Weekend "in Asia" with the BFF's

Each year, my high school friends and I get together for 24 hours. In the beginning, we used to always spend Friday nights just hanging out, looking at photos and catching up for the year. But with the advent of Facebook, we get to stay in closer contact so the event has evolved to an adventure in the city of the person who is hosting.  This year was my year to host.

Since I live in an ethnically-diverse area, I thought it would be fun to explore that.  So, I invited my friends to spend a "weekend in Asia."

I made travel itineraries to outline our day, since we were doing a lot of "new" and unusual things.

Friday night, Craig Clear lead an amazing yoga practice just for us at Rescue Yoga complete with hot towels on our feet at the end. He began with a sun salutation and moon salutation as an introduction to yoga, then led us through a series of restorative poses. I loved it that he took the time to explain the benefits of each one.  "The girls" talked about how amazing it felt as we went to dinner. (Thank you, Craig!) And it was fun sharing something I really enjoy with "the besties." (Why yes, that was a BBT reference.)


Dinner was at my very favorite, Best Thai, then I introduced my friends to bubble tea at Fat Straws.  Lynette highlighted that part of the fun of bubble tea is the lottery aspect of it.  You never know exactly what you are going to get when you take a sip. We shared a hotel room in Addison where we stayed up late into the night giggling just like we were sixteen again at a slumber party.

The next morning, we made a definite 'non-Asian' trip for breakfast at Bic's because my friends wanted to check it out since it is in my status updates all the time.  They told me they were surprised that it was "just a diner" since they were expecting a vegetarian coffee house with funky art which they thought was more my style.

After that, it was off to Minoya--a great Japanese store in Plano--that sells bento supplies. Each of us picked out lunch boxes complete with cutlery, bands and bags. 

We then came back to my house for "bento lessons."   One of the cool things about the art of creating bento lunches is that it is creative.  Simple foods are combined in attractive arrangements so that there is a bit of "wow" factor over the aesthetics as you open the box.

It was really fun hanging out across my kitchen table and talking as I "cooked" with my friends. Sort of like arts and crafts...but with food. We each created two. A sandwich-bento which each person took home and a more traditional bento which we shared with a bottle of Texas Blanc duBois from the Tara Winery across my table in my "outdoor" cafe.


Full of bento-goodness, we went to With Photo at HMart to explore Purikura.  Purikura is Japanese for "Print Club" and is mostly geared for teenagers. (Appropriate, since we spent all weekend  like we were 17).

Basically, it's an ultra-bright photobooth. You get into the booth, put $10 into the machine, decide how many shots you want (which dictates how much time you have between them), select backdrops, then pose. 

Once the photos are done, you leave the booth to decorate them on a computer screen with a wide variety of effects.  We were a little awkward at this part as we tried to figure it all out.  Luckily, all the machines were in English and once we got the hang of it, we realized the directions were pretty simple.
The photos pop up on the screen.  You choose the best four shots, then take the pen--which you use on the touch screen--to add embellishments, phrases, frames and other decorations.

Of course it helped that the man at With Photo was very patient and helpful in explaining what to do.  The photos print small onto sticker paper--and we ordered an extra set so each of us could take some home.  (I also had a keychain made because the photos made me smile.)
We wrapped the weekend at the Mozart bakery--an asian bakery in the same shopping center as HMart with incredibly beautiful desserts, delicious coffee and intimate seating areas.

The only bummer about the weekend was that Kristi-G-from-Tennessee had to miss this one.

Next year is at Lynette-the-Cowgirl's.  I already can't wait.

© Random Cathy
Maira Gall