15 September 2013

Eat your heart out Tokyo! What a magical night!

Sunday started out slow but today was probably the first day that we didn't feel jetlagged.  AlphaPoppa woke up playful with a big ole smile, Dude and Zane were rocking and rolling with their cousin A-chan, I was still trying to hide in the bed, Cuñada-chan and Yuko were chatting away and laughing in Japanese and bro was in front of the TV waiting for the Mayweather- Canelo boxing match to start on pay per view.  Our Sunday morning was Still Las Vegas' Saturday night.  Without verbally expressing it the men made it clear that they wouldn't be moving from the TV until the flight was over.  Cuñada-chan and Yuko decided to make a traditional Japanese lunch and needed to make a grocery store run (not the 7-11) for a few of the ingredients.  I definitely was not going to pass up a chance to go to the grocery store.  
This grocery store was bigger than the 7-11 but not huge like grocery shopping in the US.   The carts were like the ones I've seen at Whole Foods, with just 2 small baskets in a small push cart.  I picked up Alpha Poppa's new favorite drink that he's discovered here in Japan.  I also got Dude's favorite drink, sushi for Zane and a little snack plate for me.  My snack plate had a potato patty, one meatball, a rice and a  triangular  shaped spinach ball and a tuna rice ball.  I was so happy to be able use my debit card amny places don't accept it. Here when you make a purchase they give you back your items along with a grocery bag and they direct you to the bagging area where you pack your own groceries.  

It was drizzling all morning and the weather forecast indicated that the light rain was the beginning of a typhoon expected to hit our area on Monday.  
Once we got home we took the kids back to the play area.  My sisters headed back to the apartment early to get started in lunch, okonomiyaki.  I had not idea what okonomiyaki was.  The dictionary translates it as a Japanese pancake which only captures a fraction of what it really is.  In a bowl they mixed flour, shrimp, cabbage, and ginger then cook it like a pancake with a beef strip bottom.  Once both sides are cooked they cover if with okonomiyaki sauce, mayo, and sprinkle dried fish bits on top. It was really good, we all ate well.  After we cleaned up a little we started to head out for the day's adventure.  The guys wanted to go look at motorcycle and car parts at a Suzuki sealed and we (the ladies) wanted to head to downtown Tokyo to see the heart of the city.  The guys were driving and we were in the train.  The boys wanted to on with their dads, which actually worked out better than us dragging them around the crowded downtown are.   We were so happy to not have the boys the we made a very quick escape!  
First stop Shibuya Square.  The best way to describe it is like NYC's Time Square, but different.  The main intersection is known as the scramble intersection because it joins about 5 streets.  As son as the lights changes red pedestrians flood the streets crossing in every direction.   I took pictures like crazy.  Yuko may have taken even more than me!  We walked around and I soaked it all in, and it was a lot.  So many neon signs in Japanese, stores, people, fashion, other tourist, tons of Toyko locals, music playing the thought the city.  Suddenly my sisters led me into a video arcade.  "Here is where we will take pictures!"  I knew exactly the type of pictures hey meant.  We stepped into the photo booths and came out 10 minutes later with pictures that made us look like anime-type Barbie dolls.  It was unlike anything I'd ever done!  It was just hilarious and fun.  We then stepped into the arcade and played a Japanese drum video game where you have to pound the drum on queue and in rythmn to the song.  It was a giggle fest!
After the arcade we walked around downtown a bit, the neon signs are just unbelievable.  We went into a 100Yen store (it's a $1 equivalent).  We picked up little cheap toys for or kids, snacks, and other ridiculous things.  By the time we gr back to the street it was dark and the signs and lights were even more enchanting.  
The gua called us and old ya that were all sleepy and were dreaded taking the kids in the train to meet us for dinner with Cuñada-chan and Yuko's mom.  We decided to order them a pizza and meet for dinner without them.  
Our dinner date was in the Ginza district of Tokyo.  This place was all class.  We took pictures in front of the kabuki theatre then headed over to a modem sushi restaurant.  Since our last dinner date was traditional Japanese we decided on modern Japanese this time. 
Unsurprisingly their mom was a joy.  She's been studying English for a few years and speaks very very well.  She and her daughters have a very special relationship the kind that I think every mom wants with their adult children.  We laughed, we talked, we ate and to top it off as a gift their mom gave me a beautiful gold necklace.  I mean REALLY beautiful REALLy gold necklace.  I was speechless.  Arigato did not seem sufficient for such a beautiful piece of jewelry and the kindness that inspired it.  I am forever thankful for that token of friendship, family, and generosity.  
Since Cunada-chan and I had kids to get home to we headed out whole her mom and sister went to another spot, they weren't ready to go home yet.  Ha!
All kids and AlphaPoppa were knocked-out in our bed and Bro was up on his laptop and watching TV.   We all quickly got ready for bed and hit the sack.  It was a fantastic magical day.

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