Monday, January 11, 2016

Tokyo Disney Sea! T.G.I. Friday's and Kua 'Aina burger. Our 2 night mini getaway trip...

Thursday, January 7th, was both Branden and Noah's first day back at school. Not a regular day of school, just the ol'... school is back in session, ceremony day. So a half day. They both got out of school at 11am, last Thursday. We usually go to either Tokyo Disney Sea or Tokyo Disneyland in October and have since...geeze, forever. : ) Back when we first started going to Disney every October...when Halloween hadn't really "caught on" as much as it has now. So, we would hit Disney when the kids were itty bitty babes and toddlers and Disney would be pretty normal...crowd wise. However each year that Halloween has grown in popularity. The crowds around Halloween are getting more and more out of hand. Some a... 2 hour plus wait in line. However it's our family tradition to go every Halloween/October. We had our room reserved and everything. Noboru checked the online Tokyo Disney page that shows how crowded they expect the park to be. Red and is most crowded. Blue isn't crowded at all. Noboru a few days... before our trip in October, said, the day we're going... will be a "black" day, meaning 2 hours wait per ride. had been suggested on the Disney websites, the best best day to go, is in January. On 1 specific date. So, we had a huge decision back in October, go in October on the most crowded day of all...a "black day" which is beyond a red day. Or go on a deserted...we can ride any ride we want day. We asked the boys, we also debated it ourselves too. We finally decided to go in January on that specific date. So we canceled our hotel in October and booked in January. And that was that. January seemed *so* far away. : ) Last week, along with getting the boys ready to go back to school, I also packed everybody an over night bag to Disney. The plan was, as soon as they got out of school, on Thursday we would have a quick lunch here at home. Leftover curry. I ran the dishes in the dishwasher on a quick wash cycle, waited for it to end and opened the dishwasher and we left the house. We didn't ride the highway, only because it's a toll fee, like 2000yen or 2400 yen. We road the regular roads. It took forever to get to that part of Chiba, since we are at the edge of Chiba on the opposite side. But we did finally get there. We first made a pit stop at the Aeon Makuhari shopping mall. I just needed to pick up a Kiehl's facial moisturizer from the Kiehl's free standing store there. My car charged while we shopped and 20 minutes after finishing our shopping, our car battery was full. 

We debated going to check in at the hotel first or eat dinner first. I let Noboru decide that one. He thought it was a better idea to eat first. We usually only stay at the hotel 1 night, but since we were going to be spending 2 nights, we had TGI Friday's, the first night. At the same mall as Kua 'Aina is in, at Ikspiari shopping mall, 4th floor. 
Noah had the kids meal, chicken strips and fries and it came with a soda. TGI Fridays being an American restaurant was packed with foreigners, mostly tourists back from Disney. All the wait staff spoke English. You know how in Japan, the nice thing is... we don't have to pay tips at restaurants? Well here either. However they do add a 10% gratuity here at TGI Friday's so something to keep in mind and be aware of. Just an info share, FYI type thing. : ) Hope this helps to know at least. : ) 

I am so sorry I didn't take a picture of Branden's cheeseburger meal he picked.  He had an adults cheeseburger combo. And with so many people, so many speaking English, I got really discombobulated and I forgot. I am so sorry BrannyB for forgetting to take a pic of your food. : ) The bun was very shiny though, lol. Anyway, I ordered the teriyaki chicken breast meal, it came with cheesy mashed potatoes and vegetables. That grilled pineapple was bomb and I sliced it and ate it with my chicken. My meal was about 1300/1600 yen in price so a fair price for a place we rarely seldom go. A nice treat is what I'm saying. : )  Bran's was about the same price as mine and Noah's was way cheaper being a kids meal. 

Noboru's was sorta pricey...about 2900 yen. But, he wanted them, and considering he's the most conservative person, I know.... so I said good for you. : ) Hahaha. : ) He enjoyed them. 

