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.