2016-09 SEPT

First month in JAPAN!!! School starts, ice hockey starts, household goods arrive, and Alli finds a horse!
MOV 0011  First day of school at Sullivans for Ben! This is the largest DoDEA school at 1200 students! DSC 0048  Doing some yoga out by the water behind the hotel. This is my view. DSC 0049  Early morning - before kids go to school. DSC 0050  Some finds... ;)
DSC 0051  Off to school! DSC 0052  About a 10 min walk from the hotel. DSC 0054  We're in area orientation briefs all week (AOB training). Today we're on a field trip to Kamakura, and having lunch together at a place that serves cold soba noodles. Very very good! DSC 0057  Funny lens on my camera for these sorts of shots!
MOV 0058  Watching soba noodle pasta being made. DSC 0059  The view down toward the shrine at Kamakura. DSC 0061  Very very, very hot. And humid. Nearly oppressive. Kumiko was right! DSC 0062  These gates indicate a shrine is just beyond.
DSC 0064 DSC 0065  Walking back to base from the train station. DSC 0066 DSC 0069  One of Sam's teachers.
DSC 0071  This is "Dave" in Japanese. DSC 0072  Yay! I finished! DSC 0073  These are VERY good. From the vending machines all over Japan. The vending machines serve cold coffee in summer and hot tea and coffee in the winter. Unbelievable. The boys LOVE the vending machines ;) DSC 0074
DSC 0075  View from one of my jogs around base. DSC 0076  The massive Olympic pool at the gym. DSC 0077  The kids LOVE spending time at the pool. DSC 0078  Mom, you'll be happy to know Ben is now a real fish in the deep end. He loves it! Sleeps with his swim license band on ;)
DSC 0079 DSC 0080  Vending machine scores for everyone! DSC 0081  Sushi-go-round - not sure if this is the name of the restaurant or not, but sushi arrives on a conveyor belt. DSC 0082  Ben watching the USS Ronald Reagan head out to sea.
DSC 0084 DSC 0085  Down at Miurakaigan beach. DSC 0086 DSC 0088  Still wide, warm and sandy!
DSC 0093 DSC 0094 DSC 0096  Driving around is an adventure! DSC 0097  Looking for a horse to ride. No easy feat! Or feet? This one is not very big!
DSC 0098  But the barn is pleasantly tucked in a very urban setting. They do horse trekking - on the beach and even to Mongolia. DSC 0099 DSC 0101  Farm land on the Miura Peninsula. DSC 0102  Now down on Jogashima Island.
DSC 0103  A beautiful and quiet fishing village. DSC 0104 DSC 0105 DSC 0106
DSC 0108 DSC 0109  Neat coastline. DSC 0110 DSC 0111
DSC 0112 DSC 0114 DSC 0115 DSC 0116
DSC 0118 DSC 0119 DSC 0120 DSC 0124  Very large butterfly - size of a bat!
DSC 0126  And beetles in the bathroom! DSC 0128  This is how we finished our day - a double rainbow. DSC 0129 LINE MOVIE 1472890078488  Thanks to Angela for driving us all over to test out her new car!
DSC 0130  The hotel room loungers. DSC 0131  This is the creepiest staircase on the planet! Steep, slippery, and spidery! DSC 0132 DSC 0133
DSC 0134  View from up top... DSC 0135  Music over my shoulder coming from Mikasa Park. LINE MOVIE 1472976312978  A tour of the hotel room :) DSC 0136  Sock mace wars!
MOV 0137 DSC 0139  Evening lights while waiting to get some dinner. DSC 0140  Hi, buddy! DSC 0141  This was SO funny. I guess we all needed to laugh because this just cracked us up. Suck-chin (get it? suction?)...
DSC 0142 DSC 0143  Sam can hold up an entire glass filled with water! DSC 0144 DSC 0145  Yearbook photo???
