Friday, May 15, 2015

Branden's 8th grade, overnight class trip...

Sunday, May 10th, was Branden's over night trip. They were going somewhere near Mt Fuji. Now because Hakone (you know, the place we love to onsen) anyway they have been getting many earthquakes lately and the volcano (remember Hakone is an active volcano) has been steaming and simmering lately and they evacuated actual Hakone. And although Branden's trip is/was semi near-ish there...we wondered if their class trip would be canceled. However...where they were staying wasn't even near the mountain area of Hakone. So we all breathed a huge sign of relief, that #1 our kids won't be in any danger...and #2 our kids trip won't be canceled. : ) About 10 days before all the kids brought home a list of "stuff" needed for their trip. Including what you may NOT bring. @_@ Apparently someones camera got broke last year on their...7th grade class day excursion to the zoo in Chiba last year and so there was a "no camera" rule in effect for this 8th grade trip. No colorful raincoats, only clear (they need to see the uniform). You could bring a sweatshirt for the campfire BUT...it could have now words...such as GAP or Old Navy. No words allowed on said sweatshirts. @_@ Geeze Louise. So, Branden just took his school accepted/approved school uniform sweater. @_@  The list of what to bring and what not to bring was in Japanese, so Noboru quickly typed and emailed me this list of what Branden needed pictured here. Aww, what a sweetie. That way...I could make sure Branden is/was all packed up and ready to go. : )  So this is the note/list of what Noboru wrote for me. : )  Don't forget to catch...they want the snacks *not* go to over 700 yen. @_@ My kids have never gone over the set $ amount of snacks. But, from what I heard about last years zoo excursion...some kid (a boy from the other class) brought like a huge gigantic amount and the teacher took half of it and gave it back after the trip, with a call to the parents about him having too many snacks. @_@ LOL. So, I was very mindful about the 700 yen limit. About $7 US. 
Just to make sure, I packed the receipt in Branden's ziploc bags of snacks. That way if anyone said anything...he could go.. blammo and whip out the receipt (they didn't even question it though). : ) Hahaha. : ) And for what it's worth, his total was even cheaper because 2 of the snacks, we bought for Noah, since we was with us when we bought the snacks for Bran and he was watching us put all this amount of stuff in the cart for Branden, , he didn't even ask to have anything...which is so Noah...so at the end of shopping, I said "Noah go ahead and put 2 items in this cart" and he was very excited and he wasn't even going to ask, but I know he was wanting something. : ) So even though Bran's total was 640 plus tax, it was really a tad less. : ) But...no worries, still under the 700 yen mark. I buy my snacks from the cheap old school Japanese snack shop, that sells like 5 yen candy or 10 yen this or 10 yen that. : ) 30 yen mini pack of donuts. 

I bought many doubles... because I wanted Branden to have snacks going to his destination and the day they left and were heading home too. Also, Branden's final 6th grade trip...their bus was so delayed in traffic, like almost 1 and a half hours late. The kids were so hungry on the bus, that about 80% of the kids ate their omiyage. Branden did not though. Souvenir snacks for their parents. Many and I do mean... many parents called complaining, I heard all details when I picked up the kids at the plaza, lol. We did not complain obviously, but...it made me remember that and so...this time...I made sure Branden had some snacks for the way home too. 

One Ziploc for the way there.
And one Ziploc for the way home.

All nicely packed up. 

And put into this 1 random bag. 

Hand wipes...

Earplugs, because 1 of the boys Branden was sharing a room with, is the same boy Bran shared a room with in the 6th grade and while he is a lovely kid, he is a snore-er. Big time snore boy. You can apparently hear him snoring down the corridor of the hotel. : ) Hahaha. Sweetest funniest kid...good good friend of Bran's, but snore and snores as loud as you could ever imagine. He also apparently goes #2 for the longest time. Branden came home from the trip this time and he told me..."mom, I timed it, he didn't get out of the bathroom for 42 minutes!!!" "And the sounds mom...the sounds"...I told Bran..."TMI Branden, TMI." Hahaha. : ) So, this is why Branden needs the earplugs (snore sounds.) Branden however doesn't snore at all. Noah snores but it's so quiet, it's honestly like a kitten purring, I'm not kidding hahaha. : ) 

Moisturizer (by Korres) and Korres Shea Butter lip balm, this stuff is divine, this lip balm. They come in the Delta bags when you travel like... to the US from Japan, long overseas type trips in first class. Korres is really good. I figured, if B should get chapped lips, I really doubt it, but just in case, he'd have it. : )

Travel toothbrush, Crest & Scope toothpaste and some dental floss. : ) 

Tissues. We have character tissues, but he picked these plain ones. 

