Saturday, August 27, 2011

The cuteness nearly killed me.

Went to town with Angel today. We had a nice day~ Decided to dress up all cutesy and it was fun. We ran into Sarah (one of the teachers) and Yukiko outside when we left the staff house. Sarah was sweet enough to take a few photos for me.

 We had to ask Helen something before we left, so when we went into the Manor House the Japanese staff were all excited to see us all dressed up. Akiko got a picture of us and we got a picture with Helen.
So, after getting that all sorted, we hopped onto the bus. Its such a LOOONG ride! For serious. It's hard to stay awake! Martin was sitting in front of me, and he had brought a book. Treasure Island, for those who are curious. I'll have to start bringing my Kobo with me. God, I love that thing. It's so convenient. Ahaha.

We hopped off the bus at the station and started shuffling off to Aeon. I was really excited to go, since Angel's always going on about that place. The weather held for the walk over and people kept saying 'Kawaiii' as we walked by. (Kawaii = cute) When we got there, we made a beeline for the food area. We had skipped breaky, and we were hungry. Lol. The original plan was to get McDonalds, but the line was HUUUGE and the Happy Meal toy wasn't anything good anyway, so we went to KFC. It was pretty tasty! Whole wheat buns! It made me all happy!
After lunch, we just walked about. Went to Honey's and I've decided that I want to buy half the store. True story. So much cute everyday wear! Lovelove! They had 'Michigan University' sweaters there. Had I the yen, I would SO have bought one and sent it home. Just for giggles. It was pretty random. Lol. 

So, after that we went upstairs and I saw the AMAZINGNESS that is Paddy's. Oh mai gawd. DAT STORE! The cuteness nearly killed me. Sooo muuuuch cuuute stuffff! Hnnnng. I need the entire store in my life. True story. Like, everything. Just wrap it all up for me, plzkthx. Hand towels, purses, stationary, bento things, hair things, Disney, Sanrio, San-X, miscellaneous. OMG. So amazingly adorable. That place is gonna be murder for my paycheck. I just know it. 

After Paddy's, we went and took a look at the gachapon area. They had like a billion machines all in a row. Lots of cute things. Angel got a Mickey shaped ghost from the Disney Halloween one. I wanted to get one from the Popples machine, but alas no money. While we were perusing an older lady came up and was making a fuss over how cute we looked. It was really nice. She asked if we would mind saying hello to her daughter too, and after we said that's fine she went and got her. And then they both fussed and called us cute. They were really sweet and it was a cute moment.

We did purikura, too! New favourite thing ever! I love it! And we had a lot of fun decorating them. XD

Yeah! Baka couple! XD That's us! Goood times.We walked by a bunch of UFO catchers while looking around and Angel was nice enough to give me 100yen to try my luck at one. And I won! Yaaay! It's a cute pink and brown raccoon! I looove it!
We went and got ice cream from Baskin Robbins after. We couldn't decide on whether we wanted the Popping Soda or the Happy Doll sundae, so we got one of each and shared. XD

Adorable AND tasty! Hell yeah! Although, I don't like the jelly things they put in the bottom of the cup of soda. They look cute, but they have a really strange texture. It's like a gummy crunch. Or something. Like, it reminded me of like, biting someone. As weird as that sounds. o___o; I guess that's my inner vampire talking, but yeah. Weird texture. Won't be eating them again. The soda and ice cream were good, though~

After the ice cream portion of our date, we were pretty much done with Aeon. Lol. It was a billion degrees in there, I might add! I was melting! So, we went on our merry way and decided to walk to the opposite side of Shirakawa and go to Off House and Mega Stage. Off House is FANTASTIC! Like a cooler Value Village. Amazing. And not bad for pricing. It had figures, and toys, and yukata and cute shirts and skirts and wooo. 

We really only went to Mega Stage to buy yarn and groceries for Angel. Helen's going to be teaching a class on how to crochet and make amigurumi, so we bought some cute yarn at Daiso. Angel bought some groceries at the store and we stopped at Doutor for a snack before heading back. 

