Sunday, February 26, 2012

Palm Springs

Today, Saturday, we went to Palm Springs. We went on the tram and up in the mountains there was a lot of snow. Our hiking was a little challenging because of the slippery tracks but we had fun.

Great view of the desert.
Climbing rocks to enjoy even better views.
View from the bus: hundreds of windmills.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


We went to the LA City Hall and from the 27th floor we were able to see the Disney Center (photo), Dodgers Stadium etc.
After that we went to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I don't think any of us
bought anything....
We had planned to go to the Kodak Theater but because the academy awards are going to be on Sunday we were not able to go inside. The streets were blocked so we just drove by twice!
"Dinner" at In-N-Out in Hollywood--crowded, crowed with "fun" people who seemed to be ready for a Carnival party.... Students said they all had feathers in their heads, but I actually thought they were all drunk. Luckily they left five minutes after we got in so we were able to sit.

Japanese American National Museum

The highlight of our program in California: learning experiences at the Japanese American Museum. We are grateful to the volunteers who, like Mr. Sameshima, share their own experiences and messages, and to those who work so hard transmitting the message of peace.

With all those who made this experience possible.

Busy Friday in Los Angeles

It was a busy Friday for us. We went to Los Angeles and only returned at 10 PM. In the morning we went to Olvera Street and on the way there we made a very brief stop at the Galleano Winery in Ontario. In the afternoon we went to the Japanese American National Museum (next post).

Olvera Street.
The girls purchased Mexican hats.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Certificate Ceremony

Even though today was not the last day of the program, the certificate ceremony was held at 3:15 because we are going to Los Angeles tomorrow and leave Riverside at 9:30 on Monday.
Receiving a certificate from Director Bronwyn Jenkins-Deas.
A group photo after the dance performance. (above)
Showing appreciation to the organizers of the program.

Indian Hills Elementary School

We visited the Indian Hills Elementary School in Riverside today. We appreciated Principal Huben's warm welcome and the time he spent showing us around and teaching about the educational system here in California.
With Principal Huben in his office checking on bobcats in the internet.
Teaching some Japanese to 4th graders.
Making "kabuto" with many 4th graders.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feb 21: Martin Luther King High School

Dancing to the MLK students.
A new group: dancing with the American students. Great job!
Exchanging information on culture differences.

Feast at the Duffy's

I was blessed with a superb meal at the Duffy's place on Monday, President's Day here in the US. There were lots of artichokes and everything tasted great.

Chicken with grilled figs and lemons.
Great company!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laguna & Balboa

At Laguna Beach.
Balboa: Tong Tong with her Snoopy and me with my tea.
Telling everyone in Balboa her name. (Photo taken from the pier)

San Juan Capistrano

Photos at the Mission San Juan Capistrano Sunday morning. It was my first time at the Mission in February. The garden looked completely different without the roses, but it was beautiful anyway.

Artichoke Chips!?!?!

I found this interesting bag of chips at the World Market the other day. I can't tell you if it's any good because I haven't had any yet.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Citrus Historical Park

After our campus tour, we went to the Citrus Historical Park here in Riverside.
View of the snow from the freeway. It was quite cold the other day.
Warm hospitality with a taste of great Cara Cara Navals.

Our guides Claudia and Jeff let us try all kinds of different oranges and taught us a lot about the historical importance of the orange groves here in Riverside.

UCR Campus Tour

Today, February 17, we went on a campus tour first thing in the morning.
Edmund was our guide today.
Luckily the citrus trees are in full bloom now.
University of California, Riverside

Ocean Charter Elementary School

"Ohayogozaimasu Eiji-sensei"
Practicing Japanese with the first graders.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Edgard in Riverside

Edgard was our first exchange student from UCR and he spent a year in Togane. He came see me this afternoon and it was really nice talking to him. We'll meet a few more times while I'm here.
Our first day here in Riverside was quite chilly and it also rained. This was the sunset view from my window.

UCR: Day 2

Associate Director Valerie Hodges greeting our students during the welcome lunch.
Helping themselves to some chicken, vegetables and rice. Oh, and some cookies, too!
Socializing with Teramoto-sensei, our Resident Director here in Riverside.

Valentine's Day in Riverside

The rose and the heart took all my attention and I forgot to take a photo of John and Sharon who had invited me to dinner on Valentine's Day! The food was great and so was the company. It's good to experience what Valentine's Day is in America. I kind of had forgotten about it after 20 years in Japan. There women tend to give chocolate to men on February 14 and then on "White Day" (March 14), men give women gifts--quite often chocolate as well.

Safe trip to Los Angeles

We flew Singapore Airlines this time and had a quiet trip to Los Angeles.
Narita Airport.
At UCR meeting with homestay families. Momoko and Yui are here for the second time.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Taniguchis gave me a lot of "yuzu" (citron) from their garden. Around this time of year it's customary to put them in the bath type.

Japanese Cuisine

The one reason I renewed my one-year contract with JIU in 1992 was that I wanted to have more time to enjoy the food and also learn how to cook and how to make the pottery. The consequence of that decision is that I've gained about 13 kilos in twenty years.... I do appreciate the food, learned the names and also learned how to make some but mostly how to buy good pottery! My appreciation for the refined culture has improved.

Photos of a crab gratin taken at Umenohana in Chiba. The food, the decoration and the company were great!