The 2 antibacterial hand wipes, just in case he gets sticky hands on the bus or touches something weird. Face wash on the left...

Body wash far left, shampoo, two kinds of shampoo and some face wash. 
Ear plus, we already know why those are needed. Also, do they turn off the lights on these over night trips? In case someone in his room, needed the light on, I packed Bran an eye mask. Again it's like 6 or 8 boys per room, so different personalities, ykwim. This way...eye mask...if you need it fine..if you don't...fine too. : ) 

Many things, but small travel size things, so double checked the list and packed them up. 

In here, not an attractive bag... but it was free from Delta on one of our trips, we received these, we get these each time we travel. Every time we go back to the US, we get 4 new ones of these, different colors each time though. : ) 

I highly doubt it...but you never know if someone said.."hey this is mine" This way you can go..."nonono, see, right here, here's my name"  I highly doubt that would ever happen, kids are so honest here as a whole, but you never know...it's just best for me to write B's name down. That way he's covered either way. 

Everything got a name written on it. 

I am not sure why Branden needed 4 chisai towels? 1 or 2, yes I can understand that. But 4? @_@ Lucky for us, we get heaps of these every "town undokai" so we have stacks of these and so I just made sure to pull out 4, jot his name down real quick, and so 4 chisai towels as was requested by the note sent home. Leisure sheet, check! And clear raincoat, check check! : ) 
The Friday before his trip, Branden said, "our teacher told us that since we were meeting up *so* early, if we want to bring a breakfast and eat it on the bus, we could." The meet up time was at 6am-6:10am. Roll call, head count. Getting settled on the bus and whatnot. The bus was LEAVING and driving away at 6:30am. as in...you do not want to be the 1 lone kid... where your mom is driving 90MPH because you're late and the bus has to screech their tires and everyone swivels their head and looks at you like..."shame shame shame, everyone knows your name!!!" Hahaha. LOL Anyone remember that old saying. Cracks me up! : ) So, knowing all that. I made sure I set my alarm at 5am. However, knowing how critical this day was for Branden and how I was packing him a breakfast that morning. I woke up...naturally on my own at 4:30am. I did wake up Branden. Noah was fast asleep in his room, Noboru was fast asleep in our room. Branden got dressed. I meanwhile had his 2 bags sitting in the genkan/entryway. I had the thermos right out near the hot water pot...so when I was making my coffee, I would see it and not forget Branden's thermos. I swear I live in fear of forgetting something, lol. : ) Which is why I sat the bags in the genkan. I had the thermos in a spot that I would see it for sure. And I had my hot coffee, meanwhile I filled Branden's thermos with tons of ice and some tea. And sat said thermos in the genkan. That way I would not forget. And I sliced, open 2 croissants. Pull out 2 slices of sliced American cheese. I meanwhile, fried up 2 slices of ham in a skillet. Set it aside, then I made a 3 egg omelet. Cut that in half.... half of the omelet went in each sandwich. Branden took 2 ham, egg and cheese croissant sandwiches for the bus ride near Mt Fuji. I got Branden all packed up. I double read the list again that morning, 2 extra times. And then Branden and I left, the house while the rest of the family slept.  I made sure he brought his wallet with 4,000 yen. The limit of what they could bring. And he had everything on the list. Phew. We left the house at 5:50am. I figured, I'll drive slow and we'll get there at 6am. We arrived around 5:58am. And there were a bunch of kids outside already.  

I parked a little away form the buses because it's just easier for my car to get out. I took one last look at my son. My first born. And I said very happily, "I love you...I want you to have fun and learn many many things. And don't forget I packed you a phone card too." : ) Phones are not allowed. : ( 

And off he went. Everything for his over night trip, toothbrush and chisai towels, extra clothes and socks, bath towels etc went into the Black Adidas bag. Only his day excursion stuff, I packed in his green backpack, "wallet with money, phone card, his name and address and phone number inside his wallet, lol, yes I worry"... his snacks, his thermos also in the green backpack. Leisure sheet also in the green backpack, because I was unsure if they were going to have lunch outside someplace, which is why I put it in the green backpack. I watched my baby...my big boy, my 13 year old...walk away and go in the crowd of kids right away. He's *very* popular. Superly popular. I knew he was going to be okay. I trust my son. He's got great judgement and has a fantastic head on his shoulders. : ) Would I miss him? Yes, of course...tons actually! : ). But it's only for an over night trip. It's not for a really long time. : ) I was feeling...more excited for him. Happy for him. : ) Remember when Branden went on his over night trip... his last year of yochien, remember that... I cried the whole night. Hahaha. Now I feel foolish. But...he's growing, I'm growing too. Learning to let go, bit by bit....as the years go by. Still hard. But getting a little easier too. : ) 

