Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Last Night In Japan

Well, the sad day has come.  Tonight is my last night in Japan.  We were good this week and actually went to church instead of sight-seeing.  I was glad we do for a couple of reasons.  I got to say good-bye to my friends Shari & Kate.  I also got to see a few of our ward members.  Brother Carter, one of our bishopric members was here for a short time, was there along with Brother Wilson & Brother & Sister Martin and their kids.  Brother Wilson & Brother & Sister Martin still have a while to hang out in Japan.  Everyone is here basically for the same reason.  It was a lot of fun to see some more familiar faces!  It's kind of funny that I could be in a strange branch in Japan and have so many familiar people from 2 different wards in Washington.

Another reason I was more than happy was it was freezing!  It wasn't raining (for which I was grateful), but it was still cold and windy.  When you are wearing a skirt, not so much fun!  Especially when we walk everywhere and I did not bring my winter coat!  Brrrrr!

Last night we had quite the entertaining evening in our motel room.  We were just hanging out watching a movie and all of a suddan our stinky smoker neighbors started yelling at each other.  It was quite exciting, if not a bit white trashy.  Tom was at the door looking through the spy hole trying to see if anything was going on in the hallway.  Tom eventually called the front desk and they said we were the 2nd people to call and they had already sent someone up.  This whole episode lasted for about 5 minutes or so.  Very entertaining, if nothing less!  The joys of motel living!

Now, most of my bags are packed and I will head to the naval base tomorrow morning to hopefully catch the bus to the airport.  If that doesn't work out we have a back-up plan, but there shouldn't be a problem with the bus!  It all depends on how many people sign up vs. how many seats are available.  But good for me, I am priority 2 our of 6 so I have a pretty good chance even if they are booked full!

Tom won't be home for about 3 1/2 weeks.  Sad for me!!!  But I'll still have Jakey to keep me company until then and lots to do to catch-up on at home.  I also have some vacation weight to loose.  I guess my vacation is over! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some Things I like about Japan

I've been in Japan almost a month now. I've had a lot of time to do my share of people watching and wander around the towns. I have to admit, there is a lot about Japan that I wish the United States was more like. First and foremost is their amazing respect they show one another and anybody them come in contact with. Usually, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people are disrespectful towards one another due to thoughtlessness or just general selfishness.

One story I was told was about an American that was living here. He either owned or rented a bike and every night he would lock it up in front of his house. When he came back to his bike the next time the lock would be cut from his bike, but the bike would still be there unharmed. This happened to him several times in a row until finally someone informed him what was actually happening. The local police officers were cutting it off his bike. They said that a locked bike to the locals shows a lack of respect and that you think one of them will steal your bike. In reality nobody would show disrespect to you and steal from you. My friend said that crime the majority of crime in this area is caused by the navy men and women. Isn't that sad. it makes me feel kind of sad that we're responsible for making a country worse.

I've also noticed that city streets are clean and well kept. It hit me when I was on base doing my laundry. There was garbage and laundry sheets everywhere. It made me realize what a lack of garbage there was out in the normal streets. I absolutely love that. It's so annoying to me that people can be so lazy to not pick up after themselves.

As much as I love it here as well as the wonderful people of Japan, I'm excited to return home. Living out of a suitcase and motel room has gotten a bit old. However, I will miss Tom until he returns.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Enoshima Island

On Saturday we decided we wanted to go back to Kamakura to see some of the things we missed the first time. Keep in mind there is probably enough to see in the little town of Kamakura to keep a tourist busy for a week straight. It's an absolutely beautiful and amazing town. Our original plans were to take the JR train to Kamakura and then catch another train line (Enoden) to take us in another direction to some other sights. We decided to start at the further away sight we wanted to see and work our way back into Kamakura, this was Enoshima Island. It turned out to take us a lot longer to investigate this sight then we anticipated, but it was beautiful and a lot of fun! It's a little island right off the coastline. There is a bridge that connects the two.

