17 November 2011

Thoughts before snow and turkey.

It’s supposed to snow on Saturday. I am praying that it does. I would love to walk the sidewalks in my black pea coat, a scarf wrapped around my neck, and mittens holding a cup of hot cocoa. I would love to wake up in the middle of the night and look out my window to see the city quiet and covered in a blanket of white snow. I would like to snuggle under the covers until my nose is hot and then spend the rest of the day in my pajamas, painting and listening to Christmas carols. It would be magical. Everything is magical when it snows.

On a less dreamy note, I am extremely nervous about taking my roommate home for Thanksgiving. I have no doubts that it is the right thing to do, since she would otherwise be all alone, thousands of miles from her family in Japan. And she is super nice. But I am nervous because it will be five days of her having to deal with my family. My family is… Loud. I love them to death. I would not trade them for anything, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea. This I know. Sometimes they aren’t even my cup of tea. But this I deal with. But my roommate is a tiny, Japanese girl that is not used to the loud American stereotypes, which my family is. Hopefully she survives.
Thanksgiving in my family only rivals Christmas and Easter. Every year we eat a feast of Turkey and mashed potatoes and corn, and drink too much cider. Then we clean off the table and play poker and blackjack and rummy until late at night, and the women pull out their newspapers and plot their Black Friday shopping Marathon. We drink more, then in the evening when we are still full from lunch we go to the movies as a family and see the latest in commercial comedy. It is a wonderful affair.
I think that my roommate will enjoy Black Friday. This will be her first one. I have explained to her that it is the biggest sales day of the year, and most stores up at 4 or 5 in the morning and that one year a lady died from the stampede. Yes, I think she will enjoy it. We will get up early and go shopping and when our legs are too tired they just can’t carry us anymore we shall return home to eat leftover turkey sandwiches and sleep the day away.
After our naps, we will help my dad get down the Christmas lights and begin to set up the decorations. In the evening mom will call us in for dinner and hot chocolate and we will sit on the couch to watch either The Santa Claus with Tim Allen or Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation. On Saturday I will let her sleep in late, which is a rarity in my family but I am sure she will still be exhausted from Friday’s shopping and activities. I will go to coffee with Sage and we shall chat about our lives (her new job, and trip to France, etc.) and then we shall eat and get dressed for Portland. I really want to show my roommate the Portland Christmas tree and the Zoo lights. I think I shall invite some friends should join us and make it a real outing. Then we shall do some more shopping at Pioneer square, where I sure we will spend too much money. A trip to Buffalo exchange maybe in order as well.
Sunday we will pack up all of our things. My family might drag Aoi to church or she will sleep whilst I go with them and run into people I haven’t seen in a while. And then we will come home and pack our stuff and I will call Kelsey, who will be running late. And we shall drive back with Kelsey and I chatting about kids from high school, and trips, and Christmas break.
These are my traditions for Thanksgiving. They may seem like regular boring tasks but to me they are so much more. They start the Christmas season, which is my favorite time of year. I don't like the presents or the commericalization of it. But I love the get-togethers and lights and music. I am an old soul, but I deal.

I think it will be a grand weekend. I can’t wait!

11 November 2011

My love, San Francisco.

San Francisco. I didn't want to leave this magical city. This city has completely exceeded my expectations. I absorbed it all in like a child and never wanted to leave. Every person I met was friendlier then the last one.

We left the airport in Seattle at 7am and took a BART from the San Francisco airport to Market Street. The first person I met there was a nice German girl from Munich who was there for vacation. As soon as we got to our stop I was blown away by the beauty of the buildings. I am the child of two builders and architecture is the thing that I admire first when I arrive in a city. Even the most run-down apartment buildings and houses oozed charm and character.

We had breakfast at Cafe de la Presse where we munched on chocolate croissants and I had my first machiato. We sat next to an Australian couple who conducted a meeting with their blackberries. We went to the French Consulate to get our student visas, the whole reason for this trip. I was shaking the entire time. But I had everything (almost) and will be receiving my visa in two weeks!  I was so nervous because I think that it has actually become real to me. Soon I will actually be in France, striving to make it in the real world.

After the Consulate we wandered over to the street car and became very touristy. We hooped on and rode on the outside, which was thrilling and scary and new. It was something straight out of a romantic comedy. We wandered over to the Chocolate Square then along the wharf. We bought chocolates and mini-turtles made of bread. Delicious sourdough bread. We ate lunch at a Creperie and sipped on Sprites. We wandered back up the hills towards Chinatown where I fell in love with the laundry hung on strings outside of windows and markets outside of every store front. The streets were crowded with people, shouting in Chinese and honking horns. It was beautiful mess of sounds.


The two of us took in Lombard street and a beautiful park where people were soaking in the last rays of sunshine. We stopped by H&M and I bought a $7 dress and a poke-a-dot shirt for France. Our day ended with dinner and coffee and a plane delay but it seemed lovely just the same.

San Francisco has stolen my heart and some day I shall return to get it back. And stay forever. 

08 November 2011

What a Wonderful World.

my night is consisting of listening to Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and all the rest of my friends whilst I work on verb conjugation.

I am freaking out about leaving! I am still in the "Honeymoon" phase right now. I am just so excited. Today I told my friends I would love to visit Paris when it is snowing. It would be magical. I want to walk along the Seine with the snow melting in my hair, the light of the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the night, and a scarf to keep me warm. We would duck into a quiet cafe to warm up over a cup of coffee and some bread. It would be magical. Come to me France.

06 November 2011

Ce week-end avec ma mère.

This weekend it was cold here in Seattle. The wind whipped at our noses and we bundled in scarves and thick coats. We drank lots of tea and took pictures of food. We shopped too much and I bought two sweaters. We wandered along the markets and stayed up late watching "Friends". It was beautiful.

side note: I leave to get my Student Visa on Thursday! Wish me luck!
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