Sunday, September 18, 2011

September in Sapporo

Addyson and I went on our last "regular" season road trip last week. Depending on playoffs, we may go again, but we are staying in Sapporo until then! The season is finally winding down. It's gone by fast, but then again it feels like we've been away from home FOREVER. So ready to get back to our friends and families! We flew to Sendai, where the tsunami hit after the earthquake in March, first. WOW. The devastation is unbelievable. I tried to take some pictures, but we were on a bus, so they didn't turn out. But, pictures wouldn't even begin to tell the story. So incredibly sad. We saw people in fields working, trying to get their crops ready to grow again. Please pray for these people...they lost everything it looked like. Sad, sad.

On a lighter note, we got to go to an Anpanman museum that wasn't far from our hotel in Sendai. Anpanman is one of the most popular cartoon characters in Japan. We've never seen the show and if we had, we wouldn't know what they were saying. One of the other American players families just got here, so it was a girls trip! Addyson and Teagan had so much fun!

After a few games in Sendai, we took the bullet train to Tokyo. We had an off day, so we got to spend the whole day with Micah. Those are rare around here! Poor thing asks every morning when she wakes up if Daddy is home or not. We know this won't last forever, so we are loving it now! They just opened up an indoor play area right next to the Tokyo Dome Hotel, where we stay, so we went there for a little while on the off day. It was the neatest play area we've been to since we've been in Japan. Texas needs to take note! So nice and so clean! Of course you have to take your shoes off when you a lot of places here. So when you have to go to the bathroom, they provide slippers by the door to slip on so you don't go in there barefoot. Can you imagine this in America? It would NEVER fly! Addyson had a ball playing with her daddy. We had lunch at Hard Rock and dinner at the Sizzler, so the day was PERFECT!

For some reason it isn't letting me upload photos, so I will try and upload some in another post! SORRY!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Busy Weekend in Sapporo!

We had a busy weekend last weekend in Sapporo! On Saturday night it was the Summer Festival at the Sapporo Dome. Not really sure what it meant, but I think maybe it was to celebrate the end of summer. The school children started back to school Monday. They had off only 3 weeks for summer break! Can you imagine? They do get a winter break here because of the snow, so the summer one isn't that long. One of the Japanese player's wives, Megumi, bought Addyson a "Yukata" (summer kimono) to wear to the game that night. She's so sweet and Addyson adores her. So, Addyson and Megumi wore their "Yukata's" to the game. So fun!

On Sunday, Megumi and her husband, Atsushi, invited us to go to dinner. They wanted to take us to an authentic Japanese restaurant. It's sad to say we haven't actually been to an "Japanese" restaurant since we've been here! We've been to Korean bbq, a crab place, chinese, etc. but not to a place that serves authentic "Japanese" food. So we were excited...and a little nervous! They like to eat many, many things raw! We went to a place called Shabu Shabu. Google it when you have time. It's very neat. Basically in the center of your table is a boiling pot of hot water. You order different meats and cook it yourself. The tradition is to stick the meat in the pot and say, "Shabu Shabu" and then your meat is done. It's sliced very thin, so it doesn't take long to cook, but I left mine in just a little longer than that! We met the nice. He has had this restaurant for 35 years! He said the meat that has kept him in business was RAM...yes as in goat. I tried it and it was pretty tasty. My mind kept telling me not to like it, but when I dipped it in the sauce, it just tasted like beef to me! They brought us all kinds of different foods...fried shrimp, corn dogs, crab legs, meat to cook ourselves, plates of already cooked steak, fruit, rice, noodles, dessert....we ate until we couldn't eat anymore. Everything was so delicious. They even walked downstairs to a McDonald's and brought Addyson a cheeseburger and french fries. Super nice. We will be going back soon!
We are loving our time in Japan, but also long to see our families and get back to the USA. We are trying to make the most of our experience! We know we are very lucky to be living the life we are, so trying to be humble! Although, I would LOVE to walk through a Target and go to ChickfilA!!! Soon, very soon!!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Disney Sea and Tokyo Disney

We ended the day before the All Star Break in Tokyo. Micah had two days off before 3 practice days started, so we went to Chiba and took Addyson to Disney Sea and Tokyo Disney. Disney Sea is a lot like Disney, but the lands are based on water themes. It was very cool. Mermaid Lagoon was Addyson's favorite. We stayed all day, both days, and ended them both at Outback Steakhouse. YUMMO! We never go to Outback in the states, but we go every chance we can in Japan. There is nothing remotely close by to us, so if we are in a city that has a Hard Rock or Outback, you know where to find us!

Go Fighters!

The Nippon-ham Fighters are playing some really good baseball. We are in second place as we speak. Addyson loves the games and asks everyday if we are going to the ball game. It's all she's known her whole life! I'm glad she likes it. She can sit through the whole thing, well, not sit for the most part, but you know what I mean. Thank goodness for the ipad! Here a some pics of our time at the Sapporo Dome!

