Without fail on my birthday, I would choose a Japanese Restaurant where you sat Tatami Style and they prepared the food in front of you at the table. It was a true dinning experience.
When my husband and I were first dating, I recommend that we "try out this Japanese Restaurant" I'd heard about. He claims it was a test. I think I was only trying to see if he'd like it. We ate at a normal table and while we ordered Beef Sukiyaki it wasn't the entire experience, but he loved it. At the end of the meal, P suggested that next time we get a Tea Room! That might have been when I knew he was the "one." (OK, maybe there was a slight test)
Over the years, we've gone to Mt Fuji to celebrate the big moments of our lives. Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, the Christmas we were pregnant with Mr C, birthdays big and small like my 30th and Paul's 40th and Mr C's 12th. We've taken friends, watched my mother in law almost fall through the Tea Room Divider, and celebrated with our families. Mt Fuji was always on the Amazing Race restaurant list and we even celebrated there twice!
Sadly, the restaurant is in an older part of town and with tons of competition from other "Ethnic Restaurants" in town, they are closing down at the end of the month. While they will be open for big parties and the Mai Tai Lounge will remain open, it won't be an option for just our family. When I heard the news, I might have teared up just a little.
Of course, we couldn't say goodbye without a farewell dinner to celebrate. My parents and our family enjoyed a great evening in a Tea Room complete with fans, Mai Tai's, and Beef Sukiyaki. The place was buzzing with people and the service was a little slow meaning we got to enjoy a very leisurely dinner. It might not have been picture perfect; Miss A was not feeling well, the food was slow in coming, and I forgot to get that group picture I meant to take. But it was a fun evening nonetheless and a trip down memory lane.
Saying goodbye to tradition and memories is hard, but it's a good reminder that making them in the first place is worth the effort while the time and money spent to create them pays great dividends.
Goodbye Mt Fuji; taking our shoes off and sitting on the ground to eat fabulous food wouldn't be the same without you!