March 31, 2015

Tuesday - Sunny and warm, overcast later.

A really good day.

I got up this morning before 8:30, which for me was amazing.  My alarm hadn’t even gone off yet.  I took a quick shower, got dressed and had a quick breakfast.  I was just getting ready to go when F called me to say that he wasn’t finished at the doctor’s office, so he couldn’t take me to the station.  As I hadn’t really planned on that, it didn’t matter too much.  

I walked as fast as I could to the station and got there just in time.  I had time to buy my ticket and buy a bottle of water before getting on the train.  F called me just as the train was leaving to see where I was and to let me know that he didn’t have flu.  Whew! 

I have never taken a local train south of Tsuruoka and after today, I really wish I had.  It was a lovely trip.  The views, especially along the ocean were amazing and the train was quiet without a lot of passengers.  I had planned to listen to music, but found myself unwilling to put on my headphones!

This just reminds me of the Alberta flat.  It's a rice field rather than a wheat field though.

Glimpse of the ocean! Kobata station

Houses and ocean.  Some houses were much closer to the tracks than this.

My friends were there in Murakami and we went over to Gusto.  It’s a family-friendly restaurant and it was nice to sit and chat and eat and drink.  After the restaurant, we decided to look around the city.  We tried to go to the castle area first, but there was no parking. Instead, we went to Maizuru park.  It was great.  The two children could run around and let off some energy, the adults could have a look around. The park we went to had three old houses set up and open to the public for free.  There were also Hina Dolls set up in some of the rooms.  The kids enjoyed the look at history, and so did I!

One of the Hina Doll Sets...completely open to the public!  No glass or anything.
We still had some time before my train home, so we tried the Castle area again and this time found a place to park.  My friend’s husband took one of his children up to the top on his shoulders, my friend, her other child and I followed a little more slowly.  We didn’t make it quite to the top, but the view was nice from where we stopped.  Because time was winding down, and none of us knew the city well, we decided to walk back down the mountain and drive back to the station.  On the whole, it was a good call.

The view from ¾ of the way up.  Very nice really!
My friends dropped me at the station and gave me presents and then we said our goodbyes.  They went to the Tourist information booth and brought back a brochure for me.  With about 3 minutes to spare, my friend’s husband got permission to come in the paid area, and ran the brochure over to me.  That involved running up steps, along a walkway, and then down steps at the other end!  He just made it.  I opened the train door and took the map/flyer.  Fun!

The ride home was equally pleasant.  This time I had a beautiful view of the sunset over the water.  Lovely!

Lovely sunset, horrible power lines

When I arrived in Tsuruoka, F hadn’t quite made it yet, so I ran to the ladies room. Of course, he arrived while I was there and looked a little worried when he didn’t see me.  We had a nice reunion and then went for dinner to a soba chain restaurant.    

We bought a few groceries and then came home.  It was a great day, but I’m a bit tired now.  If you’re up to it, check in later and find out what I do.  Until tomorrow….

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