We ordered the fried mushrooms as an appetizer. However after not getting them for like...forever. And then seeing her holding our meals/dinners. We asked as politely as possible. "where is our appetizer?" She said.."oh I completely forgot to punch it in." @_@ Seriously. And remember we are paying that 10% gratuity, where it is quite unusual for us in Japan. We said go ahead and punch them in then please. She did bring us some super hot fresh ones (because I burned my mouth eating the first one hahaha) but yep, this never happens with service here in Japan. So a first for us here. : ) Again we were just so happy being on our 2 night getaway...we really didn't mind though. I happens, she's human. : )

We also ordered 1 hot fudge sundae and we split it and shared it together, We were so stuffed with such great food. : ) We had went to Krispy Kreme, which is in the basement of Ikspiari to get our next days breakfast (donuts) before we would head out to Disney Sea, buying them the night before was smart. : ) 

We got to our room. Our room was totally free by the way. Since we have those free nights of stay with Noboru's work. Every one took turns showering, the rest of us had our 1 donut dessert. 

4 times 3 is 12. So we each got to pick 3 donuts each. We each had 1 that night and we each had 2 the next morning for breakfast. I picked 3 glaze plain ones. : ) Everyone else picked different kinds. They also had Valentine's donuts out too. : ) 
This picture was taken the next night. The snacks we had after dinner and Kua'Aina the following night. Noah and I both picked mint chocolate chip and Bran picked that GariGari and he gave me a bite and man was that delicious. : ) So these are the drinks and snacks from our last night at the hotel. 
Back to the first night at the hotel. We had just eaten a filling dinner at TGI Friday's. We had our donuts for the next day. You can see my Kiehl's bag on the bed. Our room had 4 beds. 
Our hotel.
Friday, January 8th we woke up bright and early. I woke up at 5:30am. I quietly woke up, brushed my teeth, mouth washed... my mouth, then washed my face with my facial cleanser. Put my face lotion on. Got dressed while it soaked in. Put my primer on (Benefit's The Porefessional), Urban Decay foundation, some Olay concealer on my under eyes, Mac Mineralize powder (best powder for dry skin), did my eyebrows with some Nature Republic eyebrow mascara, liquid liner on my top lid (Dolly Wink dark brown). Urban Decay Naked palette for my eyeshadow. Too Faced blush, in that neutral color, I forget the name. Mascara, that day I used the Lash King by Majolica Majorca (did not blind myself that day) Flat ironed my hair. And put on some Mac lipstick in the color syrup. Fwiw, I know it must sound like it took hours. But it honestly takes me 30 minutes to do all that. And on most days when I am going no place in particular... it takes me about 7 minutes to get ready for the day. : ) I took only 30 minutes to get ready. And I did pee one more time. And then I woke up my family. It was like 6:05am-ish. The kids each went to the restroom. Brushed their teeth. Bran put his deodorant on. Body spray and got dressed. Had his donuts. Noah got dressed, brushed his teeth, and whatnot. I ate my donuts too. Noboru woke up. And got ready. We caught the 7:30am shuttle to Disney Sea. We had pre bought our tickets to Disney, at Ikspiari the night before. So we could bypass that line altogether. The boys quickly took off running with a bunch of other people to get the fast pass for the Toy Story Mania ride. We met up with them after that. And then we went to stroll and start riding the rides.  

Bran and Noah in front of the Aquatopia ride at Tokyo Disney Sea.

Two brothers having a blast!

The wait for this ride was 5 minutes to 10 minutes all day and night long. Also the day before we went ....was a "red day" and the whole weekend after we went...both parks... Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland were both black days. Since this last weekend was a 3 day weekend, because Monday was Coming of Age day and kids/adults just turning 20 years old... living in Urayasu (where Disney is located could get in free with ID showing they are residents of Uruyasu and if they just turned 20 for Coming of Age day... so again a very packed weekend at both Disney's... except the date we picked). So the day we picked was indeed the right day to go. 
A 15 minute wait at the Indiana Jones ride. And for a few hours it was a 5 minutes wait, so somewhere between 5-15 minutes all day long... for this ride. And given it's usually a 90 minute wait. It was so sweet to just ride this ride again and again. 

