Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The last half of Golden Week. Baby back ribs and a backyard bbq, going to the aquarium, family movie night, hanging with good friends and doing some online shopping


The second half, or last/final half of Golden Week, was a 4 day weekend. Starting from Friday, May 3rd and the last day was May 6th, 2013. So this post is about what happened on those days. So, Friday, May 3rd. Branden and Noah played with their friends/ fellow classmates from the neighborhood. And in the evening, we had a family bbq. Backyard bbq of some pretty big racks of baby back ribs. And baked potatoes, well I guess technically grilled potatoes. But you know what I mean. ; ) We had preordered these ribs from our amazing "cheap meat store" they get whole baby back ribs weekly in the Spring/Summer and we just told them the week before how many slabs we wanted. And they were ready, when we picked them up, the day before (which was last Thursday.) Friday, we had music lightly playing in the backyard while we bbq'ed. Branden was at the grill telling us how great they smelled. : ) Noah was sliding down the yellow slide. And we were all sorta just chill. Really relaxed. The weather... as you could tell was nice. It was sunny, but there was also a crispness to the air still.
About half done. But getting there. : )
Now they were done! We had 4 racks total, as you can see in the pic above... but Noboru was giving his rack an extra coating of sauce when I snapped this picture.
That extra plate is for the bones. lol. : )
Noah going to town on his dinner! : )
Branden enjoying his too. We even had that extra small bowl of sauce for extra dipping, dunking or brushing, either way entirely up to you. : ) But extra was there if needed.
Before I started in on mine. And again we just kept things superly simple, we just had ribs, baked/grilled potatoes and macaroni salad bought from the deli. We had sodas with ice. We had absolutely nowhere to go or anyplace we HAD to be. It was honestly awesome last Friday. Especially knowing we had a 4 day weekend.
We talked and laughed about all sorts of stuff during dinner. And then, the 3 of them went and showered real quick, because we now smelled like yummy chargrilled BBQ. Hahaha. : ) Which does smell awesome, but a shower and change of clothes totally needed. : ) I threw what few dishes we had into the dishwasher. Way less dishes on days we bbq outside. : ) It's true! : ) And like I said the mac salad was from the deli. So my cleanup was just throw the plates into the dishwasher and wipe down the kitchen table and counter and done. It was pretty simple and easy. I set the dishwasher. And then, I said, when they came out. Give me 5 minutes and then let's go get ice cream from Mini-Stop. So, I went upstairs like ASAP. Shampooed my hair, conditioned my hair. Washed my face and then soaped up my body with my bright pink nylon mesh shower towel. And came out of the shower dried up, threw on fresh yoga pants and a long sleeve T.  Lightly blow dried my hair... slipped on my flip flops. We hopped in the car then bopped into the conbini and picked our icecream/popsicles. And paid and left. : )
Noah picked bottom right, he picked Crunky. Branden picked choco banana, bottom left. Noboru always picks plain vanilla. Always. : ) I picked the kiwi flavored Garigari. And I also grabbed the orange Icee for the boys for the next day. : )
This is probably my favorite flavor of the Garigari right now! This is so delicious!
