Unfortunately I am terribly behind with this post as our anniversary was actually May 25! Whoops! Only two months behind, no biggie right? This anniversary is only the marker for the biggest and most wonderful year of my life so far. ;)
Zach and I, likely because our relationship started as broke freshman in college, has never been much about gifts or fancy outings. In college, a special date for us meant going to Cheddars, getting $4.50 margaritas and splitting an appetizer. Talk about a cheap date!! Nothing much has changed for us though now that we are in the real world making real money. We enjoy most going out together for a shawarma or a cup of coffee- the whole 5 star restaurant on every corner has never much suited us.
So this year, although it was our biggest anniversary yet, was not a treated like anything another than the norm. We agreed on no gifts and just wanted to spend a nice evening together reflecting back on the year.
You can imagine my surprise when Zach got home and with a big smile on his face and instructed me to put on a nice dress, we had a bottle of wine and a reserved table waiting for us next door at the W Hotel. I was COMPLETELY and UTTERLY caught off guard as we NEVER do this kind of thing. After a small debate that I quickly lost about if he was sure, on Tuesday night, May 25, 2015 I slipped out of my sweats, into a dress and we headed out to forget the budget completely and let ourselves INDULGE in what turned out to be an altogether unforgettable night.
Zach started by leading me to the third floor of the W Hotel, to a huge set of double doors with a guard outside. Once inside what turned out to be the Wahm Lounge, we were greeted by a live DJ and a dimly lit room filled with lounge areas and colorful accent lighting. We slid over to the bar (remember now that alcohol is prohibited and can only be bought in certain locations) where Zach prompted me to "pick whatever I like" which with no hesitation, I did.
We gravitated to the back of the room where sliding glass doors led to a huge, wrap around deck. From here we could see the city lights up close and personal while enjoying our drinks and marveling at the awe that we actually lived in such a place.
By the time we finished, our dinner reservations were just about to hit to we scurried out and went one flight down to the infamous Spice Market, a South-East Asian restaurant with dishes inspired by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and created by executive chef, Hyung Gyu Kim. It was absolutely beautiful and bustling with people so when the waitress led us to our private table for two by a huge window, it felt like a literal dream or a scene from a romantic movie.
Then, the wine came along with menus filled with dishes crafted by master chefs. We were on the top of the world and started chatting with our (somewhat) waiter, Jozef, (who end up being the restaurant manager) about the selection. After quite a discussion, (with menus that where every item makes your mouth water, selection doesn't some easily) we settled on "Fine de Clair" oysters with a Thai chili sorbet and Shrimp Dumplings with a crab sauce as appetizers.
They came out and were DELECTABLE. Then another dish came out, then another!! The manager who we had quickly become friends with completely treated us our filled our palettes with combinations of flavors that exploded.
Next came our main course.
I ordered Teriaki Salmon Sashimi and Zach got the Say Glazed Short Ribs.
Finally it was time for my favorite, dessert. Before we could even order, this came out.
So sweet and thoughtful, not to mention DELICIOUS.
AND THIS!! All on the house to celebrate our monumental (yeah right!) milestone.
Each was more delicious than the last and the treatment that we got made us feel like absolute royalty.
This manager though, I tell you what. We tried to tip him (on top of) tipping our actual waiter and he completely and totally refused. He insisted that we give it to the waiter instead and explained that his job was not something he does for the money but simply because of his love of food and the people.
Can I just say wow?
I have met a few people like him in my life, that work because they truly love it and make each day at work a unique and meaningful experience. They truly LIVE each moment of the day and don't let a second slip away. Here's to you Mr. W Hotel Spice Market Manager, Jozef Pesta!
Seriously a cool dude, check him out here.
Okay where was I? Oh yes!
Finally, once we had finished, the staff loaded us into wheelbarrows and rolled us out....kidding! But seriously they might as well have, we each ate our weight in food and were in a full-on food-coma by the time we left!
It was a perfect night to compliment an even more perfect year.
During this year together we have started our careers, made life long friendships, laughed, cried, fought, made up, traveled across the globe and most importantly learned what it means and what it takes to build a Christ centered marriage. We are altogether imperfect but are completely and endlessly saved by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is HIS holy union, we are just living in it!