Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meg and Derek and Finley and Grandma and Grandpa Come For A Visit

The day after Janet arrived home from Tokyo, Meg and Derek and Finley came to visit.  They left Squamish early due bad air quality from one of the way too many forest fires in B.C.

The most common theme during the visit was how much Noodles loved Mr. Baby the food Mr. Baby dropped on the floor.  Part way through the visit, they blocked off one edge of the kitchen, restricting her access.  Noodles, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer forgot she had access from the other side!  Janet says now that Noodles is closing in on 14 years old, she is really obsessed with food.  That's likely because she missed so many meals earlier on in her life - yeah, right!
Noodles - this one is bubble maker, not food!

They went to visit Beacon Hill Petting Zoo - one of Janet's favourite places in Victoria.  There were two incidents that reminded Janet and Meg so much of Rockers.

The first is the Mexican Stand Off between a peacock and a really cute sheep.  This made them think of Rockers who would stand in the same spot for hours rather than walk past Meg's cat Zambo.
There were three other sheep just around the corner who were busy eating and not prepared to lend a helping hoof!
The other was two goats that were enjoying a nap together.  Noodles and Rockers used to sleep with mostly Rocker's head resting on Noodles back.
Aren't they cute?
Finley likes to make himself monster hands.  Janet thinks he is so cute because he can talk up a storm now.  And, he's not afraid to dispense advice!  "Be careful, Yaya" when Janet steps up on a stool.  "Daddy go away" when he discovers a treasure trove of goodies in Phil's desk.

He was very helpful washing off his Momma's SUP.
He also helped his Poppa with some work issues.

They were so busy, it was necessary for Finley to use two screens.

"OK, Poppa - let's get this bad boy of a contract in the computer so we can go enjoy a beer sippy cup of milk!"
"What!  No paper in the printer?  No worries, Poppa, I'm on it.  While I'm at it, do you mind if I store some pens in here?"
Janet bought these cute shorts at Uni Qlo in Tokyo, but length wise they are more like capri pants.  Not to worry, Finley - Auntie Brownyn assured Yaya many years ago that everyone can wear capri pants.  Janet always wanted capri pants, but thought they looked awful on her.  Next time they went shopping, Bronwnyn laughed her head off when Yaya tried some on and had to admit she was wrong!
Sadly, the visit had to come to an end.  Janet was seriously glad she lacks the Illingworth packing gene and did not have to do anything with this!
Glennie hooked Meg up with a super deal on some barely used windsurfing equipment.  That's Mr. Baby's water table in front of them.
It's a miracle!
Meg was busy packing up a bag of treasures for the ferry, when Finley came along and said "I pack bag"  He then opened up a cupboard and took out two cans of pineapple (his favourite), did a little jig and then put them in the backpack.  After that, he opened up a drawer and extracted a large bag of raisins and then dropped them in the bag.  Janet is somewhat suspicious that his mother put him up to it in an order to cut down on their grocery bills - just kidding and takin' the piss, Meg!

And, before you knew it, they were gone!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Last Of The Tokyo Tidbits

To make up for being so lazy, Janet is going to make this a big post with lots of photos.  After we finish with her trip to Japan, we need to move onto Mr. Baby's visit!

They spent a far bit of time (money, anyone?) at Nippori Station which is a huge fabric neighbourhood.  In Tokyo, several businesses of the same type will be located in one area.

The largest of all the stores was Tomato and they had several stores in this area.
Rolling the fabric onto a bolt.
Janet's purchases:
Generally speaking, they said the fabric was very reasonably priced.  Second to the left is Liberty fabric.  Bronwyn requested Hello Kitty fabric and wants Janet to make her a quilt.  Three of the fabrics of Hello Kitty in them.
They were very kindly invited to David and Poo's riverside home for dinner.

Poo made a whole table of tempura and it was delicious.
Poo, their son Matthew (Toshio used to say Ma-chew!) and his buddy.

They were also taken to an incredible Sushi restaurant by Yuki, his wife Wendy and Yuki's mom Etsuke.  Etsuke is a childhood friend of the mom whose son is the sushi chef and owns the restaurant.  It was beautiful.
Wendy and Etsuke in the background.  In Karen's hand is a piece of fresh wasabi.  Several years ago, Phil bought fresh wasabi at Uwajimaya and a piece about 1 inch long was nearly $20.

It was an incredible experience.

Fancy sake cup.

On the second last day of their visit, they went to Kinshicho Station, which is quite close to where Toshio and his family used to live.  They had lunch at a tempura restaurant that Janet and Phil have eaten at often.

