Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday, May 26th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today I got a lot of papers graded.  My one class was okay, but I got a little angry because they wouldn't repeat things I said to repeat.  Joyful Noise practiced at lunch.

E.S.S. after school was fun.  There were about 15 girls today.  We played the name game, did vocal and acting warm-ups, the mirror activity, sang "El Shaddai", worked on mimicking, read from scripts, and had social time.

I rode the train home with Linda Lee & cleaned out my dresser drawers- oh boy!

Masano called and cancelled our get together on Saturday.  I swear she's avoiding me, but I don't know why.   What have I done or said to make her & the N's avoid me?  Or am I just paranoid?

I got a letter from Ruth G. the other day.  She wants me to sign a form to become a special service worker.  I really don't want to, because part of the pkg. is becoming involved in various missionary groups & clubs, and I don't want to!  Church women will be given my name & I'll get cards, etc. (more responsibility when I go home- program-wise).

I want to just be a teacher here, but Pennsylvania did help me with my airfare, and in getting the job to begin with, but yuk!!  All the missionaries (Baptist) I've met so far are old, boring, mega-holy, and dull.  I'm too young to fall in with this group. 

I don't know what to do, both about N's, which I should probably blow off for the time being, and chalk it up to paranoia, or this special service worker thing which I DON'T WANT TO DO!!

Got a letter from dad, a post card from Robin in California (she's visiting Mike, and saw Jennifer en route, in St. Louis, where Jen is in the hospital for bulimia), and a letter & some pictures from Stephanie.

So, now I have to call this T. woman on my own on Saturday, and try to get her to understand that I'll give her lessons for 15,000 yen/month.  God help me!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday, May 25th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was meeting day.  Linda Lee called and said that Karl wasn't going in (because he helped Christos tear down and got home late), and to take the train.  I rode in with Mr. M.  M. lead prayer meeting, then I wrote letters, etc. till chapel.  Chapel was about leprosy- yuk!

We had a 2 1/2 hour English meeting.  I'm not going to England (angry emoji)!!  I had an x-ray taken today.  Free physicals and such for Hinomoto.

Rode home w/Karl & L. Lee.  Stopped at steak place for dinner- had chicken.  Ran downtown to buy envelopes.  Exciting day?!

Misuzu D. came by to ask about taking English lessons.  Said she doesn't like Karl- he intimidates.  So, I'm going to give her private lessons.  Don't know if it'll work out or not!





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, May 23rd, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today I went shopping and found a rug for my office.  It's neat & was on sale, but I fear it's too small...oh well, it'll work all right.  I bought a new watch band and had a dickens of a time getting the old one off & the new one on.  I mailed "A Day in the Life..." to Steph, the mask to Robin, and bought paper balloons for mom to give to her kids.

I bought an Old El Paso taco pack, and made honest to God Mexican tacos for dinner- yum.  I also found stuffed tortellini- yay.

After dinner dome woman came to my door.  I had to call Karl (there's that dependence again) & he & I finally got figured out that she wanted to take English lessons.  She graduated from Hinomoto 9 years ago,  & she saw me walk by & followed me to see where I lived when she picked up her kids at the kindergarten next door.  I'm not sure if I'll take her a student, but probably will---it's more shopping money!  She seems very nice.

I met Michiyo at 7:20 to go to Chinatsu's taiko (drum) concert.  It was really good, and after their concert, they pulled the audience up to play too.  What fun.  Michiyo & I followed each other on all the different drums.  Chinatsu took picture of me playing-ugh!


Chinatsu & her mom brought me home, and now I'm planning tomorrow's lessons.  This evening I've felt a little homesick and lonely in realizing that I haven't seem my family for 2 months now...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tuesday, May 24th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today I had my 3 classes.  I laid my new carpet in my office.  It's pretty, but a little small- a vast improvement though!

Linda Lee and I left school at 5, went into Koro to eat, then went to Fukuzaki (two stops past Koro) to hear Christos sing- big deal- they're not that good, and to hear a man crippled by polio, and his wife, who carries him on her back.  She spoke, then we left to catch a train.

