Wednesday, November 16, 2011

That's a really big apple.

So the other day we had a wedding at BH and the bride's parents paid us at reception a visit the following morning because they were early for breakfast. It seems that they own an apple orchard in Aomori (that place is famous for it's apples) and they brought us some apples for Megumi and I. We were really excited. Even more exciting is the fact that these are the biggest damn apples I've ever seen in my life. Ever. It was like, the size of my face. Here, have a picture to demonstrate:
Seriously, they were MASSIVE. And delicious. Possibly the best apple I've ever had. Megumi and I were so excited to receive them! I was flabberghasted over how big they were. Like, for real. If I held it in both hands, I couldn't reach my fingers all the way around it. Amazing.

So we had another family field trip, this time to Tatsuru's parent's house for some pottery and handmade soba noodles. It was fun. His Dad's a potter, so he showed us how me makes some pieces, then he got us to all have a go. It was the first time using a potter's wheel for all of us (except Tatsuru, obviously) and I don't think we did...too...bad. Lol. Here's some pictures of us using the wheel.
 Tatsuru's Dad and George
 Tatsuru and Mike
 Suzi and Shinta
 George being a goofball and taking a billion pictures and Keira
 Ash and Tonya
Want to see the fruits of our labour? Well as it turns out, we didn't do too bad. I made a mini-vase...thing. I wasn't quite sure what I was making, but apperently that's what I made.
Mine's the one circled in red in case you couldn't tell. Lol. Apparently it'll take like 2 months for us to get them back because they're firing them in a special kiln. Before they put them away we all got to decorate them a bit, so I scratched my name in katakana on the side of it and made lines come out of the top. Lol. After that, we went inside and Tatsuru's Dad handed all of us a chunk of clay and let us make whatever we wanted. I suck at using clay it would seem, so I made some amazing, totally real looking, bunny paper weights and a plate.
One bunny is for me, one is for Ashley. She made me a fish chopsticks rest with googly eyes. It's really cute.

After clay fun, we cleaned up and had soba and tempura for lunch. They made the soba noodles from scratch so they were really good! I didn't get a picture of the tempura, it was yummy so I blew through it too fast. Lol. The amount of soba they gave us was massive though! So much! I couldn't finish it! Most of us couldn't...except George. He had seconds, and then finished all of ours. Tatsuru went around all of us collecting our plates, then just scraped it all onto George's. Ahaha. His parents were amazed at how much George could eat. And since he can speak Japanese, he was able to tell them that he loved it.

 They gave us a mug of tea and a cookie when we first arrived. It was nice. That bowl was FILLED with soba! That's how much I left over. I couldn't finish it! So much! It was so yummy though!
Took some pictures outside as well. Tatsuru's family has some cats at their house. We all wanted to pet them so bad. @__@ They kept running away though, so we didn't get to, until we saw them in the garage. Then one came over and we got to pet it. It was so soft! It was so nice to be able to pet a cat! There are no pets on the mountain so it gets kinda lonely.
After lunch, we packed back into the green British Hills mini-bus and Tatsuru drove us to a National park to look around. It was quite pretty. Unfortunately though, my camera's batteries were dying so some of my shots are blurry and not pretty.
Now, that bridge. It was quite terrifying. Seriously. There was no rail along it to hold us in. And everytime someone walked over it, it felt like an earthquake. So I very cautiously walked onto it, and then freaked and grabbed Ashley's arm. And what does George do, being the gentleman that he is? He proceeds to jump and skip on the bridge around where I am, making it wobble precariously and then run away before I can severely hurt him. Later in the program, we came upon a very narrow, very high, VERY STEEP flight of steps. Being the idiot that I am, I walk up them (slowly and cautiously and without looking down), clinging to the loose(!) chain railing that was barely at the height of my knees and thinking that there must be another way to get down. I was wrong. OMG. Going down those steps was a nightmare. I was absolutely terrified. I had to inch down the steps sideways because I was afraid of falling down. It was terrifying. Seriously and totally.

After we got back to the car (George and Keira wandered off to take pictures of a cute little train station and while Keira ran to get to the car, George waddled along, so we drove off and made him run beside the car for a bit, lol) we drove to the onsen. It was my first experience and it was AMAZING. We went to the outdoor section and it was heavenly. I totally want to go again.

After onsen, we went back to British Hills and ate a very fast dinner. (Tatsuru gave us 15mins to eat and change) Then we went to karaoke! We thought Tatsuru was going to have to fit all 7 of us in his car, but fortunately, Shinta came with and he drove too! Ash, Dave and I went with Shinta, and everyone else with Tatsuru. We had a lot of fun. Ash and I did a bunch of duets and Tatsuru and Shinta  sang some songs together. Their last song was hilarious. xD

Monday, November 7, 2011

International Lolita Tea Party. Oh yeah, and Halloween.

