Andrew: A cell group member of mine just commented recently that the both of us do seem to celebrate a lot of anniversaries. Well, this year we only celebrated our 6th month and our 1st year anniversary which I think it’s quite decent. A fellow friend of mine and her boyfriend take note of anniversaries in terms of months!
14th May is our official 1 year anniversary, the date where I officially (and nervously) asked her dad if I could date his daughter. (Jasmine: Hee… I still remember that day. My dad later told me Andrew’s voice was trembling. So cute!)
Andrew: I had a nice date planned out for our anniversary and as usual, Dearie had a surprise up her sleeve for me too. She hinted to me a day before our anniversary that she had spent one and a half hours preparing something for me and asked if the dinner was going to be filling. (Jasmine: I actually asked both questions a few minutes apart, but I guess it must have been pretty obvious still.) I guessed it was going to be food, and my guess was correct! As I arrived at her place, I saw Dearie busy in the kitchen – she was preparing for me a crepe with lemon curd and orange brandy sauce:
This crepe was really a lot of hard work, even though it looks deceptively simple. Dearie had to spend over an hour grating the orange peel and grinding the lemon manually in order to prepare the lemon curd inside. She also made sure that she heated it up just as I arrived so that there would be a perfect contrast between the piping hot crepe and the cold ice-cream. Lovely! 🙂
Speaking of surprises, I had actually planned for a surprise bouquet to arrive at Dearie’s doorstep:
Andrew: It was Far East Flora’s ‘Love Note’ series. When I saw this series on the web, I thought that there was a special love note attached to the bouquet. Little did I know that the ‘love note’ series actually meant that the flowers themselves were embossed in gold on the flowers themselves! While I appreciate the effort, it was a little overkill and destroyed the ‘natural’ beauty of the flowers. Although Dearie had a lot to say about it (I’ll let her add in her own comments), she loved the bouquet nonetheless. Yay!
(Jasmine: Guilty as charged. I spent ages mercilessly ribbing Andrew about how sending flowers were already an expression of his love for me, and how he needn’t have emphasized that by tattooing the flowers themselves with “I love you’s”. But it was a hefty bouquet and I still loved it alot.)
Andrew: Here we are, ready to start off the date. Look how I’m colour-coordinated with the bouquet, not intentional I promise!
We drove off to the Stewords Riverboat for our dinner!
I had been there years ago for the wedding anniversary of my mum’s hair dresser and really liked the concept. An additional benefit was that it was Seafood Extravaganza night, meaning that it was a grill buffet. That’s always a plus point for guys.
We arrived early, which was good because firstly it made photo-taking easier; secondly, we had the entire grill buffet to ourselves and lastly, we could watch the sunset! It was really rather romantic. There were even live musicians.
There was quite a spread. Each person is entitled to one premium grill, which for that night was the tiger prawns and mackerel steak and beyond that, there are five grill items which you can have unlimited order of, including crayfish (very good!), mussels (bad. They were tasteless and rubbery), boneless chicken (average, dry and tough. The sauce was good though), chicken wings (below average) and stingray (good! Stingray was meaty and the sambal sauce was flavourful, though a bit more sweet than normal).
One of my favourite dishes was this huge baked tuna that they had all ready for you. It seemed to be marinated with lemon and basil.
The light shining over it was too bright, so I couldn’t really get a good shot of it, but it really is huge and very yummy! I had about four servings of this and I kept asking the man to scoop up more of the meat for me.
Of course, what was most enjoyable during the dinner was our conversation. I’m sure all couples can attest to how amazing it is that there’s so many new things you learn about a person even after spending so much time with them. Dearie shared with me about her family and what they’ve been through together in the past and I shared about mine too. We did some ‘geeky’ reflection ‘discussions’ about what we’ve learnt about each other and our relationship. Heh. So typical, isn’t it? Before we knew it, the sun had set and we were so full!
Now, I had called the restaurant to make a booking for our dinner. During the call, the boss asked me if it was any special occasion. When I told her that it was our first year anniversary, she replied, “Oh, then I think you just do your own thing for her.” I was rather miffed by that response and thought that she meant they only do celebrations for birthdays and hence the response. I even told Dearie about it at the start of our dinner. Little did I know that the owners had something up their sleeve!
