Monday, December 28, 2015

White Stuff

We didn't quite get a white Christmas but, the day after it started and didn't stop for a day and a half. My sweet boy Rayce had to grab his shovel and go out back to clear a path for our short-legged dog Boris to be able to ahem, do his business. What a kid.
Ha, a boy and his dog.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Osaka, Last Day

Our last day of vacation and with spending the day before solely at Universal Studios, we had one full last day to check out the rest of Osaka. We started the day at the famous Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. It's a beautiful and very large aquarium, and very expensive! It was really cool because from our hotel we took a ferry directly across the bay to the aquarium.
From inside our Hotel, Universal Port. It was cold this morning so we waited for the ferry inside!
We had to get a picture with the minion.
Just a bit windy.
It was a ten minute boat ride to the aquarium. It is a huge building.
We left the aquarium after a couple of hours and set off for Osaka Castle.
The grounds at Osaka Castle are massive, which we've come to expect. The Castle itself is beautiful and the blue sky made it stand out even more.
I think it was seven stories of antiquities and information and you can go all the way to the top.
From the top!
As the sun was setting I really wanted to go downtown Osaka with all the shops and nightlife and the kids were tired and just wanted to go back to the hotel. I won out eventually because I had Danielle on my side wanting to go find an H&M.
And guess what we found on our way.
We eventually, eventually after spending a good amount of time in H&M made it to the part of town called Dotonbori. We found the famous Glico man sign and then had to take turns posing like him.
This part of Osaka is really neat, very busy but fun. Although we didn't last too long before Avie Jo put her foot down and we had to relent and head back to the hotel.
The next morning we packed up and rode the bullet train back to our sleepy Misawa. We had a great trip. It's hard to imagine these adventures coming to an end in less than a year! Time to plan another vacation!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry, Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Japan!

Hark, now hear the angels sing,
A new king born today,
And man will live forever more,
Because of Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


It's Christmas Eve in Japan! I should be sharing our activities for the day but since a stomach bug is making it's way through our family right now I'll post about happier going to Universal Studios Osaka on Thanksgiving day!
I don't have to say that this was our kids favorite day of our vacation, but yeah, temples and shrines and old buildings get old I guess. I guess.
I have to say though, this was one of my favorite days as well and I was so pleasantly surprised by USO. All the reviews I read said it was so busy and nothing is in English and everything is expensive, and it's hard to get in the Harry Potter experience. Sooo, I was second guessing our decision to go and I didn't bother to buy the fast passes that would have guaranteed entrance to the top rides. But, everything turned out wonderfully! It was definitely expensive, Rayce may have talked us into a ridiculously expensive wand at Ollivander's Wand Shop, and Avie may have gotten a furry Hello Kitty poncho that I can't type the price or I'll have shame, but, we had a great and fun day!!
They had really lovely Christmas music piped throughout the park the whole day, it was a nice start to the season.
So none of us had ever been to Universal Studios! First thing I ran (literally ran), to get our entrance tickets to Harry Potter Land. It doesn't cost anything extra but you have to have the tickets to get in. So I got them and we had about an hour and a half to kill before we could get in so, we went to Jaws The Ride because it was close. I was expecting an hour wait, just like I had read, but nope, right on!
Back to the Future, ugg, the only ride of the day that made me feel a little queasy.
Yay, we made it to Hogsmeade Village! Yeah, I get excited for Harry Potter the same way others do about Star Wars.
We were wondering why the rest of the park didn't seem that busy, it's because everyone was here!
We tried butter-beer with our lunch, it's delicious, and rich.
Mel's Diner from American Graffiti.
Avie Jo's absolute favorite ride! She loved to drive these little cars and did so about 10 times.
Great first day in Osaka, one more to go.