- - - 5/27/2018 - - -

Trip to Ise

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:52 am

I finally took the family to Ise in Mie prefecture for a long weekend. Ise along with Ise Shrine is one of the more famous Japan travel destinations that I had not yet been to. The Ise Grand Shrine is considered the most sacred Shintō shrine in Japan, and along with the top of Mt Fuji is considered a must visit sometime in your lifetime place. Of course we did many of the other activities in the area and made sure to eat all the famous foods:


We took the shinkansen and express trains there and back


Purification stream of the inner shrine


At the inner shrine. There are always lots of people visiting.


The Uji Bridge


The famous shopping street in front of the shrine. There were lots of traditional shops and foods, and we saw a Taiko performance.


Eating ‘Akafuku’ the famous Japanese sweet of the area


Eating the local style Ise Udon


For dinner we had the local style ‘TekoneSushi’


At the fairly impressive Toba Sea-Folk Museum


Melina loved playing in the submarine


Eating Unagi for lunch


Taking a boat ride around Ago bay, famous for Japanese Perl cultivation


A quick stop at a park for slides, running around, and ice cream


We hiked up to the overlook of the bay at Yokoyama


Eating Matsuzaka beef (up there on the rankings with Kobe beef) for dinner along with other things Melina likes.


‘Okayu’ at the outer shrine for breakfast


Finally was Melina’s favorite part of the trip; Toba Aquarium. She got to see and touch a whole lot of sea animals, and a snake. It was my first time to pet a walrus as well.

- - - 5/19/2018 - - -

Spartan Race #2

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:18 am

My second Spartan race was the Sprint, which is only 5 kilometers with about 20+ obstacles. Unlike the first race where it was pouring the entire day, this time we had some nice weather. The obstacles were still challenging and my two teammates did well. I am now debating with myself whether or not to do the next one in Japan this year.

- - - 4/28/2018 - - -

Chinatown Aquarium

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:06 am

I found a new aquarium right in the middle of Chinatown. It is small and designed especially for kids, but for the location and price it was actually very nice. There is even a kids play room with a slide and jungle gym complete with builtin fish tanks, a small show on how different fish catch their food, and Melina also got the chance to feed the sea turtle.

- - - 4/21/2018 - - -

Popcorn Day

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:58 am

My daughters preschool has a Fathers Club where the fathers get together and put on events for the kids. It is also a time for the fathers to get to know each other better and also to stay more involved with school activities and their kids. It is a great idea and was surprised to see this in Japan where traditionally mothers still do most of the upbringing. The first event of the year was making popcorn for the kids. The fathers get to play with fire and the kids get to eat all the popcorn they can.


Did I mention that Melina loves popcorn.

- - - 4/10/2018 - - -

Melina’s first day of school

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:45 am


- - - 4/8/2018 - - -

Easter Dinner 2018

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:33 am

This years Easter dinner was another success. I made a big ham, Easter breads, and the traditional Polish Easter soup. Other people in my house made other foods and desserts as well.

- - - 4/1/2018 - - -

Shinjuku Cherry Blossoms

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:31 am

- - - 3/4/2018 - - -

Turkish Restaurant

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:07 am

A bunch of people from my house went out to a Turkish restaurant. The food was good, they had traditional Turkish clothing you could put on, and there was a giant stuffed camel that Melina liked to climb on.