Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ski jumps, kimonos, and tea

Call this the recovery week.

Nathan's family (his mom, step-dad, and sister) came to visit us on Feb. 5 and stayed for about a week and a half, so last week was filled with lots of sight-seeing, walking (what else is new?), and eating. It was really great, because we got to see lots of stuff we'd always meant to see, but just never made the time, and had lots of opportunities to do things we normally wouldn't. Here's the things we did:

  • First on the agenda was Jacksonville Burgers. Because they came all the way to Japan to eat....hamburgers........Anyway, it was delicious and they loved it.
  • Shopped - ALOT! I took them to the usual places: Loft, Pole Town, Sapporo Factory. We dropped some serious yen at the 100 yen store. I felt so sorry for the boys!!
  • We ate out almost every night they were there, which stretched my Japanese skills to the max! The photo below is of us at a yaki tori restaurant, with me trying to translate the menu. Some things I figured out, some was just pointing and hoping for something yummy.
  • We went to the snow festival two times. I don't think the photos really do these huge sculptures justice. You really have to see them with your own eyes to really appreciate the work that must go into these.

  • One night, we just happened upon a snow boarding show going on at the festival. It was awesome, and my mom-in-laws camera got some great shots.

  • We went to the Okariyama Ski Jump, where they had the olympics. We went up the ski lift and got a beautiful view of Sapporo.

  • My Japanese teacher also teaches tea ceremony, and was gracious enough to show the family. It's incredibly calming and zen-like, and I love Japanese sweets. Ethan wasn't too keen on the tea, but it's an acquired taste!

  • During the tea ceremony, Mandy had mentioned about wanting to see kimono, and Sensei said for us to come to her apartment the next day and she would show us how to put on kimono. We were so excited, and she put kimono onboth me and Mandy. Kimono is lots of layers, really hot, and keeps your back really straight, just so's you know.

  • We went to the Sapporo Factory, which is half the old Sapporo Beer Factory, and half shopping mall. We ate at the beer hall, and did lots more shopping.

That's the abridged version of the week. We saw them off at 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday, and Nathan's boss was nice enough to help us call a taxi to take them to the airport. Things have certainly slowed down here, and we've been recuperating the rest of this week, as I'm sure they are as well, after a cumulative 22 hour flight back to Texas. I'll admit, I didn't know how we were going to fit all six of us in this tiny apartment, and how we were going to work out sleeping arrangements, but things worked out great, and we were just so happy to see family! Although I am happy to be sleeping in my bed again ;)

We miss you guys already!

So who's the next family group to come visit us? We're ready for ya!!

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