Monday, October 09, 2017

Two kids

More often than not lately, the big two seem to have their own schedules and agendas that leave us short two for family trips. On this particular day(Labor Day), Simon and Felix got to go to Fuji Q with the youth group. As Yokosuka--a Navy base with a better Exchange than ours--tends to have awesome sales on holidays, I suggested we take a trip down and do some shoe shopping. Given the tolls and time it takes to get there, we added a few other stops to the list. 

We took the littles to Enoshima Aquariaum. So much fun and just big and entertaining enough to be enough. The dolphin show was the highlight of our trip, for sure. 
 These beauties were on their way out in the parking lot. I figured a few shots would make the cost to park worth it. Not exactly the field of sunflowers I was hoping for, with majestic Fuji in the background, but pretty nonetheless. 


 After a dismal shopping experience at Yokosuka(seriously, they had no-thing on sale. I was so ticked), we decided to wander. My mood doesn't do well with trips I deem wasted. With camera in tow, we set off to the docks to see if we could get a closer view of some very fancy boats we saw on the way in. 

We passed a carrier and few other gray, rusty ships that I won't even pretend to know the name of, but these bikes caught my eye. 
 Jude's choice of shorts and high socks has become somewhat of a signature look. I'm too lazy to hunt down low socks, so it is what it is. 

 We decided to wander until someone told us not to. 
 (I feel bad for whichever seaman's office this is. I bet it's the chaplains.)
 I love everything about this set of pictures. The bike basket was full of coffee drinks. What's not to love?! As much as I enjoy taking pictures of Japan and all that it has to offer, there's nothing I love more than a picture of my boys in which I can hear what they're saying. This picture is one of those that will transport me back to this exact moment years from now. There was nothing special about the day or the place...the only thing special was the boys.

 "Mo-o-o-m!"


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Camping at Yamanaka-ko

Lake Yamanaka is one of the five lakes around Mount Fuji. Getting there was a bit of a debacle, as always. I went the wrong way on the highway-again-and paid a double toll-again. 

The campground was not exactly what the guy at Outdoor Rec(a shop here on base where we rent outdoor stuff)said it would be, but at least there was an English speaking employee!! We managed to get the last campsite available. There was no view of Mount Fuji from the campground, but we stumbled upon a parking lot at sunset and...







 It's not as majestic without the snowcap, but still a super impressive site. 





Simon wanted to go back the next morning for sunrise pictures and who am I to tell the lad no? We got up at 5 and headed back to the same parking lot. Fog. Lots and lots of fog. 
The fog started to break TWO HOURS later. We didn't wait for a crystal clear sky as I realized I had the only lighter for the campfire. Oopsie.





 Thankfully, all these chuckleheads were still asleep when we returned.  

Poor little Rubes doesn't love the cold. It got down into the upper 40s. On our last trip, I overpacked. I decided we didn't need six whole sleeping bags this time. Not the smartest decision on my part. 

 She sure does love her boys. 
 The skeptical one was sitting right in a ray of sunshine. He cracks me up. 



I so love these shots that Simon took before we packed up and headed home. Sean was letting the boys karate chop the kindling. 


 This boy loves his daddy. 
 I mean, really. Any man who is willing to tuck the most aggravating half Chihuahua on the planet into his coat...that's a good man. 
 I don't know that I'd highly recommend this campground. It was a nice enough campground, but given the views from the other lakes, I doubt we'll go to this exact spot again.

It would be a good place for a large group, so in case anyone is interest:
http://www.odakyu-forest.com
Kumi is who you want to speak to!

Monday, October 02, 2017

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant

I went digging for pictures after this boy's promotion the other day. I didn't remember how young he was when he joined CAP. I certainly didn't remember how young he looked. He promoted from Airman to Chief in a little over 2 years and just took over command at the Yokota Squadron as their Superintendent. I had to look all of that up because I am still clueless about how it all works. I only know to show up with my camera and stifle my sobs in the corner every time I am invited to an event.   He makes us so, so proud. 

August 2015:



December 2015:


Ooph. Hug your boys, Mamas. They turn into young men way too quick. 

Now: 



We talked this chucklehead into joining, too. It'll be interesting to watch.