Toys R Us – HAI

I had to give a whole post “props” to the Japanese Toys R Us over here. When I had that one gift that I could not find for my boy…I’m talking sold out online, no show at the PX, and I wasn’t paying a grand on damn Ebay….Toys R Us came through like a champ. We had never been there since moving here (which I am still unsure why) and it was our last and final desperate attempt. So hats off to the Awase Toys R Us. Geoffrey is still singing music to my ears after all these years…

“I don’t want to grow up,

I’m a Toys’ R Us kid

There’s a million toys at Toys ‘R Us that I can play with!
From bikes, to trains, to video games,
It’s the biggest toy store there is! Gee whiz!
I don’t want to grow, cuz baby if I did,
I wouldn’t be a Toys ‘R Us kid!”
Now if only we could get a Japanese Target…the family would be set all the way around.
I’m ready for the fat man in the red suit to pick up his dagum cookies already!!!

Columbus Day brings Good Times!

So it has been a hot minute since I have blogged. Honestly, last week was pretty lax and it was nice to be able to stop moving long enough to enjoy myself. I went with the girls last Sunday to get our much anticipated pedis with our “Charlie”…George’s Battalion Commander, Steve. He’s Sheila’s husband (God I miss her)!! He gave us all a treat and took us to Cocock’s (they do mind boggling nail art on the tiniest of toes). It was nice to have all us chicas in one room without being related to an FRG event. Check us out…Thanks Steve!!

Moving forward, George had a four-day weekend for Columbus Day and so he decided to take Friday and play golf with some work buds while I went to a pre-planning lunch for our Halloween party coming up in the company. But the best part of that day was that afternoon…Saige came home with a smile like no other!!! The votes came in and Woot Woot…..Saige Isla is Lester Middle’s new Vice President for the 08-09 school year. I am so proud of her and I know she will do wonders for the school and her peers. I knew she had it in her. Way to go baby girl!!

Saturday, the hubby had a softball tournament during the day and once he got done we decided to go off base to the “touristy” spot they call…

That’s right…American Village! It’s funny because I wonder if that’s the equivalent of Chinatown in New York?? Either way, we’ve been there several times since we have lived here but not recently. That is where the Okinawa landmark Ferris Wheel is located. Saige loves taking pictures of it, so here she is posing with it instead.

There’s a Japanese movie theater in the “village” that plays movies in English as well as Japanese but for a heftier price than on base. I was intrigued by the movie poster outside advertising one of their coming attractions. The star of the movie looks totally American right? She’s not…she just LOOKS it. I’m not a fan of the movie industry assuming every actress needs to look white or something. Weird…

Anyway, we ventured into a store called “American Depot” that houses all kinds of American items (new or used) and let me tell you the prices are through the roof no matter what the condition. They do sell the everyday Japanese tshirts with my favorite American phrases translated. LOL. It cracks me up to see what they think we say…

Next we went into Jusco…it’s like a mini mall with a department store, grocery store and several clothing stores all in one. When we walked in, JD ran up to stand next to the display…it had Spiderman on it what can I say!!

It was a nice night and there was some good family bonding happening there.

Sunday, we headed on down to the Oktoberfest Brunch and got to listen to a German band that had flown in to perform some traditional music. JD and Teage were swinging and twirling their napkins in the air screaming “Riya Riya Riya”. It was a riot. After our tummies were full, we went to burn it off at Wago Land (see one of my first posts about this place). I had to take a pic of Teage though….he was having too much fun!!

With all the family time that was had, George and I decided to take the night and do something adult-like. There is a Deal or No Deal game show they put on here by the Air Force. They do their best to re-create the actual show…down to the “Lucky Cash Ladies” who happen to be just women that are part of the military community. Not a bad gig I guess…

They run three games and in between do prize giveaways and such. It was fun…of course we didn’t get called up for the actual game, but I was asked to come up and do something for a prize giveaway (not knowing what the prize was). This is what I had to do….

