This month we were the happy hobos, couch surfing at beach cabins, friends' homes, and camping in British Columbia during hockey camp, then finally traveling to Japan and getting acclimated...
1 But at last, the apple trees are in the ground! Thank you, Richard!
2 This is it, folks.
3 Alli and Ingunn try in vain to get a good selfie while sorting socks on the front lawn. It's our last day on the property...
6 Now we have everyone, including Esther and Marte!
7 Saying goodbye to chickens...
8 And Ben's friend Cole came by literally as we were loading the truck!
9 Bye, Cole!
10 We'll be in touch :)
11 This is where we're staying for a week - at our friend Patricia's incredible beach cabin. We are so fortunate to have a place to land!
13 I love this sititing area outside with a view o fthe water and Olympics.
14 Morning light in the bedroom.
15 Ben up reading :)
17 Meanwhile kind soul Frank has refurbished a pony shed to be a spacious chicken coop! This is King Sam, Millet, and Julian!
18 Sam is enjoying seeing their new home.
19 What are they talking about?
20 Ha! how did THIS get to our roller rink?
21 Sam LOVED Patricia's cabin couch!
23 This writing desk was so nice to do work in. I actually enjoyed working and writing at it. Felt right...
24 Mom and Richard over for a visit!
27 Going for a jog down to the water.
28 Another wild bird experience! Sam has a knack for catching these little critters and gently freeing them.
29 Some beach time...
31 And playing with Olga!
32 We celebrated Mom's 76th birthday, too! Thank for the video, Sam :)
34 Now the couch surfers are over at the Borgninos for a week before heading up to Victoria for hockey camp (and camping).
35 Archery in the backyard!
36 I was on several new jogging routes during my stay there - nice to explore new areas.
37 I managed to really bang up a finger moving boulders. Arlo said he'd wait for his tractor, but I needed to get some energy out...I was nearly done and dropped the last one on my finger!
38 BUT...the fire pit looks good.
39 Adam and Kris brought some incredible apps and drinks to a going-away potluck at Janet's. I sure miss them! These are Emmy's owners.
40 Hi Janet! We have matching fingers!!!
41 The attendees and setting...I knew I would miss these folks.
43 And a big trail ride outing with all the gals!
45 This was SO funny. How do you catch a horde of flies? Why, mod a pellet gun, of course! Then shoot it in the house first thing in the mornign as your wife is trying to sip coffee!
46 Go Arlo!
47 Hmmm...moving van unloading tenant's belongings hit the facia.
48 Then repaired it. Not painted yet.
49 And damaged the stairs. Also not painted yet.
50 Arlo and Kumiko are making some nocino with walnuts found on the side of the road. These two are so incredible. Such good foragers and amazing cooks, not to mention a whole lot of fun. I really miss them!
51 Reading up on how to make it. Walnuts cracked open, cinnamon, lemon, cloves?
52 Starts yellow then quickly turns dark.
53 Dinner with the family, including Kumiko's brother and sister-in-law and their son (Lenin).
55 Many many passports to process! Government and civilian, for all three of us. I need a new purse to hold them all!
56 Hisako is a joy...
57 And Kumiko's brother is a real hoot! I enjoyed chatting with him. Here they are making pasta!
61 Playing chase!
63 Time to milk the goats! Kumiko is really good at this! I tried and finally got some milk out but Kumiko is so much faster!
64 I wanted to remember this...
66 Kumiko's sushi rolls! She is really good at that and taught us all how to roll sushi. Even the kids made their own!
67 Dave mixing all kinds of drinks.
68 Ben and Sam out sailing for a one-day adventure camp - managed to catch the end of their day.
71 On the way to Victoria for Hockey Camp! But first we're starting out camping with the Paulsons at French Beach.
72 Very crammed truck!
74 Tired boys...
75 Setting up camp the first night. We went up Thurs 8/11 and camped two nights, then moved to Sidney BC for 8/13 to 8/20.
79 Sunset walk on the beach...this is looking over the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
84 The traditional waking up picture :)
85 The best views are from the outhouse!
86 Hard to capture how pretty the sun is through the trees.
89 Hi, honey!
91 Canadian and American flags.
93 Dave and Joel were very good cooking buddies. Such a wide variety of amazing foods!
95 Joel messing around with Ben. Adam is so much biggerso Joel enjoys being able to toss somebody around :) And Ben certainly doesn't mind!