Yep~ Iced cocoa and a chicken curry sammich. We just split one sammich. Although, Angel ordered it without tomatoes. Sadface. It was still pretty tasty, though! It had a good amount of spicyness to it and there were raisins in it to balance out the taste. At first I was weirded out by seeing raisins in my sammich, but it worked. Iced cocoa, however, does NOT go well with a chicken curry sammich. I won't be repeating that. Iced cocoa isn't baaad, but it's not my favourite. Oh well. Now I know.

So, we walked back to the bus at this point. We got there quite early, so I fiddled with my camera until we left.
I slept most of the way home. Lots of waling and a long bus ride made for a tired Ashley. Angel and I went for dinner and it was like weird hamburger stuff, so we ate some salad and rice. And I discovered that they make potato salad for the staff! It tasted amazing! Not as good and mum or Terry's, but still good. We ended up going to the pub after for 'pizza'. It's like a flatbread with cheese, tomato and a little sauce. Good for a snack. And I chatted with Yuta about Kingdom Hearts. He looove its apparently! Yay! I have a buddy to geek about KH with up here! :D

After that, we went to Sarah's and planned out our trip to Tokyo. Booked our hotel and decided that we're going to Ninja on the 10th for dinner. It's a Ninja themed restaurant. Like, they dress and act like ninja's and the restaurant is decorated and arranged like a ninja village. I can't wait! *____________*

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Oh, Ashley, I can't get over you sitting in the boot!"

Well, my first day on the job was on the 24th. Went pretty well. I had to do a Manor Hour Tour yesterday, though. o___o; It didn't go very well. I speak toooo fast. I have to work on slowing down. It's really quiet at the desk for some of the day. Angel was with me this morning, so we chatted a lot. And cracked jokes. And quoted the Dragon Ball Z Abridged series. Ahaha. Yes. We're awesome.

We went to karaoke Wednesday night in Aizu. Good times. I drove down with Tomo. He's a sweetheart. And a crazy driver. Seriously. Everyone who works on the mountain seems to drive like a maniac. 80km an hour, driving down a windy, twisty mountain. And the roads are narrow. And one lane each. We'd make a sharp turn and end up half in the other lane. o__o; The one time we did that, we saw another car approaching us. Slightly scary. Ahaha. But, it was a fun drive. It was thunder storming, and since we're at the top of a mountain, I could see lightning striking the peaks of the other mountains on the area. Reeeally cool! So, we chatted a lot about just random stuff. Music we like, anime, games and whatnot. He talked about his desire to come to Canada to go skiing and snowboarding. And talked about Tokyo and how big it is and how he loves big cities and I don't. XD

We ended up getting to karaoke before everyone else, so we parked and waited. He asked me after a minute or two if I wanted a drink and I said tea would be great. So, he gets out of the (still running) car and walks off. Three minutes later he comes back with a big bottle of iced tea for me. It was really sweet. No picture, though. Forgot. Oops!

So, it was a lot of fun! My first ever karaoke experience! Angel was working, but Zoe, Helen, Gwen, Eriko, Tomo and Tatsuru all went. And all the gaijin staff (except me) were drunk. Lol. Helen gets reeeally loud when drunk. And Zoe's just hilarious. Zoe insisted on taking a picture of me imitating Hatsune Miku, like Angel.

I also tried to take a picture of Zoe and I. I'm awful at taking photo's of myself like this. I always tend to crop people out. Ahaha. XD

So, we were there for about 2 hours. I sang a few songs~ One in English and a few in Japanese. (Edge of Seventeen was my English pick.) We also all sang along with the others, so it was a big chorus of singers at some points. I forgot to take pictures, but Zoe snagged my camera and took some.

 I love to make goofy faces for pictures. Ahaha. Zoe's ridiculously photogenic, though. True story. Every photo I've seen with her in it almost always looks amazing. And I have no idea what Helen's doing with that maraca. And I really don't wanna know, anyway. XD And the other photo is of Tomo.

