Monday - Sunny in Sendai, Deep snow in Tsuruoka
A good day.
We had a good trip this weekend. We went to Sendai on Saturday, had a nice dinner and then saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It was brilliant.
The next morning we went out for breakfast and tried to find the morning market in Sendai. It must have been their holiday as everything was closed when we got there. We went back to the hotel, I took a shower, and then we checked out.
We drove over to Shiogama Port and had lunch there. At the fish market, you can buy fresh fish from the vendors and then buy a bowl of rice and some miso soup. We’ve done this for a few years now. We got some nice fish, but F kept trying to get me to go to one particular vendor and I refused to buy from them. Why? I wasn’t too keen on them because they had whale on sale. Actually, quite a few vendors had it, so it was a bit difficult to avoid. Still, I think I managed.
After lunch, we stopped off at a shopping mall for a while. We did a little shopping and then had a coffee at Mr Donut. We really miss them since they closed here.
We drove to our hotel next and checked in. Or tried to! I had made my reservation on the hotel’s own site, but they had somehow lost it. I guess there was a glitch. I had the mail on my iPhone, so I showed it. We ended up in a much nicer room and they gave us free drinks at the lounge and sent a bottle of nice fizzy stuff to our room with champagne flutes. I think I forgive them for losing my reservation!
Our room was nice. It had a balcony and a huge bathroom. The only bad thing was that it had twin beds rather than the double I had reserved. Oh well. We went and had a couple of drinks in the lounge, then got a few snacks for later in the mall across the road. We also did a little shopping in case we didn’t have time on Monday.
We went back to the hotel, I changed my clothes and F and I went downstairs to the restaurant. We had a very lovely dinner there. It had a wide selection of foods from quiche to sashimi to grilled meats and a fondue.
After dinner, we walked around the garden for a little while and then came back inside. We opened our bottle of fizzy stuff and drank it. I’m afraid that I almost fell asleep on F at that point. I really don’t drink very much.
I finally did go to sleep a little later and had a good night’s rest.
This morning, we got up and had breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. It was really nice. We came back to the room and each took a shower We had a cup of coffee on the balcony and watched the workers in the garden and discussed the sights from our heights!
We checked out and drove the car over to the mall. We tried to do a little shopping with some success. We were looking for a souvenir for F’s mother but only found things from our city! F suggested I try on some clothes in a store and I did, but they weren’t right for me. I told him that they were “city” clothes and I live in the “country”. They were nice, but just not me.
We left the mall and headed out of town. We had a short stop at a highway rest area and then ended up in Kaminoyama at Costco. We started with lunch and then did a little shopping. This trip we really didn’t buy that much. Fumihiko bought me a new backpack for my birthday present. It’s quite a strong one that I can use to cart around my computer if I want. We got some snack food, some yeast for bread making, some windshield washing liquid, and a few other things. The total bill was around 10,000 yen, so not much today. F bought gas on the way out too.
We made fairly good time on the way back, but as we headed into the mountains, the snow got higher and higher. After Sagae, it started to be really bad. I had drunk a bit too much coffee and really needed a stop, but nothing was open. Finally, we found a road stop, but the snow was really high!
When we got to Tsuruoka, F suggested dinner at a really nice restaurant that we haven’t visited in a while. I said that would be great, so we went there. They were still open and we had a terrific meal. We each had steak in a fusion of Japanese and French style and the whole meal was great.
We followed our meal up with a little grocery shopping and then came back to the house. There must have been a snowplough go through sometime as there was a wall of snow blocking the entry. F grabbed a shovel and started to clear it…I grabbed some stuff and took it inside and then came back with boots, a hat and gloves on. I cleared the steps which were snowed under, then tried to help F do more. Unfortunately, I was getting in his way, so I cleared other places.
We unpacked the car after he parked and distributed our stuff. K got up briefly when she heard us come in, but then went back to bed. We came upstairs where the room was at a freezing 2.9 degrees. Our heater has been working hard all evening to warm this place up.
And that’s it. Rather long-winded, but a lovely trip and a fun way to celebrate my birthday. Tomorrow I’ll likely be back to the same old grind! Wish me luck with it. Until tomorrow….