Sunday, May 22nd, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today I went with Karl to Koro Church for a church party/picnic.  It was fun, and the cutest little kid smiled when I made faces- what a cutie.  Meg M. and I got my coming to her juku once a month squared away.

She mentioned something about Karl wanting to know all the details and speaking for me, which was strange to her and reminds me that I need to put a distance between us- or they'll totally control me.  I've realized I let people take control, & I need to stop.

We also had English worship.  It was Pentecost Sunday, so it was about presents from Heaven all day, but now I know what Pentecost is anyway.  Strange not really knowing before now!

Watched "Murder, She Wrote" at K's & exchanged yen for $ to send home for the first time.

Mom & dad called.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday, May 21st, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Since yesterday was payday, today was shopping day!

I bought a planter, dirt (for my peppermint seeds), writing paper, index cards, had reprints made, stuff for Steph's box, Christmas ornaments, many groceries!, etc. etc.

Did laundry, cleaned, washed dishes, and that's about it for this exciting day!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Friday, May 20th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was my dead day.  I took the train for the first time in the morning, because K's were going to go in at 7:15 (which was actually 7:45, Linda Lee said the wrong time), so I beat K's in.  I rode the train w/Mr. M., one of the high school teachers.

I washed the rest of my filthy east wall at school, and my south wall too.

I corrected papers, planned my Megumi lesson, and worked on fellowship time for Megumi on Sunday.

I had lunch club.  Chinatsu, Michiyo, and Masami stopped by before Kidsland (after school).

I took the 5:05 home and met K's to go to Royal Host and class.  At Royal Host I met Mickey I., one of the writers of the Gaizin Shimbun.  Seemed very nice.

Linda Lee's boys were studying for exams, so her class was cancelled.

In my class, there were 7.  It was fun.  We played the name game, studied chapter 7 & 8, and then afterwards sang a couple of songs (during chapel time).



Got a nice letter from Steph.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, May 18th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today I had my one English class.  We had an English mtng. beforehand, and I decided I was moving too fast, or the others too slow, so I went back to chapter 1 & worked on vocabulary.

After class Yukari N. came to visit.  We ate lunch with N. sensei and K. sensei.  After they left M. sensei sat with us.

We had Joyful Noise practice.  Today was Linda Lee, N., M. and I & we worked on Holy, Holy, Holy as an a cappela quartet song.  It sounded pretty good!

In the afternoon remaining I cleaned part of my wall, which was filthy and now I have to clean the rest of the wall because there is a dirt line now- ugh!  So tomorrow, that's one of my tasks.

E.S.S. met after school.  Yuka, Ree, Michiko, and Makiyo didn't come- jerks!  2 teacher school girls came & Tomomi.  We worked on "El Shaddai" which we may sing at Festival in June.   We also played the name game and sang "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes".  It was a fun meeting.

Tonight I've read & cooked dinner.

It was so nice to sing today!  I need to do so every day or I'll lose some of the quality.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, May 17th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was meeting day.  We had prayer mtng. at 8:30, then chapel at 10:50 which was on music today.  Christos sang and then a Japanese duet act sang.  There were 2 men, one of whom "preached" too.  They were pretty good.  I didn't fully enjoy the time, though, because a group of girls wasn't listening the whole time, so I huffed down, told several groups to listen, and then went to the noisiest group and sat with them. After a few shoulder taps they were pretty quiet.

After that was a hurried lunch, a few conferences, and then another marathon faculty meeting.

Karl attacked Nobu for having me on the yacht school trip, because I can't sail & can't swim & he made em feel about 3.  I was so mad, it could have been argued out later, but Karl's comment brought about other questions & the discussion lasted about 40 minutes.  I was so embarrassed.

Karl came in & apologized later, but I still felt dumb. Went to Sato w/ K's & watched "Hunter" and "Murder, She Wrote", then came home to write letters, etc.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, May 17th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was the day I have my 3 classes, and nothing really noteworthy took place.