97 One of the neat hikes they took us on. Wiggly wiggly bridge!
98 This is a panorama of this remote beach.
102 Lots of sand time.
104 Then time to whip it up!
107 Ben was doing this for a LONG time, washing his hands off.
109 Toooo tempting!
112 Rope swing time - this was FUN!
116 On our way back. Steps cut into a tree.
118 Hmmm...the coffee was only served hot, though, not cold.
119 But good stuff and the only cafe for miles around.
121 Interesting artist!
123 Swimming in the cold water was very refreshing
126 Then warming up with a hot sand treatment, like they do in Japan (and elsewhere heated by volcanoes!)
129 Hayden is very sandy!
136 Such good times with them. The boys all decided to bunk out in the tent together, so Dave and I shared a tent with Adam, Hayden, Ben and Sam. While we were sitting around the fire, Adam and Hayden just disappeared into the shadows to get their sleeping stuff. Their ghostly forms walked back to our site with sleeping bads and crawled in. We could hear them all talking in the tent while we chatted. Every now and then Ben would comment on something from inside the tent - he would be listening to us talking and just pipe up loudly every now and then ("Nah THAT's not how it went!")
140 Morning time - I love capturing what the kids are doing when they first wake up.
142 Oh no...did a sock mace get loose?
144 Help! Hayden falls out of the tent in a desperate bid for freedom!
145 Leftover chorizo with hobo packet veggies and an egg on top!
148 In the Canadian tradition of leaving one item for the next camper (we found a toaster (huh?) on one picnic table) - we left outgrown shinpads. Surely a Canadian kid will benefit?
149 Truck all packed for site #2! Good job, Dave
150 Visiting a seasalt harvesting operation - a small business that is growing steadily. This part is driven by propane boilers.
151 Using evaporation to make sea salt for some of it.
153 Different flavors
154 And the kids get a chance to package it!
156 Now at site #2 at Sidney - camping with friends again!
157 This is "Seat Perilous" from King Arthur (any time a knight sat in that chair, something dreadful would happen). This is the time-out chair for kids who are just over the top while Mom is setting up camp. I think Dave is out on a grocery run. Ben enjoyed this chair very much, though. Too much. ;) He actually turned it to face the tree. Weirdo!
159 Sam making eggs.
160 Out on Sidney Spit.
161 Great beaches!
163 Morning at the site. I love this place.
165 Ben grinding coffee for us.
166 Showing Daddy his grinds.
168 Rink schedules...we're getting boys to hockey camp every morning after camp breakfast. I love it. A routine in an unusual place.
169 Then Dave and I shot out a few days for biking with Joel and Kim.
172 No Hersheys left for s'mores, but thsi will work. Jersey, too! How bad could that be?
173 Various folks came by each night for s'mores and a drink. There were 10 Bremerton/Bainbridge families at the camp. 5 stayed in a house rented together and 5 stayed out in town. 2 of us camped.
175 More outhouse views! This is the BEST outhouse in the world. Best I've ever been to.
176 Portable toiletries for lenses, teeth, hand cleaning, washing...we're hobos from 8/1 to 9/13 (6 weeks?) so it is handy to have something you just carry in to your new abode, wherever that is.
177 Out biking with Joel and Kim
178 BIG PIGS! Kumiko!!!! See the pigs???
181 Cool truck/van!
182 Great lunch stop. Wow. All fresh from the local farms.
183 Best burger in town!
184 Back at the campsite...
187 Dave is making beer brats...
188 Lisa has all kinds of great salads for contribution, and this is her s'more tray, ready to roll!
190 Out on a hike to a great view near Butchart.
192 The view from one of the lookouts along the ridge.
194 Tough to do a proper selfie when blinded by the sun!
195 Ok, there!
198 Such a good coffee grinder!
203 The fateful moment...at this precise moment, coffee leaped out of Dave's mug and attacked him as he snapped the picture. Ach!
204 Our site.
205 The hangout - The Roost. Everyone stopped here for coffee and breakfast eats after kid drop-off.
206 There's the gang!
207 Ok, that's better!
208 And more to the right! Even Caden in this one!
212 Biking with Kim and sharing lunch at the Roost afterwards. So nice to hook up with you, Kim!
213 Checking out some trails through the woods nearby.
216 Street fair is really something! On Thursdays in Sidney. Don't miss it!
217 Hungry crew! Don't be fooled by Sam's look ;)
218 And yes, we did get him a hair cut before school started ;)
219 I really enjoyed time out with Sam Pokemon hunting. I finally got some time with him tethered to me (for a hot spot) and he showed me the ropes. We even ran into a Pokemon Club in BC and a group of young adults all hanging out together. I asked a few demographic questions - here are their replies: play Magic? Yes - ALL! Solve the Rubik's cube? 4 out of 7!
220 The Pokemon group...
221 This is how you manage a Ben walking through a street fair. ;)
223 Cooking with Julie and her crew.
225 Nice pancakes, Julie!
226 Vending machine choices!
227 Little did we know that vending machine options HERE in Japan would be mind-blowing. I am sipping warm green tea from a vending machine right now, in a cute little bottle.
