Friday, May 06, 2011

Osaka trip for Golden Week, part 1.

I know I'm pretty behind. But today I am trying to get this Osaka trip post up. I started adding pictures. And somehow I got this message on blogger from my computer that says..."the script on this page is causing your computer to run slowly", I've never gotten a message like that before. And I can't imagine what script I'm running. I have no movies from this trip and only put on pictures (as usual so nothing out of the ordinary). Anyway, that is why I have had to cut the Osaka trip in 2 posts versus in just 1 post like I prefer. But...what can you do. So, I will try and get this first half up. And btw, this first half the one you're reading fine and I am getting no "warning message" so, if need be...I'll just have to redo the other post all over again! Which would make me wanna scream. And I hope it doesn't come to that. : ( Anyway. Last Thursday, after the boys got out of a half day of school. We immediately got the boys changed into sweatpants and sneakers. Just comfy clothes for a long road trip. We had made obento while the boys were at school. And did all the packing before that... the day before. We didn't pack too much, we'd just be there 2 nights/3 days and be coming back home to Chiba Saturday. So 3 days worth of clothes for the kids (1 was a spare) and a pair of Pj's and 1 outfit for the long drive. Some drinks I bought cheaper at Cainz then along the highway. We packed a cooler with ice and the boys all safely strapped in and away we went. Noboru double and triple checked the locks, made sure all the gas was off.

We drove for quite a few hours before deciding it would be a good time to stop and eat at a service area. The boys ate rice balls and we all munched the chicken we prepared. We all drank the drinks we brought. The cost to eat along the highway is sort of expensive. 700-1000 yen per person depending what meal you'd like (the curry meal perhaps etc). I was happy to have bought the chicken cheaply, and made it at home myself and our meal for all 4 of us was about 700 for all of us not per person. ; ) Meaning drinks, rice for onigiri, sauce for karaage, flour, and 2 packs of chicken. About there give or take.

Noboru eating a normal onigiri, lol. That can orange juice just 30 yen. And the Cainz straight tea 60 yen or something like that.

It does round back to normal though, because we said. You know, with the meal savings, let's enjoy a peach icecream/soft cream. So in the end it did round back to paying the same. Ha ha ha.
See that view of Mt. Fuji! What a view! The weather around here was sunny but chilly. You could definitely feel a chill in the air still. We were full from eating our road trip meal. We had all went to the restroom when we first arrived at the rest stop and a restroom run one last time before we got our ice creams and left.

The view was right there but perhaps a cloud was blowing by when I clicked because you can't see Mt. Fuji in the picture at all. : ( But it is there. Good thing I took that pic beforehand. ; ) We got 3 ice creams. Noboru and I shared. And Noah and Branden each had one. But, midway half through Noah said..I'm done, I don't want anymore. So, Noboru got his. And I ended up eating ours and he ate Noah's. Chalk that up to having a tiny tummy. : )

And...back along the highway again. In the US, for the most part driving down the highway is free. In Japan, when you ride along the highway you pay. We rode on a Thursday, so it cost us about 12,000 or about $120 US to drive to Kyoto/Osaka. Very expensive, to ride on the highway. But the day we came back to Chiba, since it was a holiday the whole ride was just 1,000 yen. So that was very nice. : )

Still driving on the road and we made about 5 stops along the way for the kids to stretch their legs, go to the restroom. And along the way was a Starbucks. You know, funny thing is, when we last drove to Osaka many years ago..there was only 1 Starbucks along the way I remembered. But now there was many of them. Which made us happy. : ) By the way with Thursday being the last day of school and the following day starting off the Golden Week holiday. Noah got off school early and Branden also got off early because many of the kids in his class were ill. Just the 4th grade class. So, we left our house last Thursday around 1pm or 1:30pm. And we did not arrive until 10:30pm-11pm. It was a very long drive. No real bad traffic or anything. But a very long drive. So yeah since the kids were taking a restroom break with Noboru and I took my own bathroom break as well. We went into Starbucks after. It was jet black outside, meaning pure night time. Not a hint of day time sky in the air at all. And the weather was down right chilly at this point. The boys put on fleece tops over their long sleeve tees. And into Starbucks we went.

Noah waiting for mommy's caramel macchiato to be done, so we could take it to go.

The kids back into the car and all strapped in, I meanwhile went into the cooler, got the kids some more drinks. Pulled out some snacks from the snack bag. Taco chips for Branden, salt chips for Noah, chili chips for Noboru. There was also some fresh bananas left from the ones they munched an hour earlier.... and some wet wipes right between the kids for hands after. I pulled out some yuzu for after my coffee. And the kids popped in another dvd in the MPV. And back onto the road we went. Noboru and I were listening to 80's music. We were Walking like Egyptians. Like a Prayerin' to Madonna and She Boppin' to Cyndi Lauper. By 10pm, we were so done! We wanted to arrive already. We finally got to Kyoto, and found the hotel right away. It was right across the street from some famous tourist attraction. We checked in, wheeled the carry-on luggage we brought. Noboru and the boys showered. Then Noboru had some green tea complimentary in our room. And I put my hair in a pony tail and showered. I didn't want to blow dry my hair that night, I was too tired. So I soaped and showered from the neck down and also washed my face really well. Jammies on and the boys were asleep so fast. Noboru called his mom told her we were there and we agreed to be at her house at 10am the next morning.

I do not know why, but the next morning. The boys and I woke up at 6:30am. I had both of them brush their teeth and handed them their clothes and into the shower I went to wash my hair. When I came out, they were dressed and watching TV. I blow dried my hair. Put my makeup on and got dressed. when the wake up call rang at 7am, we were already ready. Noboru got dressed and to the breakfast buffet downstairs we went.

