Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Week!

I am so totally excited that I will be on my way to Arkansas one week from today!!!!!!! I can't wait to see my family and friends. I also can't wait to have some BBQ, good pizza & Mexican food! Sounds like I have my priorities in order right? =) Originally I was going to be going to AR while Kenny was going to be on a 3 week trip, but his plans changed. He is now heading to Texas for training on Sunday. The class he is going to finishes up the day I get there, so he has taken a few extra days off & will be in LR for a few days too. I get the best of both worlds, Arkansas & my husband at the same time!

I get to be home for my Dad's 60th Birthday (Bill's getting old)! I also get to be at my sweet niece Caroline's baby dedication. I hate missing out on the big things that happen with my family, but that also makes me so much more thankful for the times I will get to be there. While I am glad to be coming home, it's kinda funny because I'm a little sad to be leaving my life here for a few weeks. I know that I will miss my "Yokota Family". God has truly blessed us here!

Speaking of people getting older....we had a big birthday at our house this past weekend. Kenny hit the big 3-0!! We celebrated by having a party at the house with some of our friends. I don't know when the last time was I laughed so much. We had about 10 girls piled around the table just talking, laughing & eating while the guys played darts & hovered over the food in the kitchen. We had an absolute blast!

Well, that's about all I know right now. Please pray for traveling safety for Kenny & I this coming week. He will be flying to TX on Sunday & I will leave for AR on Thursday (technically Saturday & Wednesday in the states). I have never been on that long of a flight in my life & I'm a little nervous about doing it by myself. Pray that I can sleep some on the plane. I usually cant, & that will make for some brutal jet lag if I don't. Have a great week! I hope to see some of you soon!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What a weekend?!?!

This past weekend was probably the best one we've had in Japan so far!!! Kenny & I took our 1st trip while living in Japan, and we went snow skiing. We drove the 3 1/2 to 4 hours to the Nagano prefecture. It was absolutely gorgeous there!!!!!!! Once we saw it we knew exactly why they hosted the 1998 winter Olympics there, amazing! We got to see the ski jumps that were used in the Olympics. I never realized how steep those things are; I'm thinking the ski jumpers are nuts! We stayed in Hakuba at a little hotel called Monkey Rider, more of a hostel than a hotel, but it was a great little place. There was a pub down the street called the Cherry Pub that was super relaxing & had great food. Most of the people in the area spoke English. It was nice to actually understand what was going on around us. =)
1998 Nagano Olympic Games Ski Jumps
Our Motel - Monkey Rider

On Saturday we took to the slopes. It was then that I realized it had been about 9 years since the last time I snow skied....not as easy as I had remember. Give me a water ski & I'm good to go, snow skis are a different ball game! But we still had a blast! This Arkansas girl had never seen that much snow in my life! The weather was perfect in Hakuba. There was at least 3 -4 feet of snow everywhere, it was great. After skiing on Saturday, we met up with some of our Yokota friends who were up there too for a relaxing dinner.

Kenny & I after a long day of skiing

We opted not to ski on Sunday since we had both survived Saturday in relatively good condition. (My 1st time to ski in 9 years & Kenny's 1st time to ski since his back surgery). We drove back to Yokota & enjoyed a lazy day. The guys were all off work on Monday for President's day, so several of us loaded up to go sledding on Mount Fuji. Unfortunately it rained on us most of the time that we were there, but we still had fun.
Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture - Japan

Overall we had a great weekend getting out & exploring this beautiful country that we live in now. While we miss home, we are enjoying the opportunity to see parts of the world we otherwise wouldn't have seen. That's not to say that I am not super excited to be heading to Arkansas for a visit in 2 weeks!!!!! =)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ready or not here we go....

This past weekend Kenny & I went on our first adventure by ourselves. We figured, go big or go we went to Tokyo! We haven't been since we moved here (other than driving through on our way from the airport). So we pulled up this awesome website called Hyperdia to find out what trains to take & took off. The Japan train system is relatively easy to navigate, the website tells you what lines to take as well as what time the trains leave & how long it will take you to get from point A to point B. We printed off our train times & took off to the Fussa station (the train station outside the Yokota gate).
Our ultimate goal was the New Sanno Hotel, which is a beautiful military owned hotel in downtown Tokyo, for dinner at the Japanese restaurant there. Tokyo is divided into "districts". We first got off the train to explore a little bit of the Shibuya district. Shibuya is known for it's shopping! Unfortunately, all of the shopping is in Japanese sizing....that translates to not fitting a 6'2" American male & 5'8" American female. =) But, I was able to find a Starbucks! The most overwhelming experience in Shibuya was being in a crosswalk with literally THOUSANDS of other people going 6 directions at was crazy!!!

Tons of buses outside the Shibuya train station

Starbucks! Luckily part of it was in English!

We left Shibuya to head to the part of town where the New Sanno is. It was nice to go to the hotel to have a little piece of America. They hotel is nothing to write home about on the exterior, but was beautiful inside. We are looking forward to staying there when my parents come to visit in May! We had reservations for dinner at the Japanese steakhouse in the hotel. It was possibly one of the best meals we've had since we have been in Japan.
Overall our first trip to Tokyo was a success! We didn't get lost once!!!! I'm sure there will be much more to come....

Kenny at dinner, they put these lovely aprons on us while we ate

Sushi appetizer that came with out dinner, the yellow thing is egg...interesting to say the least

Beautiful artwork behind our table at dinner

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Here lately...

There hasn't been a whole lot new going on here in Japan lately. Tomorrow I'm heading to Yokosuka to go shopping with some girls. Yokosuka is one of our naval bases here in Japan. It's just nice to leave Yokota every once in a while.

Next week Kenny & I are taking our first trip since we've been here. We are heading to the mountains to go skiing! I'm so excited. We are going to Nagano!!! I love the Olympics & am super excited to see where the were here in Japan.

We had our first snow a couple of days ago. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures, but before I do I have some good news....I'll be home for a visit 1 month from today!!!!!

View from our balcony (the netting is put up by the base to keep the birds out)

And I obviously didn't take this last one, but I think it's a pretty cool picture! It's a C-130 flying in front of Mt. Fuji...