Friday, July 24, 2009

In Hokkaido

Tyler and I are on Japan's 2nd largest island located at the top of the country's boundry. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you all in 2 short weeks!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Final Countdown

As of today, Tyler and I officially have 5 more weeks in Japan. I have; rather, the board of education has purchased my flight from Tokyo to Houston and I will purchase my flight from Houston to Albuquerque soon. I will be making my long trip home on Tuesday the 4th. We have to pay for Tyler’s flight so we are waiting until we can get the cheapest fare before we book it. I believe that my last post explains my anxieties about returning so I won’t go into it again but, I will reiterate that as eager as I am to get back to the states, I am equally sad to be leaving.

Five weeks usually seems like a long time to me but I have no doubt that these will fly. Tyler and I have A LOT going on in these remaining weeks.
  1. This week (week 1 we’ll call it) I am preparing a farewell speech to be translated into Japanese. We also have a 4th of July party this Saturday.
  2. Week 2 (5th-11th) holds my last visits to two of my schools.
  3. Week 3 (12th-18th) brings a farewell party and my final visits to my other two schools. It also holds mine and Tyler’s last English conversation class. Fortunately, the week is ended with my last day of work and Ichinohe’s community beer garden.
  4. Week 4 (19th -25th) Is the week that Tyler and I are planning on backpacking around Hokkaido, Japan’s 2nd largest island, to the North of us. Any time that is left will probably be spent maximizing our time with our friends as well.
  5. Week 5 (26th-1st) Is the week that we’ll head to Tokyo. Some of our friends are following us down and we’ll spend a few days sightseeing and going to Tokyo Disney. Then, we’ll depart from Japan on the 4th.
I am realizing that this doesn't include writing thank you letters, shipping, our weekly English conversation class, packing, cleaning, and canceling utilities. Yikes!

I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you all soon. See you in 5 weeks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Geez it's been a while

I will start off this post as I start many of them by saying that I'm sorry for not updating recently. I am usually motivated to update the blog when notable things happen. Over the past month and a half (my last post was near the beginning of March) I didn't feel like anything blog worthy has happened. I was wrong.

Tyler and I are approaching the end of our time in Japan. We are beginning to be reminded of this. We have sent our first big box home filled with winter clothes and goodies that we've purchased while abroad. We also returned our rental car; I've been riding my bike to my schools again and we've been riding the train and getting rides from friends. I have also revealed to 3 of my 4 schools that I am leaving at the end of July. One of the elementary teachers put it into perspective, "You're only at our school 4 more times!?!"

Lately things have been going really well for Tyler and me. Since about March, we've really begun feeling like we live here and not like we are just visiting. Because Tyler and I are without a car and we walk within town, we have met/become reacquainted with many people. It is pleasant to walk to the grocery store and have conversations with people. I can also tell a difference in my student's comfort levels around me. I am not being treated like a visitor at my schools by them or the staff members anymore. The students and teachers make an effort to talk to me between classes and when I see them outside of school. I also feel like I know what I'm doing in the classroom now. Tyler is meeting with friends during the weekdays and she started working at a preschool/kindergarten once a week. Last week, we started an adult English conversation class on Thursday evenings.

Yeah, life is good. But despite the cute students, the hospitable friends, the cheerful townspeople, the gracious teachers, the beautiful scenery, the spectacle that is Japan, and the great times (oh yeah, and melon soda,) we know that we are only meant to be here for a year. As much as we are nervous and sad to be leaving, we are anxious and excited to return home, see our friends and families, and continue along on our path.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April trip to Tokyo

I just finished uploading pictures and writing descriptions from our trip to Tokyo. We took the night bus down on Thurs. the 2nd and returned Monday night (the 6th). Some highlights from the trip include:

  • The weather
  • Sakura (cherry blossom) viewing in Shinjuku and Ueno Parks
  • Shopping in Omotesando (that is where Tyler go her cool new shoes)
  • Sightseeing in Yokohama
  • A night in Roppongi
  • Shopping in Ginza
  • Concert in Chiba
  • A day in Odaiba
  • Meeting one of the bands on the street

