Sunday, January 10, 2016

The beginning of an adventure

Finally, we are wrapping up our first full week here in Japan. It's been well over a year in the making and it seems a little surreal that we are all here finally.  The house was cleaned...and it was time to pack.  We did pretty well with the packing, especially considering that the Olaf bag was filled with toys!


We are settled in for the long haul....Logan was a rockstar.  He didn't nap, but he watched movies, played games, ate and was generally really awesome.  I couldn't have asked for a better trip with him.  The look on his face of excitement when we landed was something else.  He was on the edge of his seat, just talking away...even though it was well past his bedtime and there was no nap.  


You can use tell that he's fighting to stay alive in this picture.  He held it together, listened and was surviving on fumes until 5 minutes into the taxi ride and then he zonked out.  It was a little bit of a bummer because he was looking at everything, watching and then....zzzzzz....


We got to the Liberty Cove apartments in Yokosuka and made ourselves at home.  I was in the same apartment that I was in during my December trip...and I had loaded up the freezer to prepare for this first night.  We just needed a couple of perishable staples, but essentially we were ready to roll...

Until we all woke up and were wide awake by 3am.  Sigh...it got better, little by little. 


Between the bike ride and daycare, that was my big worry for the first day.  Joe and I had to be at work in the morning, so Logan didn't really have any down time before he went to his new school.  I shouldn't have worried.  Joe and I were still meeting the reacher and he was already off playing.  Thank goodness for a kid who fits into new situations and surroundings fairly easily.  I think it was good because the routine for the CDC in Yokosuka is exactly what he is used to in Bremerton.  

Joe's been the sole drop off person after that first day...I need to be at work no later than 5:45 am and with being half a world away from home, I've been getting in around 5:15 to catch up on emails and the like.  He has also been the primary picker upper.  I've done well so far at getting off close to on-time, but it's been easier to meet up with the guys in the bike ride home.

Logan has been loving the ride....except for the one time where Joe was stopping for colors and almost dumped him.  Whoops.  No child was harmed...and Joe had quick reactions.  

We've done a fair amount of eating in the apartment, but have gotten out to enjoy the places within a few minute walk from us.  There are a ton of restaurants and people generally only grocery shop for a day or two at a time.  It definitely takes some getting used to on our end...no mega shopping trips.  For one reason, we have to load everything we buy on the bikes and our backpacks..for another, the fridge is small and we don't have a huge pantry.  


One of the first places we went to was a kaiten sushi place right by us.  It's a large chain in Japan and is approximately ¥100 per plate (about $.78). The quality isn't the highest (even among ¥100 places, there are degrees of quality) but it was a good meal and Logan was all about the adventure.  We ended up with over 20 plates 2 beers, juice and desserts for under $50.  It's easy to go and just spend a few dollars.  We ordered a few specialty items, etc.


We went out for ramen later in the week at a place affectionately known as "red door ramen" because....it has a red door.  It's real name is Mutsumiya and it is another chain. I'm partial to a different ramen shop that has only one broth and minimal options, but this was a good first ramen place.  They have these deliciously wonderful things called cha-mayo.  Probably completely inauthentic, but the rice, flavored mayo and seaweed were delish.  Everyone tried them, in some form.



The kiddo loved his ramen noodles and couldn't get enough of my broth!

Finally, gyoza happiness.  He didn't want me to make the chopsticks kid friendly, he just went with it.  And, I love that he loves gyoza so much.  It's nice to know that if nothing else, those will get eaten.


The weekend came...I worked for a few hours on Saturday morning.  This was my own adventure, because I ran to and from work.  It's probably only 2 miles each way, but geared up with a backpack, this was definitely new for me!  It felt good to finally run, though.  I've been mostly doing workout videos via Beach Body on Demand.  I can't justify heading out to workout after such long days and my days feel so packed, that it's hard for me to get to the gym at lunch.  So, I do what I can.  And eat some amazing food.

After I got home, we needed a few things at the store, it was a nice day, so...we went for a bike ride!  I've been running by this park a number of times and have been so excited for Logan to check it out.  The play features are ok, but the highlight is this sliding hill.  I was a little dismayed at first...we didn't have a plastic sled, so we were basically watching the other kids go down and Logan would just run...

Until we found the loaner sleds!  Sweet!!  This is very much Japan...things don't disappear, people take care of public areas...super cool and we all took turns on the sled.  



After playing, we went to a fantastically cheap grocery store, bought way too much and then biked back.  We had big plans for the afternoon...the Illuminations at Enoshima Island!










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