Saturday, November 30, 2013

Japan Festival in Yokosuka City

We have had a busy day so far today!  And, it's only just after lunch!  Garytt started his day with a football game at 10...not a win, but he had a lot of fun :).  Mackenzie and I had to skeedaddle out of the game before it was finished so we could make it to her ballet recital rehearsal at 11 (we had to miss her cheering at the older kids' football game and miss the last practice with the cheer coach we LOVE, though).  We made it to the theater just before 11, so we sat in the back and just watched the other dance teacher's groups (there are two dance teachers combining their classes for one big recital next weekend).  Well, the first dance teacher was supposed to practice from 10-11 and then Mackenzie's teacher, Kishi-san, had the stage from 11-12.  Even after the other teacher was told at least a dozen times that her time was up, she continued to bully her classes onto the stage and Kishi-san's girls only ended up with ten minutes to practice.  Mackenzie's group got on the stage and plowed through their dance (very cute, by the way!).  Then, we ran out the door to Kris and Garytt so we could make it to the festival off base and down the street.

Last week, Sugihara Sensei asked if Garytt would be able to perform in a demonstration off base.  I'm so glad we made this happen!  What fun!  We made it to the building a little early, so we were able to catch a Samurai performance.  I shot several videos, but for some reason the camera was having a hard time focusing today.           Samurai performance    Samurai wishing blessings upon us (I think that's what he said they
                                                         were doing)     Garytt breaks a board          Karate Demo

 This was followed by a South American dance performance...gotta be honest....I was a little weirded out by the guy that was dancing with all the women.  Apparently, he's been taking lessons from Miley because his gross tongue was hanging out most of the performance.  Luckily, there was a little girl in the performance, off to the side, and that's the performer we focused Mackenzie on.  After that it was time for the karate demonstration.  Garytt was soooo cute!  He did really well....he got a little confused in one spot because the older kids were doing the sequence with more advanced moves and he wasn't sure if he was supposed to copy them or do what he knew.  Also, since he has been the leader in his class for the last few weeks, he has had to get used to using the opposite arm that Sensei calls out (in class he is the guy at the front and has to show the newer kids how to do it), so during the performance he kept putting up the wrong arm.  :)  But, he was still amazing!  AND...the Boy broke a piece of wood for the first time!!!!  He is quite proud of this accomplishment!

He's all the way in the back.

After Garytt's demo, we walked around a bit to see what was on display...origami, flower arranging, kimono dressing.  Kris even got a bit of a history lesson from the ladies at the information desk.  As we were leaving the group below began playing.   Koto performance (it's a little short, the kids were in need of a nap)

 Overall, a pretty interesting day!  And, I caught sight of the beautiful tree below as we walked home.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Last couple of days with Grandma

Grandma has been home for a few days now (enjoying her new kitchen, I'm sure :).  So, I'm a little slow getting this one out...

Last week we experienced our first "sushi-go-round" restaurant and were able to take Grandma to our favorite zoo.

Here is our first experience with kaiten sushi (conveyor-belt sushi, also known as sushi-go-round).  The kids (Kris included) were fascinated with the food moving by on its little track.  There were two tracks here.  The bottom track moved in an oval constantly.  The top track was for specially ordered food (chicken nuggets and fries for the kids, and Kris).  When you pull your sushi off the belt and eat it, you then get to drop the plate into a little slot on the table.  My guess is that it collected down there and then someone, or maybe a machine, counted them.  All plates were 100 Yen, except for a few special plates.  Every once in a while we would hear our plates down under the conveyor belt clinking together as if they were being counted.  There was also a game at this place.  We are absolutely clueless about how that worked.  Every few plates the monitor at our table would play a cartoon and one of those times the toy machine over the belts started moving and a toy fell out.

Getting his chicken off the special track on top

I think this was seared salmon with cheese on top

Obviously, shrimp

I think this was a seafood salad


Kris' bacon

Salmon roll.  This was hard for me.  It was really dry.

I think this was a beef "patty" for Kris

Sampler....salmon, shrimp, not sure what the pink was, and squid.
Joan had the squid and said it was very chewy.

Mackenzie's dessert

My dessert

I forget what this was.  potato, maybe?  Kris ate it.

Garytt's dessert

The Friday before Grandma left we took her to Ueno Zoo.  The kids say it's their favorite, but it's actually the only one we've been to so far.  So, I tend to learn new things with every adventure we have here.  This day's lesson:  leave earlier!  We didn't get out of the house until around 10, which means we didn't get to the zoo until almost 12.  This resulted in us only seeing the front half of the zoo.  The kids were terribly upset with me for not allowing enough time to show Grandma the whole zoo.  They were also upset because I refused to stand in the 20 deep lines to get a stuffed animal, so the walk to the train station was tear-filled.  Other lesson I should have already learned, but haven't....take extra batteries.  My camera died after half a dozen shots so most pictures were done with my phone.

He had his behind toward the window.
 I was lucky that he turned just enough for me to get the shot above.

I love getting shots of all the birds, but my camera is an
auto zoom and I can't figure out how to get it to see
past the bars consistently. 

This guy was scary looking!  

Trying to find the gorillas

There they are...sleeping

Also sleeping

Dhore....maybe.  I can't remember.  Mackenzie drew
a picture of it and I wrote it on the picture, but we can't
find the notebook now.

This is our favorite spot!

That's the big guy.  He would swim by so slow and most of the time he flipped over on his back.  

 The polar bear was out.  And he found a stick to play with!

Picking and eating bugs off each other.  
 It was a long day, even just doing half of the zoo.

Next time I'll have to see if we can get into the zoo through a different gate so we can start on the other side.  It was a beautiful day for the zoo.  Nice temperatures and just enough sun.