Just about time for the yearly update

Last year in December 2022 I made my first trip stateside since February 2020. That was when I went to Texas for about 36 hours for a friend’s wedding, then I jetted off to Maui to spend about five nights with my dad and stepmom in Lahaina, the town that was just burned to the ground a few weeks ago.

Crazy timing I had, huh?

During my holiday visit, which was about two and a half weeks, I first went to the Houston area to see some friends and family, took a trip to Nacogdoches to visit my alma mater, a trip back to Houston to see more family, then I was off to Florida to see my parents.

Well, until I was at Hobby Airport in Houston waiting for my flight and misplaced my backpack and didn’t realize it until I was on the f’ing plane! I immediately told the crew, rushed off the plane, and frantically looked for it in the wing of the airport where I thought I may have set it down. But I didn’t find it.

The gate staff gave me two options: 1) get on the place without the bag, or 2) get rescheduled for a later flight and spend the next six hours looking for my bag.

Considering my laptop, passport and all documentation I need to re-enter Japan was in the bag, I chose option two. Of course about 20 minutes later I found the bag in a TSA agent’s hand, and after answering some questions, he happily handed it over. And big thanks to Southwest Airlines for not charging a fee to re-book me on a later flight due to my own mistake!

Then I was on my way to Florida. Spent a few days with my dad and stepmom, Christmas eve with them and my mom together, then the next few days with my mom.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, I last saw my dad and stepmom in February 2020. But my mother I had not seen since summer of 2019 when we went to Thailand together. About two and a half years.

After the almost a week in Florida, I flew back to Texas to my hometowns of Round Rock and Austin to catch up with friends. Lots of fun, and food, was had. It was amazing to see just how much my friend’s careers have progressed, their had grown, and the homes they have.

Aside from the trip back, 2023 hasn’t been terribly eventful. A friend I’ve known since high school visited (along with his friend) Japan for about two weeks, and we meet up several days. Then in July my friend from college (who’s parents I lived with when I attended Japanese school in Shibuya and he worked on his Ph.D. back in Houston) visited as well.

Hopefully there’ll be one more post here before the year is over. Something I’ve been thinking about doing for years.

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