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This year we left for our US trip much earlier than previous years to take advantage of cheaper plane rates, and we only stayed two weeks instead of three, so the trip felt VERY rushed and stressful! Nevertheless, it was so great to be home, even for just a short time!

This year too, Kenji’s grandmother asked to visit Seattle as well, so we traveled with her. She is 90 years old, and was quite a trooper through the long plane rides and the jet lag!

First up was a few days in Seattle with Kenji and his family:

The city

I was excited because for the first year I was in Seattle for a Mariners home game! I got to see Ichiro!!

The stadium

It was super chilly, though!


Yay, that was fun!

After that, we went twice to the Seattle Bon Odori festival at the local Buddhist Temple. It was fun to dance, but very weird for me because I am used to Japanese festivals, but this one was just… different. In a good way, but it was hard to orient myself!

Especially to all the English!

The “line” dancing that anyone can join in!

I brought yukata to wear!

Next up, we went to Chateau St. Michelle, a winery a bit outside of Seattle. We got to go on a tour, try several different wines, and enjoyed ourselves very much!

I think both of our favorite parts were the posing baby ducks though!


Next up was a brief trip to Texas. First I went to Austin for the weekend, and got to see my Dad, Melissa, and my grandparents! I didn’t get to see them last year, so I was very happy!

We went out for amazing mexican food


And then made BBQ and artichokes for dinner!

My grandparents relaxing

Old lady Tara, and my dad’s birds in their giant bird house!

Kasey also came around at one point too!

Later I said goodbye to my dad and grandparents, and then went to meet my sis with Kasey and Doug for dinner. I missed her!

Got to see old lady Sassy too.

Stopped by Rudy’s BBQ for some food on the way back to Houston

We had dinner with my Mom’s side of the family, or at least, everyone who could make it out to Beaumont!

And finally my BRAND NEW COMPUTER CAME!! I didn’t want to touch it, it looked so nice!

Scruffy pouting because I’m not paying attention to him

Those last few days were so rushed. I went back to Seattle for less than 24 hours before getting back on the plane for Japan. The next trip home had better be more relaxed!!