Keeping up with our busy Navy lives....wherever we live :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The sights we will see

Walked out of the base gym to spy snow-capped Mt Fuji in the distance!

If you call it a kitchen!

Just to give you a glimpse inside this space they call a kitchen--it challenges my cooking skills and we will definitely appreciate a full service kitchen in 3 weeks! 
Sink, burners (one is covered by the dish dry rack....low on space), microwave and mini fridge 
Opposite counter has drawers and storage!! Thank goodness housekeeping comes daily, or else that trash can would be overflowing for sure!! It doesn't hurt that they bring towels and make the beds either!! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Friendship Festival

Today the Navy Base hosted an annual Friendship Festival--it opens its main gate to any/all Japanese local foot traffic! They anticipate thousands of guests for the day! It was one American family for every 20 Japanese families on base for the festivities. 

The Japanese were lined up for all the Hamburger stands, and we were lined up for the Japanese fare! 
Live band playing on stage all day!
Maddy chose a hamburger and Abby chose BBQ Pork on a stick
My favorite of the day--fried potato!! Highly recommend it! Better than fries!!
Also tasty--fried octopus balls
The flight line was also open to guests and each plane had reps on display and selling patches and videos on discs. We were stopped and asked for our photo by a Japanese couple. It's odd but everyone says you get used to it. 
Abby got to try on the helmet Mike wears when he flies
Maddy insisted on sitting in the helicopter
And our first hotel room cooked meal. I need to put my meal planning cap on.....with no oven or BBQ it makes it tough so I need to get creative with some one pot stovetop meals 

Bedtime Adjustments

This time change is a mixed blessing and curse! It's rough on all of us at some point in the day....yet unlike our normal bedtime struggles with them they pass out instantly like this each night with no encouragement!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

First time off base!!

Tonight (after our second full day here) we made our first trek out the front gate of the base for dinner. This is the inside of the main gate looking in. 
There are beverage vending machines every 20 feet on and off base. No chance to complain about thirst!!
We went to our first Sushi Go-Round tonight!! Ten minute walk from the base. You choose each item you want and a few seconds before it arrives on the belt your machine announces it so you can grab it. 

Tempura squid and cooked octopus!!
This white handle is an instant hot water dispenser! You push your cup against the black knob and water comes out to make tea! 
We made a quick stop at the 100 Yen store--equiv to the Dollar Store in the USA!!

Abby is back in school!!

Abby had a wonderful first day of school in Japan! The kids in her class were all very welcoming and eager to share many details with her! 
Even better her school is a 2 minute walk from where our new house will be! 
The school is 100% military kids! 
The main playground at the school. Today the base hosted a deployment fair for the kids! Deployment season is upon us!! 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

We survived.....I mean...arrived!!! JAPAN!!

After 7 hours at the Seattle airport from midnight to 730am.....and a 10 hour flight, we arrived at Yokota Air Base in Japan! We took an hour shuttle ride to our new home base Atsugi! We travelled with 8 checked bags, 8 carry-one and two car seats!!
We arrived at our hotel room on base to some wonderful gifts and snacks from our squadron mates! They are all so thoughtful. Not to mention a stocked fridge and pantry to get us through a few days! We ran around base yesterday getting some important things off our to-do list done....and we got our Japanese iPhone! Very important!! We just selected a house to move into, but unfortunately the next avail will be the end of May so we will be in the hotel for 3-4 weeks. 
The girls are loving the new environment! And excited because our new house will be two doors down from good friends with two girls 5 and 3, and other good friends nearby just steps away!!
Japan is ALL about vending machines. Hot and cold beverages! So at the airport Mike got us some hot coffee drinks! And I mean HOT!! Those metal cans come out of the machine almost to hot to hold. But tasted great!!

The girls both start school right away! Abby will start tomorrow (which is Friday for us) and Maddy will start Monday next week! Very exciting......can you hear that???? It's the sound of FREEDOM and ALONE time!!!! Something we haven't had for four months!! Next week Mon-Fri is our intro to Japan class for Mike and I, so once that is done hopefully we will have purchased a car and can start exploring! So exciting!! 

All the best. More to come often!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wind in her hair

The car display broke 80 degrees today! A stark contrast to yesterday's 50.....
I caught Abby basking in the sun and wind as we drove down the road with the windows down!!

Shaved Ice YUMMM!!!!

Also before heading home we had a brief visit from my Aunt and Uncle and Cousin!!
The girls adore Sheila, and loved the chance to ride in the car with her to get shaved ice!!

Passover 2015

After returning from our vacation, we had just enough time to squeeze in Seder for Passover at my grandparents home. The girls helped cook, and got a mini sewing lesson too! Always entertained!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Family Vacation 2015--Club Med Ixtapa Mexico

LAX--ready to fly--23 family members on one flight!!
First night sunset at dinner
Second night-Celebrated Grandpas 85th with a super heroe theme
YES the sunset was this gorgeous every night 

Aunt Amy and Maddy at the nightly show
Maddy and Michael at kids club
Maddy at kids club- little Indian for Chrostopher Colombus arrival ceremony
Abby at kids club
Abby had a blast at the trapeze during the kids club daily. Her first attempt was a success
Video to follow

What our beach days looked like
Cousins playing tennis-Mike and I played 5 of the 6 full days! Took lessons daily 
Abby had her hair braided on the beach 
Swimming at night with Henry 
Abby performed in the kids club evening show one night. As an African princess
Mikes beach "tattoo"
Mike cracking open a coconut for the kids--they were impressed
Toasting our wonderful grandparents on our final night 
Cousins!! All 10 of us played sports all week long!! Soccer, beach volleyball, water polo, basketball, tennis, ping pong and MORE!!
Dinner sunset
Kids at the pool bar--they had a kids drink menu and a bar with steps!
Amy, myself and the girls went kayaking!!! 
Amy and Adam and a sunset glow
These iguanas of all sizes and ages covered the grounds daily! They loved to be fed bananas!!
Luckiest 5 Great Grandchildren
Family photo in our matching shirts "Keep Calm Family Vacation On"-- we all wore these on the airplane the first day

Mike, Allison, Abby and Roxy Smith

Living life in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA!