Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Japan Trip 2011- Day 7 and Day 8

Whew! Days fly when you're having fun! And they also fly by when you are working. So I'm about to drop 2 days worth of info on ya'll not to mention all that I left out from last Sunday...

Sunday: My time at Yokosuka Baptist was refreshing. They seem like a very old school, conservative baptist church -- all the guys dressed in suits, only sang from hymnals, etc-- which I actually really appreciate. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it but I forgot, just for an instant, how to read a hymnal (not just skipping from line one of verse 1 to line one of verse 2...) :(
Different styles of worship can be a hard to adjust to but I reminded myself that I was still worshipping my same AWESOME, MERCIFUL, LOVING LORD and I was struck by the reverence and sincerity of the verses we sang!!! Each person I met was incredibly friendly and warm! I even got to witness three brothers in Christ get baptized! Hooray!!! I will definitely go again.

Monday: Yesterday was spent training for my new role at work (running up and down and around the aircraft carrier) and my legs were definitely sore this morning! It's fun though because I get to interact with the sailors and get a sneak peak at the inner workings of the U.S. Navy. CoCo Curry again for dinner with the coworkers! The way it works is you order your curry at a certain level of spice; there are six levels. I kicked mine up a level in spice (from 0 to 1) and even that was a bit much!!!! I'm obviously a wimp because at Level 1, I was only a level above the "For small children or those who don't like spice" category.

Tuesday: Keeping an eye on the typhoon status. The typhoon is heading towards Tokyo Bay and looks like we will get rain tomorrow because of it. Today we were told to buy non-perishables, water, batteries, etc. for emergencies. So no matter what we will be prepared! Great dinner out again with my awesome bosses/coworkers :) I'm going to weigh 5oolbs by the time I get back to the states!!! Thankfully I'm running and climbing the ship all day and I AM TRYING TO RUN IN THE EVENINGS. Here are a few pictures of my Sunday walk back from church. Goodnight and love from Japan.

P.S. on a funny side note ... I just walked outside of my lovely, airconditioned room into the hot hallway and it was SO HUMID that my reading glasses fogged up immediately! bwahaha! I thought this was humorous.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Japan Trip 2011- Day 4, 5, and 6

Hello Again! It took so long for me to finish uploading all my "Exploring Yokosuka" pics the other day that I've fallen behind on my blogging (insert appropriate chuckle of the "bwahahaha" or "hehehe" or "lol" variety... because yes, I did just say "my blogging". Weird). Today is Sunday evening here in Japan and my weekend has been very enjoyable/restful.

Friday after work, my coworkers and I ate at an on base restaurant called "Italian Garden" where I had the most fabulous mini Hawaiian pizza--brick oven style. Oh baby oh baby! I've been doing a pretty good job of halving my meals and saving the leftovers but those last little slices ended up being eaten that same night while I stayed up watching ABC Family shows and trying to figure out what-on-earth is going on in The Secret Life of the American Teenager and feeling even more confused seeing Molly Ringwald play an aged, over-stressed mother. I miss Pretty in Pink!!!

Then Saturday: I slept in, skyped with my family, took a walk around the base, and did a little grocery/home goods shopping at the Exchange and Commissary. An overall un-exciting, but relaxing day!

Today (Sunday), our little work crew went out for brunch at the Chief's Club (the swanky, fancy restaurant on base). YUM! Something about watching the chefs make my omelet with the precision and art of Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon--all with chopsticks may I add--made me feel ashamed of the scrambled mess that I prepare for myself back home.

Oh and did I mention they had a chocolate fountain in the Chief's Club! FOR BREAKFAST! It was the first thing I noticed when we walked in... and after carefully savoring my omelet... I made a beeline for the beautiful, flowing chocolate. Oh, and incase you're wondering, I ate it with banana slices which totally makes it ok for breakfast! Just so ya know!!!