That’s right…I had to dance in front of about 250 people the YMCA song. George missed the actual photo-op of the famous letter formations, but he did manage to get the awkward part in the middle of the chorus where I had to ad-lib some moves in a hurry. It was quite humerous and the best part of it all…here was the prize!!

A tank top and a light-up USA hat. Awesome!!

Finally, Monday was spent splitting off and doing a girl’s day with Saige and George hung out with the boys. When Saige and I came home, my little man was all cleaned up with a new haircut. He looks so big all over again….

Those lashes are still as long as can be though…I could just kiss him all over.

So there’s the update…sorry it took so long. P.S. Here’s the proof about the over abundance of vending machines I was talking about!!

Love ya!!!

Date Night & odds n ends!

Last night we had our “date night” which we try to do at least once a month. It was nice…we went out to dinner with some good friends and then off to see ‘Ragtime’ the musical put on by the local community theatrical group, Pacific Okinawa Players (POPs). We went last winter to see Aladdin, JR and that is where JD said he needed to be on stage asap!! We are still waiting for the next children’s production so he can audition. They only do about 4 or 5 a year, so we are patiently waiting!! Anyway, here’s a pic of us at dinner on the water…

And then this happened….what is the obsession with my husband lately. They just “can’t seem to quit him”. Damn that brokeback mountain in El Paso LOL!! It seems a little odd that George would let TJ be the man in this relationship (notice the hands and shifty hips on the hubby hee hee)!!!!

So it was off to Ragtime…where George’s unit Chaplain played one of the leads, and my girl Amanda played in the ensemble (she sang in almost every song). She is a classically trained opera singer and does it like nobody’s business. Here she is in costume with a couple of the other performers. She is on the right hand side…

It was quite enjoyable and the talent was exceptional. I wish to one day actually see a Broadway musical…somebody make that happen please!! :o)

So I have one piece of culture that is so commonly known if you live here, but one that I think the family and friends would be interested in knowing. The Japanese are straight up funny about their drinks in restaurants. If you order a tea or soda at any food establishment..they are miniature. I mean TINY!! And you would pay about 300 yen for one of these (about 3 bucks). No refills!!!! Anywhere!!!! So I took a pic of what a supersized drink looked like at the Japanese McDonald’s…

Looks like plain old medium to me, right?!? OK…now you’re really gonna trip out. So about every 5 feet on any given street off base there are soda vending machines. And I’m talking every 5 steps. And I also mean 3 vending machines grouped together. But anyway, for a mere 100 yen (or one dollar) you can get this…..

So this is the size of a Monster…way bigger than the 24 oz bottled drinks you can get at your local 7-eleven (oh how I miss 7-eleven and circle K). Weird right?? They have these sizes in any kind of drink you could want…sweet tea, fanta, water, this gatorade like drink called aquarius…the list goes on! Thought I’d share one of the easily forgotten facts about living in Okinawa.

And lastly, we went to brunch this morning and they had a pond out front with koi fish in it. Teage was impressed and wanted to get in I think. One of them even tried to jump out of the water to say hello. Had to take a pic of my biggest and littlest enjoying the scenery…

Once we got home…JD wanted to be the Joker. I told you, theater is in his blood. Saige was the makeup artist for him. Scare Me!!!!

Well, until we meet again…Love ya!!!

Kinser Fest, Ryuku Mura, a Beatdown, & a VP!

OK so I have a lot to update everyone on…I have been super busy and so I have slipped on the blogging thing. So here it goes:

Starting with last week, I got a call from the nurse at JD’s school saying he’d come into her office after recess shaken and injured with what could only be described as a “beatdown”. I got over there with the quickness and saw my boy laid up with a cold pack on his head, his knee and scrapes all on his face. I was mortified because all I could think was some 5th grader’s gonna get their a$$ handed to them by a grown woman. But before I could really follow through with that thought, he told me that he was beat down alright…by the playground equipment. It seems he was playing tag with his buds on the play structure and ran into a pole. The shock from the pole collision caused him to topple over…right onto the ground. He got banged up pretty dang good. Cause and effect….what’d he learn? Not to run on the darn play equipment. So here’s the visual…poor kid!

