flew home for X-mas on the 22nd of Dec. with Kelly and the flight was surprisingly fast. switched planes states-side, and despite the plane from Osaka leaving 15 minutes ahead of schedule, I was still an hour late into Logan because of delays in Detroit. but waiting for me there was an adorable guy with one hell of a present in his hand for my hand:
the photo doesn't nearly do it justice. it's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever given me. i wore the ring home and told my folks, which i think surprised them more than anything else. still, i'd say it went over pretty well.
hung out around waterford for 5 days. i got to see some awesome people i'd been missing from ct, boston and chicago. a pretty damn good time was had indeed. thanks to all you folks for your love and fun and xmas presents!! my family was very happy to see me too, of course, and they showered me with presents that were too nice!! my parents got me a 6x11 Wacom tablet, which really blew me away, it's huge and wonderful! they also got me a new webcam to replace the fuzzed out one on my laptop, as well as much needed little things like warm socks and stickers for my kids. my sister really surprised me though by giving me a diamond necklace!! her friend is a jeweler and got her a great deal on it she said, but wow! if it hadn't been for the engagement ring just a few days prior, that would have been the first time anyone had ever given me diamonds! when she handed me the box to open and it was clearly from a jewelery store, i looked at her skeptically and asked if she wanted to marry me too! hehehe. and for xmas dinner i finally had that turkey i'd been craving since thanksgiving, with all the trimmings. it was great!
after what was just a short time though, it was back to the airport, but this time with Patrick coming along. the flight back to Japan is about 3 hours longer than from Japan to the US, and boy did it feel long. I managed to sleep a little thankfully, because after the flight from boston to detroit and then detroit to osaka, there was still the bus from osaka to himeji to take, then the train from himeji to fukusaki, and then from fukusaki station to my apartment by car. as it turned out, it had snowed in fukusaki while i was gone, so my car was frozen in place and took a while to defrost enough to see. jet lagged kicked our asses the next day, and we slept nearly all day.
on new years' eve we stayed in and had a bottle of wine and watched Before Sunrise. on New Year's Day we went into Himeji because i found out that admission to the castle is free on the first day of the new year, and since i had never actually been, it was a good way to have some fun without spending money (Patrick still hasn't been able to convert his US currency because all the banks have been closed pretty much since we've arrived home). Here's a picture of us at Himeji-jyo, the largest castle in Japan:
we'll be going into the bigger cities and seeing more people as they arrive back from their holiday trips all over the world, but so far it's been great fun to share my home and life with someone i love, and i look forward to doing it again and again!
that's about enough to catch us up. looking forward to talking to you all and seeing you in the new year! love to you all!!