Monday, September 25, 2017

LogHouse

I joined a hiking group, Hike it Baby Yokosuka.  I thought it would help me get out and see different areas and make new friends at the same time.  Boy was I right.  Sometimes they don't actually hike but get together at a park and play.  They took us to this really amazing log house play area near Yokohama.  I think it was about an hour by train with different stops and switches, so I'm glad I could just follow them around and not worry about how to get there.

It was so cool.  When we first walked in I thought Tucker might be too big to play in it, but I was wrong.  It goes up several levels and even has a full level underneath.  There was so much to climb and play on and also little games set up everywhere like, bean bags, tick tac toe, or basketball hoops.





Tucker even held Calista for a minute in this room geared more toward younger children.  At one point most of the parents in our group were in this room talking.  Then the worker at the loghouse came up and asked us to watch our kids at least some of the time.  At first I felt bad like maybe they were being crazy.  Bob went to go check on them and so did the other parents.  The strange thing was that all the kids were being nice and quiet.  Then I noticed the other Japanese parents were actually playing with their kids the whole time.  I guess it was frowned upon to just let them run around alone.
Can you find Penelope?


One cool thing about this place... It was totally free.  I can hardly believe it.  Who pays for the upkeep and employees?
Afterward we ate lunch at the outdoor park next door.
Penelope had a butterfly land on her leg.  I've seen tons of butterflies around here.  Actually a few kids had the butterfly land on them but I got a picture of Penelope and I can't remember who else it landed on anymore.
The train ride home.

And the walk back to base.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Watch What I'm Wearing

Sorry guys I've been really slacking on my fashion posts.  We are still living out of suitcases and will be for the next couple of months.  I've just been rotating between the same three outfits that I've posted on here several times.  Please link up, I need to see your fun outfits while mine are so boring.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Beach Bubbles


One cool thing about Japan is that there are beaches everywhere.  The Navy Base is right on the coast so water is everywhere, even more so then when we lived in Bremerton.  We went exploring to look for different areas to live and found a beach.

We didn't find any houses, but we did find an area that was pretty nice.

There was this guy making pretty cook bubbles.  I wasn't sure what he thought about the kids running up to him popping all the bubbles, but after a few minutes he handed a bubble want to Leon. We had this whole interaction with a Japanese guy on the beach without talking.



I almost stepped on this bug, it looked just like a leaf, but it jumps like a grasshopper.
Let me just take a minute to complain about the bugs here.  I got some serious bug bites.  They puffed up really big and itch so much worse than anything I've had before.  Penelope got them pretty bad also and we have been putting on anti itch cream ever since.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Train Ride

A friend invited us over for dinner last Sunday so we got to go on our first train ride.  Scarlett actually went to preschool with one of their children back in Bremerton.  We knew their family a little bit from that, but now that we are both out here is has been great to see familiar faces.  Plus they were really helpful with any questions we had before coming out.  Anyway, we didn't have train passes so we stopped at the station.  Wait I should amend that, everyone except for Bob didn't have train passes, Bob saved his from 6 years ago and still had money on it.
The kids were kind of going crazy on the platform while bob tried to talk to the worker to figure it out.
We heard everyone school aged needed a pass, but after using it lots of times we found out that was actually 7 and up, so we were wasting our money on Scarlett.  We also found out that we needed passports for the kids to get a kid pass.  So we just got tickets for the train and back and went and got our many use reloadable passes the next time we were at the train stop.  The train is about a 15 minute walk from base, but we are on the opposite side of base.  So getting there usually involves us waiting for the bus to pick us up from the lodge and drive us to the gate, then the short walk to the station.
We had a talk about what to do if you don't get on the train and everyone else does and then we were off.
The kids liked to stand up.  We also had a big convo about how no one is allowed talking on the train.  It is considered rude to talk or be loud on the train.


Then the short walk to our friends house.  Their neighborhood is cute and close and I'd love to find a house there.

This next one is just a picture from near the train station on a different day.
And of course a fish from the bet store.  Why not share a picture of it?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blue Street and Aeon Mall

A couple days after getting here we decided to venture out in town and walk around on what everyone calls Blue Street.  On first impressions the kids did not like it.  It is crowded and smells.  Kind of a mixture of people smoking and all the restaurants.  I don't think it is so bad, but it is definitly noticeable.  I could probably get used to it but at first the kids were not impressed.
We walked around and looked in the windows of a few places to eat debating if we should stop.  The kids really didn't want to.  Bob wanted to stop and eat, I would have tried it but I was leaning with the kids.  We ended up going back to the commissary and buying lunchables for the kids and sushi for Bob and I.  The kids all really loved it.  We let them buy the biggest coolest ones that we normally don't get.
The reason we went out in town was really to meet with real estate agents.  We have been busy trying to find a place to live.  It is hard!  We basically want to try to find something in biking distance that is 1600+ square feet.  One agent actually laughed and seemed genuinely shocked when we told her this.  Usually the bigger places are farther away from base, but Bob wants to ride his bike and I've heard that we will be driving back and forth to base like every day, so we want it to be close.  In Washington I think most people would consider 1600 small for 7 people, here is not the case.  One real estate agent was showing me the apartments and saying how that is a good size for one military man, or one whole Japanese family.  

The real estate business is different out here because agents only show their houses.  Meaning we have to meet with different agents to see different houses.  This map shows the area pretty well.  We would like to live in zone one or two if possible and would go out to the edge of three if it isn't too hilly or too much traffic.  Oh and we also want to find a place that is close to the train stop.  Houses that don't have a train near by are not as valuable because many people don't have cars.  The Naval base is all yellow on the right about halfway down.

On another day we went to the nearby mall.  There is literally one just outside one of the base gates.
Hello kitty is big out here.
I have no idea what this vending machine says but the girls wanted to do it.  Some stores have lots of toy vending machines.
We stopped to go to the bathroom and it was kind of funny.  So most places in town seem to have some combination of "Western toilets" like we are used to but sometimes even fancier with seat warmers and spray options or what I like to call squatters.  This was their first time seen a squatter.  Scarlett walks into the western toilet on the left shuts the door and goes to the bathroom Penelope following just behind walks into this on the right, backs up and goes "huh?"  It was funny because to her it seemed like Scarlett went right into one of these and went to the bathroom.

I want to get everyone used to using these so we don't have to make the bathroom lines longer because we will only go into the one western toilet.  I haven't tried it yet, mainly because I always am carrying Calista and that just seems too hard.
The grocery store is in the bottom floor of the mall, something I learned last time we came to Japan.
We really didn't have anything to buy and were just walking around.  All of the sudden Scarlett had to go to the bathroom sooooo bad (this must have been much later from the squatter incident).  We did not know where the bathroom was and she was wiggling all around.  Calista was hungry and crying so things got stressful quick.  Bob was looking up on his phone how to ask in Japanese where the bathroom was and we were all just wondering around debating if we should just quickly try to go back to base and looking for a bathroom at the same time.  After about five minutes of that bob said just a minute and walked down the isle to find an employee.  Next thing I know he was gone.  We turned back to find him but couldn't.  Now I was really stressed.  I seriously couldn't find him and was just looking around with five kids in a foreign country, one crying hungry baby and one about to pee her pants.  A couple of minutes of that and Bob found us.  According to him he spoke Japanese so well the employee didn't question him at all and just got up and started walking him to the bathroom.  He didn't know how to say wait or anything so he just had to follow her to the bathroom.  Then he couldn't not go in after they walked him there, so once she left he came back, found us and we took Scarlett to the bathroom.  There was even some chairs nearby, so I sat down and fed Calista and the crisis was over.
The view over the water is pretty.