Japan Trip

March 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm (General Life Updates)

So my family (there are 5 siblings) does a rotation for Christmas presents. Each year we rotate who gets presents for whom (or their family). We’re considering stopping this tradition in lieu of a family money pot to save up for family reunions now that we’re all so spread out and our families are growing. But this last year, one of my younger brothers had my name/my family. I had my youngest brother, the easiest to buy presents for since he’s the only single one left.

Anyway, my brother and my mom pooled their resources and got me a ticket to Japan to visit him and his little family (he has two kids and one on the way). I haven’t seen him since they moved their with the Air Force over 2 years ago, so I’m pretty excited to see him. Plus, I’ve never been to Japan, and when am I going to have another opportunity and such a great reason to go there? At first, I was nervous about the idea of traveling so far alone, and I still am, but I’m also looking forward to so much downtime on my own. Especially after these 2 weeks and one more coming of having the kids on my own as a ‘single’ mom. Going to read a good book or two (or three) on the plane!

My brother lives in Okinawa somewhere. Not sure exactly where he’s stationed, but he is a pilot in the Air Force. My mother suggested this morning that I get a street address from them just in case something goes wrong and I have to make my way there alone, so I’ve emailed them for that. For now, I know I’m going to Okinawa. πŸ™‚ I leave next Friday, the 19th and arrive there Sunday morning at almost midday the 21st. I think I lose a day in there somewhere. Not sure. I’m trying not to be nervous about the language barrier. The only time I’ve traveled to a foreign speaking country was Brasil and I knew Portuguese, at least a little, both times. Plus, I wasn’t alone. But I think I’ll be ok.

I’ll be there until midday on Sunday the 28th when I fly back and get home that same day a couple hours later. So yeah, get my day back. πŸ™‚

My sister-in-law is a little further along in her pregnancy than I am, but she is very active with her two little kids so we’ll be very busy I’m sure. My little brother, T, is going to be there with his girlfriend, too. I’ve never met her, but it should be interesting to meet her! He lives in Utah and I would have met her when we move there soon, but this will expedite matters. And give me time to form a real, solid opinion about whether or not she’s good enough for my awesome little brother. Biased much? I think so!!!

Anyway, my SIL has pedicures planned, plus I’m sure a bunch of fun meals at home and at restaurants in store. My brother and his wife are (if possible) more into food than I am!! πŸ™‚ They LOVE to cook together and experiment and their dream is to own a bed and breakfast/restaurant in the mountains of CO. How awesome is that? I hope they get there someday!

Other than the pedicures and tons of good food, I’m not exactly sure what is in store for me. Probably some hiking, some beaching (not a verb right?), some walks, some parks, and probably a few tourist attractions. My brother is paying for everything we do for me, except probably any shopping that I might want to do. We’re trying to rig it so that our tight budget allows me to take some fun-money, as I really want to get some little presents for the kids and K, and perhaps some clothes since I’ve heard it is so cheap over there. I’m not really into decorative house souvenirs anymore after having been a tourist for so much of myΒ  youth – now that I have to find a place to put them where they won’t get broken and I have to dust them. πŸ™‚ But I’m sure I’ll find some momento I want to get for myself. Maybe a better kimono!!

I’m super-excited! My mother got me some clothes last week (mentioned), and we hope to go this week and get one more pair of pants. Its sad I can’t afford to do this for myself, and if we hadn’t poured any extra money into the house for the last 2 months I probably could. But I’m so blessed that she is able and willing to help me out – again. Then, I want to get a couple books that I’ve been longing to buy and read, perhaps some yummy snacks (can you say, Larabars??), and maybe a magazine or two for the trip.

I love to travel (or perhaps just the idea of travel, its been so long I’m not sure anymore), and there will be lots of quality people-watching to do! I hope to not fall victim to much bad airport food, I certainly don’t need to gain any weight on the trip. I’m going to take my T-Tapp DVD and hope to do some. Can’t decide if I should take my little DVD player so that I don’t have to do it in their living room and perhaps feel like a dork? Maybe SIL and brother’s girlfriend could be dared into trying it? Not sure. Don’t want to pack more than I have to, gonna try and keep it light.

