Saturday, 25 February 2017

School Time: Valentine's Day

 I am the luckiest mom, because I got to do Valentine's Day crafts with the kid's at their school this year. And I am the luckiest because their school is the best. Their teachers and I were thinking the same, because when I asked if I could do something for Valentine's Day they said that they were just going to ask me if I was available. It worked out great. I spent one hour in Cosette's class making Valentines and candy roses, and one hour with Henry's class making Valentines. It was a lot of stickers, glitter, and fun! 

Cosette's class is at such a fun age. They are able to do a lot more on their own, and as you can see their Valentine's turned out so great. The candy roses were a little bit more difficult, and I had to spend most of my time helping the children, but they were so excited to give them to their mummies. I got a lot of sweet texts from the moms at school saying how excited their kids were to give them their crafts, and how nice they turned out. It's such a wonderful group of kids and moms that Cosette has in her class. I really enjoy getting to spend time with the children. It is the same group of kids from last year and the same teacher, so we have gotten to know each other pretty well. It is a really friendly environment and the kids know who I am, mostly from meeting up at the playground at school. I am so grateful for this amazing group of kids. 

So excited to give them to their mummies, and hoping that they share with them.

A completed bouquet. 

Cosette, Henry, and Raphael helped me make some cookies to put into the goodies bags the day before. The treats were a success. I love these kids. Wish they could just go to school together forever.

 Next I had to jog (literally) over to Henry's class to do Valentine's with them. They are the sweetest group of little kids. Henry kept calling me mommy, and one of his classmates kept referring to me as mommy. And even asked for a kiss when I had kissed Henry on the head (I can't help myself. My kids are lips magnets). They are still little and needed a lot of assistance, especially with the glue and scissors. Glue was everywhere!

The cutest N2 class in all of Singapore! These kids are the sweetest, and all gave me hugs afterwards. 

I love that I am able to volunteer so much in their classrooms. I had the most and the cutest Valentines I will ever have in my life. Happy Valentine's Day folks!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Yokohama with my Sister

The last day of our sister trip we spent touring around Yokohama, where we were staying. Yokohama is the second biggest city in Japan, and it's right next to Tokyo. Our cousin lives there, and runs a cafe from their house on the weekend. So if you are in Yokohama ever, you should check it out. 

First stop was Chinatown. It is the thing to see in Yokohama, and Chinese New Year was starting soon. We visited Kanteibyo (Kuan Ti Miao Temple). We were there early and had the place to ourselves.  

There were pandas everywhere in Chinatown. Everywhere.

Panda paus.

Hair in my face. Big disgrace. Still working on my jumping photo shot. 

Just a dragon on a lamp post. 

Took a photo here almost five years ago with Lyndon and Cosette. 

 We walked down the marina to our next destination, a Pokemon Centre. They exist here, and being kids that grew up with Pokemon, we could not resist checking it out. 

It was really bright that day.

Japan does it again. Adorable, but functional. 

 We got fish pedicures. I do not if it was a good thing that the fist liked mine feet more than hers. I told Ellen that this was proof I loved her, because I had to pull my jeans above my knees, and with skinny jeans it is almost impossible to do. It was a little bit painful. So there Ellen, I will endure pain for you. 

Landmark Tower, or as I like to call it Isengard. 

Gotta catch them all!

And more Totoros. 

 Cool sight in the Haneda airport. We parted ways there. It was sad that we were being parted again, but the thing about families, no matter how far away or close you are, they are always there for you. We have had regular facetime chats and mailing cards to each other ever since she left. 

My last view of Tokyo before I had to board my plane. I am grateful that everything worked out and Ellen and I were able to take this trip together. Sisters are the best! I will forever and ever be proclaiming that. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sensoji and Sumo

 Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo. A must see if you ever go. It is always really lively down there. After this gate there are shops that line the street up to the temple. We grabbed some red bean treats that were freshly baked, so good. It was cold that day. I like this temple because it has a lot of nice gardens and areas to walk around. It's really crowded at the bottleneck at the gate, but once to the actual temple the crowds thin out and it is quite a peaceful experience.
Tokyo Sky Tree

Early plum blossoms.

 We went to an okonomiyaki restaurant for lunch and met up with a friend from NYC who is currently living in Tokyo with her hubs. It was really fun to catch up, and she showed us around the area. It is the place to go if you want to see the plastic food that a lot of Asian restaurants use to model the food they serve. Japan makes everything cute, beautiful, but it is all functional. There were so many adorable and beautiful things we saw that you could completely justify buying because it was functional.

 My first time having okonomiyaki, and not my last. It is a savory pancake. I had cabbage, pickled ginger, and minced pork in mine I think. I remember the pickled ginger and it was perfect. I am trying to recreate it back home now. The restaurant was amazing. It was an authentic Japanese restaurant with the tatami mats, kotatsu, and you cooked your food right on the table. It was a hole in the wall looking place that you would have passed if not have been looking for it, and what a hidden treasure. It was a delightful dining experience.

Law school wives.

That night we went to Ryogoku Stadium to watch some sumo! It was the highlight of the trip. It was so incredible to watch. We got there in time to see the marching in of all the wrestlers. I did not know this, but sumo is only during January, March, and September in Tokyo. There are matches in a few other cities around the country, but it is something that you would have to plan your trip around, if you wanted to see sumo. We just got lucky and happened to be going during the sumo season.

Ellen and I are not sumo experts in any way. We had been watching some during the trip, so we did recognize a few of the names. It was so fun! We had a great time trying to pick the outcome of the match, and really got into it. This is something that my parents really enjoyed while they lived in Japan. Now we understand why.

Outside the stadium after the match.
I filmed an entire match from start to finish to share the experience and what the sport is like. Some matches got really intense there were a couple where the wrestler knocked his opponent out of the ring so hard that he fell on the people sitting around the ring. My favorite was when they would throw the salt, for good luck. I thought it was chalk or something to help them grip the floor, but no it is all about superstition. I love it!

Ellen and I ended this day exhausted. The trains that day, jeez. It took us forever to get back to our cousins. I think I even fell asleep on one train. It was still really fun. We even stopped in a pet shop and got to love on some puppies! My heart was melted and I wanted to take them all home with me. Why am I such a sucker for puppies, or baby animals in general? I introduced Ellen to Max Brenner Italian Thick hot chocolate. So nice being in hot chocolate drinking weather. This country is so incredible, anything we would have done would have knocked our socks off. But it was a great last full day in Japan together. 
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