June 10, 2009
March 21 - March 26, 2009
New York City
I went back to America for a few weeks during spring vacation. I hadn’t been home for a year and a half. I wanted to visit my family, but also I wanted to help my mom with cleaning and packing the house.
My first stop was Detroit airport. During my layover, I stopped in at Chili’s for my first American meal, tortilla soup, a caesar salad and a big glass of tea. There is no tipping in Japan. Last time, I visited the U.S. I almost walked off from a few restaurants and taxis without tipping. Luckily, Julian had my back and continued to remind me over and over again. This trip, I was on my own, so I wrote “Tip” on my hand.
I flew into New York City to see my brother, his girlfriend and 2 kids in Brooklyn. They were in San Diego for a wedding and wouldn’t be arriving in NYC until the following evening. I’m glad I arrived a day early, because it gave me time to clean up, relax and sleep. Traveling for 24 hours is tough.
The next day, I visited my college friends, Nikki and Emily and their families. I took the subway to NJ. I love NYC, all of its sites and sounds. But, after living in Japan for over three years, I couldn’t believe how dirty the subway stations were and how much litter was strewn all over the ground.
It was great to see my friends and their kids. It had been four or five years since I had hung out with them. We had a big bagel brunch, which was heaven!
Andy, Kirstin and the kids arrived Sunday night. I was soooooo happy to see them. The kids are adorable. Andy kept asking me what I wanted to do with my time, as much as I love to shop and see stuff, I was really there for only one thing and that was to hang out with them.
Both Jonah and Ida, my nephew and niece, go to day care everyday. So, we decided to take Ida and Jonah out of care on separate days, so we could spend quality time with each of them. We played with Jonah’s numerous Thomas the Train toys, hung out in the park, went grocery shopping, played games, cooked, cleaned, etc, just daily stuff. It was really fun. Andy and I took a day and went into the city to visit some art galleries and squeeze in a little shopping as well. I wanted to go out at night, but everyday I was exhausted after running around with the kids plus the jet lag, made me even more tired. NYC is wonderful.