229 This is what they chose for their last vending machine snack.
230 Ping Pong tournament!
231 Jillian vs. Dave
232 I finished off some Glenlivet down by my favored outhouse, like a street waif in the night. Sorry to leave this place, but leave we must, do laundry while back on Bainbridge for like 36 hours, then head out to Japan like Cinderella at midnight on Tues 8/22.
234 Ferry wait - very very hot in Victoria!
235 So sweaty
236 My finger is getting better, though. Nails a tad dirty from camping.
237 Ben is funny with his drinks, shades, and hair.
238 Hi Johnny!
240 Looking for whales
242 Nice sunset as we gaze back toward the Olympics.
243 Out on a jog - scary little piggies I've not seen before!
244 Last run through some favorite trails.
246 Last rink romp. BUT I did score some stuff from under the benches for me helmet repair kit.
247 Look who we ran into! Coach Pike!
248 Such a funny time with Sam, Ben and Zach. "Time for hockey family drama series, part 2!"
253 The promo shot for this new TV reality show...
255 These are fun boys. We were there for about 4 hours.
256 And more people just showed up...nice to have impromptu goodbyes.
258 But saying goodbye three times is also hard!
259 Even if you love having extra time together.
261 Me, Carol and Sarah after pizza
262 Back at Arlo and Kumiko's for final dinner before heading out on the military plane.
264 Industrious kids shelling hazelnuts
265 LOOK at this! Pork roast with a fig dressing and...Arlo...what is that grain/pasta/rice? I can't remember. It was so good!
266 Bags all packed and ready. Hockey stuff (ice AND roller) plus clothes for a month all stuffed into one hockey bag for Alli, Sam and Ben. Dave was reasonable and used actual suitcases. I wanted to be able to roll off the plane and onto the rink. I'm glad we did it this way for ice, but the roller rink was unfortunately nearly unskatable. It's being repaired, though...soon.
267 At the airport. It's 2am. OMG.
270 And so it begins. We will be at the Navy Lodge in over 24 hours. From this moment. 24 hours of transit. Hard to think about...so you just don't.
274 Killing time sleeping all over the airport.
277 Finally on the plane!
279 Hi buddy!
283 I have always loved traveling with my boys.
284 The flight was mercifully pretty smooth most of the time.
285 No WiFi, but like 4 movies. Rather older 767 but great staff. All military people on the plane.
288 We're here! This is Yakota!
290 Bus from Yakota to Yokosuka. Should take 1.5 - 2 hrs. But...ours took 4. OMG!!!
292 Not sure what this is of.
293 Finally in our hotel room! 4:44pm local time!
294 Ramen for dinner.
296 Out for a run...
299 Found a hidden campsite on base, on my FIRST gypsy jog foray! Evidence of a fire!!!
300 Huge spider web precluded further exploration until I figure out if they are poisonous ;)
304 I fell into this tide pool by the shrine. Don't ask. That gaping hole in the algae? Yup...
305 Our room - where I am storing hockey gear for now. I love these closets. Very 1940s. Love it.
306 Out for a skate to the rink.
307 Oh goodness...in a bit of rough shape.
309 A name I love. Really?
310 Swim tests accomplished - this is all on Thursday. The day after we arrived. Amazing. I don't know how we did it. We adjusted nearly instantly and started getting the ball rolling on so many things.
311 I do look tired, though.
312 But the boys continue to love swimming...
314 Sushi-go-round! Conveyor belts of sushi delivered to our table!
316 Then crepes for dessert!
317 And Magic cards!
321 Ben wanted Julian to see this photo in particular and label it "Yokosuka"
322 Class lists posted!
323 Meet and greet is FRIDAY - we've only been on the ground < 48 hours at this point.
324 But they can still use chopsticks. Not too tired for ramen!
327 Our view from the kitchen where I worked on a manuscript.
328 This stuff is good. How to describe it? Like a wine cooler but 10 times better.
330 A typhoon is rolling in on Monday. Just to keep things interesting.
331 Dave is already hard at work planning contingencies since it's projected to roll right over base.
333 First day of school!
334 Wow - what a start. The Navy band!
336 And Dave and I start a week of training to get oriented to base. Every day. 0800-1600
337 Haven't been in a classroom concentrating for YEARS.
342 Putting together boxes for friends.
343 First day of school - evening photo!
345 Out to red door ramen to celebrate!
346 A head's up about how these toilets work. They're FANCY. They wash you. And massage you.
348 Second floor pool - Olympic size. Amazing!
350 Finding the high spots on base while out running...
351 This keeps you alive during class. I usually get up at 0530 to run.
353 Yup. Fancy toilets! I tried every button.
354 From across the water, looking back at base.
355 Mikasa Park
356 This warship is important to Japanese history. The park is really beautiful.