Just when we were finishing our dinner, the singer paused and made a special tribute to “Andrew and girlfriend” for celebrating their sixth year anniversary. Heh. The boss must have really misheard me during the phonecall. Anyway, they subsequently brought out dessert for us:
What a sweet gesture!
Now, of course, because it was al fresco dining and a particularly windy night (it was even drizzling at one point), the waiter had to repeatedly light the candle for us before we made our ‘wish’. He even re-positioned himself so he was standing to block the wind while lighting the candle for us. Extra points for service!
Sadly, we were already so stuffed by then that we couldn’t finish the brownie.
We strolled around the boat for a while, enjoying the sea breeze and the sea view before we went on to Part 2 of the celebrations, which included gift exchange and just spending time together.
Before we drove off for Part 2, Dearie wanted to pass me my presents. She had already passed me my first gift two weeks ago, which was a new Balmain pillow!
(Jasmine: According to the salesman, this was similar to the standard of the fluffy pillows used in hotels. But what sold me was when he told me that it was anti-dust mite, so I picked out a “firm” one for my dear –yes, the pillows come in four different softnesses- to go with the bedsheets I bought him for Valentine’s Day. Everyone deserves a little everyday luxury!)
Andrew: Actually I forgot all that, though I have been sleeping on the pillow since. Anyway, Dearie had prepared another gift for me;
This was what she called a “teacher’s aid”. She bought me a water bottle which said Aladdin (Heh. Because she’s my princess Jasmine). I had complained to her about accidentally dropping and cracking my water bottle last week, so she got me a new and hopefully more durable one! Also included is a set of ‘light bulb’ post-its, for all those ‘bright’ ideas that I have (hurhur…) and a set of toe socks, as I have been complaining lately that my socks aren’t well ventilated.
And of course, instead of the conventional ‘card’, Dearie got me a love ‘note’ rolled up in a little ‘tablet’. How sweet and geeky too!
After her gift exchange, we were supposed to head down to Marina Barrage where I was going to give her her presents. I unfortunately missed the turn and ended up on the ECP. However, Dearie brilliantly suggested that we should head up Mount Faber instead – the spot of some of our fondest memories, so up we went! It was a rather crowded night and we had to drive quite far to get a parking lot. We eventually found one and I passed Dearie her gift:
It was a Heroic Rendezvous Doll named Nettie along with ribbons and rubber bands so that Dearie can ‘style’ her hair. We’ve walked past the Heroic Rendezvous stall at Central numerous times and Dearie had never failed to stop by and admire these dolls, so I thought I’d get her one. She really liked it and couldn’t stop playing with her hair. The little doll really brought out the little girl in Dearie. Heh. (Unfortunately, I have unleashed the ‘shopping beast’. Now Jasmine is asking me to shop online for clothes and hair accessories for the doll, as if she needed any more reason to shop! Help!)
We’re currently thinking of a name for her. The current name is Cherie (French for ‘beloved’, according to to the Francophile in the relationship), but that’s still provisional.
Jasmine: The best presents are the ones you would never get for yourself (because it’s too expensive or just too wacky), so this gift was one of my favourite gifts from Mr Chong so far, because it was such an unexpected surprise! Truth be told, I thought Andrew would get me a book or worship CD or something 😛 Kidding.)
Andrew: In addition to the doll, I had also prepared a video collage of photos from our NIE days and our relationship over the years and I showed it to her. I had a lot of fun doing it, trawling through old photographs (and indeed, we have a lot of them).
We ended off our anniversary celebration up on Mount Faber, enjoying the view of Sentosa and beyond. (Andrew: "Beyond” just sounds so literary.)
(Jasmine: Your sense of humour is “beyond” me.)
Andrew: Actually our first anniversary celebrations ended a bit anti-climactically. Jasmine fell asleep at the binoculars because she was too tired from climbing the stairs up.
I love you Dearie. Here’s to many more happy and romantic anniversaries (the 7th anniversary next year. Heh) ahead of us!