Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Adventures of a Pregnant Woman in Hawaii

If someone were to write a book for pregnant women visiting Hawaii, it would be a very short tale. Basically, the main activity that I participated in was eating. I found that I may have went a little overboard when I returned to Japan, then weighed in at 2.5 kg heavier, all gained in 2 weeks. However, while in Hawaii, I was very excited that I could read the menus and even order exactly what I wanted. Desert was also very good. :)

Things Pregnant Women Can Do in Hawaii

Stand at a scenic overlook near the side of a road
This is a very exciting tourist event. We carefully pulled over to the side of the road 1,000 feet after we saw the "Scenic Overlook - 1000 Feet Ahead" sign. We even went to the trouble of setting the timer on the camera and putting it on the trunk of our rental car so we could get the whole family into the scenic picture. Then, after we copied the picture from our camera to the computer, we used a photo editing tool to remove the guard rail from the picture so it looks like we could have possibly hiked to this site instead of pulling over in our car.

Go on a 6 Minute Hike
Don't let the rocky path fool you. This was not part of a grand adventure into the wilderness to a beautiful, secluded beach. This was the start of an adventure that got cut short. The first part of the path was very rocky. This may have continued for a couple of miles, but we didn't get that far. Dan, Dad, and I determined that the path was just a little too dangerous and that I might fall and hurt Riker. It is true that my sense of balance is a little off and my joints are a little loose these days, making me clumsy. So, we turned back and went to the fairly pretty, not secluded beach.

Protect Sleeping Dad from Attacking Chicken
At the fairly pretty, not secluded beach, Dad decided to take a nap. I decided to take pictures of a chicken. The chicken found us interesting. Dad seemed to be ok with that as he took his nap. Dan, being unfamiliar with chicken behavior, was a little concerned that the chicken might try to peck him or something. So I did my best to protect both of them from this dangerous threat.

Go to a very windy beach for a few minutes with Dan and Dad
Like the 6 minute hike, our next adventure to a secluded beach also failed. We spent a long time driving down a washboard dirt road, parked our car, then walked over to the beach. In this picture, you can see that Dan's hair is completely blown back. He is desperately trying to hold onto our beach mats. Dad is using him as a wind shield. We have a video of this beach, taken with our new baby accessory, our Sony camcorder, if you want to get an even better idea of how windy it was. (Yes, being technology geeks, we believe that a camcorder is a necessary baby accessory. Forget cute hats, we have a camcorder.)

Stand on a beach near the side of a road
This activity is much like the "scenic overlook" activity. Basically, you park on the side of the road, go over near the scenic area, and pose. Fortunately we didn't have to bother with the camera timer since Dad took this for us. We also didn't have to edit any guardrails out. As you can tell from my hair, it is still windy. This picture also features my stylish KMart denim maternity shorts. They were 1 out of 4 actual pieces of maternity clothing available on the island. We met a pregnant woman later and asked her where she shopped. She confirmed that there were no maternity shops anywhere. She was wearing a "large shirt." We told her about the exciting denim shorts available at KMart and she was very surprised. She probably bought a pair the next day.

Get a Sunburn, then pose for a Picture in Maternity Swimsuit
Yes, I actually got a sunburn from sitting outside in the shade. And yes, I actually posted a picture of me, 34 weeks pregnant, in a swimsuit. Why do I post this picture? Come on, other than now, at what point in my life will I ever get to post a swimsuit picture and have it be ok that I am massively huge?

Look at Waterfalls
We found a few waterfalls that were visible near where you parked your car. This is one of them. It even came with some sketchy men selling hats made out of palm leaves in the parking lot.

Look at the top of a Waterfall
Much like the 6 minute hike, this hike lasted a short amount of time. We parked our car, then hiked for 5 minutes. However, the 5 minute hike actually took us to the top of a waterfall. Here, you see me and Lee contemplating the rocks and water. Dan found the waterfall "Quite Delightful."