At 2:30 I had to go over to the high school to eliminate 1 girl out of the 31 going on the trip to America.  I really don't see where 1 more girl is that much trouble, but since I don't teach there, and could thus be impartial, I got the lucky task.  I feel so bad for the girl I axed, but of all those I interviewed she seemed the least outgoing and having the least speaking ability.  Poor girl.

I wrote a chapel talk on God's family tonight, to give to M. tomorrow.

I felt pretty depressed, professional theater-wise until a little while ago, so maybe the overwhelming effect is starting to lessen.  I'll be there someday, but right now it seems so far away.  I really hope not!

(Boy, these two entries are dull and short...which is good...better than dull & long!).


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monday, May 16th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Nothing happened today, and I've had these awful "God why am I not famous and on Broadway yet" feelings, due to the fabulous show yesterday.  I always get this way after a good show, and I just feel so miserable and like such a failure.  I really want to be famous, and I really want to work on Broadway, or in movies, or make records, or model...and here I am in Japan.

Maybe I'm escaping from that drive for fame by coming here.  I keep saying I'll try when I go back, but that gives me two more years to stall.  God please give me my dream!

Went to K's to help clean 2nd floor- big whoop.

I'll get over this feeling in a week or so, but that desire will haunt me till I die!

Even Steph is absorbed in theater this summer on the showboat.  Maybe another reason for the advantage of our being together is mutual interest and support in the striving for this goal?!  I certainly hope so!!

mom and dad in Missouri to see Steph in a show on the riverboat

family friends Bud and Virginia came too!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday, May 15th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was the big trip to Osaka to see "Les Miserables" with Masano and okasan.  It was fabulous!


Knowing the music and synopsis beforehand made the fact that it was all in Japanese insignificant.  I could fill in what I didn't know from the actions and expressions.  The sets were very sparse and rustic, but perfect for the play.

I bawled through most of the 2nd act, first when Eponine just got over the barrier and was shot, and died singing in Marius' arms; then when Gavrosh crossed the barrier to get ammunition from the dead enemy soldiers and was shot, but kept getting ammo, then threw his bag of ammo up to the men on the barrier, who missed it, and finally when the last shot was fired and Gavrosh died.

I also cried when the leader of the rebels, Enjolras, lay dead over the barrier with the rebel flag, and Gavrosh lay dead below, the rotating stage turned to show just them dead.  Everyone else in the revolution died too except Marius and Valjean.  Valjean dies in the end though, so only Cosette and Marius live (besides the inn keeper and his wife- who were hysterical!!).

Particularly worth mentioning was the scene in which Javert kills himself.  In the previous scene a bridge was shown above the actors on stage, for the suicide scene the bridge came down to the floor, Javert jumped over the rail & held on, then let go and the bridge raced up into the riggings, and the actor motioned that he was sinking in the river to his death.  It was so creative.

Eponine, Cosette, Valjean, Fantine, and Javert were particularly good.

I bought lots of souvenirs and am glad, because it was a show well worth remembering.  There are still very minute details I don't know, and probably won't for awhile, but it was so wonderful to see it finally.

The kids were very professional, and although Marius didn't have that great of a voice, the production was simply marvelous!!

Another touching scene was when Marius sang "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" about his dead buddies, and they walked up behind him as a group in a ghostly, yet chummy stance.

Fantine and Eponine came to take Valjean away at the end in a similar manner, and Marius and Cosette faked that he was still in his chair and not up (the actor) walking away- great!

The hopelessness of the revolt really hit me, and that made the whole thing even sadder.

The curtain call was fun. They came out several times and all seemed very nice and full of group camaraderie.  I miss it, and and wish I was up there, doing that kind of thing...in time, in time.

We ate before the show at a fancy department store restaurant.  We met Moto after the show, then went to eat at a great place called Kattin-Oh, where they bring out various plates of food and smaller dishes to eat off of.

