The Tennis Tournament

“Tennis is an addiction that once it has truly hooked a man will not let him go.”
– Russell Lynes
That quote is so true.
It’s fall and here I am again.
It’s an addiction.

This year Andy Murray is here again.
He won the tournament last year
so he’s the reigning champion.
The tournament this weekend went smoothly.
We got to go home around 7pm
because all the matches ended early.
Most ended in just two sets.
Thank you tennis players for crushing your opponent.

The Good Bye in Chicago

Oh United.
Why are you always late?
I fell asleep the minute I got on the plane
so it took me a couple of hours to
realize that we hadn’t taken off yet.
We were on the plane for 3 hours
before they found a different plane and
asked all of us to get off and head to another gate.
Then they couldn’t find enough flight attendants.
So we waited another hour or so at the gate
before finally boarding began again.
6 hours later than the original time,
we were in the air.
The sky was still beautiful.
But I was so tired
I slept through most of it.
Bye bye Chicago.

The Night Out in Chicago

Our last night in Chicago.
We headed out to Wicker Park for some fun.

I love this picture of Ralph and Tennyson.

It was a fun night of drinks
lots of laughing and taking pictures!
(with 2 asians you have to expect a certain amount of pictures)

We ended up heading back around 2am
but the night was too short.
Wish we could do this every weekend.

Ralph, Erykah, and I all had flights the next morning.
But the night was so much fun.
And it felt so normal.
Like we would be seeing each other again soon.
So weird how that works.
If only.
Saying good bye always sucks.
Miss everyone already.
But already looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Thank you for the best time ever!
Love you all. xx

The Shopping Spree in Chicago

After the yummy breakfast
Tennyson and I headed out to shop.

Tennyson is the best shopping buddy.
He didn’t complain while I dragged him around everywhere.
Actually I didn’t know where everything was
so it was more like me demanding where what was
and making him guide me there. haha.

You will always be Marshall Fields to me.
(Just like Sears Tower will always be Sears Tower to me.)

The Afternoon with Ralph in Chicago

When we got back from Michigan
I met up with Ralph
who had flown in from LA!
Haven’t seen him since he came to Japan last year
so it was super duper great to see him!

You can’t be in Chicago and not eat deep dish pizza.
So we asked his iPhone and we ended up at Giodano’s.
It was all kinds of delicious
and so was catching up with Ralph.
Could have talked for hours.
But it was Ralph’s first time really seeing the city, too.
So we headed to Millennium Park.
(my new favorite park!)

Aaaaand more pictures at the bean. haha.
I love this place.

It was a gorgeous day in Chicago.
Later we met up with Ralph’s gorgeous friend, Erykah,
and went back to meet up with Tennyson and Cesar.
So much fun catching up with friends
and getting to meeting new friends.
It was a great day in Chicago.

The Good Bye in Michigan

Woke up bright and early to see
sweet Stella playing with my cellphone.
Look at her cute pj’s!
Lily had to go to school so
we took a group picture on the porch swing
before she had to go.
Lily gave me a hug before leaving
because I wouldn’t see her when she came back.

But Stella decided she wanted to hug me, too.
This is her running back to the car after
giving me that hug.

How cute are these girls?

As for Tennyson and I
we headed over to Apple Valley
so I could get my bag of oats.
Oats are so expensive in Japan.
Probably because people don’t really eat oats.
Anyways, the oats were so cheap
I ended up getting a 10 pound bag!
Can’t wait to make oatmeal at home this winter.
We had breakfast with Katrina and her girls.
Danelle makes the best breakfasts!
(Can’t believe I forgot to take a picture!)
And then all too soon
it was time for us to head back to Chicago.
So sad.
And I vowed right then and there to come back
and spend a longer time in Michigan next time I come!
Loved hanging out with Danelle and her family.
Thanks so much for having me!

The Trip to Michigan

Tennyson and I took a short trip to Michigan!
There was no way I was missing a chance to go back.
So Tennyson got a rental car and drove us there.
It was like a little road trip.
We talked about life.
We listened to Azealia Banks.
And the weird thing is…it felt normal.
This always happens.
It’s like we do this every other weekend and
we don’t really live half way across the world from each other.
So weird.
But I guess that’s what happens when you’re good friends.
You know, when you don’t feel the gap of time and instantly re-connect?
Anyways, the number one reason
(actually the only reason)
we went back to Michigan was
to see this lovely girl!!!
And oh it was SO GOOD to see Danelle!!!

I haven’t seen Danelle since 2005.
I was so so bummed when I couldn’t go to her wedding.
And now she’s a mother of two beautiful girls!
I loved every minute I got with her and her family.
We spent the afternoon
drawing all over their driveway.
So. Much. Fun.

Danelle is just as creative as ever!
(She was always the artsy one in grade school)
Look at the pretty driveway!
And now look at Danelle on the roof
doing her professional photographer thing!
She’s crazy.
But I bet she got great pictures of pretty Lily.
(She is such a sweet heart, I love her poses!)

Tennyson and I butted into Lily’s picture
and grabbed one of the three of us!
We had so much fun!
I wish I took writing class more seriously
so I could tell you how utterly charming Lily is!
She is so much like Danelle,
super smart and seriously cute as hell.
And even though I live on the other side of the world
I cannot wait to see how these girls grow up.
Aaaaand here is sweet Stella!
She’d just woken up from her nap
and probably wondering who the asian woman is 😀

This girl is such a jewel.

She has this amazing talent of being able to
walk around in any size shoes.

Look at her in my shoes!

She was skipping around the living room and
wearing them like they weren’t twice the size of her own feet.

So funny.

I haven’t seen these girls in over 5 years
and I was so happy to see them!
I get sentimental and nostalgic
every time I got back to Michigan.
But getting to catch up with old friends is my favorite part.
Oh, and of course, taking a whole bunch of pictures! 😀