So I just got home yesterday from my latest trip to Tokyo. First day was Ueno zoo with Martin and Tom, second day was the tea party, third day was coming home. Special bonus pictures from Halloween are included at the bottom of this post.

So first day we went to Ueno Zoo. It was cool. We woke up early and went to a vending machine restaurant for breakfast. A vending machine restaurant is a place where you order your food using a vending machine, it spits out a ticket which you give to the chef and he makes what you ordered (it's printed on the ticket). I got curry rice with a cutlet on it. It was lovely. <3
After that, we hopped on the train and went to Ueno. At Ueno station we saw a pretty awesome / weird sign advertising bagels.
Fortunately the zoo was about a 5 minute walk from the station, so we were there in no time. When we walked into the zoo, to our left was a really pretty shrine type thing with a bridge and a cute little stream. We got some pics with it.
Yeah I know, my outfit is amazing.
Anywho, we walked around and saw the animals. Some were quite cute, like the red pandas. While we were there, it must have been like elementary school day or something because there were a bazillion children there and they were all wearing different coloured hats to distinguish which school / group they belonged to.
Like that. (Thanks for the picture Tom!)
It was actually really cute, when Martin, Tom and I walked by the little kids (the group up there actually) they were all eating their lunches and they saw us, and a cheeky one yelled "HELLO!" at us, and of course Martin had to yell back, HELLO! And all of a sudden all of them were yelling hello at us. Lol. The teachers went crazy trying to get them to calm down. Ahaha. We bumped into that same group on our way out and they all started yelling "BYEBYE! SEE YOU!" it was cute. :D
So yes, we saw animals too. Have some pictures. My camera's batteries died while we were there so I didn't get many pictures.
 RED PANDAS! >  3<
We nipped to Harajuku that day too, I bought some boots to go with my outfit I had planned. Then I made the decision to go in to a 2nd hand lolita shop...and I found my new dress. I saw one look at the price tag and had to have it. It was SO cheap! Luckily, my boots went even better with the new dress than the other one I was planning to wear. I totally wore my new dress for the tea party instead. Which brings me to...

