Explore Japan Sunday (15)/Golden Week Day 7

But WAIT!   There’s more!
I’m not going to lie that I was so not feeling it today.   Baxter actually came home last night around 9 so I stayed up late snuggling him.  I took a sleeping pill because I felt like crap and wanted some sleep.   I got up around 10:30!!  Although my Fitbit informs me I still didn’t get much sleep and I still feel crappy.  

Anyway, the kids and I were pretty crabby but Nathaniel was feeling it and he’s in charge, so off we went to Inuyama.  Luckily it’s only a 40 minute drive.  
We were pretty grumpy still upon our arrival at the first shrine, but we still had to admit that it was beautiful.    

Our spirits were lifted when an older Japanese gentleman who works at the shrine wanted to practice his (very limited) English with us.  It made all of us smile and see the fun around us.  

After the shrine we headed for a short boat tour around the river.   We walked next to some train tracks. 


We definitely got our giggles on when they were pulling out our life jackets and saw the size of Nathaniel and panicked.   Then watching him squeeze into the life jacket had us rolling.  He had to take his glasses off to fit his American sized head in!


The tour took us past the Inuyama castle which is the oldest castle in Japan. 


After nathaniel squeezed out of his life jacket we headed towards the castle.   But first lunch!    We stopped at a funky little cafe that was like a slice of Asheville right here in Japan.   It offered food, art and music.  


And amazing iced coffee. 


The food was amazing and full of fresh veggies!

And tasty desserts


After that we finally made it to the castle grounds!


And into the castle.  

The stone wall and the keep are original to the castle.  
You can see how the castle is designed to foil enemies.  It’s on top of mountain, surrounded by water and trees.  When you enter the castle the stairs are crazy steep and none of the staircases line up so it’s hard to find your way.   

But the views are spectacular.   Like, amazing.  


After that we were ready to head home.   We’re still exhausted from Tokyo and this cold that won’t quit.  
There was something bad going on based on the fact that we were passed by 5 tiny little fire trucks.  

Tonight we had Peanut Butter and Jelly with Cheez-it’s from the states for dinner!!’
I’m looking forward to sending all the people away tomorrow and getting some rest and cleaning the house.  I have some plans for upcoming posts so look for those soon!

Golden Week Day 6

TO ALL MY VEGETARIAN FRIENDS:  This post is about visiting a giant fish market, so there are lots of pictures of fish that are meant to be consumed.  So, if you’re uncomfortable with that, please feel free to skip this post, or scroll to the bottom. I picked a “featured image” that should be of me and my coffee/#japants so as to not scar anyone.

 

 

Nathaniel got us up at O’Dark Thirty again this morning and took us out to a GIANT fish market in Tokyo.  It was pretty cool, and of course packed.  This is where all of the restaurants buy all their fish fresh daily.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know you can eat sea urchin?

 

 

Look at these giant edamame!

 

 

Special knives made in Japan.

 

Starbucks at our station didn’t open until 8 so we went a long time without caffeine in me. . .  Thankfully we found one.

I bought Nathaniel a Japanese Bean Paste Sweet in the shape of a frog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in Japan, you eat Sushi for breakfast.  Ok, YOU might, but I don’t. I just had coffee.  I couldn’t handle the idea of breakfast sushi.  

 

 

 

 

 

After the market, we divided and conquered (ish).  Rosie and Nathaniel headed to the airport to pick up our car from the parking lot, while Isaac and I headed back to the apartment to pack up.

 

I got a call about an hour later “UH.  I just entered a tunnel that’s not on the map and it *might* be 18km long. . . so we’re gonna be a little bit. . . ”  Oh Japan, you never cease.

 

 

But once we were reunited we went to our final destination:
TACO BELL. OMG YOU GUYS TACO BELL. So there is like, NO Mexican food in Japan, but there is a Taco Bell in Tokyo, so we went. (However, there are no beans there. . .)

 

LOOK! Taco Bell and BEER!

