I’ve got the “Roller Coaster” feeling where I know the unavoidable plunge is just over the hill. School begins again tomorrow and I just don’t feel ready to go back yet. Now that Steph and Matt are back and I have a means to access my money I have more reason to do things. But alas, time marches on.
Disneyland pt. 2 was really fun. It was much colder and more crowded than last time but I still enjoyed my time there. Besides me it was the Boeks, another couple and their two kids and a man with his 3 year-old son. I’d never gone to a theme park with little kids before but I think they made it more exciting. We basically made it onto every ride except for Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain because both were out of order. We entered the park around 9 and stayed until it closed at 10. While we were in line for The Haunted Mansion we were able to enjoy the firework show. The one in the States is longer but this one was still impressive. When Jeremiah and Geigy dropped me off at 12:30 I told Jeremiah I would pay him back for my ticket in a few days but he said not to worry about it!
On Friday I met with Ayumi, the girls, Ayumi’s friend and her friend’s former homestay students. We were shopping for recycled kimonos at a nice department store that has a really good sale only once a year. I found about 6 that I was interested in and eventually narrowed it down to two. They were both very elegant and formal. It was a hard choice because both were in wonderful condition and had beautiful designs on them. I eventually decided on the one that the saleswoman told me had “royal” colors. I don’t yet have a picture of either of them but hope to get them from Ayumi soon. The kimono and the obi (wide belt that ties around the waist) were both the same price and the ending cost of both was about $170. After buying more of the pieces (but not all because some were more than I was willing to pay) the ending cost was about $220, which is amazing since a brand new, formal kimono is normally in the thousands.
After lunch, our group headed to a home appliance store where I was able to find a nice toaster oven for about $15. Ayumi’s friend dropped us off at her house and I ended up staying until about 10. I was able to meet her new homestay student. Her name is Courtney; she’s 20, from the main campus in Philadelphia and has been studying Japanese for 6 years. I really liked her and we even started making plans to go with a group to Sapporo for the Snow Festival in February. I don’t know if I’ll see her very often at school because I think our schedules are pretty different but I’ll probably see her when I visit the family.
Saturday was the day Steph returned. Her flight was supposed to arrive at 4pm and so I left the apartment around 1 to meet her at the airport. Matt had come back on Thursday and was finalizing a contract for an apartment he found. While I was on the way to the airport he said he could meet me but the train schedules made it really difficult. Eventually we met up and made it to the airport about 4:15. Steph’s flight was late coming in and the whole process of getting out took a while so she finally made an appearance at 5:15. We started heading back to the apartment and made it around 9. Steph crashed soon after we got there while Matt and I went to get dinner.
Sunday the church had a potluck after service and Steph came up with the brilliant idea (no sarcasm) of making grilled cheese. So after the service everyone went downstairs to the kitchen/dining room area and we had a good time of talking and eating. We left about 6 to meet Matt at the station so he could pick up a box of his stuff he had left here during the break. He hung out for a little bit and then headed back to his apartment.
Steph got a laptop over the break so a lot of our time has been spent on our computers. We both have the feeling that’ll be how we spend a lot of our time here. But today (Monday) we’re going to head over to the outlet mall that I went to with Shigeko. It’s so good to have my friends back.