Forgive me! This past week has been gaining speed with all my plans and ambitions coming up, so I wasn’t able to write. Therefore, this post will be double the fun. Isn’t that exciting? You may be wondering, “What will be the content?” Well… if you have been reading my blog religiously, you should have been aware that the last two weeks were asides. Without further ado, here’s about my trip back to North America.
The flight back wasn’t so bad. It’s nice to have company, and the silliness of my sisters was amusing (although sometimes annoying). I flew from Nagoya to Newark via Detroit. I’ve heard lots of bad things about Northwest Airlines, but I can’t complain. It was the cheapest flight. Sure, the amenities are far less compared to other airlines, but so what? I’m not really so picky when it comes to films in the air. I’m not paying for it, right? Although I can’t choose from a list of films to watch at any given time, there are still movies shown.
When I got back to Newark, it was all very familiar. I mean, how distant could it really have gotten having only been away for a year? Nonetheless, I was back in my ultimate comfort zone. So what was the first thing to do? Of course, I spent a bit of time with most of family until the urge to see The Dark Knight kicked in. I called my friend that lived closest to home, and slightly shocked him with my idea of seeing it despite having only been back for a few hours.
The following three days were filled with meeting different people, but I saw a movie each of those days including my second viewing of The Dark Knight. It was lots of fun catching up with friends from home throughout my week and half back home. I wish I had more time to spend with all of my friends. I didn’t even get a chance to see some of them. I saw most of my friends only once. It was sort of humorous in that I was away for a year, saw friends for one day, and then leave again for another year. It was good talking, and I was happy that it seemed like I never really left. I think it’s not a good sign when you see a friend and everything just seems different. In such cases, the connection has been lost somehow. It’s sad, but it happens.
I was busy with family for the rest of the time. A few days, we went into the city (as in New York City), and we saw the musical, Wicked. Another day, I went with them to Woodbury Common, a big outlet center in the state of New York. I bought a lot of things like a new messenger bag (you must’ve gotten tired of my backpack that I wore all last year), blazers (yes, yes… I know… your jaw dropped and broke ground), clothes, and Tommy Hilfiger shoes (I didn’t know there were shoes from that brand either). Toward the end of my time home, we went to Six Flags: Great Adventure, which has “Kingda ka,” the tallest and fastest roller coaster on Earth as of now. I rode on it when it opened, but it’s fun to tell people about. Sometimes people ask me, “What’s there in New Jersey?” I can tell them about “Kingda ka,” instead of saying, “Well… there are a lot of trees.”
My second full week consisted mainly of going to Canada with my family. We drove up with my dad and I alternating the driving. We first went to Niagara Falls for a day. The drive wasn’t as long as what we expected. Ramada Inn, the hotel on our first night, wasn’t very good. I’ve never had a bad experience with Ramada. It’s not a great hotel chain, but as it was only one night, we felt that it wasn’t necessary to go all out. Anyway, this Ramada’s management was all messed up. I really hope it’s fixed now otherwise they will have a lot of angry customers. We were downgraded, because our room wasn’t made when we arrived. It wasn’t like we showed up right at check-in. We got there a little after midnight.
I was pleased with Niagara Falls. It’s not some place I’d go again any time soon, but for my first time there, I thought it was fun. We took a bunch of pictures. I posted some a few weeks ago. We went on the famous Maid of the Mist, walked around the area, and ate at the revolving dining room in the Skylon Tower. After our day’s excitement, we started toward Toronto. It was much closer than I thought.
Our hotel in Toronto was good as we stayed in a two bedroom suite at a Marriott Residence Inn. We ate at a bunch of Chinese restaurants throughout our time in Canada. I’m convinced that my parents wanted to travel to Toronto for the Chinese food considering it’s the closest place for more authentic. My dad kept talking about the food and recommendations he heard from different people. I admit it was very good, but I wouldn’t travel to some place just to eat the food.
Other than all the Chinese food, we went to Centre Island, which was relaxing and beautiful. There’s a ferry that goes to and from the harbour (ah, all the British English). On that same day, we went to the CN Tower. It was impressive, but tickets were also incredibly expensive. We opted not to go to the top. So what if it’s the tallest free standing structure in the world? As much as I like various views of cities, I didn’t think it was worth the ticket price. Another day was for Casa Loma, an early 20th century European-influenced castle. I felt it was one of the better tourist locations. On our last day there, I was hoping to experience the Taste of the Danforth, a big annual Greek town festival. It started at 6PM, because it was the first day of the festival. We had to leave by then, so I opted to just buy a gyro. It was delicious, but if only the festival started earlier in the day…
We started driving back to New Jersey in the afternoon, and our drive back was smooth, except for some nasty traffic between Toronto and Niagara Falls. After we returned home, I had to get busy with all my packing and cleaning up. My mom’s side of the family came to our house on my last full day home to celebrate the birthdays of my cousin and me. It was on my actual birthday too. Now I am 23, and I’m happy to no longer be what I consider the disgustingly sounding age of 22. Here’s to another year of high quality!
Stay tuned next week for another update!
Je me souviens quand j’avais 13 ans. Je pensais que d’avoir 23 ans serait dans un longtemps. Il y avait beaucoup du drame à cet âge, n’est-ce pas? Il est l’âge de la stupidité. Les adolescents pensent qu’ils sont les plus importants. Je ne voudrais jamais vivre encore mes années d’adolescent. Je suis content avec ma vie maintenant.
今週の聖書の詩: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
- Romans 12:19-21 (NIV)
今週の写真: Shots from Casa Loma.