After karaoke, it was time to go home. Since Tomo lives in Aizu, he wasn't going back to BH. So Tatsuru had to drive us all. And he only had room for 4 girls, not 5. So, I sat in the trunk. Lol. And Tatsuru's a crazy driver, too! Good times. Lol. Zoe was especially amused that I was "sitting in the boot". She'd look back at me and giggle and say, "Oh, Ashley, I can't get over you sitting in the boot!" It was funny, though. XD

Angel and I are going to town tomorrow. I'm gonna go to Aeon for the first time ever. Apparently it's OMG amazing. XD And we're gonna get a giant parfait. Lol. We watched Wicked last night. Like, a fan camera version of Kristen Chenoweth's last performance as Galinda. It makes us really want to see it live. They're performing it in Nagoya, I think. So, we may go see it. It'll be Japanese, but we watched the English version already, so we'll get the gist.

Oh yeah~ We were asked to be on TV today. I guess some morning show was filming in BH and they asked us to say something in Japanese and look cute. I think it was just "Come to Fukushima ENJOY!" ...I think. We looked cute, though~ The cameramen seemed to like us. :D That was the excitement of the day. Lol. It was pretty boring day. Played lots of solitaire. Might bring my e-reader with me tomorrow. Lol. And oooooh~ It was curry day today! And holy hell! It was PACKED! We went down for lunch early today, at about 12pm. And it was really feeding time at the zoo! Like, no seats. David had today off, so he came to lunch with us and we had to wait for him to get a seat! Craaazy. It was really yummy, though! Although, I missed Terry and how she always talks when she makes curry. Curry isn't the same without Terry~~~

Anywho, thats about all the exciting things that's happened so far. I'll take loads of pictures tomorrow! :D

Monday, August 22, 2011

It was super crazy omg amazing.

So, I got myself all situated last night. My room feels a bit more like my room. Decorated and whatnot.
 Yep. Feels all homey and schtuff. Experience my first aftershock this morning. It was like maybe 3 seconds long. I heard the wood creaking and it felt like a kitten jumped up on the bed. Thats it. Quite small. My figures wiggled a bit, too. Thats how I knew it was an aftershock.
So, we went to town today. Got registered at the Tenei Village office thing. And Angel took us shopping afterwards. Wen went to this small little restaurant for lunch. It had THE BEST fried rice and gyoza I've ever eaten. True story. So amazingly good. OMG.


After lunch we stopped in at Black Shop. OH MAI GAWD. O_________________________O
SOOO much geekery! It's AMAZING! Terry would probably die from the anime geekyness this place exudes. It was super crazy omg amazing. I bought a cute figure of Patty-chan from Lucky Star. She was the gaijin character and she was freaking adorable. My favourite character, actually. XD

The other figure is a blind box toy from Pretty Cure. I got it from 7-11. XD

So, after Black Shop we mosied on over to Mega Stage. We bought a few things at the Daiso store. It's amazing~~~ And it's SMELLS like a dollar store. You know how they have a kinda smell to them? Yeah~ Daiso smelled the same. Weeeird. And we went into SEGA WORLD! I tried a few things and didn't win a damn thing! >[ Booooooooo! Angel won a black plush bunny, though. It's made by the same people who made Gloomy Bear. Cuuute. We did some Purikura, too!

Fun times. We hopped to the book store after and wandered about. Found a few photobooks I wanted to buy, but had no money. DAMN YOU Sega World! So, I'll be buying them at a later date~ After the book store, we went to the grocery store. Angel bought a few things and I bought some powdered Milk Tea, a GIANT pack of chocolate Pocky and I bought the cutest baked goods know to man.

Why yes. That IS indeed a Totoro baked good! Sooooo cuuute! ;___; I haven't eaten it yet, though. Gonna have it for breaky. The other one is a turtle. It was the only one left, so I bought it so it wouldn't be alone. Ahaha. We walked about after that. Saw the imported food store and walked back. Bought a sammich and an onigiri at the train station. The sammich was yakisoba and mayonnaise filled. If it was JUST the yakisoba it would've been ok, but with the mayo it kinda killed it. Yick. The onigiri was ok, though. There wasn't any filling, but it had furikake all mixed in and small pieces of what I think was crab. Not bad~

I guess it's the interns last night tonight, so we're all going to the pub to hang out with them before they leave. I don't intend to drink, but I'll go and be social~ They're all really nice, anyway. The only one I've really chatted with was Jun and he's a sweetie. Angel should be here inb a minute and I still have to change, though. So, later days!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

David loves the soup, FYI.

