Thursday, May 7, 2009

Golden Week

First I'll apologize that this took me so long to write since Golden Week was May 2-6 (though for me it was April 30-May 6). I've found that when I have a lot to blog about, I don't want to actually sit down and blog because it takes too long.

Golden Week is a series of national holidays in Japan resulting in almost a week of vacation. For me it was an entire week since I got the Thursday and Friday previous off as well (yay for Waseda).

My vacation began Wednesday night (April 29) with all night karaoke. Karaoke places are generally open 24hours and from 11pm-5am you can get really cheap prices (less than 1000yen per person for the whole six hours and that was including the mandatory drink). There were six of us: Lydia, Cory, Chinami, Erika, Sacchan, and myself. We had a really good time though by the end we were all pretty wiped (especially Cory who actually spent the last couple of hours sleeping). This threw my sleep schedule temporarily out of whack but I managed to get back to normal pretty quickly since I had no class Thursday or Friday. Here we have a video of Chinami and Cory singing some High School Musical. They were good, especially Chinami.

Friday, I was up and out of the house early since I was meeting some friends in Yokohama before heading out to Enoshima for some beach time. Sadly I could not spend long at the beach since I had to be back by four in order to babysit. I did get a good couple of hours in the sun wading in the water and flying a kite. It was lots of fun.

Saturday was all about relaxing for me. The only real thing I did was pack for my trip with my host family to Atami.

We left on Sunday morning and met up with Tomo and Ryo-chan at Omote-Sando station where we boarded the Romance Car (name of the train, I am not kidding). Jeremy joined us on the Romance Car at Machida. After another transfer, we got to Atami Station where Hiromi's (Mami and Tomo's older sister) husband picked us up. This visit we stayed with some friends of Hiromi's because her house is not quite big enough for that many guests though Tomo and Ryo-chan stayed with her. Hiromi's friend Izumi and her husband Kei have a wonderful house and an adorable daughter named Lilia (four years old). We had a great time.

That first day, we had a barbecue for lunch and tempura for dinner. After the children went to bed, the adults stayed up and did some home karaoke in the basement. It was a bit hard because the only English songs were older ones that I didn't really know.

The rest of the time we spent going to parks and other cool place and generally playing a lot. Since we had four small children, there were a lot of parks and other fun stuff like that. We also made pottery, visited a castle (Odawara-jo), and ate at a kaiten sushi place (conveyor belt sushi). When at Kei-san and Izumi-san's house, we amused ourselves by playing with their dog, and jamming with the various instruments available (my favorite was the drum set, I kinda want to learn to play drums now...) then after the children were in bed, the adults would stay up until way too late playing cards so that even though I was on vacation, I didn't get enough sleep (because no matter how much you want to sleep in, two-year-olds will wake you up at 8 if not before).

Here we all are getting ready to make some pottery (Back row: Kei-san, Izumi-san, Hiromi-san holding Ko-chan, my host dad, Bottom row: Mi-kun, me, Lilia-chan, Jeremy, Su-chan). Mami must have been taking this photo.

One of the parks we went to. Here we have Mi-kun and Su-chan on a bridge. Su-chan really loves his cousin and Mi-kun was very good about playing with Su-chan.

This was during our little jam session. Mami was singing, Kei-san on the guitar, and my host dad (or I guess I should call him Goro, which I believe is his nickname) with the rain stick.

So there is a bit of a story behind this photo. Jeremy has tattooed lines on his fingers that when he puts them to his face looks like a mustache. Mami, Hiromi-san, and Izumi-san all thought this was hilarious so they took a sharpie and drew on their own fingers. Here is the result (you can tell Mami and Hiromi-san are sisters can't you?)

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