Instead of writing a big long post describing our entire trip, I will just give you a few key highlights, just to give you an idea:
- The day before we were supposed to leave with the tour group I came down with the stomach flu. My third bout in a month.
- Jeff left Sunday night on the Ferry. I still had a fever so Noah and I stayed behind.
- Woke up Monday morning feeling better, sans fever. Decided to catch a train to Sapporo.
Enter big deal here. I have never really traveled a notable distance by myself while in Japan. The handy Japanese speaking husband is always in tow, so I never have to try hard. I am very proud of how Noah and I handled the 6 hours of travel and 3 train transfers. Even when the elevator was out of order at not one but ALL of the train stations, meaning I had to carry Noah, stroller, suitcase and diaper bag up and down stairs, we still managed to get from A to B with grace and little to no hiccups.
Here is Noah people watching while we waited for one of our trains.
- Arrived in Sapporo just in time to hop on the tour bus with the other travelers to head to Sapporo Beer Garden for dinner.
mmm, lamb. I was partial to the bean sprouts, myself.
- The next day we did some exploring on our own.
- At breakfast I almost lost Noah. Yep. He got on an elevator and I could not get there in time before the doors closed. Panic followed for about 3 minutes until I heard him crying the floor below, being carried by a security guard.
- Then I lost my wallet at a train station.
-Japanese zoos are depressing and not worth the effort to get there. The conditions are horrible and I spent the whole time feeling sorry for the animals.
- Yep, you can make a big sculpture out of snow. Lots of oohing and ahhing over snow shaped like other things.
- CROWDS of people.
- Dinner at a quaint and quiet Italian place.
- Chocolate mousse.
- Another day of snow shaped like things. More crowds.
- Indian food for lunch = not a good idea after just having had the stomach flu.
- My partially inflated right lung hurts in the cold. I can`t walk far without getting winded. I am like a whiney old lady.
- The ferry ride back was not bad at all. Noah slept the entire time.
So why am I a jerk? Both Jeff and I decided we hate crowds. Why in the world did we decide to go to such a big tourist attraction? I mean, I get it. It`s neat. `Look at all the snow shaped like things! Honey, take my picture in front of this two story dinosaur made entirely of SNOW! Can you believe all the snow that is shaped like things? My life is now complete after seeing that big dinosaur!`
Yeah, I am a jerk.
Everyone says that the Sapporo snow festival is a must-see before you leave Japan. But let`s be honest folks; while it was pretty cool it was certainly NOT worth the money and not worth the headache of getting there, especially if you hate crowds the way that Jeff and I do. But we did make some great family memories while we were there...
... and we did have a good time on our own.
We made the best of it and actually *cough cough* just avoided the Snow Festival all together which greatly improved our experience. Oh, and the Beer Garden was tasty. I would certainly go back to Sapporo.
In the Spring.
(Anyone else notice that my highlights of the trip, my most favorite memories, all involve FOOD? I mean waffles with bananas and chocolate for lunch?! Best Italian meal I have had in a long time, and in our own quaint little corner of the restaurant?! What is not to cherish about those memories?! )