Is it Japan?
Is it Thailand?
Or is it Freeport Freaking MAINE?
We had a big Saturday - and all these pictures are from that day, by the way. Check it: I knew there were LL Bean stores in Japan, but I didn't know there was one in Yokohama! We happened upon it, completely by chance, and I was so glad to see Bean bags and Maine maple syrup that it was all I could do not to start hugging the tiny Japanese employees. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So remember Irish, my friend and knitting student of pumpkin soup fame? (Yeah, fame. This blog is a regular Page Six over here.) I finally got a picture of her and her husband Steve: All this and she can knit, too! Steve is a lucky South Carolinian*.
They invited Josh and me to join them in Yokohama on Saturday for a Thai festival, and we jumped at the chance. Both of us love Thai food, and we've been meaning to explore the city more. So we got up early and met a friend of theirs at the train station. All in all our group consisted of seven people - the two of us, Irish and Steve, their coworkers James and Kaori, and another friend whose name escapes me. He took this picture. Good looking bunch, eh?
We ate a ton of Thai food which I did not photograph because I was too busy shoveling chopstickfuls (chopsticksfuls?) into my mouth and poking Josh in the eyes to fend him off my plate. Yeah, it was pretty good. We'd like to visit Thailand sometime soon, maybe even for Christmas - we'll see.
We spent some time perusing the upscale red brick shopping center nearby, and upon leaving I got excited when I saw a poster for chocolate milkshakes with a cherry on top. Then I got closer and realized I wasn't looking at a milkshake... but a PILE of MEAT. It was at this point, upon exposing this WILLFUL and UNNECESSARY DECEPTION for which there is NO EXCUSE, that my mood began to deteriorate. Josh wisely suggested a change of scenery to take my mind off of it.
There's an amusement park in Yokohama which features a giant ferris wheel. The Cosmo Clock 21 was the world's largest when it began running in 1989, and now it's just freaking big.
We got some great shots of the city, although the grey weather was a bit of a bummer. Lucky for us it stayed cool and dry all day.
We went on a roller coaster too - but in lieu of a description, I give you Sarcastivid with your host, Cranky McBuzzkill:
It goes through a pool, then underground! But Mr. McBuzzkill is right about one thing - it was a little short. It was like AAAHTHISISSOCOOLOHMYGODwhat? It's over? Oh.
After the shenanigans we walked to Queen's Square, a big tower of a mall with mostly Western stores and restaurants. KFC is huge here, for some reason. We saw an Adidas, an Eddie Bauer, and a couple others, before we spotted and took off running for LaLa Bean. There were backpacks, there was flannel, there were giant, overpriced bottles of Maine maple syrup - not the Canadian imposters we get at the commissary (sorry, Nadine**). We didn't actually BUY anything, but whatever. Now we can go whenever we want! HEAVEN.
Here we are on top of the ferris wheel, just another day in Japan.
*Sidebar re: Steve - this man is fantastic. He has at least one Master's degree, teaches in an MBA program on base (when he's not doing his Navy job), can speak intelligently about everything from ammunition to crochet AND he can occasionally be heard shouting, in an excellent southern accent, "quit puttin' her head in your mouth!" to the dog. Irish and Steve, Josh and I hit it off right away and I'm FURIOUS that they're moving.
**Not that sorry. GO MAINE!!