Sunday, October 12, 2008

Special lunch with Bailey

Today Bailey and Marc went into his office to watch the Penn State vs. University of Wisconsin football game - on the brand-new 50-inch flatscreen into which Marc plugged his laptop loaded with the slingbox. One of the partners in the office is a Wisconsin grad, and obviously Marc is a Penn Stater, so they decided to watch together. An 8pm Saturday night game in Madison Wisconsin means 9am Sunday morning here in Tokyo! Afterward, Marc took Bailey to lunch. Later, I asked Bailey about it. "Mom!" Bailey practically shouted, "Dad took me to Burger King - the only one in Tokyo!" "What did you eat?" I asked, hoping to live a little vicariously through his onion-ring experience. "Dad let me have a junior WOO-PER!" Yes you read that right. Bailey had no idea it was called a Whopper; he called it a WOO-PER. It might have taken me ten minutes to stop laughing. Oh the things our children miss by living overseas....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who could resist one last photo op...

I was lucky enough to get to spend 10 days in September with my cousins Jenn and Dave and their newborn baby, Erin and their 3-year-old daughter Ella.  The flight to Virginia was worth it for these special babies! And a very very special sister/cousin...

Soccer (football??)

So the main reason we rented a car is to go to the Highland Festival in Makuhari on Sunday.  We could have taken a train, but the car was so much simpler in this case. Run by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) it celebrates Scottish heritage.  One of the main features is a 7-a-side "football" (soccer to most of us...) tournament.  Anyone who wants to can put together a team.  One of our friends took it upon himself to do it.  They called themselves the "Azabu United" and recruited guys from our community.  Marc was one of the younger players.  What does that tell you?  Check out the team photo though - at the last second our French friends Denis and Pravya recruited three young Frenchmen who are studying abroad here in Tokyo.  That brought the average age of the players waaaay down!  Most of the men brought their families too, so the rest of us made up the cheering squad.  

The coolest part of the whole thing was the international flavor of the team - French, British, Singaporean, Finnish and American.  

The team did well - they won one game and lost two. Perhaps I'm prejudiced, but I think Marc was one of the best players on the field - and one of the most experienced.  But most importantly everyone had fun, and EVERYONE walked off the field under their own steam - they might have been tired, but there weren't any injuries.  Good news!

The festival itself was fun, too.  Bailey mostly watched his dad play soccer, but Sydney played some games and ate fish and chips for lunch.  None of us ate the Hagus.  What is that, anyway?  Check out the photos of the Japanese people in kilts doing the highland dancing.  Pretty wild!

There's no way to express how grateful we are for the life we are living.  Every day seems to bring something new or different.  And sometimes the day brings something familiar - like a soccer game - but gives it a whole different flavor.


This past weekend we rented a car.  I have a feeling that a car purchase is in our future, but that is another story.  Right now it's fun to rent one when we want it.  The weather was just stellar on Saturday - sunny and 75 degrees so we decided to take a drive to the Yokohama waterfront.  Technically, Yokohama is the largest port in Asia and the place where Admiral Perry landed and demanded that Japan open its doors to trade with the West.  Because of the old-meets-new atmosphere, it seems that ancient temples are directly juxtaposed with modern buildings wherever you look.  We had been to Chinatown here, but that was it.

We decided to visit the harbor and had the luck of catching a yacht show.  We had the opportunity to walk along the docks and board a number of the boats to look around.  Some of the yachts were simply stunning - three bedrooms, large deck, modern kitchen etc.  Bailey and Sydney wondered if we could just live on one and take it to visit wherever we wanted to go.  I reminded them that if we had this type of boat, we couldn't afford a house.  I'm not sure I convinced them.

The funniest part of the day was Bailey and the rock climbing wall.  We bought the ticket for him to take a try and he got all suited up in the harness and proper shoes.  As he climbed higher, we realized that people were gathering around to watch the little Western boy work.  Bailey climbed his heart out.  There was a huge bump in the middle of the wall to scale and he just couldn't get all the way over it.  He did the best he could and then felt finished.  He pushed away from the wall and started to rappel his way down.  All of a sudden applause burst out from the crowd.  I swear at least 50 people were clapping for him.  I think it made his millennium.  But that's why you see the photo of Bailey climbing the wall and with him off center in the photo - I wanted to show you the funny crowd loving the blondie.

The marina had an outlet mall attached with a few Western stores so we got to shop a little too.  All in all a fun day out!  This car thing could get addicting....

Tokyo at last...

Things here have been pretty hectic with the start of school, my trip to the U.S. to be with my cousin Jenn and her family and then the Jewish holidays.  Here's a quick pic of the kids in Ginza, one of our favorite areas to visit.  Great shopping - great food!  They block off the streets on Saturday afternoons to make shopping more convenient - the kids thought that was great fun. 

While we were there we noticed that a new clothing shop out of England, DHC, was opening.  I am not kidding you here: the queue to get into the store - yes just to get IN - was out the door and around the corner - a two hour wait.  A two-hour wait to get into the shop.  But if you got in,  you could say that you visited it on its first day open.  That cache only lasts the weekend, you know.   Only in Tokyo yet again...