The Jon

Visiting the States

As most of you know, I was in the US from August 26th to September 5th, and ended up catching a cold so I haven’t been able to upload the pictures and write this. I’m starting to feel a bit better now, so figured it was time to start this. All the pictures are online here.

[Slideshow of all the pictures here]

We were planning on going to the states in July, but had to reschedule that since Yukari is pregnant. Instead, we went to Guam which is a bit closer and at the time didn’t have anything to worry about the swine flu. So, I rescheduled the trip to August and ended up going by myself. I had a busy schedule planned. Fly into Chicago, and go to my dad’s house in Indiana. Stay there 2 nights, then leave early Friday morning and fly into Cleveland and be at my uncle Eugene’s house. Then fly to Minneapolis on Monday, and stay at my aunt Lark’s new house in Wisconsin. Then fly back to Chicago on Wednesday night and stay in Indiana until Saturday morning. Of the 9 days I was in the US, I was in a Chicago airport 5 of those days!

Since I was flying into Chicago my first day, my dad took me out for some Chicago style pizza, which was very filling but good.

I wanted to get some Chicago-style Deep Dish pizza, so my dad picked me up from Midway and took me out for some pizza

In Cleveland, it was my Aunt Janice’s birthday so we all celebrated that. My cousin Sam enjoyed playing video games, so I made sure to play a bunch with him ;) I went to Toy’s R Us and bought a bunch of things for the baby. My mom and Eugene gave me some things as well to take back home for the baby. On the last full day I was there my Aunt Sara drove over to visit all of us.

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After that, I went to Minnesota/Wisconsin and went to my Aunt Lark’s new house. While there I made sure to eat lots of cheese and drink plenty of beer. I even had some cheese beer soup one day! Lark and Chanda gave me many presents to take back and I had a hard time squeezing them all into my small carry-on suitcase, but manged to get them all.  I also got to see my cousin’s children that are getting bigger now. Yukari gave them some presents and they liked them so much!

Lucita with her Hello Kitty bag that Yukari got for her

After being there for a few days, I went back to Indiana. I played a bunch with Sassy, and my dad took me out to the lake there. So I got some kayaking and sailboating in.

Doing some kayaking on the lake

I had a fun time and was happy to see so much of my family. Next time I go back, I’ll have a little girl (not Yukari!) that I will have to bring as well :D

Friends Visiting Japan

A couple of friends from the US came to Japan at the end of July/beginning of August. The first day, we spent some time showing them around Odawara, but unfortunately the weather didn’t want to cooperate so much. We were able to visit Odawara Castle Park, and the lonely elephant was out. I think Jason got a good shot of her butt… she didn’t want to pose with her face it seemed.

The next day I took the day off from work and we drove down to Hakone. So we got an early headstart and first went to get some black eggs. They are boiled in the natural hot spring, and the sulfur turns the shells black

Shells are black because of iron sulfide, but inside is the same as hard boiled eggs

After that, it was to Hakone-en, to see Lake Ashi and what there was to do around there. The weather was kinda cloudy, so we decided to skip the ropeway and instead did this:

Yes, that was fun! :D Next up, cruising around Lake Ashi and then getting some lunch. After that, we headed back to around Odawara and took a look at one of the beaches. We ended up having dinner there, which was nice since the weather decided to cooperate this time.

That night they headed to Tokyo, so I was able to meet them the next day for lunch and dinner, and then the following day for lunch. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures taken… that’s what happens if Yukari isn’t there :P

Anyways, it was fun! Next time they should come at the same time, and we can climb Mt. Fuji. I’m always up for that, and I’m sure Yukari is too ;)

Latest Baby Update

It has been awhile since I have written anything here, so figured it was about time. We don’t have any new sonograms, but we did find out that it is a baby girl! :D

So, as you can imagine, Yukari has been going crazy about buying all these little pink clothes for the baby. As I’m typing this, she is taking pictures of all the clothes she bought today. I’m sure they will be on Flickr in a day or so.

Well, that is all for now… hope to write some more soon.

Visiting Guam

I wrote this post in Guam, but am finally getting around to posting it here. So keep that in mind as you read it!

I meant to write an update sooner, but we have been so busy in Guam that I didn’t get a chance to write anything. I’m sure you understand how it goes ;)

Last time we came to Guam was 2 years ago, and at that time it was during a typhoon, so it was very windy and very rainy. We didn’t get to do many outdoor activities that time, but this time we have been so busy driving around and seeing what the island of Guam has to offer. We’ve seen ruins of an old Spanish mansion, a few really nice waterfalls, spectacular beaches, looked over the edge of a huge cliff that is on the shore, swam at a few of the beaches, and went around various points of interest on the island. There are some gook hiking trails through the jungle-like areas, but I don’t think it would be good to take my pregnant wife for that! So that will have to be for the next time.

So many of the things we can do on the island would be good even with a young kid, like 3 years old. So I’m sure Yukari, our child, and I will have to come back in the future as a family. Hawaii would be good a place to visit as a family as well! Guam is a bit more laid back than Hawaii. Not to say that Hawaii isn’t laid back, but Guam has a different feel to it. Hawaii has Honolulu and Waikiki that are pretty busy places, but there are no big cities here in Guam. The biggest one is Tumon, and that is where most of the Japanese tourists go. Which means that is where all the big shopping places are. I think most Japanese people travel just for shopping… just seems like that. And it was hard to find a non-Japanese person in Tumon. Other than that, it is just a relaxing place.

I’ll upload the pictures to Flickr and also write about some on my blog after we get back to Japan. I think I’ll get back to my cold beer on the beach now! Also, we got a new sonogram of the baby that I can upload after my vacation.

Until then!

