And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nakijin Castle Cherry Blossoms

Approximately 600-700 years ago, the main island of Okinawa was divided into 3 competing regions.  One of those regions was where the Hoku-zan king resided within the walls of the Nakijin village.  The Najikin village and castle is located in the northern region of Okinawa on the Motobu Peninsula and is an area of 15.40 sq miles.  Today, people from all over travel to not only see the castle ruins, but also the hundreds of trees that so beautifully display their cherry blossoms; this past Saturday we were one of those people!

The day was beautiful and the cherry blossoms were out in full bloom, making for a picturesque setting.  We were joined by the Schooleys and had so much fun wandering around the ruins with them.  Parker was especially fond of Chad; perhaps it was the caramel corn that Chad carried around.  Either way...anytime Parker saw Chad he would stick out his hand and wave while grunting...thus signaling to Chad that his hands were in fact empty and he was in need of more popcorn.  It was hilarious. 


Days like these remind me of how much I'm going to miss living on this island.  I appreciate the Japanese people and their love for their culture.  The opportunity to purchase strange and interesting foods at their food vendors, as well as seeing all the local artists produce their own individual renditions of the shisha dogs.  The Japanese are so humble and kind and I can never get enough of their doting over my children exclaiming "Kawaii" (cute).  We are so grateful for the opportunity we have to explore the beautiful world around us, and look forward to many more days like these in our future!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ski Trip to Hokkaido

Well as if two months wasn't long enough without your family...literally 10 hours after Dominik, Parker, and I got home from our stateside sabbatical, TJ decides its time for a ski trip.  Okay, in his defense this is an annual trip that his clinic takes over MLK day...and this is a trip that I would be fine sitting out on.  Skiing on Mt. Hood is one thing (frequenting the bunny hill).  Skiing in the world renown Sapporo is a completely different, and probably painful, thing!

So, TJ went with his work friends and headed up to Hokkaido for a 4 day long ski trip.  Apart from the layover in Tokyo and the 3 hour shuttle ride, the trip over wasn't too bad.  Probably fairly relaxing considering the 3 jet lagged family members who caused for a very restless night leading up into his trip.  Since they got in pretty late, TJ went to bed upon arrival only to hit the slopes early the next day.  Aside from the pristine powder that was among some of the best skiing TJ has ever done, and frequenting the local Onsen (look it up!), TJ pretty much just ate and slept.  A ski trip successfully completed!  Lots of fun, and a potentially broken tail-bone (he's not as young as he once was) is TJ's take home from this awesome ski trip with the guys.  Definitely a trip to remember!!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Shortest-long Vacation

You know you have been on vacation too long when your kid comes barely crawling and leaves almost walking...or by the fact that your kid grows out of all the clothes you packed and into the next size up.  Well...most would think that vacation was too long; however, I am not one of them.  Never once did I think "man, I'm ready to go home." Aside from the fact that we all missed TJ and friends, we were not ready to come home...even after 2 1/2 months back in the states. 

While in the states we were able to accomplish a lot and see mostly everyone we wanted to see.  There were a few friends who we weren't able to meet up with, but throughout our travels through Utah, Las Vegas, Portland, and Seattle...we had a very successful and fun vacation.  I'm so grateful for all those who ensured our good time, and made us feel important and special. 

Grandma and Grandpa made sure we were all spoiled rotten and made every effort to accommodate our loud, messy, and sometimes overwhelming selves.  We enjoyed their company and all the R&R they afforded this tired mama.  I almost wish they weren't so awesome because saying goodbye wouldn't be nearly as hard!!