Welcome to the new year! Hopefully, you all had a great New Year's Eve with lots of celebrating with friends and loved ones. Jeremy and I stayed home and had a quiet evening in with the cats. We are homebodies and were in desperate need of a recharge. I don't know about y'all but Jeremy and I have a few traditions that we do every year to make sure we start the new year off on the right foot. Some of these you may have heard of but some of them you may not have.
The Christmas festivities are starting to wind down. Mom headed back to North Carolina yesterday. She had been here for a week. I'm really happy she was able to come up for Christmas. I've missed spending the holidays with her. The week leading up to Christmas has been a crazy, busy, fun week. The day after Mom drove up from North Carolina, we drove down to Springfield, Illinois to explore new areas with Avery and her kids. We first went to a great little restaurant called Anchors Away. We chose this restaurant because we heard that it was haunted. Thankfully our waiter, Brock, was able to confirm this quickly for us.
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.
Today has been an interesting day to say the least. I went to Hiroshima with some new friends Sam and Jaime (the couple I went to Costco with last week), and their friends Michael and Graham. We wanted to go try out the haunted house that we had been hearing about. It is only going on until September 8th. The Japanese haunted houses are associated more with Obon than Halloween. Today was our only chance to visit it before it closed. This haunted house was located by the Hiroshima Carps stadium.
A Shimikarazi is special New Year's decoration.