 

 

Taco Bell and FRIES!

 

Here, a party pack is  5 Tacos.

I call that a snack . . .

 

 

Then we headed home. The roads were packed, but not as bad on the way in, thankfully. However the rest areas (which are huge and amazing here!) were totally packed! Some of them had signs that their parking lots were full!!!

 

 

 

There is a newer highway to get from Tokyo to Nagoya, so we took that. However, our Navi is old and doesn’t know it’s there.  It got super confused and we were cracking up.

 

 

 

At one point, it started counting UP instead of down. . . AWESOME. THANKS.

 

 

So anyway we’re home.  And I had a hot bath. And we ordered pizza. And I have laundry ready to go for the morning, breaking my no-laundry-on-the-weekend-rule because otherwise I would never get through all the back log.

 

 

Tomorrow we’ll get Baxter Biscuits back from his bunny vacay, where he has had a fricken blast!!

I’m not sure what else, Explore Japan Sunday or not?  I’m hoping to explore my bed, maybe the bathtub again.  Potentially I’ll explore the inside of my bathrobe. . .

 

So, we survived our first Golden Week, and our first trip to Tokyo.

Golden Week Day 5

I got the bun rush this morning at 7am.  Starbucks doesn’t open until 8 am.  
We hopped on a train to get to another train.  We got on that train (with coffee thank goodness) 


Only to find it was PACKED

Rosie, Isaac and I got seats separately and Nathaniel had to stand.  
I made some attempts at typing in Japanese. 


So that didn’t work.   

We made it to Nikko which is gorgeous.   We walked through some small shrines .  

and headed to the main shrine which was amazing

Then we saw some more shrines before lunch. 


We had hoped to catch a cab to our next destination but there were no empty cabs near the shrine.  We decided to hoof it back into town and look for lunch along the way.  


Just as hope (and Rosie’s shit) was almost lost, we found a Family Mart.  And ***soind of angels ringin*** it had a funky little restaurant upstairs!


And it was delicious!

We made it the rest of the way into town and grabbed a cab to Eto Wonderland which is like Greenfield Village but for ninjas and samurais.  


It was really beautiful and fun!   We ended it with a “water magic show” which was funny and beautiful.   I love how weird Japan is sometimes. 


But then, the real adventure began.  

Closing time. No more taxis.  Shuttle bus gone.   So first we got on the wrong bus and figured it out seconds before it left.  Made it onto the correct bus which got stuck in epic Golden Week traffic.  We finally made it to the tiniest little train station to find all the Shinkansen and express train options were sold out.  
So we got on one train, standing room.  Switched (in 1 minute!) to another train which took us to some middle of the nowhere train station.   We should have had 7 minutes for me to grab 8pm snacks for dinner at Newdays but something happened and it was not 7 minutes.  

So the kids and Nathaniel got on a train and I did not.   But I had 4 bags of snacks.  

So yeah.   Probably not my favorite part of the trip.    I had to wait 14 minutes for the next train and then get myself home.   The worst part was that Isaac was so upset.  He’s always checking to see if I’m with them or falling behind.  He is a worrier like me. 😦

I keep telling him that I have money and a cell phone and some Japanese so it’s better for them to lose me than it is for him to get lost because he’s looking for me instead of following nathaniel.  I hope this experience shows him that I really am capeable.  Even if I did get a little lost getting off of the train.  
I’m pooped but I’m pretty sure nathaniel has more in store for tomorrow.  

Golden Week Day 4

This morning was a change up!  Nathaniel had informed me we were getting up early for something but he lied again.  ;).   It turns out his first destination was closed for Golden Week.  So I quick threw on clothes and headed to say goodbye to Claire and family and get my presents from the states. Of course I got a text on my way home that  we were suddenly in a hurry so I had to back, drop my unopened gifts and meet the people at Starbucks.  (This also involved me RUNNING through a subway station carrying two garbage bags.  It was amazing)

We headed off to the (again, crazy crowded) Tokyo Sea Life Park.  It was really neat and again, even though it was pure insanity it was so well handled.  The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that you have to wait in line for bathrooms!


