Several months ago my friend Aya invited us to spend the weekend with her and family in Kakegawa, Japan. It's where she grew up and her family is still there. We planned to go in late March so we can view the beautiful cherry blossoms. Turns out we didn't have any down time between getting back from our Vietnam vacation and going away for our weekend trip. We got home Friday, unpacked, then repacked for our trip the next morning.
Luckily, it's only 90 minutes away so it wasn't a hard drive on the kids. I couldn't even tell you where we went Saturday but it was a huge park that has playground stuff, fishing stuff, go cart racing, horse stuff, water park, and who knows what else. I'm left behind a lot of the time since I can't understand everything that's being said.
After hanging out a little while with Aya and her family, we were introduced to her mom, sister, and nephew. They brought a huge Japanese picnic for everyone. We ate onigiri, futomaki with several different ingredients, Japanese potato salad, chicken, and more that I can't remember (it has been two weeks).
Aya's mom , sister, and nephew
Chloe trying to eat and play at the same time, I love seeing Riko and Kanta in the background.
Riko cute as usual
Riko cute as usual
Chloe is finally done eating
Kanta loved playing with the girls
Etta playing with bubbles
Riko playing ball
Unfortunately the cherry blossoms had just started blooming so we didn't get to see exactly what we came for. However the ume ki (plum trees) were in full bloom and were really pretty.
Chloe is going through the funky hair stage. I remember Etta going through this stage forever!
We took a short walk to a playground and it was surrounded by hills that kids went down on with sleds. We borrowed Kanta's and joined in the fun. Daddy had as much fun as Chloe.
two fun slides
Aya's turn for fun
Hiro, Riko, and Kanta sliding
Etta wanted to go down by herself, see me standing atop looking hesitant
Lets just say, she found something she really enjoyed
She even went down with Aya
Etta reluctantly loaned the sled to Eric and Chloe. She helped push to get him going sooner. The faster he goes, the sooner the sled would come back.
Etta learned about hop scotch
The best picture of Riko I've ever taken
Daddy and Etta drawing with chalk
We fed some fish. Aya's mom came prepared with bags of torn up bread. It didn't last long. Between the girls throwing handfuls over as well as all the fish sucking the food down.
They were constantly trying to swallow food, regardless if food was there or not. They were eager to get something...anything.
Chloe enjoyed the the view perched on Daddy's back
It was late afternoon and the kids needed some downtime. We stayed at a hotel on the park. Aya's sister knew someone that worked there so we got a good deal on a really big room for each of the families. We ended up getting a room with four full beds. I wish Chloe was ready to sleep in a bed, but we brought the pack n play instead. Oh well, I suppose Eric and I can sleep in separate beds for one night.
Here's Etta shortly after arriving in our room.
Chloe had a poopie diaper just after getting into the room. I changed her and as she was getting up to take off (she loves to get as far from me as possible after a diaper change) she tripped over my knee and went head first into the corner of a coffee table. It sounded horrible. I picked her up and coddled her as any mother would. I went to survey the damage and next thing I know I have blood all over my clothes. I started yelling for Eric and we were both in a panic. Once we got her calmed down we finally got a look at her forehead. It looked bad, but we asked ourselves, "what a doctor would do?". I figured it would be a stitch, some pain medication, and a bandaid. We decided not to call tricare. We were 4.5 hours from base and would have to take her to urgent care somewhere locally. It would have been a pain in the butt.
Here's Chloe's war wound...the coffee table won the match
I was so nervous, I don't like seeing my children bleed
We slapped a bandaid on it and called it good. Well, as good as we were going to get. After diner, Aya's mom brought us a super bandaid. It's pretty large (ended up covering her entire forehead) and stayed on for 3 days. Just so you now, it's just a scab and almost healed now. Hopefully no scar, or very little.
Riko checking out the video camera, seems like no kid can resist it.
Aya's room was right across the hall from ours. We put Chloe down to bed and hung out in there room. It was so much fun. Aya's mom had left some homemade umeshu which Eric and I really like. We brought a variety of beer too for everyone but me. Aya's mom also had left lots of freshly picked strawberries which were heavenly. We really enjoyed just hanging out with them. Etta and Riko played there hearts desire with the package of balloons Aya brought. Eric got lots of Japanese practice and I got a lot of listening practice in. Good thing Aya speaks better English than my Japanese.
The following day was a rainy day. So we left for the Bird Zoo after checking out. Unfortunately we left the camera in the car and kicked ourselves afterward. It's a bird zoo and flower garden and was spectacular. Aya took many pictures, so hopefully we'll get some copies at some point. I don't know birds very well, but we enjoyed seeing the wide variety they had. We got to feed the birds as well as hold onto some (that were daring enough to land on us). More on that when we have pictures.
We headed home shortly after that. It was a nice weekend. We are having Aya, Hiro, and Riko over for dinner tonight. They are bringing there two friends that had us over for mochi making on New Years day. I'm making bruschetta, caprese insalada, roasted eggplant, roasted garlic bread, lasagna, and eclair cake. I'm looking forward to the feast with friends. Hopefully we'll take some pictures tonight.