Friday, November 21, 2008

Zach and I ate at the Mellow Mushroom restaurant (yes, that's really the name!) in Asheville, North Carolina

Our North Carolina family

Our Washington family. My grandma turned 90 while I was visiting!

Girly at-home spa day with Book Club to celebrate Holly's engagement! Kat couldn't make it, but she was there in spirit.

Here I am with Carol outside of Dairy Queen in Appomattox, Virginia. Long live Dairy Queen!

Makiko and I stood under one of the large quilts at the Yokohama Quilt Show

Etsko, Seiko, Migiwa, me, and Makiko at the quilt show

I took Kat and Darren to see the great big buddha in Kamakura.

Darren wanted to take a hike while we in Kamakura, and he talked me and Kat into joining him. We attempted this one but the trail got increasingly difficult and large, scary spiders kept getting in our way, so we decided to head back down.

Darren and Kat in Yokohama

View from the Landmark Tower in Yokohama. The tower is 69 stories and has the fastest elevator in the world. It took us 40 seconds to get to the top.

Halloween Tofu Man!

Check out the cool bats!

HOWDY!! Okay, I thought I better say a huge hello since it's been a while. I hope I haven't lost everybody because of my considerable absence. So, I'm back home in Japan in case you were wondering. I had a wonderful trip back home to the States. We spent about two weeks in North Carolina, and then Zach went back to Japan while I stayed in Washington for two more weeks to visit my family and friends. I tried hard to meet up with as many folks as I could, but unfortunately there were a few of you I missed because time just disappeared. You'll just have to get on a plane and come over here and visit me, okay? :-)

After I got home, I started to get back into my routine and proceeded to get sick. That put me out for a few days, but I'm much better now and having a fun time with our friends Kat and Darren who arrived last week for a visit. They stayed with us for a few days and we went to Kamakura and Yokohama. Now they are on their own in Tokyo and plan to visit a few other cities before they come back to our place for Thanksgiving. It's great having them here and seeing them experience all the cool Japanese stuff for the first time. Darren seems to be quite enthralled with the vending machines over here and keeps trying new drinks. He had a bad encounter with the "aloe and white grape juice" beverage, which had chunks (I'm not kidding!) of aloe in it. He has a rating system now, with the aloe drink understandably on the bottom of his list.

Before I got sick, I did go to the Yokohama Quilt Show with Seiko, Makiko, and a few of their friends. What a fun group of friends! They all had children in the same kindergarten together, and even though their kids are much older now, the moms still get together. It reminded me a lot of my Book Club buddies back home (I miss you, ladies!). Many of you know that I worked several years at a quilt book publisher, and as a result I have a huge appreciation for the art of quilting. I was in awe of the quilts at this Japanese show. And to my Martingale friends, several of our titles were at the show. That was pretty cool to see! While I was at the show, I had a really strange encounter with this Japanese woman who wanted to take my picture with her friend in front of a quilt. The weird thing was that it was my camera she wanted to use. I laughed so hard afterward with Makiko and Etsko, trying to figure out what happened and why, but we never came to any good conclusion. Now I have this photo with this Japanese woman I don't know. Isn't that odd?
You'll also see in this post that, um, yes, there is a new addition to the Tofu family. This is a Halloween version that just could NOT be passed by. I hope that all of you enjoy him as much as I do. Christmas is just around the corner, and soon Reindeer Man will be taken out of his box to bring us joy and cheer. And no, there isn't a Turkey one. I already checked. :-)