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


If you have visited our blog recently you will notice that I have made some changes to it.
  1. You will notice the new color scheme that I am currently in love with. You will see this scheme popping up on a few of my other sites.
  2. You will see that I have moved the picture slide show to the side bar; I think that it looks better, but you will have to click the play button to view the slide show.
  3. I have integrated a twitter feed into the sidebar as well. Twitter is another service similar to a blog but instead of posting lengthy posts/updates, you post short (under 140 characters) updates and you do so more frequently. Here is a link with their rational for signing up (there is a video too). Sign up if you wish but whether you do or don't, you will be able to view my daily activities from my blog.
  4. I have posted new pictures in: Craggily Coastal Photos, Teaching, Karumai Forest Park, and Tendaiji Temple. I hope you enjoy them.
ps. If this post was emailed to you, you can view the actual blog by clicking on the title "tyler anne and dancan" at the top of this and every following mail message.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's a nice day

I think that I'll take the afternoon off and go for a bike ride.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kunio Kato - La Maison en Petits Cubes

This is a video (in two parts) by Kunio Kato. Kunio Kato is a Japanese animator who is the first Asian to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film since the category was initiated in 1932 (

As winter turns to spring and temperatures begin warming up, the sakura season begins. It is commonly known that Japan celebrates the blossoming of Cherry Blossom trees (Sakura桜). There is even a Japanese custom of flower viewing called “hanami” 花見 . Hanami begins when the Japan Meteorological Agency posts a map forecasting the “sakurazensen (桜前線)” or “Cherry Blossom Front” in late February/early March. People use this map to plan their hanami parties in which people sit under or near a Cherry Blossom tree, eat a packed meal and drink sake. There are many parks around Japan that are designated as Cherry Blossom viewing parks in which thousands of sakura trees are planted and visiters will travel for hours to view the trees. This year, Tyler and I will be in Tokyo when it’s sakura trees will be in bloom and we’re planning on visiting one of the most popular parks for viewing the sakura trees.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More New Pictures!

Many new photos have been added to my flickr page! I have also added the locations of all of my pictures on the flickr map. However, I am sorry to say that the map is sub-par in terms of quality and user usability, but you can still have some fun with the zoom and pan features while looking at the locations that I’ve visited (and photographed).

Teaching – I have created a new set of strictly teaching and school related pictures. You will see some action shots (both of me and of the students), graduation shots, and formal shots with the teachers. I will continue adding pictures to this set as I take them.

Iwate Snow Festival – These are pictures from the 2009 岩手雪祭り(Iwate Snow Festival) held on February 7th at Koiwai Farms near Morioka. Tyler, Jar, Miyuki, and I went early in the day to view the large and quite impressive snow sculptures. We met up with some of our friends and went sledding. The day finished with a fireworks display.

Snowboarding – Snowboarding is pretty much a necessity while living in Iwate for two reasons: 1. Iwate has the most number of ski resorts in Japan. 2. It maintains one’s sanity, assuming one’s brain isn’t frost bitten or fumigated from kerosene. These are some pictures and videos of me and my friends on numerous trips to our local ski area called Okunakayama Kogen. Okunakayama is only twenty-five minutes away and lift tickets are cheap.

Towada Art Center – I recently discovered an art museum in Towada (about an hour North of us) while looking at this Japanese architect’s website. The picture on their website is of a model so I did some investigating and I found this! Tyler, Jar, J9, and I went there for one of our weekend road trips and we were not disappointed. This is a legitimate art museum displaying twenty-two permanent installations, sculptures, and large-scale works of art from artist from many different countries. In addition, there is a gallery that houses temporary exhibits. We were thoroughly impressed. See for yourself. I would recommend this museum to anyone!

Ikebana – is traditional Japanese flower arrangement. This display was put-on at our library on a day that Tyler and I happened to be there. The pictures do not do justice for the beauty of these arrangements.

Tomb of Christ in Shingo, Aomori Japan - The legend goes (quoted from the sign):

“When Christ was 21 years old, he came to Japan and pursued knowledge of divinity for 12 years. He went back to Judea at age 33, and engaged in his mission. However, at that time, people in Judea would not accept Christ’s preaching. Instead, they arrested him and tried to crucify him on a cross. His younger brother, Isukiri casually took Christ’s place and ended his life on the cross.
Christ, who escaped crucifixion, went through the ups and downs of travel and again came to Japan. He settled right here in what is now called Herai Village, and died at the age of 106.
On this holly ground, there is dedicated a burial mound on the right to deify Christ, and a grave on the left to deify Isukiri.
The above description was given in a testiment by Jesus Christ.”
See for yourself.

