Their youngest is four months old. Riko chan.
It was a really nice dinner hanging out with friends and even though I had a running practice (more later) the next morning we drank quite a bit. The really excellent part to this dinner was the fact that this week, out of the blue, they called us up on Saturday afternoon and invited us over again. They were having another family over for a fall barbecue night and they were sorry for the last minute invite but it was all last minute. This party topped the first one, in that for me, hanging outside as three dads roasting meat, talking about late 80's NBA (the third dad is a huge b-ball fan) and commiserating with each other about the various trying aspects of marriage was awesome. My Japanese has really come along and it was great to just hang out with the boys. The dinner was excellent too and I was sad I had to limit myself to three beers (I did have a fourth but that was the end.)
The reason I limited myself is that I had a race the next day. I was competing in the Ijuin Eki-Den with the Myouenji team(we live in Myouenji). When I was originally approached to be on the team I declined because the race was the same day as the Bazaar at Kiyomi's school. As part of the fathers club (Oh Zora Kai, Big sky group) I had already signed up to help make and sell french fries and cotton candy. However, the head of sports for our community happens to also be a member of my softball team and finagled it so that I could do both. At the first practice when asked what I wanted to run I foolishly offered to run a longer 2.46 K leg instead of running as the over 30 competitor in a 1 km leg. Foolishly in that they ended up putting me as the anchor leg. The coach figured as I would be late arriving from the Bazaar it was best to put me last. Well long story short. We came second. After years of dominating the event the Myouenji A team (yeah we had a b team too) came second this year. I only lost my leg by 1 second and we lost by over a minute over all so it wasn't all my fault. But the guy who ended up running as our over thirty competitor had a record time for that leg and if he had run the last leg with me running his shorter 6th leg we would have been much closer. I am trying to let it go. Of course there were two different gatherings involved with the Ekiden and I consumed lots of food and drink. At both gatherings we settled down after the students had left and continued our revelry. Good times.
I could talk about the drinking parties that have crept up in November but I wont. Instead I will move on to our latest kiking trip. This time we climbed Mt Kanmuri (Nishi Dake on most maps) near Ichiki-Kushkino.
Instead of climbing all 541m to the top we actually drove most of it and parked at the temple and shrine that are way up the mountain. It was about a half hour hike from the parking lot. Pretty reasonable and we did not run into very much whiny ness at all. On the trip back down we took a different road and at the bottom of the hill we went to see this giant statue.
This next picture is my favourite. Mountain, statue and kids. It really says it all.
After the statue we went to a park and the kids played for about an hour. It was a good park. No I didn't take any pictures. Everyone was asleep by the time we arrived back home (I was only a little dozy). To tie it all back together, we got back just in time to take the late invite phone call to the second party. We told them we would be late as I had my last ekiden practice at 5. Good times.