How quickly the days fly! We’ve had a wonderful first week back in NJ. We especially enjoyed attending a very big party for Japanese folks living in NJ/ Philly, went to see a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and enjoyed sharing meals with many precious friends.

Philadelphia Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah

The performance was so spectacular that I burst into tears at least twice. What a standing ovation they received!

With friends at a Christmas party

The white elephant gift exchange was really fun, but I noticed again that Japanese are very hesitant to steal others’ gifts. If they do, they apologize profusely and feel bad about doing it.

One of my favorite meals so far – fish and chips baked to perfection

With dear friends at a German Christmas market in Philadelphia (we even met a friendly German vendor)

We are constantly amused by the outrageous Christmas displays around my neighborhood. This house is the most infamously decorated in our town.

Another highlight was having a Krispy Kreme donut – I noticed that the flavors here are different than the ones in the Krispy Kreme shops in Japan. I was in food heaven…delicious!