From there we went to the Subway Museum which was super fun and interactive!   My favorite was learning about how they build the tunnels!


2 stops down and we were off to find the vegan ramen place!   It’s in Tokyo Eki so it was a crazy experience in a busy place, but I’m so soad we went and I want to go again!


Isaac had Golden Sesame and Peanut 


I had White Sesame


Nathaniel and Rosie shared Black Sesame and Sweet and Sour. 


We also had vegan dumplings but we ate them before I could get a picture.  Whoops! The food was so so good!  And we loved getting to have ramen with Nathaniel!!!
After that we did my one request for the trip which was the shrine with wisteria!   It was more bloomed here than when I saw it in Nagoya so I’m super glad we went.  


The kids maybe not as glad 😉
Oh!   And then we found a bonus shrine hidden away. 


So after 4 events we were onward to the Ato Tokyo Museum which was wicked cool!

First of all, you enter on a giant escalator in a habitrail. Very fun.


Inside you start at the top floor and work your way down learning about the Ato Period and then about Tokyo’s long and interesting history.    


 There were many interactive exhibits which definitely made the kids happy.  It also really helps them learn!
 Our last attraction for the day was Rosie’s request: SHOPPING!

We went to the famous Ginza district and said hello to all of our friends, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Mikimoto and I introduced Rosie to Tiffany!   But Rosie and I only bought at uniqlo which is like H&M. 


Today was an early night for us as we then had dinner and just now got home at 8:30p.  So you know.  Just 12 hours and 6 items, we got to open our gifts from the states and we are THRILLED!  Thanks to all the ladies who sent things, I’ll send you messages when we’re home.  
See ya tomorrow!  

Golden Week Day 3

As you may have guessed, I started today by skipping round the corner for a latte. It’s a need to keep mama happy.  

On my way to Starbucks I saw one of the Japanese coffee stores was closed for Gooden Week And I was super nervous that Starbucks would be too.  Thank the dear lord of caffeine they were not. 
Once the children were bathed we headed off to the Tokyo zoo.  

We definitely got our first experience at Golden Week Crowds. 


Even though the zoo was crazy crowded, they were prepared for it.  It was very organized and anything that required waiting was handled very quickly and calmly.   It was so different  than a holiday in America. 


All of the animals at the zoo were super active!   We all commented on how we had never seen so many of the animals up and moving!  It was excellent.  Poor Nathaniel thought we were going to be just a couple of hours, but 4 hours later we finally finished up.  Whoops!

We even ate lunch there.   

Next we saw a shrine that was painted with gold foil.  It was very beautiful.   


There were also 50 copper laterns that had been given as gifts of good will.  They were amazing.  



Then we hit what I can only assume was a Japanese flash mob. 


When it was. Done two older ladies dressed in beautiful kimono gave Isaac and Rosie Japanese sweets!    It was so cute. 

Then,  because we weren’t exhausted enough, we went to the Tokyo National Museum which showcases artifacts and art from Japan’s rich history.   


However this is what we saw most. 


These poor kids are so worn out but have been pretty good troopers.   We took a 20 minute break outside and just sat down.   


And then we were off. Again.  
Our next stop was Harajuku which was again insanely busy but full of awesome little shops.   I got a new shirt that I’ll showcase tomorrow.  



From Harajuku we found a Starbucks with a new chocolate almond crunch frappacino. 

Total yum.  
Our last store for the day was a place called Kiddy Land that was 5 floors of all things character for the kids.   It was really insane but fun too.    

The. We had dinner.  Omg.  Did we have dinner.  
We went to a place that uses straw to grill meat.   The place was full with only 1 empty table for 6 and they were hesitant to give it to us but then the host saw Rosie and kept telling us she was cute so we could come in.  He gave her and Isaac lots of candy and kept patting her on the head.  Score one for Rosie today!!!!