DSC 0148  Good code to live by. We spent an entire walk (about 30 min) across base just focusing on how one can show respect to others. The culture here is very different, both on and off base. Probably worth a whole post on the topic. DSC 0149  Riding the train to Yokohama! DSC 0150 DSC 0151  Visiting the Ramen Museum. Very hot!
DSC 0152  But cool inside, and many ramen stores to try. Only the best in Japan are invited to showcase their wares in mini-restaurants. DSC 0153  We picked Samure for the Hokkaido-style miso-ramen. DSC 0154  Very rich and yummy. DSC 0155
LINE MOVIE 1473045348193  Ben slurping...this is HOW you eat it! DSC 0156 DSC 0158  Ok this is totally nuts See the car in the distance? This is basically a 60KPH road, the fastest legal speed limit on roads in Japan (unless posted otherwise, a rare few) and cars just STOP on the side, put flashers on, and do what they need to do. Like place a call, or comb hair, or text. It's unreal. DSC 0159  The Nissan Arena has a waterpark below...
DSC 0160  Now we're at Shin-Yokohama ice rink! MOV 0162  This is where the ice hockey club plays. We'll be meeting the team on 9/17! MOV 0161  Many figure skaters on the ice! Trying not to create an international incident. No sounds of hockey stopping out there, no sprayed "snow" on the boards... DSC 0163
DSC 0164  The lobby DSC 0165  The street corner by the rink. Many food options right by the rink. DSC 0166  Walking to the train station. DSC 0167  Inside...people queue up for trains and buses. No clumping and pushing.
DSC 0168  Yakitori stand. You eat what you like on sticks, then they count sticks and you pay. DSC 0171  Ben trying intestines! The boys are both very adventurous eaters! DSC 0172  The options for internet... DSC 0173  And this is where the internet/cable office is located. Pretty nondescript!
DSC 0174  Me walking with my boys :) DSC 0175  Ben's swim license! DSC 0176  Me also walking at night with boys - but they jumped before I could snap a shot of their shadows :) DSC 0179  Nice sunset on a Friday evening, shot from the Purdy Gym after swimming.
DSC 0180  Ben after school. DSC 0183  He earned this eraser for math participation. DSC 0184  He loves it! DSC 0185  Open house at Ben's class. We are so pleased with the kids' teachers.
DSC 0186 DSC 0190 DSC 0191 DSC 0195  This is hanging on the wall. K is what you KNOW, W is what you WANT to know, and L is what you LEARNED.
DSC 0196  Ben's desk is in the front row, in the center. With a bit of a moat around it. Guess why!? DSC 0197  Sam lifting weights in the gym. We are having a nice time working out together. DSC 0198 DSC 0199  Dave driving our new car!
DSC 0200  Mommy driving! DSC 0201  Boys LOVE the van! Reclining seats! DSC 0202  I continue to be fascinated by plumbing here. DSC 0203  Treat in a box for after dinner!
DSC 0204  This looked interesting...very subtle taste. DSC 0205  Ben really loves filling the ice bucket :) DSC 0206 DSC 0207  Driving to check out a horse barn with a new friend!
DSC 0208  Wibit course at the pool DSC 0211  This is a riot - this bridge part is very slippery! DSC 0212 MOV 0210  We all loved it!
DSC 0213 DSC 0215  I made it! DSC 0216 DSC 0217
DSC 0219  Out with the family off base. This is Starbuck's in the background with an upper patio deck, and a Japanese submarine moored at the base in the background. DSC 0224  We HAVE to try this sometime! DSC 0225  This is an area called the Honch. It's full of sailors at night, but peaceful and lots of good eats and stores by day. DSC 0226
DSC 0229  Nice sentiment...not sure about the make me part? DSC 0230  Womble Gate - one of three entrances to base. DSC 0231  Mikasa Park water fountain and music MOV 0232  Beautiful
DSC 0233  Found some nice whiskey! DSC 0234  Ben wrote this bio poem...enjoy! DSC 0237  At the gym with Sam. DSC 0238  Waiting for Dave...and Sam having fun with selfies. Pardon the indulgence here but grandparents will enjoy seeing this seldom-photographed boy!
