The kids and I will be flying into Salt Lake City on October 10th, with Kurt following a couple days later!
Kurt has a short term assignment in Utah, so we'll be crashing at his parents house in Heber until after Christmas. It really works out perfectly because our items that we are shipping back to the US probably won't arrive until around Thanksgiving anyways. Also, Kurt's parents are empty nesters and have 4 bedrooms just sitting empty in their house. The kids are so excited to spend more time with their grandparents and Utah cousins that we don't get to see as often.
Then in January, we'll back in Boulder Creek for good (or at least the foreseeable future)! We currently have a contractor installing our granite counter tops, new kitchen sink, and faucet. After switching out the door handles the kitchen will be amazing! I wish we had the funds to redo the floors before we moved in, but they will just have to wait.
When we were back in Boulder Creek in August (we spend 2 weeks there), it was really hard to leave. It just felt like "home". We worked in the yard and inside the house a lot prepping things for us to move back in. Kurt's brother and his family often visit the house and check up on things, but since no one is there full time a lot of things have gone neglected. We're hoping that what we did will be enough to last until October when Kurt's parents visit...and then it will be good until January when we officially move back in.
While we are anxious and excited to move home, a part of us is definitely sad to be leaving Japan. We have made some great friends here that we will dearly miss. We have invited them to visit us in Boulder Creek, and I really hope they take us up on our offer.
Other things we will miss:
- The Cleanliness. People generally don't litter and people care for the same around them. Before every meal you are presented with a wet wipe or warm towel to wash your hands and face.
- The Custom Service. For a country that doesn't give or accept tips, their service is amazing. Hard work is just ingrained into them.
- The Food. Yes, even the MSG. The produce may be expensive, but there is a reason for it. Everything is organic. It's delicious. The rice is sooo much better than in the US. Strange, but true. According to my family, the sushi is amazing and can be found for cheap. They just need to work on their Chinese and Mexican dishes...they've nailed the Japanese dishes. lol
- The "soft, delicious, I'm sure it's horrible for you" bread.
- Yochien. Kelsie is really close to being completely fluent in Japanese. While on vacation in the US, she refused to speak Japanese. I really hope she appreciates her gift, and continues to use it.
- Vending machines EVERYWHERE.
- 7-11 and the people who work there....and their grape juice.
- Free and mandatory exercise (since we don't have a car)
- Living in a huge city with SO much to do and see.
- Our Toto washlet with heated seat. Although Kurt is planning to install one in our master bathroom in the US, so we'll survive.
I'm sure this list will grow even after we return to the US. Living in Japan has been a great experience for our family and brought us even closer together. We will have found memories for the rest of our lives.