We ate so much tasty fish and chicken and Nathaniel ordered Isaac and I beef which we happily ate.  Then he told us it was tongue!!!!!!     


By the time we left dinner at 9 pm we were toast.   Nathaniel took us on one last detour for a giant spider. 

And then he thankfully let us take a cab home.  
Now I have to shower and get ready for tomorrow when I’ll pick up my goodies from Claire from the states and do whatever it is Nathaniel has up his sleeve!!!!!   See you then!!

Golden Week Day 2 (Part 2)

Ok.  Where were we????    Let’s see.   When we last heard from Japan adventurers they had just eaten their weights in home cooked (by them!) Japanese cuisine and were in a food coma in a taxi heading across Tokyo.  

But where were the menfolk and Rosie?????    They had spent the morning at Joypolis, a giant infoor arcade.      In true Japanese fashion, it was 3 floors filled with the most wild video games ever created.    There was a full sized car with a driving game, lots and lots of 3D and VR optioins and games games games.   It was apparently very dark inside so few pictures.  Sorry. 

We reconnected with the people at the Innovation Museum.   This is a huge science center dedicated to all things innovative.   I’m not going to lie that we were in a bit of a food coma still, so I’m not 100% sure what was going on.  

We saw an amazing robot demo.  Like seriously amazing.  He kicked a ball people.  It was so cool.  

There was an amazing globe that showed weather patterns

There was a replica of the International Space Station

It was really neat!!!

There was a demo of animatronics that scarred Rosie for life.  I’m not going to lie, it was totally creepy.   But the shining moment was when it started “talking” and she turned around and yelled “MAMA?!?!?!?!”    Poor peanut.  
We bid adieu to our friends.  Thanks for the amazing day guys!!!!!!!!


We headed off to a giant temple and shopping district.   It was beautiful and fun!

Rosie counted over 30 people in kimono. 

We saw some of the fake food stores too where they make all the demo food for the restaurants here. 


Finally I was hungry again, so we headed to our dinner reservations at a hole in the wall Thai place.  No pictures because we were ravenous and ate all the delicious things so quickly!!!
Nathaniel had promised we would go straight home after dinner so the kids could get clean.   He lied.  He’s a lying lier who lies.   

Then we went to an English book store where I spent $12 on a Cosmopolitan magazine.  DON’T JUDGE ME.  
I took the kids home and Nathaniel brought home these pictures. 

So that’s Day 2 in Two Parts.   Phew.  We are really packing it in.   Let’s see what today holds!  (Rosie requested the maid cafe for lunch!!!  Hahahahahaha!!)

Golden Week Day 2 (Part 1)

Day two involved some divide and conquer action so I’m going to post about my cooking class tonight and tomorrow morning I’ll get to the rest of the day.  Nathaniel is out taking photos of Tokyo at night and I’m about to crash with the kidlets so I don’t have all the photos from the rest of the day.  

Cooking day!!!
Again, quick trip to the bucks for motivation and then it was off to find some not crappy Americans for the day!!!
Claire and her daughters Cicily and Jojo had graciously invited me to tag along for a Japanese tempura cooking class.  We met our sensei Kisshy at another Starbucks and headed to her lovely apartment.   

We were greeted there with lovely, fresh ingredients and recipes.   So we got down to work.  
Our menu for the day was:

Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura

Miso Dengaku with Fried Tofu

Simmered Pumpkin

Miso Soup

Sesame Salad

And Rice

We worked together to chop the vegetables, mix the ingredients and cook.  We even battered and fried our own tempura.  Who knew the secret to tempura was ice cold sparkling water???????

Again, I found this was a class where I am fairly confident that I can replicate these recipes at home.    It was fun to learn the traditional way of cooking!!!    I loved how Claire’s daughters worked hard, and worked together and with their mom.   Kisshy was a wonderful sense too.  She answered questions, let us take pictures and even gave recommendations on where to purchase items.   
Here are the photos of our progress. 