It wasn't too fun afterward, though, because of the long car trip home (which was actually nice, compared to the train ride up, which was probably longer...which, by the way, was mostly a Japanese lesson, and very nice).  It was also not good because they stopped at a Beddhist Temple to worship on the way.  They were in there for 45 minutes, while I sat in the car- then the priest came out and blessed the car.  He got in the front passenger seat, the drivers seat, blessed the doors, the hood, etc...strange!

It was a fabulous day though...hope there are more like this one!!

P.S.  The use of echoes was masterfully done in elongating final notes and lengthening, ever so slightly, the dying notes of actors and actresses.  Fabulous!!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Saturday, May 14th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was cleaning day.  I did laundry, vacuumed, did dishes, etc.

Then I headed off to Miyuki Dori to go shopping.  I bought more post cards, envelopes, tape, and got some really cheap supplies at the 100 yen store.



Then I met Michiko, Misuzo, and Makiyo, and later Yuka and Masami at McDonalds for lunch.  After lunch, and a quick French lesson, Misuzu, Michiko, and I went shopping some more. I took my negatives in for reprints and my darling little photo shop has 1 day service- how fabulous!

I got home around 4:30, and had letters from LaDawn, Robin, and Steph.  Stephanie said she hadn't heard from me for 10 days, which upsets me, because I know I've written more often than that.  She said she hoped I wasn't mad at her, and I realized that we are both just too insecure!  We've got to work on that!

On the way home from shopping I had that "God, I'm glad I live here" feeling.  Hope it lasts until my time here is up!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was my dead day, but I got a lot done.  I started "Prince Caspian" for the zillionth time, wrote letters, made out lesson plans, did a bio sheet for a modeling agency I want to try out, sent away for reading magazines (catalogues), listened to tapes, etc., etc.  Several of my conferences actually showed, so that went well.

I took the 5:07 train, got home at 5:30, and Karl called at 5:45 asking where I was.  We usually don't meet till 5:55, so needless to say I was pissed when he said he was waiting on me.  I cussed him out all the way there, and decided it was his problem and blew it off.

My English class went okay.  I don't have a grasp of the book yet, so it was shaky.  I had 6 students tonight.

After class we sang, and then left for a meeting about English worship...gag...I'm in charge of fellowship time.

This is the only Friday the 13th in 1988...yay!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Yesterday was the all day party for the tendai students at Himeji Castle, on the lawn in front.  It was a fun day.  They (we) played games mostly- tug of war, some yes or no question game, etc.

At lunch Karl and I went to pick up and drop off film to be developed.  Along the way we stopped in some neat antique shops, and I found a really neat print of Geisha girls, but the rude man in the store wanted way too much for it, so forget it.  I saw another one at another shop that I might buy.  It's still kind of expensive.

At 3:00 we left and a few of the girls & I went shopping.  It ended up being Michiyo, Chinatsu, and me, but it was fun.  We stopped for juice, and went lots of places.  I found a replica of a stage light that I bought, some peppermint seeds, some Japanese post cards, and stopped at Conservo to buy croissants, and meat filled pastries- yum.  Tomoko I. (EC I) works there.

At home Barret stopped by for awhile, and we had a nice talk.

The rest of the night I worked on my photo book "A Day in the Life of Jeff S" to send to Stephanie.  It turned out kind of cute.

*Karl and I met a man from Germany today at lunch time, he seemed niced, but kind of brash.

* I got a really bad sunburn on my forehead, and nose- again (Lake Nojiri was the first).

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Today was meetings day.  I rode in at 7:30 with Karl and Linda Lee.  I had prayer meeting at 8:30, which is always a waste of time- as it's in Japanese, but during my prayer I felt a little of that old Christian warmth and sincerity- what a nice feeling.

In chapel we watched a movie about a man who worked with the mentally handicapped.  The film ran over and took all of lunch.  I jokingly said to Karl "How long are we going to watch this guy...until he dies?" and we did,  I laughed.  It was pretty touching at points, and although I couldn't understand a lot of it, I got bits and pieces.

