Monday, November 26, 2007


Here they are! A slideshow of about 8 minutes so grab a snack!

Home Sweet Home

We are home safely and the trip home was fine. Jet lag is a bit of a bummer but I think we will all be fine in a day or 2. The kids went to bed at 7 last night and are still asleep at 12 noon! I have tried waking them but they are tired.

I have a ton of pendant orders to get through in the next few days. The orders kept rolling in while we were gone which is great, but I have a lot to do. In between all of that, I will be putting together a photo slideshow of our trip to share with all of you. How do you pare down over 1000 photos? Any tips? ;)

Our bags got searched on the way home which was such a fun experience after such a long trip. We had 7 bags and they confiscated a bunch of food things we brought home with us. Apparently, beef and chicken products are a no-no, that includes anything with chicken bouillon. The good thing was we did claim everything on our customs form so there were no fines. And the officers were as nice a possible which made it very easy. We were not alone, there were many in the same situation.

We are off to Canada on Thursday for a reunion of sorts, my old swimming friends are getting together for a night on the town. I will be bound to home after that, my passport is up for renewal in January!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Our Way

We are leaving for the airport soon! Look for additional pictures and entries after I get back.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Days 5 and 6

We are just getting ready to go to the shrine. Mama is preparing "red bean rice", a food of celebration for the big day today. She will give a bento box full to all the neighbors. The kids are eating and getting ready to get dressed in their fancy clothes.

Yesterday was Tokyo Disneyland. It was pretty crazy! Luckily, Lucas was able to ride any ride he wanted so that was good (height requirements). We went on Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours (a Star Wars ride, he was in heaven!), some car race thing where both kids drove the cars, Cinderella castle (Elise wore her costume all day), and It's a Small World. The kids had a great time and we were amazed at how clean it is and how polite evryone was.

The day before, we did go to Obaachan's grave and cleaned it up, brought flowers and said prayers for her. Lucas did meet his great-Grandma when he was 6 months old and she just loved him. The cemetery was way out in the countryside, surrounded by cabbage and radish filds, on the side of a hill. There was a small shrine there where Lucas rang the bell 3 times for Obaachan.

After that, we found the mandarin groves. This was such a fun experience. The kids ate a lot of oranges and we filled our bags. The smaller the orange, the sweeter they are. Wait til you see the pictures! I am planning on making a slideshow after we get home so it will be easy for everyone to view them.

Everything has gone so well so far. The kids are eating well and sleeping well, which were my two biggest worries. But they are being troopers and enjoying every minute of the trip.

Got to go! Thanks for following along and for the comments. We miss you all!

Oh, and to Mum...Ellie was pouting yesterday at Disneyland and I asked her what was wrong. She said "I want to go to randma's house!". So I guess it is safe to say that Grandma's house outranks Disneyland!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Days 3 and 4

Or trip into Gifu went off really well. We drove there, left early in the morning and on the way saw the sun rising on Mount Fuji. It was breathtaking!

We spent most of the day with my friends that I used to teach with here in Japan. It was so good to get caught up with them. Two of my old co-workers got married and had a son. Then, Maho passed away from cancer when their son was about 2 years old. Her husband, my best friend from Japan, and I were able to sit down and talk and he told me many of the details since her death was really a shock at the time. I had no idea she was so sick and all of a sudden she was gone. But he is doing ok and taking good care of their son. I was glad to see him doing so well because I have been so worried about him.

We spent the evening with Dama's friends. They threw a dinner party at one of their homes. It was a 100 year old traditional Japanese style home. It was gorgeous, like being in a shrine! All paper doors, tatami (straw) mat floors. Originally when they moved in, it had no bathroom in the house. It was in a shack outside. But they added on to the home and there was a bathroom with a very fancy Japanese toilet. I opened the door and I guess there is a motion sensor on the toilet so the lid lifted up and scared the living daylights out of me :)

The next day, we stopped in Nagoya city, my old shopping turf! It is hard not to spend A.LOT.OF.MONEY here since everything is just so cute and different. I did buy some cushion covers that were really cool.

Then we hopped in the car and did the 4 hour drive back to Mama and Papa's house where an amazing dinner of sushi, Japanese style chicken and pork, many of my favorites was waiting. Add a hot bath and a warm futon waiting for me and I was out like a light at 8pm :)

Today, we are going to Dama's Grandma's cemetery and then to go "Mikan Hunting". It is U-pick mandarin oranges! You go into the grove and eat as many as you can, plus you fill a bucket to take home. Tomorrow is...Tokyo Disneyland! I am going to need a vacation soon.