Of course he’s all better now and only has a nasty bruise on his knee and a leftover scar next to his eye. What a tough guy!

This past weekend was the Kinser Fest (it’s another base and basically a money pit o’ fun). So I ventured out with them and a friend of Saige’s . Let me first say…IT WAS SCORCHY!! I mean I was sweating in places nobody needs to sweat. AND, the stroller was in the other car which is parked at the airoprt still, thanks George! So there was mild chasing of a runaway two year old and nothing to cart the obscene amount of blow-up prizes the kids won. Saige was the first to get her hands on a game…

Teage got in on the action, too!

This was his winnings…
All JD cared about was the bungee trampoline. That boy had so much fun, he kept saying “I’m flying Mom…look at me”. The bungee worker guy came over and catapulted his little butt even higher a couple of times. He eventually started doing flips.
By the end of it, I was ready to get on that thing, but I had THIS looking at me…so we moved on to the next thing.
Once we were done with all the game action and a little lunch, Teage wanted to go check out the military vehicles and copters. This is where the chasing began…

He did manage a pose for me with his Stitch doll that JD won for him. Cutie!!
Finally, I did my good parent volunteering for the week by chaperoning a field trip to Ryuku Mura. Here I am with my group of seven…

You pretty much walk around and they have little areas set up where you can see authentic scenarios of the Japanese culture. Inside this building is the replica of a rope used in the annual “tug of war” they do in the streets here, where thousands of people come out to play an old fashioned game. It was so huge!

We started following the path guided by these weird looking pink elves. One of the kids in my group (who is Japanese American) told me that there’s a legend that if you play on these statues, they come and kill you at night. NICE!! I’m just wondering why they’re cross-eyed.

Then we came upon a vending machine that had a fish on the box…a few steps later I see what was really going on. Freaky…there were like hundreds of fish up in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why was this thing right next to where we stopped for a snack break?? We quickly left. The boys wanted to “capture it and pet it”. Uh NO!

There was a pottery factory that you could walk through and see them actually making the shisa dogs. It was pretty neat. Check this guy out..hard at work!

And the finished product…

JD wanted to get the coconut drink and I was about to buy one…until I got closer and noticed it had gnats all over it. It was still cool-looking though.

Oh and I think I will do this whenever the whole fam can come back…for $10 your whole group can dress up in kimonos and get a picture taken just like these chicks did.

Next we headed inside and waited for the first show. They performed traditional Ryuku dancing…it was neat!

These guys were funny. Were they making fun of us all taking pictures of them I wonder…

Next thing I knew, some white-face painted dancer came up to me and tried to pull me on the floor. I told everybody around me they better get up with me. They did and had us doing this…again, were they clowning us??

After the show was over, JD wanted to go up there and throw some yen in the moat looking thing and make a wish for an Indiana Jones adventure…and yes I bought that hat there because he said it was an Indy hat and he needed it for his cub scouts camping adventures coming up soon. (He is officially going to be a boy scout now, more on that later).

So we continued to walk around and saw these makeshift Japanese homes. It was cool to see how the traditional homes would look inside. I wish someone would invite me over to their Japanese home so I could experience a traditional sit-down ritual. That would be awesome!

We had a little more time to kill before we saw the last performance…so JD found this little fountain to sit next to…and then he screams out loud “Mom, look, that dog is peeing…ewww gross!”. The kids started cracking up!

He also came across this throne and decided it was meant for meditation…whatever works!
And lastly, we watched the Eisa dancers and Taiko drummers. They were a perfect finale to a long day. Great times!

One last Isla info…Saige is running for Vice President of her school. I am so proud of her taking the initiative and stepping out of her comfort zone. I know she would do an ab fab job. I can see myself already making buttons and posters for her in the very near future. You never know…she could be the next….uh Sarah Palin????

 

Uh no…she’s got nothing on my baby girl!!! Vote for SAIGE!!!