HHere is be proper way to set the table


And our final presentations!!!       


We ate until we were so full we couldn’t eat any more.  It was such good food and we made it!!!!!

We grabbed a cab and met up with the rest of our crew, and tomorrow morning when my children get me up at an ungodly hour I will tell you all about it. 

Golden Week Day 1

Let me tell you something that surprised me about Tokyo:  There are so many white people here.   And so much English speaking.  I would like it more if Americans didn’t behave like assholes in public.   There is a reason no one likes us.  

Anyway, after a pleasant hop around the corner for a latte, we suited up for a day of exploring.  

We managed the Tokyo subway which is far larger than the Nagoya system and headed to a huge park and shrine named Meiji Jingo

The whole area is over 200 acres which is crazy when you think about how big of a city Tokyo is.    There are gardens, a beatific well, more than 1 shrine, a bird sanctuary area, a dog park, water features and more.  We spent all morning wandering around and seeing the sights.     

 We donated 3000yen to put a new copper piece on their roof.  Nathaniel wrote each of our names and our wish for world peace on it.  Pretty cool to think that we’ll be a part of the shrine for years to come.  



These two trees are the “husband and wife” tree and are a sign of happiness in marriage and family. 


Nathaniel begrudgingly took a picture with me. 

And someone else celebrated the beginning of their happiness. 


We had lunch at Genki Sushi.   You order your food on a touch screen at your seat and it is delivered on a conveyer to you.   It’s different from a traditional conveyer belt sushi because there isn’t any food prepared that isn’t specially ordered.    It was tasty and delicious!


Next we headed to a  shop for “kawaii” ice cream. (Cute).

  But whoa.  It was so much more than I bargained for.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. 


Because we’re adventurous, we wrote a review for them on TripAdvisor so Isaac got to choose a prize.  He got to pick a picture of a maid.  
He was mortified.  

The kids didn’t really get what was going on, but they were confused with the “rule” of “please no touch me”.   I imagine in 2 years Isaac is going to realize how weird this was.  Hahahahahah!!

Oh.  And yes.  I did pay 500 yen AND pick a maid for Nathaniel to be photographed with.  


Upon our escape from the maid cafe we found it raining.   While we brought umbrellas TO Tokyo, we left them in the apartment.   Except me, who had a fold up one in my bag.  Hah!   We didn’t let a little rain deter us though.   
We went to Shibuya Station to see the statue of Hachiko, the Akita who waited for his person faithfully.   We have a special connection because of our old family dog, Keikai, also a faithful Akita.   


After we hopped on a train and were off to Tokyo Eki, the main station.  We visited Character Road where the stores are all dedicated to various characters.    Our favorites were the Pokémon, Hello Kitty and Kirby stores.  


We needed some refreshment so after a fortifying Starbucks trip we continued our Nathaniel Guided walking tour.  We got close to a castle, but it was closed.   

We headed to some fountains for Nathaniel to take his fancy pants 25 second long photos, but the fountains turned off as we settled in.   So we waited for a bit for them to get back to the fountaining.    But no go.   These Japanese fountains do what they want.  

Just as we were heading out, BAMN.    FOUNTAINS.   YOU’RE WELCOME PEOPLE.  


It was 5oclock and we’d done just over 20k steps and we were across townish from our headquarters.  But we weren’t giving it up yet.    

I wanted this, but there wasn’t time. 


So we headed off to Akihabara which is a district famous for all things my husband and kids love: cards, comics, video games, dvds, all that stuff.   We were pretty pooped so there aren’t a ton of pictures. 


And then we ate at a Japanese bar that was mediocre.  But it was there and that was what was required. 

We only got a little lost on our way back, but we finally made it just before 9.   We are crashing hard tonight I hope.  We had a bit of a “Big Dog, Little Dog” book moment.  I was telling the kids how my pillow here is too thin and Nathaniel said his was too thick!    So I’m looking forward to that switch.  

