Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'Ritaville International - Day 1 (I think)

Wow, what an awesome 10 days! We did SO MUCH in such a short time. My memory's a little foggy on sthe pecifics, but I've got the major details.

Robin arrived Thursday afternoon, I drove to Narita to pick her up. We got stuck in a bit of traffic and got back to my house in the early evening. We were planning to head out for din-din, but since we were leaving bright and early Friday morning, decided to just relax at my place instead.

Headed for T-town as soon as we put E on the bus. We stayed at the Tokyo Prince hotel, right at the base of Tokyo Tower. The Prince Tokyo's shtick is that they haven't changed the hotel since the early 70's. I was worried that meant we'd be staying in an run-down, 30 year old pile of crap, but it was really nice. It's been very well maintained and everything looked great. They even still have actual keys for the doors! And a huge, FREE parking lot, which is pretty amazing in downtown Tokyo!

We parked the car and struck off for Tokyo Tower, literally a 10 minute walk.

This was a pretty, little park just behind/below the T-Tower. Hard to believe we were smack-dab in the middle of the biggest city in the world!

Looking down on the Prince from T-tower

My foot in Tokyo Tower

In the elevator heading back down

Next we headed for Shibuya to meet the famous Hachiko and take a walk through the busiest intersection in the world. For those of you who don't know, Richard Gere (hubba hubba) has a new movie coming out called "Hachi" based on the story of Hachiko, so I thought it'd be cool for Rob to go there.

We ducked into a Tenkaippin for R's first real Japanese meal, she had a massive bowl of ramen and an order of gyozas (okay, so they're actually Chinese, but they're still very Japanese), she loved them both so much we had the same thing for lunch the next day!

Night view of Tokyo Tower FROM OUR ROOM!!!! How awesome is that?

Our poor, exhausted dogs on our hotel "balcony" .

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Friday, September 25, 2009


...fun, and unbelievably exhausting! Just back (as in 20 minutes ago) from a ridiculously fast trip to Osaka with our best pal Sorbi. Only 3 more days left of Rob's trip. Posts of all our awesome adventures coming soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My stomache hurts from laughing.....

....and I think I peed my pants! This is seriously the funniest thing I've read in a looooooooooong time! The Magic Forest. A seriously awesome post Dutch!

*On an odd note, we have that exact hot dog statue in Narita airport! It totally freaked Ethan out when we were there last week. Who would have ever thought there could be two of those in the world! A hot dog in tennis shoes, preparing himself to be eaten? Weird.

I'm sooooooooooooo excited!

My BFF lands at Narita in T - 45 hours! Woo hoo! I can't wait!!!!!!

7 or 8 years ago, Rob and I started taking trips together, just the two of us, once or twice a year. We call them "Margaritaville". So far we've been to: Helen, Georgia (a cute little Bavarian-themed town in N. Georgia), Niagra Falls, NYC (hands-down the most awesome trip ever), Orlando, Florida, we had a mini-Margaritaville in Tampa while I was preggers w/ E, we hauled all the kids to Chatanooga, Tennessee for a "Milk-ville"

I've been working feverishly on our itinerary for months, of course, and even now, less than two days before the commencment of Margaritaville International - 2009 (maybe it should be Sake-ville?), I'm still revising, adding, taking away, there's just soooooooo much to see and do, and soooooo little time!

And the 'ritaville bonus this year: our Junior year of high school, we befriended (read: thoroughly corrupted) a Japanese exchange student, whom we nicknamed "Sorbi". Sorb is from Osaka, and a couple of months ago, after almost 22 years, we were all reunited via FaceBook!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorb and her family will be coming up from Osaka on Sunday, and Rob and I will be returning to Osaka w/ them on Wednesday. I so freakin' excited!!!!!

The current itinerary:

Thursday: pick-up at Narita. We'll just hang out at my house and relax, walk down the street to my fave little Chinese restaurant, The Wok, make some 'ritas and yak all night. Otis always asks "You've been best friends for 25 years, how can you still have anything to talk about?" Men! Completely clueless!

Friday: put E on the bus and head for Tokyo. We'll be going to, in no real order yet: Tokyo Tower, Asakusa, Roppongi (mainly for Tokyo CityView), Shibuya, Ameyoko, maybe Ginza if there's time. There'll be lots of aimless wandering too. We're spending Fri and Sat night in Tokyo. Dinner at Mai Thai in Ebisu one night, maybe Yebisu Garden the other night.

Sunday: b'fast at the New Sanno, Shinjuku Gyoen, then back to my house to get ready for Sorb's arrival. Sunday evening we'll have a backyard BBQ. More 'ritas (I'm sure Sorbi will need to be re-corrupted!) and gabbing late into the night.

