Archive for ‘family’

January 5, 2012

Skiing: Cold But Happy

The last time I went skiing was in January 2009 with my dad when my parents were still living in Minnesota. I have to say that the weather was not that great. It was Minnesota in January, which means cold. Sunny, but cold. This was at Afton Alps in Hastings, Minnesota. It wasn’t far from where we lived in Eagan (a suburb of St. Paul). We hadn’t gotten that much snow, so the slopes were icy and there was not much powder to be seen at all. I think they had actually resorted to making snow with the snow machines. I seem to remember icicle-hands and feet, plus my frozen butt on the lift.

Nevertheless, my dad and I had a great time together. I have many many many fond memories of skiing with him in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and even New Zealand. My dad hates being cold (hates it as much as I do), but he has always been a skier. Watching him ski is amazing because he is just so darn good at it! My parents took me to Steamboat Springs in Colorado when I was proficient enough at walking and put me in ski school. It is a great skill to have, especially when you are around areas where there are a lot of winter sports.

 

DSC00070(2009) Too cold to smile, but we’ll do it anyway!

 

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My dad skiing in the alps in 1986 (before I was born!)

 

And now we are off to Owani, where I went skiing!

…Owani again? It seems like I am spending quite a bit of time there! I love Hirosaki first and foremost, but Owani is quickly becoming my second-favorite little town.

 

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December 25, 2011

(My Second) Christmas in Japan!

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Me with my baby stocking that Tori got/made for me!

My first Christmas away from home was in 2007 when I was studying abroad in Tokyo at Waseda University. Here is a snippet from my journal entry dated December 24th, 2007:

Here in Japan it’s Christmas Eve. December 24th. This day used to fill me with such joy and happiness, but now I don’t feel anything. It just feels like any ordinary day. I realize now that Christmas as a holiday is nothing without the people to celebrate it with.

But this 2011 blog Christmas post is not sad.. it is happy! Because this year in Japan, I had people to celebrate it with! Awesome, lovely, amazing friends. And that made all the difference in the world.

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June 27, 2011

Go Southwest, Young Daughter

Southwest Tail

Ah, Southwest Airlines… I have heard many good things about your excellent customer service and hassle-light travel. But ever since I’ve been traveling by myself, I have not had the opportunity to fly with you. I’m sure my family must have flown Southwest at some point, but I can’t remember the experience exactly. Too young to remember those details.

When I booked the flight back in… April, I believe… I was having some issues with the website and prices that just kept switching, so I called them up at something like 11:30pm to ask about the prices. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the lowest price I had seen earlier that day, but the wonderful booking agent was so nice to me over the phone that it made buying the ticket virtually painless. (Well, I did feel some pains in my bank account later.) I usually have some anxiety and indecision when buying plane tickets over the internet, so it was a relief to do it over the phone where I didn’t have to agonize over every detail. Plus, like I said, the agent was so darn nice even in the middle of the night!

On Wednesday, June 8th, my wonderful partner-in-crime sacrificed a few precious hours of sleep to drive me to the airport at 6am. She was pretty dead and I’m sure she didn’t appreciate my “pop-up-like-toast” morning demeanor. …It’s just how I am! Much to my surprise, the Austin airport was packed. The security lines were “out the door” and the K-EYE news team was also there. What the heck was going on? “Just summer travel,” I heard people say. That’s weird, because it reminded me of Chicago-O’Hare around Christmas time! Craziness. It was a good thing that I had arrived with an hour to spare, because after I got through security, I had enough time to go to the bathroom, fill up my water bottle, and speed-walk onto the plane. This was my first time using Southwest’s “Pick Your Own Seat” kind of thing. I sat next to a couple of French teenage girls who were perfectly bilingual. I asked, “Is this seat taken?” To which they answered, “No.” And then continued on with their perfectly-accented conversation. Their parents were sitting across the way from them and also spoke to them in French.

The first flight was uneventful. I sat there with the two teenagers… who pulled out their twin pink Nintendo DS’s and began to play games. I thought this was the perfect time to break out my metallic-rose-colored Nintendo DS and play some Pokemon Heart-Gold. The girl sitting next to me kept on glancing over at my screen to see what I was playing, heheh. We flew over the Grand Canyon and stopped in Las Vegas, where I changed planes. There were slot machines in the airport!

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