Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Goodbye Blog

Last blog under wheninjapan... I actually may be starting up another blog not too long from now. I do enjoy it, just very indecisive about whether I really want to right now... Well, probably eventually :) and I'll link the new blog to this blog if I do start one.

Good news, Chris and I found a place to rent! And not just anyplace, but a place we could really live in for awhile and not feel rushed to purchase a house. We were driving along in this neighborhood we really like near a small downtown area and we came across a 'for rent' sign. I called the number and got the price (really good price too), then scheduled a time a couple hours later so we could see it.

The property manager met us at the property and we went in to view the place. And it gave me a similar 'wow' feeling to when we viewed the place we stayed at in Japan. It is a tri-plex that looks nothing like your typical tri-plex. It kind of looks like a house you'd find up in the Berkeley Hills. We were both wow'd and amazed to find it so we jumped on it! It eerily fits so many things that we'd really love in a rental and yet, would think would be close to impossible to find in one package... But hey, anything really is possible!

We're both really really excited. A couple more weeks of hotel living and we will be moving in!

Keep a look-out for a new blog link in the future and also will be sending out an email to let people know. Thanks everyone for reading :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back in the U.S.

We are back!

Ok, so it's been about 4 full days of being back. Chris seems to be sleeping pretty normally now, but I've been waking up between 2-4 am wide awake and not able to go back to sleep for a couple hours. This morning I'm feeling awake after sleeping in till about 9:30 this morning. So maybe just a couple more days of this...

Apartment hunting! Less fun than I remember. We want to continue at least some of the walking we did in Japan (we walked a lot!) so it would be nice to live near a small downtown area (with small shops and cafes) that is within reasonable walking distance from our place...because this is so specific it'll just be harder to find.. But I think we can.

Surprises..not too many yet, but we haven't gone out much since being back. The smog really shocked me. Smog everywhere! It has looked much better in the last couple days, but still a shock to fly in and see smog everywhere blanketing most of the Bay Area. Whole Foods cheese section! Amazing looking. So many cheeses and so much cheaper! Gas prices...They were 3.40 when we left (and of course they went up past 4 dollars during the summer we were gone) but still a trip to see gas just above 2 dollars a gallon on the gas station signs.

Not much else I can think of at the moment...Driving again feels normal. Fruits and veggies (at Lucky's at least) are just not anywhere near the same quality as in Japan...here very bland--not good tasting at all from what I bought so far. I'm hoping because it's off-season that is why they aren't good tasting ;) but have yet to try Whole Foods veggies. Makes me want to grow our own fruit and veggies all-the-more! The restaurant we ate at since being back wasn't good at all either... Not sure if we are just now used to really great tasting food and we've gotten much pickier now. Well, there's always cooking at home.

Really nice changes: -Being near family and friends. -The weather! So nice...I love California weather. -The hills are green. -Being able to drive again (at least for now).

I will be doing one more blog entry (probably late this week or early next week), and will be taking a break from blogging for awhile.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Night before

We met Toshi and Kaolyn and went to TGI Friday's tonight. Honda came a little later too and we all spent some time talking and hanging out at the restaurant.

Hard to believe this is our last night! (Actually early morning now) We were thinking of staying up all night and then being exhausted enough to sleep the whole flight, but wondering if we will have the will power to stay up :) Maybe we'll just tough it out (staying up all day) the day we get back.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fujiya Hotel - Hakone

Chris and I spent today with Kaolyn and Toshi in Hakone. We ate at the 'famous' Fujiya Hotel (very old hotel), walked around the hotel grounds and garden, and walked downtown for a bit. It was a really nice day (even at 32'F outside) and a great way to spend our last weekend day in Japan. Thanks Toshi and Kaolyn! :)

Toshi and Kaolyn

Lemon Sherbet

hotel lobby

greenhouse on the hotel grounds

miniature apples!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Only a week

Only one week left! This last week is probably going to fly by. We only have four more nights in our apartment and then we'll be staying in a hotel for a few nights before we're off on our plane back to the states. Exciting, exciting!

Mari, Yukiko, Kanata, Kumiko, (my Japan-office co-workers) and me

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shabu Shabu

Honda, Chris and I went for Shabu Shabu on Sunday night. The meat was soooo tender! We're not going to find meat like that in the U.S...at least not easily.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sumo in Tokyo

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ginza - Kabuki

Chris and I went to see Kabuki this afternoon with his Japanese teacher (Kabuki is a type of Japanese dance-drama set to music). I was told by someone it might be boring, but we really liked it. Very beautiful and powerful to see--especially set to music.

early morning hours

odd to see a tank (or part of one) and a Lamborghini

front of the Kabuki theater

Monday, January 5, 2009

Seagulls and Kamakura

It's been awhile! I finally got over the flu (took a week to get rid of the fever!). Dizziness lasted up until just recently though--luckily I'm feeling back to normal--just a bit of a runny noise.

It's getting much colder here, although not cold enough to snow yet, nor have we seen any rain recently. I'm hoping we'll get a light snow before we leave.

seagulls right near where we live
Japan seagulls are VERY white and clean...much unlike California seagulls ;)

Chris and I went to Kamakura with Kaolyn and Toshi yesterday afternoon.