Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Awesome Golden Week: Sat. May 1 & Sun. May 2

Deciding to stay in Towada for Golden Week this year turned out to an excellent decision. It was probably the first true 休み ("yasumi" literally meaning "a rest" but also used to refer to breaks, vacations and holidays) I've had in a long time.

On Saturday I went to Uniqlo--again. @_@ This time, however, I had a new money saving plan set before going.

See, I never really save to go traveling, I usually just divert a month or two worth of savings to paying for plane/train tickets, hotel accommodations, etc.. (Hence my savings haven't really grown in the nearly 3 years I've been in Japan.) So I decided that I would try to actually start saving money for trips the way I saved for the 2007 Eurotrip:

1) all money spent on clothing/shoes/bags/accessories & the like will be matched with a 50% contribution to my "travel fund" (i.e. if I spend 1000yen on something, I have to put 500yen into savings);

2) all 500yen coins go into savings;

3) any funds I receive apart from my salary/gifts (for example, mileage reimbursement money) will go directly into the "travel fund"(rounded up to the nearest thousand yen).

In five days using only strategies 1 & 2 I've already managed to put almost 15,000yen into my travel fund--which should tell you something about just how much I've been spending recently on clothing. @_@ I guess it's a kind of spring fever?


Following Uniqlo was grocery shopping. After I came home, I did some housekeeping and then cooked a real dinner for the first time in months! It was a very passable 牛肉と野菜クリーム煮, a.k.a. beef and "vegetable" (really just eringi mushrooms and onions) cream "soup."

After dinner I spent a bit of time online, but then in a very rare move, I actually went to bed super early--10pm!!

Sunday I had lunch with my friend Yu-san at Kaze no Hiroba, an "organic & natural" shop with a cafe that serves homemade fresh/natural/organic foods. It's a great place for a leisurely, relaxing lunch! I also love that starting from April the cafe only opens on weekends because they have farm work to do on weekdays! I was a little greedy and had the "plate" lunch, plus the sweets selection plate ("プチスィーッ盛り合わせ) , as well as a homemade lemon soda. =P

Next we went for a walk along Kanchogai Dori/around Chuo Koen. The cherry blossoms were beautiful (although they were not in full bloom yet--only at about 80%) and it was warm and sunny! After we had walked up and down Kanchogai Dori, we stopped at Primero Bakery (next to the JTB) for melon pan (I had chocolate chip, Yu-san had maple flavour). Then since it was nearby, we went to check out Sheep's Bakery & Cafe. Yu-san treated me to a cinnamon roll and then we went back up Kanchogai Street and headed for City Hall (where I had parked my car).

I got back home sometime between maybe 5pm and 6pm. I had (plenty of) leftover soup, but I still had groceries to use up, so I made 油揚げとなすの甘辛煮 (simmered salty-sweet abura-age (deep fried beancurd) and eggplant). It's a dish I've made numerous times but I still need to refer to the recipe every time... ^^;; I also made a super simple ブロッコリーのツナマヨ焼き (broccoli baked with tuna & mayo). It wasn't the type of dish I'd serve company, but it was super fast and easy and required few ingredients so I'll probably make it again sometime...