Simon and Mary are my younger brother and younger sister. Simon is a junior at Pepperdine University. Mary is a junior in high school taking college classes and is on the swim team. Out of everyone in my family I wouldn’t have picked them to come over and visit me during this year in Japan. Simon spent all last year in Switzerland doing a study abroad so he is proficient in travel but Mary hasn’t left the good US of A so I was excited when they announced first the desire and the means to make it over here. It’s an expensive and a long trip and I am appreciative that they made if for me.
They came the last week in November over Thanksgiving. This was nice because it was my first major holiday away from home here in Japan and they got a couple days off from school.
They arrived on Saturday night, which was also the same day the Harry Potter 7 Part 1 came out in theatres in Japan. Now this is a big deal because most new movies in the States are released months later in Japan but not Harry Potter. So on their first night I dragged them to a movie, jet lag and all. They might try to claim that they were able to stay awake through the whole thing but don’t believe them. They were out for most of it.
Sunday I got to introduce them to everyone at church and then spend the day with some friends.
Monday, Mary and I faced the rain and went to Disney Land Tokyo. When we were kids we didn’t get to go to any of the Disney’s so this was her first time and my 3rd. (All my times were in Japan, still haven’t been in the States) and Simon discovered the city of Mito on my scooter. (He is lame and claims to not like Disney EVEN THOUGH it’s the happiest place on earth!)
Tuesday was a national holiday here so everyone had the day off. Simon, Mary, my AET friend Emily, my Japanese friend Erisa and I jumped into the car and headed to Daigo. This has a popular waterfall and apple orchards all around so we got to see the waterfall and pick apples. The road trip was good for us to explore Japan a little.
Wednesday my school had a “mini marathon” at the local track so we got to go and watch. My kids were so excited to see Simon and Mary there!
Thursday and Friday, I got to take them to my schools. First my nursery school where I teach 4 and 5 year olds and Friday to my elementary school. We took one of my teachers out to dinner on Friday night because he claims to be a “ramen master” and Simon wanted a challenge. He loved it enough that Yuya took us for ramen on Saturday as well.
The rest of their trip I took them to Tokyo. We wandered around there for a couple of days and then it was time for them to leave again. It was a quick trip but it was amazing to see familiar faces in this new life I’ve made. It was great to show them everything I love about Japan and share some of my experiences with them. Thanks Simon and Mary for taking some time and coming to see me! Love you both!!