Sunday, September 2, 2012

Just Had an Amazing Week with Our Visitors from Japan

Our friend's visit from Japan went amazingly well!  They were two college kids--my friend's nephew and his college roommate--and they were so funny and entertaining.  At first I thought that it would be a huge expense to entertain them and keep them busy while they were here but with a little planning, everything went really well and fairly inexpensively too!  Here's what we did:

Day 1:
  • Picked them up from the bus station in the evening and took them to a restaurant at the casino that hubby plays poker at.  We all had prime rib dinners (they seemed enamored with beef and amazed at the huge serving size!).  Cost: free due to hubby's comps from playing at the casino.
Day 2:
  • We ate breakfast at home--hubby is a great cook and made Japanese food for the boys who were happy to see rice after a few days in California eating only American fast food).
  • Went to the Grand Canyon.  It was a long drive (about 9 hours there and back) but our only expense was gas (we used our car instead of renting one and--yeah!--it made it there and back with no problem.  Gas was about $100).  We also packed a picnic lunch to eat once we got there and of course brought plenty of bottled water and canned soda in our cooler.  We had previously purchased a $10 "forever" National Park Pass so entry into the Grand Canyon which is usually $25 per car was free.
  • When we got back to Vegas we stopped by the Rio Casino and watched the free "Show in the Sky" which really impressed them.  
  • We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant also free compliments of hubby's casino comps.  I forgot how much teenage boys can eat!
Day 3:
  • We ate breakfast at home (this is a big money saver).  You can do a lot with eggs and rice!
  • The boys wanted to go shopping so I took them to the outlet mall and we walked around for four hours (!) and they bought a ton of (expensive) stuff.  But I guess many American brands are popular in Japan and they said the prices here for Guess and Nike and Tommy Hilfiger and Polo were much cheaper than in Japan.
  • We came back home and ate dinner (this time I cooked Japanese food for them--curried rice...yummy).
  • In the evening we walked the Las Vegas Strip and they were impressed.  They caught the fountains show at the Bellagio and mostly marveled at all of the excitement of the Strip after dark.  Cost: free.
Day 4:
  • We ate breakfast at home (a recurring theme).
  • We took them to Red Rock Canyon (again, this was free with the National Parks Pass).  After hours of walking the trails and climbing over the rocks the boys were happy and pretty much worn out.
  • We went to In N Out Burger to give them a taste of a good American burger (cost was about $20).
  • We used free coupons from the weekly paper to pay for the entry fee for the swap meet where they did a bit of shopping.
  • We then took them to the Fremont Experience which was free and super entertaining.  We watched a concert, did some dancing, and watched the hourly light and music show.
  • We were exhausted at the end of the day so we picked up Domino's Pizza on the way home (about $15 for their carry-out special).
Day 5:
  • We made them a nice breakfast and then took them to the bus station so they could finish up their vacation in Los Angeles for a few days before heading back to Japan.
Over all we had a great time!  It was much less expensive than I thought it would be and with two of them it was a lot less exhausting than I figured it would be as well (I have Aspergers so when people visit us individually it means I have to make conversation for hours and hours which is actually physically exhausting for me.  With two of them they kept each other entertained).  I had also stopped by the library before their visit and picked up a half dozen Japanese movies which they watched in the evening--they don't speak much English so having movies to watch which they can easily understand was something they enjoyed.  Plus since they are teenagers, they were pretty much continually connected to their iPods for both music and internet :)

Now I need to catch up on all of your blogs!


  1. It sounds like you had a great time! The guys are adorable!!!!

  2. Wow! You guys sound like GREAT Hosts!

  3. I agree - you were fabulous hosts! Nobody would have guessed you were doing this on a budget. So much to see and do - and eat!

  4. Thanks it was a lot of fun and much cheaper than I had thought! Whew!