Today was a happy day. Today, all was made right in the world once more. Today, the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl.
Yes, hang your head in shame, Belichick, you cheating scumbag.
Congrats to the Doug Pederson (a former Green Bay Packer!) and the Philadelphia Eagles on their fantastic Super Bowl win over the New England Cheaters.
What a game! I watched every glorious second of the game from the comfort of my bed on my laptop and tried my best not to scream at every crazy play. (There’s a baby in the house.)
Kenny and his family live in a quiet little suburb a couple of train stops outside of Nara.
After that game, I honestly left the house with a huge grin on my face this afternoon. I could almost skip I was so happy.
Trevor and I didn’t leave the house until 1:30, so by the time we arrived in the town of Nara Station, it was already 2:00.
That left us just over three hours of solid daylight to do some exploring. The goal was to hit up Kofuki-ji and Todai-ji, two beautiful temples.
Along the way, we hoped to see some deer.
Holy crap, did we ever see some deer.
As soon as we walked out of Nara Station, we didn’t take more than 50 steps, and I saw deer behind a wooden fence. I thought this was maybe a zoo or an enclosed area in a park or something.
Then I noticed a sign on the street.
“How do the deer get out?” I wondered.
Then I looked up ahead and realized that the deer are literally everywhere. They’re not closed in at all. And they’re not afraid of people either–mainly because people feed them deer food that they buy from vendors who set up shop all over the place.
After petting some deer and taking a selfie or two, Trevor and I headed towards Kofuki-ji and the pagoda.
We saw all the prettiness there was to see and made our way to Todai-ji.
Of course, along the way, you couldn’t help but bump into a deer or two or fifty.
Todai-ji was impressive. I like the old faded wood of Japanese Buddhist temples so much more than the over-the-top shimmer and shine of the golden temples in Southeast Asia. I like the simplicity of it.
Once you step inside, these guys are waiting to greet you.
Upon leaving the temple, we wandered around for a bit before the sun started setting.
As the sun started t make her way to bed, we headed for the exit and towards the nearest restaurant we could find.
We settled on a wicked soba place and had soba noodles with duck.
I find the incessant slurping sounds Japanese people make when they eat hilarious. It sounds like eating spaghetti with a 4 year old.
After dinner, we headed back to Kenny’s place and ate some more food, because eating is just the best, isn’t it? Toki made us a fantastic British dish (Kenny lived in the UK for a while) that included chicken wrapped in bacon, with some melted cheese and mushrooms thrown in there. Dunno what it was called, but it was delish.
We also had some beer and sake. Kenny was surprised to see Toki pour herself a glass of sake. “She didn’t use to drink very much before, but now she drinks more these days,” he said.
She replied with, “You only live once” and laughed out loud. That’s right, this sweet old Japanese woman YOLO-ed.
Shortly after, Toki dropped a knife on her way to the kitchen and joked that she was drunk. She was cut off.
I mentioned that Nicaraguan cuisine includes a lot of tortillas, and Kenny pulled out the Doritos. I let out a good laugh at that one.
These guys are good people.
After a nice long chat and plenty of aww-ing at baby Lisa, it was time for bed.
It’s nice to go to bed knowing that somewhere in the world right now, Tom Brady is upset over losing the Super Bowl. Enjoy your 5 other rings, your beautiful wife, your palatial home, and your bajillions of dollars, loser!