So this was the day of the tea party. We weren't going to meet up until 1pm, so I decided to take my time getting ready. We were being filmed for a TV program so I wanted to look top notch. After some preparations, I went to the station and went off to Harajuku. I was a bit early, but so were all the other girls. We met on the bridge, and they took each of us and interviewed us separately. They asked me what my outfit's charm point was, so I said my ribbon brooch, and they thought I said just my ribbons, and they counted all the bows on my outfit and looked impressed with my bow coverage. They also asked me to name my outfit for the day. So I said "umm...sweet...vampire? Yeah, sweet vampire." and they looked happy with that. My dress' print is called Vampire Requiem, so I guess that fits. All the girls were really sweet! it was so cool meeting them.
Here's my outfit and the group of us on the bridge.
So after photos and filming on the bridge (seriously, it was like the damn paparazzi on the bridge. Everyone was taking pictures of us because the camera crew was there. I think they thought we were some new girl band or something) we headed off for the cafe. It was really cute.
It was really cute inside! We all really enjoyed the atmosphere. We all sat down and the camera people told us we could get 1 drink and 1 dessert from the menu. We were kinda let down because most of us were ravenously hungry, but we were good kids and we did order from the proper menus. Some of the girls got a really cute chocolate cake, I went with the "Cheshire Cat with Magical Wand Wonderland Mixed Berry Parfait" and the "Alice in Magical World" non-alcoholic cocktail. Yes, the names really WERE that long. I'm not kidding. The parfait was basically a glass filled with a few chunks of fruit in the bottom, a piece of waffle, filled with corn flakes, topped with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and a croissant. So really, it was a balanced breakfast. Just missing the coffee and bacon. It was good, but not really filling. The drink...tasted like juice. I couldn't even put a taste to it. It just tasted...juice-like. Weird. The food was kinda lack luster but I think that's because I was so freakin' hungry. It was cute though.
So we had our food and they filmed us talking amongst ourselves and asking each other questions. The film crew now knows all about my sister. They found out I had a twin and filmed me answering lots of questions about having a twin sister that's into the fashion. It was fun.
After the tea party, the girl who hosted the gig went off to do her own thing, so a group of about 6 of us went out to get some McDonalds. We were freakin hungry. After devouring some food, we went shopping. I bought a new bolero for crazy cheap (it was a good weekend for good deals) and then we went for purikura and dinner.
 (Hitsu and I wore the same print and colour of dress! Crazy! She was so sweet!)
We went to a restaurant that offered appetizer sized dishes that you're supposed to share with everyone. Everything on the menu was 270yen. Including drinks. It was great. It was like almost a pint glass size for the drinks too. Just 270yen (about $3). We ended up staying there till really late. After that, we parted ways, and I went for a walk with Ariana and her buddies. We walked around Shinjuku and I asked Ari to bring me back to the station because I'd never find it on my own. She said sure, we'd just go get her friends and then go to the station. We go, and get her friends, they're really nice and then start walking again. After a few minutes I realize I don't recognize the area (I was drunk so I guess I forgot or something). I asked "Ari, is this the way to the station?" and she looked at me funny and said "No, the staion is back that wa--oh. We need to take you to the station." So we booted it back to the station with 9 minutes to spare. That is, 9 minutes until the trains stop running for the night. So I hightail it to my train and hop in. It's packed. I hold the handle and ride along, and I see these two guys beside me peering at the map and looking confused, so I offer to help. They say they're fine, so I think nothing of it. After about 2 minutes, the older guy starts talking to me. He's some creepy Russian guy. Like, 45ish years old. I'm pretty sure he was hitting on me. I was drunk, I don't remember what he was saying, I wasn't really paying attention. Something about me looking like I went to a festival, and how he had a daughter my age and he thought me being in Fukushima was something to be proud of and he admires me or whatever. Eventually he left thank god. And then, his friend started talking to me. He was Polish. I tried to put my headphones on and pretend I didn't notice, but he tapped my shoulder and said "talk to me" so I gave short 1 sentence responces until I hopped out at Ueno station. I then flew like a crazy lady to get to my train. It was the last one of the night. Of course, right then, the 5 drinks I had in me decided to hit my bladder. I had to use the washroom so bad it was crazy. And there was only 1 train left. And according to the signs above the track it was 4 minutes away. I decided to hold it. It was only 4 minutes after all, then another 2 on the train then I could find a potty. Turns out, that train was running late. It wasn't 4 minutes, it was 12. It was the most agonizing 12 minutes of my life. Lol. So I get on the train and after a lifetime I get to the station and get some relief. So exiting the station, I hit a snag. The 2 nights previous, when Martin, Tom and I walked back to the hotel, we used 2 different ways to get there. So I had no clear image in my head of how to get to the hotel. Well, I went with my gut and started walking. Now remember, I was inebriated at the time. Turns out, I went in COMPLETELY the wrong way. Like, totally wrong. Fortunately, I had a map in my purse so after getting horribly lost, I pulled it out and found out where to go. I should have been home at 12:30am. I walked into the hotel at 1:35am. Ahaha. That's how safe Tokyo is. I was totally fine. I went upstairs to my room and went to take my makeup off and Tom and Martin walk into the hall and ask where the heck I was. I guess they were worried or something. Lol. Good times.

Anywho the next day, I came back home. Dang. But before coming home, we went to Meiji shrine in Harajuku to check it out. It was very busy there. They had 3 weddings going on, so we got to see a traditional wedding procession. It was really cool. And it was 3-5-7 day! They used to have a special day celebrating children that reached the age of 3, 5, and 7 because the mortality rate for children was higher back in the day. they still celebrate it. There were so many little kids in cute kimono it was amazing. I just wanted to hug them allll. So cute. D: <3
So I apparently forgot to include some pictures in here, so I'll just pop them in and write a description beneath them. Like hell I'm gonna go mess up my post by adding stuff in.
 Purikura with Martin, Tom, Wendy and the interns! Yay! We went for dinner with some of the girls on the first day. It was really nice seeing them again! I forgot how much I missed Wendy.
 I wanted my dresses to de-wrinkle so I hung them up. The pink one was the one I was supposed to wear, but then I bought my red one, so I wore the pink one on the third day.
 The room was really tiny. Lol.
 We went for a walk one evening, and I saw this sign and HAD to have a picture of it.
 This is the machine I did purikura with the loli girls in. I thought the model looked like my buddy Zoe.
 NicoNico shop in Harajuku. They had Vocaloid things in the windows. I didn't get a chance to go in though. D:
 Paris Kids always had the best lucky packs. I paid 315yen (about $4) and I got like 7 things in it. It was perfect, there was a big black bow in it that I used for my hair.
I bought 2 volumes of this manga to translate. It's called Daughter of the Nile. Yes, it's a manga about Ancient Egypt. I'm so happy.

Oh right. Halloween pics. I'm sure you saw Ashley's, but here are some from me too.

 And now that I think about it, the next day we all went to town and I had my luckiest day ever at UFO catchers. I seriously won like, 12 things. And at the grocery store, they were giving out Pocky related things as free gifts. I got a giant inflatable stick of pocky as a present.

 I won more than that, but I gave a bunch of things away to Ash and the other girls here.