Faces on the wall at Indiana Jones.

A 360 degree circle loop. We 4 rode this one. Again almost no wait time at all. 
Hi kiddos.

The views and scenery at Tokyo Disney Sea are absolutely breath taking. Truly.

This trip... we all had cappuccino flavored popcorn first and our second refill we all picked was this... white chocolate flavor. Info share. The flavors and location of which flavor is located where is on the maps. And the maps are available in English too. Hope this helps someone. : ) 

The Tower of Terror. This was a 20 minute wait. And since I don't care for free fall rides. I waited for my family. Something happened while I was waiting for my family. And I hesitate to share it with you. Only because... I don't want this to overshadow my family's visit to Tokyo Disney Sea. I don't think that's really fair for my family and me... at all. if this does overshadow our trip. However it was something really important and it really upset me, so I am bringing this up. So, I sit down and I see 2 little Japanese boys about the age of 5 and 6 trying to kick some pigeons. This is not uncommon here in Japan. Abuse of pigeons. I have seen this before, a handful of times. The kids were young (granted not babies or toddlers and yes they should have known better by that age but) but they were slow and couldn't really hurt the pigeons. I did think though. What sort of parent raises a child to think it's okay and acceptable to hurt another living creature who cannot defend themselves though. So yes while, I was turned off. However... I didn't see that they could actually catch the pigeons or hurt them either. No contact, but they were trying. So, I sat there, just enjoying the scenery, people watching. Checking the weather forecast on my phone. You know...doing regular mom stuff. So comes this giant kid (tall not chunky). Not JHS age but, if I were to take a guess I'd say a 6th grader. He went right up to the pigeons and began feeding them. The pigeons were right in front of me. I wasn't feeding them at all. I was just chillin' and so the 6th grader makes eye contact with me and I think to myself... "what a nice older kid (wrong). Maybe these 2 younger kids can learn a thing or two... from this sweet wiser older boy." , so I smile at the older 6th grade boy and he smiles at me. And so he is feeding the pigeons and then all of a sudden while the pigeons are busy and not paying attention since he just fed them. He kicks 1 of the pigeons as hard as he could. With all of his might! My first thought was...did he just murder this pigeon right before my eyes?!!! His foot made total contact. That pigeon straight out... rolled, I kid you not! What in the freak, did I just see?! OMG! I am like freakin' shocked! Total disbelief. This kid is a true monster! Anyone who would smartly feed a pigeon, keep it distracted to just... hurt them for...kicks. For his jollys! Now...usually I am of the mind. Mind your own freakin' business. And I do. I mind my own business *all* the time. But, I am sorry.... but hurting a creature who can't defend him or herself is pure bullcrap! This crossed the line of what I could ignore or not ignore. Say something or not say something. It was just morally wrong. And I was so pissed off! I reprimanded him straight away! Hey!!! I told him in Japanese right away! Then I was so pissed, I just started speaking in my comfort language. I told him in the meanest grittiest voice ever..."you stop that *right* now!" You stop!!! Stop!!!!" He looked at me. He didn't like me anymore. Perhaps nobody ever spoke to him like that before! And that's okay! I didn't care! And for the record I didn't like him anymore either! The feeling was 100% mutual! So we both sat there for about a minute. I think he was deciding what he was going to do next. And so was I...I was thinking a mile a minute. Boy...he's lucky my sons weren't there! So then he dropped a piece of popcorn on the floor and before I can even move or blink or open my mouth... that silly pigeon fell for it. And he went to eat the popcorn and he kicked that pigeon as hard as he could and walked away! He knew exactly what he was doing and he frankly didn't care and yes a 6th grader is old enough to know better. He gave me this evil...we are talking evil... side eye... after doing that... before he walked away... and I gave him *the* absolute crustiest look ever. Like..."you disgusting little brat!" And then he walked over to his mom...on the opposite side of the street. She and her younger son, had just came back from... the bathroom or somewhere. I can see he was telling his mom the pigeon story... because he made a kick motion with his leg. And he was laughing about his cruelty to animals. Meanwhile...I was waiting to see....if she wanted to come speak to me for getting mad at her son. Come on! Please by all means...please do so! I'd like to talk to this... dimwit F face... who raises a kid to think...that's it's actually okay to kick and hurt small animals... for him to somehow have gotten the message while growing up... that it's A-okay to hurt innocent animals, yes mother of the year... by all means...please come talk to me. Because it's not okay to hurt innocent animals...even pigeons! Yes, let's talk. I read a long time ago...future serial killers usually start on defenseless animals. That kid was either a total brat or a serial killer in the making! Either way...the mom chose to keep walking. And not speak with me. She made the right call, because boy was I going to really let her have it! And you all know...I am not a snap cap! And I am rarely pissed off....and I am most certainly *not* normally a confrontational person. I'm usually a mind my own business type a person. I chose to share this story. Because, please...if you live in Japan and you see some kid kick a pigeon or another small defenseless animal....please don't just let it happen and say nothing...say something at least. Please be brave and stand up and say something. It doesn't matter whether you use English, Japanese, Russian, Italian, German, Chinese, whatever language. We have to say something. Because it's just wrong. It's not funny or cute to torture an animal...because they are so hungry that they don't think about the possibility of being abused or kicked... What was that old saying..."The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing." So please if any of you see this, don't just sit idle and do nothing. Say something. Say anything. : ) To really think about that feed the pigeons to get them distracted... so he could kick them? As hard as you'd kick a soccer ball. That's a certain type of evil right there! Much different then those younger kids who tried to kick them... but couldn't really catch them at all. This kid was in a league all by himself. I just had to say something. After seeing that pigeon rolling across the sidewalk and him laughing about it. I had to speak up. I have never seen anything like this in America, and I'm not saying all Americans are angels, we're not...but it's just I have never seen anything like this... in all the years I have lived in America, where as I have seen this a handful of times in Japan, granted not to the extent as last week, but yes I have seen this before here. Anyway, I hope this little story of what happened while I was waiting for my family to ride the Tower of Terror doesn't over shadow our trip.    

