As much as I love Champaign, I have been a little homesick for Japan lately. I know I’m not the only one. Jeremy is missing the food and Katniss is missing the festivals. Thankfully the campus was having a great little festival at the Japan House on base. Jeremy and I decided to take Katniss to it.
The Matsuri festival was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Japan House opening. They had various different vendors there selling food, arts, plants, and kimono rentals. There were also various bands, pop groups, and taiko drum group providing music. We were all pleasantly surprised about how close it was to festivals back in Japan. All three of us felt like we were back home. Katniss really enjoyed how all the signs advertising the festival have manineki nekos on them.
Just like in Japan, Katniss was center of attention. Most of everyone we met had never seen a cat in a kimono before. They feel even more in love with her when they heard that she just moved here from Japan. Everyone wanted to take her picture. We ended up making lots of new friends thanks to Katniss.
Jeremy and I enjoyed some Japanese food and alcohol. Katniss actually like the black sesame ice cream that Jeremy picked up. For the alcohol, Jeremy originally picked out the beer and I picked out the Green Typhoon cocktail (in honor of Hurricane Florence) but after taking a sip of each other’s drink, we traded. The art for the beer can was a local artist and the beer was crafted in Savoy.
Katniss really enjoyed playing in the bubbles with Jeremy and checking out her reflection in a vendor’s mirror. I think her favorite part was posing for pictures in trees again. The grounds of Japan House have several cherry blossom trees. I can’t wait to bring her back for cherry blossom pictures in the spring.
On the way home, Katniss could barely stay awake for the ride home. She was so tired. When we got home, Valar stole my matcha green tea doughnut from Pandamonium Doughnuts. Silly kitten. LOL
I do have great news to relay to y’all! Rampu came back!!! Today when I was getting ready to head to my new workspace to write he started to flash. I told him that I missed him being around and he actually flashed on and off at me before turning on for a few minutes! He actually turned on and off quite a bit while I was talking to him but it was only after I finished saying something that he would turn on and then turn back off. It actually felt like we were having a conversation. Hopefully, he comes around more often.
Speaking of workspace, I have a great new workspace! I signed up for a membership at Lodgic Everyday Community. They are in their soft opening this week but I’m already loving the space. As much as I love being home with the cats, they don’t let me focus on writing. Plus I get sucked into Netflix and Hulu too easily at home. Here, I am able to get in and focus on my writing. Plus there are other writers like me here. I will actually get a chance to socialize and meet people unlike if I stayed home all day. Today when I walked in, they had all sorts of goodies on my desk waiting for me. I’m so excited to be here.
Later this week I will be heading back to North Carolina for a couple of weeks. My mom’s birthday is Sunday. I’m really hoping that Hurricane Florance doesn’t cause too much damage. For those of y’all that are in the areas that are going to be affected by Hurricane Florance, please take proper precautions. Don’t play around with this storm. A lot of people I have spoken to, who are normally unphased by hurricanes, are actually pretty nervous about this storm. Please let me know y’all are okay.
I’m getting nervous about my flight. I am supposed to fly in around midnight Friday/ Saturday. I called American Airlines to see if I can change my ticket but they think the storm will be weak enough for me to fly in safely. I hope they are right. My worry is that I will be stranded in Dallas for a couple of days and I miss my mom’s birthday.
Y’all stay safe. My inbox is open if y’all need something. I have friends scattered throughout the area who might be able to provide answers while things are crazy.