Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our big trip

So this week I have been frantically getting ready to go over to Japan for our vacation.  Making sure the laundry was done, trying to pack light (this is a SEVERE problem for me -- especially with kids and of course with myself) and also making sure the house was picked up and clean before we left.  I wanted to come home and also have John come home to a nice, neat house and be pleasantly surprised. So all week I set out to do different things around the house! 
Today I set my alarm clock for early in the morning and woke up a half hour after the alarm was supposed to go off frantic to get ready.....sigh....thankfully I got most everything done the night before.  Someone picked us up for the airport and she was surprised at how little I was bringing with -- I had a suitcase (which was half filled -- go me!), my camera bag (never leave home without that thing), two backpack for the boys, the backpack carrier and a stroller.  We started our journey and thankfully made it to the airport with little problems. 
Never having been to the departures section of the airport I frantically looked for our airline check in counter and then proceeded to wait in line anxiously (huge line) think I'd miss my flight -- it was that long!!  Thankfully there was a nice guy behind me who started to talk to me and then after I checked my luggage helped me through security, customs and then to our gate.   It was nice to have the help and he was very nice.  Got to our gate and Little M & N excitedly looked at our airplane and the airplanes as they were taking off.  Airline people found me and told me I had to board NOW!! (In the Asian airline carriers they go out of the way to help families with small children -- they can board with first class & business class so they are situated before everyone else comes in.)
Got in the airplane and semi settled when the stewardess came to Little N & M with two little toys -- plastic blue airplanes to occupy their time during the flight -- GENIUS!!  Also we had fun with the video screen -- Little N was super excited to be able to watch Thomas on the plane and Little M was just excited and flirted with anyone around us.  We got a meal with our flight......sadly I knew that neither one of the kids would eat the meal so I requested a meal for the kids -- they came back with infant food -- apple sauce (perfect for Little N) and yogurt (perfect for Little M -- minus being at the independent stage so he had to feed himself -- ugh!!) They also had some snacks that they could munch on.  Got off the airplane and waited for the stroller and then went through passport stuff (or visa stuff) to get into much harder with two kids (so thankful that I didn't have my luggage yet)  and then went to get our luggage.....and went through customs and then thankfully out to get rid of stuff. 
I looked for baggage sending service (awesome service if you are traveling by train and don't need your stuff for a day) and then proceeded to get rid of Little N & M's backpack -- putting it in my suitcase & taking out my backpack (tears were involved during that process) and checked my suitcase & the backpack carrier.  So then I only had a backpack, camera bag & stroller for the next day until my suitcase came.  I felt like I was almost cheating the system not having really anything to lug around!
Went looking for the train and for how I would get the JR pass for traveling and such.  Got there and filled out the paperwork.....the lady booked my tickets all the way up to Sendai and I had to rush to get the train -- when you are traveling with small children it's best to leave PLENTY of time in between stops so you can do bathroom breaks, food breaks, etc.  Thankfully the first two trains had bathrooms on them so we didn't have to worry about that.  We rushed to the first train and then rushed to frantically try to find where the next train was (being in Tokyo this gave me a panic attack until I got to our train and was settled in.) then we entertained the gentleman that was so LUCKY to sit next to us (I felt bad for him -- because my kids were trying so hard to charm him -- he was very gracious). Once I was on that train I finally had time to call up and let John know that we were in Japan and that we were on our way.  They (Dean & John) informed me when I could get the next train to Ayashi (my final destination for the day) so once I was in Sendai I frantically tried to find where I was going.  Thankfully made the earlier train to Ayashi however this one gave me panic attacks until we got to Ayashi because I thought I had taken the wrong train.  Got to Ayashi safely, John thankfully could pick us up.  I was starving, the boys were starving and a little cranky but in good spirits.

I was SO thankful that everything went smoothly and that I only had minimum problems while I was traveling.  I was blessed with some wonderful travelers who helped me along the way and I was so thankful that everything went smoothly. 
It's strange being back in Japan -- I'm still unable to communicate and I'm pretty sure that I will have lots of problems because of learning Chinese, knowing a little Japanese & just remembering which language to try and speak in.  (I know how to say good morning, thank you, & just some polite things in Chinese -- and I know basic basic survival & some polite things to say in Japanese) so it should be interesting. 
So thankful to be in Japan with John and meet the team that Victory English Fellowship sent over to help with the relief work.  Thankful that this day is over and I don't have to travel by myself with two kids like that for a long time!!  Probably the next time I travel like that I'll have THREE kids --- oh boy!!  Life is always an adventure!!
 My two cuties on the train!!

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Welcome to our blog! We try to keep this current for family and friends. We moved to Taiwan in February 2011 and are trying to keep in contact with loved ones through this blog. We love comments and will respond back if you have questions or comments!! Thanks for checking us out!!


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