We had an English teachers meeting, and if all goes well, I might be one of the teachers chaperoning the girls to London this summer.  I hope, I hope!

A few of my conferences didn't show again, and as I was walking down the hall, I saw all of my E.S.S. girls in Mr. M's room talking about Kidsland (an English club for teaching children).  From that point on I felt deserted, and tonight I've just moped, and not done anything.  I've been in this funk, and just feel like non-existing, so I escaped to Narnia.

I called Masano, she wants to charge me 30,000 yen per month for Japanese lessons...more than 2 times as expensive as YMCA...I'll have to talk to her another day, when I care...for tonight I don't.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday, May 10th, 1988

Note:  This is a series of journal entries from my two years living in Himeji, Japan (1988-1990).  I'm archiving them electronically through my blog.  Last names have been deleted and replaced with first initial only.  For details on this series of blog entries, see this post.

Sunday started off kind of bad.  I met Karl at the train station in Sanyo.  He was late, and said we should have met later because it was too early to go.  We left anyway and on the train he proceeded to tell me that I should be going to the JALT meeting on team teaching (which I don't do and feel would be a waste of time).  Then he said that I should have permission from the school for E.S.S. trips (which was why , also, I wasn't going to the meeting).  Nobody tells you anything here until it's too late and you've done something wrong...infuriating!

We got to church (after an incident on the train of an old man not letting an old woman sit in a spot occupied by the man's package and Karl making a scene on the train by getting up, telling the woman to sit where he was, accosting a young teenager for not doing the same, subtly hinting I should be the one to get up, etc.  The lady next to me slid over and we all sat down).

I sang "Upon this Rock" at church then left right away to meet my E.S.S. girls at Himeji Station.

We toured the castle, and a nearby zoo, and had a great day.  I was really worried someone would get hurt, and I'd be in big trouble, but it all worked out okay.  I kept saying "be careful" and they'd all fake tripping or I'd really trip and they'd laugh.









 At 9:00 I watched "Beverly Hills Cop" with K's.  (Figure that one out.)

Monday I met Linda Lee to see "Dancers", but it had already left Himeji.  She was late meeting me, and I got my Mother's Day package mailed, finally.  It was only 930 yen, I was surprised.

So, I went shopping instead.  I bought little piddly things and found a braided trunk-fig for 1,000 yen.  It's in my office (I took on the train later that day).

I went into school for the "late" afternoon for the first of my conferences, but it was a waste of time.  No one showed.  3 of my 4 groups contacted me ahead of time, but the one group didn't...I was a bit upset!

Today was no major thrill.  It was my busy day, and the girls in my E.C. I class would not stop talking, so I was a big grouchy.

In E.C. IIa only 5 of my 13 students showed up.  E.C. IIb went well.  I kind of like that class.

I had more conferences today, and everyone showed but 2 girls, who I'm upset with- because they were reminded of their conference in class, and one of them was rescheduled from yesterday...grrr...

All day I worked on a photo journal called "A Day in the Life of Jeff S" for Steph...me shaving, teaching, correcting papers, taking the train, shopping, writing letters, etc.




Sunday, June 12, 2016

We Interrupt 1988 For This Post About Tena and Tracy's Visit!!!

My friends Tena and Tracy paid a LONG OVERDUE visit to the cities this weekend.  They left a few hours ago, and I AM EXHAUSTED...but a SUPER GOOD exhausted!  We had a BLAST!!!

They arrived on Friday afternoon, and, after dropping their bags, and checking the "possible places to go/experiences to have/restaurants to try" checklist that I created...


...we HIT THE GROUND RUNNING!!!

They had just come from seeing their friend Stephen in "Seussical:  The Musical" in Mankato, and had just had two mediocre restaurant experiences.  We have AMAZING restaurants here in the cities,  so I made it my mission to have FABULOUS food at each meal!!!

We had appetizers/lunch at Houlihan's...

...followed by a quick trip to explore the Eagan Outlet Mall...

 ...followed by dinner at Mancini's Char House.  Fabulous restaurant tally after day one...TWO for TWO!!!!







