Monday, June 16, 2014

Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Other Fun Times

The weekend came and went too fast, but we did manage to visit the Atomic Dome/Hiroshima Peace Memorial. I wanted to stay there a lot longer but when you have a 5-year-old with no attention span who's still adjusting to life on the other side of the world...well, you know.

The dome before the bomb circa 1930
2014-06-14 14.10.39.editIt's one of the few buildings still standing from the atomic bomb. It took a few years for Japan to decide they wanted to turn it into a memorial. So many wanted the reminder gone.

It's a jarring sight. One you can't soon forget. To stand there and contemplate that only a few decades ago the destructive force of the atomic bomb ripped this city apart and the people within. Horrifying but one that's stands as a reminder for peace.

I'll definitely find times to come here by myself to truly contemplate what this means.



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What the sign said about the dome.
We headed around the rest of the park and found other statues and memorials for peace.





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We then found the bell for peace. We each rang it. And Gabe did so very loudly!

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Then we found the Jizo statue that still has the atomic shadow created from the blast.

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Japan loves origami and they create some pretty amazing art out of it. All of these pictures are of tiny origami cranes made into beautiful works of art, all for peace.

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2014-06-14 13.13.42.editThis is just a taste of their amazing vending machines that you can find on every corner! You need water! Boom. Coffee? hot or cold? juice, soda...some even have beer.

Gabe got pretty bored and tired after an hour or so but he was a trooper and kept at it!








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The rest of the day we spent at the Aeon Mall. It has a really nice dollar store, Toys R Us, a big grocery store with other department store type things on other floors, and good food. We ventured on the trains. Archie knows a lot of Japanese and is getting better as time goes on. So he can ask for train tickets and order our food. I'm not there yet, but look forward to the day when I can.

Sunday was a relaxing day of bill paying and paper work and puzzles, TV watching, okonomiyaki! and just chilling.

We should be getting into our apartment on Friday. And hopefully our resident visas will come through within the next couple of weeks so we can get cell phones and other things.

The next big daring adventure will be to learn to drive on the left side of the road. Archie tried it from work with his boss who's been driving here for awhile and with Gabe and me from his boss's house to our hotel. It was pretty nerve-racking!

We are all looking forward to our own space and routine again! We've been going a bit crazy living out of suitcases and in hotels.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cat Thursday (27)

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! Hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict.

Image Source

It's been too long since I've posted. It's been a crazy, sad, and exciting time for me. My kitties have been handed over for 2 years to loving family and friends. So Cat Thursdays are a little sad now. I miss them so much. Without further adieu here are some cat pics I've seen over the last week :)



 The world's oldest living cat died this week :(

Poppy was 24 years old or about 114 in human years.
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And for my last one....happy birthday to me :) I'm spending it cooped up in a hotel room in Hiroshima. But am looking forward to celebrating it soon officially when we get into our apartment and settled next week or the week after! Then partay in Japan!





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Goodreads.com
This is definitely one of the better young adult series I've read in a long time. There is a plethora of young adult dystopia right now and a story can get lost amongst the competition. But this one deserves its status.

I read all three in the trilogy: Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and Into the Still Blue. It is young adult but I still felt like the characters were in their world and not too teen-like nor too adult-like.

Earth has been ravished by electromagnetic fields. 300 years ago the rest of civilization dispersed into the world or into 'pods', aka with technology. The magnetic fields caused enhanced mutations for the outsiders while the dwellers became addicted to technology.

Aria is a dweller who comes into contact with Perry, and outsider when they meet during a fire in her pod.

The two set out together to find the people they love, her mom and his nephew.

It's a nice love story. They really hate each other for along time and we see their relationship blossom and grow over time. There are no love-triangles, thank goodness. I hate those. Just some jealousies and misunderstandings.

All three novels focus on their relationship and the relationships they form with those around them. The ultimate goal is to make it to paradise or "The Still Blue", a spot where the magnetic fields have created a bubble with blue skies and drinkable water.

It's a great story on love, loyalty, friendship, and loss. I would recommend it for anyone.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bon Voyage, Utah and Home-finding Trip

I'm pretty sure we're leaving this Saturday, June 7th but we still don't have visas in-hand yet so you never know....but our tickets have been bought!

May 12-15th I headed down to Vegas with two of my besties and we hit the town hard...well, not too hard. I'm getting old ;)

This pic encapsulates our awesome adventure. This one was taken at Coyote Ugly where Brittney got up onstage and danced her patootie off!

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After all that fun it was time for Archie and me to head off to Japan for our home-finding trip. It was fast and furious and stressful and fun.

Hiroshima is really an amazing city and I only saw a little bit of it. Jet lag was pretty tough. I woke up at 4 am almost every morning. So it made for some long days. 

Japan is 15 hours ahead of Utah so that made for some interestingly timed phone conversations with my mom, who was watching Gabe for that week! The flight was really long and it never was night. We kept up with the sun the whole time. That was so fascinating. The International Dateline is in the Pacific Ocean and it heads east. So Japan is a lot further ahead than say England even though the flight time is comparable! Just crazy. And we lost a day. So we left Sunday in Utah and arrived Monday night in Japan.

Tuesday was our home-finding trip with Paul, a Japanese-Canadian! He was fantastic work with. He told us everything he could think of on Japanese culture and getting around Hiroshima! We ate Japanese ramen and it was the most delicious ramen ever. I should have taken a pic but I was too jet-lagged to think straight and I know I'll have more opportunities in the future. It also rained all day, so Paul even bought us each an umbrella so we could stay dry.

Wednesday was a trip to Gabe's school to meet the principal and take a tour of the school. We're excited! I think Gabe will really enjoy it. Then it was off to pick our apartment after we had narrowed our search to 2 apartments. We chose the one with two stories. It was the biggest apartment Paul had shown and it's close to Archie's boss and his family that are also from Utah working for Micron out in Japan like us. The subway is two seconds away as well. So it just worked out nicely for us.

Here are a few photos of our new place! We have some lighter furniture to help brighten the darker floors and cabinets. It should be nice. A little cozy but comfy.

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Here are a couple of photos of Gabe's school.

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The wheel has a bunch of different areas where the kids talk about how they fit in or didn't fit in each day or week. Some are risk-taker, caring, reflective. The older kids help out the younger ones with planting and gardening!

This post is getting a bit long so I'll add another post on the rest of our home-finding trip soon.

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