Saturday, January 15, 2011


Here I am, tucked into my very tiny hotel room a world away from where I started this morning. OK, when I started, it was Friday morning, and now it is technically Saturday night, but it still feels like it was this morning when I started.

Amidst the agonies of saying goodbyes and being crammed into a wee little seat, this trip definitely had some bright spots in it! In a fit of insanity last September, I had booked myself in a window seat coming back to Japan. When I came to my senses, I realized that the tiny bit of extra space in the aisle would have been a really nice thing to have. Of course, there were no aisle seats available then. Well, this morning, my bro suggested that I try the self-service check in. I did, and I had the option to change seats. Well, lo and behold! There was an aisle seat available two rows in front of where I was originally seated! And the number was the same as my Wii fitness age from the night before and the letter was my initial - H. It was perfect! All I needed was a handsome, Christian, single man for a seatmate, and we'd have had the makings of a romance novel! But I sat next to a middle aged lady. Oh, well.

Another bright spot - I got to take a few extra pounds aboard! No no, not because I ate too many Blizzards!

Yet another bright spot - I got to sit next to a friend on the very turbulent flight from Tokyo to Sapporo!

We arrived in Sapporo about 8:40PM. By the time I made it to the train area, it was about 9:10. I waited around for the next train, due to come at 9:30. I realized that I felt surprisingly awake. But then I got on the train and pretty much promptly zonked out. I dozed off and on until we reached Sapporo an hour later. Then I had to transfer to the subway line
***Note: Due to reasons beyond my comprehension, I booked the wrong hotel. The hotel I booked is nowhere near anywhere I want to be on this trip.***
Once off the subway, I reluctantly emerged into the freezing, snow filled city. It was about 11PM by this point. I started following the directions the hotel had sent. Probably two minutes in, I gave up and walked to a taxi. My plan was to ask about my hotel first, just in case it was right behind me or something. The driver motioned for me to get into the warm and cozy cab, and we set off. A few minutes later, we arrived at the hotel, and **bright spot alert**the driver motioned for me to get out. I started to pay, but he waved it off! I thought that was really nice.

So, all in all, it was nice to have those bright spots throughout the trip. Definitely helped to ease some of the not-so-fun parts!

Friday, January 14, 2011


In just a short amount of time, I will be heading off to Japan. I am trying to remind myself that this is a unique and exciting experience, and not just a sad farewell.

But I don't like partings!

I wrote a long blog post yesterday, but it is stuck in my laptop in Windows Live Writer. The laptop is tucked away in my luggage. One day the post will be free!

Next post will probably be from Japan!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


No, this post isn’t about war!
Here we are, January 12, 2010. Leaving in 2 days. Gulp. But, my tanks are almost ready!
Now, if you are wondering what I mean, I will tell you! It’s a bit of a long story, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee or tea (or water) and get ready.
In the long long ago year of 2004, I took a class called Human Growth and Development. We met once a week at night in an old, slightly grotty building. Our teacher was a really interesting lady, but the only things I seem to really remember about her are that she was blonde, she rented out some property, and I am pretty sure she was a believer.
Anyway, during our segment on children’s growth and development, we talked about the stage that young children go through where they are beginning to be independent. One of the examples was children at the playground who go off to play and have fun, but periodically come back just to stand near their parental unit. Either the book or our teacher called this refilling the love tank.
Apparently, refilling the love tank works for twentysomethings, too!
My good friend and I also used this same idea, but with nature. When we had spent too much time in the city, it was a joy to escape and drive up the Natchez Trace (a beautiful scenic road). Usually, one of us would exclaim, “My nature tank is filling up!” When we traveled to beautiful Asheville, NC, we would fill a few spare nature tanks!
Now, living in Hokkaido, my nature tank basically stays full. It is often getting topped up as I travel to school. But, on this trip, I am happy to report that the following tanks are full, or nearing fullness:
Hug tank
Sunshine tank
Family tank
Friend tank
Mexican food tank
Blizzard tank (the DQ ice cream, not the winter event)
Driving tank
Coffee tank
Amazing grocery store tank
Shopping tank (believe it or not, I’m getting tired of shopping)
Monk tank (the TV show, not the religious men in brown robes)
English tank
I am hoping that these tanks are full enough to last until my next visit home!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have to stop waiting until late at night to blog. By this point, I just want to go to sleep (aka read). I was excited to see that I passed the third express train stop on my bike ride to Sapporo!

In other news, today is 1-11-11. I suppose we should pause and contemplate this momentous occasion.


Ok. Enough contemplating. Today was another lovely day in the good old US of A! I saw a good friend, had lunch with my bro, and worked on buying those last few things I need to stock up on. Tomorrow should be another nice day with Mom! Sigh. I like vacations.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resolution Update

Just passed 50 miles!

...and I finished Of Mice and Men. I've read better books.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Dear Quickly Approaching Winter Storm,

Go away. Thank you, that is all.

A Concerned and Cold Citizen

Atama, kata, hiza, ashi

Because I want you all to get this stuck in your head. I need some company.

A rousing rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Feet in Japanese. BTW, I haven't a clue who these people are!