DSC 0239 DSC 0240  He's getting really big and expressive, isn't he? DSC 0241 DSC 0242  I'm off on an adventure to the barn by bus. Oh my...
DSC 0243  NOTHING in English on bus signage. DSC 0244  One must be very good at maps and intuitive regarding routes. Google doesn't really know times...but bus numbers are pretty accurate. DSC 0245  I'm nearly there! See the horse statue? The entrance is just ahead. I took a 30 min bus ride then walked 2K. DSC 0246  Garden on the side of the road.
DSC 0247  Entrance just past blue metal thing. DSC 0248  And here I am with Bina after a ride! DSC 0249  I got to help the stable owner muck and scrub buckets, then took a ride. DSC 0250  Such joy to be back on horseback. This girl is young but very willing.
DSC 0251  The wash stalls. DSC 0252  And on the left a little stove they use to burn cedar shavings to keep the flies down. I really want one of hese. DSC 0253  The only carrots at the commissary were these massive ones! And peeled, too! DSC 0254  She likes them :)
DSC 0255  Her stall... DSC 0256  And I heard someone crowing! I ran all over trying to find the source of the familiar sound and finally found him! A little old rooster! DSC 0257  Neat, huh? Water fills up top to wash your hands, then fills the back tank to be used in the next flush. DSC 0258  Tomoe and I!
DSC 0259  Tomoe gonig out to cut hay and haul it back to feed the horses. DSC 0260  And the arena - has good footing even after a rain. DSC 0261  Tomoe plants all kinds of planters around the barn. DSC 0262  And this is the entrance to the barn.
DSC 0263  What is that van doing up there? I am walking back now, trying to find the return bus. Had some fun with young Japanese students playing a game of non-verbal chase with me as we jogged down the road. I'd stop jogging, look back, and catch them smiling and jogging to keep up with me. It was very cute! Kids are kids everywhere. They helped me find the right bus. DSC 0264  I made it back to base and picked up Ben. Then we enjoyed this artist - it is mesmerizing (Ben's apt description) watching him paint in layers. DSC 0267 DSC 0268  My lunch from 7/11 off base. Very inexpensive. 300 yen for this and some sparkling lemon water. It's always a joy to get a beverage, not really knowing what you're getting, and finding out you hit the jackpot - you got exactly what you were hoping for after being exhausted and starving from lots of barn work!
DSC 0269  Dave driving up! DSC 0272  Household goods (HHG) have started to arrive! DSC 0273  First dinner in the kitchen! DSC 0274  Goodie boxes for friends being assembled!
DSC 0276  Walking to school - Ben is messing with me :) DSC 0277  Crates are arriving! We moved into the house on Sept 12, and our belongings started arriving on the 13th. DSC 0278  Meeting Ben at the library. He is beginning to find his way around base on his own as well. DSC 0279  They love the patio for weight lifting.
DSC 0280  Yes, we need to watch Ben carefully because he'll try to lift too much! DSC 0281  This cat wandered in while we were taking delivery of our belongings. I have seen so many wild cats on base I figured this was one of them - a friendly one! DSC 0283  Turns out she is a neighborhood cat :) DSC 0284  The mover really had a fun time putting these cheap Craigslist shelves back together ;)
DSC 0285  The net and shooting pad are up! DSC 0286  Walking to base up and over "weather hill" road. DSC 0288 DSC 0290  Figured this was milk, but there was no English anywhere on it. I told the kids that whatever it is, it's going on the cereal! Let's hope!
DSC 0291  Some pictures of the chaos... DSC 0292  We had fun with the movers. Here is one putting the states puzzle together. I can't believe what DIDN'T get lost - not one piece of the puzzle is missing, and the ONE feather that Sparrow (the adopted rooster) left behind in his wild jaunt through the woods I just found this morning. I keep many special "artifacts" in a little cubby and this was one I managed to find in the woods. A memory of him and his gallant self. I am glad it's still with me. DSC 0293 DSC 0294  This is how a computer was packed...it's a wonder it is fine!