When we got off the train everyone started walking down a little street with markets and food stands on each side. We figured that was probably the way to head! So, we joined the throng. We stopped at a little shop along the way that had adorable jewelery and a bunch of wind chimes that Tom and I both loved (Tom liked the wind chimes, not the jewelry). The majority of Japan operates pretty much on cash system. The only people that I've run across so far that accept credit cards are in the malls. It might be a bit different though in Tokyo. We didn't have enough cash on us to buy the items we wanted in the store. We're going back this weekend for that!

Part of the attraction for me going to the island is the ocean. I love the ocean! I think the ocean is one of the most beautiful things on the earth. It was a windy day, so the waves were incredible. On the island there were street vendors and small stores lining the streets. I finally got to try the sweet potato ice-cream. I have to admit, it was a lot better than I thought it would be but I still liked the mango-apple ice-cream better. Tom preferred the sweet potato version. There were pathways and attractions all over the island. There was also an escalator you could pay additional yen to use if you were too lazy for the stairs everywhere. We toughed it out and walked everywhere.

There were a few places you could pay and enter a special section. We didn't pay to enter any of these areas. There was a lighthouse and a garden that I might look into entering when we go back to the little shop. There were a couple of little shrines to look at around the island. There were also many beautiful walkways. There are several sights around the island where there were beautiful view of the ocean. We really enjoyed our little tour of the island and the train ride that took us there!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I was not an adventurous eater as a child, but at least I wasn't picky. Unfortunately some of the things that are my favorite now, I didn't like when I was a child. I'm sure my parents would have liked it if I had. It will probably shock the people that know me now to know, I didn't really like fish, pasta, or oriental food when I was a child. I would eat them when my Mom made them, but didn't really enjoy most of them. Now days, I've done a complete 180. These are some of my favorite things to eat, especially anything with rice or an oriental flavor to it. This was one of the things I was most looking forward to in coming to Japan.

However, one of the things that I've never really been able to get the courage to try was sushi. Many years ago I was introduced to it for the first time by a good friend of mine. It was one of his favorite things to eat and he wanted to share that with me. I have to admit, I didn't really appreciate it to the level it deserved. About all I remember is being surprised that it didn't taste like any fish I had eaten before. By this time, I had developed a taste and really liked fish. I think the main problem was getting past the point of eating raw meat. My entire life I was told that was a bad thing. Even though logically, I knew this was different and completely harmless, emotionally I couldn't quite get into it.

Since then, I have really developed a liking for simplified sushi, for example things like California rolls. Barely counts, I know. When we were planning on coming to Japna, I told Tom that we had to try sushi here. Another thing that always concerned me back home was if the place we ate the sushi at actually knew how to prepare and take care of raw fish so it stayed at healthy as it started. I knew if there was one place I could count on that happening it was here. Another thing I always wanted was someone to come with Tom and me and tell us what to order. Neither of us would have the slightest idea what to order. 2 1/2 weeks into our Japan experience I was beginning to wonder if it would happen. There's no way Tom would go after I went hom since I was the one that really wanted to try it. Luckily for me, I have a couple of friends here that I had lunch with about a weeks ago. Shari offered to take me to a 100 yen sushi place she knew about. There are a lot of sushi "go-around" places here. Basically the sushi makers make up plates of various sushi dishes. These go around a conveyor belt and everybody takes off of the moving belt the plates that they want to eat. At the end of your time there, they just charge you for the number of plates you've eaten. Most of these places charge around 300-500 yen a plate. Every dollar is worth 90 yen. I usually round $1 for every 100 yen. Because the place we went to was on 100 yen per plate, that enabled us to try multiple dishes we would have never tried. It was absolutely delicious and I loved every minute.The next day I took Tom back to experience it. He admitted afterwards that he wasn't all that excited about it. He went because I was so excited about it. But afterwards he was really glad we had gone. He also really enjoyed it. The only thing we had that we regretted was squid. Can I say yuck! I bit into it and it squished and spewed. It was very salty. I've been told the little ones taste much different than the big ones and I should try the big ones. I don't think that will ever happen. Everything else we tried though was absolutely delicious! I definitely want to go back again in the next week to have more...just not the squid. I also loved some of the dessert they had. There were some tasty sweet potatoes fried in a sugary substance that I could have eaten all night. And some sticky rice that was wrapped in a sugary won-ton type wrapper. Sooooo good! Plus sushi has to be about the most beautiful food that exists!