Dragon Temple Shingo, Aomori Japan - Here are pictures from a neat temple that we discovered on the roadside while traveling to the "Tomb of Christ".This temple has many beautiful wood carvings of mostly dragons. I am unsure of the actual name of this temple.

Stay tuned for:
Craggly Coastal Pictures

Monday, March 2, 2009

A few new pictures

Hello all, I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I have pictures and stories that I am looking forward to sharing with you all, but I will have to post those at another time. I have, however, posted some new pictures from a trip that I took with some of my friends in early January to the Kuji Aquarium. Kuji is a town that is along the the Northeast coast and is about an hour away from us by car. You can see the pictures from our visit here.

Enjoy, and stay tuned. I will be writing and posting more pictures from the adventures of everyday life soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My trip to Central Japan

These are the pictures of my trip. I hope that you enjoy them.

Day 1 (23rd) - I started my trip on the 23rd, which is the emperor’s birthday and a national holiday. My friend John (from New Jersey) and I met up early for the 7:00am train out of Ichinohe. We stopped in Morioka and purchased our “Seishun Juuhachi Kippu” (the local train pass). This ticket cost us about $120.00 US, it but allowed us to do the majority of our traveling for the entire trip. When we arrived in Sendai, John and I went shopping. There are a few shopping malls right outside of the train station. One of them had an English book section. There is also a covered shopping arcade that spans a fair amount of the city. We went exploring down the shopping arcade on a quest for a post office. Shortly after finding the post office, the two other friends we were to be traveling with (Peter from England, Jar from Northern Ireland) arrived. We met up with them then went to dinner. We found a yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers) restaurant and ate there. After dinner, we went to a sports bar and had a few drinks. We met some friendly university students there. I practiced my Japanese on them; they practiced their English on me. We left the bar around midnight, with our newly met Japanese friends and headed to karaoke. The karaoke place we went to was a cheap alternative to a hotel room but it cost us any chance of sleep. We planned to stay out all night then sleep on the early train to Tokyo.

Day 2 (24th) - We caught a train heading for Tokyo at 5:30am and even though I had not slept the night before, I was only able to catch 2 or 3 hours of sleep on the trains. One of the disadvantages to traveling by local train is that you must transfer trains every few hours. I believe we had 5 transfers and we arrived in Tokyo shortly after lunchtime. Upon arrival, we headed to the famed Shibuya. Shibuya is known for having the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. This is where much of the youth (both Japanese and foreign) meet up. There are also some great shops. This is where I found my beloved Toyko notebook. Some of the other guys did some more shopping to pass the time until we could check into our hotel. We stayed at a capsule hotel in Shinjuku, the business district of Tokyo. One of the guys insisted that we stay somewhere nice on Christmas Eve; this place was not all that nice. We were placed on the 7th floor of the hotel with no other guests. It became apparent that 7th floor is rarely used because the locker area for the gaijin, I mean guests, on the 7th floor were blocked by laundry bags and the lockers had not been renovated like all of the other floors’ lockers had. Anyway, after we checked in, we immediately headed for the public bath. The bath wasn’t the cleanest or nicest either, but damn it felt great to sit in the sauna and the hot bath until we noticed the man rolling around on the floor rolling around, scratching himself vigorously for close to 30 minutes. That was discouraging, but so far, nothing has come from it. We treated ourselves to hearty Christmas Eve dinner of hamburger steak then we went to Roppongi and spent the evening looking at Christmas lights around Roppongi Hills shopping area. There was a sort of “German Town” setup around Roppongi Hills where sausages, liverwurst, and wooden toys were being sold. It was nice.

