Yesterday turned out to be pretty good after all. On the way to the grocery store (or maybe before we left), we discussed the possibility of stopping by the nearby donut shop for a treat, but we also remembered that there was a Baskin Robbins also nearby. So we went there to get some ice cream. We were hoping for maybe an ice cream cupcake or two, but they didn't have anything like that. Instead, we found out that Baskin Robbins has warm cookie sundaes! So we each got a small one--one scoop of ice cream, two microwaved cookies, and a topping. (I got mint chip ice cream, double fudge cookies, and hot fudge. Athena got chocolate fudge ice cream, a double fudge and a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, and peanut butter sauce. They were both delicious.)
At the store, we noticed all the balloons on sale and thought what the heck, let's buy one! So now we have a cute little happy birthday balloon that still seems to have all its helium a whole day later. This morning Page played with the clip that's weighing it down. (When we first got it, she looked up at it curiously, and it was adorable.)
Later, we got a call from a friend from church, asking if we were home because she wanted to drop something off. We were, so she and her husband dropped by and we talked for a little while, and she gave us each a gift! (He invited us to the sock hop that was also last night, and that his band was going to be playing at, and since we do make it a point to go to things like that when people invite us, we thought about going, but we hate dances and it was our birthday. Nevertheless, it wasn't until my mouth wouldn't stop hurting that I decided it would be okay to stay home and relax (and hopefully expedite the healing process; we actually hadn't been able to relax much at all since I got my tooth pulled on Wednesday).) When we opened the packages, we found that she'd gotten us each three packages of astronaut ice cream! She was paying attention when we were shopping at the Science Center together (way back like a year ago when we went to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit).
Next it was time to have a miniature birthday party and open all our presents, by which I mean "pull out the souvenirs we bought in Japan and haven't removed from our luggage since we got back". So we got to look at the tiny plushes of a barn owl and a...um...those giant alien-looking crustacean things...and a jellyfish cell phone charm that we got at the aquarium, the kokeshi doll and cow plush and kokeshi and owl charms we got in Zao, the tsums we got at the Disney Store, the pins we bought at Disneyland, and the Noragami stuff we bought at the Noragami Cafe. That's how we remembered that we bought a pair of beautiful pins of Mickey and Minnie in hakama and a furisode (respectively), and I thought, "Bravo, past us!" They really are lovely pins, and now we need to buy a lanyard or something so we can do something with all our pins other than hide them away.
As for the Noragami stuff, there's a little bit of a story. Well, first we got a little note pad shaped like ema plaques that has little super-deformed pictures of Bishamon, Kazuma, and Uncle Ebi. And we got a Yukine cushion that has him in human form on one side, and snow-puff form on the other. We're still really torn about it, because it's vacuum sealed, so once it's open there's no going back, but we love it and we want to take it out and hug it and squeeze it and use it as a pillow, but we're also terrified of getting it dirty. So it's still vacuum packed because we're afraid to take the plunge.
There were also two keychains that came in mystery packs! They sold them in box sets with all eight, and we seriously considered going back to get the box sets, but it just never happened, so we only got one from each set. First, there's the "darui" or "listless", I guess, if we want to go with the term used in the Tanaka-kun anime translations, which is good enough for these purposes, but anyway it was the "darui" rubber strap set. Each strap features one of the characters lying listlessly on their stomach with their arms outstretched, kind of like all those cartoons with characters crawling through the desert in need of water, but in those cartoons the characters are still motivated by the need for water, and in these straps, there is no motivation whatsoever. They're just listless. From that set, we ended up with the Uncle Ebi one, which is delightfully ironic. I thought, "How would they ever convince him to do that?" and then I realized that obviously he would be willing to pose for a keychain if the returns promised to be good.
The second set was the ani-mimi, or "animal ears", acrylic keychain set. This is the one with a story. Before we stumbled upon the Noragami Cafe, we were browsing all the stores along Otome Road (one of the other things we pulled out of our luggage was something that claims to be the Ikebukuro Otome Map, so we're pretty sure the whole theory about Otome Road being defunct has effectually been disproven), which were mostly secondhand stores, and in one of them we found a super cute keychain of Yukine with fox ears and a fox tail. We were waffling about whether or not we wanted to buy it, because it was 1050 yen, which seemed like a lot for a little acrylic keychain, but Cecille snatched it up and bought it for us and wouldn't take no for an answer.
Then we made it to the Noragami Cafe and lo and behold, there was this keychain set--the exact set that this Yukine keychain had come from. Cecille was devastated, because she was trying to do a nice thing by buying the keychain but it turned out to be a bad idea after all. We assured her that it may not have been, because there's no guarantee that we'll get a Yukine keychain no matter how many of them we bought (I hadn't noticed the box sets; Athena chose to remain silent on that point), so it was okay that she bought the one, because Yukine is our favorite favorite character and that was the only way to guarantee we'd get him.
And now that I've built up all the suspense(?), can you guess which character keychain we got?
Tadah! It was perfect! Not only did we get a guaranteed Yukine by buying one at the secondhand store, but now we have Yato and Yukine together again! Hiyori would have been a good match, too, but not as good as Yato. It was really the best outcome we could have hoped for (except for magically ending up with all of them somehow after not making it back to buy the box set).
For the grand finale, we finished the day by playing more Labyrinth of Andersen, and we finally met the character that we've been wanting to meet the whole time! ...But his voice wasn't obvious enough for us to identify. We were hoping it was our beloved Yuki Kaji, but alas it was not. There's still one more datable character we haven't met yet, though, so we're optimistic.
And then as a little PS, the kids sang "You've Had a Birthday" to us in Primary, and! there was a chocolate cake at Bread Day that Athena made sure to snatch up before anybody who didn't realize it was our birthday could take it away. We'll be having it for dessert today!
Today I'm thankful for another lovely birthday, warm cookies sundaes from Baskin Robbins, cute birthday balloons, good friends who remember things like how we like astronaut ice cream, and the best keychain outcome.