Tomorrow is cooking for me and Joypolis for the rest of the people.   I’ll report back!!!   Hope tonight’s sleep is better!

Explore Japan Sunday (14)/Road Trip

TOKYO I AM IN YOU
We got a little bit of a late start this morning because we’re all suffering from this stupid cold.  I had run a load of wash last night so I wouldn’t come home to extra laundry, so I hung that.  I made the kids eat all of the food out of the fridge, and I stuck the burnable garbage outside in a Rubbermaid tote to await our return.  Leaving the house for a week in Japan is a bit different.   
Little did we know that despite a man cold, Nathaniel had planned a fabulous Explore Japan Sunday for us. 
2 hours in, we made our first stop, Kakegawa Kachoen.   Kakegawa is a giant bird park where you can visit with and feed all different types of bird from penguins to flamingos to a giant shoebill!!!!   It was quite a surprise to all of us and we had a blast.  You can get encounters pretty inexpensively if you plan ahead, so this might be on the list of places to return to.   And I only squeaked once when a bird flew at my head, so that’s a win. 


I want to tell you a story about my flamingo friend.   See, you can feed some of the birds,  but the flamingos get fed on a schedule and they had alewdt hd their fill.   This Mingo did NOT agree.  He patiently stode in line for food from the girl selling it.  She told him “tabe nai” (no eating) and he was not having it.   I loved him.  

I named this next guy Kevin like from the movie UP.  He’s seriously as tall as I am.  Rosie was petrified.  


After that we loaded up and hit a Japanese cafe before we got back on the road.  Delicious and beautiful presentation.  

Back in our tiny car and we headed out.   We caught glimpses of Fuji-San (Mount Fuji) as we drove which was amazing.  Sadly, he wasn’t in a good mood to be photographed but it was so amazing to see it!!!!
SURPRISE, stop 2.  
We made a stop at a beautiful park full of statues and monuments.   Many of the statues were done in different styles to represent different countries.   It was beautiful.   


There was a small cemetery too, which was beautiful and peaceful.   

Back on the road we got into Tokyo traffic which is traumatizing.  Thank the dear lord Nathaniel was driving, because I would have shat myself, and we know I don’t poop!!!

It’s wall to wall traffic, and apparently in Japan it is legal for 2 wheeled vehicles to “lane split”.   Which is code for “make drivers poop”
Here , imagine driving around this all the time.  


We saw some fancy cars too!!!

We finally made it to Tokyo around 7. By the time the car was parked it was after 7.  Dinner was at a weird 24 hour place and now we’re zonked.    Can’t wait to see what tomorrow is!!!

Student Led Conferences

Yesterday the kids at Nagoya International School in ELC (Early Learning Center) through grade 4 didn’t have school, instead they participated in student led conferences.   Now, as a parent who has been through conferences both with and without children present, I assumed this was going to be a chaotic disaster.  However, I was *amazed* at the preparations the students did, and how smooth the process was.

 

Isaac’s was first from 12:45-2:00.  During the conferences there were high school students watching siblings in the library, which made it super easy for the families.  Isaac and I entered his classroom, and without any direction, he took me through it!

 

Isaac had recently done a project on Global Warming (Japan knows this isn’t a myth) so he started his conference by recreating an island of paper, a glacier of ice cubes and global warming using saran wrap.   While that warmed, he showed me the rest of his work.

To teach me about monarchy versus democracy he had me build a tower the way I saw fit (which was poor, I am NOT the engineer in the family), and then we talked about how we should vote on it and work together to make a better tower.  Even though I understand monarchy and democracy, this was a neat analogy I had never thought of before! (Isaac took pictures of me)

 

He took me through his writing portfolio which showed how he is learning to slow down and take his time writing to make his writing more legible.   It’s, uh, still a work in progress.  He also really needs to focus on spelling, although neither Nathaniel or I can spell either so. . . .

