So as you know, my holiday week included a brief stint in the US. After my last day of work, Hitomi and I drove Pichan to Yumi’s house in Fukui to drop him off, drove back home and packed, then slept for about 2 hours before catching the earliest train to the Osaka airport. The airport was beautiful, but unfortunately the airline staff was pretty bad. (Note to self: never fly Northwest again.) Like at USJ, they spoke to me only in Japanese and to Hitomi only in English… only there were no smiles, the speed was much faster, and the tone was icy cold. Plus the ticket woman told us Hitomi’s name wasn’t on the eticket reservation, even though it was very clearly written in capital letters. Luckily, it didn’t turn into a big problem.
The flight was pure hell. The seats were extra extra small and I was so cramped. I had expected that, of course, but on this particular plane there were no TV’s, and thus no in-flight entertainment. It was a 14 hour long trip through hell with nothing to look at but the back of a dirty Northwest Airlines chair. The plane crew was also very disorganized and rude (not to me, but to the other passengers — particularly the Japanese who didn’t speak English). I tried so hard to sleep, but my shoulders and neck got so sore that I was writhing in pain for the whole trip. And thats why I caught a cold which lasted for the whole week. :’(
After that, our luggage was delayed for an hour and came out on the wrong belt, then our transfer was delayed another hour, and then we flew in circles over Philly for yet another hour on our transfer flight waiting for landing clearance. And all the time I *really* had to pee, but I was told the toilet was reserved for the first class passengers. Gah! Northwest!
Home was great though. We celebrate my birthday the first night, and I got some awesome presents including a voice changing mask that kept us all entertained for the whole week (unfortunately I didn’t have room in my suitcase to take it back to Japan).
The next day we celebrated Christmas just like when we were kids — donuts and presents and the atrocious Barnyard Christmas CD. And all the Meyer men got LED headbands that are oh-so-cool!
Despite me having a fever, we did manage to get out into Philly once during the week. It was really nice to show Hitomi some of the big sights of the city, as well as the subjects of some of my paintings. But it was cold as a witch’s teat and we soon got pretty numb. Gadzooks!
Another nice treat was getting to meet up with the JASGP again. We met Kazumi, Sam, Kaori, and Masako for lunch at the Palm and caught up. It was really nostalgic to see everyone and the office again, and I’m really happy we got to meet up, even though it was only for a couple of hours.
For most of the vacation, though, we stayed indoors and played with Erik, Anna, and Lydia. We played a few games with my parents too, and talked quite a bit. Hitomi did lots of exploring the house as well.
It was a really nice holiday, even though it was really expensive to fly and really short. We didn’t even have 6 full days, but it was the first trip home in a year and a half, and 2 years since I had seen Lydia, so I was happy we got to go.