we packed up the car and headed to shimane on saturday, to visit friends. we were invited to stay the night so we were excited to start out early and visit our (well, maybe just my) favorite fish restaurant in japan. our friends also contacted other friends and we had a impromptu dinner party at a chinese restaurant. before dinner, though, we all (nine!) of us went to an onsen and had a nice relaxing bath. sunday was a slow morning then off to a party! yay!

the drive up to masuda was fairly easy, even the kids did well. of course, it helped that tommy and sasha fell asleep in the car for a while! we stopped at kanmon (potty break!) but didn't do much looking around since it was raining. we made good time, too, and got to tagosaku at about 12:30, greeting our old friends (those who own the restaurant, not those we were there to visit) and showing off how much everyone had grown. after a great lunch, we peeked at the house where (yoshi and i) used to live, then went to R and K's house. they have two girls now, three and a half L and eight month old M. M. is an adorable little baby! and so sweet to cuddle. *sigh* we hung out for a bit then decided that an onsen would hit the spot, and before dinner would be better than after.

hiro was PITA, though, and wouldn't go with 'the boys' and cried in the changing room of the women's bath. eventually he joined us, just as we were getting out. more sobbing, and then he joined yoshi on the men's side! pbbbt. anyway, we eventually got out of there, went back to R's and then went to dinner. it was lovely seeing even more old friends, so big thanks to R for organizing that!

sleeping arrangements were made and the kids had a blast helping us set up the futons. hm...i think we know what we need to do to entertain little kids! make them work! then, after getting the kids to sleep, we adults had a drink (or two), i got out my crochet, R got out some sewing and we chatted for a couple of hours.

the next morning was a blueberry pancake breaky (with extra kids!), then a walk and then we went to a party. the details will no doubt bore you, but we did know the host, and the guest of honor, so we weren't horrible party crashers, i assure you! the kids again had fun (and actually, maybe it was better that we did go, since our three were the only other kids so L had little buddies to run around with!), there was a lot of fish to be had, and i enjoyed a lot of chicken drumettes! yummy!

the drive home was more hellish, even though the kids fell asleep nearly as soon as we turned on the car. however, after they woke up, there was a lot of shouting and fighting *sigh*, which is rare, but certainly not fun when it happens. we had udon for dinner, got everyone home and everything out of the car, got bathed and everyone in bed by nine, so we survived the trip home! phew!

hopefully i'll have some pics sorted out by this evening and will be able to share soon!