After dinner, we drove around the Summit Avenue area of St. Paul to look at the fabulous and amazing old mansions, then headed back to Eagan.

We decided we were too tired for much else, so watched a movie.  After much deliberation, we decided on "Grease II", which ended up being WAY WORSE than any of us remembered, but it was fun to mock it as we watched.  Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield must look back at this and CRINGE...we certainly did!!!

We made an early night of it, and were in bed by 9:30 (we were tired!!).

Saturday morning, we got up, got ready, and headed to the St. Paul Farmer's Market.  It was a SUPER HOT day, but wasn't too terrible (yet), so enjoyed walking around looking at all the great stuff!  I stopped by Chef Earl's BBQ Sauce booth, chatted with Earl and Felicia for awhile, and I bought ANOTHER bottle of sauce (Hot Chocolate Baby)...even though I already have nine bottles of their other flavors in my fridge because they are so dang good!  I also ran into my friend Susan, who was helping sell jellies and syrups at a friend's booth.






We went from the farmer's market to The Buttered Tin for breakfast (THREE for THREE!).  I had an AMAZING Huevos Rancheros Benedict.  Tena had the Bananas Foster French Toast.  Tracy had my favorite...the Biscuits and Gravy.  We also shared a "milk ball", which was a dinner roll type pastry, filled with strawberry rhubarb cream cheese...AMAZING!





After breakfast we took a brief tour of the St. Paul Union Depot, then headed to the Ft. Snelling Light Rail Station to head to downtown Minneapolis for MORE adventures (yes, I know the light rail runs from RIGHT outside the depot to Minneapolis, and we COULD have just left the car in the ramp and taken the light rail there and back...NOW...doh!).






In Minneapolis, we walked to the Foshay (my FAVORITE building in the twin cities), and took the elevator to the museum and open air observation deck on the top of the building.  It's been closed for about a year and a half, so I'm THRILLED that it's finally open, and was equally THRILLED that we could go up and view the city!  Tena, in all of her trips to the city, has NEVER been to the top, so I was EVEN MORE THRILLED she finally decided she wanted to go.  It was AWESOME!!!













After the Foshay, we took photos at the former Schmidt Music building "Music Wall"...

...then headed to Brit's Pub for Pimm's Cups, and appetizers (FOUR for FOUR)!  It was LOVELY to sit in air-conditioning (the temp outside was about 95 at this point, with a dew point of 75...).




We then walked a few blocks to take pictures at First Avenue...



 ...then took the light rail back to Ft. Snelling, and came back to the townhouse to cool off, rest, and get ready to head out for more FABULOUS food at Cafe Latte (FIVE for FIVE)! 

Tracy and I had an AMAZING salad combination plate of a Wild Apricot and Wild Rice Salad, and a Kalamata Feta Greek Salad, and Duane and Tena split a yummy Chicken Nacho Pizza.  We all had AWESOME desserts!  My Dark Chocolate Tres Leche Cake was DELICIOUS!!!





After a quick stop at Trader Joes, we headed home...COMPLETELY wilted and exhausted, and watched a couple of episodes of The Carol Burnett Show before collapsing into bed (well...Duane and I went to bed...Tena and Tracy, apparently, stayed up for another two hours chatting...oy!).

Today, we got up, got ready, and headed to Colossal Cafe for breakfast (SIX for SIX).  Duane and I haven't been for AGES, so it was nice to go again.  I had an AMAZING Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwich on one of their savory scones.  Tena had the Apple, Walnut, and Brie Flappers.  Tracy had the same sandwich I did, only with sausage.  Duane had a flapper, scrambled eggs, and sausage.  So GOOD!





We then made a quick stop at A Baker's Wife for pastries, came back to the townhouse, and Tena and Tracy loaded up the car, and headed back to points south.

It was a long overdue, whirlwind weekend (the first, I hope, of MANY).  So fun!  So exhausting!  So fun!!!!

Here's hoping your were able to spend time with YOUR BFF's recently too!!!