Friday, February 21, 2014

Dinner at Delicious

We hit the town tonight to eat at Delicious, an Indian restaurant.  YUMMY!!  I've decided that wherever we end up when we get back to the States HAS to have an Indian restaurant....I think it's become my new favorite food!  Ok...I have lots of favorites, but Indian is WAY up there!

We are always worried about what will be available for the Princess to eat.  Luckily, in Japan we can almost always count on white rice.  This time around, we were able to convince her to at least try the curries once.

What was on the menu....

For starters...both kids wanted Ginger Ale.  It came in a glass bottle, which Garytt thought was great. But, he insisted that it didn't taste right.  So, Mommy drank it.

The shot on the right gives you an idea of how 'big' the place is.  We were at the table closest to the door.  Then, there are three more four-top tables along this wall.  There is a bench to the left of our table with three small tables, probably seats 8 people.  Then, next to that there's two more four-top tables.  It was very quiet.  And, several families with kids Princess and Boy's age were there.  Next time we will make sure not to sit by the door though....brrrr....

 The curry:  We decided to get one mild and one with a bit of spice.  Turns out, the one with the spice wasn't as spicy as we time we will go with the hottest level.  The curry on the left is butter chicken curry.  The one on the right is plain chicken curry.  OMG.....butter chicken curry....WOW!!!  SOOOOOO yummy!!!!  Boy dove right in!  He loved it!  Princess had her mandatory one bite of each curry and that was it.  The plain chicken curry was good, just not as good as the butter chicken.  Two dishes was a lot of curry for us.  Next time we will just get one bowl.  Also, I love the bowls the curries were served in.  Pretty.

The naan:  Now, that's a plate of naan!!!  On the left is the plain naan.  On the right is garlic cheese naan.  I really need to learn how to make this stuff!  Or...maybe not....I would eat it every day!

 The chicken:  On the left is the pakoda (that's what was on the menu, but when I googled it, it says 'pakora').  Basically, just fried chicken for the kids to split.  On the right is spicy garlic chicken.  It was yummy.  Kris really enjoyed it.  I was too interested in the naan to eat too much chicken.

 Here's the whole spread.  Mackenzie also ate the fried rice.  We ended up bringing a bit of it home.  It's not far from the base, so that is a plus on a cold night.  Head to Blue Street, make a right at the Ringer Hut, then it is at the end of the block on the right.  Just a few minutes from the gate.

I just thought this restroom was's in miniature....I would have had to duck to get into it.  We like to call it "Morgan-sized".  :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow much fun...Japan style!

View from our balcony
After a year in Japan, we had our first major snow storm.  I think we were predicted to get about 6 inches.  I'm not sure we actually got that, but it was probably close.  Friday night the snow started just after midnight.  Kris and I laughed and joked about how none of it would be there when we woke up. Well, we were wrong.  When we got up in the morning there was about an inch or two on the ground.  The snowflakes were HUGE and they were coming down, well, I should actually say they were coming in sideways at a pretty rapid rate.  The wind was around 10-15 mph when we got up.  The kids begged to go outside, but I needed a couple cups of coffee to wake me up and to convince myself that it wasn't as cold and horrible as it looked outside.

I managed to hold off the kids until after lunch.  Finally, they asked me enough times that I got out all the gloves, hats, scarves, sweatshirts, extra warm socks, boots, and jackets and we headed out.

 It was pretty cold outside, but the wind was what gotcha.  We would be fine and then a 20mph gust would hit us and we would squeal in pain.

We saw a ton of kid out playing earlier in the morning.  That was when the wind wasn't blowing like crazy.  We went out when the wind was up around 20-25 mph with gusts at 30.  What's fun in the snow without a little adventure!  When we made it outside there were no kids in sight.  And, the snow had come down enough that there weren't any footprints out there.  Yay!  Fresh snow!

