Here We Go... on an adventure that we never could have imagined just a few years ago, now it's here and it's a pretty amazing reality. We've been in Tokyo for over a week now and are starting to feel pretty settled in. There are so many things that are different from the USA, and we're finding some changes are hard while others are easy and good.
The flight here was...good.
Roderick and I took a red eye flight which turned out pretty well. As a two year old, it doesn't take much for Roderick to have fun or get excited about something new. This picture is right after we got on our plane in LA and he was pretending to nap.
Thank goodness for the free movies that kept Roderick's attention when he wasn't sleeping, they helped me keep my sanity for those 11 hours.
When we arrived in Tokyo it was 10:30 pm. We took our 4 big suitcases and got through immigration and customs and then sent a few of those bags to our apartment through a delivery service and took a taxi to our apartment. It felt so good to finally lay down on a bed at 1 am JST and sleep!
Our jet lag took about 4-5 days to get over, and Roderick did great adjusting to the new time and only had a 1-2 naps and 1-2 nights that he woke up early. Thankfully we had our 'shipped' boxes arrive through the mail and I flattened them out and put them in his window to make a 'blackout' curtain. We are all just really happy to be together as a family after being an ocean apart for 7 weeks.
Roderick goes between saying "Cheese" for pictures and wanting to hold the camera and look at pictures while they are being taken. We already have quite a few pictures like the one below with him trying to reach the camera.
We've ridden a few trains and buses since being here. Roderick is a huge fan. If I tell him we're going to ride the train or bus he'll wait by our front door waiting for Cameron and I to get ready to leave. When we're riding he'll say, "Woah" or laugh as we go around turns or slow down and speed up. The hard part is when we have to get off the train or bus and he gets sad that our ride is over and that the train or bus leaves without him. It's pretty cute. Here's a picture of our first train ride when we were headed to Sensoji Temple on Wednesday 8/27/2014.
On Friday, 8/29/2014, I was able to attend a reception with Cameron for the Mansfield Fellows that was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (similar to US Dept. of State). At the reception I was able to meet Cameron's host family that he's been staying with for the past 7 weeks. They took great care of him and made sure he saw a lot of the area and had plenty of cultural experiences while he was in Kanazawa.
On Saturday, 8/30/14, I requested that we go visit some Japanese Gardens as part of celebrating my birthday. It was just magnificent and we had a guided tour in English to help us know and understand the significant parts of the garden. It was a beautiful day and the sun came out for the first time since our arrival. Summer in Tokyo is hot and humid but also a very cloudy and rainy time of year.
This is the full moon bridge which was named because of the full moon shape that it makes with the reflection in the water. The construction of it is so unique and hard to replicate that they don't dare take it apart to restore it for fear that they wouldn't be able to put it back together.
We saw some ducks that Roderick enjoyed watching.
Followed by a handful of turtles that came up to say hi. Thanks to the ducks and turtles I think Roderick enjoyed our trip to the gardens too.
It's just so green and pretty it's a great escape from big city that surrounds it.
Our day wasn't done after the gardens, we ate some lunch and had a rest and then walked down to the Harajuku shopping district. I keep thinking to myself, "It's so amazing to live within walking distance of some of my favorite stores like H&M and Forever 21, not to mention the classy stores like Guicci, Armani, Ralph Lauren, etc. but it could also be very dangerous to my wallet" :)
We did a little shopping and got a fun little treat to end the night. It was a crepe filled with whipping cream and then topped with a slice of cheesecake, a scoop of ice cream, and topping sauce. Roderick kept trying to get mine while we were trying to take a picture and then that ball of ice cream fell off the front. Luckily, Cam was sweet enough to share his ice cream.
Another haven that we've found here in the city, is the LDS Temple. We attended church next door but somehow ended up in the wrong ward so it looks like we'll probably be attending church in another building and might just attend the local Japanese Shibuya Ward.
I'll save some future posts to delve into some of the intricacies of day to day life in a foreign country. Some of the simplest things now seem so tricky. Hopefully it will soon just feel like normal.
Sayonara from the Land of the Rising Sun