Across oceans and mountains, and sadly, back again...

I have arrived back from Japan, though I feel too far from home now. It was amazing and I am missing it every moment of the day there is to long and ask for it back. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

We biked the countryside (and I did my absolute best for my first 30 mile hike up and down mountains), had a few traditional dinners with friends. I met some wonderful people as expected, and everyday was the time of my life. Christmas Eve he had reservations for us to go to this private shabu-shabu restaurant, where the two of us cozzied together at the chabudai table, intimately sipping almost too many gin and tonics, ecstatic that I was almost cooking something on my own. Christmas morning was filled with wrapping paper strewn across the floor, our digital Christmas tree image fittingly downloaded onto his PS3. Our gifts to each other were ironic to say the least, but the ultimate gift will forever be getting to spend Christmas together in Japan.

We walked or rode almost everywhere. It was one of my favorite parts, just to move without relying on anything else, but the comfort of someone's fingers interlocked in mine. Christmas dinner was a medley of many wonderful things, Chilean wine, candlelight. It was perfect.

The following day we headed by train to reminisce at the Hiroshima Peace Park. Just at sunset, it was all so surreal. It was good to be back with the one person I wanted to have originally had the pleasure to serenade the park with back in July. I like Hiroshima City, even if it maybe doesn't always like us. It was green, even in December, and it was fun riding the trolley even though we walked back to the station on our own before departure. The moon was amazingly large and a wee-past full. It was Poiful (someone else apparently likes it as much as we did). Enough said. I absolutely love riding on the trains.

A few days wasted laying around, dinner with the Findlay bunch, then we were off for a small vacation to Osaka and Kobe. The Aquarium in Osaka was amazing! There was a ferris wheel there too, but it was too cold and we decided to save it for Kobe the next day (when it would be even colder), though we were remarkably fulfilled seeing the view of the city elsewhere. The ferris wheel in Osaka though, became quite sad an imagery for me later when I was swept away at the end of my journey to go to the Kansai Airport the following week. On a lighter and fluffier note, Kobe has amazing cheesecake. Oh, and by the way, we climbed a fucking mountain! Woot!

We rang in the New Year with a few of his close friends Torru and Leslie. Having shabu-shabu again was nice, and they seemed to enjoy our Pinot Noir, suitably fitted with a picture of an old-style bicycle. Onto a household of international calamity filled with two Jordanians (one we decided was a belly-dancing loving pervert), an older Egyptian woman, two Argentinian sisters, a crab-boiled (or something rather) Chinese man, an Irish beaut (a.k.a. Leslie), and an almost flawless English speaking Japanese man (a.k.a. Torru). Oh yeah... and us damn Americans! Haha! The bell toll, we popped bubbly and had our first 2008 kiss. Then we were off to wrangle us some Trees :)

The last few days were bittersweet. Every moment was wonderful and I never wanted it to end... ultimately, we had no choice. Together we are the strongest people I know. Apart, our love makes us even stronger.

"To future journeys to come. Over oceans and mountains crossed... Forever."

Forever.

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