Jennifer and the Lantern Festival

That title probably sounds a bit too much like the title for a kids book, but it’s the best I got.

On Thursday evening, after getting home from a long day, my a/c broke.  I went out to investigate the problem, Googled my heart out, and even briefly considered attempting some dark magic, but it was all to no avail.  My a/c was dead.  So I e-mailed my supervisor and attempted to go to sleep.  Why is this relevant to Jennifer or the lantern festival?  Because it meant that I was up super early on Saturday morning due to not being able to sleep in my muggy apartment.  It also meant that I was able to super clean most of my apartment before it was time to head to the train station to go get Jennifer.

Hyuga Train Station: Home to some of the most confusing and complicated benches around.

Hyuga Train Station: Home to some of the most confusing and complicated benches around.

Around 8:30, Nico picked me up and took me to the train station.  I then took the train about 2 hours north to the port “city” of Usuki in the neighboring prefecture of Oita.  The plan was for me to wait at the train station and have Jennifer meet me there when her ferry got in, but the train station was about the size of a small shack, so I decided to go in search of the ferry (station?  Building?  Stop?  What do you call it).  Using my Google-map-fu training, I made the short 13ish minute walk from the train station to the ferry place.

Sculpture right outside of the shack/ Usuki Train Station.

Sculpture right outside of the shack/ Usuki Train Station.

On the walk over, I almost caused a traffic accident for the second time.  I had to walk along the side of the street and an old man driving a truck turned around in his seat to stare, completely ignoring the road for a few minutes.  He almost went straight when the street curved left.

But, lo, what's that in the distance?  I believe it says "ferry" on it!

But, lo, what’s that in the distance? I believe it says “ferry” on it!

 

After I found the station-thingy, I sat outside for a bit and enjoyed the weather before moving inside to the official waiting area.

Not a bad view.

Not a bad view.

 

Jennifer got off the ferry and we headed back to the train station.

Cool gate-thing in the "city."

Cool gate-thing in the “city.”

 

Then it was another two hours or so back on the train to Hyuga.  We walked from the station to a cafe across the street from my school and explored the school a bit until Nico and Keith picked us up.  Then we headed back to my place to drop our stuff before getting in the car again for some more traveling.  After about an hour and a half drive, we arrived in Takanabe (Simone’s city) for a lantern festival.  There were performances, food, and, of course, lanterns.

 

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