Friday after work I met up with Yoda & Mya in the cafeteria and we headed off to Gifu, by train (met up with Satomi), and then by night bus (met up with Yamachung and Hira, friends of Yoda). By time we got on the night bus and started on our way, it was almost midnight. We chatted for a bit then slept until 6am, when we arrived in Gifu! The ski lodge was somewhat similar to Canadian ones, and it was packed! We changed in the dressing room and got our rentals, and were on the hill by 7am! Now that's what I call efficiency....I do things fast and efficiently, but often trips or days with several people involved take a while to get off the ground, by time everyone gets organized. Not this time!
Sometimes I forget how much I love the mountains, the snow, and being up on the hill, but as soon as we stepped outside, I couldn't keep a smile off my face. I was thrilled to be there! Avril Lavigne's 'Girlfriend' was blasting over the loudspeakers (they're all about the North American music), and I couldn't help but sing to it and bounce/dance around - it was great! It snowed all day, beautiful snow, and was pretty windy for part of the day, but it wasn't too cold.
We spent the day doing Green runs b/c Satomi had never boarded before. Since my own boarding skills leave much to be desired, it was a great chance to practice. Last time I went boarding I was trying to learn to impress, but this time taught me how much rewarding it is to accomplish something for yourself, instead of trying to show off to someone else! I was pretty proud of my improvement over the course of the day - I can spin my board, both ways! and carve much better than before. We were up on the hill until 2pm, then quickly changed and grabbed some lunch before jumping back on the bus. We were all pretty exhausted and slept part of the way back. We arrived back at Sannomiya station around 7:30, then Satomi, Yoda, Mya and I split to go back to the dormitory.
We stopped for supper on the way, which was yummy (as always). (blog detour->->) I think I am a great source of entertainment for my Japanese friends, especially when it comes to food! We stopped at a convenience store before getting on the night bus the first time, and I was looking at all the snacks. There was several kinds of something that looked like beef jerky, except it was fish jerky. That was fine...what really threw me off was the (whole) dried and squished squid!! I thought it was pretty strange, and my friends thought I was pretty funny. (<-<-back on track) At supper, I (again) entertained them by sounding out things on the menu and asking what all the characters were, and looking suspiciously at some interesting dishes (like deep fried minnow-like fish..eyes included!) It was a great night. When I finally hit the pillow after midnight, I was exhausted.
I don't normally get sore after a day of snowboarding, even if I haven't been in a while, but today, I was in pain! I opened my eyes and was impressed at the lack of pain...then I tried to move! I don't think I've ever been so stiff and sore in my life. When I finish this blog post, I'm off to the gym to work and swim away the soreness.
I'm hoping to get to Nagano next weekend for another day or two of skiing! Being up on the hill again and hanging out with some friends made for a great weekend!