We've since hear that there is a tasty sushi place in Port Orchard. Definitely going to be trying that! I think I've become an addict! If you're interested in Tom's spin to this subject, check out his blog by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Trials and Benefits of Motel living

For the past 2 1/2 weeks we have been living out of our suitcase in a motel room. I'll be doing this for another 1 1/2 weeks and Tom will be doing it for another 4 1/2 weeks. One of the benefits for Tom's stay here is he gets free breakfast every morning and his laundry done 2 times a week. Luckily we have a refrigerator, a microwave, and a hot water kettle. Enough for me to make me breakfast in the morning and have snacks available for throughout the day. Although it's never fun living out of a suitcase, it's not terrible either.

The biggest benefit for me of living out of a motel room versus at home is the maid service. As long as I leave the room once a day before 3 pm in the afternoon, they will come in and clean the room. Since I'm not a big fan of house work, but I love a clean house this fits me just fine!

The biggest pain for me of living in this particular motel is the uneven heating of the water. For a while I thought I had it figured out, but not so much any more. Taking a shower in water that constantly changes temperature is the not the funnest experience in the world. The water will be comfortable and then a second later be scalding hot. I guess it could be worse, I could be unable to get any hot water like on my mission.

Overall, we've been pretty blessed with our room. It's in a nice hotel in a nice section of town. It's within walking distance to the main shopping section, several train stations, and the navy base. The only thing I question is why there is a floor that the elevator won't stop at (I think it's floor 18). That just makes me more curious and I need to know what is there.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Zen Temples in Kamakura

On Sunday we were hanging around in our motel room just hanging out until it was time to get ready for church. Tom opened the drapes and it was an absolutely beautiful day outside. The sun was shining, the wind was not blowing, it was the most beautiful day that had happened since we had arrived in Japan. Since weather here is kind of like in Washington, we're never sure exactly what we're going to get, we decided to rebel. We decided to use the day to go sight-seeing. Not far from us is a cool town called Kamakura. Kamakura is a town with a lot of cool things to see. There are a lot of temples, shrines, and statues.

We discovered the train line that would take us directly there (we had never used this particularly train station before....didn't even know it was there). We also discovered a water side park along the way we also had never noticed even though it was pretty close to our motel. It was actually a beautiful walk just to get to the train station. For this trip we actually thought enough in advance to bring a sandwich and a granola bar with us to eat as lunch so we wouldn't have to buy anything. So, we went on our short train ride. Tom had gotten a walking tour of a lot of the sights online. Right after we got off the train there was a map of the city (which we have actually gotten pretty good at deciphering). So, we were able to verify exactly where we were heading.

We went to two different Zen Temples and walked through a space with a shrine. We didn't actually see much of the shrine, but we still enjoyed the walk through the garden that it sits in. For some reason there were tons of people there. It was like it was a city fair that we didn't know about. While we were walking through the park area, I was even able to see a tree that had bloomed into cherry blossoms. All the other trees in the area were naked, but for some reason this one had bloomed. There was also a path down the middle of the main street that is tree lined. It will be absolutely beautiful when the trees bloom there also.

The Zen temples were really cool! Tom and I both loved them! The only Japanese temple I've ever been to was in Hawaii (does that count). This was much different. These temples have been around for a very long time. Both of the temples were still active temples too, so certain parts of the temple are inaccessible because they are being used. Both sites had multiple buildings and displays in them. The first one even had a hike of steps to climb in order to see a "National Treasure", which was an old bell. It about killed me. Yet somehow some of the older Japanese men and women seemed to have no problem at all. Yes, I am that much of a wimp. It was also funny because at the 2nd Zen Temple there was also an old bell there that was a national treasure but without the hike. There was also a cool lake with some animals. For a while I was sure the animals were made of stone, but then they would suddenly move. Very good at acting like statues.