Gran and Poppy's Summer Visit!

Yay for more visitors! Gran and Poppy came for a visit. Addyson and I rode the train to the airport to surprise them. They thought they were just going to take a cab and come to our apartment. But, SURPRISE. We were there when they landed. SO FUN!
We had such a fun time while they were here. The 12 days went by WAY too fast. We went to the temple behind our house, the park, the zoo, the grocery store everyday!, a few baseball games, and then we got to take them to Tokyo and watch a couple of games before they flew out. Addyson loved every minute of it...and so did I! It's hard being so far away. They came bearing lots of goodies and I mean LOTS. I won't post the picture of all the food they brought. It's kind of embarassing. Seriously. Here are some pics of their visit.
They say they aren't coming back to Japan, but we will see if they can go four months without seeing Addyson. Micah and I know they don't care if they see us! HA! The four months will fly by...or that's what I'm telling myself.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

11 day road trip

We just got home a week ago from a LONG road trip. Micah had several days off because they had scheduled some days to make up for any rainouts we might have had. We didn't have to make up any games, so he had off days and a few practice days. The only problem was they would be having them out of town in Fukuoka, so Addyson and I flew and met him in Hiroshima first. We didn't have time to go to the Hiroshima museum together, but Addyson and I walked over one morning. I had to rush through because of her, but what I saw was so sad and devastating and I felt so awkward being there as the only American. I'm glad to say I've seen it though. What a piece of history.
When we were done in Hiroshima, we took the bullet train to Fukuoka. That's where we spent the off days. It's a neat city and it has a Hard Rock Cafe, so we ate there A LOT! So good to have some American food. Yum. We took Addyson to an aquarium that was close by. She had a blast. We fed the sea lions with chopsticks. Yes, chopsticks. Even their animals eat with them! HA! We watched a dolphin and sea lion show that was narrated in, what else, Japanese. We enjoyed it anyway.
We also spent some time at an outlet mall! Imagine that! It's amazing how much Japan caters to children. I mean most places, even the train stations, have nursing rooms, little toilets for children, and seats in the individual stalls for children to sit in. Every mall we've been to has some kind of indoor play area for kids to play in. Some are free and some cost 500 yen, which is about $5.00. It's so nice. So I shopped and Micah and Addyson played. Perfect if you ask me!We had a really good time, but so glad to be home. Micah left on Friday morning for a week or so, but we stayed here. I'm glad to be out of a hotel and get on a normal routine for a little bit. We are anxiously awaiting Gran and Poppy's arrival on Saturday night. We are really enjoying our time here and making the most of our experience, but we are missing "home" like crazy. Addyson said the other night, "Remember my white dog I have at my other home." I nearly cried! Poor thing. So guess what? Gran and Poppy will be bringing that STUFFED white dog in their suitcase!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nana comes to Sapporo!

After spending a few days in Tokyo, we all flew back to Sapporo with Nana in tow. We were excited to get her here to see our place, etc. Sapporo is very different than Tokyo. Less crowded and much slower paced. Thank goodness. Tokyo is crazy. Since we've been back in Sapporo we have gone to the zoo, the indoor playground, Sapporo Station to shop, baseball games of course, and a Korean BBQ place (you cook your own food at a grill in the center of your table.) We also rode a horse carriage around downtown Sapporo. Addyson had a ball. It's been fun showing Jane Japan. She leaves Friday headed to America and Addyson and I fly to meet Micah in Hiroshima. We've loved having her here! Going to miss her!


We got to spend some time in Tokyo for the first time since being in Japan. I was worried about the aftershocks from the earthquake. Micah's interpreter said we had probably 3 of them while we were there and I didn't feel one...YAY! Must have been sleeping soundly. Jane, Micah's mom, met us in Tokyo. We were so happy to see her and so was Addyson! We also got to see a family friend, Michele Banks Ebert, and her family. They live on the outskirts of Tokyo on an army base. I haven't seen her in years, and it took coming to Japan to get to! The kids had fun playing together at the game. Thank goodness for the ipad and stickers! Michele was sweet to think of us...she brought me a goodie bag of "American" things she got at the commissary on base. Thanks again Michele!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Road Trip to Yokohama and Nagoya

We went on the last road trip with Micah. We flew to Yokohama first. It rained pretty much the whole time we were there, so Addyson and I stayed in the hotel. Luckily we had a bedroom and a living room, which were separated with a door, so we could spread out! We were suppose to have a king bed...the king bed consisted of two twins pushed together. It was hilarious. We ate at TGI Friday's twice so we were happy!The next stop was Nagoya. We actually got to ride the bullet train called The Shinkansen. It goes over 300 mph. What a neat way to travel. You get to have your cell phone on, there are no seatbelts, and you can get up and down as you wish. It was wonderful. Addyson was so excited because her daddy told her it went really, really fast. Nagoya has an Outback Steakhouse but it isn't open for lunch. As soon as the game was over the first night we jumped in a cab with Hide and walked into Outback at 10 p.m. We laughed that we use to talk about people who took their kids to dinner late at night and here we were. Oh well! Anything to have something that reminds us of home. We all ate until we were stuffed and Addyson was really good even though it was way past her bedtime! This baseball life makes us do CRAZY things...just look at where it brought us!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