Day 3 (25th) - The first time I’ve had McDonald’s breakfast since leaving the states was on Christmas morning. I guess that Santa no longer gives out coal. After breakfast, we went to Omote Sando, a street in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. Omote Sando is littered with high-end shops and, more importantly, architectural celebrities (if you will). Obviously I was excited and not because of Dior. The guys were also excited because they could go shopping for the presents they thought they were supposed to get. The only store that had my presents was the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Design Store, but the prices didn’t fit a traveler’s budget. I was proud of myself for holding off. I think I could hear Tyler from 15 time zones behind telling me that I should save the cash for later. Jar led us to Akihabara (dubbed “Electronic Town”) in search of a digital camera. He has been living in Japan since the middle of August with out a camera. Absurd. He found a pretty good deal on one just like mine and purchased it. After Akihabara, we went to the area around Tokyo Station. We briefly peaked into the Imperial Gardens but they were closing. The walls around the mote and the gardens were decorated with Christmas lights. This area was really beautiful. I dragged the gang over to Tokyo International Forum, a building that has been described as an example of Japan’s outrageous spending habits in the early 90’s. It is a building that Tyler and I visited when we came to Tokyo on our school trip. It was great to visit it again. We left the forum to find a place to eat a suitable Christmas dinner. We settled for Italian. After dinner, we had delicious coffee/coco and Christmas cake from Starbucks, then headed back to Shinjuku to get onto our night bus heading further south. Peter split up from us here. He headed to Fukuoka, where he studied Japanese a few years ago.

Day 4 (26th) - I didn’t mind the night bus last time I took it, but this time, I wasn’t able to get much sleep and neither could Jar. John slept fine and we resented him for it. This was my first time in Nagoya. Nagoya has some really impressive Architecture, so again, I dragged the guys around looking for “Oasis 21” bus terminal. This is a building/structure that I had briefly looked at for one of my projects while in school, so I have a place in my heart for it. Unfortunately I didn’t really have a good idea of where the building was, so we walked around, a lot. While walking around, we came across another famous building called the “Mode Gakuen Spiral Tower”. This was probably the most intriguing building I have ever seen in person. See for your self. Jar and John were pretty cooperative and they didn’t feel that it was a complete waste of time. Around lunch time, we began our travels to Kyoto on the local trains. We met a nice man named Ken on the train that Jar and I spoke with for most of the trip. We arrived in Kyoto as the sun was going down. We checked into our hostel then went exploring. Kyoto is known for its history. Kyoto has, perhaps, the largest concentration of temples and shrines in Japan. It was too late to go to the shrines so we met up with John’s friend, Bethany from California and her friend Rich from England and we had dinner. After dinner, we found an Irish pub with foreign beer and food and live music. There was a pretty authentic Irish group playing pretty authentic Irish music. Jar’s face lit up as soon as we stepped into the pub.

Day 5 (27th) - We started the day off early by meeting Bethany and Rich for breakfast. We had Waffles! After breakfast, we went to Sanjusangendo, a very long temple that houses 1001 human sized statues. The sight of all these statues was breathtaking. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos of the statues. We walked from Sanjusangendo to Kiyomizudera. Kiyomizudera is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto. I have been to this temple before, but it was great to see it again. It is a large temple built on an impressive wooden terrace. There are some great views of the city from this temple as well. As you leave the temple, you are directed onto a thin street lined with shops selling everything from souvenirs to clothing to jewelry. We did a little shopping as we made our way back to the train station. I split from the group when we arrived at the station to go take pictures of Kyoto Station. The station is one of the largest stations in Japan. It has stairs and escalators on either side of the main area that creates a 10 story tall valley. We went back to the hostel shortly after dinner to do laundry and write post cards.

Day 6 (28th) - We went to the Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion) right after breakfast. This is another temple that I’ve been to before, but I was looking forward to seeing it again. As the name suggests, the temple is covered in gold leafing (I’m guessing). There is a pond that surrounds the pavilion and a beautiful garden within the temple complex. There is also a silver pavilion, however, it is not actually silver and we didn’t make it there. After we left Kinkakuji, we traveled to Osaka. Osaka is only a 45 minute train ride from Kyoto and it only cost about $5.00 to travel between the two. Shortly after we arrived in Osaka, I realized that I didn’t have my camera. We checked in to our capsule then Jar (whose Japanese is a little better than mine) and I went to the train station to try to track down my camera. It had not been turned in. We were told to check again tomorrow. We went back to the area that our capsule was in, had dinner and a beer, then we went to sleep.