Backtracking the day before Thursday... when we went to pick up our ribs from the cheap meat store, we were also set to buy our favorite strawberry popcorn. However the little stall was gone!!!! Total disappointment. : (  Anyway, we knew we'd be having movie night Friday after the ribs. So we picked chips and a family pack of Pocky instead for movie night. Ehhh, it wasn't the strawberry popcorn we were hoping for, but, it was still a nice movie treat. : )
One of my dvd's from Amazon.com (US) arrived. Perfect timing. Anyway the family movie the boys picked was Titanic, they had been wanting to watch this with us and though we've seen it many times already we watched it all 4 of us, that was our family movie for last Friday. We enjoyed it, with the chips and Pocky. The boys went straight to bed, after that movie though (well they did brush before bed though) but wow that movie is long. : ) Anyway... Noboru and I were still wide awake Friday night so we thought...why the heck not! And we popped in this movie and we watched this after the boys were in bed and zonked out. What did I think of this movie? I have to say I think the Wayans are probably one of the most talented and funniest families around. The Scary Movie's are all hilarious, all of those are as funny as all heck and I can't wait to buy Scary Movie 5 on dvd. However I felt this movie, had absolutely way too much cursing in it. Maybe it's because the youngest brother made this movie alone and that's why it had more cursing in it.  Because when the other 2 older brothers make the movies the cursing in usually way way way less, in fact I barely notice it. Good movie still..... but yes too many curse words. So that was Friday in a nutshell. Noboru and I just hung out and relaxed Friday in the day. The boys played all Friday and then around 3pm-ish we started preparing for the baby back ribs. We had a nice backyard bbq. And icecreams and we also had movie night. So, Friday, was pretty cool. : ) Nice and fun and low key. : )
Saturday, we were eating a nice relaxing breakfast and Noboru said, let's go to the aquarium! Our plan was to just stay home and relax. But that's okay, a change of plans sounds fine too. Sounds like fun! Plus I know the boys are super "into" sharks and stuff right now! So, cool, I ran upstairs, the boys got dressed and I got dressed. Noboru took care of the breakfast dishes by putting them into the dishwasher. And wiping up the stove. What a sweetheart. Anyway we saw this amazing koinobori hanging out for Boys Day/Children's Day. Noboru told me, look at that fancy golden ball topper on top. He said he had never seen one like that before. I had to admit, I had never seen one with a topper like that either. : ) It was indeed very pretty. Anyway we were half way there when we saw this one.
So, you know how "on the border" we live. And so for us it's closer to get to all things Ibaraki versus getting to Chiba city and beyond. So...when we say we're going to the aquarium, we already know we'll be going to an aquarium in Ibaraki. It's just closer for us.  So, to the Ibaraki Aquarium we went. : )
The beach was so packed to the gills with people for Golden Week. And the line to get into the aquarium parking lot was insane too. Lucky for us, we parked along a side street, where there was a couple other cars doing the same. We looked for any "no parking signs" didn't see any, so we parked.
Branden and Noah and a bazillion sardines. : )
Hi kiddo!
The lights changed colors where the jelly fish were and the jelly fish looked absolutely beautiful. : )
Happy boys! I am so glad Noboru had the idea of coming here! Branden and Noah enjoyed coming here so much! : )
If I had known we were coming here, even a day in advance I could have happily whipped up something for an obento/lunch for us. But given I had about an hours notice tops! And I had yet to get dressed for the day, when we decided to come here. I knew we'd be buying something along the rode. So, best we could get at the last second. A total hodgepodge/mix of things. Noboru wanted onigiri. The boys wanted cheeseburgers. They were going back and forth on the ham sandwiches. I meanwhile made a BLT with the leftover crispy bacon from breakfast, so I knew my lunch was made and cheapest since I brought mine from home, hahaha. : )
Everyone ate what they wanted. And for what it's worth, it was me who carried all the food in my cream and black striped weekender type bag. And sweatshirts for the boys, were also in my bag. Branden carried their thermos though that they shared.
Everyone ate and felt tons better and then we walked the other half of the aquarium. You know for all the cars we saw in the parking lot, it wasn't really too terribly crowded inside. Perhaps they were all at the beach, or I don't know what. : ) We lucked out, I think. : )
We can see the ocean and again not too many people down below.
Doctor Fish. I bet a few of you remember when I first blogged about the doctor fish who nibble your dead skin away. Gee, I wrote that on this very blog, 2005? 2006 maybe. A long long time ago though. 2007 at the latest. I remember Noah being in his stroller last time we were here. And Branden was in yochien. Anyway it was nice to see the doctor fish yet again. : )
Nibble nibble. : ) And no, it doesn't hurt, you barely feel it. : )
A man feeding the penguins and about to do a little penguin info talk and whoever had questions could ask them, a lady was walking with a microphone and the man (pictured) would answer them.
Yeah, what a great day Saturday was. And it wasn't over yet.....
This particular part/area of Ibaraki is well known/famous for melons. Cantaloupe, honey dew, etc. Anyway we stopped along the road on the way back home and they had fresh cantaloupe soft serve. I love cantaloupe. So Noboru stopped. : ) We all had a cantaloupe soft serve. It was amazing. Really really good!