Bye 2 buses, take good care of our country kids now! : ) Come back safely all of you!!! : ) I love you Branden *so* much!
Monday at 5:30pm was the set time they would arrive. However we got an email saying they were ahead of schedule and they just made the last stop in Makuhari to all go to the restroom and now were back on the bus and the new estimated time to get home was 4:50pm. Woohoo! I was doing my happy dance. I already had Noah home with me, I picked him up earlier already. I arrived to the plaza to pick up Branden at 4:30pm. I just brought my magazine and waited. Noah used his tablet in the backseat. I was the first parent to arrive, however more cars trickled in...and soon enough we had MANY parents all waiting in parked cars. And then...1 bus pulled in. Excitement. It parked and the bus driver was pulling luggage out from the bus storage area. Then the 2nd bus pulled up. Super excitement. All the kids were now off the 2 buses. But they all had to stand in lines, have a long talk by each teacher, this took a total of about 10 minutes. I spotted 1 head from the back in particular and I just *knew*...that head belonged to my son! That was Branden's...the back of his head. Glee. I locked onto that back of his head and watched from the distance of where my car was parked. After the 10 minutes Branden came to my car and we drove home. He had so many stories to tell me. His lightning the camp fire... was great he said. He had no problems. They danced around the fire...he did a comedy skit, which is why Branden took one of my dresses, his sunglasses and the colorful rainbow wig he wore last year for..."the haunted elementary school walk through and fireworks", think along the lines of a rainbow afro. Branden danced with a bunch of kids, they had the dance already memorized....the dance group was...2 boys total and 3 girls, they were all supposed to be parody of a Japanese girl AKB type band, all comedy of course. And apparently they were so funny and the 2 classes and teachers and even the principal thought it was hilarious. : ) He said also during another part of their trip, they walked half way up Mt Fuji. I asked him....what were your best favorite parts of the trip? Branden said...the soaking in the onsen with his classmates and good friends, joking, laughing and talking in there. The over night at the hotel...Branden said their room stayed up until 2am (ghost stories, talking about girls, teasing the boy who was in the bathroom for 42 minutes, hahaha etc etc). @_@ He said the buffets were so good. He apparently ate a very large lunch Monday and was so stuffed when he got home. Branden also brought home 1000 yen. I told him, "honey you should have spent it" he said, "I didn't need anything else, and didn't want to waste it, since I didn't need anything, so I brought it back" Aww, he is a very good kid, you guys. : ) Branden brought back coconut cookies. Mt Fuji cookies. Strawberry cheesecake Kit Kats. Some charms.  

These were the best cookies. : ) 

Branden, also made this all by himself. Each kid got to choose/pick an activity to do. They had glass blowing, wood work. Making something from clay. All sorts of choices. Branden wanted to make something with clay. He was given just a lump of clay and he made everything on his own. He also put his initials on here. B...C...and then our last name initial... which I blacked out the initial of our last name. But the B...C, is for Branden Christopher. : ) Anway, that is the long and short of Branden's 8th grade over night trip. In 7th grade (last year) they just went to the zoo. In 8th grade (this year) it's this 1 over night trip. And we hear the 9th grade trip for next year will be a 2 night trip to Kyoto. : )  

Anyway it's Friday, have a lovely weekend you guys. TGIF. So glad the weekend will be here as soon as the boys get home from school today. Almost time now. They both get out at 3:45pm today, so both will get a ride home, Bran rode his bike yesterday. Tonight's supper will be buffalo wings baked in the oven, with a side of ranch for dipping the wings in. I bought some really big potatoes yesterday, so we will each have a big baked potato with melted colby jack cheese and butter, salt and pepper, and some steamed broccoli. And we will have some garlic bread to go with as well. And, I have a Fanta orange 1.5 liter in the freezer getting super cold right now : ) Noboru just got home from work, he's about to go pick up the boys for me, since I am here watching the oven and stove with our dinner stuff cooking and whatnot right now. Have a lovely weekend everyone. : )  Our weekend plan for this weekend? Not much, just staying close to home. : )