The 3 weeks went quicker and better than expected.
We flew out on the 11th and headed to Tokyo. From one airport (Haneda), we took a bus to the other airport (Narita) and flew to Dallas from whence we flew out to, finally, San Antonio. Since all my other travels to and from Japan had involved spending the night at a hotel, this was difficult. In the end, we were traveling for over 24 hours straight and, after that, you really don’t feel very clean or cheery. Nevertheless, we made it without any real hassles (except for Rian thinking he left his keys in the taxi) and arrived in San Antonio in one piece.
His parents and sister were waiting after we disembarked from the last plane and I was quite nervous to meet him. I think it helped to break the ice that his sister hugged me while his mom was concentrating on having her son back. Overall, it went better than expected but I was uncomfortable in their home the first few days, expectedly. It grew easier toward the end of the vacation but, initially, I was in a strange place and felt much more like a guest than Rian did.
It was my first time in Texas or any place not in the midwest. I was quite warm and humid but, toward the end, a lot of rain helped to keep it cool.
We spent a lot of time shopping, though I think I spent less money than I intended, and eating out. Both activities are severely limited while in Japan either on or off base. I bought some clothes and badly need new shoes as well as a purse. We both spent quite a bit of money on books and while Rian spent more on video games, I did buy a few for the DS for myself – all of which became even more useful when Rian bought me my own DS. ^_^
Toward the end, I was sick of fast food and burger joints. We didn’t go to very many ‘nice’ sit down restaurants. I did, however, have a chance to experience “real” Mexican food (from a restaurant) and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either and don’t expect to have a craving for it any time soon.
Rian spent much time arguing with his mother about not going to any (more) Mexican restaurants because he doesn’t like it and, occasionally, it was extremely obvious how much Rian rejects his “heritage” though certain things were very understandable.
I got to experience a few new things besides the old ones I wanted to catch up on: Seaworld, Chuck E Cheese, and IHOP to name a few. We also saw Transformers with his family – 3 times – and it was quite a good movie so if you’re thinking about seeing it, do so! Rian and I saw Live Free or Die Hard which had it’s moments but was overall lacking, especially considering that it was a die hard flick.
We spent a lot of time just hanging out, playing games (like Transformers Monopoly), watching TV, sleeping in et cetera. We ended with a ghost tour of downtown San Antonio which was a little hokey but definitely fun.
I also spent a lot of time meeting the family – aunts, uncles, cousins so on and so forth which became old and tiring quickly but was to be expected. Despite the fact that Rian doesn’t like a lot of parties, his mom had a couple events to welcome us home and see us off and we spent some time with other family members as well so sometimes we just wanted some alone time.
Overall, it was pretty enjoyable and I think it did us well to be on vacation together. Being alone in Japan can be pretty stressful, I think. I need to head to work in a bit (bleh) so things are going to be getting back to normal pretty quickly here.