Then it was off to church for me! I've really been looking forward to this part of my Japan stay. There is something exciting about meeting brothers and sisters in Christ from the other side of the world. It reminds me of how GREAT MY GOD IS.... and so encouraging to see His TRUTH reigns across nations. I attended Yokosuka Baptist Church today which (praise the Lord!) is only a 10 minute walk tops from where I'm staying. I'm not confident in my directional capabilities out in town yet and having to take a train or a cab would definitely make me less enthusiastic to go to a local church (unfortunately) but this worked out perfectly!

I will have to finish describing my wonderful first visit to the Yokosuka Baptist Church family in my next post because all the excitement of the day is wearing down and I'm getting sleepy (and hungry! I've talked about food too much in this post)! And you all--which sounds weird too...when I know it's mainly my Momma/Daddy reading these... love you guys ;) -- are probably exhausted from the play-by-play of my day...

...But let me end by telling you that I just enjoyed the most delicious run in the warm Japan air down along the water. I actually love running in humidity (although today was quite mild). I know it leaves me all sweaty and gross but it feels AWESOME! I don't know why but it makes me feel like I worked out hard (even when I didn't) ... it reminds me a bit of my runs in Hawaii :) So goodnight all my lovely friends and Happy Sunday to those back in the states (for tomorrow)! May your Sundays be as contented and blessed as mine was today.

P.S. Here's the amazing Little Boots song that spurred on my run down by the deep, black water :) enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Japan Trip 2011- Day 3

Exploring Yokosuka

As I write this next post I am sitting at the computer desk, feet crippled beneath me; each of them with a large blister throbbing to the surface. Tonight I decided to get out and explore Yokosuka after failing miserably the evening before when my quick "nap" turned into a 6hr slumber (I'm still blaming it on jet lag, however, I've been known to do things like that back home on occasion).

So anyway... a shower, fresh make up, and probably 20 minutes of rifling through my clothes--most of which are work clothes--I decided I could venture out into the company of the brilliantly dresses and fabulously styled Yokosuka locals. Thinking of just strolling through the city streets taking pictures (unleashing my creeper-style, crazy tourist) and stopping for dinner at whichever restaurant looked the most intriguing, I prepared myself with a camera, a wallet full of yen, and my proper government IDs.

And I was in heaven! So many stores, signs, lights, delicious foods! You name it... I took a picture of it. My problem is that I'm not a very good photographer to begin with and stopping on a crowded Japanese sidewalk for "profile pic photo op" is difficult. Half of my photos came out blurry because I didn't want to be crushed by oncoming pedestrian traffic or bicycles or scooters. Funny thing is I didn't see anyone else really stopping to take pictures. But I don't care! I want my pictures and I'm going to get em! Ugly American, party of one please.

Between window shopping and picture taking, I saw this really cute donut store called "Mister Donut" so I decided to celebrate my first day alone on the town I'd have a donut for dinner! I got the teddy bear--and he had this buttery cream in the middle! Probably 1 zillion calories but super fun and tasty.

After my dinner donut I got a bit turned around and spent the next 45 minutes partly exploring and partly figuring out which way was back to the Naval Base. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am directionally challenged. In an area full of towering buildings and smog with no GPS to save me... well it was an adventure. Thankfully, I had several life lines (for example all the cabs waiting around would of more than willingly taken me home for a small fee) but I wanted to find my way on my own! And I did! EVENTUALLY. I was walking for almost 3hrs :)
So now my poor blistered feet (unprepared for such a journey in their cute gold/silver braided Born sandals) are celebrating the victory of finding the way home!

Here are a few of the pictures I snapped along the way... Goodnight friends!

Look at the cute Kewpie Doll key chain I found at the 100 yen store

Almost every restaurant has a window of plastic food so you can easily see and point out your menu choice! I had the chicken cutlet curry the other day from CoCo Curry. YUMMY

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Japan Trip 2011- Day 2

Day 2 (ni) in the Land of Hello Kitty! Went to bed early last night and woke up this morning at 5:30am thinking I could finish some blogging before work but the pictures of my apartment were uploading too slow thus the late updates.

