Driving at the Arcade

Arcades usually send me in the opposite direction. The bright lights and sounds are enough to give me a headache and the games seem like a waste of money. This was until I discovered some of the kids games at the arcades here in Japan.

While I still try to keep my distance, occasionally I'll see a ride that I just can't resist for the kids. The bus is a favorite for CJ. He can steer through Tokyo picking up passengers along the way.

On this ride the kids drive along petting dogs. It is more higher points the more they pet them.

Here they drive along in a police car chasing criminals.

I am sure there will be more rides to add to our list of favorites.

Bus Ride: 2nd floor of the Daie, just west of Atsugi's front gate
Dog Ride, Police Ride: Maruetsu one more north of Atsugi's front gate

C-130 Tour

We just so happened to run into an old friend from Pensacola at a sushi-go-round who just happened to be on a layover at our base for a while. Small world. He offered to take the kiddos on a tour of his C-130 aircraft and we jumped on the chance. 

I had gotten to know the C-130 well while flying MAC to various places but this was the kids first time on the plane.

They checked out the cockpit.

Then it was on to the back.

This aircraft was a favorite of mine to fly because while it was quite loud there was plenty of room to lay out a sleeping bag and get comfortable.

The last stop was the view from on top of the aircraft. CJ felt like he was on top of the world!

St. Patrick's Day Parade

I think Ellie has attended a St. Patty's Day Parade every year of her life. From the bead throwing ones in Pensacola and Irish bagpiper led ones in Bethlehem to Norfolk's Shriner bonanza. Thanks to my parents the kiddos got to experience what a St. Patrick's Day parade is like in Japan.

Since I was just days away from my delivery date, and DaddyO didn't feel too comfortable with me taking a train ride into the city, we sent my parents instead just a day after their arrival. With Hyperdia train instructions in one hand a map in the other, they navigated to Omotesando in the heart of Tokyo.

There they found a spot on the street and waited for the parade to start.

DaddyO and I had attended the 2006 parade so we knew they would not be disappointed. The parade began and group after group marched past.

Of course EJ's favorite was the Irish dancers. 

The Japanese lion from Okinawa left quite an impression on CJ.

We found out afterwards that the dragon coming up and biting his head was actually a sign of good luck. He definitely didn't see it like that at the moment.

Ice Cream Faces

Presentation is very important to the Japanese. Any gift bought will be beautifully packaged and even given to you in a special bag. Presentation doesn't just stop at gifts but permeates everything from food to dress. The kids were excited to see the cute creations that were possible from our local ice cream shop.

When it's time for a Daddy or Mommy date a trip to the ice cream store has been a popular request.


Grandma just happened to bring some sweet  so she tried her hand at decorating her own cones.

The result was googly eyes and big smiles.

The kids took in their desserts for a few moments and then quickly devoured them.

Now EJ wants to decorate her own cones.

St. Patty's Day Party

With their feet freshly landed on Japanese soil, the first activity my parents did with the grandkids was attend EJ's St. Patrick's Day party at her preschool.

Her special guests took her on the three minute walk to school.

Then they got to meet her friends and teachers and help her with a St. Patty's Day craft.

After a bit of gluing and taping she had a beautiful rainbow wind catcher to hang in her window.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

The kiddos celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday in their own special ways. EJ made a One Fish, Two Fish craft and went on a field trip to see Horton Hears a Who.

CJ made a Dr. Seuss hat with Grandma that he wore proudly around.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Just Like Sister

CJ loves to do anything his older sister is doing. Usually it involves kidnapping one of her dolls, or cannon-balling on a fort she's made, but this time it involved a favorite pastime of both of theirs, reading. Of course CJ is holding one of EJ's prized books but she doesn't seem to mind.

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