Sigh, what a nice mini-vacation...
The only problem was that it was too short! I left town Friday night, where I attended a practice for my new band. My neighboring ALT, Jessie, is in a "rock band", and now I am too. "The guys" are really nice, and I get to make-believe I can sing well enough to front a band. And as a plus, it will be really good for my Japanese.
Jessie was also nice enough to drive me out to the airport so I could catch my flight. From snow to sun, in only 10 hours! The flights over were pretty good -- I had a whole row of seats to myself, which I took advantage of to get some sleep. Once in Honolulu, I had my island-hopper flight pushed back a few hours so I could spend the day noodling around in Waikiki.
I bought some sunscreen, a new bikini, and went to the beach. Me and the rest of Honolulu were there, but it sure beat snow!
I eventually made it to Kauai, where I met up with the family and the CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD! (I have sought outside, more subjective opinions on this, and they agree). He's even better looking in person. It was great to finally meet my now six-month-old nephew.
The rest of my time in Hawaii was spent enjoying time with the people I love, and soaking up sunshine. And eating: American style. Mmmmm... steak and Mexican food... I even had a chance to get my fill of greasy spoon diner-style breakfast.
Getting back to Hokkaido was a long trek, but I was conveniently bumped into executive class for the 8-hour flight to Narita. JAL executive class includes personal televisions, so I was able to catch up on all the crappy movies I've missed while living in Japan. Looks like I didn't miss much.
I finally made it back to Hokkaido, where I was kindly picked up at the airport and chauffered to Iwamizawa for musical rehearsal! Our director kept us busy learning new dances, brushing up old ones, singing, and blocking our scenes. By the end of rehearsal weekend, between the jetlag, the busy schedule and the late nights I was wiped. I caught the last train home from Asahikawa, and treated myself to a cab-ride home. Not surprisingly, my neighbor hadn't shoveled my snow for me, so I had to dig out my front door before I could drop my bags and get some sleep...