Day 7 (29th) - We began our day by traveling to Osaka Castle and meeting up with Rich and Bethany. The castle (I believe) is not the original rather, it was built in the 1600s after the original had been destroyed. The castle apparently serves as a museum now, but it was closed for the holidays. That was alright with me because I had to try to track down my camera. Fortunately, Bethany is fluent in Japanese and she was able to call the train station for me. The train station had not received the camera, so we called the bus station in Kyoto. My camera had been turned in at the bus station! I split from the group and headed back to Kyoto to retrieve it. This task only occupied couple of hours and I was back in Osaka pretty quickly. I met up with the others at the harbor where I only missed a ride on the “World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel” and a trip to the aquarium. I had a late lunch and took a few photos then John and I went to Umeda, the Northern downtown area of Osaka. I found a bookstore with an amazing selection of Architecture books in English. I must have spent an hour and a half in the Architecture section. John became hungry and tired of the bookstore so he met up with the others for dinner. I stayed in Umeda to find the “Umeda Sky Building”. The Sky Building is an interesting building that is basically two separate towers that connect at the top and become one building. There is an observatory at the top that I spent the rest of my night at.

Day 8 (30th) - We spent the majority of our day near our Hotel. Our hotel was close to the southern downtown area called, Namba. Namba is basically a shopping area. It has the famous chains that are prevalent in most large cities in Japan: Tower Records, Tokyu Hands, Apple Store, bookstores, etc. There were also restaurants and street venders. Osaka is known for its junk food (think carnival food); I personally tried grilled crab and okinomiyaki. Okinomiyaki is generically called a Japanese pancake or pizza. It’s similar to a pancake because it is made with a batter, but it is also similar to a pizza in that toppings are placed on top. The day was pretty uneventful. We stayed in Namba until it got dark, then we went back to our hotel and Bethany and Rich went to Tokyo on the Shinkansen.

Day 9 (31st) - We spent New Years Eve traveling by local trains to Tokyo. I believe we left Osaka around 7:30 and got in to Tokyo around 5:00. We did not have a hotel for the 31st, so we occupied our time before midnight by traveling and walking Tokyo. As the night progressed, we made our way to Roppongi where we had dinner and met up with many other ALTs. As a group, we made our way to Tokyo Tower. A New Years countdown celebration was being held at the tower and there was a temple nearby that was joining in on the festivities. At midnight, balloons were released, the tower’s lights were dimmed, and its display changed to read “2009”. We stayed around the tower for a few hours then went to a bar until the first train started around 5:00. Sleeping on the train is pretty common in Japan, so we did just that. There is a train the makes a loop around Tokyo that we slept on for a few hours.

Day 10 (1st) - We were very tired from staying up the night before and as you can imagine, this was one of our least productive days. New Years Day in Japan is a family holiday. Christmas Day and New Years Day (as we know them in the US) are basically switched in Japan. Christmas in Japan is a holiday that much of the youth will spend going on dates, eating at KFC (I don’t understand why), hanging around friends, and eating spongy “Christmas” cake. People report to work and stores and restaurants are open on Christmas day in Japan. New Years day in Japan is considered a family holiday. Many businesses are closed and the ones that are open are on holiday hours. Many families go to temples and will pray and eat traditional meals. I wanted to spend New Years like the Japanese did. We started our journey (after the train ride for sleep) at the Meiji Jingu Temple in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. This is a temple that Tyler and I visited on our previous trip to Japan. The entire complex was very busy with shuffling families and vendors. There were gift stands setup selling pendants and prayer sheets and arrows like the ones used in archery. I do not know what the significance of these arrows is, sorry. There were also food and drink stands selling Japanese foods that are traditionally eaten on New Years Day (as I understand). We stayed around the temple for an hour or so then we found our way to a “Tower Records” that had an entire floor of foreign books. We read books for a while then we headed to the Asakusa district to visit the Sensoji temple. The temple is located at the end of a narrow pedestrian street that is lined with shops. The street was completely packed with Japanese people trying to get to the temple. We decided not to bother with the crowds and walked around the main streets of Asakusa until check in at our capsule. Five o’clock came around and we were able to check in to our capsule hotel. We went to bed right after check in.

