Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Today (March 8th) we went with some friends to Kannonzaki park.  It has one of the longest roller slides in Japan!  A roller slide is like an old assembly line conveyor.  You sit on foam mats or "butt shovels" and you go cruising down!  We all loved it and The Baby wouldn't stay off of it!!  He just wanted to keep going.  Enginerd really wanted to go by himself, but The Baby was always too fast and plopped on his lap before he could get going.  :) 

While walking back up from the roller slide, each level of stairs had a fun climber made out of wood.  The kids had such a great time.  At the top of the slide area, there was a pirate ship.  It was GORGEOUS out, we didn't want to leave.  Eventually the kids got hungry and cranky....ready for nap, so we left.   I hope we can figure out how to get there again.  We followed our friends and didn't pay attention very well.  It was just too pretty of a drive...too much to see!!

the Enginerd on the roller slide

Lady Loo on the roller slide 

one level of the climbing toys while walking back up the hill

My turn!

Moving day!!!

March 5th, 2014

Today we moved in to our house!! One month and one day after getting to Japan. It's pretty tiny, but anything looks like a mansion after living in a hotel room.  I think it's about 1300 square feet.  Our last house was over 2400 square feet, so this will take some getting used to.  At this point we just hope that all of our stuff we had shipped over...fits into this tiny house!!!
cute house
We got our first shipment which had most of the kids' toys and all of our clothes.  For some reason we forgot to pack our kitchen stuff and linens.  I believe I mentioned that we should have our kitchen stuff sent over in the first shipment, but the Enginerd says he never heard that statement.  Weird.

We tried to make dinner, but we couldn't figure out the stove.  So we decided it was a pb&j night and try again tomorrow.  One of our American neighbors came over and brought us some pots and pans to use while we wait for our big shipment to come in.  She was stumped for a bit as well, but finally figured out that it's an induction stove and we needed the stainless steal pans. 
stove top

We got our Japanese fridge, but they won't let us have an oven because we don't have a hood/vent for the oven.  :(  We were pretty bummed.  We do have this microwave/oven/toaster though!  It should work fine for anything other than a big turkey. 

Japanese fridge
We have a tatami room.  That just means the type of flooring.  Google it.  I did!  I thought it meant that it was the dining room where they sit on the floor, but I guess it's just the flooring.  We're using it for our playroom.
tatami room
All of the electronics are in Japanese so we are trying to learn it all.  The garbage is just a nightmare.  There are 3 separate bins, burnable (food/paper), cans/bottles/PET, and plastic packaging.  BUT there are also non-burnable items (hard, non-recyclable materials), paper/cardboard recycle.  M & TH we put the burnable out, T we put the plastic packaging out, F is cans/bottles/PET and 1st and 3rd W is paper/cardboard recycle, non-burnable is every other W.  IF YOU MESS IT UP, THEY BRING IT UP TO YOUR DOORSTEP AND MAKE YOU DO IT AGAIN. They're not messing around folks.  This was the basics.  There is so much more like clothes and large metal items, etc.  SO MUCH INFO!!!!
3 main garbages

these go in 3 separate garbages
We are very thankful to live in an area that has both Japanese and Americans.  The Americans have been so helpful to us.  They are letting us borrow household goods and taking us places and making us feel right at home.  We live about 2 blocks from the water/boardwalk.  There are palm trees!!  It's stunning here. We love it.  Now come visit us!  :)

Our new cars!

March 4th, 2014

I haven't written for a while because not much was going on.  We mostly did a bunch of paperwork and took Lady Loo to and from school and put the boys down for nap.  Not much you can do when your day is taken up with school schedules and nap schedules. 

Today we have some fun news!!!  We FINALLY have a new car!

 It's another minivan...boo...but we wanted to have enough seats for company when they come to visit.  The nice thing about base is that they check the car for you for $25 to make sure nothing is wrong with it.  We are trying to avoid another lemon.  I haven't told that story on the blog...but I assure you...it's a doozy.  We ended up buying 2 cars from the same couple.  They actually buy cars from Japanese auctions after the cars didn't pass the emission standards, and then they sell them on base.  We have a much less restrictive emissions standard than the Japanese do.  So we got a Mazda MPV and a Nissan March . 

In our new ride!

Enginerd driving on the other side
The March needed a new heater system so we won't get to have it for a while.  We are SO thankful that they saw that in the base inspection!  Some more good news....we move into our house tomorrow!!!!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!  The Naval Lodge is closing in on us all and we are about to freak the freak out!!!!

the March

Food poisoning

February 18th, 2014

We have food poisoning.  The Enginerd and I both ate the same salad at dinner last night and we.are.sick.  We had to go look at a house today...but we could barely move.  Ugh.  We were late taking Lady Loo to school.  We just couldn't make it to the bus in time.  If I never throw up again it will be too soon.

We REALLY want a house.  So, we rallied and pretended we weren't going to hurl in the Real Estate Agent's car.  We made small talk and swallowed our saliva and held it in.  BUT thank goodness there was toilet paper in the house...that's all I'm saying...and no it wasn't for me...  ;)


Tatami room
The house was adorable.  Small but so efficient!  We loved it.  We're taking it.  We looked around for 10 minutes and then barely made it back to our hotel before we fell asleep.  Thank goodness it was nap time for the boys.  After we picked up Lady Loo from school we just let the kids run wild in the room and watch a ton of TV so we could rest.

