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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lunch in Yokohama

The childcare center on base was hosting a Parents Day Out which they do MONTHLY!!!
Thank heavens!!
You pay for it, but its cheap!!!! And includes snacks and lunch for the kids 9am-5pm
So I joined a group of ladies for lunch date travelling toYokohama via train! It was my first time venturing that far and changing extra train lines, but it was smooth and easy!
 GIANT Ferris Wheel makes one rotation in 15 minutes! Definitely coming back to take the kids on this!!
 Buildings FULL of shops of all sorts. They translate our sayings in English funny often.......so this one caught our eye
Our group of ladies at lunch-- Mangia Mangia Little Italy!
Caesar salad and Fettucinni Alfredo with mushrooms and chicken!
Beats hotel cooking!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Girls Night

I had my first night out with girlfriends since the boat left. My good friend Allie and I have known each other for 8+ years!! And she took me out with a group of her friends for dinner. We walked off base close by to a place known to most here as "Stinky Steak". It gets its name for all the garlic they use!! Delish!!!!

And afterwards we walked back to base to the Officers Club where the squadrons were having a judged mixed drink competition!! Fun night out!! Six more days till we get keys to our house!!! On the SHORT countdown now!! 

The girls had their first babysitter here! She came to our hotel room and had a HUGE bag of barbies and games in tow! The kids were in heaven and sleeping soundly when I returned. I'm sure they will have a lot of good things to say tomorrow!! 





Monday, May 18, 2015

Daddy Love

Her MAIN SQUEEZE!!!!!!
Getting her final snuggles in this past weekend!!

Fair Winds & Following Seas

We drove down to Naval Base Yokosuka Sunday to deliver Mike to his new home.....
USS George Washington
The aircraft carrier departed Japan Monday for the last time! When the guys return this Fall they will be on the USS Ronald Reagan.....Mike's old stomping grounds from 8 years ago!
Here in Japan the Hawkeye squadron he is with are the "VAW-115 LIBERTY BELLS"
We had some time for a quick ship tour while aboard, as the crew were loading all their personal bags on that day. We will miss daddy.....but we are so lucky to have had the past solid two years with him EVERYDAY!!! Take the good with the bad!!! We get the keys to our house May 29th, and our household goods are to be delivered June 1st! The girls and I are SOOOOO excited to move into our new house and make it our own! 

 
 Mike and the girls on the flight deck
 Mike's new stateroom aboard! Sharing it with a great friend we've known for 10 years!
They were winged together in Norfolk in our very early days!
 
Maddy had the camera and told us to make a series of funny faces! 
 USS George Washington--- left the port Monday May 18th
Details from the local paper on the movement:
Today, USS George Washington (CVN 73) departs its homeport of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka for Norfolk, Va.
The Spirit of Freedom and her crew will participate in Exercise Talisman Saber 2015 off the coast of Australia before steaming toward San Diego to participate in an historic "3-carrier hull swap" with USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
After nearly seven years, serving as America's forward-deployed aircraftcarrier in the Indo-Asian Pacific area of operation, and 23 years of faithful service at sea, George Washington will return to its original homeport to undergo a mid-life refueling complex overhaul (RICOH).

Friday, May 15, 2015

Parks!

We took the kids to a new park off base! They call it the pirate ship park! 
This was the park safety sign....My favorite rule is number 3--"Never play with your jacket flapping"

Costco--Japan

We made our first Costco trip! 
It felt just like HOME!!!! Everything was 95% the same....Kirkland items everywhere. 
The moving platform from the parking garage to the storefront entrance downstairs! The wheels on the cart magnetize and lock to the floor so it doesn't roll! 
One of these sushi trays is $21 (2480 Yen)
These pancakes are said to be amazing. Two cakes sealed together with butter and maple syrup!! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Japanese Grocery Store

Produce is overpriced at the base grocery store and limited in variety! So after hearing so much about this off base Japanese store, I found it in Google maps, and made my way there by myself today! 

The selection is impressive and the way they package produce is fun to experience. Everything really is bigger in America. I'll take food photos on my next visit. 
This is my produce loot today! 

Japanese Minivan

Our Japanese minivan "Mazda MPV"!! It's comparable to the smallest van in the US market, just a bit smaller. But seats 7!! Room for visitors!! It talks in Japanese when you turn the key....everything here talks!!

The green/yellow "V" magnet on the rear and hood notifies others "excuse us for we are new (crappy) drivers". I think US DMVs should give these to teens!!! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers Day in Japan

Mothers Day (and everyday) is always better when I have these two smiling around me. 

We went to the hosted Mothers Day brunch on base and enjoyed a wonderful meal together with unlimited champagne! 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Japanese Trains

Train Riders
This funny girl is ALL ours!!

Kids 1st Train Ride

We ventured off base today! Walked 20 minutes to the train station (stopped at the park on the way), took the train less than 5 minutes to the closest mall! An amazing sight to see, and I look forward to going back a ton! We stopped and had lunch at the mall at Outback Steakhouse!! A little piece of home!! Mike ordered a long awaited steak and Abby chose ribs! Then we walked back home from the train station after. 
We also got Abby her very own train pass! In Japan kids under 6 are free, and 6 and older are half price! 


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Field Trip Day

Today was our mandatory weeklong base Japanese course field trip day! 

They dropped us off at a train station, and we had to plan a trip and get home all on our own! It was a fun way to explore!! We did a LOT of walking and learned a LOT about the trains. 

What the train station maps look like to identify which line to get on--luckily most are in English
Required pay phone call back to base in case we ever had to use one for emergency
We stopped at a local mall and the bottom level is a nice grocery store with many departments. This was a nearly $90 fruit basket!! Fruit is expensive here. 
Our train to our destination ran along the ocean!!
Visited the Great Buddha!! He is over 700 years old. Got to walk inside him too
Inside layers of the Buddha 
After seeing the Buddha we stopped at a Chinese restaurant for lunch. We had no idea how formal it was. 7-course lunch that was delicious with a private room and a great view 
Course 1-- pork with pumpkin appetizer and cucumbers. 
Hasedera Temple
Wishing wall--for $3-$5 you buy a wood plaque and write a blessing or wish upon it and hang it on the wall
Torri gate leading to a cave where many Buddha shrines are located for candles to be burned--a portion of it was so low we had to duck and walk
What the local small train stations look like in this beach town. Crossing arms down for the train to pass

Mike, Allison, Abby and Roxy Smith

Living life in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA!