We're back in the US and back to a world filled with unbridled panic for no real reason. You can't buy TP, paper towels, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, water, milk, eggs, rice, or beans in almost any store.
I'm not sure what leads people to the panic purchasing. It took several stores to accumulate this much. We will try again tomorrow.
Our schools have decided to shut down through April 3rd. We will be 'distance teaching' beginning Monday, March 23rd. Right now we are all self quarantining and using Google Hangout (video conference calls) to connect with each other as we set up the system for the students to receive their lessons moving forward.
Just a few of our favorite moments...
Our first night in Tokyo
Private Tea Ceremony
Authentic Samurai Experience
Touching Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji Shrine
Shinobi no Sato Ninja Village
Lake Ashi Sightseeing Cruise
Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Taito Station (Mega Arcade)
Samurai Gallery at Odawara Castle
Tokyo Station Hotel
Our favorite restaurant of the trip
Bamboo forest in the Imperial Palace Gardens
Waterfalls in the Imperial Palace Gardens
Harry's Harajuku Terrace Animal Cafe
We found Godzilla hanging out in Shinjuku
Finally getting to see the top of Mt. Fuji
Our school had a mini Mardi Gras celebration with slices of King's cake at lunch and $5 gift cards for whoever found the babies.
Jeremy is team leader of the 4th grade team. He has been working very hard to get all the details together (with the other members of the team) for the 4th graders big field trip to Austin, TX. They visited the capital building, Inter Space Caverns, and Gatti Land for dinner. They also had charter buses, matching t-shirts, and drawstring bags. It was a huge undertaking with 153 kids, but they are glad it is done!!
We have successfully completed another TMEA Music Conference in San Antonio. (My favorite thing was finally getting my hands on this giant lollipop drum.)
We spent another Valentine's Day in San Antonio during another TMEA Music Conference. This year, instead of a fancy dinner for ourselves, we bought dinner for a homeless man, bought coffee and snacks and at Starbucks for a college student, his girlfriend, and his grandparents, and Jeremy bought me another charm for my bracelet. It was so much fun!
The Starbucks story: the grandmother was arguing with the grandson in line behind us because he had tricked her at the restaurant they had had dinner at and would not let her pay for dinner. She was lovingly berating him in a fully packed Starbucks while he was just trying to get her to sit down. He finally agreed to not pay for the coffee and she agreed to sit down while he waited in the ridiculously long line. Jeremy and I simply nodded at each other and the plan was hatched. Almost 20 minutes later when we got up to the register, Jeremy and I ordered as normal and then asked the grandmother what she wanted (she, the grandfather, and girlfriend had all rejoined the line by this time). Things were so busy and loud, she hadn't noticed we hadn't actually paid yet. After all four of them added their order we jumped back in line and paid. This is the moment she noticed!! She slapped the grandson on the arm and started speaking to him in a language I could not understand. This is where I jumped in. "You only made HIM promise not to pay. You didn't say anything about perfect strangers. Happy Valentine's Day!" The laughter that ensued was like from a cheesy Hollywood movie. We had a great few minutes visiting after that. Great day!
To celebrate their joint birthdays, we had a bowling party for them both!! It was a lot of fun!