Sunday, January 08, 2006

An Olympic holiday...

So Christmas is probably a long ago happy memory for you all by now, but I just had to post one more picture of my very happy Osaka Christmas. This is Jeff and I getting ready to chow down on Christmas Day. Thankfully, our homecooked meal was MUCH better than the pitiful excuse for turkey that we got at Tin`s Hall. I still think it had to be chicken... After the festivities, we traveled to Nagano for a three day ski trip! Wow, look at this place! It was fantastic. We actually skied on the same mountain that they used in the 1998 Olympics, the ski jumps were still there and everything. (there was also a McDonalds at the summit, thanks a lot America!) And just look at all this snow! It actually snowed the night before we arrived, so we had some nice powder the first day. We took an overnight bus, left Osaka at 10:00PM and arrived, bleary-eyed and stiff, at Happo-one around 8:00AM. What a surprise to see so much snow (9 ft!), since there`s only been a shower of it where we live. This was a seriously beautiful place, and it had some pretty serious runs too. Now, I`m not the most experienced person when it comes to skiing. I think my most daring endeavor up to this point was tackling a black diamond at Jack Frost in Central PA, which is probably the equivalent of the bunny hill at this place. But seriously, it was challenging, but sooooo much fun :) Don`t you love my rental ski wear, by the way? I`m lucky nobody mistook me for ski patrol... One good thing was that Jeff couldn`t lose me if he tried. He was attentive enough to document one of my better wipeouts (I`m the orange blob behind that good skiier). Thanks a lot, honey!

A big highlight of the trip was staying at a Japanese style hotel. We had futons, a kontatsu table, tatami mats and all the green tea we could drink (no ice though). For breakfast, we were served rice, fish and miso soup, as well as some eggs and strange vegetables. And dinner was beef nabe (like a little cauldron that cooks on your table) more rice and fish and miso, as well as other, stranger vegetables. The food was quite good, wholesome and healthy and whatnot. However, we had to make up for all that behaving by dining at the only Mexican restaurant in Nagano each of the three days we were there ;) The hotel also had a little hot spring to ease those aching muscles, very relaxing. So, after three lovely days, I didn`t break any bones (or skis or poles for that matter) and even though my butt saw a little more of the snow than my skis, it was a great time. And, best of all, we had a visit from Santa, on vacation after a long holiday season. Wow, didn`t know Santa was so cute ;)

More to come soon...
Love, Erin

P.S.-For more of Santa`s adventures at Happo, visit Jeff`s site: update coming soon... Stay tuned :)


Blogger Kathy Bender said...

Had a great time checking out the blog after we got off the phone with you today (we were in VA) - then when we got back to York checked it out again - bigger screen! Once again great pictures and commentary - and I think you look darn cute in your ski outfit! Jeff is the coolest Santa ever!!!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Mama Lawrence said...

You guys never cease to amaze me. You seem to take advantage of your free time exploring the neatest adventures. Good for you. The skiing looked amazing and you both look happy and adorable. Can't wait for the next chapter of your Japanese experience. Mexican food -yum:)

11:11 PM  
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