With 2015 coming to a close I figured it was time to take a look back. This year for me has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. I’m ready to kick off the new year but before 2016 hits let’s see what 2015 brought.
This year I finally made my grand voyage to Japan. Since about high school I have always dreamed of going on a trip to Japan. After about a year or so of planning we made the trek out there. During my visit we went to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Himeji, Nara, and Osaka. I really do miss the country and can not wait to visit it again some day. My top three favorite experiences would have to be the following: the sumo tournament in Tokyo, climbing Mount Misen at Miyajima and the monkey park in Arashiyama near Kyoto. We did so much during the trip and A LOT of eating. The food in Japan was amazing but the variety was pretty low. Granted, you go to Japan to find Japanese restaurants, but there wasn’t much other cuisine aside from the bizarre number of Italian restaurants we kept seeing. Every place we went to was amazing and never disappointed. Of course while there we did check out the Eorzea Cafe in Akihabara. I wrote a post about it earlier this year so check that out for my impressions.
When we returned from Japan my corgi, Kanji, was really happy to have us back home. Little did we know he would be having one of the roughest few months ahead of him. Two weeks after we got home we took him to the vet for a few vaccines and routine check ups. Several days later he began with a fever followed by a loss of feeling in his rear legs and his jaw, causing his mouth to hang open. After several specialist visits we ended up at a neurologist. It was quickly determined that his immune system was reacting to the vaccines and had attacked his nervous system. He was put on a high dosage of prednisone which luckily worked positively. Six months of the medication and he regained full feeling in his rear legs and is now able to keep his mouth closed. He regained most of the muscle he lost from the side-effects of the prednisone but his fur was unfortunately affected and is a bit on the thin side. We’ve been told come spring his fur should be back to normal. There was a point we thought we were going to lose our little buddy but thanks to the quick work of our neurologist he is doing much better. We hope that as he continues to recover he will be able to start running agility again but for now we are taking it slow to let his muscle strengthen up.
Now let’s take a look at a few highlights from this year.
The Best food I ate: Ramen at Muteppou in Osaka
This year I had a lot of good food. I really had to think long and hard about which one meal was the best. I realized the one meal I’m missing the most was the bowl of ramen I ate at Muteppou. The broth from Muteppou is unlike any other I’ve ever had. It was super thick and extremely flavorful. The only regret I have is not getting the LARGE portion of spring onions. If you find yourself on that side of the world I highly recommend checking it out – this ramen is life changing.
Runner ups: Eight course meal at The Pass in Houston, Endo Sushi in Osaka
Favorite Recipe of the Year: Ramen from The World Ends With You
It was a ramen kind of year, what can I say! This recipe took several renditions until I was truly happy with the end result. Rather than going with the traditional pork style ramen this one is chicken based. This recipe takes about three days to complete due to letting items rest and what not. The end result is absolute deliciousness!
Unique Gaming Experience: Flip-It of Dark Souls
A group of friends of mine like to spend a day “flipping” a game. They start in the morning and play until they have finished the game. This year my husband and I were able to participate in one of those. Honestly, if my husband did not make an appearance at this Dark Souls Flip-It, they might not have made it through the game in time. I watched and captured the whole experience while putting together a puzzle with the same gothic style as Anor Londo. We also enjoyed the evening by whipping up a few of my Estus Flasks.
Unique Food Experience: Burgermas 2015
About two months ago I found a list online of what someone considered the best burger joints in Houston. I sent this to my friends and they immediately thought hitting all the joints on a weekend would be the best idea. Since they were staying in state for the holidays they decided to head over the week of Christmas and we went to about 15 burger places. We ordered between 1 or 2 burgers for the five of us at each place to try it out. Looking back at it, I don’t want to see a burger for a few months but it was really fun to run around and try so many places at once.
Game I Played Too Much: Guild Wars 2
This year I played a lot of Guild Wars 2. I still love this game and hope to see it grow. The expansion launched this past October and added a lot of new things. My tiny guild has managed to accomplish a lot – our guild is currently level 27 and we are slowly working towards upgrading our guild hall. Unfortunately with low numbers we have not been able to take the Vale Guardian down yet. I don’t think that is because of lack of skill but because availability has worked against us. With the holidays and all the parties at the end of the year we haven’t had too much time to try but here is hoping next month we get him down! The PvP league system launched recently and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I’m by no means an expert PvPer but I love playing it from time to time. I just hit sapphire rank this week with only doing solo queue and three matches a day! The matchmaking system is a bit strangely put together, so I hope it gets looked at for the next tournament. Last thing I’ve been working on is getting to fractal level 100. When the expansion launched they really didn’t give too much incentive to reach for higher end fractals. Since then, a small patch made adjustments to the rewards you earn and my guild has been slowly working towards the end. My personal reward is currently sitting at 82 so we are almost there.
Game I Should Have Played More: Yakuza 5
Yakuza 5 just recently came out and I have been enjoying it each time I play. I find myself roaming around the game and remembering my trip to Japan. The gameplay is still just as fun as the previous installments and the story just as good. I am looking forward to playing more and missing Japan each time I play.
Most Anticipated Game of 2016: Persona 5
Hmm… this was on my list last year. Unfortunately the game did not see the 2015 release date I had hoped for. A few new videos have come out over the year and I am really excited for this game to see a release date. Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk about it and find some food to recreate next year!