DSC 0295  Downstairs bath...one piece of decor was placed there for Dave. It has since moved back to my artifacts shelf ;) DSC 0297  This artist is mesmerizing to watch. DSC 0299  Sam really enjoyed watching this painting come together. It is the gate to a shrine. The male dragon on the right has its mouth open to keep bad things out. The female on the right has her mouth closed. These are by all shrine gates. Shrines are places where Japanese people commune with Shinto gods. DSC 0302  Back home...spotting each other...
DSC 0304 DSC 0306  The kitchen is done! Got this done on the 15th, the day the movers finished unboxing everything. DSC 0307  Friday, 9/16 - out on a jog off base down the waterfront. DSC 0308  This is a neat fort in Umikaze Park.
DSC 0309  Right across the street is HOMES. It has EVERYTHING. I purchased some net and carried it back hobo-style to protect against rogue pucks. DSC 0310  In the Port Market you can find all kinds of fresh food. These eggs tell me chickens are around somewhere... DSC 0311  Produce section. DSC 0312  Camo pound cake?
DSC 0313 DSC 0315  Homework tracking station... DSC 0320  The house at night under a full moon. It's really pretty here. DSC 0321  Now it's our first Saturday in the house and we're headed up to the ice rink in Yokohama to check out ice hockey, Japanese style!
DSC 0322  First some gear... DSC 0323  And dinner at 7/11. You would NOT believe the food selection at 7/11s in Japan. Unreal. DSC 0324  So they don't use locker rooms - the club just gears up on the side of the rink. This is the upper grades (4,5,6). Sam and his friend Tyler (also from Bremerton ice hockey) are meeting the club director (orange shirt) and head coach Issei. DSC 0325  This is the lower grades (1, 2, 3). Jake's mom helping him with his helmet. Jake and Tyler are Sam and Ben's age! So 4 crazy Americans are joining the club this fall. Jesse (Elizabeth's husband) coached red team for Squirts two years ago.
DSC 0327  At the bench ready to go on the ice. DSC 0328 DSC 0329 DSC 0331  On the ice! 20 players in each age division.
DSC 0342  The lower grades coaches gave about 10 min talk - these kids (Mites ages) paid focused attention the whole time, even after a 90 min practice! I'm pretty impressed with the level of play and ability to focus on drills. DSC 0343  The coaches introduced Jake and Ben. It was very nice. MOV 0330  Here are some clips of practice. Ben is in a black helmet on the left side of the rink, blue jersey. MOV 0332  Sam is in a white USA jersey on the right side.
MOV 0333 MOV 0334 MOV 0335  We met a really nice man who spent a couple years working at the SUNY tech park in Albany! That is where his son picked up ice hockey. He is the captain of the lower grades team. MOV 0336
MOV 0337 DSC 0341  Tyler, Sam and Issei after practice! MOV 0338  Sam and Tyler share their thoughts on the first practice. This is worth watching if you only have time for one movie. Sam is really happy to be on the ice and having a serious practice that keeps you moving the whole time and at a fast pace. DSC 0344  Dave ran to 7/11 to get breakfast makings this morning so we can keep moving in before driving up for hockey again. I have work this weekend as well as moving in...it is very busy. I feel like I have been run over by a bus ;)
DSC 0345  Dry land before Sunday practice. This is Ben's team doing some jumping and sprinting. DSC 0346  Sam's team did about 5 laps around the block then stretched. As I jogged around with them, not understanding anything they were saying and having no idea how far we were going, it reminded me of jogging in Everett with the Squirts team. I had a clear memory of running behind Carver, Max, Eli and Zack as they laughed and jostled each other. Different language but same smiles and horsing around! MOV 0347  The Mites-age kids doing warmup (ages 6, 7, 8). DSC 0350  Out on the ice - Sam and Tyler chatting after a battle for the puck.
