Tag Archives: road trip

Two days in Nagano


What a fun weekend! Thursday the 4th of January, Lin and Rob took Fred and me on an adventure. Without telling us the destination, they told us to bring warm clothes for two days and we piled into a rental car for a five-hour drive from Kawasaki.

Destination Nagano! Rest stops along the expressway are quite extensive, with large parking lots, restrooms, shops, and vendors. Paper cones of roasted and sweetened almonds, cashews, or peanuts enticed us to buy one of each to share. Yum!

Thanks to GPS we found our way to Yamanouchi-machi. We checked into our large room  and found tea waiting for us. The square table has four adjustable stadium-type seats on the floor. Under the table top are blankets and a quilt to hold in heat generated by heat lamps that are protected by a mesh cage. We can choose low, med, or high heat and our legs are toasty warm! We have enjoyed tea and good conversation here several times a day.

The first afternoon we agreed not to use any electronics until after dinner! Today as I write this, Lin and I are both on iPads and the guys are playing Minecraft on their phones

Dinner at 6 and breakfast at 8 were served Japanese style with so many delicious dishes. I’m not sure when I”ve tried so many new and unfamiliar foods. Using chopsticks was sometimes a challenge for me with the odd shapes and sizes.

After dinner was the first of several trips to one of the onsen (hot springs) at the inn. They are mostly segregated by gender, but after 11 if no one else is there, a group or couple can lock the door for a private spa. Lin and I loved the outdoor onsen under a light snow. So beautiful! The guys had different hours for that experience

Tomorrow, another surprise planned by Rob and Lin!



The turn of the year, Rosh Hashanah, a bit of rain and slightly cooler weather has brought me back to life after a long summer.

Multi-tasking today to finish a one page resume (one page!), pack for a road trip, wrestle with an online banking problem, finish laundry for said trip, and meeting a roofer about a leak after said rain have me super conscious of time and efficiency.

Started out the day at Texas French Bread for a yummy breakfast with friends. I wasn’t quite awake enough to choose among the options, but the recommended breakfast tostadas are tasty!

The roof leak ruined a bedroom ceiling and made a royal mess. We did have buckets out and Jon punched a hole in the ceiling to keep the water under some control instead of spreading further. Fortunately we have a good company, Ja-Mar Roofing. Daniel and Lupe did a good job in finding a previous leak and tested it thoroughly. That one came through an outdoor electrical outlet and into the wall. This time my guess is that a seam where two sections of the roof come together is the source of the latest problem. I am thrilled with the rain; too bad some of it had to fall into my house instead of on thirsty trees.

The road trip is just to northern Arkansas. We’re aiming for Crystal Bridges Museum that friends have said is a good art museum in a beautiful setting. Travel is always fun, especially in a car. Side trips are always an option and no one is expecting us at any particular time.

The best part about having “too much to do”? I get much more done. Nothing like a deadline to keep me focused. Writing a blog was not on the essential list, but here ya go!