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February 2009 Archives

February 21, 2009

Back home, Orchid show, and a trip with Grandpa

My trip home to America was a blessing--hard at times, but a blessing. It made Mom's absence even more real to me. We went through a few of Mom's clothes. I wasn't sure how I would react--or Dad either, for that fact, but he said he liked seeing her clothes on me and some on other members of the family. Somehow, it felt kinda good to put her clothes on. Coming back to Japan was hard--I loved taking care of my "Pops" at home, yet I missed my hubby. We plan to both go to the States in April for the Hospice Memorial service. Akihiro checked into the Super Flyers program with United Airlines and ANA (All Nippon Airways) and if we fly back and forth enough miles in one year, we get lifetime membership in the super flyers program that gives us double miles for the rest of our lives no matter how much we fly after this year. So, we thought that this year would be a busy year for flying, so we are going to be heading to Tremont quite a bit--if the budget holds! Sounds like the surcharge is coming down quite a bit in April, though, so that should help!

For Valentine's Day, Akihiro took me to the Orchid Expodition at Tokyo Dome. It was spectacular! There were all sorts of judging criteria--some by smell, some by size--all kinds of orchids and displays! I enjoyed it very much, but noticed an interesting phenomenon--experienced earlier that same week when I saw beautiful plum blossoms along the river walk. When I see beautiful flowers, it makes me miss Mom. Is it because she loved flowers so much? Or perhaps it is thinking how beautiful the gardens of heaven must be? I don't know, but it is a bittersweet feeling that comes. Anyway, enjoy the pictures of these orchids. I didn't realize there were so many different colors and shapes of orchids!
This was one award winner...





After the orchid show, we got some supper at a soba noodle shop--not necessarily the most romantic choice ( listening to everyone politely slurping their noodles), but it was good!

Early this week we took Akihiro's grandpa to an onsen hotel near the ocean (Atami). He had been in the hospital at the beginning of January and was asking to go to an onsen again. It was fairly cool, but the ocean view was nice. The next morning, Akihiro and I took a walk through the little shops in front of the station. They sell all kinds of things here--dried squid, dried scallops, seaweed, bean paste sweets, all kinds of interesting things. The most interesting thing, though, was when I looked around and saw a pre-school teacher and a group of blue-capped little five year olds running through the little shops to the blow of his whistle. Next came the yellow-capped 4 year olds and last of all the pink-capped three year olds. It was a bit hilly, and a few of the slightly chubby ones were shedding some pretty fierce tears about the whole ordeal, but with the cheers of the shopkeepers, they hung in there and all made it! It was a heart-warming site that perhaps to which my rendition doesn't do justice. The shopkeepers and the children both brought joy to eachother and to the onlookers.
That afternoon, then we headed for a better look at Mt. Fuji from the Shizuoka side. We had a perfect day--clear skies, so got a great look from the cable car. Grandpa was revived by five trips to the onsen and managed the stairs very well. We are so glad he could enjoy it! I forgot my camera, though--achh!
Next week we are going to Hakodate for a business trip. Some of the apartments there aren't filling up like we'd like them to. Anyone looking for an apartment in the north island of Hokkaido, Japan? We would give you a good deal?! I think they could be spruced up a bit, so that is my reason for going along--as well as to eat some good food!

February 25, 2009

Chubby Burger!

Our trip to Hakodate was busy and successful as far as making provisions to increase renters in our properties. As usually, the seafood was delicious, but this time we tried out a famous hamburger--I'll call it the chubby burger! One could debate the effectiveness of this marketing strategy, but it pulled us in! For our Japanese speakers, it is really a "futocho" burger. It has two burgers with a potato Koroke (like a breaded and fried mashed potato patty--one of my many favorite Japanese foods!) as well as an egg, tomato, lettuce, and most of the normal ingredients. It is held in one piece by a skewer. They only serve 20 of them a day, so we weren't sure if there would be any left when we went about 6:30 in the evening. We were glad they hadn't all been ordered, so we could give it a try. When they brought it out, they rang a bell and gave us a certificate explaining how this "chubby"burger would give our spirit and our stomach much happiness! We shared it and were both stuffed! It was quite good. We also had a sesame seed milk shake--equally as delicious and a delicious deep fried sweet bean and sesame dongo.


About February 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in February 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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