MOV 0349  Here is that puck battle... MOV 0348  Sam and Ben do this drill at the same time. Sam on bottom and Ben on top of screen. DSC 0351  My new friends Misaki and Minoko helping me figure out what a signal means! Red light OVER green arrow? HUH? DSC 0352  This is what I need to make ramen. Beautiful!
MOV 0353  Watching our team (yellow) take on their biggest rival, the Tokyo Seibu Bears. I think you'll be impressed with the level of play. All kids are U12. MOV 0356  Down by the glass. Just after this play they scored. When I left the home team was up 3:1! MOV 0355 DSC 0357  Monday night I made an unremarkable ramen from packets. Edible but not worth a photo. Kumiko - help!!! Tonight I made the infallible ribollita. It felt so good to cook in the only room fully functional. I was able to monitor homework while cooking - also very nice. I get to be productive while ensuring others are as well!
DSC 0361  Ben and I had some more energy to get out so we went onto the patio and pumped some weights after dinner. Crazies! He is very funny, and getting very very strong. Likes to tell me how to lift, new routines to do, how to hold the weights just so, to work out ones wrists... DSC 0369  Just found my alarm clock, at my lucky time! I still have it set to Washington time, as with our land line phones (well, not land line - VOIP to be precise - but they feel like land lines given that we use cell almost exclusively). The phones and alarms set to WA time remind us of "home" far away. DSC 0370  On a walkabout Yokosuka with the boys we found this lady making plastic models of Gundam. An action figure. How interesting! I wonder if you'll see this on Amazon??? DSC 0372  Ben showing us his most efficient walking style, by a good Pokemon lure spot at a skate park. Sam is on the hunt!
DSC 0375  Trying to catch a picture of Ben is like trying to catch a Pikachu! He darts! But I got 'im! DSC 0376  Out on an urban jog, on Autumn Equinox day. It's a Japanese holiday, a day to celebrate a good harvest, and those who have passed. I ended up at a shrine by a cemetery and paid my respects by picking up trash debris. DSC 0377  The cemetery is tucked in a hillside just above the Honch. DSC 0378
DSC 0379  Entrance to the cemetery. Men were out laughing, talking and cleaning at the entrance, early in the morning. This was maybe around 9am. It was raining. DSC 0380  I used my phone to scan signs to see if I shouldn't enter certain places. You can take a picture with Google translate and scan the text for a translation. Pretty cool. I stayed away from the OFF LIMITS places for sure... DSC 0381  These are SUPER cute, aren't they? Manhole covers over fire hydrant hose things... DSC 0382  Continuing on my urban jog, this is a Katsura katsura tree, known for its heart-shaped leaves.
DSC 0383  Sure enough! DSC 0384  This jog had a theme - I wanted to get up into the hills and foliage. So I just kept going up provided nothing said I shouldn't. DSC 0385  Don't eat these, though :) DSC 0386
DSC 0387  Many of them by this tree...odd! DSC 0388  I'm tucked up in a hillside taking cover from the pouring rain, wondering what I'll do next. It's not cold, though, so exploring must go on. DSC 0389  I couldn't translate this monument - camera lens way too wet by now. DSC 0390  But look at these little sidewalks? By houses. No road. This must be how they get home. I don't know where they park. Maybe no car? These little paths go on and on, winding around the hillside.
DSC 0391  How could you NOT jog along this, to see where it went? DSC 0392 DSC 0393  Arlo - here's some land! It might - MIGHT - be 14x20 ;) DSC 0394
DSC 0395  In the distance you can see this sidewalk continue downhill and connect with the next one. DSC 0397 DSC 0398  soaked! DSC 0399  But still can't resist tiny homes, tiny streets, and pops of color. Plus, I'm exploring. Not done yet.
