Sunday, May 08, 2011

Osaka trip for Golden Week, part 2.

Sorry again about having to make it in 2 parts. But that post that was acting crazy and is still acting that way. So, I just redid the whole entire post! @_@ Talk about tired fingers. ; ) And now I am getting that message on here. So not sure why this particular post is like that. Hopefully I can publish this. My sister in law, Noboru and Branden, Noah and my niece J went to a local small park. My Father in law had woken up, and we chatted with him. He's still not in the best of health at all. : ( Anyway while he was having his lunch, we went to the park since we already had lunch.
Kids seem to grow so fast. That I really enjoy when kids act like kids, you know what I mean? : ) Whether that be, digging in the sand or dirt, swinging on swings or sliding down slides. My niece and her two cousins, meaning our two boys had a blast together. Here she is sliding on her tummy. : )
Branden sliding down and Noah waiting his turn.
Hey sweetie pie!!! ; ) Hi Noah!
Hi cutie pie!
These 3 really get along well! They always have fun playing together!
My lovely sister in law. And her brother/my husband talking, chatting and catching up. While the kids played. After I took some pics, I went over and chatted too. ; )
3 cousins playing at the park....
Two brothers.
My niece going for a backwards slide! They hadn't seen each other since last year during Golden Week. That's too long to not see each other. : (
On our way to the yakiniku restaurant.
So many platters of beef, so many platters of chicken.
See all that white meat chicken, no fat? My mother in law ordered last week, 1 kg of white meat chicken breast for us before we got there. That way they'd have enough,not even counting all the beef. We were all so full after that. ; )
After dinner and saying our goodbyes. It was sad to say good bye...honestly really sad. Our one day of visiting went by like THAT! Before we knew was over. We were now in the car. And Noboru said...isn't the royal wedding about to start? I'm still sniffling in the car from the sad goodbye and I said...yeah...yeah you're right. So we turned the TV on. Got a Mc D's 100 yen shake for the drive back to the hotel in Kyoto and watched the royal wedding in the car on the way to the hotel.
This was the hotel we stayed at. There were also a few foreign tourists also staying there. 3 American women traveling together, it was a 3rd generation family trip, looked like a 20 something daughter, her mother and her grandmother. They and I spoke while at the buffet the day before.
Branden pulling the luggage. Good kid. : ) Very helpful.
Walking to our MPV, which was parked across the street at the Nijo Castle.
We did not have a buffet coupon for this last day, so we went to Mc D's for breakfast.
Our plan was to go to Kinkakuji. But while eating Noboru was concerned about the traffic for Golden Week. Which route should we take? Which was the most congested? Seemed the main 2 routes to get us back to Chiba were full. Traffic backed up. So we sort of thought of an alternate way to get ourselves there. A longer way but with no traffic, so an actual faster way in the long run.
Ready for some touristy stuff!

Noboru, Branden and Noah in front of the Golden Pavilion
My family. ; )

You could buy a fortune. In 3 different languages.

Like it says if you get a good fortune, keep it. If you get a bad one, tie it in the designated spot here.
Noah getting his fortune.
We all lucked out and got positive ones. Both Branden and Noah got excellent ones. Mine said, good. So mine wasn't too terribly bad. ; )
The first Ohsho?
Hmm, it would be cool if the sign is indeed right. We love the Kyoto Ohsho. We're lucky that there is 1 in Narita and 1 in Tomisato. They were everywhere in Kyoto and in Osaka. They're so lucky! : )
After our site seeing we decided to have lunch at the Ohsho.
Noboru's ramen.
We all stuffed ourselves. Then got some sandwiches at 7-11 for the long drive and some Knoor pasta soups. And snacks and drinks at a drugstore. And onto the highway we went.
This was before we recalcualated the new route. And with the new route it was 700km!!!! At that point....I just took off my shoes, figured...we weren't going anyplace anytime soon. So might as well get comfy. The boys were comfy and strapped in and watching a movie and snacking off and on in the backseat.
We finally stopped for a restroom break and there you go, what do we see again? Another Starbucks. The boys got icecream...but we got Starbucks.
Iced and hot caramel macchiato for us.
Do you ever *think* you see something and then think, nah it couldn't be!!! So, Noboru and I were driving down the highway. And way up ahead, I see what looks like a UHAUL! A UHAUL is a moving van you rent cheaply in America. Americans you already know that. : ) So anyway, I say to Noboru..."funny that *almost* looks exactly like a UHAUL up ahead" He glances and chuckles and says yeah it does. As we get closer and still staring... we both go...."wait a minute that IS a UHAUL"!!!! Noboru says...nobody will ever believe this! Take a picture! So, there I am quickly pulling my camera out. At this point, it's fair to say we were both laughing so hard! It is such a rare thing to actually see in Japan!!! The guy who bought this and brought it to Japan must have the best sense of humor, I tell ya! ; )
Only $19.95!!! And on the right side it says...Oregon! Ha ha ha. Anyway I had to share this. : )
Noboru uses the Japanese navigation in the actual MPV. And I use this one when I'm driving in my tiny red car, so I can see where I'm going in English. : ) I usually keep this in my red car but Noboru wanted to bring it for the trip, so I could follow along during our trip. @_@ ; )
See those snow capped mountains, with GW traffic being what it was, we decided not to go through Shizuoka or the main way through Tokyo either. We decided to go the north route which would take us right through Matsumoto and eventually passed Gunma. This turned out to be the best decision because traffic was nonexistant this way. And every stop we made, we heard how the traffic was at a standstill the other two routes we did not take.
Those beautiful Nagano mountains.
Nope not the Tokyo way for us this time. With the traffic jam, we went right through Matsumoto.

It was chilly, I rolled down my window to feel the air. It was a nice cooler Spring day.
Noboru asked me, don't you have a friend that lives around here? I said, while yes...I think I do! : )He said, we should go visit! An unexpected visit?@_@ Ummm... that's not very polite honey. I said. But I really really wanted to though. She's just so down to earth, so funny as all heck. To meet her and her family would have been awesome and hopefully one of these days we'll make a plan and visit Heather and her lovely family. : )
We finally made it home last Saturday at 10:30pm. We were so exhausted. I took a shower and went straight to bed. The kids went directly to bed minus the shower (they had fallen asleep somewhere around Gunma) so we just carried them to bed. The next morning, around 9:30am the doorbell rings. It's the grandma next door. She came with omiyage... these cookies. Raisin and cream.... softy chewy cookies. She and her husband and the boy next door, his brother and his mom all took a tour bus to Gunma and got back late Saturday night too! Which we then told her...we just drove through Gunma last night too. She said what time? And apparently we were both along the highway at the same time all trying to get home...didn't see each other of course. But yeah how odd the way that was, can you imagine if we would have run into our neighbors at a rest stop many hours away from home. We all would have been shocked! Definitely would have been funny! : ) We all got a chuckle out of that one. We also brought her omiyage from the Kyoto Golden Pavillion (in the pic it's on the right). She guys drove all the way to Kyoto? @_@ We said, yep! And he told her, we went to see his family and stuff and she said...oh that's really nice. Anyway that was our trip in a nutshell. : )