Niseko means happiness!

Hello world from the snowy hills of Niseko, Japan!

I have made it to the beautiful mountains of Niseko and man is it all I expected and more!

Brian and I loaded into the car in Khanom and Jen drove us to Surat Thani. A very fast drive since she is a speedy driver. Air Asia was kind enough to let us know that if we are bringing more than a toothbrush we would be forced to pay the luggage fee of 100 baht for checked baggage. No problem Air Asia here is your $2.44. After checking our bags, Brian and I took the short hop to Bangkok where we decided to do some shopping and meet with our friend Tamara.

We headed to MBK plaza only expecting to buy clothes there and then head to Panthip Plaza for fancy electronics. We found that MBK has 5 floors for clothes and 2 just for electronics! We were very happy. I got a turtle neck that says “Gap: Made in Cambodia” and then Brian and I both got 8 gb Ipod knock offs for 900 baht ($23) – not bad!!

We hopped the cab with more than two hours to get to Bangkok airport but our punk of a teenage cab driver decided to take the round about way and pad his taxi meter. Brian and I ended up running thru the airport. They told us we missed the flight but Brian and Evan turned on the power blag and ended up getting on the flight. We were sure that our bags would not make it.

We arrived in KL, Malaysia and went straight to the check in counter there one hour early. THEY told us that we missed the flight and we started to cause a scene because it was an hour before take off and we were incredulous at how this could be. In their broken English they explained to us that we did not miss the flight but that they could not alert the Meal Crews that we were coming and they did not have time to get our meals on board. “We don’t want food! We want a flight!” we yelled. After 20 minutes of 4 people chattering Malay on telephones we finally got on the flight. Brian was sure our flight would not make it to Japan.

We arrived in Osaka and could feel the chill in the air. It was 6 degrees celsius outside and my flip flops were beginning to look a little silly. Our bags did make it and luck kicked in. JAL airlines put us on their earlier flight to Sapporo and we upgraded to business class for $8!!! The flight was great but business class was a little hilarious. The seats fully reclined but they were built for Japanese bodies and both Brian and I were too tall to fit. We had a good chuckle about it.

We landed in Chitoise airport in Sapporo during a snow blizzard. My flip flops were starting to illicit serious giggles and people were taking pictures of my feet. We met up with our shuttle driver and did the 3 hour drive to the hills of Niseko.

Upon arrival, we were shown our FAT ski pad with all the japanese accessories. The toilet has been my favorite so far. It has a heated seat, a water stream cleaner from a touch pad, and it has a built in sink that turns on when you flush guilting you into washing your hands – brilliant – its made by Todo.

Today was our first day on the mountain and it was….epic. Brian went on his on to board while I stuck with a group of 4 hardcore skiers. We did some great hiking and gate skiing and found nothing but waist deep powder all day. By 3p I was knackered and since we have 8 days ahead of us, I took a break to rest up. Its only 7 pm here right now and the lifts run until 9 so after I finish this blog and this beer, Brian and I might take a few more runs.

Speaking of the beer, we are loving the selection here. Sapporo alone has 9 different brands. We are drinking great Japanese beer that has dark, light, heffe, bock, stout, and Brian found a Porter beer that is his new fave.

Of course we have had sushi and fish (today I ate jellyfish). My fave so far are the Blue Pickles!

The snow has been falling in the 24 hours we have been here and it keeps falling!

So many more details to come and as always…wish you were here!

IN THE PHOTOS: Extreme Canadian skier Debbie and our powder guide Steve —- Evan in flip flops at Sapporo airport —- Brian found two beers in a refridgerated bag at a small store

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