After the temples and shrines we walked through what I'm assuming was down-town Kamakura. There were a lot of cute shops and an ice-cream shop that had sweet potato ice-cream. The thought of sweet potato ice-cream was not that exciting for me though. Although I think I want to try it before we leave. We'll see what it is like, I'll let you know. By the time the day was over my feet were so tired. It's three days later and my legs and feet have finally stopped hurting.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yokohama China Town

On Saturday, Tom and I decided we needed to go on a road trip. We'd been here a couple of weeks and had really only seen the local area. I wanted to see some historical sites instead of just shopping areas. There is only so much window shopping I can do, I've never been much of a shopper. Unless I have money burning a whole in my pocket, which hardly ever happens except on my birthday.

We had this whole plan of where to go. Unfortunately, when we got up it was beautiful outside except for the crazy wind. The trip Tom had planned included a fair amount of walking and a boat ride. Not something you want to do on a windy day. So, we tried to think about another option of somewhere we could still go, but somewhere it wouldn't ruin the trip with wind. So, we took the train to Yokohama. Of course we had to stop at the big electric store (that they call a camera store). It says it's a camera store, but it has everything from computers to watches. Of course we stopped at the camera floor and let him salivate over the expensive camera equipment.

Afterwards we took another short train ride to China Town in another area of Yokohama. Tom and I thought it interesting that no matter where you go in the world, there's always a China town. We walked all around China town and had lunch in a little restaurant there. The food was really good, Tom thought the egg drop soup there was the best he had ever had before. I have to agree with him. There were cool stalls all over the place that I had a lot of fun walking around and looking at. We also wandered across a Temple in the middle of China Town. It was really cool! They had incense burning and the ceiling was very ornate.

Afterwards we wandered over to a park alongside the harbor. It was beautiful. There were a lot of people there enjoying the weather. There were also a lot of people with the pet dogs. We walked through the park and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and people watching. There were also birds flying everywhere. It was very entertaining and gorgeous. We also stumbled across a street performer in the middle of the park. He was absolutely amazing. He seemed to be very amusing too. Although, we wouldn't know because we couldn't understand him. But he had tons of personality and was very amusing to watch. We watched his entire hour performance, which included juggling things that were on fire.

It was an amazing day! Lots of fun had by all!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Household Days

Even on vacation there are days when you either don't venture out a lot or you really only venture out to do maintenance jobs. Monday and Tuesday were definitely those days (especially during the day time). The motel we are staying at does Tom's laundry twice a week at no additional charge. Some kind of benefit they have lined up with the Navy. Not so lucky for me though. We either had to pay to have it done through the motel (I didn't even want to ask what that would cost) or do it ourselves off site (because of cours they don't have a laundry mat at the hotel). Luckily, I have a friend on base that let me come use her washer and dryer. So I spent most of Monday, while Tom was at work, getting ready for it, waiting for the time that was available for Shari, and then doing the fun activity called laundry. Her family is a lot of fun though, so I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed myself at her house listening to her kids and husband do normal family after-school activities. I was also able to watch NCIS online. For those of you that don't know (this was me about a week ago) any online viewing of TV shows and movies are impossible outside the United States. Something to do with licensing and such. The base is different though. Because of the special circumstances of Navy life, they are the exception to this rule for obvious reasons. It's a good think Tom and I brought our own movies with us!

That night (after the laundry was done) Tom and I wandered around Yokosuka and decided to try this little Chinese Restaurant. We decided to split a meal & an appetizer. It was one of those restaurants where you sit at the bar and can watch all the cooks behind the bar preparing everyone's meals. Here in Japan chopsticks are a must. It's a good think I knew the basics of using them from when I was little (thanks Dad) or I'd be lost. I've gotten a little better since we've been here. Tom has always liked using them, so he's a little better than me. There are also a fair amount of american restaurants around. I'd like to formally apologize to the poor people of Japan for introducing MacDonalds, Burger King, and many other fast food restaurants to their diets. This can not be a good thing. We ran across a KFC. Most of you know I previously worked with KFC, so I have an emotional attachment to this company. I had to take my picture next to the life size Colonel Sanders!

