Friday, February 28, 2014

Overnight at Appi

Over president's day weekend we took a ski/snowboard trip overnight to one of the local ski resorts. Well, mostly local, it's about 2 hours south west.
The kids had an early out day from school so when they let out at 11, we headed out to snowboard. Danielle skied, and the rest of us, minus Avie, tried snowboarding.
The rooms are called Japanese western, so they're kinda a mix.
Yummy buffet dinner.
Getting ready for bed.
When we woke up the next morning, it was coming down.
We had a great overnight at Appi and left not a minute too soon, a giant storm rolled in! !t was white out conditions, so we made it home just in time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Civil Rights Essay Contest

Danielle was one of two students on the whole base to win the Civil Rights Essay Contest! She was awarded with a $40 gift card and lunch at the club where she would read her winning essay at a luncheon to close out the black history festivities here on the base. She amazes me every day and I love this girl! We are so proud of her.
The essay winner's, Danielle and Kaone.
The girls with our Wing Commander, Colonel Williams.
and with their teacher, Ms. Bullard.
and with the keynote speaker Chief Master Sergeant Raymond Bost.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowed In

We woke up to this Sunday morning...
This was right out our front door.
27 inches and more on the way!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


So I don't think moving here I realized how much snow northern Japan gets. It's crazy! It's different than anything we grew up with. Because it's constantly snowing we don't get the ugly gray snow. It's beautiful, and of course cold. We knew shortly after coming that Danielle's sixth grade class would get the opportunity to visit the most famous snow festival in Japan, The Sapporo Snow festival. As soon as we could Dan and I both signed up to be chaperones on the trip. Of course the year we get here they decide to stop letting the sixth graders go after twenty-three years of them going!! So, we decided to just go on our own.
The snow festival is on the next island to the north (Hokkaido), in the city of Sapporo. To get there we decided to take the overnight ferry, an eight hour boat ride. The ferry left for Hokkaido at 10 pm.
Haha, I love how the Japanese do things. For the overnight ferry we were in economy class and they put you in a room with mats that fold out and you all sleep together in the same room! We happened to know all our traveling companions so the kids thought it was great having one giant sleepover. You can rent blankets to use but they keep the boat so hot you hardly need them. Our coats worked just fine.
The ferry got in early, about 5:30 am, and then we had to board a bus to take us into Sapporo. We were a little tired.
Sapporo is the fourth largest city in Japan, quite a bit different from our sleepy Misawa. Once we got off the bus it was a few blocks to the snow festival.
We were a little bundled up.
I've seen pictures of the snow festival online but nothing does it justice. It is truly a sight to behold! So, so, cool!
Ice slide.
Riding the subway.
We took a lunch break and lingered a while to let the kids defrost and rest their legs and then walked 7 or 8 blocks to the ice sculpture displays.
Yeah, that's real ocean life frozen in the ice. Rayce wanted to know how they did that.
Poor Avie Jo's little body would not stay warm, we had her layered up as much as we could and she was still cold.
Finally, we headed back to the snow festival to see it at night before we had to catch the ferry home. The kids were done walking around.
I wonder what the snow festival will have up their sleeve when Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020?
If I'm being completely honest I'd have to say that was one of the most exhausting trips we've ever taken but, I would do it again next year with out hesitation. It was so incredible, the Japanese put on some amazing festivals! Can't wait for the ones that are in warmer weather!