Monday, March 26, 2012
On Friday, our last day of vacation, we went to the Disney Resort (which was about a 2 minute walk from us) and had breakfast with the characters. We so lucked out with getting reservations. When we checked earlier in the week, they told us they were booked solid all week, but we could come over and meet characters as they were around the resort for photos at random times during the day. So on Wednesday we went up to get our picture with Minnie Mouse. While waiting, we decided to see if they had any cancellations for the breakfast. Fortunately, they did! So we got in on Friday morning to eat with the characters. This was definitely a big hit for Miyako-chan. To say she loved it is an understatement. She says it was her favorite part of vacation!
With the reservation, you got a family photo with Mickey himself. Of course, you had to pay a gazillion dollars for a copy, but did we do it? Yes...well, Grandma did it. :) After our photo with Mickey we were directed to our seats. Minnie Mouse and Goofy came around to the table several times throughout our meal. Miyako had so much fun, and even the K Man was not scared of the characters. In fact, the K Man took advantage of photo happy mama and as I was snapping away with the camera of Miyako and Goofy, the K Man reached over to my plate and stuffed a breakfast potato in his mouth. As Goofy went to talk to the K Man, I noticed his cheeks were a bit full and realized it was from a potato. The boy does not turn away food, at all. We decided now that he is on full solids (yes, at 10.5 months he will have nothing to do with baby food) that we need a 401K for his food plan.
There is not much more to say about breakfast with the characters. It was Miyako's dream come true, which you can see in the pictures, and isn't that what Disney is all about? In addition we got to see Donald on our way out of the hotel and feed some of the large fish they had. Miyako kept asking where Daisy was and I told her she was out surfing. Then she asked if they would be on our flight home. She thought they all lived in Tokyo and came to Hawaii for vacation just like us. I explained to her that they had their own Disney airplane but they would be back in Tokyo the next time we go to Tokyo Disney. "But Mama, who flies their plane? Do they fly Delta?" No honey, they have their own Disney pilot and their own airline. To say we have entered the "question" phase of development is a slight understatement.
Back to the breakfast, I will say the Disney hotel was pretty amazing. They did not cut any costs for sure. But in my opinion, it was a bit too busy for a beach vacation. I was glad we could walk to it and enjoy the amenities of it, but I am also glad we stayed at a different hotel that was a bit quieter and not so busy with non-stop music and a theme park pool. I am looking forward to doing a dinner or breakfast with the characters here at Tokyo Disney. We are thinking of spending a night in one of the hotels and doing dinner with the characters and then the park on the next day for a special occasion. More vacation posts to come...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
So to say I am behind on the blog is a big understatement, but I have an excuse. We were in Hawaii!! We left on Friday March 9th and returned to Tokyo Sunday March 18th, and we met my parents there for a wonderful vacation. To say we needed to get out of Japan is another understatement. I was so ready to get out of Tokyo and to be on US soil was a huge encouragement to me. We skipped town for the year mark of the earthquake/tsunami and I thought I would not think about it, but it was constantly on my mind on March 11th. I will save that for another post. I do not know where to begin with our Hawaii trip, so I thought I would start with the scrapbook day we had on vacation.
March 12th fell on a Monday during vacation and we drove to the North Shore to see my old college friend from San Diego Summer Project with Campus Crusade (1997). Now let me tell you about my friend, who we will call Surfer Girl (SG for short). When I met SG back in 1997, we were roommates at our summer project, and boy were we opposites. SG is short, petite, with long bleach blonde hair (still is - and beautiful both inside and out). She is originally from Florida, a Gator fan (another big difference between us), and has been surfing most of her life. But, the one thing we have in common is what makes our friendship stand the test of time...we love the same Jesus. We hit it off immediately in San Diego, got jobs together (our jobs were to sell ice cream or tourist junk at the local board walk - BEST SUMMER JOB EVER!), and had a ball that summer together. At night we would go to the beach and lay down, look at the stars, and listen to our favorite praise song over and over and over. She introduced me to fish tacos and even got me on a surfboard. SG made my summer project. Her friendship is so precious to me. When we left summer project, we did get to see each other that fall. I went to Gainesville for a football game in the Swamp. We rarely emailed or called each other. Instead, we wrote letters. Remember those? Where you have to put a stamp on an envelop and actually mail it? We wrote lots of letters, always leaving a question at the end of it for the other person to answer and a verse to encourage the other person. We both graduated from college, and I went overseas and she became a stewardess and traveled the world. And we kept writing letters. But then she moved to Hawaii, to surf, and she met a boy, and I got a call... (I knew it had to be important because we never called and always said we would only call if it was really important)..."Shari, do you want to come to Hawaii? I am getting married!! Bring Kan with you." Kan and I were dating at the time she got engaged, but we were on our sabbatical at the time she got married, so I flew to Hawaii by myself and washed away my sorrows of the break up with gorgeous beaches and a fabulous wedding. That was the last time I saw her...8 1/2 years ago. She could not make our wedding, I think because she was getting ready to have one of her four children, but we still kept in touch through these years. Now, we have stopped writing letters and do more sporadic emails or facebook messages, but we always stay connected. And now, it is scrapbook day, and I am at her house! Love it!!
