Jefri and Cecile arrived at Tokyo in their thick winter coats and were greeted by the cold spring air.
After months of hassle and stressful wedding planning and the treasure-filled moments of the biggest day of their lives, they were finally on their honeymoon, a well-deserved first journey together as husband and wife.
Jef and Cecile have dreams, one of which is to travel around the world, to explore new places beyond their horizon. They dream of enjoying delicious authentic local foods, staying up till late roaming the streets in search of pretty dresses, fashionable apparels, and fancy home-décor, kicking back at the local coffee shop and waking up in a cozy boutique hotel with a view of the city beneath them. This dream is what set them off on a Sweet Escape trip through Tokyo, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York City and London. Traveling around the world is a fabulous way to embark on their new journey together, they thought.
A few months before everything rolled out for them, they had made a trip to South Africa and Paris to capture their pre-wedding portraits. The moments from the trip has lingered on, compelling them to set off on yet another journey. There were a lot of great memories, but the one they will always remember most is the spontaneity of a couple who, after journeying half way across the world together, now gave a new meaning to friendship. David and Fen Soong were not there merely for picture-taking, but to Jef and Cecile, they were there to show them a good time. And so began their journey around the world on a Sweet Escape trip with David and Fen Soong, on a cold spring day in Tokyo.
Roaming the streets of Tokyo in search of local delicacies was too much of a good time for foodies such as Jef and Cecile. Everything they had there were needless to say, incredible! And for a shopaholic like Cecile, Tokyo offered many interesting places to scour for the latest fashions. During this trip, many new memories were imprinted, and Cecile will always remember stepping out of a café into the cold to see Jef scribbling an “I love Cecile” on the snow. It was sweet, a child-like romance that every girl needs to see once in a while.
They carried on their journey to the City of Angels. They brought back the yesteryears, reminiscing in the USC library, and walked on as they chewed on Bubble Tea and Sprinkles Cupcakes. They were taken to the best restaurants (The Boiling Crab was awesome, the addictive southern spice still leaves them wanting for more! And the angel hair pasta at the Crustacean? Amazing!). They took a walk on The Groove to embrace the shopaholic in them and exhausted their credit cards at Rodeo Drive.
Then they went on a road trip to Vegas, with a bottle of wine and some karaoke music blasting away in the car, and made the eight hour drive flew by in a heartbeat. In Vegas, Jeff and Cecile found more of Las Vegas than what they have read in guidebooks. There was something surreal about seeing the remains of previously loved signs from Vegas’ past as they sat decaying slowly in the desert sun at The Neon Boneyard, a large downtown part of The Neon Museum. Instead of a burial, these retired signs were given an afterlife, saved from the dump, to be enjoyed by visitors who were interested in their background stories. This was more exciting than the casinos, they thought.
After a night in Vegas, they were bound for San Francisco. Lucky for them David and Fen are really fluent in this part of the world, having spent a great deal of their years here for college.Cecile recalls having the best time of her two-week journey in this city by the bay. They took the opportunity to sleep in at The Cliff Hotel on Union Square – a hip and modern artistic boutique hotel. In the afternoon they took a walk at Pier 39 to enjoy the San Francisco breeze, followed by a nice cozy dinner at Bouchon on Fisherman’s Wharf.
The next day, they took a day trip to California’s gorgeous wine country. They did a little wine tasting and had delicious chef surprise for lunch at Bottega. A little walk is necessary after.
They day trip they took afterwards to California’s wine country at Napa Valley was sensational. The wine tasting and the walk through the vineyards made Jeff and Cecile feel completely well-rested. And they remember telling each other what a wonderful trip this has been thus far.
Three days later, they found themselves waking up in The Big Apple, in a cozy boutique hotel in Soho. They dressed themselves, ready for the surprises that they day was going to hand them. They’ve always loved that feeling, when they didn’t know what was waiting for them. They were so inspired by David and Fen who also lived each moment as they came, and together they explored New York City, going where each day took them. After breakfast at the renowned Dean and Deluca, they set off to satisfy their shopping hearts at Woodbury Common. Too much satisfaction if you ask them, because a few hours later, they realized that they might have missed their flight to London. And they did. The ordinary reaction would be to grumble and mutter all kinds of negative words to each other, but for adventurous souls as the four of them, they burst out in laughter, excited about what other surprises they were going to find in an extra night in the city that never sleeps.
They finally made it on a flight towards the Big Ben the next day. And Jef celebrated his birthday 33,000 feet in the air, with a little surprise party thrown by his thoughtful wife and friends. He popped a bottle of champagne, blew a candle on his birthday muffin along to the Happy Birthday song, and remembered thinking that this was one of his best birthdays so far. A public setting and yet so intimate.
They spent a few days exploring London, tasting the delicious food, checking out the flagship stores of world-renowned brands and rummaging through London’s Portobello Market and vintage shops in search for kitchen accessories, door handles and other pretty knick-knacks for their new home in which they will move into on their first anniversary.
Jef and Cecile had a tremendous honeymoon. During the three weeks journey, Cecile could see and enjoy the relaxed side of her hard-working husband. He was sweeter and more attentive, and while he is a romantic in a goofy way, Cecile knows that it is exactly what made her fall in love with him in the first place. She had a husband who she admired and who admired her, and the three weeks they spent together flew by in an instant. She can’t wait for more of the good things that are to come as they grow into their marriage. The incredible trip was only perfected by David and Fen Soong. Their adventurous and spontaneous nature made the trip more fun. And to constantly be in the presence of a couple so much in love, Jeff and Cecile knows that they could learn a thing or two from David and Fen Soong.
While they are grateful to have slept in various luxury hotels in the last three weeks and to have woken up to a different view every morning, Jef and Cecile finds that there is no better place in the world than the home they share together. Going around the world was a beautiful experience, but to have someone beside you that makes your world go round is a thousand times better.
(Taken from "Sweet Escape, Travelling with David & Fen Soong" on XOXO AXIOO Magazine)