Monday: Takao-san, then bowling and Thai food for dinner

Tuesday: Hakone, then back here for dinner at a yakiniku place

Wednesday: Heading for Osaka bright and early (via car)

Thursday: Sorb will tour us around and we're going for karaoke that night

Friday: leave Osaka (via shinkansen) around 11:00a heading for Yokohama. Tour Chinatown, Landmark Tower, etc.

Saturday: Kamakura and Enoshima. Head for Tokyo Saturday night, staying in Tokyo again Sat and Sun nights.

Sunday: Harajuku and Yoyogi Park, last minute shopping, dinner at Ninnikuya in Ebisu.

Monday: We'll part company at the New Sanno, Rob taking the bus to the airport, me catching a bus back to the base.

My sweet hubs has taken off work Wed - Fri so that I can ditch that kid o' mine, and he'll drop him at my neighbor's house on Monday until I get home.

Whew! Are you tired yet? I can't wait! I can't wait! I can't wait! Got to get busy on the sign for the airport! And where'd I put my head panties?

Monday, September 14, 2009

School Days

The girls started back to school on Aug. 31, Gabi into 10th and Meg into 7th.

The start of a new school year/end of summer vacation just doesn't hold much significance for me anymore (except for the gobs of $$$$$ dropped on new clothes and school supplies). While my neighbors were all running around naked and showering themselves in beer, making plans for kid-free lunches and shopping trips, for me it was.....eh. The girls are so big now, so independent, they've got their own lives and their own things going on, perfectly able to take care of themselves, entertain themselves, not much use for ol' mom anymore (unless $$$$$ is involved, of course!) Having them home for the summer doesn't change my routine at all, I'm still able to go and do, lunch and shop, whatever, without needing to deal with them. And they're more than capable of looking after E whenever I need it. Now if I could just get them to cook dinner, and do the laundry, I'd be set!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hooray for me!

I didn't post about this before, because I didn't want to jinx it, but now I can tell you...... I GOT A JOB! Woo hoo! It's just part-time right now, which is better for me b/c of Ethan's current school schedule, and my BFF will be here for 10 days next week (double WOO HOO!), but I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that it will turn full-time around Nov - Dec!

It's just administrative work, but that's what I really like doing, and I'll be working on a really interesting project that I think will be challenging without being too taxing, and I'll get to learn about new things. All my administartive experience to date has been in the medical field, so I'm excited to be branching out. The job is just temporary, for one year, so that's perfect too (I always get guilt-gut when I accept a job knowing we'll be moving after only a year or two).

I've worked 5 days so far, about 4 - 5 hours each day and it's been awesome. I love getting up in the morning and dressing up with my heels and jewelry, doing my hair and make-up, as opposed throwing on sweats and a t-shirt and smashing my hair up in a pony. Everyone in the office seems great, but after October, I'll be the only female in the group. Maybe that'll be a good thing, none of the usual catiness and bitchiness or typical office drama and gossip to deal with. Although I do love a good goss over a cuppa as much as the next gal, I can do without all the other junk.

So that's my news! Yay me!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just sad.

I've been feeling a bit down the last few weeks. Everything is just a little less sunny, I feel just a little bit sadder.

We officially have less than 12 months left in Japan; now everything I do is tinged with "This is my last......." We've past our last Tanabata season, attended our last Friendship Festival, started our last school year, spent our last Labor Day in Japan......I'm really trying to make the most of everyday, knowing it's the last, but how do I get passed the sadness? We've got some really fun stuff planned over the next 6 months, and while I'm excited and know we'll have a lot of fun and make some great memories for the kids, I know that each and every one these activities will be the last.

I'm not exaggerating when I say there is something every, single day that brings tears to my eyes, some days it's a full-on break down, but usually I just get a little misty eyed. I'm constantly counting down in my head, constantly feeling the sadness and dread of what's to come, leaving Japan. Bleh.

(Edited: Now that I've gone back a few hours later and re-read this, it sounds a little over the top, a little crazy, but it's honestly how I'm feeling right now. Just sad.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm still cool, right?

I mean, I think I'm still pretty cool, but when my daughters saw this video of my fave band at age 13, I lost MAJOR cool points. My husband has NEVER even heard of Strawberry Switchblade, and neither have any of the friends I've polled. How is that possible? Please tell me someone out there in bloggy land loved them too!

P.S. I love YouTube! I could literally watch videos there all day, so much awesome stuff!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My blonde comes from a bottle...

I swear!

Last night I went to Cainz (like a Home Depot) in search of some much needed organizing boxes/bins/shelves. They had a big display of really cool solar powered sidewalk lights. I picked up a very pretty one and thought, just for the tiniest of seconds, "I wonder if this works on American......." Amercian what? SUNLIGHT? D'oh!