Monday - Hot and sunny. Hot. Did I mention it was hot?
A really nice weekend! Saturday began a little badly and at one point F asked if he should cancel the trip. I wouldn’t have minded in a way, but now I’m glad that he didn’t.
After breakfast and then my class F picked me up and we went to the local souvenir area. He wanted to pick something up for our trip. After that, we finally got on the road. We arrived in Niigata City around 6 o’clock, but really didn’t get to our hotel for a while. We finally found the parking and then checked in.
We dumped our stuff and went off in search of dinner. We went to the Isetan store and checked out their restaurant floor. We found the place I went in February and had a lovely meal there. They were featuring truffles so I had pasta with truffles on top, and F had some on his steak. I don’t think I’d ever had truffles before. We split a salad as well.
After dinner we just had enough time left, so we walked over to the movie theatre and went to see Inception, the new Christopher Nolan film. Wow! It was cool. A lot of really interesting ideas and it was also a good movie. I liked it very much.
We came back to the hotel after the movie and had a fairly early night.
Sunday, we had breakfast in the hotel, then went to the Junkudo book store near the station. I broke my book-buying moratorium by buying two new books. Still, that was almost restrained and it really had been a while. I got the latest Sue Grafton and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve been planning the last one for a bit. At the moment though, I’m still reading The Spellman Files. It is a genuine hoot. It was a bookmooch. I digress.
We also bought ourselves a new coffee maker on the way back through the station. It’s from Thermos so it is supposed to keep coffee hot for a long time. I rather like the idea of it not having a burner on for hours, just the metal thermos carafe. We’ve used it once so far, will let you know how it goes.
We went to Lovela for a bit of shopping and then over to Billboard place for some tea. Then, we were tired and had a couple of hours to kill, so we walked back to the hotel and had naps and cool down time.
We met my friend Tina in Starbucks and tried to decide where to go for dinner. We were near a hotel, so Tina suggested going in to see if they had any brochures of local restaurants. While we were there, we noticed that their restaurant was having a “Sumi-yaki buffet” - basically grilled food. It sounded good to us, so we went there and had a great meal. We had steak, chicken, pork, shrimp, crab, and even fish and hamburger. We didn’t all have the same. It was an “order buffet” so we could order any dish off the menu. The others had two steaks for example, I just had one. It was a nice meal and we talked for ages. We closed out the restaurant.
Coffee or tea followed back at Starbucks and then when they closed F suggested karaoke! We went for an hour and had a great time. F and I did most of the singing, I got a stupid papercut which hurts like crazy, but we really enjoyed ourselves.
When our time was up, we walked Tina back to her car before we walked back to the hotel. A lovely evening, really fun. F was kicking himself because he’d bought Tina a souvenir from Tsuruoka, but had forgotten to bring it along on our outing. Sigh!
This morning, we had the hotel’s breakfast again. It wasn’t as good today, but still was okay. After that we finished packing and then checked out. Before we left the hotel, I asked F if he needed anything from the hotel to show the parking guy that we did stay in a local hotel. We couldn’t stay in the hotel’s parking lot, so used a city one. The desk clerk said he didn’t need anything.
We walked to the parking lot with our suitcases in the 30 degree heat and asked for our car. The man asked for our receipt from the hotel. We didn’t have the right thing. I sat down with our bags and F went back to the hotel. Comes back 10 minutes later. He brought one certificate. We stayed for 2 nights. F goes back to the hotel. I’m waiting. He finally comes back with the right things, but the parking guy says that really he should have had more from the hotel. What on earth was with the hotel staff? I don’t work in their hotel and I know more than they do!
We drove over to the big mall in Niigata. On the way there, we stopped at the Musashi Home Center as a student had told me they had a craft shop upstairs. Wow! Did they ever! It was great. I didn’t buy anything, but I enjoyed looking around. I hope to go back sometimes. We did have a coffee there too.
We ended up at the mall after that. We hacked around. They were showing Toy Story in 3D in English, but not until 5:40. F was gung-ho about staying and watching it, but I reminded him we wouldn’t be able to leave Niigata until after 7 pm that way. It’s 2-3 hours home. Too late.
We had lunch at at kaitensushi place in the mall. We had to line up for ages and then just when we got to the front of the line, I noticed that everyone else had tickets with a number on them. F hadn’t registered to tell the restaurant we were waiting. Back of the line then. Sigh. The sushi, when we got in, wasn’t even that good. It was okay, but not great.
We bought a few dvds and cds, and visited Kaldi and I got a few essentials that are hard to find up here. Then, we were on the road home again.
The trip went quite well, and we got home around 6:30 tonight.
We had dinner at the tonkatsu restaurant and then picked up a few groceries. We came home, and F tried out our new coffee pot (not bad) and we watched a dvd. It wasn’t one of our today ones, but we hadn’t opened it before. Tonight’s choice was Elizabethtown, with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. I liked it and think I got more out of it today than the last time I saw it. Good stuff.
F went to bed at midnight and I should be off soon too. I’m quite tired and have a longish day tomorrow. Wish me luck and all of that! Night.
(PS…in case you couldn’t tell, I had a great weekend :-) )