Our breakfast this morning were the gifts of fruit from Sam and Keiko the night before and they were perfect!
We called Mom's sister in Sendai to let her know we would be on our way.
The doorman hailed a taxi for us and he took us to the Ebisu Station where we caught the JR train for Sendai.
It still amazes us how the trains can arrive exactly when they are scheduled.
Uncle and Auntie greeted us at the station.
Auntie took Mom and me with her to their house while Uncle accompanied Art and Dennis to the Toyoko Inn hotel and drove them back to their house to join us.
It's always such a joy to see the sisters reunited.
Auntie and Uncle had bought a huge collection of different kinds of yummy rice balls and burgers for lunch.
My cousin, Masako stopped by to introduce us to her new baby boy. He is such a cutie!
Auntie showed us all the work that had been done to repair their home. There had been a lot of cracks in the walls and foundation due to the earthquake last year. Luckily, because they live on higher ground, the tsunami did not reach them.
After lunch, a hired taxi came to take us to see what the tsunami devastation had left. You could still see metal railings bent over by the tsunami.
The drive took us to a small hill where a shrine had been created.
From this hill, it was still incomprehensible to know that all these homes and people had been destroyed or swept out to sea.
From the hill we could see the extent of the tsunami devastation. Auntie showed us places where salt water were still left in area depressions. The winds on this hill were so fierce that it made it hard to walk.
Mountains of debris are still left waiting for a place to put them.
We also saw a lot of destroyed cars in a sort of auto graveyards.
We were then driven back to the Toyoko Inn in the city center of Sendai. It's a businessman's hotel that we really like. It's more reasonable and provides you with a clean place to stay with Internet access.
Yes, it's quite small, but really does give you everything you need including pajamas, refrigerator, tea, toothbrush, slippers, and a free breakfast.
Auntie and uncle said we should unwind for a bit until dinner. They came to pick us up at 5:00 to go to a French restaurant called Le Ciel Creme.
One of their highlights is the... believe it or not... bathroom! There were mirrors lining two walls and the ceiling. Art said it was quite disconcerting to use it.
Yes, the lobster was very delicious! All the other entrees were out of this world as well!
Desserts came with little messages. This one to my cousin, Norio's son said to try his best in soccer. His dad was a great soccer champ. I had not seen Norio in about 16 years. Because he works in the business world, his English was now superlative and he could converse easily with Art and Dennis. Norio gave us lots of helpful advice for our trip to Southern Japan.
Our scrumptious dessert said... oh right..... It's in English. Our placemats were even personalized with names and a picture of a Hawaiian hula girl. It made it all a very special night.
It was a cold night so instead of walking, Auntie and Uncle sent us back to the hotel in a taxi. It was great because Sendai was a whole lot colder than Tokyo. Mom used her sister's down coat during our stay there.
There were no cherry blossoms in Sendai, but we had a beautiful time.