 
So, we finally get home and we all take turns taking showers. I quickly make some rice and make it on the quick setting, since we were pinched for time. By the time everyone showered. We had dinner. We had exactly half of the ribs leftover form the day before. So we had ribs, rice and leftover macaroni salad. And that was Saturday's dinner. It was easy. And since we were out all day having fun, the easy dinner was totally appreciated. : )  Also, on Saturday nights in America now, there is a new show called "Bet on Your Baby" It's so funny. The 4 of us enjoyed watching this, this weekend. This particular lady was asked. "Do you think your son can walk this maze without spilling water above or below the red line" She picked her son would not drop water below the line. So then she waited and watched on the screen.
Her son had to walk this block maze with water glass in hand. And.....
The mama was right! And she won!
This little girl and her parents were another set of parents....
The host is explaining to the dad, he had to pick which of these dances his daughter is doing. "The Funky Chicken"
"Raise The Roof", this pic came out a bit blurry but you get the idea at least. : )
"The Running Man"
He bet, he could pick 3 of his daughter's dance moves. And then.....
She danced and sure enough he picked out her dance moves and he won $5,000 dollars US. This was the cutest show and our family had a blast watching it. : )
Sunday the boys played with the Jinbei Boy and all sorts of kids from the neighborhood. : ) And on Monday they all played yet again. Monday, I did a load of laundry, colors,and gym clothes too.
Aha! The potato plants are starting to flower. Exciting! : )
Far right in black shirt and shorts, is Rin-kun (2 doors down), next to Rin, is Noah in the yellow shirt and green hat. Then the neon green is/was Keita. And next to Keita is Branden. Litsu was not pictured (Rin's little bro, he must have been cruising around the block when I took this pic, but he was there too. Also, the Jinbei boy and Genki showed up a bit later, but they were there too. It was a bunch of good friends, having a blast out there. Playing kick base and also playing their favorite zombie game.  : ) Typical kid stuff.
One for Branden and 1 for Noah, bought from the aquarium. It's a shitajiki,for school. : ) And because they have sharks on them and shark facts on the back, they really wanted these. : ) A nice little memento from Golden Week 2013. : )
Meanwhile the grandma next door brought us some omiyage. : ) They got back Monday evening around dinner time. : ) The boy next door brought them over. These were very much appreciated and very yummy. : )
Also, during Golden Week, I enjoyed a bit of online shopping. Took advantage of some excellent deals and sales. From Gap.jp, I bought Branden 1 short sleeve T and 1 short sleeve T for Noah, plus I used the 20% off coupon. So it was a pretty good deal. meanwhile from Gap.com and Old Navy. They were also having a really great deal, so I picked this shirt for myself. It's pretty cute. I immediately liked this and thought of a bunch of different ways to wear this top during this upcoming summer.
With the 4th of July in mind. And since we usually buy these shirts every year, the kids and I. Of course we needed new ones for this year. They're just $5 US. I picked this one in navy for myself.
I also picked this 3/4 sleeve cardi to wear with my American flag T (and other stuff too of course.) That way, if I'm in an airplane for example and it gets chilly. Or someplace....I, at least know I do have a cardi if need be.: )
Cutest shoes ever! American espadrilles. So, glad to have ordered mine! I can't wait, I will wear the heck out of these, all Summer. Yay! Can't wait to get these. And show my American pride. : )
Also picked up a plain navy blue pair.
Branden got this American flag top in navy and also in heather gray. And Noah also got this American flag tee in navy and heather gray too. : )
And 1 extra pair of swim trunks for Noah. You know, we really swim a lot our family, so having an extra swimsuit for any of us, really comes in handy. : ) Anyway, that's our Golden Week 2013 in a nutshell. We had a family bbq. We had a couple movie nights. We went to the aquarium. The boys played a ton with friends! And I do mean a lot!!! : ) We had Pizza Hut, we had strawberry popcorn. A little online shopping mixed in for good measure. And we basically just relaxed here at home.