Monday, February 22, 2010


Photos are from a 60 mile ride out to the Odawara Castle along Rt 134.

Our vast readership is keenly aware of the cycling undercurrents allusive
within this blog, you've certainly noticed the many bike trips to Zushi
mentioned as well as candids of tuckered out tikes asleep in bike trailers.
That we do not wear our love for cycling 'on our sleeve' like some other
bloggers do, who go as far as riding portions of Tour stages or tout their
exploits on wintry European cyclo-cross trails in an effort to ensure their
ascendancy as cycling fanatics, does not mean that we here at the humble
'Kanto Plain Blog' are any less passionate about the sport.

Our passion here on the Kanto Plain is contained in the subtle joys of passing
Y-plates along Rt 24 in the morning traffic and then noticing them enter the
CFAY gates well after you've already passed thru security; its about catching
a draft near Funakoshi and riding it all the way to Yokosuka, it's about
working along the Rt 134 coast road at 25 mph and passing JNs on their
scooters. Yes, we here on Honshu don't need to see the flashy techno-colored
jerseys of the professional elites to maintain our spirit for the sport; we
get by on old fashioned riding to keep us spinning. Our time spent cycling
here in Japan will be sorely missed, and with heavy heart we return home to a
less friendly cycling environ. Although we will continue to look forward to
the exploits of other bloggers who live in cycling's Mecca and will always be
grateful for whatever meager scraps of Tour paraphernalia the more fortunate
are willing to provide.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Southern Swing ‘10

Our big SE Asia family trip is now behind us; one last hurrah in Asia before heading home to the States. Singapore 4 days, Thailand 8 and Singapore for 2 more nights went by in a flash. Samy’s Curry House, Botanical Gardens and Little India were old favorites, but now we have several more new ones to add; Jurong Bird Park, the Night Safari and the Singapore National Museum. And in Little India we found a fabulous little fresh squeeze juice bar in a food stall near Tekka Market. Thailand was excellent too, the Courtyard Marriott Prez’ Suite was pretty good livin’ and the pool + the Kid’s World combo made for great afternoon fun. Dad never found his golf swing despite playing six days straight but that was his fault not the weather’s nor the courses they were both picture perfect. The Hua Hin night market became our evening activity, more restaurants and food stalls than one could ever hope to visit in a year, plus the wide variety of tourist trinkets that one would expect in an open air market. The Hua Hin train station provided more diversion than one would normally expect, the nightly Diesel Freightliner made for wind in the hair, and dirt in the teeth excitement that only two Thomas fanatics could really appreciate.

Here is the Hua Hin train station.

Elephant riding...Ethan was asleep within 10 minutes.

This is our favorite restaurant IN THE WORLD...SAMY'S CURRY HOUSE. The best Indian food, served on banana leaves instead of plates. I just can't believe it took Jeff 9 years to take me back there. We ate there 3 of our 6 night in Singapore.

We loved the Jurong Bird Park.

What can I say? Their daddy after all is a sailor!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"O" is for Onsen!

and oh how I love the onsen! It is definitely in the top THREE of things I'll miss most about Japan!

Here is a little write up courtesy of

"Natural hot springs (onsen) are numerous and highly popular across Japan. Every region of the country has its share of hot springs and resort towns, which come with them.

Hot spring baths come in many varieties, indoors and outdoors, gender separated and mixed, developed and undeveloped. A visit to an onsen is a highly recommended experience to any visitor of Japan."

A very important fact that is omitted in the above reference is that bathing suits are not allowed unless specified. We do frequent the Yunessan which is a "bathing suit" facility. It has more of an outdoor water park atmosphere than a traditional onsen.

This video is of a more traditional onsen.
(I can't get it to link...sorry you'll have to "cut and paste")

Here are my boys at the Yunessan...

Here is my Aunt Sue Sue and myself at a traditional onsen in Izu.

We love this silly picture! The hats are to keep you dry when it rains! What? Dry????!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


We are thrilled that Ethan was naturalized on 15 December, 2009.

He's waiting so patiently for his turn.

And so cute raising his right hand (Daddy recited the oath for him!)

Family photo with his citizenship certificate.

For all those reading the blog we know the significance of the day, but for Ethan it was all about the CAKE!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving, Anniversary, and Mickey Mouse

This year our anniversary fell on Thanksgiving day. We celebrated Thanksgiving and our 10th anniversary with the boys at Tokyo Disney. The weather was beautiful, about 60 degrees. We had a fabulous day!

And look what was delivered when I got home! I am so thankful for a great husband and two wonderful boys! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Look Who's Three!!!

What a celebration! Complete with Dora cupcakes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Official Countdown!

We officially received orders this past week. We can ready ourselves for our move home to Virginia Beach. Although we are extremely excited to be near family, friends, and have all the conveniences that the states bring, this will be a bittersweet move. When we departed Japan in 2003 I knew in my heart that we'd be back. I know leaving this time, we won't call Japan home again. We are looking at our last four months in Japan. What???? I have a LOT of shopping to do first. :) Those of you who know me, know that I'm not talking shoes and handbags here! There won't be a craft, yarn, or kitchen store that is safe from me in the coming weeks. House pack out is scheduled for the 19-20 January. (that actually gives me less time for shopping)

For my 2 or 3 regular (and patient) blog readers I plan to share my favorite Japan places and people weekly until we leave. Yes, that's right new blog posts. Can you believe it? Me either. But I'm optimistic.

Without further ado I present...

MooMoos is located in Zushi (the town we live in) near the shin-zushi train station. The owner is a very nice man who speaks English. He will often say "I've missed you" if we haven't been in a while. I know I've blogged about MooMoos in the past but we love it so that I thought I'd highlight it again. It is a small little shop with only a couple of tables. The ice cream is all natural with no artificial flavors. There are only two flavor options EVER. Milk flavor is the staple. The flavor of the week changes every Friday and it is usually something that is seasonal. Some of my favorites...pumpkin and coco. Andrew just mentioned that his favorites are melon, peach, and strawberry. The owner is quite adventuresome and has had some crazy flavors before. I haven't tried all his off the wall flavors but he was quite adamant once that I try his Gorgonzola creation. Sounded crazy but tasted like cheese cake ice cream. Sign below states coco is the flavor of the week. Both boys on this day chose to swirl the coco with the milk flavor! OISHII DESU!!!!