Sunday, December 11, 2011


 The Friday after Thanksgiving we went up to Hakone with 3 other families that we are good friends with.  Hakone is a resort town at the base of Mt. Fuji.  We had gone up to Hakone once before right after we moved here, but it was rainy and cloudy so we didn't really do too much.  This time, we had some of the best weather ever!!  We were up there for two days.  The first day we did a loop around the Hakone area.  It was a ton of fun--you do 5 different ways of transportation--a boat, a bus, a train, a cablecar and a ropeway.
Here we are at the boat--it was a pirate ship--the kids LOVED it!!

The kids with some of their friends and the pirate!

You can tell we really liked taking pictures with the pirates!

There were quite a few torii gates in the water--very scenic!

 After we got off the ship, we did a little hike--we thought it would be easy, but it ended up being mostly uphill, however the kids did fantastic.  Between our 4 families we had 11 kids with 9 of them 5 and under!
At the beginning of our hike--most of the kids!

Hiking up the trail--the kids were real troopers!

Love the signs in Japan!!

 Here we are on the cablecar--we again had amazing views of Fuji!!

 This was a place we stopped at called Owakudani that is a volcanic valley with active sulphur pits--it is a big tourist draw mostly because they boil eggs in the sulphur pits and the shell turns black and by eating the eggs it is supposed to add 7 years to your life--needless to say we had a couple!!
People peeling their eggs

Ethan with his black egg--it is just like a hard-boiled egg, except the shell is black

Cade finding the stray cat--he loves animals!

Family picture with Fuji in the back

Fuji--you can never have too many pictures of it!

The kids with Hello Kitty and a black egg!!

Another great japanese sign!

We had the most amazing time--it was one of the best trips we have taken here.  It is hard for me to believe we will be moving in the next 7 months--I am really going to miss Japan!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Showa Park

The beginning of November we went and stayed at Yokota Air Force Base--it is about two hours away, on the other side of Tokyo.  They have this really awesome park called Showa Park.  The kids and I had gone last year without Eric, so this time we took him with us and had a FABULOUS time.  Japanese playgrounds and parks are unlike ANYTHING you would find in the states--they are so much better and more fun.  Here are some pictures:

Ethan and his new friend!

Kailey being silly!

They have this awesome thing called the "Sea of Clouds" and it is like a giant pillows you can jump on--it is awesome!

Having more fun on them!!

Kailey climbing on top of the dragon

Ethan in the dragon's mouth

Kailey growling like a dragon

Climbing on the nets

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kimono Dressing

During the summer, my friend's spouses' group had a kimono dressing event and luncheon.  It was one of the most fun events I have done here.  I took my other really good friend, Kendal with me, and we decided we wanted to host a kimono dressing event and luncheon for our JAG wives group.  So last month we had our event and it happened to coincide with Granny's visit.  There is a group of Japanese women who donate their kimonos and time and they come and dress us and then stayed and we had a luncheon.   Here are some pictures
All the kimonos lined up

Japanese ladies getting everything ready

These next couple of pictures are from the summer when we did it--they do our hair.

Back of the kimono--the obi

Kendal and I

This was from last month--my ladies getting me dressed--it literally takes like 30-40 minutes to get dressed--there are more layers than you think.

Granny looking gorgeous in her kimono

This is my favorite picture of Granny

All of us walking outside in our kimonos for group pictures

Our group dressed up in kimonos

Flashing the peace sign

Checking out our backsides (the obi)

Us with the japanese ladies that helped us

Kendal and I with Takeko, the japanese lady that organized everything with us.  She was so nice!

My friend Mia and I

Kendal and I

Getting dressed

I don't know how they learn to tie the obis and put kimonos on--it is definitely an art!

My friend Tracy and I