Right across the street from the station is a movie theatre.  When Janet was running for "Mother of the Year" award, she dropped 5 year Meg off at the theatre and came back to get her when the movie was over.  Not sure if Meg remembers, but she watched "Doraemon".

Tempura chefs hard at work.
In the same shopping centre, there was a machine to heat up your baby bottles and a room to feed your baby in.

Toshio's old house was torn down and this sparkly new house now sits in its place.  Given all the times that Janet and Karen have collectively visited Toshio and Toyoko's house one wouldn't expect they would get lost.  Wrong!
Side view.  It looks really nice.

Back in the day, take away food was delivered in a covered container on the back of a bike.  The restaurant food was delivered in real dishes and when you were finished, you set the dishes on your doorstep and the restaurant came back to pick them up.  This is how it's delivered nowadays and Janet is uncertain if they still use real dishes.
Oh oh!  The train might be a little crowded!
Both Janet and Karen spent $40 to stay in their rooms until they were ready to take the train to the airport.  They spent the last day wandering around the hotel neighbourhood and had an early lunch.

This lunch was about $10.  Both of them decided that it was a very affordable vacation.
Sashimi bowl on rice, Chawan Mushi custard soup, salad, piece of tofu and some Japanese pickles.
Oh it's time to go home.  This might be a problem!
Inside the new Boeing Dreamliner.

In all of Tokyo, this was Janet's favourite sign.  And, there are a lot of really interesting signs in Tokyo!  If you can only read English, you are screwed six ways to Sunday.  You now know there is going to be an allergy issue, but have no clue if it pertains to you!

Once again, Janet's photographic skills are highlighted!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tokyo By Toilet

Before we delve into the intricacies of potty breaks in Tokyo, I need to start off by saying that Janet has neglected our blog for more than two full weeks!  This is unacceptable!  We are, however, caught between a rock and a hard place as we still can't type and don't know anyone else who will help us.
Noodles and I need to put our heads together!  That might be kind of tough today, though as Noodles hurt her paw this morning and Janet can't see what's wrong with it.  Janet "had" to sit on the sofa and watch MORE Poldark to keep Noodles company this afternoon.

Janet noticed while they were in Tokyo that there were many, many toilet systems.  Some of them in Japanese only.  Which one to flush the toilet; which one to make a running water noise so that others don't realize you are actually going to the bathroom (why go into a toilet if you aren't going to go the toilet?); which button rinses and fluff dries your bottom?

This was the bathroom in Janet's hotel room.  It wasn't a mental challenge.  Thankfully.

The control panel was straight forward.
Janet thought the mirror was pretty special.  The wall above the vanity was all mirror, but the mirror above the sink didn't fog up.  Good thing she remembered the towel!
Fancy coloured buttons version.
Musical options.
The La-Z-Boy version with the controls in the arm!  Only thing missing is the TV!  Janet neglected to get a photo of a typical "squat on the floor" Japanese style toilet as there were never any quite clean enough for photographing!
Look!  A real flushing handle!
This sink was one stop for all - water, soap and hand dryer all in one!
On the third floor of their hotel, there was a large common area with two massage chairs, vending machines and two sets of washers and dryers.
Plus, this really cool outdoor patio!

Janet went next door to 7-11 and purchased a bottle of New Zealand wine for about $7 and they had happy hour on the patio.  It had rained most of the day, but stopped late afternoon and it was beautiful and refreshing.

On a really good note, smoking in public in Tokyo (with the exception of the doorway to 7-11!) is greatly reduced.
Hopefully now that Janet has run out excuses - jetlag, Meg, Derek and Mr. Baby and Grandma and Grandpa visiting, she can actually buckle down and get on the blog job!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our Good Friend Toshio

Janet mentioned previously about Phils friendship with Toshio that was more than 40 years long.

While visiting Toyoko on the first visit, she asked if Janet and Karen would visit Toshios gravesite.  Japanese do not view a visit to the graveside as mourning; they view it as a chance to visit the person interned there.

They met David Shapiro, Koji, Hitomi and Yuki at the closest train station and then drove for a few minutes to get there.  It was quite a lovely spot.
The Park was very lovely.  The wooden buckets were used to clean off the headstones.
Koji cut the grass around the headstone and Janet pulled some weeds.
After the graveside visit, they went to Toshio's favorite restaurant, katsu.

Janet had Kutsu-don.

Toyoko looked much better on the second visit. Janet and Karen were very pleased and Toyoko Was happy to see them.

While you may think this post is boring, just wait to see what's coming up......all the various toilet flushing systems in Japan!  Every potty break is a learning curve!