What I did recently

Recently I had for the first time in eight years visited my hometown in California! I spent over 3 weeks in California, and it was a total whirlwind of an experience. I have been living in Japan for 8 years now and had been itching to go back to California to visit my loved ones, and finally things fell into place. My best friend, who is also living in Japan and also from California, was getting married and was going to hold ceremonies in Japan and California. It was the perfect excuse to finally go see my family, and so I did! I booked a flight for The Golden State and finally got to feel the hot summer rays of the desert sun once more.

My dad and sister picked me up from LAX airport and we drove a two-hour ride back to Palm Springs. The picturesque mountain views covered in hills of windmills warmly greeted us and I knew I was back home. I got home and immediately gave my family all of their souvenirs: my dad a jimbei, my mother Detective Conan items (which she loves), and my sister tons of anime goods that I had slowly collected over time. To my delight they loved their gifts a lot.

For the following couple weeks, I got to see many friends and enjoyed spending a lot of time with my family. We enjoyed eating lots of foods and snacks that I had missed, doing lots of shopping, enjoying local events, and I got to see how much things had changed while I had been gone.

Then, towards the tail end of my trip I went to my best friend’s hometown out in Santa Ana to go to her wedding. I was asked by her to be her maid of honor and all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen were asked to gather the day before the wedding so we could help with last minute preparations. We spent that Friday before the wedding making over two-dozen flower centerpieces, as well as other various decorations. We were working until 2am and finally slept at 3am, only to wake up at 6am to start getting ready for the wedding. We spent all afternoon getting ready and then ran off to the church to see her get married. There, I marched in with my paired partner to begin the ceremony. It was a beautiful service that brought tears to many people’s eyes. After it was over, and the bride and groom were declared husband and wife, we took many photos and headed back to the bride’s hotel to change.

Her husband is Japanese so to include aspects from both cultures for the reception we all wore yukata. We got dressed and went to the venue. It was a beautiful blend of cultures. There were aspects of both Mexican and Japanese culture that were seen throughout the food and decorations. I delivered a speech in which I talked about our friendship and while I was extremely nervous, everyone said it was beautiful, so that really was a relief.

We got to dance the night away, take many pictures in a photobooth, order drinks at their open bar, and just have a ton of fun.


itch (verb) - to have a strong desire to do something
picturesque (adjective) - like a picture; visually attractive, charming or beautiful
bridesmaid (noun) - a girl or woman, usually one of several, who accompanies a bride on her wedding day
groomsman (noun) - a male friend officially attending to the groom at a wedding