Sakura Picnic with @utsanime, JASS and NSA

My good friends, Vadim and Sebastian have beaten me to the punch in blogging about today's nefarious events, but... Well, I kid, but today was really quite fun and just a great chance to relax with old friends since university started. I'll say I had my reservations around the hurried organisation of this event (wait, I didn't say that, you read nothing), but it all turned out magnificently in the end anyway.

With three clubs and a host of other families and visitors at Auburn today, the area was surprisingly not as crowded as I expected to be. Instead it was a pretty cosy atmosphere and everyone was intermingling freely. Ruben and I were not able to make it to the event until quite late, since we headed out from Hornsby relatively late and then it took us a while to find the right bus from Olympic Park, and find the right route to take to Auburn Botanical Gardens. Working from memory seemed to do us well, but only for so far until we reached another location that looked familiar again.

On the way there, there had been a few mishaps, but with the help of Cindy and Rina, they were able to coverup the stains on my yukata and outfit both Ruben and I in the yukatas we had brought. I don't know about Ruben, but this was my first time in a yukata and it sure was a novelty. I'm really excited to do this again, hopefully next year if not sooner. Unfortunately since we had not tried Ruben's on before, we didn't realise it was somewhat too short for him... Tall guy! Whereas mine was much too long (easily fixed).

After munching on a few sausages and other snacks (including breaking out the ham), several groups started heading towards the Japanese Gardens before they closed at 5pm. Ruben eyed the coffee as we waited in line but decided to delay until later to purchase some liquid... something. The garden naturally looked like it did last year, so I think I took less photos and more just tried to enjoy the experience this time around. I still did take photos though, since I did not have a DSLR to use last year, but towards the end I stopped bothering.

Surprisingly a lot of people stopped Ruben and I while we were going around the Japanese Gardens dressed in our yukatas to either ask for a photo of us or a photo with us, which consequently meant that a lot of the time we would stop and wait for them as the group of people we were with pulled ahead. Halfway though we completely lost sight of everyone else until we had returned back to the entrance.

This year some friends from my Bachelor of IT course were also there. James, Joel, John and Roneth all showed up and it was after one of these stoppages to take photos that I went over and chatted with them a bit since I hadn't seen them... probably since our graduation!

Ruben and I were both feeling a little tired from walking around (and I because I'd been carrying glass bottled with beverages plus other foods around for hours) so we headed back to the picnic area for some more food and drink. Eventually the last of the sausages were busted out, the last watermelon was sliced up and there were some fun hijinks before most of us set off home our separate ways. French exit!

We took a long time returning to Auburn station - night had almost fallen and JASS had reached the bus stop before us already! Nonetheless, we still managed to make our way back to Auburn, Olympic Park and Strathfield. I tried to help some elderly Chinese ladies on the train with mixed success. After some catching up with Kenny from my high school and after hanging out for a coffee and some cards, Ruben and I both headed home.

Each year goes differently but is still totally fun! I hope that we'll be able to run this event again in the coming year, and something new will be brought into it again. We will miss several people next year such as Vadim and Rina, but I hope they'll be able to experience sakura over in Japan too (earlier in the year, of course~). I'm going to be saving up for a new yukata, but we'll see what next year brings!