We made a vow to NEVER ever ever eat at that restaurant next to the hotel.  BLEH!  Someone didn't wash their hands and then made our food!!  GROSS!!!!  And we made another vow to never eat the same food at a restaurant.  Ugh.  We were miserable!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Today (February 15th) the Enginerd wanted to take us out to brunch at one of the hotels he's stayed at during his previous trips to Japan.  It had an AMAZING view and the food was fantastic.  I don't like breakfast foods, so I was so happy to see a yummy curry with rice.  That's MY kind of breakfast!  The Enginerd also made me an espresso and it was so good I almost made out with him right there.  I mean LOOK at this thing...you totally want to make out with him just looking at this drool-worthy coffee, right?

The view was breathtaking, and it was so quiet and lovely in the room...obviously our snotty-nosed, loud, obnoxious children did not fit in...I mean I LOVE them, but I felt like Cousin Eddy's family on the National Lampoons vacation movies.  For real.  I guess I fit in with my crazy kids because you better believe I took a photo of the fancy toilet in the restroom.

Monkey Island seen here...out the bathroom window

Fancy shmancy toilet...no I did NOT try the "shower" or bidet...yikes

After that we walked around the Daiei mall and grabbed a starbucks mocha.  I really didn't need another coffee, but I cannot pass up a mocha outside of base.  The Japanese use a different chocolate and it makes ALL of the difference.  They taste like heaven.


Friday, February 14th

Praise the Lord it's over!  Today the Commander (or chief or something that's like...right below Admiral I think....no idea) of the whole naval base came and did his closing brief.  It was really interesting.  He talked about how some people might totally immerse themselves in the Japanese culture and even respond to questions in Japanese.  They might even decorate their place in traditional Japanese decor.  He said there will be other people that will completely shut out everything Japanese.  They will get agitated at the thought of even leaving base and they will get angry at the people who are immersed in it.  He said there was nothing wrong with that, but he hoped that we would at least try to experience a new culture.  He said that we can miss our families and still have a great time.  They are two totally different feelings.  He also talked about how we subconsciously try to fit in.  By the end of the week, all of the civilians in the class were wearing gray or blue to match the blue navy uniforms.  It was CRAZY!  We all had a reason we chose our outfits, but he said our subconscious wanted us to "fit in".  Interesting.

I don't have any pictures from today, so just look at this pretty Sakura drink that actually tasted really gross.

Next up was all of the driving information.  Man!  They really want to scare you!  The guy basically said that if anyone dies in an accident that you are in, you will go to jail for years and years...even if it wasn't your fault.  The Japanese's thought on this is that there wouldn't have been an accident if you hadn't been on the road.  He told a story about a 17 year old boy who did EVERYTHING right.  He was going the correct speed, he stopped at the stop sign and then out of nowhere, an old lady on a bike ran into the BACK passenger door and died.  The boy's family had to pay $170,000 to keep him out of jail and then after his 1 year suspension, they still deported him back to America.  HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG!!!  TERRIFYING!!!  I am no longer excited to drive here!!

We took our written test and about 2 questions into it, we found out that the base was shutting down due to a snowstorm.  So, we finished up the questions and got our kids as fast as we could.  We are SO GLAD to be done with this really difficult week.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

AOB...day 4

Thursday, February 13th

IT WAS FIELD TRIP DAY!!!  I honestly thought about signing in and skipping and going to get my boys from daycare.  I hated the idea of being 20 minutes away from them, but I'm glad I went.  It was fun to be on one last day with the Enginerd before we settle in for the long haul.

trying out the stamps at the train station
I think the kids will enjoy this when they get to try out the trains.

So today we went to Kamakura.  We all jumped on a bus that took us on a little tour of Yokosuka and then dropped us off at the train station.  They taught us how to get a ticket and how to pay.  Then they told us how to read the train schedule.  It wasn't as hard as it looked.

we took the 10:22...it changed to English right after this photo...we didn't have to read Japanese
Once we got there, we all met at the clock and they gave us 3 options for lunch, ramen (nothing like the dried stuff in America), Korean bbq or sushi.  We chose the Korean bbq.  It was really fun!  We cooked our chicken and pork over a small bbq in the middle of our table.  They had a really yummy teriyaki dipping sauce as well as a salad before the meal.  It was so fun to try something new!

After lunch we could take the long tour or the condensed tour.  I wanted to get home to the kids, so we did the condensed tour.  It was great!  We got a bit of history and still got to see everything in that area. If I had been a little more willing to let the kids go, we could have seen the big buddha, but I knew we had plenty of time over the next 3 years to see it.
This is a Torii which is from the Shinto religion.  It comes before a shrine.

Hachimangu shrine in the background.  People were inside praying.

60 stairs with me at the top

then Enginerd climbed them and took this shot of the smaller building

We had a wonderful time exploring and even took a moment to try green tea/sweet potato swirled ice cream.  It was yummy!  I guess this place has even gained some notoriety because Obama stopped in and had some when he visited.
Pretty green and purple!
It was a fun day, but I was very ready to pick up my kids at 3.  I am still really having a hard time with this.  One more daycare day.  The Baby doesn't want to go back.  :(  He has hit his limit and the novelty has worn off.  Poor baby.