Lunch. We usually all 4 get the Indian curry. But this curry isn't very good. Even though it's just 780 yen for the combo. The kids opted to get a smoked chicken leg quarter instead. 

There was a brass band in the background while we ate. And they played the Star Wars theme. It was very nice to hear that during lunch. This brass band was very cool. : ) 

Hi Potato Heads. : ) Hi Zurg and Buzz Lightyear rocket popcorn bucket. 

Riding another ride. We rode absolutely every ride in the whole park. And many rids we rode multiple times. Indiana Jones for example we rode about 6-7 times the whole day and night. The 360 loop roller coaster I rode once, but the kids rode 3 times total. Aquatopia we all rode 3 times. Etc. 

Noah, Potato Head and Mario (his backpack) about to ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

About to ride Toy Story Mania.We had a fast pass for that ride. 

A blurry picture of Noah bypassing the regular line completely, since we had a fast pass ticket for Toy Story Mania. 

Hi Noah. And the seats for the ride to... Toy Story Mania in the background.

Miss Bianca and Bernard, from the Rescuers.: )

Riding Aquatopia with my teenager. Loving every minute of it, because kids are kids for such a short time. : ) I made him laugh so much, while we rode this. His personality is so mellow. Such a great kid.: )

The 2 N's riding together! Noboru and Noah! : ) We switch who we're riding with each ride. Meaning we don't just sit with 1 specific person. We switch after each ride, us 4. : ) 

The 2 boys, just getting off the 360 degrees loop roller coaster yet again. The sun was starting to set by now. : ) 

Aquatopia at night is so beautiful. Each ride lights up blue underneath. We rode that one yet again. 

Volcano. We rode the Journey to the Center of the Earth quite a few times too. 