Yesterday the weather was horrible. This is not weather that would have phased me back home, because I can go anywhere I want to go in a car and run into any building I'm going to. It's a little different when you walk everywhere. I have to admit I hibernated in my motel room for most of the day. I would look outside and see little people scurrying around with their umbrellas whipping every which way and rain coming down like crazy. Call me nuts, but I didn't want to go out in that...brrrrr. So instead I stayed in an watched the entire show of V, that I have on DVD. This is the original 1984 show, not the current ABC version. It's old and little corny but I still love it!

Tom had to stay a little late at work, so when he finally got home we got all our warm clothes and rain coats on (we're to tough for umbrellas) and ventured into the cold weather. Tom had asked around a found out that at the Yokohama train station there is tons of stores and restaurants within the station and we wouldn't have to even leave. The question was how to get there. The train and bus lines here are a constant way of life. There are cars, but most people only use them on the weekends. The rest of the week they walk, ride bicycles, buses and trains to commute to and from their various destinations. Very cool! The problem we ran into was reading the train schedule. Try figuring out how to use a system you are not familiar with in a language you don't know. Luckily they did have the different cities listed in English so after much studying and consulting one with another we figured it out. The trains were an experience. The trip up to Yokohama wasn't too bad, but the trip back was like sardines in a tin can. Hilarious! It was actually fun, just because it was so different! The Yokohama train station was huge! We wandered around it for a while and had a delicious meal. It was our first real Japanese restaurant, with a menu in Japanese, and waiters that pretty much didn't speak any english. A lot of pointing and gesturing but we eventually figured out how to communicate well enough for them to know what we wanted. Overall an educational trip that was a lot of fun!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Curry & Church

I know, It's not the two words you would expect together in a post. But I have a lot to catch up on! Saturday's weather was less than desirable. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but the weather actually reminds me a lot of Washington. Although I have been told last week it was beautiful. Lucky us we missed it...typical (I've also heard the weather back home is gorgeous right now). One thing I did notice was how many umbrellas there are around here. In Washington hardly anybody uses an umbrella. There's kind of a unwritten joke there that if you see someone with an umbrella they are obviously visiting. However, back home I pretty much go from house to car to store to car to house. Not a lot of time to really worry about the weather. People spend a lot more time walking around here though.What we decided to do instead of spending a lot of time outside was investigate the big mall across the street from our hotel. We invited Tom's friend Jordan along for the ride. Unfortunately, i's pretty much a typical mall. I was hoping for some more local flavor. But it was still fun to wander around. Tom and Jordan really seemed to like the music store (they had some cool guitars) and the toy section of a couple of stores. Boys and their toys! There were a couple of stores I wanted to investigate more, but I figured I could go back at a later date without them.

That same day at our motel, there was a cool performance going on. The women were in full Japanese outfit and were playing some cool instruments. Not only were we fascinated, but there was a whole group of local folks surrounding them enjoying the performance. Very cool!

That night we went on a double date with my friend Shari and her husband Karl. There was an Indian place that was a little drive away that is a favorite of Shari's. It was absolutely amazing! It was by far the most we had spent on a meal so far, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. The customer service was also amazing there. There is a young man that works there that always remembers what Shari wants. Tom and I had been to an Indian place a couple of days ago with Jordan here in town, but it wasn't near as good. I'm glad we had the opportunity to try this place. It's one of those places we would have never experienced on our own.

Sunday we went to church with the Navy branch. It is held off base in the random building. Sacrament is on the 3rd floor and the classes are on the 6th floor. There are three different families from our Silverdale ward that are now here and in this branch. I think it is so funny that one ward in Washington has such a large number of members in a little branch half way around the world. They've started calling it one of the Silverdale 6th ward Annexes back home. It was a lot of fun to see everybody. I was also able to hook up with my friend Kate. We're getting together later this week to hang out. Kate and I were both in the Young Women in Silverdale. I thoroughly enjoyed church. Everybody was very friends and welcoming!