 

I got to see his Japanese folder where he has learned how to order food at a restaurant, and his colors and seasons.  I’m super impressed with their reading and writing abilities in Japanese!  I also really liked this assessment in his workbook.

 

 

On their online school program (called Haiku) he showed me his portfolio.  It included the maths (that’s what they say here, maths. . . I love it!) he’s working on, as well as a few projects he’s been working on in their ecosystem Unit of Inquiry. He’s very interested in deadly fungi right now, and he did a lot of research, created slides and even cited his sources!  It was a really neat presentation.

 

 

The entire time, his teacher sat at her desk grading papers and answering occasional questions.  I was able to ask Isaac questions about his work, his classroom and his school community in an environment where he was actually ready to have a conversation and answer them with more than 1 word! We talked about his strengths (math, reading and science) and his areas that could use work (Japanese and writing) and I really to got to SEE what he does all day in school.  The students chose what work they showed their parents, there were no assigned items they had to show us, just the stipulation that they show us something from each subject.  There were only 4 students per classroom at a time, so even though other people were having their conferences at the same time, we weren’t disturbed by them.

At the end of the conference, we saw how as the ice had melted, the water level had risen and his island was destroyed!

 

AND it took the whole hour and 15 minutes, but it was AMAZING. I really couldn’t believe how mature Isaac was about the whole thing, and how excited he was to share with me!  I thanked his teacher as we left and she thanked me for sharing Isaac with her. SNIFF.

 

 

I swapped kids in the library, and took Rosie with me to her room. I was excited to see how 2nd graders handled this same assignment.  Again, I was AMAZED at the preparation of the students. At the students’ request, Mr. Charlie had put an itinerary up on the board and set a timer to help students stay on track.

 

Rosie and I started with reading where she has just started excelling this year (Thanks Mrs. Cole!).  We snuggled up in a chair and she read me pages, and then we discussed each page, and she told me what the adjectives were, and I wrote them down for her.  We talked about how we know what adjectives are, and what verbs are because she understands verbs better 😉

 

Then we moved to a table and she interviewed me using this guide the students had created together earlier in the week:

 

 

Rosie asked me “Mom, in your opinion, which is better: giraffes or hippopotamuses?”

HOLY TOUGH QUESTION BATMAN. I mean, really, they’re both so great. . . I did choose giraffes, but it was a struggle.  She wrote the whole thing down as she asked me the leading questions, and this girl can spell!! And her hand writing is great too! I was so proud of her.


 

 

For math, she taught me 2 games: Fraction Bingo and Math Pirate. She won both, but I liked her enthusiasm seeing as she doesn’t really care for math.

 

For her Unit of Inquiry project, she had created a board game:

 

 

We played and I WON!! HAH EAT THAT ROSIE!  OH sorry, that was inappropriate.

 

She showed me the pulp paper they made in art:

 

 

And I saw her Japanese workbook too.

 

 

This is one of the many encouraging signs in her classroom:

 

 

 

I LOVE NIS.  We are very lucky to be here. I know some families don’t find the experience as great, but it’s a perfect fit for our kids and has really helped with our transition.  I’m so glad it has worked out as well it has!

 

Plus she rocked this outfit all day yesterday:

 

 

Until Jammie time:

 

 

Today was a lazy day.  We moped around the house, and I took a nap.  Nathaniel ran a few errands, and I ran a few errands too.  I picked up this cold medicine for me:

 

 

 

which combines Western and Eastern medicine. I’ll let you know how it works!

 

There was ACTUAL thunder today you guys! Apparently this is really rare here, and we got to hear it! I was so excited.

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​We are, for the most part, packed up and ready to hit Tokyo tomorrow.  I’m not sure that tomorrow will really be an Explore Japan Sunday, but it promises to have something fun I’m sure.  Plus all week we’ll be exploring in and around Tokyo!

 

 

Now I have to go drink my Brunette Being Tipsy.