First day at work was good--I think I'm going to like my new role at work. Plus my coworkers are great! So when I got back to work today not only was my beautiful comfy bed all made up nicely by the housekeeper (Ms. Kawamoto) but she had also washed my coffee cup and cereal bowl! That just made my day :) Having someone else do those things for you is such a treat!

My plan is to venture out this evening (after a quick nap) for a run and explore the base and the surrounding area of Yokosuka. I love how all the locals dress here too--makes me want to go shopping. More pictures and updates to come.

The other day on Google Talk, my Dad belted out the chorus of the Cold Chisel's "Rising Sun" and it made me laugh so I thought I'd share

Thanks Daddy!

Anyway I better go take that nap...

I'll leave you all with a Psalms I read this morning:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103 : 11-19

How great is it to know that where ever you go, our Heavenly Father rules it all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Japan Trip 2011- Day 1



Arrived at Narita Airport about 4pm after a 10 hr flight! It wasn’t as terrible as it could of been--I’m really glad I upgraded to Economy Plus! The extra 5” of leg room was such a blessing. Then a two hour bus drive to Yokosuka... on the way we drove through Tokyo! It was dusk (and I was pretty out of it) but I was able to stay awake to see Tokyo Disney, a few huge ferris-wheels that seemed to be randomly thrown in among the buildings, and the kanji on all the signs and buildings really makes you feel like you’re in another world.

I can’t even explain how it feels to be here. For the most part I’ve been really excited and busy trying to take in each moment but as the jet lag caught up with me I started to realize how far from home I am! Crazy!

The room I’m staying in is sweet! It’s like a cross between an apartment and a hotel room (although more on the hotel side). Here’s some pictures:

I have two pretty decent televisions, a dvd player, a closet, couch, kitchen with the cutest little stove/oven I’ve ever seen! The bathroom is good but I still haven’t figured out a good way to spread out all my makeup when I get ready (like I do at home)--there isn't any counter space! But the best thing... THE BED. Super soft mattress and a down duvet! Like a cloud especially after the flight. And a housekeeper comes in and makes it everyday for me too!

Today was spent getting to know where the work offices are located, a bit of training, and then a trip to the commissary. I got a few groceries for my room and was planning on exploring the town surrounding the base but I was so exhausted after my commisary (???) trip that I came back to the room, chatted online with the parents and a few friends, and then took a nap!

Dinner tonight was at a place called CoCo Curry. So delicious!!! I had a chicken cutlet curry that totally hit the spot!

I promise my future posts will be less scattered as my jet lag goes away and I get a schedule worked out!



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Land of The Rising Sun

So in 5 days I will be diving head first into a completely new adventure! Can you guess what it is? Well, if you read the title of this posting you will probably guess Japan... AND YOU'D BE RIGHT! In 5 days I WILL BE IN YOKOSUKA, JAPAN!

There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head
(what else is new... I'm a girl). Nervousness at traveling so far from my family and friends (and pets!!!), starting a new phase in my career--no more sitting behind the computer desk for 8 hours straight--and traveling outside of the United States for the first time since I was 3. Goodness Gracious!

I want to document my travels and keep people updated on my great big journey so this blog will be awesome.

Special shout out to my Mum, my brother, and my bff for helping me get ready for Japan over the last few weeks. I haven't started packing yet but the giant Ricardo (luggage not Ricky) sits in my living room corner waiting....

Here are a few Japan Travel related items I checked off this weekend: new camera, a couple new pairs of work jeans (although the Rock Revival jeans I shouldn't of tried on were my true love. those jeans better be available when i get back), kick-butt backpack from TJMaxx, adorable umbrella from the bff, and most importantly... I got DTS authorized! Whoohooo! A few more things to do... LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH!

Ok, now I'm rambling and getting sleepy... but before I say goodnight let me just mention another weekend discovery... OLE Henriksen BlueBlack Berry Enzyme Mask. Holy guacamole! This stuff is heaven! I will have to do another post my Seattle haul :)