I rustled everyone out of bed so they could get ready to catch the 9.11am train. They are going to Tokyo and Kyoto. Alex, however will continue on home on the 4th and Lucy will catch the train back to Aizu. The rest will continue onto Kyoto and Nagoya before returning to us for a few more days.
Emma and I (since we both have boots on) walked to the station while the others and the bags were driven by Dave. The sidewalk was very icy where people have walked and made a path but knee high snow still had not been cleared. It was still snowing. We looked across the street and there were several school boys (on New Year’s Day?) in their uniform, riding red bikes ont he snow and icy sidewalk! I have never seen those red bikes before – could it be that they have special tires? I wished I had my camera out!
When we got to the station, the car load was already there. There were hugs all around and I felt really sad that I would not be seeing Alex again for several months. We went round the side to take pictures of the red train and then Dave asked if I had pulled the garage key out of the lock and I said NO, I wasn’t even riding in the car. A phone call to the kids told us that they did not have it. So, Dave drove like a manic out of the parking lot, skidding and swerving on the icy road to try and get back to the garage before someone took the key away. Fortunately, it was still in the lock with the lights flashing.
The train from Aizu was late getting into Koriyama where the connection with the bullet train was. I guessed they had to clear the snow on the tracks at higher elevation, so they had to catch another one, and they were given new tickets for the reserved seatings.