December 28, 2014

Our first off base adventure

Arriving to a new base the week of Christmas is as stressful as it gets. It is hard to really do anything because the hours are weird everywhere thanks to holiday time off. With the stress of not really being able to in-process the base and Logan not knowing if Santa will come it started to get to us. Thankfully Brittany saw that we were going crazy and whisked us away for our first adventure in town. It wasn't a big one but it was really fun and she even convinced us to set up a little for Christmas so that Logan will know that Santa can find him anywhere we go. Christmas fun will be posted later on so for now here is our Christmas Eve adventure in town!

First things first! We had to get some yen. On base dollars and debit cards are widely accepted since its just like being in the states but off base we can only use yen in the smaller stores and the restaurants and your card is accepted in the larger stores. The exchange rate varies (on this day it was $1.16 or something very close) but to make it easier for myself I just use $1. If something costs 5000 yen I just assume it's $50 and then if it works out to being less in dollars then I'm saving money haha Anything under 1000 yen is in change and above is paper money. It's so weird to get used to because we used to give Logan our change but now we can't do that. he can be walking around with $20 if we aren't careful! He doesn't like this new change but we will work something out for him I'm sure

Next up we headed to the Aeon Mall which is literally less than 10 minutes from the base. There is no train that goes there so you have to drive, or walk which wouldn't be so terrible since they have vending machines on what seems like every couple of blocks with everything from plastic gloves to ramen noodles. When we got to the mall I was excited and pleasantly surprised! There is a movie theater that plays American movies in English, a Mcdonalds, Gap and Gap Kids, H&M, and many more stores that were very familiar to us. Once we got there we sent the kiddos to use the restroom. Even the restrooms in the mall are cool! There is an everyone's toilet, which is more for the handicap and elderly, a women's toilet, men's toilet, and Logan's favorite the children's toilet! It is a restroom with a children's size sink, urinal and toilet just for the littles. Japan seems to be very child friendly. They even have a baby room on each floor next to the restrooms with a nursing area and changing table and in the food court they have a hot water dispenser for mom's using formula to feed their babies and a children's eating area with small tables and chairs so kids can feel comfortable eating. I wish I would've taken more pictures of it all!

Next up was our whole reason for coming to the mall....BORNELUND! Bornelund is an AMAZING play place in the mall that I now have to come to at least every other week. Logan fell in love! I of course threw away my receipt and can't remember how much it costs to get it but i do remember it was 600 yen for Logan and Isaac and I had to pay to get in as well. It was a bit pricey for only 30 minutes of play but it was so worth it. They have a dress up area, a train set (That we ended up buying for Christmas), a huge ball pit, bounce house, a rock wall, magnets, and an infant area that they are very protective over and make sure that it is only for the 6-18m olds (which i happened to love. So many times they aren't monitored) and a vending machine and drinking area for when the littles got thirsty

I was very proud of myself because Bornelund has everything that they offer for the kids to play with in the store for purchase in the lobby and I didn't buy anything! We played for our 30 minutes and then headed off to eat. We went over to the food court area and decided that the best thing to try would be the noodles since that is a very Japanese go to meal. In Japan it is not polite to substitute things in your meal like it is in Japan and so you have to order your food and hope you like it. When you can't read the menu and don't eat seafood that is risky but I am all about the experience and trying my best to live as the locals do so I'll go with it. We all got noodles and dumplings, which thanks to Ni-Hao Kai Lan Logan is obsessed with. They only offer chopsticks for adults and of course I didn't know how to use them. I learned that day!! A combination of Isaac's and Brittany's methods was the golden ticket! Logan got a kid fork and a spoon for his dumplings. (when we left he decided he was never using a fork again and we got him some training chop sticks which he has now mastered) Once we started eating there was a weird taste that I couldn't put my finger on. I mean the noodles were good and I still ate a bunch and then I got it! FISH SAUCE! I was done immediately lol It was good anyway but I couldn't get past it now that I knew what it was. Next time I am going to try something else since they had a ton of options (but not KFC which they also had) Oh and before I forget CC Lemon is NOT I repeat IS NOT Lemonade! It is more like a carbonated Lemonhead! 

After lunch we set out to explore the mall a little and ended up in the sporting goods store where the kids saw a huge moose and loved it and I saw orange coke which I had never seen before. 

On the way out once we got in the elevator Brittany told me that the elevator had seats! You know I love place to sit down in the middle of nowhere so an elevator where I can sit down...yes please! 

After that it was time to head home, drop the kids off with Isaac and head out Christmas shopping for Logan and get some last minute gifts for Savannah and Jaxon. That ended it an epic 1am present wrapping party. 

Then it was time to head home and prepare Christmas!!! 


  1. Hi Kendra! I'm new to your blog. And I agree, fish sauce is gross. My mom uses a specific kind and the smell makes me want to gag. If you have a chance I highly recommend trying imagawayaki or taiyaki. Imagawayaki is kind of like a small round donut except it's not fried. The dough part taste similar to a pancake and there are a variety of fillings. The most common are azuki bean (red bean paste) and custard. The custard ones are delish! Taiyaki is similar except it's in the shape of a fish. Mochi waffles are also really good. I would recommend getting it with brown sugar or honey if available. Can't wait to read more of your food adventures. My best friend and her hubby might be PCSing to Japan in a few months.

    1. Hi Justina! Thanks for reading! I'm glad i'm not the only one who despises fish sauce. I am def going to try some new foods in the next couple of weeks. Imagawayaki and taiyaki are absolutely on the list now!