We had to get to the station for our 1:10 PM train so we had a little time in Kameoka before we left. We finally kept our appointment with E-chan to pick up some Japanese food and spices for the trip home and to use in our own cooking experiences. After packing our last minute purchases, we headed up for our last meal at the yakimeshi restaurant and I think that I finally got full on eating ramen, an unusual event.

Around noon we started moving our now gift laden luggage to the train station. Normally, it takes us only about 10 minutes or so to make it from our hotel to the train to Kyoto but this time it took much longer. We had to haul all of our carry-ons and check-ins up a big flight of stairs and over the railway to the track leading to Kyoto.

At the Kyoto station our group broke up in to those who were staying in Japan and the six who were returning to America. Unfortunately, there were only a few minutes before we had to catch our train for good-byes. There were a few tears shed but promises of a swift reunion on their return to the States.

The rest of us hopped on the train to Kansai International Airport. On the way there, we had a good time playing metaphysical poker. In metaphysical poker you bet things that you don’t own. Some of the things we bet were Virtually all the places we’ve been in Japan (Seiyu, Nijo castle, Daiwa steel, Pony Hotel, etc.) Food (All the yakitori in Japan, sashimi, yakimeshi, etc.) Some of the things we saw (the Nara deer, the Seto Inland Sea boatride) Kodo Flute Boy (he was dreamy, but none of the girls have seen Legolas yet) Nhan’s swords (which I won, yes they are mine!)

Kodo Flute Boy was a very contested chip in our game. I’d say after all this time he left a great impression.

Customs and check-in were no problem but I took a picture in a secure place and was told not to do it anymore. Dr. Stapp and E-chan waited for us even after we passed security and waved us all the way to the terminal. It was very sweet.

The flight back was a long one especially since I couldn’t sleep even though I only got about 3 hours of sleep the night before. The flight was only 70% full so we could move about an breathe a little more this time. I was again seated by Kelli who konked out as only she could.

When we arrived in Los Angeles we had our share of follies. Sergio didn’t get his customs form stamped and had to go back in line when he heard PSA to people lining up around luggage carousels. Tim had his ticket on his luggage pulled off by one of the workers so he had to recheck-in. I forgot to hand out the class evaluations. But we made it back home in spite of this.

At XNA everybody rushed off before we could snap one last group picture. We’ll definitely have to take one at Dr. Stapp’s house.

Then I went home.

Tomorrow, home.