Its been a while. Since my post on Jan 10, the wheel flew of my new (used) van while I was on the high-way (Luckily there were no other cars around, and it only cost me $150 to get it fixed, and it gave me an excuse to go back to Tokyo and visit sister and family to pick up the van from the shop). The snow ripped the windshield wiper off my other van, and yesterday I blew a tire on as I rode over a deep hole in the snow.
In other news...
The family was visiting two weeks ago, and I was too busy shoveling snow, refurbishing the bathroom with dad, and playing with the niece and nephews to take many photos. I did get a chance to try out my new waterproof sports video camera though. I promise to try to become a better film maker in the future.
I don't know why anyone other than immediate family that already read my sister's blog would care, but she does a more in-depth three-part diary of the two weeks., including some photos of the little-new-year festival they had the opportunity to attend, and my sister who also had a baby this year got her face coaled and helped throw out the traditional mikan oranges with me.
As you can see from the videos below, and this video on Kelly's site, her two-year old daughter is already better than mommy at snowboarding.
Here you see everyone going for a walk through the snow as it was when they first arrived. It has been snowing every day since, so there is considerably more now. It took dad and I an hour or more to dig out my car from a nearby parking lot yesterday, and even then we had the help of a passing snow plow.
Kelly tried snowboarding. Did much better than I did my first time, and much better than I can do now.
Mom and dad built snow-folk. "Snowmen" here only have two levels and are not made to look anything like people, so it was the talk of the town for its creative use of real-people clothes, such as gloves and sandals.
They also helped out with the shoveling and joined me at the local festival to celebrate little new-year, and hope for good luck this coming year.
Everyone enjoyed walks in the snow. Too bad they were here too early for the real snow. Sister Kelly swears she is not pregnant, but I have my doubts.
Spent some time at the local pool. Too bad Oscar is afraid of water. At least Irene liked the slide. I had my new video camera, but couldn't figure out how to get more than 2 seconds of video. Maybe next time.
After a week we moved to Kelly's place watching the kids while Kelly and young-Hoon party at a hot-spring village a few hours away. I recommended something closer, but Kelly said she wanted to get as far away as her budget would take her. I guess two year old twins and a new-born are a bit stressful...
I have never seen a baby cry as much as nephew Johan did for the past week, but the moment Kelly went out the door (absence of mom is usually the reason he cries) he kind-of quieted down when grandpa was holding him.
On my way home, the tire fell off of the van while I was on the highway. Luckily there was no other traffic around me, so the only damage was to my own car, and I was going pretty slowly so the damage was kept at a minimum.
Fast forward to a few days ago, I went to pick up the van from the repair shop in Tokyo near my sister's place. Spent the next day at the zoo with Kelly and her kids, only to find that the car would not start when we tried to go home. The JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) came to save us and I made it back much later than anticipated.
The videos in the previous post show what I encountered on my ride home. almost a meter of snow fell while I was in Tokyo. But that is nothing compared to what has fallen since then. We are now at three + meters and counting.