April 15th, 2015 - Kyoto, Japan - Day 244

Big Pete's POV

Today was our last full day in Kyoto and fortunately it turned out to be a nice one.  The forecast was for rain, but when we woke up the sun was shining and it stayed that way for most of the day.  unfortunately we had a lot we needed to get done before hitting the road the next day, so we were stuck inside for a good portion of the day.  The morning and into the afternoon was filled with some deep and somewhat exhausting conversations on a range of subjects.  These conversations are hard at the time, but are one of the biggest blessings of this trip.  This time we have spent together as a family has been so incredible in that it has allowed us the undistracted time to really get to know one another and to explore some really difficult questions.  We have all had our moments on this trip where we have grown.  Sometimes that growth is easy and feels like enlightenment, but most of the time that growth is ugly and hard work, but in the end we all agree these times are what has made the trip so special.  

Peter and I did get out around 10 for a walk around our neighborhood.  We strolled around and finally ended up in a coffee shop called Arabica up the street.  We had walked by this shop a handful of times and the roasting coffee smell coming out of it has been incredible.  We went in a both order lattes.  When we got our drinks they were the most beautiful lattes I have ever seen and the great thing was, they tasted better than they looked!  We had a great conversation over our coffee and then headed back home.  Stacie and Lea were still cranking on Science and after a while Peter and I decided to go get some lunch.  We hit another local spot and had a great lunch while discussing the lessons we have learned and how we hope we don’t forget them when we get back home.  

The rest of the afternoon was spent packing and preparing for travel.  Then once Lea was done with her Science exam (2 tests in 2 days!) we headed out to do a little shopping.  Lea really wanted a dress for the boat we are going on in Vietnam and I wanted some new shorts.  Peter, Stacie and I were all still hunting for chopsticks as well.  It took us a couple of hours, but in the end we got everything completed, just in time to get ready for our farewell to Japan dinner.  We had planned on eating sushi for our final meal, but as usual fate intervened and we ended up eating at a yakatori and tempura restaurant because our sushi joint was full.  

It worked out great in the end.  We had a room all to ourselves with Japanese style seating (on the floor) overlooking the river.  The food was good, but the service was slow and we had to find ways to entertain ourselves between the courses.  

By the time we were done with dinner we were all tired and still a little hungry (because they had forgotten to bring us two dishes we ordered).  So we hunted for some food on the way home.  We ended up settling for a little cereal and toast in our house before rushing off to bed in hopes of getting a good nights sleep before our travel day.