DSC 0400 DSC 0401  Since 1990? Wish the garage door popped open and revealed an occupant to ask. DSC 0403  It's still the Autumn Equinox and I'm in a bit of a funk. Not sure why, but adventure usually kills it. I think we are all actually still adjusting, even though on the surface the house is nearly put together and all are doing very well, enjoying the adventure into hockey, horses and life on base. If you take a close examination, you realize that honestly, just living life in a new place takes much more out of you than you realize. Nothing is on autopilot, not even putting gas in the van. Signage is not friendly, hills are not familiar, clouds are new acquaintances. You just keep going, because that is what you do, but after a while you just get bone-tired. But the minutes don't slow down...you don't quite catch up with sleep. So I did what usually works for a funk - work the land. Here are piles of leaves picked up so when the grass dries I can mow. DSC 0405  And if that doesn't work? FIRE. FIAH baby, FIAH. I am burning some sticks I picked up, using a lattice-work design to get my tiny flame going and keep the rain out.
DSC 0406  My little fire grew. Not by a lot, but enough. I stood by it, drew warmth from it, and let my mind stew a bit. Nothing clarified. But, here I was in a distant land, in a new home, and yet still building fires with wet wood. Some things never change, and that's good. (Hey! Is that a song?) DSC 0407  It's Friday now, and I'm on my way out to the barn to see my new friends, shovel some muck, and ride Bina. I'm so happy to be in the inaka - countryside. This is a neat collection of weathered wood. DSC 0408  This will be a good place to visit on my way back from the barn some day. Fresh eggs and produce. DSC 0409  Uma - all cross-tied so their uma goya can be cleaned.
DSC 0410  This place is so beautiful in the sun. There is a small stove in the middle of this aisleway which is used to keep the flies at bay by burning wood and shavings all day. The smoke is pretty effective and has a distinctive smell I don't like to wash out of my hair. DSC 0412 DSC 0413  My new friend Tomoe cuts her own hay for over 20 horses! I don't know how she does it all. DSC 0415  This is the countryside  - on the side of the road on my way to the barn. I take a bus about 30 min then get off and walk 2K because there are only 2 buses an hour going the last leg of the trip.
DSC 0416  THIS is still a mystery to me. I have caught a bus going back twice at 1:15 which puts me back on base just in time to get Ben. But I can't read the schedule! Many buses go to Yokosuka, I can tell that much (3,4,5,6,7,8)...but when? DSC 0417  Dave has been a hanging fiend - hanging everything up. So nice to see this up again. DSC 0418  Dave's ramen - very very good! One of the boys on Ben's team, his mom Minako gave us a tip on which noodles to get. DSC 0419  This is dry land for the upper grade kids over at Nissan Stadium. They run the stadium, then do these, and also do stairs, frontwards, backwards, wheelbarrow...serious workout. Sam likes it, though, strangely enough. He likes being outside.
DSC 0420 DSC 0421  Ben is leaning on the boards, ready to hit the ice. DSC 0422  Finally looking at me :) DSC 0423
DSC 0424  Water fight in the culdesac with all the neighbor kids -no guns needed, just large cups :) DSC 0425  I labeled Sam's helmet with his name. SA MU ("muh") is what those two katakana characters sound like. Together they approximate SAM. DSC 0426  Same here... DSC 0427  Ben picked this up from a buddy. He likes to do this now.
DSC 0428  A treat from one of the parents after practice. So nice! I was thinking about doing that, too. Just was happy to arrive in Yokohama in one piece, though. I'll be able to do creative and nice things eventually...giving myself a little reprieve while I learn to drive here ;) DSC 0429  Nice office! This is on base, on a jog. DSC 0430  I decided to jog along this seawall, which is technically off base. I had my ID...there were tiny wooden steps...no sign saying DON'T DO THIS...so I went. DSC 0431  Here I am...going ok! This is HOT though...at 8am.
DSC 0432  Our home at night. We both love this house. It's remarkably private, has a lot of trees, and is beautiful, really. Plenty of space for people to spread out. Can't wait to have some visitors. When can you come??? DSC 0433  This is again the inaka - countryside - on my way to the barn. I love it. DSC 0435  This is the little seating area inside the barn - wood stove, chairs, microwave tucked up high. We sit here for lunch after mucking and riding. Around noonish. I have to figure out my schedule so I can have time with the two ladies. They are a delight - the owner and one of the ladies who rides there. She is 41 and has a 7 yr old boy. DSC 0436  Tomoe is helping me understand Katakana. I've since decided to learn Hiragana first, which I am sure Kumiko recommended long ago...but I'm just now figuring out how. I have an app that is very helpful...