Day 11 (2nd) – After nearly fifteen hours of sleep, we started off for our last full day in Central Japan. We took a twenty minute train ride to Yokohama. Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan and it is technically separate from Tokyo, but the two are very close together and there is no distinct border between them. We spent most of our time in Yokohama at the Minato Mirai 21 district. The Minato Mirai 21 district is a modern area with shopping malls, restaurants, and a small amusement park. The Landmark Tower is also located in this area. We went up The Landmark Tower to its famed, highest observatory in Japan. From the observatory, we were able to see Yokohama Bay, Mt. Fuji, and some of the taller buildings in Tokyo including Tokyo Tower and Roppongi Hills Tower. Some of my favorite pictures from the trip were taken from this observatory. We left the observatory and headed to the Yokohama Port International Passenger Terminal. The passenger terminal is one of the most unique buildings that I’ve have ever had the privilege to visit. It is another building that Tyler and I visited on our first trip to Japan. The terminal’s roof is an undulating landscape made up of wooden planks and patches of grass. This space becomes a pedestrian area. When we were there, people were walking their dogs, photographing Mt. Fuji at sundown, and enjoying the nice weather. We stayed at the terminal until it was dark then we made our way back to Yokohama Station and headed back to the hotel to pack for our trip home.

Day 12 (3rd) – We left Tokyo around 7:00 in the morning to head back to home. We made a quick stop in Sendai so that I could stop by the Sendai Mediatheque (library). The Mediatheque was designed by a famous architect and last time we were in Japan, my class received a tour of the building. This time, the Mediatheque was closed for the holidays, so I was unable to go into it. We headed back to the station to continue our trip home. Our train leaving Sendai was delayed for forty-five minutes (which is very unusual) and we missed the last local train home so we took the Shinkansen home.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January Updates

School started this week and I am beginning to slip away from vacation mode, back into work mode. I was very fortunate to have had such a long break. It totaled five weeks away from school, but four weeks I was scheduled to be at the board of education, and one week was holiday. The week of holiday allowed me to take my eleven-day trip around Japan and only use four days of my paid time off. That means that I have sixteen days of PTO left and my contract is officially half-way over on January 27th. I suspect smooth sailing for the next six months. There is another school term break in March and there is a week in May that is national holiday. Aside from those breaks, I will likely be teaching up until my contract is over.

A few updates on our end:
-I have posted a lot of pictures from my trip. Check them out!
-I am also working on a lengthy blog entry about my trip.
-Seems as though the weather has bottomed out and is resting between -4 to 5C.
-I have gone snowboarding once and we (Tyler, some friends, and I) are going again this weekend.
-I am two books deep (and on schedule) in my six-book Japanese course. Ganbarimasu!
-Tyler and I are planning at trip to Tokyo in April to see a concert/visit civilization

I have heard from a few of those who follow our blog, Thank you for reading. Knowing that people are reading it motivates me to continue writing it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm Home!

We had a long day of travel. We left Tokyo at 7:00 this morning heading to Sendai. We spent a few hours in Sendai then attempted to resume our travels on the local trains, but there was a delay that forced us to take the bullet train home. Regardless, I am glad to be home.

Friday, January 2, 2009


We went to Yokahama on our last day in Tokyo. Yokahama has a lot of great architecture and it is a bit artsy. Naturally, I love Yokahama.

We head back home tomorrow after making a brief stop in Sendai. This trip was, in one word, fulfilling. I have rekindled my interest in architecture and Japan, I have gained a better appreciation for my family and friends, and I am certain that one year in Japan is enough for me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Family and New Years Day

In Japan, New Years Day is a family holiday. It can be compared to the way we spend time with our families on Christmas day. Today, we went to a couple of the temples in Tokyo. They were crowded I read somewhere that the temples see over 3 million people during the first 3 days of the year.

This holiday season has been hard for me. I knew that it would be, but this is the first time I began to noticeably feel homesick.

I miss my family.
I miss Tyler.
I miss our cats.
I miss, I miss, I miss...

I am very lucky in that I have always spent the holidays at home, with my family. I actually feel a little guilty that I have had it so easy compared to some of my friends. I have always lived within a 10 minute drive to nearly everyone that is close to me (family and friends). This is part of the reason I wanted to move away for awhile. I wanted to better appreciate what I have. I do appreciate what I have. So, thank you for the text messages and calls. They always make my day.

See you in seven months.