Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trains, Breads and Ferris Wheels

As I've said a few times in emails to family and friends...this hotel room is SMALL!!!!  And, getting smaller with every minute that passes.  This week has been cold and very windy, which restricts our outings greatly.  We just couldn't take it any more. 

Saturday we decided to go figure out the train system on our own.  So, we hopped on the bus at 1020 and made it to the front gate 20 minutes later.  We then took about a 15 minute walk to the train station, Yokosuka Chuo, and bought our PASMO cards.  Mr. Garytt is young enough that we don't have to pay for him for another year and a half!  Mackenzie's card has her name printed on it and then Kris and I got plain cards.  We loaded them all up with money and headed through the gate.  Mackenzie thought she was quite a grown girl because she was able to take her own card and roll it over the sensor and wait for the big blue arrow telling her to pass.  :)  We headed into the station and, thanks to a train app, found the correct train, hopped on and headed on to Yokohama.  We arrived at the Yokohama station about 35 minutes later, where we hopped off of the Keikyu Limited Express line and hopped onto the JR line that runs into the center of the city.  Once out of the train station, we head for the ferris wheel!

 First, we walked across the Kishamichi Promenade - a boardwalk built over an old railway connected to the other side with a bridge built in America and then shipped to Japan.  This bridge is probably beautiful in the Spring since it's lined on each side with cherry trees. 

These guys know where to go!
Mack's paw and our pizza
Mack's 2nd choice
On the other side we went into the World Porters, a six story facility with food, movies, home design, clothing, shoes, etc.  Just a huge mall, and apparently, the guys who know the most about the place are guys we grew up watching on t.v.!  We had a bit of an issue finding food to eat since Kris accidentally put too much Yen on Mackenzie's PASMO card.  Luckily, we found a restaurant, Bon Pain, where you picked up a tray and a set of tongs and then picked out what you wanted from their line of food.  And, to Mackenzie's delight...it was all bread!!!!  Mackenzie's first choice was a pastry that looked like a dog paw.  Garytt chose a loaf of garlic bread.  Kris and I chose a pizza thing, which was pizza on a sweet sesame bread.  Yummy!!  Garytt got grape juice, Kenzie had strawberry and Kris got apple.  Garytt's bread was yummy, not what he thought it would be, but he ate a good portion.  Mackenzie happily tore off and ate each toe and then took a big bite of the center only to spit out a chunk of bread and beef and gravy.  Oops...she was then terrified to eat anything else off the table.  We did finally convince her to taste our pizza and then coaxed her into another treat off the table.  She got a snowgirl looking thing and Kris got a sausage surrounded by bread.  Well, Mackenzie at the top of the bread girl then took one bite into the body and found a hidden treasure....strawberry yogurt!  Well, she didn't care for that either, but at least she didn't spit it out.  With our bellies satisfied we headed out into the town to find the ferris wheel. 

We found it, but unfortunately we didn't have enough Yen to pay for a ride.  We got ourselves a map of the place, it's all in Japanese, but it at least shows the prices for all the rides.  As we stood by the flume ride - yes, there were people riding a water ride in this amusement park in 40 degree weather - but, as we stood by the ride Mackenzie stated, "This is definitely somewhere we will bring Aunt Tisha and Uncle Clayton!"  On our way back to the train station we decided to walk through the Queen's Mall so we could be in the heat for a bit.  Well, this mall is probably the biggest mall I've ever seen.  We walked for quite a ways (and found a Krispy Kreme in the process!!!!!!) before we found the moving walkway to carry us from the mall to the train station since the littlest feet in our group were desperately looking for a bench - or, Mommy's arms, as it turned out, since the walkway was broken in the direction we were going.  Ugh!  We had an uneventful journey home, Garytt took about a 15 minute nap.  We walked back to the base, and sadly, watched the bus pull away from the front gate bus stop.  Which meant another 40 minute wait for it to come back around.  Kris hollered, "if we run up this hill we can make it to the next bus stop and catch it there"  HA HAHAAHA...boooo hoooooooo....we did run, taking turns carrying the boy, and we almost made it.  Luckily, the bus driver saw us running and took pity and waited.  Shew!  Three weeks sitting around in the hotel has killed my muscles and cardio.  We all took a great nap that afternoon and then went to bed early and all slept nearly 12 hours!

Lessons learned on our first excursion:  Make sure you take lots more Yen than you think you'll need, just in case you accidentally put way too much on the youth PASMO card (we probably won't have to refill her card for at least a year!).  Google the food options where you're going so Her Highness has something to eat.  Take more Yen so I can go shopping!!!!!  Oh, and the train is loads of fun for the little ones! 

Definitely making this trip several more times!

Not sure what the deal is with creamed corn, but you can buy it in almost every vending machine here.  And, the red box underneath means it comes out hot.  Might have to try this just to see what it is.  :)