Well, that’s the trip summed up. I’m sure I could find more to ramble about, but I also know I’ll be saying more about this as I get ready this coming week.

Today, I’m more focused on the fact that K will be on his way home from Utah in about 4 hours! He should be here about midnight and I’m so excited to see him and for the kids to see him!

Also, my dad is on his way here to measure and go buy tile and supplies today, which is exciting. I should go wash my face and brush my hair. Geez I’m such a slob. I have brushed my teeth today though!!



  1. Kelli said,

    Ooooh! Super exciting. I’m sure you’re scared a bit but sounds like you’ve travelled before so I’m sure you’ll be fine. πŸ™‚ I love time with family and cannot imagine if mine lived overseas. They live 8 hours away right now and that even sems to far!

    To answer a few of your questions:
    I found the pb2 in the little health food section of our grocery store (its a hyvee..not sure if they have them where you are). You can also order online…but I think you have to order a case…way too much if you don’t like it.

    We are still eating some pre-packaged foods too but just trying to make it a little less often. And after reading your blog about eating meat and watching a few of Oprah’s shows on the subject my husband and I actually made a pact to do one vegetarian dinner a week and one seafood dinner a week. We’ve only done 3 weeks so far and I haven’t been that creative (grilled cheese/soup, veggie burgers/roasted potatos, baked potatos with broccoli and cheese). I need to get more daring and try lentils and some different legumes. I am thinking of going to the used book store and taking a look at some of the vegetarian cookbooks. And your blog also inspired me to stop throwing leftover meat out…we need to make a committment to eating our leftovers! An animal died so we could have that meat after all.

    I’m from Omaha, Nebraska. Originally from Oklahoma.

    Love your blog by the way..keep on blogging…I guarantee there are other “followers” out there. πŸ™‚

  2. farebear said,

    Way to go on your pact with your husband and all the healthy choices! I have discussed cutting back on meat with my husband, and he is supportive. Just a bit wary that its going to taste bad. πŸ™‚ He has this thing for texture like a little kid, and if it is “gritty” he won’t eat it. This is why he doesn’t eat brown rice or lentils, they taste “gritty” to him. Anyway, I’m hoping that once we’re all living together again after the move that I can feed him some of the things I’ve been feeding the kids while he’s been gone and he will like it.

    There is one other blog-friend that I know about, her name is Lori. She started reading my blog linked from the T-Tapp forums. She comments sometimes and is a great support!

    I’ll have to see about the pb2. I know they’ll have it at Whole Foods, and perhaps Vitamin Cottage – Natural Grocers. They probably won’t have it at Walmart or King Soopers, the other two stores I frequent. I don’t go to Whole Foods or Natural Grocers very often because I can’t afford to and it makes me sad that there are so many things I want to buy and can’t. πŸ™‚ But peanut butter is VERY important to me, so I’ll do what I gotta do!

    I like to use leftover meat in a variety of ways. Sauces are good. But I also use it on my tortilla “pizzas” with cream cheese or refried beans as the “sauce” (I don’t like tomatoes – bummer since they’re so good for you), some veggies either steamed or sauteed, and some of the leftover meat and then cheese. So yummy! Sometimes I just feed it to the kids for lunch the next day or eat it myself. I try to cook so there aren’t a lot of leftovers, which is hard sometimes. But DH isn’t big on leftovers (mostly won’t eat them) and I can only eat so much. So I feel ya on wasting stuff! Sometimes it just happens despite your best efforts.

    Off to do some painting in the bathroom, my list item for today. πŸ™‚ Just around the bottom edges where the baseboards came off and left some unpainted spots. Shouldn’t be too bad but I need to get it over with.

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