First thing we HAD to a couple snowmen.  Garytt rolled one part and then left us to explore.  Mackenzie worked on her snowman.  When she was done she put her hands on her hips and said, "Um....did you remember to bring a carrot for his nose?"  Oops...Then, she insisted she leave her hat on his head because he would be so cold in the wind.  I managed to convince her that snowmen like the cold, but little girls would get sick if they didn't cover up good enough.  She bought it...
The picture to the right shows Garytt, then in the background you can just barely see the weather building on top of the hill behind our building.

I found sticks that were acceptable enough to be appendages and a nose for Kenz's snowman.
 Can you tell which way the wind was blowing?

 Snow Angel time!

Mackenzie's favorite activity:  eating snow!  She met her daily water requirement for the day just by eating snow.  
 This is the climbing tree behind our building.  There are always kids in this tree.  Not today though.  He looks kinda lonely.
 This is a look to the left of our building...toward the tunnel.
 This is a look to the right...towards Kris' work.

About an hour after we were outside Garytt found a few kids that were building a fort.  Garytt got in on the action and they kept telling him he was such a good worker.  Mackenzie wanted a fort too, but she wanted her own, so she and I started working on one.  I looked over at one point and all the kids Garytt was helping were throwing snowballs while he was doing all the work.  He didn't care, he was having a blast building.  Mackenzie helped me for about half of the fort.  When I realized she wasn't putting in nearly as much work as me I started curving the backside in a little more so it was a two kid fort instead of a ten kid fort.  She didn't notice.  The wind on this side of the building wasn't as bad as the other side.  We were blocked from the wind a bit.  Then, inside of the fort there was almost total wind blockage.  Both kids got down inside the fort and said they were ready to go in.  So, I made them pose for a few pictures with the fort and then we headed inside...freezing cold, a little wind burned, soaked to the skin, and with numb fingers and toes.  But, we had so much fun!

I didn't realize that Mackenzie threw 
a snowball at me when I snapped this shot.

Garytt refused to get in any of my fort shots, so I pretended I was taking my own picture so I could get him in one of the pictures.

Boy has such sensitive skin that I coated his face with Vaseline before we went out to keep some of the wind from blistering his face.  Well, the Vaseline caused all the water on his face to bead up.  It looked funny.

Here's our after-shot.  Garytt was crying because he was freezing cold.  Mackenzie was annoyed that we were making her stand there for a picture...she wanted out of her wet clothes immediately.
And, then all was right with the chocolate with rainbow marshmallows!  

He was so upset, crying and mad because he was cold.  So, after our pictures he went to change.  He came out in shorts!  

Today (the day after the storm) the snow is quickly melting.  I think the temperature was supposed to be in the upper 40s today.  I've read reports today that said this is the most snow Tokyo has seen in 16 years!  The wind picked up pretty good last night.  I think they were 30 mph and around dinner time our lights were flickering and even went off a few times, but just for a minute each time.  The Japanese electric company, TEPCO, said that about 12,000 homes out in Yokosuka City lost power completely last night.

Kris dodged a bullet coming out of Philly, where a few hours after he left an ice storm hit and knocked the city to its knees.  Then, a few hours after he landed here a snow storm knocked this area to its knees.  Shew!!'s where they passed out within an hour of getting back inside. 

While Daddy is gone...

Ok...I'll be honest...there were lots of tears.  :(  But, we did have some fun.  It's been quite a while since we've spent time without, over a year, but we used to do this quite often just before we left the States.  The kids spent the first few days crying at nap time and crying at bedtime.  But, after I gave each of them one of Daddy's shirts to sleep with they were ok.

Daddy must have some kind of hallway repellant, because there are rarely more than a miscellaneous dropped toy in there.  While he was gone it became a toy magnet.  And, it started with this...They were putting on a Kids Bop dance party lesson.  I was above the age limit for the session and was swiftly kicked out after I snapped this quick shot.