So, continuing the story of our first day~

We got here and got our bags dropped off. And then, we went for a quick lunch in the staff house. David loves the soup, FYI. Its his new favourite food. Angel was introducing us to random people as we went. Its cute~ Everyone already knew us and they kept exclaiming on how alike Angel and I are. Lol. So, after lunch we ran back to our rooms. Kyoko came up and helped me into my yukata. Angel loaned me her mint one. It was pretty.

A group of us went down to the Hanabi festival together. It was in Shukugawa, so we had to take the train. Fun times. We waited at the station for like, 20 minutes and just joked around.

And that is the only full picture I have. Good work, me. 8D

So, we walked around for a bit in Shukugawa. Lots of stalls had been setup and they had all kinds of festival food and whatnot.

I tried Yakisoba and Melonpan. Gwen bought the melonpan for me. And it was fresh, too! Oh Melonpan~~~Where have you been all my life? D: ♥♥♥♥ The yakisoba was pretty tasty, too.

Totally flattering picture of me. Lol. It's just like, fried noodles with thinly sliced pickled ginger and cabbage and onion or something. Its totally yummy. ♥♥
Angel got a crepe and it was pretty tasty as well! And Gwen got a giant dango and takoyaki (octopus pieces cooked in battered balls). I wanted to try it, but I wasn't feeling brave enough. Lol.

So, everyone must've gotten there like SUPER early, because almost every square foot of concrete in this shops parking lot was taken. That was the best place to view, apparently. So, we walked about and attempted to find us a spot. We found a small piece of land and settled in. No one had remembered to bring a tarp or anything, so we sat on shopping bags for about 5 minutes. A really sweet elderly lady came over and offered us her tarp at that point. It was really sweet. Angel and I had to go use the bathrooms and we bought her a pack of fresh donuts as a thank you while we were out. We were gone about maybe 15 minutes and in that time we had managed to upgrade. Lol. We presented the donuts to the lady and she was reluctant to take them at first, but seemed very grateful and eventually took them. She was really sweet. :)
So, we walked back to the tarp and noticed that the tarp and the other weren't there. Lol. We then noticed them sitting on a big green tarp about 4-5 times the size of the other. "We upgraded" was what Keira told us when we asked. Lol. A nice guy named Matsumoto-san loaned it to use, since he wasn't using it. Really nice. :)

The fireworks were pretty, too! Although, it started to rain right as the fireworks started! And they weren't like, continuous. They'd fire off about 1-4 minutes of fireworks. Then talk about them for like 5 minutes. Kinda annoying. And I was still fighting my headache at that point, so I was really angry about it. Lol. They were pretty impressive, though!

Sorry for the crap photos. My camera sucks at night photos. Lol. Still, pretty snazzy. So, once the fireworks were over, we just kinda walked around for about an hour. We ended up getting a taxi to take us home from the Shukugawa station. Good thing, too. The station was PACKED. Like, CRAAAAZY. It was insane! But, we got the cab at 10pm and I slept the whole way home! It's like an hour and a half I think from BH. And I was just a zombie at the end of the night. We got home, and I didn't even have the energy to take a shower! I just changed into my PJ's and hopped right into bed. Lol.

And as for today, it's mostly just moving in and getting settled. My room is almost done. Just gotta move a few things about, but for the most part I'm done. David and I are probably gonna take turns between who's room we'll be sleeping in. Lol. My room last night, his room tonight. I hope his bed is more comfy than mine. My back was sooo sore this morning when I woke up!

But, Angel gave us the tour and tomorrow we go register at the Tenei Village Office with Kyoko. Good times. As for me, right now I'm going to get back to unpacking. Woo. XD

Oh, poor mum. She's going to have kittens when I don't call her on time!

So, we made it! :D

The flight over was pretty good. Although, we had a 5 HOUR delay! It was awful. D: We didn't sleep at all the night before. We hopped to the airport at like 3am. And we got through customs and baggage check and whatnot pretty easily. Although, funny story. David's bags were heavier than mine! We actually had to unpack his one suitcase right there at baggage check and repack it into mine. It was pretty funny. Lol. Had breakfast and ate the most delicious ham sammich EVER. Seriously, so good. And I got my crazy green Odwalla juice.