The drive up to the North Shore was BEAUTIFUL! The beaches in Hawaii are simply gorgeous. Kan and I have been blessed to travel and see lots of the world, and we both agreed Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places we have been. SG and her family took us to a local beach and the waves were pretty high. The North Shore is the surfing capital of Hawaii and winter is prime time for surfers to flock there and catch the big waves. We got to watch people surf and I saw a whale!! Very very cool.
After about 2 hours after the beach, kiddos were cranky and it was time to head to SG's house for a cookout! We had grilled burgers and dogs with corn on the cob and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Can we say HELLO AMERICA?! They asked what we were craving and we said "grilled burgers and dogs!" We also got a pie from Ted's bakery, famous in the North Shore, that we took back to the condo. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend their pies!
As we drove up to SG's house, Miss M saw the trampoline, two swing sets and T-ball set and said, "Mama, look at their park. Do we have to pay 100 yen to get in?" This made Kan and I laugh on the outside, and cry on the inside, as we thought about how much our little girl just does not have in terms of yard and space. She LOVED their "park" and played outside for hours. As we drove away we had to remind ourselves that Miss M gets lots of other cool experiences that other kids do not get, like museums, bullet trains, really cool parks, and vacations in Hawaii that are fairly close, but still...she thought a typical backyard was a park. :) Our kids played so well together (SG's youngest is one week older than the K Man and about half the K Man's size; Miss M is in between her two middle kids and in addition SG has a 6 year old boy)and our husbands got along well. It was such a sweet reunion. SG brought her kids to our hotel on Friday, the day before we left, and we enjoyed the pool together and more hanging out. We literally picked up right where we left off. SG, if you are reading this, please know it was so so wonderful to see you and meet your family. I cannot believe how far we have come since we first met that summer between our sophomore and junior years of college. I am grateful for CCC (now known as CRU) and summer projects bringing together such sweet and lasting friendships. I know if it is another 8 years before we see each other again, it will be just as sweet and we will pick up again where we left off, but I pray our next reunion is before 8 years! I love you friend.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Is this sweet boy really 10 months old already? Where, where does the time go? He is expanding his food intake. I love when they eat whatever you give them and do not complain if it is green. Last night he ate salmon, spinach and broccoli (and he did not need cheese on it like a little 3 year old who lives in our home) and LOVED it. You would have thought I had given him his first birthday cake. He loves tofu, rice crackers (naturally), bananas, bread, and just about anything I offer him. I have been so nervous to offer him food that is not pureed, but he is ready so I am trying to do it more and more. He is so happy. He is just now starting to crawl, but not even on all fours...he does the army crawl, and he can go pretty fast. Little Miss M does not like it because that means he can get to her stuff quickly. Some days she loves him...other days, well, she just does not love him that much. But that is okay. I loved watching him play with the football tonight...we have high hopes little guy! My only complaint with the little man is his night time sleep. Now some of you may be reading this and be like "Shari, stop complaining...my baby is up 3/4 times a night." But he has been through this phase where he is waking up in the middle of the night and will not go back to sleep. And he wakes up early, around 6/6:30 (I think he should sleep 7 to 7, like M does...sleeps 12 hours straight and has been since about 6 months old). I admit, some nights I am so tired I just nurse him and hope he will go back to sleep. Other nights, I move him to the hallway so he does not wake up Sister (they always start the night in the same bedroom) and let him cry it out. Problem is, my personal morning time is being severely interrupted and this is what bothers me most! I used to get up at 5:30, exercise, shower, and enjoy a cup of tea with my Bible before Miyako got up. But with my inconsistent sleep patterns lately, or with a little guy in the hallway who I do not want to wake up, I find myself sleeping until the K Man wakes up, which means no exercise, a very fast shower, and no tea and Bible time to start my day...which makes for a really cranky mama some days. So, K Man, if you are listening, please baby...sleep those solid 12 hours for mama so I can start exercising consistently and have a bit of mama time before the house gets going. And big boy, you need the 12 hours...I know you do...and I know you are big enough to not need a little snack at 2AM. But I still love you...even at 2AM.