At the end of our visit to Hawaii, we returned to the primary activity of pregnant women on Kaua'i: eating. We went to an "authentic" luau where they served a pig that had baked underground. They also had a cool show where they performed dances of the various cultures represented in Hawaii. It was a tasty and fitting end to our trip.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Where in the world are Dan and Angela now??

We are back in the United States!

Ok, the reason you haven't seen us is because we traveled to the closest US state to Japan. Yup, we are in Hawaii for the first time in our lives. We are staying in a cottage near the ocean on the island of Kaua'i. It is very nice here. We have seen a few whales off in the distance. Unfortunately we are unable to go out on a boat to get a closer look. Well, Dan could go, but the water is very choppy right now and they don't let pregnant women go on the boats.

Dad and Lee are also here. Lee has a work thing. They are staying at the Poipu Hyatt resort. We sat around yesterday and ordered expensive smoothies from the Hyatt staff. I also learned a valuable lesson about sitting around in the shade at so southernly a latitude. Yes, I can still burn, even in the shade.

We have visited the north shore of Kaua'i, the canyon over on the west side, and even one of the post offices. It is very nice and scenic here. Here is a picture of a lighthouse on the north side.

Dan is working hard at relaxing. What about his office? What will they do without him? Don't worry, he left a can of "Black Boss" coffee (since his name means black boss) with a postit picture of himself on his desk. It is replacing him this week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

We Live in a 14th Floor Submarine

Yes, we moved into our second Tokyo Apartment. While we believe we were able to submit a change of address form, you should now send any mail to our new apartment. It's in the same building. Instead of #1204, we are now in #1406. If you still need our full address, remember to send us a harassing email.

You have to see it to believe it. At the entrance it is quite narrow like a submarine. I guess in one respect it is Frank Lloyd Wright-ish. That is where you have a compressed entrance that opens to a larger space. The larger space is our living room. Then we have an upstairs. That's right, 37.83 square meters (or 407 square feet) with 2 floors. Our upstairs has a queen-sized bed so that we don't fall into the gap between 2 twin beds. We also have a desk area and a fairly large
walk-in closet. If there is one thing that we are not missing, it is storage space here.

Here's the floor plan...
The picture on the left is the downstairs. The large space is our living room. It contains a futon couch, a coffee table, and a tv. The picture on the right is the upstairs. The large space fits our bed. You may wonder, where is the dining room? No dining room. Not that we are very formal with meals anyway. Our dining room is basically our coffee table. The more important question is, where is the kitchen? Basically it is in the hallway between our entry door and our living room. This means that we can't open both the bathroom door and the refrigerator door at the same time. It is a little tricky. Here are some pictures of stuff in our apartment...

The curtains that you see in the bedroom and living room are for the balconies. Oddly, the luxury of having 2 balconies is lost on us since it is kind of cold outside (gets up to 45 degrees on an average day). However, that does mean that we do get a lot of sunlight in the morning as we face south.

Things that are good: We still have the nifty shower room, the toilet with the heated seat, and the clothes washer/dryer. There is a space near the foot of our bed where we can put some sort of "pack and play" for our kid to sleep in. The biggest advantage that this apartment has over our old apartment is that when we have over night guests visit, we don't all have to sleep in the same room or even on the same floor. So, when you visit us, yes, you get to sleep in the living/dining/guest room on the futon couch. If there are two of you, we will set up the memory foam as a second sleeping area in the living room. We are still trying to figure out the 3 people visiting at once thing.

We have tested our hosting abilities for dinner twice. Kay and Mayumi came over for pizza. (We made Kay call Domino's.) Then Yuri and Shin-chan came over to watch American football. (We made Yuri call Domino's.) Yes, we only have our Japanese speaking friends over when we want pizza. :)

We are here until April. It's not as bright and spacious as our first apartment, but it is livable. We are learning more and more about organizing space. This is an interesting side-effect to spending time in Japan.