Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making it in Japan

Konnichiwa!!!!  After a couple months, I'm back!  On the other side of the world!  And it's awesome!  And I'm wondering how many more short-exclamation-marked sentences I can make!

But really.  We're here and we're loving it.  After a super fun-filled two and a half weeks of visiting family in Utah and California, we began our trek to Japan.  And let me just say, moving to another country is CRAZY.  We sold both of our cars and a bunch of our stuff/older furniture, sent about 1/4 of our belongings to storage in the states, and then put all the rest of our belongings on a boat set for Japan (which still hasn't arrived btw, and it's been about 6 weeks).  Then we gathered our things that we'd actually be taking with us on the plane.  This consisted of 8 checked suitcases, 6 carry-on bags, 3 car seats, 1 pack 'n play, 1 rock n' play crib, and 1 stroller.  With this load, we left from LA and 10 hours later, landed in Tokyo, which was actually the next day!  The flight went waaaaay better than we had anticipated with the kids though.  However, none of us slept as much as we would have liked, so by the time we got here, especially with the time change, we were exhausted to say the least.

Once we arrived in Tokyo, we gathered our aforementioned belongings and hopped onto a big shuttle bus that drove us the 2 hours to Yokota Air Base and our new home away from home.  At that point, we checked into our temporary housing and immediately went to bed (it was around 9pm), only to all be wide awake and ready for the new day at 3:00am!  After about a week though, we all finally adjusted to the time change.  Kind of anyway.  Our kids are all still waking up between 5:30-6:00 each morning, but at least it's better than 3:00!

After a week in our temporary lodging, we moved into our house!!!  However, our household goods are still on a boat somewhere, so we're using loaner furniture and kitchen supplies.  To say we're anxious for our own things is an understatement!  But we're getting by and everything has really worked out pretty well so far, so I can't complain.  Here we are, on the day we moved into our lavish new home on base.  Nothing says home sweet home like a family picture in matching t-shirts!

I'd like to start a Japan travel and kids' guide here on the blog soon, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, check out the most delicious ramen EVER that we had on one of our first nights here:


We happened upon this tiny little mom and pops ramen shop a few minutes from base and it was awesome.  So, so delicious.  The owners (mom and pop) were so nice--they kept giving us things to try for free!  Like these little baby sardines and shrimps, which were surprisingly tasty.  They also gave us (no charge!) some of their homemade gyoza which I could seriously eat for every meal.  It was all so good and they were so nice, in fact, before we left, the owner offered to give us an entire frozen fish!  We politely declined, telling them we had no clue how to cook it, but it was so kind and generous of him!  And, then when we were leaving the mom (woman? wife? co-owner?  I'll stick with mom) grabbed some change and walked out to the paid parking lot with us and helped us figure out the machine to pay for our parking.  Seriously, the people here are beyond nice.  They are gracious and warm and helpful and kind.  I'm so glad for the opportunity to be and to experience this culture, and more importantly to expose my children to it!  I think it's going to be a wonderful 3 years.

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