Saturday, September 17, 2011

Things I miss

Although it's not quite fall here in Sapporo, it's sure starting to feel like it.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year: that chill in the air, jackets and sweaters, the smell of leaves.  For some reason, that fall feeling is making me especially nostalgic for home this year.  I could blame it on the rainy, cloudy weather we've been having for days on end, but I've been thinking a lot about the things I'm missing right now back in the good ol' US of A.

  • Tex-Mex food.  God, I miss this one.  Sapporo's got some good Mexican food places, but Tex-Mex is so distinct, it's hard to duplicate.  What I wouldn't give for an evening at Abuelo's restaurant, eating my weight in tortilla chips and salsa, and have a huge helping of their enchiladas and "papas".  We tried to bring a little bit of Texas to Japan last week, when we invited the other Sumikawans over for a Tex-Mex feast.  It wasn't quite Abuelo's, but the company made up for that!

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.  For me, this was the quintessential fall drink.  I just love those pumpkin spices - cinnamon, clove, a little nutmeg.  I was so disappointed to see that the Starbucks in Sapporo don't have it as one of their fall drinks.  Maybe that's for the better, because I'd be buying one every day!
  • Anything pumpkin.  Ok, so I pretty much miss anything that has to do with pumpkins.  Pumpkin pies, going to the pumpkin patch, roasting pumpkin seeds.  The Japanese pumpkin is much different that the large American ones I'm used to.  They're smaller and green, and great for cooking.  I like them, but it's not like you can carve one for halloween.  

  • Halloween Decorations. Back in America, I used to get so annoyed with Halloween decorations, which would come out immediately after school started, almost two months before the holiday.  When we lived in New Jersey, I would laugh at the way people would go all out decorating the front of their homes with the cheesiest stuff imaginable - spiderwebs, plastic ghosts, and those terrible inflatable monstrosities.  Now, I kinda miss them.  Makes me wanna put up some fake spider webs come October...
Some of our Halloween decorations from years ago.

  • Traditions.  It's no secret that I'm a creature of habit.  I love routine, I find comfort in it.  In the 12 years we've been a family, we've created a lot of traditions that I'd look forward to every year; decorating for Halloween, the Thanksgiving dinner, snow sledding in the park.  I think I was still so overwhelmed with living in a new country last year that keeping traditions just didn't become a priority, and now I really miss them.  Now that we are living in Japan, I think it's more important than ever to have those traditions that kept us close as a family.  Does that mean we'll be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner come November?  Well, we'll see.
German Apple Pancakes.  I made these every year for Christmas morning.
  • My sister.  This really has nothing to do with this season, because I've been missing her for a long time.  She's my best friend, and although being able to skype with her has helped with the separation, I miss having her around, shopping together, or checking out a band.  I'm looking forward to the day when she'll finally come to Japan and we can bash around Sapporo together!  I'm waiting for you, Rachel!!!!
One of my most favorite pictures of me and my sister, about 4 years ago.

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