Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our First Week

Traditional Japanese restaurant.
New Japanese Bikes

Blue Street in Yokosuka

There's a lot to do when PCSing, so our first week in Japan was pretty busy.   Justin went to work each day, and the boys and I took care of other business.  Here is a breakdown of our week (sorry its so long):

Day 1- Very jet lagged.  All of us were awake around 3:00am.  Justin got picked up by his sponsor on his first day of work.  The boys and I roamed around base on foot.  Justin opened us a new bank account on base where you can get yen (Navy Federal does not exchange U.S. dollars for yen).  Two of the boys re pinned their ATM cards.  Justin was assigned our FPO box.  Found a Starbucks on base but they DO NOT accept credit cards....only cash.  Made an appointment with guidance counselor at Kinnick High School for 12/17.  Ate dinner at Chili's since its right next to The Navy Lodge.

Day 2- Invited by our sponsor's wife to go into the town of Yokosuka.  She drove us to a store similar to a Walmart (clothes on one level/market on another level) where she was getting her hair done.  The boys and I looked around the store, then went across the street to Homes (similar to Home Depot).  There were tons of things there, but I was most interested in looking for a futon bed.  I learned that a futon in Japan is like a filled comforter cover.  I had to ask a friend who lived here years ago what we call a futon in the states is called in Japan (Shikibuton).  After going out in town, we went to lunch, registered kids at the Elementary School, and Middle School, then went back to our sponsor's house on base.  They have 2 Middle School aged children so the younger boys hung out with them for the afternoon.  After work we went to dinner with our sponsors to a Ramen restaurant just outside of the main gate of the base.  The food was delicious.  After dinner we went to what is known as Blue Street (has pieces of blue embedded in the road).  There are tons of shops and a lot of action.  We had a great day, but were beat.

Day 3- Jet lag is getting better, we are sleeping in until 4-5am.  Our sponsors picked us up because we had a morning appointment at the Middle School.  The process of getting the schedule took awhile, but my son is all ready for school on 1/3.  He was assigned a buddy who gave him a tour, will take him to all his classes the first week of school and sit with him during lunch.   Went to a great little non-profit store on base that has furniture, clothes, etc from Japan, Thailand and other places in Asia.  I can definitely see myself patronizing this place.  Had dinner out again. 

Day 4- Did laundry.  Ate lunch at CPO Club.  Had an appointment with the High School in the afternoon.  We got my High Schooler's schedule and he got to go on a tour with a Senior.  Signed up with the library.  Looked at the gym.  Very nice, with pool on 2nd floor.  Met Justin at The NEX after work so that he can look for shoes.  Loving that we can use the NEX and Commissary.  Ate Italian food for dinner.

Day 5- Went into town on this beautiful sunny day.  Decided to take train to Yokohama.  We didn't have any directions, but wanted to find the Pokemon place.  We made it to Yokohama even though we got off at the wrong stop on the way there.  In Yokohama we ate at a traditional style Japanese restaurant .  We ate in a tatami room, had to take off our shoes, and ate at low tables with pillows as seats.  We had the largest plate of noodles I've ever seen.  After lunch we walked around some more, but never found the Pokemon place.  On the way home we took the wrong train.  We had to ask someone for help so we were able to get back on the right train.   

Day 6-  Tired from yesterday.  We had breakfast out, then went to look for bikes at The NEX.  They were having a sale so we bought 2.  They are Japanese bikes and have baskets for carrying groceries, etc.  The younger boys are really enjoying riding around today.   We did some more shopping in the afternoon, then ate in. 

Day 7- We attempted to get our base ID's today, but were missing some documents from home.  Luckily, I added a few friends onto our Safe Deposit Box before we left.  The documents should be mailed out tomorrow.  It was frustrating, but we can still get on/off base and use other services with our passports and orders. We filled out paperwork so that I can have Power of Attorney while we're here.  This will be useful if  I need to get business taken care of during the work day.   Bought a small conifer tree about a foot tall.  It was the last one at The Autoport (a NEX mini-mart) on base.  I decorated it with 5 Japanese ornaments.  This will be our Christmas tree this year.

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