Long Weekend Getaway to Sendai Part 1

Before I get to our Memorial Day weekend away to Sendai, I have a few pictures to share.  First up is the latest Kit Kat flavor we have available to us.  Passion fruit!  And it is probably my favorite flavor.  It is so good.
We had a four day weekend for Memorial because there was a PACAF family day added in, which is always nice when 3 days off turns into 4 days off.  So Thursday night became like a Friday night and we ended up going out for dinner.  Since it was like a Friday night and the start to a mini-vacation, I decided to get a drink.  A real drink!  I went with shochu and grapefruit juice.  Shochu is Japanese liquor, sorta like vodka.  It was good!
We started with some tomatoes and mozzarella.  I am amazed at how common this is to find at restaurants in Japan, including one's that are not even Italian.
Dinner was bibimbap for me, minus the meat of course.  Did I tell you I am going to Korea later this summer when my sister comes to visit?  Good thing I like bibimbap!
Friday we stayed at the base, did some things around the house and got caught up on homework, then went to Fight Night.  The next morning we were up early to catch the Shinkansen down to Sendai.  It took us about 2 hours by train, which included the local train over to Hachinohe to get on the bullet train.  I think by car it would be about 5 hours, so we decided to do the train this time.  I made sure we had a hotel near the train station so that we could easily get there.  If you are thinking that Sendai sounds familiar, you probably heard of Sendai when there was the earthquake and tsunami a few years back.  There was a lot of damage to Sendai, particularly the coastal area.

I heard from many friends here that Sendai is good for shopping and eating, so of course I wanted to go.  I was going to take a picture of the hotel room, but the rooms are so tiny it is hard to really even get one.  After we put our things down and settled in, we headed out.  First thing we found on our way to lunch...a vending machine park!  Not kidding!  I have the picture to prove it.  Yes, multiple beverage vending machines, some trees and benches.  Gotta love Japan!
After stopping for a quick coffee, we realized we needed to find some lunch before it got too late.  We weren't familiar with the area yet so when we found Pronto, we decided that would be a good choice.
I had a pesto pasta with shrimp and avocado.  It was good, although I admit I was thinking it was an odd combo, but shrimp and avocado is pretty popular here so I guess they decided it would be good in pasta too.
Ryan had a pasta dish that was Japanese style.  Apparently that meant it came on a sizzling skillet.  And believe there was egg in there.  He said it was interesting.
Next up on our walk we found a little cafe and decided to stop in for another coffee and a dessert (hey, it's vacation).  Actually, Ryan didn't eat all his pasta so I don't blame him for still being hungry.
Then we found the main downtown shopping street.  It is a few blocks long and covered.  It's walking only and filled with stores.
While we walking we spotted St. Marc Cafe, which is one of our favorites from Tokyo (and we have one not too far away in Aomori).  These chocolate croissants are really amazing.  And yes, I believe we had another coffee.
I can't even begin to explain what this is but we were intrigued at these balls on sticks being sold at a little vendor on a street corner.  They actually had a store inside with a place to sit and eat these, but nothing really gave us a clue as to what was inside the pancake ball.  Our best guess was a seafood mixture of sorts.  It was a white, seafood tasting semi-hard ball in the middle of the pancake.  Oh, and it had a spicy sauce on top.  Definitely glad we tried it, but definitely weird.
Speaking of weird...
Yeah, there was a Spiderman on this building.

After a short rest, we headed out to find some dinner.  We had passed by an Indian restaurant earlier so we thought we would start there.  This place is called Aashriwaad.
We started off with some Indian beer and papad (they call it papad in Japan but I have always called it papadum).  
We had sort of a sweet curry with cashews.  It was awesome!
Naan, of course.
And then an eggplant dish, which was also awesome.
So glad we found that place because it was a great first dinner in Sendai.  After dinner we walked around some more and explored the area, hoping to find ideas for the next day.  Love these little alley ways filled with restaurants and bars.  It's like being on a movie set.  It definitely doesn't feel real, but it is awesome to experience.
Couldn't resist!  How funny!
Yeah, couldn't resist this picture either.  Did I mention that I love Japan?!?!
One more picture, again I just couldn't resist.  This was in our hotel bathroom.  And yes, I made sure to use up all the toilet roll.
QUESTIONS:  Have you ever heard of shochu?  Have you ever heard of Sendai?  When was your last long-weekend getaway?

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