Here is a photo of Lucas in his hakama. Shrine is on Friday!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 2

We are off to my Japanese "hometown" of Gifu this morning! That is where I taught and lived for 4 years. We will have lunch with my friends and spend some time with them, then in the evening we will meet Dama's friends for dinner and an overnight stay.

Yesterday, we went into Yokohama by train. The kids loved the train ride and Elise spent almost all day holding hands with her cousin. They get along really well and Hitomi is great at occupying Elise!

Did some shopping at the 100 Yen store where I managed to spend 5700 yen. Yes, that is 57 items! Most of it is Bento stuff and some little kitchen gadgets. Wandered through the food sections of the major grocery stores, sampling and trying all sorts of things I have not had in ages. We bought some Japanese pickles and I was in heaven. We also got a new heated carpet, only this one will cover most of our upstairs living room!

The food has been amazing. Dama's mom has been cooking and we had lunch out yesterday. The kids are enjoying it and Lucas is being a trooper trying new things.

I may not get the chance to update tomorrow, but I will be back in Zushi tomorrow evening so I will post then for sure. Pictures may not be forthcoming, but I will give it a good try!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Live from Japan

It is 4 am in Tokyo, the kids just got up and we are all alive and well!

The trip went amazingly well. The kids were so good on the plane, sat quietly and played with their stuff, watched a couple of movies. It was an Airbus aircraft so each seat has and On Demand type of TV on the back of each seat. So Lucas got to watch Transformers and Ellie watched Pocahontas. I watched A Mighty Heart (heartbreaking but SO good), and The Client, an old movie.

We ordered kids meals for the kids beforehand and, if you ever travel with kids, make sure you do this. They were really good and fairly healthy. Lots of fruit, goodies and kid friendly stuff. Plus, with a special meal, you get them first before anyone else.

There was one tiny, itty bitty little hitch. Just a small one really, nothing huge. Ok, so maybe it was huge.

We left for our 2:20 pm flight at 11:15 am, shooting to get there 2 1/2 hours early. We get there at 12 noon and we try to check our bags and the counter lady (ever so friendly...NOT) tells us the flight is closed. Um, what? We cannot check in because the flight is boarding. What? WHAT??! It turns out that our 2:20 pm flight was really a 12:50 pm flight. Oops. But, by the stars being aligned just right, we had decided to check in online before we left the house. And they grabbed our bags and we ran through the airport. The stars were definitly aligned when there was no line at the security and the TSA staff seriously helped us fly right through. We made it by the skin of our teeth. Really.

We arrived in Tokyo and the whole family was there. Papa gave Elise a bouquet of pink roses (aw) and Lucas was treated like an absolute celebrity. I think he wanted the floor to open up and swallow him. We got home, had a nice meal and kept the kids up as long as possible and now we are up and ready for a fun day of family, shopping and great food.

Keep up with our travels here! I am excited to share it all with you.

Friday, November 16, 2007


We are on our way!

Lucas asked me yesterday if the plane was going to fly like the ones on Star Wars. I thought it was so funny! But it got me thinking, and I often think like this before I go on a plane...maybe I need to write a will.

So here it is:

My furniture: goes to my brother so that he can fill his place with comfy stuff, and so he can give the red chair to my Mum since she loves it so much.

My jewelry: to Tia, since I know she would wear all my funky stuff.

My scrapbook kits: To Vic, since I know she would use them with her newfound scrap-ability.

My jewelry making supplies, website and business: To Lynette, because I know she can make them (even though she tries to pay me to do them) and because her husband loves the pendants so much.

The rest, you all can fight over.

I love you! Sayonara!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My niece

She went to the 3, 5, 7 Festival at the shrine. Isn't she beautiful?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


So, I am starting to make soldered pendants and will hopefully branch out into other cool soldering projects.

It was a lot of fun to solder and I like the finished project. Here is my very first try at it:

I need a couple more supplies but had most of what I needed. I like the shabby/bumpy edges a bit better than the smooth edged metal frames. But that is me. I know people will have a preference.

I also made (on a whim) a bottlecap pendant which turned out very cute:

All of these will be offered on my website very soon! I am hoping to add ornaments also in time for the holidays.

Start thinking "Christmas"!
Related Posts with Thumbnails