We ate a lot of nonsense while Daddy was gone.  Strange combinations like bacon wrapped 'lil smokies and white rice; meatballs (no sauce) with tater tots and edamame; pancakes and more lil smokies; hot dogs and mac and cheese; grilled cheese and mixed veggies; and cereal!  I also made a couple pots of soup to eat since Kris isn't a big soup fan.  Here's my dad's veggie soup.  Turned out yummy!  I didn't really pay attention to the fact that I used up all the frozen veggies we had to make the soup that only I would eat.  Oops!  So, Luckily, I was invited to Costco with a friend the next day.  I stocked up on veggies there.

Here's a shot from one of our walks.  I decided that we would walk in a new direction.  Usually we leave the apartment and head toward either the Lodge area or Daddy's work, sometimes even toward the McDonald's area.  Today, we went off toward where the ships are.  WOW!  I won't do that at 4 pm anymore!  The traffic was insane and people on bikes almost ran over the kids several times.  I tried to find the view of Mt Fuji from over here, but I was in the wrong place, looking in the wrong direction.  :/  This day was a beautiful day to walk.  I think the weather for most of the two weeks Kris was gone was between 50-60 degrees.  This was around a 50 degree day.  We played on the playground for an hour or so and then took a walk.

I've never been in a Costco before coming to Japan.  I just think it's funny how all the carts are lined up next to the food court waiting on their new owners to take them to be neatly packed into the waiting vehicles.  On our first trip here we ate lunch in the store.  Mackenzie had a slice of pizza as big as her head.  Garytt had a footlong hotdog.  I got a bulgogi sandwich was bulgogi stuffed into the middle of a yummy bread stick.  Oh my!  Soooo delish!  On this trip, we loaded up on yummy fruits and veggies.  I also found bulgogi beef jerky, which is scrumptious!  And, here is the BEST part of the know those little snack carts on every aisle where they try to get you to buy something they have cooked for you?  Well, one of the carts in the veggie section had asparagus with a little bit of seasoning (sold in a fifty pound pack in the seasoning aisle).

60 degree day at jackets required
The asparagus was sliced into skinny nickel sized shapes and then sautéed.  Then, they were pierced with toothpicks and put in little cups.  My friend's 12 year old daughter was with us and she tasted the asparagus first.  Then, Garytt tried it.  Finally, Mackenzie tried it.  And, guess what....the two kids who fall on the floor in I-don't-like-that-food hysterics at the mere mention of asparagus ATE ASPARAGUS!!!!!!  So, of course, I went in and bought a huge bunch of one of my favorite veggies.  I did not buy the special seasonings, but I did look at what was in the pack so I could try it at home.  I tried it that night and they both ate it....of course, I have to serve it with toothpicks.  But, whatever works!

We went to lunch with friends later in the week.  We walked to TGI Friday's out in town.  When we first moved into our apartment I discovered that one of my neighbors, Dawn and her husband Matt, actually grew up twenty minutes from where I grew up!  Dawn and I took the kids out since both of our hubby's were back State-side.  The kids picked the pancake dinner.  Sugar overload!  Wow!  Pancakes, donut, fries, syrup, chocolate syrup, butter, whipped cream, and a small bowl of oranges and pineapples.  The first thing Mackenzie picked up to eat...the lettuce decoration!  Ha!  Garytt tried a new combination...french fries dipped in chocolate syrup.  He loved it.

And, the sugar loved him...when the girls got up to go potty he had a dance party.

As we were leaving one of the waiters started making balloon creations for the kids.  The girls got flower bracelets.
The boys got swords.

After lunch we went to Mikasa park for a couple hours.  The kids had fun on the climbing thing, for some reason I did not get a shot of that.  Then, they started making trails and mountains and volcanoes in the dirt.  As I was talking to Dawn I mentioned that my dad retired from the DE State Police.  She said, "So did my dad!"  Well, turns out, her dad and my dad actually worked together and when Dawn's dad retired my dad took his spot.  Such a small world!

We sure missed Daddy.  The kids have waited in the hallway for him to wake up from naps and they all crowd into the same chair to watch tv at night.  We are incredibly thankful we were able to arrange for him to make it to New York to be with his family, spending time, loving each other, laughing with each other, and crying with each other.  What a blessing that trip was to many.  We are also glad to have him home!