We went to a crab place last night called "Kanikosen." It means the crab ship. Sapporo is famous for their crab. It was delicious. Inside there is a huge boat sitting in the center of the place with live crabs in it. They are huge. The owner picked one up with his hand and showed Addyson. It was the biggest crab I have ever seen. I don't know if you can tell or not, but here's a pic of a big one.We got to try all kinds of crab. It was so good. I won't want crab for a while, since that's all you eat, but it was wonderful. Here is a pic of one we actually ate. Just the legs, not the stuff in the middle of the crab. We weren't brave enough to try it!

The waitresses wore kimonos, so I had to take a pic of Addyson with our waitress. She tried so hard to tell us in English what each thing was that she brought us. Addyson is trying to make the peace sign like the waitress is doing. Everyone in Japan throws up the peace sign when taking a picture!

The Zoo...AGAIN!

It was a beautiful day a few days ago so we got up and went to the zoo before Micah had to go to the field. We have had a lot of rain and it's been chilly, so beautiful days are few and far between lately. Micah and I even wore short sleeves which was a first. YAY! Hopefully the weather is warming up for good. The zoo was packed with school kids of all ages. The smaller ones all had on hats and uniforms. Each child had a bag draped over one shoulder. Addyson said, "Hang on Friends!" and ran after them. We took a picnic lunch so she had to get the bag with our food in it and put it on her shoulder like her "friends." HA! She said "Konichiwa" to them and they of course said it back. So cute. I wish I had taken a picture of them. Oh well. Here are a few pics from the zoo and our picnic.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Off day, but travel day

Today Micah had an off day, but also had to fly out for a week long road trip. We at least got to spend part of the day with him. We got up, Micah cooked breakfast, and got ready to go to the park and the Buddhist temple behind our house. I found out it's the largest here in Hokkaido, which is the prefecture, or state, we live in. It's beautiful. We went by ourselves, so we didn't really have a clue about what anything meant, but it was neat to walk around. Next time we will take Hide, our interpreter, so he can give us all the details. As we were leaving a guard realized who we were and gave us a bag and said "gift." It's a bottle of something and a wooden piece with rabbits and fish on it. Can't wait to find out what each one means. We have no idea what's in the bottle since the label is in Japanese. It's on the counter waiting on Hide to interpret it for us.

There was this huge water thing that everyone was crowding around before entering the main temple. We watched and they were washing their hands and then sipping the water out of these wooden cups and rinsing their mouths out. Not very sanitary if you ask me! :) Not sure what the reasoning is behind it, but I will find out next time we go. We opted just to rinse our hands.

Micah will be gone until late Sunday night, so it's just the two of us. We will fill our time with the park, the zoo, and the indoor playground when it's raining. It seems like it's always raining! The other American's family stayed back for this road trip, so their girls and Addyson will have some play time too. Addyson's understanding about Daddy going on road trips. When he laid her down for her nap he told her he was leaving for a week and to be a good girl for Mommy. As he was shutting her door she said "Daddy, don't go. Stay here with us." Talk about break your heart! So, needless to say, we are counting down the days til he's back home!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheering on Daddy

Addyson asks everyday if we are going to the ball game. She absolutely loves going to the ball park. I don't know if it's because we get to see Daddy or because there is a playground in center field. Every time the crowd gets excited, which is pretty much the whole time, she yells "Yeah. Daddy hit a homerun." I wish! HA! Just had to post a few pics of her dressed and ready to go. She knows that her daddy plays baseball and knows to point at first base. Today we were at the park behind our house and she told some kids, who have no idea what's she saying, "My daddy not here. He plays baseball." Poor thing. She already knows if Daddy's not with us, he's at the ball park. That's our life.

Easter in Japan

We FINALLY got to spend Easter Sunday together in church. In the 8 years we've been married we've never gotten to do this because of baseball. I don't know how many Easter's we have even actually spent together since we've been married. Baseball doesn't honor holidays! We asked The Murton's if there was an English speaking Christian church in Kobe. There was! Micah luckily had a night game so we got dressed, got in a cab and got to church by 9:30. Addyson went into the nursery without whimpering. I haven't been away from her for any length of time since we've been in Japan so I was a little worried. I think she was so happy to be able to play it didn't matter. We took pictures but had to take two different ones since it was just the three of us!
Since we were on a road trip for Easter, we celebrated when we got back to Sapporo. We dyed eggs, hunted them, and the Easter Bunny made his delivery. Easter is not really celebrated in Japan, since only 1% of the population are Christians, so the Easter Bunny had some slim pickings to choose from, especially since everything is in Japanese. He did manage to get some gymboree bubbles! :)