When the weather isn't too hot or humid, Nozomi and I like to sit on a bench next to a nearby ball diamond after the sun has set, listening as the world goes by. Cars drive past at a little over the speed limit. Cicadas chirp loudly at each other. Mosquitoes search enthusiastically for blood. Every couple of minutes, though, a plane can be seen crossing the sky en route to a destination that is likely no more exotic than the neighbourhood that Nozomi and I call home.
There will likely be another flight to the US coming up in the next 12 months as the global project begins to roll out and various teams wind down. Meetings will be held in New Jersey to decide the next steps, create organizational structures, and assemble small teams that will take ownership of various elements. I don't mind flying to the other side of the planet to attend 50-hours of meetings crammed into a 5-day working week, but I do wish I could bring the family — minus the puppy, unfortunately1 — somewhere beforehand.
Until this most recent annual row2 with our neighbouring country, Reiko and I were talking about visiting South Korea for a couple of days. The flight wouldn't be too long for the boy and it would give us an opportunity to get him accustomed to more complicated forms of travel. When the time comes to bring him to visit family in Canada, he'll need to be much more patient than he is today. This can only happen with experience and practice, so South Korea seemed like a logical choice. However, with this not being a viable option for the moment, it makes sense to look elsewhere.
Another option would be to head to Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture, as the weather there is much cooler. There are daily direct flights from Nagoya to Sapporo for about $80 a seat. The flight itself is just under two hours and the trip to the airport would likely be just as long; an excellent way to get the boy accustomed to travel without the hassles of spending an entire day in airports and planes.
I wonder if everyone would be up for a trip up north ….
I would ask the in-laws to look after Nozomi, as they seem to get along quite well. This would be less stressful for the puppy than a pet hotel.
Every year around August it seems that South Korea demands another round of reparations from Japan, deeming all the previous apologies, cash payouts, and infrastructure investments null and void.