The boys both took a backpack each. And it had their coats in it and nothing else. Sorry forgot to add, Noah also carried some liquid kids Ibuprofen, which he didn't need, but better to bring it and not need it...then not bring it and need it. So their backpacks were super light. I also carried in my bag a travel size of adults Advil tablets, just in case Noboru, Bran or myself needed it, we didn't but better to be safe then sorry. We had an absolute blast being at Tokyo Disney Sea last Friday. And we knew we had 1 more night at the hotel...that night and we knew we were going to Kua'Aina afterwards too. So, just...the whole mood was fun! And we were ready to leave Disney Sea! : )
We took the free shuttle back to our hotel and picked up our car. We went and had dinner right away. 

We're in the Kua'Aina club and I mentioned this before but you get free "something" every month. Like free large drink if you order a smaller drink. Or free onions. Free cheese topping. This month was a free side of fries. We had 2 free fries, pictured here. And we ordered 2 appetizers of chicken strips. All 4 of us shared the chicken strips and the 3 guys enjoyed the fries. I didn't have any fries.

I had my usual chicken teriyaki sandwich and onion rings. 

Everyone else had a cheeseburger combo.

It was a wonderful dinner. 

At the Ikspiari mall, as we were leaving and heading to our car. Noboru saw some trees nicely lit up so we went outside to see them. Wow, they were gorgeous. On top of the water and glowing so beautifully. We went to Ito Yakado after leaving Ikspiari and picked up some drinks for the room and some ice cream. We enjoyed our last night at the hotel. And then we all took turns showering. 

Noah did make a purchase with his otoshidama money. Some Darth Vader earphones.

Also, we tried to buy Branden some new bedding at Nitori. When was that day...when we went to Inzai and went to Uniqlo and Costco and Sports Depo? I forget that date now, but we wanted to get Bran this duvet cover/comforter cover and a pillow case. The duvet cover was just 998 yen and the pillow case was a couple hundred yen, however they were out of stock. So we had Nitori, ship them for an "in store pick up" at the Narita location a week prior. So, Saturday on our way back to our part of Chiba we did stop in at Nitori to get the bedding. The label doesn't have our names but it does say...shipped here for a customer. That being us. : ) I have since washed and dried this bedding and so this navy blue bedding is now on Bran's bed right now. Looks black in color, but it's actually navy blue. : ) 

I have finally finished off that horrible CeraVe facial moisturizer and would never repurchase that again. But this Keihl's one, I have bought off and on since I was in my last year of high school or first year of uni. It's good, it's basic... it has never broken me out. We arrived home in the late afternoon Saturday. We unpakced. And then we went to the cheap meat store, picked up a weeks worth of meat and some veggies and whatnot. And then we went to dinner. Too late to cook. 
Coco Ichiban Curry House. And their 98 yen or 100 yen fries. : )  So good, so cheap, so fresh. : )

We 4 enjoyed our dinner. We talked about what an amazing trip we just had. Noah asked..."what was your favorite ride at Disney Sea?" Branden asked..."what was your favorite part of the whole trip?" we chit chatted. And just really enjoyed our supper. Then we went back home, unpacked the food. I threw a load of laundry in the washer, then dryer. And we just relaxed Saturday night.  And the kids didn't have school yesterday/Monday. Because it was Coming of Age day yesterday. And I guess I could have updated this blog a little faster. But eh....I just sort of wanted to enjoy my Saturday evening with my family. And Sunday and Monday with the family too. : ) Today is a normal day, the boys are at school, with packed lunches. And I am about to throw 2 pork loins in the oven with that BBQ seasoning on it. We're having pulled pork sandwiches and sides tonight. : ) How's the weather? It is very cold here. Noboru messaged me this morning saying it was lightly ever so softly snowing in Narita. but not snowing..not even a dot here in our town. : )  Oh one more info share. According to the Kua 'Aina website in Japan, Nagano just got their own Kua'Aina restaurant, so if you live in or near Nagano and would like to try out some yummy Kua'Aina, you now have one near you. : ) Hope this helps someone. : ) Anyway...that's our little couple night getaway with the family. : )