My parents flew in on the same day President Trump arrived at Yokota. They shut the gates while he was here, so we had to leave ahead of schedule so as not to be trapped on base.
The little two, Sean and I got to the airport a tad early and had lots of time to kill. Thankfully, Narita is a wide open airport and there are lots of places to wander around, eat, and shop without having to go through security or have a boarding pass.
Jude was the only kid who was 100% clueless as to who was coming. We told him we were at the airport so we could meet the President. He was super confused when he saw my parents and we may have taken the surprise a little too far because he didn't give the performance I expected when it finally clicked. He stared in disbelief at Grandma and Grandpa for a good hour before becoming animated again.
The first day we took it pretty easy on them. Arashi for dinner, of course, & then...
the jet lag caught up to them. I was proud of them for hanging on til after 8 pm.
Days 2-8 I did not take it easy on them. We went to a local shrine I've never visited.
We went to Lake Motosu and Shiraito Falls.
My dad holding the 1000 yen bill(it's 10 bucks, don't get excited) that depicts this scene.
They got to see Fuji many times. I dragged the whole gang out of the car several times that day.
I dragged them up to Chuerito Pagoda. They were total troopers. My mom didn't curse me at all during the 400+ stair climb, even though I know she wanted to.
We stayed just long enough for the sun to dip below the horizon. I have now successfully missed cherry blossoms and fall colors at Chuerito Pagoda. This Spring, I will win.
Mom, print & frame this one!! I love it!
We went to the Kitchen District. It wasn't nearly as awesome as I thought it would be. Watching people make kitchen knives from scratch was kinda cool, but the knives were too rich for my blood. Before we leave, I will get a few. I don't need my name etched in them or anything, I just need knives that will cut through an onion or apple without taking my hand off with it.
We took the train that day and my phone died. We didn't get my parents a Suica card because we only used the train for one day. Not only were we calculating ticket prices each leg of the trip, we were having to navigate based on the main map. It wasn't nearly as daunting as it looks, but it certainly made for a longer trip than usual.
My Dad handled it like a local. He even started to lean into the person next to him a bit. I had my mom-arm ready in case he lurched forward into the aisle, but it wasn't needed.
My mom and I went for a tea party with my friend and her mom(who was also visiting from VA) and baby Eleanor. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I have never been so full in my life. Normally I leave the tea house a bit hungry still. It's definitely chick food and it tends to be light on the belly. Not so on this day. The pumpkin scones on top were the best morsel of any food I've ever consumed. SO GOOD.
This is a must for anyone who comes to visit. I love this place.
We went for sushi. If you know my mother at all, you know she gets major kudos just for trying it. She is not one to eat anything raw. She likes her meat beyond "well done." Her face + Jude's make this my favorite picture of their whole visit.
We went to Joyful Honda. The lady in the petstore saw my mom for a sucker and kept handing her all the older puppies, the ones slated to...go wherever they go when they don't sell. I choose to believe it's to a big open farm where they run freely and eat bacon on the regular.
We went to Yakiniku. They both preferred that to sushi. :D
My mom and I were able to join a group of my friends for a geisha performance at Mt. Mitake. Thank you, Evelyn!! It was so fun. The climb up wasn't, but the rest of it was awesome.
We celebrated Thanksgiving. Sean cooked an amazing meal.
And just like that, they had to go home. Nine days doesn't go far when two of them are travel days.
Poor Jude held it together until we were climbing back into the car to go home after dropping them at the shuttle. You see in the picture that he was completely unwilling to go along with the, "smile!" request. He sobbed when he realized they were really leaving. Please come back! I promise we'll feed you more meat. Well done meat, even!