October 24, 2010

Sunday - Cloudy and warm, rainy at night.

This weekend was great…until today.  

We drove to Niigata city fairly late on Friday.  We had planned to go earlier, but F went to the doctor first and that took time.  We had a mostly pleasant drive down, except at one point the car in front of us starting veering into the oncoming lane.  F, who doesn’t usually get flustered, slowed down and started yelling when the offending car went over the centre line just as a big truck came around a corner.  Luckily the car pulled over, but we were both glad when that car turned off the main road.

Our hotel was fine. It wasn’t ritzy or gorgeous, but it was next to the station and reasonably cheap.  It was clean and quite quiet so we were happy with it.  We checked in and then went in search of food.  After a bit of a walk, we settled on an izakaya near the hotel and it was really good.   We had a mixture of foods, mostly Japanese and then went back to the hotel and went to bed. 

In the morning, we both took showers, and then went for our free breakfast.  We had to take the car out of the parking, so we decided to go to the big mall.  We drove there and did a lot of shopping.  We got started on our Christmas shopping in quite a big way.  We had lunch at a shabu-shabu restaurant and then headed back downtown when we were shopped out.

After putting the car back into the parked, we went out again.  We walked over to the theatres to see what was playing (basically the same things as in Mikawa) and then had a lovely dinner at a pasta restaurant we go occasionally.  We had appetisers, then kabocha and chestnut gnocchi in a gorgonzola cheese sauce, followed by roasted pork and finally dessert.  Oh, yum.  I could barely move after we ate…I really regretted letting F talk me into that big lunch.  

We went back to the hotel and we watched an X-Men movie on TV, then I stayed up and read more of my Sue Grafton U is for Undertow.  So exciting.  I went to sleep around 2 am, but didn’t sleep well.  

This morning when we got up I felt horrible.  Just tired and a bit sweaty.  My cough was bad and now I have a horrid pain in my side from coughing.  We had our free breakfast (how does one eat scrambled eggs with chopsticks anyway?) and then checked out. 

F wanted to go to a park that he’d seen mentioned in the hotel. I was pretty skeptical to be honest.  F gets weird ideas at times and usually I’m the one who suffers through them. However, he did okay today.  Right next to the park was a place that I’d seen from a bus once and always wanted to know more about.  We went in to it today.  It was the Niigata Prefectural Government Memorial Hall. We were able to go in for free and looked around.  It was gorgeous.  Apparently, it is only remaining Prefectural government hall that was both western and Japanese in style.  We took a few photos outside of some strange people I met there!

I told F not to do his usual stiff pose!

After that we wandered through the park a little and then went to a Performance Hall. There was a performance today of choral singers from local schools, but I didn’t want to go.  I wouldn’t know anyone, so why bother?  We did have cake and tea in a coffee shop, then went to the roof and walked around.  The roof is built into a hill, or so it seemed to me.  We also visited an exhibition of a Women Art College.  There were examples of embroidery, quilting, weaving, painting and pottery there.  I liked it a lot, even if I didn’t like some of the individual works. 

We decided to leave about then and set out home.  F saw a sign for a museum that he decided he had to go to, but I distracted him with the idea of lunch.  After lunch, he decided not to go after all.  We set off towards home.

We had just gotten out of Murakami and had stopped at a rest stop for a few minutes when a fire engine went by on the road.  A few minutes later I saw the police accident car go by.  F said he saw an ambulance too.  We got back on the road and about 3 minutes later were caught in a traffic jam.  There had been an accident just up the road. 

We were in the jam for about an hour.  Thankfully for us, we had  just used washrooms and such, so weren’t in dire straits.  When the police let traffic start up again, we saw the accident site.  A small car had run into a big truck.  I didn’t see the license plate, but I couldn’t help wondering if it was the same car we saw on Friday night.  It was small and a similar colour.  

We made fairly good time for the rest of the trip.  We stopped at another rest stop for new drinks and saw some of the basketball players from Akita that had been staying in our hotel.  They were on a bus that must have been caught in the traffic jam too.  

We came home, dropped off our stuff and relaxed for a bit.  Then we had a quick dinner in Gusto and again, came home.  

F has agreed to take me to the doctor tomorrow and I’m relieved.  I’m in quite a bit of pain and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep tonight.  I keep coughing, but now I’m in so much pain that I can’t cough deep enough.  Argh.  At first he wanted to wait until Wednesday to take me, but I don’t think I could wait that long!

So, I’m back, but I’m not “in good condition” as my students would say.  It was a good weekend, but I wouldn’t have minded staying at home.  Night!


siti the twins said...

nice picture miss Helen!

Helen said...

Thank you! Nice to hear from you again!