyed all the fresh vegetables and the farmers market.
Remembering our vacation on New Year’s Day was a nice touch, making us feel our hard work is worth it, and we can look forward to the next reward after our even harder work to come.

It was definitely a full day.
Now that we have set the standard for the year,
we want to remember to live each day of the year to the fullest!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Happy New Year! Vol.1 New Year Sunrise

We were greeted in the early morning by fog in Santa Monica,
reminding me of living in the San Francisco Bay many years ago.

When I rose at 5 AM, it was colder than I thought it would be,
but we set out on time for our first adventure of the new year.

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Photo #1: Foggy Santa Monica

The fog was so thick we could not see the road ahead of us, and
driving toward the Santa Monica mountains for 20 minutes and
crawling through the Mandevilla Canyon Drive fog made us almost retreat in despair, but we safely arrived at West Ridge Trail, well above the fog.

We were surprised that it was much warmer than in Santa Monica, and the sky was so clear and beautiful with a reddish tinge above east side of the mountains.

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Photo #2: Clear beautiful sky before New Year Sunrise

Some people might have read my blog about my little trek to see last year’s new year sunrise on the 10 year anniversary of my car accident.
I like to emulate the turtle’s spirit.
Having injured my legs, I could not walk freely.
Little by little I have been making an effort, as turtles do,
to advance and walk more each year.

So I decided to go farther this year, over a small valley.

I found a nesting place for me and my dogs Kula and Happy.
We sat and waited for the new year sun to rise.

NY 2012 waitng for Sunrise IMG_7241
Photo#3: Sky was changing color every moment

What a moment that was...I could feel the earth was round even on this small mountain.
Every moment, the color of the sky was changing.

On the west side I saw the image of a thick fog hugging the city of Santa Monica,
the beach and the ocean like a fluffy blanket.

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Photo #4: Thick fog over Santa Monica

Nature’s beauty blows my mind away!

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Photo #5: Fog over the Santa Monica beach and ocean and see the Catalina Island.

The sun came up at 6:59 AM.

Well, it was actually the earth moving, and
the sun was vibrantly illuminating each moment.

NY 2012 Sunrise IMG_7269
Photo #6: New Year Sun has showed up on time!

My beloved Eric surprised me with some pictures he took of me while I anxiously awaited the sunrise.

He captured the hope, anticipation, and beauty of my spirit.
It was not his spoken love, but the pictures he created of me through which I felt the deepest love.

NY 2012 sunrise Sanae & Kula #2 IMG_7274
Photo #7: Me and Kula with New Year Sunrise vibrantly illumination

I am thankful more than ever for Eric, our love and also our challenges.

NY 2012 Eric & Sunrise (m) photo-54
Photo #8: Eric and New Year Sunrise

A wonderful New Year has already started~!

To be continued….love, Sanae