We left early Sunday morning to visit the Legion of Honor, because they're currently hosting a show called Japanesque, which showcases the influence of ukiyo-e prints on Impressionism. Very cool stuff if you're into Japanese prints or Impressionist paintings. On one wall there was a step-by-step screen print of Hokusai's Mount Fuji Seen Below a Wave at Kanagawa, which was really neat to see. I never realized how many different layers there were to each screenprint - the Hokusai print has three or four greys, three blues, and two layers of a peach color all screen-printed with separate woodblocks. It's crazy to think that each block had to be carved by hand! There were also paintings by Mary Cassett and several other female painters showing the influence of Japanese prints. In the final room, there were paintings by local Bay Area artists that again showed the influence of Japanese art. The connection here was a little more tenuous, but it was neat to see local landmarks featured in the show.
Seanie wouldn't tell me where we were going to tea all morning, but he finally had to break down and tell me because he needed me to help him find it. So we went to the Fairmont Hotel and he proposed as written about here. But we also had tea, and a very fancy tea, too.
For tea I had the Kyoto Cherry Rose, which was really good. A floral-fruity blend that was strong on flavor and not the least bit bitter, like most green teas are when *I* brew them at home. Sean got a house blend of blacks, figuring it would be better to try something he couldn't get anywhere else. Then we had a plate of tea sandwiches, much fancier than the usual flavors of egg salad or cucumber:
- Smoked Salmon and Chive Cream Cheese Pinwheel on Rye Bread
- Five-Spice Beef Tenderloin and Lady Apple Slaw on Black Olive Baguette
- Dungeness Crab and Mango Salad on a Corn Muffin
- Coconut Curry Chicken on a Mini Herb Roll
- Cucumber and Sonoma Goat Cheese with Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade on Black Walnut Bread
Oooh la la, aren't *we* fancy?
The next plate was scones and lemon curd and jam. Pretty typical tea fare, but warm and tasty.
Final plate had ten (ten!!) mini desserts on it, two of each kind. We were so stuffed at this point we could barely force the little treats down. There was a chocolate mousse, a chocolate truffle, a ladyfinger cookie, a chocolate cake that I think had hazelnut cream filling, and...one more that I can't remember. So delicious.
The Fairmont's a beautiful building, by the way. Designed in the excessive Rococo style, there is no surface left unornamented. Columns are faux marble, walls are lovingly frescoed, and the domes (yes, multiple domes) are tall and stately. It was really a lovely place for a proposal - good job, Seanie!
We started to drive over to Japantown, only to realize we'd left Seanie's camera and my purse at the Fairmont. Oops. Luckily, our stuff was fine and we retrieved it quickly, but that was embarrassing!
New People was...underwhelming. I mean, on the one hand it was really cool to see Japanese clothing brands like Baby The Stars Shine Bright in person, but everything was so freakin' expensive!! I couldn't even afford a hankerchief there. So I looked and I looked and felt very poor. The downstairs area, which had stationery and books, was interesting but again, it was all very pricey. There's also a "VizCinema" here that shows Japanese movies, but we didn't see a film because we wanted to go back to San Jose and show off my ring to Seanie's family.
We drove home and got to Seanie's house just in time for dinner. Everyone was there - Seanie's brothers, Rhi, his parents, his aunt and uncle - which was perfect. I couldn't eat a bite, though...all those scones and pots of tea were still sloshing around inside me. I didn't want to tell everyone in the middle of dinner, so I kept flashing my ring and hoping someone would notice it and say "Gee, what's that about?" No luck. After dinner, people started to disperse, so Seanie chased everyone down and made them gather in a single room so he could announce "WE'RE ENGAGED!!!" His family went wild. His mom and dad were so happy. Rhi was ecstatic. His uncle even thanked me for saying yes, which I thought was pretty funny. Every time I turned around, someone wanted to give me a hug. It was all very cute.
My family's reaction was not so exciting. My mom was already asleep, but when she heard me come home she woke up a bit so I went in and showed her the ring. She was like "Oh, that's nice" and went back to sleep. SHE DIDN'T GET IT. Seanie was like "You screwed up, you didn't tell her correctly!!!" and I was like "She was sleepy, what could I do???"
Dad's reaction was very subdued, too. Just kinda like, "Oh, okay, that's nice." He was so quiet that at one point I was like, "Don't worry, Daddy, it's not 'cuz I'm pregnant or anything," and he smacked himself on the head and said "Oh, that's good!" My parents just aren't as boistrous as the Buckleys, I guess!