- - - 11/25/2017 - - -

Thanksgiving 2017

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:48 am

Every year my Thanksgiving parties get better and better, or so I like to think so. Im getting better at cooking the Thanksgiving essentials and adding more variety every time. Yet again, I was too busy cooking, cutting, and talking to take many good pictures of the party.

- - - 11/7/2017 - - -

Kumamoto

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:52 am

Here are some highlights of our short trip to Kumamoto. Places we visited include:
Amakusa Islands and Shimoda onsen
Milk road scenic drive
Various onsens around Oguni city including Kurokawa onsen
Making miso and staying at a retreat
Kujyu mountain range (previous post)
Cuddly Dominion and helicopter ride to view the cauldron of Mt. Aso
+This was Melina’s favorite part of the trip. She got to feed bears, touch capybaras, penguins, alpacas, and lots of other animals. She and Suzuna also got their first helicopter ride up to see the active volcano that had a large eruption in 2015. The Mt. Aso ropeway is still closed.
Kumamoto city: Ramen, Castle[ruins], and Japanese garden
+Kumamoto had a large earthquake in 2016 practically destroying Kumamoto castle. A sightseeing course walking around the grounds is open, but the main castle is still undergoing repairs and will not open for another 2 years. The entire castle complex is slated to take 20 years to repair.

(more…)

- - - 10/21/2017 - - -

Spartan Race

Filed under: — Andy @ 9:00 pm

Ken was here visiting me for most of the month of October. We visited a few places and had some good food, but I didnt really take many pictures with him. Still, one of the main reasons he was visiting was so he could take part in a Spartan race with me. This was to be our first Spartan race, and along with another friend of mine, we spent the weeks beforehand doing some training. The day of the race was raining, so the course was extra muddy and slippery. The race was what I was expecting, lots of obstacles, mud, climbing, crawling, uphills, downhills, and heavy things to carry. Overall, it was difficult but also really fun. We finished 13 kilometers and 27 obstacles in about 2 hours 20 minutes, which for our first race was a really good time.

- - - 9/23/2017 - - -

River BBQ with friends

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:41 pm

- - - 7/29/2017 - - -

BlueBerry Picking Again

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:51 pm

Blueberry picking again, this time I drove up with just Suzuna and Melina. It is amazing just how many blueberries my daughter can consume!

- - - 4/15/2017 - - -

Watane Ichi #11

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:53 am

Watane Market #11, again Suzuna set up shop and sold her herbal teas and handmade soaps. It was a nice and sunny day but also very windy so a lot of the sellers packed inside to set up shop. As always there was good food and music and other performances. Melina enjoyed herself as well and spent the entire time running around and playing with various things. One of her favorites was fishing colorful balls and toys out of a big vat of water. Unfortunately we missed #10, but are looking forward to going to #12.

- - - 2/17/2017 - - -

AnPanMan Museum

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:33 pm

For Melina’s birthday we took her to go see her favorite cartoon character, AnPanMan.
AnPanMan is super famous in Japan, and the AnPanMan museum in Yokohama is always crowded. Due to all the people and noise, Melina was a bit hesitant at first, but she really enjoyed seeing all her favorite characters and playing with all the exhibits. By the end of the afternoon she was pretty tired.

- - - 2/3/2017 - - -

Setsubun Sushi 2017

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:18 pm

Every year at my house for Setsubun, or bean throwing festival, we have a party and make sushi to eat in the lucky direction of the year. It usually goes as follows: Everyone makes their own sushi roll, everyone faces the lucky direction of the year (2017:NNW), sushi is eaten as quietly at possible, someone dresses up as the demon, everyone throws beans at the demon and forces him outside, bean cleanup, dessert time. Unfortunately this year, like last year, I stopped taking pictures after the sushi eating.

- - - 1/15/2017 - - -

Saitoyaki Festival

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:10 pm

This year we decided to go see the Saitoyaki festival at a shrine within walking distance from our house. The shrine had a large bonfire in the middle of the grounds and it was used for burning new years decorations for good luck in bringing in the new year. They also had sticks with red and white (colors of luck and prosperity) mochi ball attached to them that people could roast like marshmallows.

- - - 1/14/2017 - - -

Squirrel Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:37 am

Years and years ago I was in a bus and we drove past a squirrel park. Finally, the opportunity arose to take the daughter and visit that place I saw years ago. Melina was super exited to see all the squirrels but was still a bit afraid to feed or touch them. The park also had rabbits and guinea pigs to feed as well. Honestly, I think I had just as much fun as my daughter…