 Seriously, it tastes like sunshine! And it has 2.8 fruit/veggie servings! Yum yum! So, we left Toronto on time and it was a pretty easy flight. Slept a little and just kinda chilled. Although, we got the ONLY seat on the plane WITHOUT a window! So, I couldn't even wave goodbye to the Motherland. *cry* ;___;
But yeah, flight from TO was pretty good.

Dallas was a different story. We didn't have far to go from our first flight to the other and it was easy to navigate. Dallas has a nice airport, actually. Very bright and nice looking. So, we get to the other gate and are hopping on board. Everythings fine and dandy. I pop a gravol and pull out my Disney World blanket and get all cuddled and settled-- And they come on and announce that we have to vacate the plane, as it's not fit to fly. Well, fuck.

We thought it would be just a quick little delay.



True story. Oh man, it sucked. So, we sat in the boarding area. On the floor, since the chairs we all taken. I promptly passed out on the floor. And about 2 hours into the delay they gave us food vouchers. So, we went and had lunch and went back and slept some more. At this point in the program, my brain clicked in and I thought, 'Oh, poor mum. She's going to have kittens when I don't call her on time!' But, the American payphones wouldn't take Canadian change. (Who'd have guessed?) And although they advertise that they take Visa, thats a lie. That didn't take it. So, we scrambled for a bit to try and find a way to call mum and finally we bit the bullet 30seconds before boarding and used David's cell phone. Ahaha. Good work team.

So, the flight over was pretty good. Very smooth for the most part and nothing really exciting happened. The food was ok. And they didn't have XM Radio, but they had like 'American Airlines Radio'. And they had a J-Pop channel. Arashi AND S/mileage on the same radio. Woah. Amazing. ...Not really. But, it was ok. I slept for a good chunk. They made everyone close their windows, so I didn't really see much. While we were flying we had a GPS monitor that showed how far we were from Narita and showed how many KM/Miles we had gone and needed to go and other pertinent info. Pretty cool~

Narita airport is so quiet! And clean! It was crazy! And they had banners with Ninomiya Kazumnari all over the freaking place! No Aiba Masaki or Matsumoto Jun, though. I was pretty disappointed. Can't lie~ Ahahahaha. XD

Made it through customs pretty easily and everyone was super nice. We got to our hotel and it was pretty nice! The rooms were massive!

We even got adventurous and went and bought a drink from the vending machine. I got Natchan! Orange juice. Angel told me to. Lol.

 After getting drinks I skyped with dad for a few minutes. Was good to see him and let him know we were safe. And then, I called mum~~~ And got the ANSWERING MACHINE! >[
For shame, matriarch! I am so disappointed in youuuu! >P
...Not really. Ahaha. But still. XD

Slept like the dead that night. We forgot to set our alarm, but thank god we woke up at 7:30. Lol. We rushed to have a shower and check out. We took the shuttle to Narita Airport again and hopped to the train station. And I nearly killed some poor woman. True story. We had all these HEAVY bags, right? And they only had escalators. ;___; And I hate going down them to begin with! So, I put my one suitcase on a stair and it slipped. And fell all the way down. Some lady had just gotten off when it started to fall, so really it wouldn't have hit her, but still. She was nice enough to grab it when it got to the bottom and looked all concerned at me and asked, "Daijoubu?" (Are you ok?) And I just nodded and said, "Daijoubu desu." (I'm ok.) And looked all apologetic. And she smiled nicely and nodded and walked off. I was totally embarrassed. I hadn't been in Japan for 24hours yet and already I had tried to kill someone. So, we're waiting for the train and just before it came in a lady who works in the train station came running up. I thought, Oh great. Now I'm gonna get yelled at because of the bag thing. Not so much. I, apparently, had forgotten my wallet in one of the bag carts at the top of the escalator. And she was kinda enough to run after me and give it to me. I was so happy she was able to get it to me in time. That would've SUCKED!

