Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Weekend

Let me tell you, we had an AWESOME holiday weekend! We had such a good time that I just had to write about it and share right away. 

Along with some friends, we took a camping trip up to Tappizaki on the northern most tip of the Tsugaru peninsula. The map below shows where it is (the lower blue marker is where we live in Misawa and the other is Tappi- this is on the main island of Honshu, and the northern island of Hokkaido is right above- you could actually see Hokkaido from the shore of Tappi when the weather was clear). 

It was a really neat drive up there. It took about 3 hours and brought us through tons of beautiful scenery, a lot of small fishing and farming villages, and through Aomori city. And it got even prettier when we arrived at our destination! This was the beach we got to camp at:
Now, when I say "camp," you'll have to take that with a grain of salt... what we did was not actually camping. The campground had cabins fully equipped with small kitchens, full bathrooms/showers, electricity, and TV. But there was a giant communal fire pit, and since we were with 6 other people, Corey and I slept in sleeping bags on the floor anyway... so that sort of counts, right? This was our luxurious cabin and the view we had from the porch:
The main point of our trip was focused around scuba diving. The friends we went with are quite the divers, and this is apparently a great place for that in northern Japan. Corey and I are hoping to get into it and we had our first introduction this weekend. That will be a subject for its own post (soon to come), so I'm skipping all that right now. Fear not though my faithful readers, it will come!

We did lots of other fun stuff as well, and came home with many amusing stories and great memories. We spent a lot of time hanging around the campfire pit, eating, talking, playing games, lighting fireworks (it was the 4th of July afterall), and meeting lots of people. 
Here's a little story: on our first night, we shared the fire pit with a group of maybe 15 young Japanese guys. No one in our group had any conversational Japanese skills of any substance, and aside from the dozen or so English words the Japanese dudes knew, we couldn't talk to each other AT ALL. And yet we spent the entire night- well into the wee hours- hanging out together, sharing food and alcohol, and trying to teach each other phrases and find ways to communicate. It was SO FUN!! The highlights:

-Corey made a new extremely touchy-feely "bestu friendo" who's apparent total English vocabulary consisted of the phrase, "I'm-a sooooooo gay!" 
-We saw a poor guy nearly pass out from the unexpected spice of an American hot link.
-We discovered that the Japanese understanding of US geography is centered around Major League baseball teams.
- "Saiko" (pronounced "psycho" but I'm assuming that's the Japanese spelling of the word) means "best friend" in Japanese. It's fun to say that to people. 

The lowlight of the night was me eventually having to go inside after an extremely inebriated and persistent young man got much too close for comfort despite knowing I was married and that my husband was sitting a few feet away. His friends were apologetic, but that part blew. The same dude eventually also exchanged one of his shoes for one of Corey's, so he had fun trying to get it back the next morning.


One day we took the kids on a fun hike while their parents did some diving. It was so beautiful! We walked a long way around the rocky shoreline (the kids had fun climbing rocks), skipped rocks and collected shells, climbed up a big mountain, and scaled through HUGE overgrown brush to get back down while pretending we were jungle explorers. 

It was such a fantastic trip! Like I said, I'll write about our scuba diving experience next time, but I wanted to be sure I hit on the other great things we saw and did before they got overshadowed by the diving. 

We got home this afternoon and then had a GREAT game night with 3 other couples we hadn't hung out with before, but who all turned out to be super cool people and we got along great! It was an evening full of LOTS of laughing and fun, which was the absolute perfect way to end this weekend.

I hope you all had a great 4th of July too! 


Brakes and Gas said...

Wow! What a great weekend!

Peter and Stephanie said...

Looks absolutely gorgeous!!
What a perfect weekend....aside from the groper dude trying to get in your pants....