May 2, 2010

Sunday - Hot and sunny in the morning and early afternoon, cloudy later on.

We had a horrible night last night. Our bed in this room is only a double, and at home we have a queen size bed with a quilt each. Here we were expected to share the quilt. Not happening! He'd pull the quilt off me, I'd pull it back, then around 4:30 someone got up and basically that was the end of my sleep for the night. I got bits and minutes of sleep, but nothing unbroken or good. In the morning, he was up long before me, and after my alarm went off, F went and grabbed the bathroom. He took a bath or shower and was in there for ages. It was so annoying as 1) I had planned to take a shower before breakfast and 2) we planned to leave for breakfast at 8:45. It was a little after nine before we went downstairs for our breakfast. I really wish I hadn't bothered. It was all Japanese stuff. F was in his heaven of course...natto, rice, miso soup, I wasn't. I had some salmon, salad and miso soup with water to drink.

After breakfast he went to get his medicine from his car, I went out too. I was looking for a Clinique booth to get some sunscreen. I couldn't find one, so I ended up getting some cheap stuff from a drugstore. Still, it seemed to work and didn't irritate my skin like some of them do.

I went back to the room and F and I left. It had been a pretty quiet morning between us, I wasn't talking to him because I was mad about all the wake ups. However, he gave me a quick kiss on the elevator and I felt a lot better! I asked him and he said I pulled the covers off him and kept him awake. (I'm not sure about that, but who knows.) Anyway, we're on holiday and I don't want to fight over something so dumb.

First off today, F took us to one of the big parks in Akita city. They are in the midst of their Hanami, so the park looked beautiful. The cherry blossoms are at their peak at the moment. We walked around the park a bit, went into one of the buildings which had an elevator to see the view of the park and beyond. Lovely!

Next up was lunch. We had lunch in a coffee shop that F had read about. We were hoping to go to the second floor which was a restaurant with Western style food, but they have closed. Still, we had a nice dish and either milk tea (me) or coffee(F) afterwards. Yay.

Then we set off for the Oga Hanto area. It's a peninsula in Akita that is very famous. I had heard of it, but didn't really know much about it. On the way there we saw tower near the harbour and stopped in for a bit. The tower elevator was free and so we went up about 100 m. The view up there was really nice. We could see the ocean for miles and the city as well. Well worth stopping for. We fortified ourselves with a special Akita style ice cream afterwards. It was served by a little old lady with a hand cart type of deal. She put the ice cream (more like sherbet really) on the cone in such a way that it looked like a rose. Very cool. The taste was fruity and a bit tart.

We drove out to the Oga Hanto area to a tower that F had read about. They have a tower that spins so viewers can see a 360 degree panorama. What he didn't mention was the climb up to the building was halfway up the mountain! Seriously. I had no idea that we had to walk so far. It was steep too, so I was huffing and puffing and my foot was very sore. Once inside the building I was further thrilled to find out that there was no elevator to the top, just four flights of stairs. WAH. Not a happy camper! Still, we took it a little at a time, and on each floor there was information about the area and exhibits, so it wasn't that bad. We sat down on the rotating area when we got to the top. The view was pretty great and if there had been sunshine we would have been able to see forever. We discovered that there was a volcano basin close to the tower, but it's extinct now. We left and came down the hill. Downhill was much easier than up!

We next drove to a place called Nyudohzaki. It's on the 40 Longitudinal Parallel, which answered one of my long time questions. Is Tsuruoka more or less north than Edmonton. Obviously less north. We also had dinner there. F's chosen place was quite expensive. Nabe for one person was 2100 yen and I just didn't feel like that much fish. I begged off. We ended up going to another place. I had a small kiritampo nabe, F had a uni and ikura teishoku. They were both okay but not great. We bought our omiyagi at the place too. I got something for my students, nice teacher that I am!

On the way back into Akita we made one more stop to see the view at another place. It was very windy but the sun was going down, so the light was nice.

Back in Akita we parked the car...and that was a bit rigamarole because the nearby parking lots were full. We had to park blocks away and walk back. Yikes. My foot was so not a happy camper. After a little rest in the hotel room we went out to see about dinner. The first place we went to was full, so we tried the hotel's izakaya and were able to get in after a short wait. We had a skewer set each, and a chicken leg done karage style. That was really nice. I also got us a stick salad to give us some veggies! We enjoyed our dinner except the restaurant made a mistake and gave me one of the skewer sets ages before F got his. Seems it was really supposed to go to another patron and they asked me if I'd eaten any of it! I hadn't, but I had squirted lemon all over it, so they couldn't give it to the other person.

And that's about that. F went out for ramen, but said it wasn't very good. He's so picky about his ramen! Makes me crazy sometimes. We had a quiet night in, and F is already sleeping. I'm thinking of watching part of a dvd on my computer before turning in myself. It's not even midnight yet, and I'm thinking of bed. I must be tired! Oh well. I'll maybe catch up tomorrow. Not sure if we'll be home or somewhere else though. Night!

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