Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hello from Japan!

Justin and I are settling in for the evening at our hotel, the Freedom Inn, in Niseko, Japan. Justin says that today was his best day of skiing since his knee injury. I've never skied on powder before (or just "skied powder?" I've never done it so I don't know!), and it was a novel experience.

The first run of the day nearly destroyed me - it was the hardest dang green I ever laid eyes on, that's for sure. Earlier in the week, I posted a Facebook status message that read, "Nana is going skiing this weekend and is worried about faceplanting all over Japan." Done and done, five times on that first run alone. My first fall was by far the best. I made it ten feet off the trail, losing one ski and having to poke at random with my pole hoping to strike gold before the ski patrol rescued me, and then once he found it I couldn't get it on because the poofy snow poofed out from under my foot every time I tried to stomp on the darn thing. Justin skied an entire run, came back up the chairlift, and found me frozen contemplating a Cliff of Doom halfway down. (Team Abject Terror, if any of you are out there - you know what I mean). I will man up and admit that some tears may have been involved, which is less than ideal when you're wearing spongy-framed goggles that soak up moisture.

But Justin talked me down and I live to tell the tale - and was dumb enough to try it again, with one fall, and finally vanquish it with complete verticality on my last run of the day. I felt much less humiliated this afternoon when I found out that Dr. Kim's girls saw the same Cliff of Doom and simply refused to have any part of it. They de-skied and walked the rest of the way down. So I'm either braver than elementary schoolers, or dumber than elementary schoolers. Perhaps a little bit of both.

And yet I had a very good time. Oddly enough, the mountain was flatter higher up, and there was a really nice boring flat run just perfect for me I could do over and over to build up some confidence. When I got on that, with the powder flying up over my skis, the only way I can think to describe it is that's what I always thought it would be like if you could walk on clouds.

(The Care Bears used to win all the gold medals in skiing before they got busted for using the Care Bear Stare against their opponents)

Dr. Kim kindly took us out for sushi tonight (fully immobile sushi, this time!), which was phenomenally delicious. I enjoyed the salmon roe most. Normally, it's quite fishy-tasting, but here it was so fresh that it almost tasted sweet. It's amazing that we've reached the point in our Asian adventures that after a dinner with tempura pepper and sea urchin rolls, I just about wrote here that I had nothing interesting to report.

So it's bedtime for me now and another ski day tomorrow before we head back. We'll be in Pittsburgh from the 18th to the 24th and then Columbus from the 25th to about the 2nd. If anybody is around, let us know - we'd love to try to see you.

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