So, we board the train easy enough. Not many people got on at the airport, but as we traveled down the route more and more people got on. I felt kinda bad that we had taken up so much space with our stuff. I might add, that for a service called Narita Express to Tokyo it wasn't very express. It was more like, Narita Milk Run to Tokyo! We stopped a LOT. But, whatever. We got to Tokyo. And you know what there is in Tokyo station? STAIRS. Lots and LOTS of STAIRS! BAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! I could've cried. It was horrible. But, we managed. Although, David broke his one suitcase. The pully lever thing came right out. Dude, that sucked. We caught the shinkansen at 10:20 like planned and all was well.
Did I mention, it was the POKEMON TRAIN! :D

Yep. AMAZING~~~~
The Shinkensen trip was really smooth. It was very nice. Saw a lot of the countryside and whatnot that way. And only 2 Arashi advertisements in all the stations we stopped at! I was disappointed, can't lie. But, we made it safely to Shin-Shirakawa. And the British Hills bus waited for us until we got there. Yay~ The ride up the mountain was pretty long. And after travelling for so long, I was starting to get motion sickness. I just didn't want to travel anymore. Migraine and nausea added made for a pretty crap first few hours. Lol.

But, all was well when we got to British Hills. We got off the bus and Angel was-- Nowhere to be seen. I was sad. XD
So, I walked inside the Manor House to see if she was on desk and no, she wasn't. One of the Japanese ladies (can't remember who) called her and no answer. I was just beginning to think about exploring and I hear an "AAAAASH" from outside. So, I run to the door and we did a slow motion run. Well, not really. But, we totally slammed into each other and hugged. Kodak moment right there~

Good lord, this is a long entry! Sorry for writing a novel! XD

Thursday, August 18, 2011

O Hai Thar Airport

So, I'm sitting in a Fairfield Inn near the TO Airport right now.

Excuse me a moment.



Well then~ Now that THAT'S out of the way, here I am, sitting in a --wait. I did that part already. Well, nothing to report yet, really. The hotel's less than stellar and I'm trying to adjust my body clock to Japan time. So, no sleep tonight. But, I'll sleep on the plane. With or without the aid of some gravol that's stashed in my purse.

So, I watched Wicked last night for the first time. It was magical. (Ahahahaha.) But true story, it was amazing. I watched a fancam recording of Kristen Chenoweth's last show as Galinda. And it was fab. Lovelovelove. Gonna make Angel watch it when we get there. Seeing as we're learning the music, it only makes sense. Ahaha.

Aside from that, nothing else to report. No pictures. Sorry. Although, I guess I COULD have taken a photo of the airport. Its freaking busy! We were watching the planes come in and take-off while we had dinner tonight. Mum found it especially amusing how people just kinda sit outside the gates and watch it. Like, as in they brought a camera and a blanket and set themselves up for a good long day of plane watching. It was pretty ridiculous. XD

Well, here's hoping we have a smooth flight. I'll check in once we land! :D

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Only a few more days!

Dear Apartment,
Please pack yourself.
Love Ashley and David ♥

Good lord, how I hate packing. True story. Can't stand it. We're making some progress, but still. I wish I could just snap my fingers and have a fully packed apartment. Bah.

So, we fly out on THURSDAYOMG!
I'm quite excited, can't lie. I bought one of them fancy Kobo e-readers and it's my new favourite thing in life. Lovelove.
Hopefully that'll keep me amused on the plane. That is, if I'm not sleeping. Can't lie~ The official plan is to just sleep the whole way. I figure a good round of sleep deprivation plus a gravol or two once we leave Dallas and I'll be good to go. Ahaha.

Angel's already got plans for us once we arrive. I think we'll get to British Hills with enough time to drop our bags off, have me change super quick into a yukata and then we're off to a hanabi in a neighbouring city. I'm super excited. I looove fireworks. Especially fireworks that last for over an hour! And they're apparently amazing, too! *_______________*

Oh well. Back to packing, I suppose. I just wanted to update the blog and update the layout a bit. I think it's cute. I'll change the photo's to my own once I start taking photos in Japan. In the meantime though, they've been lovingly taken from my tumblr.

Only a few more days! Wooo! *fistpump*