DSC 0437  Laughing, and erasing... DSC 0438  My name! "A" then "L" then "ee" sound. DSC 0439 DSC 0440  This says I'm 45 years old and have two children.
DSC 0441  Tomoe gave us some of her favorite chocolate to try. We all love it! DSC 0442 DSC 0443 DSC 0445  This fire started out as just me trying to get charcoal going so Dave could grill chicken. The charcoal was the kind you have to douse in lighter fluid. So I did. I also had my stick collection in there from my Autumn Equinox fire (the one I lit to push out a bit of a funk at not being able to chop wood or be in the woods at my home). So after a bit, after the chicken was cooked (on the "one decent hot area" Dave complained), this thing really took off. It's so hot now with my wormwood, or whatever it is, that you couldn't bear to hold your hand over it for more than 2 seconds, 4 feet up! I decided to bring my laptop out and work to babysit it, because I hate putting fires out. I really do.
DSC 0446  Molten metal below. So I thought. Was really just dust glowing ;) DSC 0449  Me working :) DSC 0451  Seawall jog again...now I'm not so afraid. The last time I really wondered how I was going to get back in, and if a tsunami came, how would I scale the wall and barbed wire. This time I knew there was another opening I could get through...so I just went for it. DSC 0452  See that wire? Kinda scary!
DSC 0453  It gets narrower... DSC 0454 DSC 0455  My ID is in here, and this sign is kind of intimidating. DSC 0458  Huge spider. Need to figure out if it is venomous. This is in the spider staircase (my words for it) on a run...after the seawall adventure.
DSC 0459  See all these flights of stairs? Very narrow treads. And you can't hold onto the railings because there are webs all around. And you wonder if the big spider decided to swing on down onto you as you went under. Very spooky! I am planning a haunted Halloween hike - through the Gridley tunnel then up the hill, then down the stairs, and back to our house. DSC 0460  View from a gypsy jog today. I decided to run off base, down to Maborikaigan as far as I wanted to go, then hop a bus or train back. It was overcast, so the perfect day to explore along the coast where there are no trees to provide cover. DSC 0461  Looking back along the coast. In the far distance is base. Lots of fishing between here and there. Two fish markets, too. One of them I knew about, the other I smelled on my run. Will check it out on the way back. DSC 0462  This is about 9K from base.
DSC 0463  Found a cute French pastry shop. Not open yet :( DSC 0464  Here it is. Worth all the exploring just to find this! I decided to find a bus in Hashirimizu Beach, a very cute and small coastal fishing town. I found a Family Mart and charged my card, having been told 10 min to the bus' arrival by people waiting at the stop (ALWAYS a good sign seeing people queue up because buses are not all that frequent). I booked it into the shop, got some Pokari Sweat (like Gatorade, because in this humidity you literally lose POUNDS of water on a jog - 4 pounds is not unusual for me to lose) and shot back out of the store only to find the bus PULLING UP TO THE STOP! I high-tailed it and jumped on, then got off a few stops later so I could find the fish market and jog back. Cost me 100 yen to shave a few K off my jog back. DSC 0465  This is the fish market I explored. DSC 0466  Good deals? Not sure. Also not sure what to do with all this stuff. I am not an Asian foodie yet.
DSC 0467 DSC 0468  I think those red and white areas might be where the fish will be for sale. Jogged back, total 12K gypsy exploration. Raked leaves, unpacked the last box, did laundry, and had breakfast at noon. I have been working my tail off at home and in work for the past week so it is very nice to have some time to explore and catch up on the minutiae of moving in, like filing claims for missing/broken things, and property management for our house back on BI. Must run! Thanks for checking in here...love to all of you.