Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our First Guest!

We're officially settled here in Iwakuni; we've had our first guest! Our new friend Gintare from Lithuania came to visit for a few days while she was on a break from studying in Nagoya. It was great to see Iwakuni from an even fresher perspective than our own and to appreciate the sights.

First off, I'm really proud of finally getting organized and having a presentable guest room.  

A comfy bed in Iwakuni!
Gintare was surprised by our American furniture, food, and lifestyle. It was great to reminisce about our European adventures, and realized that Joe's background (Polish) is very similar to that of Lithuania. Anyway, on Gintare's first day, which was also Joe's first day home in two months (bad timing!), we made a trip to the Kintaikyo (Kintai Bridge) to see Iwakuni's claim to fame:
Gintare on the bridge at sunset
Handsome Joe with the pedestrian bridge behind him
Kintaikyo area with cormorant fishing.      

We were so happy to host Gintare and hope to visit Nagoya to see her again. She even brought us treats! I'd never heard of Lithuanian Apple Cheese before, but it is delicious! It's not actual cheese, which was a relief to me. Gin said it is processed and packaged like cheese, so it's nicknamed "cheese" by Lithuanians. It tastes like a natural fruit roll-up with dehydrated apple pieces inside -- in short, delicious.

Lithuanian Apple Cheese!
She also brought treats from Hiroshima that were shaped like tiny popsicles. I think they were gelatin flavored with maple syrup and had tiny pieces of walnut inside. Very tasty.

Hiroshima delicacy
So, in case you are heading to Lithuania, we've discovered the 16th reason to visit Lithuania: Gintare!

Other people might be as pleased as I was to learn that there is a statue of FRANK ZAPPA in Lithuania!
Definitely an "alternative personality" :)
Thanks again for visiting, Gintare! I'm looking forward to having more visitors in Iwakuni!

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