This weekend Dan helped me make these buttons to take on our trip.
When Eric and I were in Japan last time, we noticed that almost every time we had a friendly conversation with someone they would give us a tiny gift before we said goodbye.
photo by krotpong!
This woman, who said she hung out in the Osaka train station hoping to practice her English on tourists, folded us little origami cranes. An elderly man in Ohara gave us coupons for free coffee at McDonald's; a man at a bar in Kyoto bought us drinks and gave us hard candies.
Nothing extravagant, just thoughtful little items passed around as social lubricant. I thought it would be nice if we had something to offer in return this time. Hopefully some superhappy buttons will do the trick.
I also got a bunch of these lip balms because I like Sierra Nevada's beers and also they cracked me up. Beer-and-mint flavored lip balm, made with real Cascade hop oil! They actually have a light, pleasant scent and seem pretty moisturizing. I was relieved to see they came with a safety seal because I wouldn't want anyone to think I was fobbing my used Chapstick off on them.
So now all our planning and most of our shopping for the trip is done. We just have a hundred tiny tasks to do in the next few days, plus I want to spend lots of quality time with Willa and Stinky before we go. I love to go places, but man, I hate leaving those guys behind.