Sunday, October 15, 2006

Now presenting....

Mr. and Mrs. Lafleur

And just like that, we are man and wife. Very simple it was. Woke up early on Saturday morning and headed out to Utsunomiya City Hall, handed in the paperwork we'd already filled out, made a copy of my passport and Gaikokujin card, turned it all in and that was that. We exited the building legally married, but not even carrying a certificate or license or anything, which is the one thing which surprised me. After a quick coffee with my new wife and the newly appointed Mother-in-law, I made my way to work while the girls went off to Mashiko for the day.

During my 5PM break, I headed over to the Tobu Grande Hotel and checked in to the Rose Suite on the top floor of the hotel. Very nice room, the floor space of the two bathrooms alone was larger than my apartment, and then you tack on the living room and bedroom with king size bed. I was pleased with the accommodations and headed back to work for my final lessons. I was also surprised at how easy it was to incorporate the words "my wife" into my daily vocabulary as in "My wife will pick up the room key later" and "Is there parking available? My wife will be driving here tonight." When I got back to the hotel after work, Yoshiko was waiting for me and we spent a few hours at Kegon downstairs trying out a few drinks before retiring to our suite.

This morning was again an early one as we got ready to head off to Kirifuri Kogen for lunch. As we arrived shortly before 11, people had already begun congregating outside and I started off the rounds of introductions. One character which really sticks out in my mind is Yoshiko's spry 90 year-old grandfather. That man was cool! Still very robust and very chatty, complete with gold tooth... I'm always amazed at the health of the elderly here, a tribute to the traditional Japanese diet no doubt. Here we are with my new parents in law.

We eventually made our way inside where I was semi-surprised into being asked to make a speech in front of everyone. I'd pondered preparing something and practicing the Japanese, but I've never been one to follow a script. At John and Sarah's wedding a few years back, I'd prepared a speech but didn't even glance at it, reeling freely from one anecdote to another. I would have felt too constrained in Japanese, and so after using my limited skills to thank everyone for coming, I had Yoshiko translate for me. We then went around the table a bit, with my mother and Matt having the chance to say a few words to the crowd.

The lunch at Yama-no restaurant was absolutely FANTASTIC. I'd have to say, with no disrespect to the wonderful steaks we've enjoyed over a campfire, that this was one pretty damn good piece of meat. My first try at Japanese beef actually, and now I get why people love the fatty meat so much... soooooo tender.

After a few rounds of gifts and some parting words, people filed out to leave and we made our way down to the Falls to take a few pictures. Of course, as one of the main actors in today's celebration, I couldn't take the photos myself and so left that up to Matt and my mother.

Here we are with my mum.

And alone.

And with Matto the Natto.

After heading back and hopping into our vehicles we headed further into the mountains for a bit more sightseeing and some of that marvelous Ozasa Bokujo soft ice cream. What a fantastic day we had! The weather was lovely.

I did manage to take a few pictures of the fall foliage, which is mostly rust coloured up here near Ozasa, but a lovely view nonetheless.

My mother and Yoshiko's family said their goodbyes and we headed back home. And that was that, the Japanese Chapter of my wedding diary is complete. Tune in next year for the Canadian Wedding installment.


Blogger zurichite said...

Congratulations to you and your beautiful bride - hope the happiness of your wedding day continues all the days of your lives. My son and his girlfriend left for Japan from Toronto, Ontario this September to teach English for a rival company of yours. I found your blog while looking for information on teaching in Japan. I have read pretty well most of your blog and I thank you for the great info and wonderful pictures.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Kinuk said...

Congratulations! Three cheers of banzai for you and Yoshiko!

Or was that bonsai? ;)

Wishing you all the best in your new life as husband and wife!

2:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home