All the fabulous surprises for my sister’s big 4-0 culminated into one grand finale–a trip to Tokyo and Hakone to celebrate the beginning of a new decade for her, and for my dear cousin Alice as well. Since our group had such an epic time traveling together for MJ and Peter’s wedding in the Maldives last year, we ofcourse had to keep the momentum going by traveling as a big group again for Mimi and Alice’s milestone birthday. Basically we are looking for any excuse to keep the fun up! 🙂
We first met up in Hong Kong for a couple of days, and made our rounds to eat as much as possible, and they even surprised me by taking me to a Hello Kitty cafe that I didn’t know existed!
We never actually made it into the cafe because it was tiny, and the wait to get in was too long, but I was happy just to see it in person!
We then spent 4 days in Tokyo together, hanging out and…..what else? Eat, eat, and eat some more. 🙂 We were back on track in having about 5 meals a day with 5 snacks in between. Luckily, everything was family style so it was much more manageable.
My cousin Prascilla was our fearless leader, who singlehandedly planned the entire trip, from where to eat to where to stay and everything in between. It’s tricky to travel as a large group, especially with so many different personalities and interests. Fortunately, our dynamics were quite good, and we all had a flexible mentality, so everyone happily followed Prascilla’s lead for the entire trip. 🙂
I really have to commend our group. Everyone is so efficient and punctual in the morning, and there are few times where we have to “wait around” for others. We were prepared to split up in separate groups during the trip, but surprisingly, we ended up sticking together almost the entire time!
The only time that we really split up was when Mimi, Jacqueline, and I decided that we’d like to try out a hair salon in Tokyo. My Japanese friend Karen recommended one in Harajuku, name Garden Hair. It was actually quite a hilarious experience. When we arrived and they quickly learned that we were foreigners, they sent a staff that was somewhat bilingual to greet us….except he really spoke very very little English. 5 stars to him for the effort that he made though, using photos, sign language, body language, and every other tool he was able to pull out of his back pocket to try to understand what we wanted!
In the end, I colored my hair, Jacqueline had a trim, and Mimi had a full cut. We probably spent about 3-4 hours in the salon. I had 4 different people helping me!
Stay tuned for Part II….our Hakone trip!