As you can probably tell, Tom and I are having a great time. We've even talked about maybe moving here for a few years in the future. We should probably wait until Tom's fully certified before we do that though. I guess we'll see what life offers us.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Grilling my own dinner

Last night was a total blast! As a little back story, I have a couple of friends from my old Silverdale ward that now live in Japan (their husbands are Navy and Military). One of them, Shari, spent last night showing us around the Naval Base as well as parts of town. She also introduced us to this cute little restaurant that I'm sure Tom and I will return to.

I can sign up to get my own pass to be on the base, but it's a little slow coming. It has to be signed by Tom's superiors here in Japan. You can imagine that takes a little bit of time to round up. It also takes about 3 days to process the request. So we have the request turned in to get signed, but it has yet to even get turned in. So, at this rate I should get the pass about the same time I get to fly home. Until then though, I can get a day pass as long as I have someone to act as my sponsor. Both Tom and Shari can do this. Of course both of us have to go to the office to get the pass. Fun times. Anyway, we did this yesterday so Shari could show us around.

It was a lot of fun to kind of see the other side of where I'm living. One of the first things I realized, was how wiggy it is to drive on the other side of the street. I kept trying to get into the wrong side of the car, much to Shari's amusement. She's been driving this way for a while, so it's 2nd nature to her but every time she would turn a corner my instant response was to think we were driving into traffic. On base the driving was backwards but pretty normal. Get into town though and you might have to fear for your life. All the cars kind of wedge themselves into little spaces and crevices of waiting cars. If there is a little gap, it will be filled by a waiting car. Too funny!

Shari's husband had to work last night. So after we picked up her kids we headed to one of their favorite restaurants (the kids love it). The restaurant is called "Pepper Lunch". I asked Shari about the name. A lot of the recipes call for pepper, but the lunch part is a mystery. She said usually there are some girls there that speak english. Not so last night. There wer two Japanese men there that we were having problems communicating with. They actually forgot Tom's meal and had to figure it out. So, you walk in the door and have to go up to a machine (similar to a vending machine), insert your coins, and press the button for the meal you want. You then sit down at the bar, give the little slip of paper the vending machine gave you to the chefs and they cook and bring you your meal. The meal is served to you on a hot skillet. The meat is still semi-raw and you mix and cook the meal yourself on the hot skillet until it is the way you want it. There are also sauces you can add to the mixture to your taste. Pretty fun and really good!

We then went to this mall area. There was a grocery store in the basement, similar to Central Market in Washington. They had all sorts of fun displays and seafood. We got some tasty gelato for dessert there and spent about half an hour just wandering around looking at the Japanese form of the grocery store we are used to. There were some really cool food there. If we lived here, I would have great fun in that store!

I'm starting to kind of know my way around. It's kind of nice not to be completely lost! I can't wait for the next adventure. We're also going to be joining Shari and her family for church tomorrow! We were planning on going to the temple with her yesterday, but that didn't work out. However, she did tell us how and when to go to the temple for the english session. So we'll be doing that at some point before I leave!

Keep tuned!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our First Night

We're on our third whole day in Japan. So far it's been a really cool experience. I feel like I've spent a lot of my time sleeping. Probably because I do it in stints. I can't seem to sleep past 4 or 5 am. I think my body is still trying to figure out the time difference. So, I wake up (along with Tom) early in the Morning and then I'm tired again a few hours later. Fun times!

On our first night we went to dinner with a friend of ours that is also out here for temporary duty. He's been here a couple of weeks already and will go home next week. He's been here before, so he showed us around a little bit and showed us a cool Thai place to eat. It was absolutely delicious! We all ate different things, but tried all the dishes. Every time I tried a different dish, I thought it was so good! We'll definitely return to try that place again. They also gave us the most unusual dessert afterwards. It was a strange combination of sweet custard-like stuff combined with a gelly-like substance. We thought it was probably partially for soothing the heat from the food. It was really good, just unusual.