4th of July in Guam

Although it is only 7am here, it is the 4th of July and this is an American territory. So time to celebrate!

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Tonight they are having some fireworks at the Naval base here, and is open to the public. So Yukari and I will be going to check it out. I think this is the first 4th of July I’ve celebrated in the past 5 or 6 years.

Anyways, time to take some pictures of  the ocean in the morning, then go out for the day.

More updates later in the week!

Seeing the Baby Move for the First Time

This week on Monday, I took the afternoon off from work so I could go with Yukari and see the baby! This was the first time for me to go to the doctor’s office with her, so up until now I have only seen the sonograms that Yukari has been brining home. We waited for a little while until it was her turn to see the doctor. At first, the nurse did the sonogram to check up on the baby to make sure it was doing alright. She measured the size of the head, and the length of the baby.

While we were watching, the baby looked toward us. And then all of a sudden it stopped moving! The nurse said it just fell asleep. It woke up a little bit later and kicked its legs a bit. Too bad we couldn’t get a video of it. So here is the picture we got:

Sonogram #7 June 1, 2009

I added some notes to the picture, so click it and put your mouse over it to see them. At the moment, the baby’s head is 33.4mm wide and has a length of 111 mm. So, it is getting bigger everyday! Next one will be in another 2 weeks, so keep your eyes open for it :D

Another Sonogram

Here is the latest sonogram of our baby! This is a good one, you can actually see the outline of the nose, eyes, ears, and the shape of the whole body. Unfortunately, Yukari went by herself, so I was unable to see the baby moving. I want to go next time, but Yukari always makes reservations on days that I’m at work :(

Anways, enjoy:

Sonogram #6, March 8, 2009

Some More Big News

You may remember back a year and a half ago, we had some big news.  Well, we had the wedding and got used to the married life. So we decided to create some more big news again! Perhaps a picture will sum it up best

Sonogram #5

Well, in case you don’t know what that picture is of… that is our baby! This sonogram is from Monday, and the baby is already 2 months old. The due date is November 14th, so we will have a little time before then. It feels great to know that I will be a father and I am looking forward to having another baby to take care of. Yukari will always be the first baby ;)

Well, I’ll keep it short… just wanted to make an announcement on here. I’ll put some more updates as things develop.

Yukari’s 24th Birthday

[Click here for a slideshow of all the pictures]

Yukari’s birthday was last Saturday, April 11th. I started the celebrations early by making her a special breakfast!

Wow! Time for breakfast!

I made some banana pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs and a little salad. I thought everything tasted great, and Yukari seemed to enjoy it all, so it must have been good :) After breakfast, it was time to get ready. We were going to visit Tokyo Tower, since they give you a special gift if you go on your birthday. They let you go in for free, then give you a card, and some cake in the cafe.

Rare cheesecake (non-baked) as a birthday present

When we finally came down, they had the Tokyo Tower mascot outside. Funny looking guy, huh?

ummm this guy looks like... something lol

For lunch, we went to a nearby Italian place that had a nice buffet. We had such a big breakfast that we didn’t get to eat so much, but what we did eat was good. When we finished eating lunch we went to Ginza to take a look around and walk around. We actually spent a long time walking that our legs got tired! We only had a little while to wait for dinner, so we didn’t want to go to a cafe or something. So we just got some rest around the station, then looked at some more stores. Then it was off to Yukari’s special birthday dinner! Here is the birthday girl waiting for her dinner!

I was getting so excited what they will serve for my birthday hehe

I took her to a California Cuisine restraunt in Ginza, which was actually really nice. They had a large wine selection, and the food was really good. And since it was for her birthday, they gave her all kinds of nice stuff! They even made a DVD for us. The video started in the kitchen when they bring out the cake, and give it to Yukari. I wasn’t even expecting it, so that was a nice surprise. Of course we could take it home with us, and we watched it as soon as we got home. Take a look at the pictures on Flickr to see what I’m talking about! And the cake they gave us was soooo good! Not too sweet, and had some chocolate on the sides. Plus they wrote her name really well :D

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Well, that was her birthday. Hope she had fun!

Hawaiian Wedding Day 10

[Slideshow of Day 10 photos here]

Well, this was our last day in Hawaii :( It was hard to believe that 10 days have passed, and it was time to go home. Whenever we travel like this, we always have so many things to do and keep busy. It is so much fun that the time just flies by, and then our vacation is over before we know it. Perhaps I should change my job… to being someone permamently on vacation!

Anyways, our plane wasn’t until later in the morning, so we were able to have a nice slow morning at the resort. Once again, we went to the breakfast buffet, which was just as great as it was the previous day. Here is another picture of me eating

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After breakfast, I took the rental car back, and then saw an interesting pineapple plant.

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One of the staff members saw us checking this out and told us that they are specially made so they don’t get any bigger than this. We thought it was really interesting… plus those red flowers kinda look like pineapples too. I don’t think they will turn into them though. After this we walked around a bit and then went back to our room to finish getting ready. We packed up, and had to walk around our suite room to make sure we had everything. It was so big, it seemed easy to leave something behind. If we did leave something behind, we still haven’t noticed yet, so it wasn’t anything important. We had a little more time to take a few pictures as well.

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And then it was time to check out :( We flew back to Honolulu, and then got on a flight to Tokyo. When we got back, it seemed very cold. It was hard to believe that the trip was over. Whenever we come back home, the airport is usually not a fun place it seems. Compared with to when we are leaving the airport… it is a whole different world. We made some DVDs of our wedding to send to our family, so that will be the last picture here. Enjoy the rest of our pictures, and perhaps all 10 days! We ended up taking over 1,000 pictures (including the ones of the wedding). Also, thanks to everyone that came for our wedding! We had a great time and hope you did as well.

Wedding Video