Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!
I hope you had a wonderful new year.

In America, people start to work from Jan 2nd.
I can't believe it!
Japanese people don't want to work Jan 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
These days are very important for us.
We usually eat Osechi which is traditional Japanese new year dishes with family.

Anyway, I didn't share my Christmas, so I'd like to show you my fantastic experience:)

I went to North Fork near Yosemite from Dec 23rd to 26th.
Sanae has a cottage there.
It takes 4 or 5 hours from Santa Monica by car.

North Fork is small village, so residents live in nature.

The cottage in woods was very quiet and peaceful.
I heard to the murmur of a tiny stream beside the house.

Do you know this tree?  It's unique, isn't it?
This is a Manzanita.
I thought it was artificial, but actually it was natural.
The power of nature!

We went to a view spot for meditation.
We looked out over the whole of mountains, lake and blue sky.
It was very silent and peaceful place too.
I'm a beginner for meditation, but I felt warm sunshine and fresh breeze, so I refreshed.

Have you ever heard Vipassana Meditation?
There is one of this center in North Fork.
It is a program to meditate ten days!
Students have to follow a full schedule of meditation and they aren't allow talking, reading and any other communicating. They also can't make eye contact with other people!
They learn to observe the reality within themselves at deeper levels.
Sanae has joined many times and she really recommends it.
I want to try it someday!

Anyway, I'd like to introduce about Sanae's cottage.
This is a living room.
There is a big fire place and a kitchen on the right.

This is a room for Yoga and meditation.
There is a nice patio, so she eats breakfast there in summer.
Sounds good!
She hopes to open a small cafe and teach Macrobiotic, do yoga and meditation together.
She also hopes that this cottage will be a friendly place for people who love nature.
I strongly agree with her.
I can't wait!

This is the Eve's macrobiotic dinner by Eric.
That's wonderful!
Stuffed squash with shiitake gravy, saute wild rice with vegetables and walnuts, mashed purple sweet potatoes and steamed green.
I can't explain the detail, because I didn't know what the ingredients were.
I just knew it was so delicious!
I always admire dishes that he cooks. 
This is a dessert, which is Tarte Tatin.
He picked these tiny apples near house.
Sweet and sour!
My stomach was happy :)

This is a macrobiotic breakfast by Sanae.
Cream oatmeal with roasted pumpkin seeds and vegetable tasty miso soup.
These were very gentle flavor and also good for body.
We ate together with the beautiful morning sun.
Time is slowly in North Fork.
We went on a hiking and saw a lake, a river and a dam during the day.
We watched DVD and knitting at night.
I sat back and relaxed on a sofa with six dogs.  

It was snowing lightly at last day.
It was a pretty snow scene.
I had a great time.
I usually go to sea for relax, but I notice mountain is good too.
Nature has the ability to heal people.

Sanae and Eric go to there for relax even though they have just weekend.

I want to find my peaceful place to relax.