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours just walking around. When I saw a store that was interesting, I just wandered in to look around. For anybody that loves to shop, you would absolutely love this place. I'm not a huge shopper, but I love the different culture in the stores that I would visit. There are also quite a few dollar-type stores. Very fun to walk around and see what's available here vs. at home. Another cultural thing here is the number of scooters and bicycles. They are everywhere. I've included a picture of a scooter parking lot. It's near the shopping areas and the train station.

I've also included some pictures of the outside of our motel as well as a couple on the inside for anybody that is interested. Everybody should also check out Tom's blog. He'll also be posting regularly all our experiences!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We're in Japan!

This is a picture of us right after our plane rides (Do we look tired enough?).

I was going to write this blog last night (at least our last night) and then again this morning, but I ran into a couple of problems with that. First we were exhausted. We flew in around 5:00 in the afternoon here (that was midnight back home). By the time we got to our motel room it was around 9:00 pm, so by the time we went to sleep it was around 4:30 a.m. our time. I was okay, but Tom was a walking zombie (it's not uncommon for me to stay up pretty late). 2nd our laptop has a power cord that wasn't adaptable to the outlets in the walls here. They don't have 3-pronged outlets. Tom bought an adapter at the navy commissary today while he was at work. 3rd I was having a little problem with the language in google. It automatically changed to Japanese. Needless to say, I don't know how to read Japanese. It would bring up English when I searched, but all the screen links were in Japanese. It took me a little while to figure it out. So here we are!

The plane rides went well. The only problem I had was actually getting off the ground. My plane was suppose to leave around 1:00. First it was delayed by about an hour and then when we were a actually taxiing down the runway we had to turn around and go back because someone put a bag on the plane that wasn't suppose to be there. Tom and I were on different flights because it saved us about $600. My flight was suppose to get to Tokyo about 10 minutes before his. I was a little concerned, but it turned out fine. We only got there about 30 minutes later than we were scheduled to and after I went through immigration and got my bag he was there waiting for me. The flight was about 10 hours long and we had 2 meals and a couple of snacks. I don't eat that well at home! The food was pretty good too. Plus I could watch movies the whole trip. I rode with Delta and they have this cool On-Demand like setup. Everyone has their own TV and you just go in and select the movie you want. I watched 4 different movies. It was actually pretty enjoyable. Along with my puzzle book, the time flew pretty fast. So much better than my trip to the Philippines!

The shipyard had a bus and escorts waiting for us at the airport with a bus. We all just climbed into the bus and were driven to our respective cities. There were two different cities that people stayed at. I think we lucked out we ended up in a pretty nice hotel in a town called Yukosuka (pronounced Yukoska) within a 10 minute walk to the naval base where Tom will be working. The other place was an hour train ride away. The bus ride took us a couple of hours from the airport to the base. We passed through about 10 toll booths along the way. I heard someone say that if we drove by ourselves the tolls would cost around $150. Insane! For the entire ride, all we could see were buildings everywhere. We were passing through different cities, but there wasn't a break between them. One huge freakin' town. Although the type of building changed a little the further we got from Tokyo. In Tokyo the buildings were mostly high rises and they changed to pretty normal city building as were were driving.

Our motel room has 2 twin beds instead of a queen. I'm not sure what they accomplish by doing that, but oh well. So, not cuddling for me unless we want to revert to our pre-marriage cuddling on our twin beds (yes that's as far as it went). Our room also has a couch, a desk, TV, small refrigerator, & microwave. We're happy about the fridge. A benefit of the Navy's relationship with the Mercure Hotel is Tom gets all his laundry done for free, plus a free breakfast buffet every morning, and a free drink every day. However, I do not get these benefits. So, we've got to figure out how we're going to get my laundry done. Another benefit is Tom gets a daily allowance for his food. If he doesn't use it all we just get to keep the extra. If we're careful we should have enough money to pay for both our food and have some extra left over.

Tomorrow is Tom's first real day at work. He had a training class this morning, and is currently taking a nap. Jet lag. Lucky for me there is a mall across the street from our motel and many little shops around. We also brough many movies and the laptop. So I should have plenty to keep me occupied while he's working!

This is a picture from our motel room window (I'm such a skilled photographer you can see me in the reflection)!