Noah walking to the buffet area.

As pictured, they had corn potage soup and croutons. many fresh rolls and breads, croissants. Butter and jam.

Fresh fruit, they had fresh pineapple but were refilling it when I took the picture. Yogurt with blueberry toppings and also they had strawberry toppings for the yogurt too.

My breakfast, see they did have pineapple. ; ) I had fresh fruit, croissant, goma salad and coffee. I went back for more fruit and a 2nd cup of coffee.

They also had this big area of food too. They had a breakfast quiche with sausage in it. All sorts of things, even chicken nuggets, french fries. And another long table behind me with Japanese breakfast, miso soup, fish, etc. Noboru had the Japanese breakfast of course. The kids had yogurt and pastries and apple juice. And I had what was pictured. We went back to the room, for any last minute restroom runs before driving to Osaka.

And just about to his parents house!!! So close!!!

It's very city-ish. We arrive to his parents house. Mitsuko was waiting for us outside. We went in and chatted. His father was sleeping. So we chatted with my mil and sil. My sil made us some very good coffee. And we decided 2 things. We should go and visit Noboru's great grandmothers house #1. And #2, we would be going to Saizeriya for lunch with my mil, sil, and my niece. So, off to great grandma's house we went. Which was only a 5 minute drive, ha ha ha.
Noboru's grandma. Mitsuko''s mom. : ) And Toshiyuki. Branden being the oldest, always has to look out for his little brother. Always be careful. Watch out for Noah and any other little kiddos in the housing community and he does so wonderfully. He's very good with little kids. He really is. But being around Toshiyuki was awesome because in this situation, Branden finally got to be the younger one! Which is very rare for him! ; ) He kept grabbing Branden....come here! Get over here!!!! You could tell by Branden's face he loved all the attention. Threw Branden on his bigger lap. Tickled Branden. He told Branden, you are going to be very tall when you are older and very muscular! Great grandma, looked at Branden's head and hair. And said...your hair in the back tells me that you are also very stubborn!!! Toshiyuki tickled Branden and asked..... So are you stubborn? Huh huh? You Japan. Most grandparents live near their grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Which mean the kids get to see their extended family. They get the luxury of being doted on by grandma and grandpa. Like the grandma next door. She lives right across the street from her 2 grandchildren. Cheers them on at undokai which si great. While when Branden is at his, he has only us to cheer him on, so we have to make sure to cheer extra loud to make up for the loss of extended family not being able to be there, do you know what I mean. : ( So for the most part, our boys have no extended family living near us to dote on them at all. Which is fine they're used to it. But with them being in Osaka, they finally got that. And the kids really enjoyed it. It's rare they get to see them and get all the extra attention, so it was a rare treat for them. : ) Toshiyuki, even arm wrestled Branden. When Branden lost, he said....okay how about with only 3 fingers then! Again obviously Branden would lose. He's 10 years younger obviously. But he lost by only 3 fingers and we all laughed. He joked with Branden so much. Talk about feeling the love. And not to leave Noah out either. He got the same treatment. When we entered the house and as soon as Noah sat down. Great grandma your look like you should be on TV! She couldn't get over Noah at all. She beamed. And beamed. And again...they rarely get to see them so it just felt really good for Noah to get some extra loving from great grandma like that. Noboru and I were just sitting on the tatami floor, while they beamed from ear to ear at the boys. And played with them. Yui (Toshiyuki's sister was also there) and she's so cute too, she's in the 6th grade.
She said Noah, let me draw your face. Noah feeling quite thrilled because nobody's ever done that he stood perfectly still, like a statue, I had to laugh. And she made this. Noah's face courtesy of Yui-chan! I had told Yui how absolutely pretty she's gotten (honestly she's so pretty). And Noboru meanwhile noticed Yui had polished toe nails. So figures uncle Noboru asks if he could chip off her polish!!! @_@ Umm, I guess you can if you want to she replied. ; ) He settled for just pulling at her toes instead. When it's time to leave some one's house it's easy to get the kids ready to leave. It's time to go and they go to the genkan. However, they did not want to leave great grandma's house and the cousins (technically Noboru's cousins) They left but had to hug everyone and waved a bunch before leaving. We knew we would not see them later that night or the next day. This was it. It was sad. : ( They are very loving and very kind people. From there we went back to grandma's house. And left for lunch. Seven of us ate at Saizeriya. It was around 12;30pm. We had a dinner reservation at 5pm. We enjoyed our lunch. And then we dropped them home and went to the shopping arcade. We had time to kill. I spent a Summer in Osaka and used to ride my bike in Senbayashi all the time. Would go to my favorite sento in there too. Every night after my bath I'd be eating a hard boiled egg, a lemon squash (sp?), and in my houseshorts and comfy tee, wet hair I'd hop back onto my bike, with my sento basket in the bike basket, with shampoo, conditoner, and body wash and nylon cloth and towel. And ride back to his parents house. This was before we had kids. But newlyweds.

Hisashiburi, Senbayashi. Meaning long time no see, Senbayashi. ; )

The kids walking around Senbayashi. It was good exercise for after our lunch, plus they always sell really interesting things in there.


Okonomiaki. And takoyaki a plenty in Osaka. : ) is 3:30pm now and I am going to start dinner now. Tomorrow morning I'll open up the second post, the one that's gone all wonky. Hopefully I can get it to work normally and just type some and publish that second one tomorrow morning but if by some horrible chance that post has just gone crazy and I keep getting continuous error messages, like today then.... I'll have to down load each and every picture all over again on another post, so if that's the worst case..give me to tomorrow afternoon to get it up. On the bright least I got this part up and running. : )