That is all.
That is all.
And, apparently I’m horrible at blog keeping. Because the last time we talked I posted pics of our trip to Japan, and now here I am posting about our trip to Korea.
That’s right. The kids have now visited their second foreign country! In February we jumped at the chance for another port call in another country and we up and left for South Korea.
Let’s just say that it was a *tad* bit colder there than in Hawaii. Like, low 30s and even 20s at night. While we might have had to buy a few new wardrobe items for the kids (didn’t quite fit into what we had from CT almost 2 years ago), it was a lot of fun to have a real winter!
Highlight of the trip, obviously, was seeing daddy!
We spent most of the trip in Busan (on the far south on the ocean) and it is an amazing town. While I never would have thought to travel to S. Korea myself, I really am glad we did and I’d consider a trip back. Mostly because the food was AMAZING. There were some fun things like the international market where you could pick your own eel or octopus for dinner (no, we didn’t partake. I like my food already cooked when I see it for the first time). Every now and then they would oblige and take a photo with me, but really they just wanted to be with dad.
Finally got another family photo!
Not too often do families have 4 kids in a restaurant in Korea, but it was so much fun to try out the different places.
This was the “Temple by the Sea” – an absolutely amazing temple. The views were fabulous and the history and architecture are just amazing.
The other amazing thing about Korea? The indoor childrens’ play places. Like this one. Hello Kitty themed, they had a ball pit, paddle boats, kids train, and so much more. And, on top of that, it’s very hands off parenting there. So you sit at your table, drink your drink (either coffee or beer/wine as you prefer), and you can check on your kids on the CCTV cameras throughout the place if you feel like it. But, mostly, you just hang out and chat with your friends while they have the time of their lives. Honestly? I kind of wish we had an adult version of this place!
Overall, we had the time of our lives. The kids were such troopers, totaling 47 miles over the 4.5 days in Busan. 47. Seriously. Think about that.
That’s what she thought about that. I think the day she fell asleep walking we’d only done about 8.5 too 😉
We spent some time the last day up in Osan (on the way to the airport we flew in and out of) and had the time of our lives with another amazing military multiples’ mom and her four kids. Suffice it to say, only another military mom with 4 kids living internationally can fully appreciate travelling with kids solo.
Wow, it’s the new year already. How in the world?
What have we been up to since I last posted? Well, a lot. Hence the not posting.
Since last time I wrote, we’ve started a new school year (2nd grade and PK), started new sports (transitioned from Karate to Bowling for A and Gymnastics for the littles), made it through a few months of a deployment, and had a couple grand adventures in the way of port calls (Japan with all of us, and Guam as a belated 10th anniversary solo trip while the kids stayed home)!
What’s that, you say? A trip to Japan with all of us? You mean that you had help on the flight, right? Well, no. And it really went amazingly well. So much I’d do it again in a heart beat. With a last minute notice of date AND location change for the port call, we packed up one suitcase with 7 days clothing each, a backpack of goodies for the plane for each kid, and me with a carryon and a giant purse and went to the military air terminal to catch a Space-Available (Space-A) flight. When I say “Space-A,” I mean exactly that. The military has flights around the world daily for mission readiness – either sailors/soldiers being transported, or supplies being delivered. If that plane has some extra room left over then they graciously allow families to take the seats (if there are any… sometimes it’s just a jump seat along the side with space on the floor to lay if you’re so inclined).
Many travelers are more experienced (or better prepared) than I and came equipped with sleeping bags, air mattresses.. you name it. For us? I had an airplane quality blanket and pillow on the ground and that was about it. But, hey, it was better than sleeping sitting up in a jumpseat, right?
So we arrived in Okinawa, Japan, and then had to make our way up to Tokyo. This involved a bit of chaos (again, with Space-A, they don’t hold planes if yours is delayed, and sometimes even if there were originally seats available they have to take them for mission reasons), but we made it on a short commercial hop up to Tokyo, and then began the real grand adventure. While I’ve taken a semester of Japanese at the college level, and I felt I was pretty good at being able to ask where I was/where I needed to go/etc, it’s a whole different world when the signs are written in kanji not kana. And, while the public transportation was amazing, we started to realize the difficulties of travelling as a party of 5 when you needed something like a Taxi. Good thing they aren’t as strict on their seatbelt laws.
So, in the end, we made it to Yokosuka, we got checked into our hotel, and the next day we found our submariner! Life was pretty good. The subways/trains got easier every time (by the end I was actually recognizing some of the kanji!) and even the kids were pretty adept at “Sumimasen” (excuse me) and “Arigatou Gozaimasu” (thank you).
“Hai, Karera wa mitsugo desu.” (Yes, they are triplets). Have you ever taken triplets to Japan? Let’s just say – Japanese tourists think they’re amazing as it is when we’re in the US. Go overseas? And you end up with a group of people wanting to take turns with you during the industrial fair.
Lots of queuing. They got pretty good at it!
Best part to the kids? Finding the My Little Pony cafe in Tokyo. Yes, it was a real thing. Apparently pop-up cafes are all the rage in Japan, and the month of November it happened to be a My Little Pony cafe. We lucked out that it was pretty close to the military hotel we dropped our bags at, too.
As for the kids? They had a blast. The trip may have been a tiring one, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Till next time, Japan!
Bounce houses for the win. Knowing there were fireworks later that night, we went home for a short movie and hopefully nap time. Only one of the four took us up on the sleeping option, but the relaxing quiet time definitely helped them all!
Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve really kept up with this thing.
At the same time, it’s been because of, well, life. Life with 4 kids. Life in Hawaii. Life in general. Fair warning, this post is pretty pic heavy, so be warned!
On that note, now that the kids are getting older and it’s not as much of “here’s something cute they learned how to do today” as it is “wow, look at this cool adventure our family went on!” I’m going to be working on moving away from just updates about the kids to more, well, updates about life in general. Where we are, where we were, where we are headed. Thoughts and musings on events and activities.
That said, what have we been up to, you want to know? Well, we just came off of Easter and Spring Break, so I’ll start there. The kids all had egg hunts and parties at school the week before Easter.
Yes, this is the unicorn of Easter Bunny pictures. All are looking, all are smiling. Not a tear in the room. It only took 7 years of trying 😉
Easter was absolutely wonderful, complete with a boat egg hunt the day before, and a sunrise service aboard the USS Missouri. Why in the world would I want to get four kids up at 5 am so that we could go to a sunrise service, you ask? Well, it was sunrise service on the Battleship, why wouldn’t we?!
The kids actually did wonderfully, and it’s not like 6:30am is really any different than our normal morning routine. They just had to be dressed a bit earlier than normal.
The rest of the week was a bit of odds and ends. The kids actually went to “camp” MWF all day long so that I could get some things done. Run, errands, scuba dive, the norm…
Thanks to a wonderful friend, I had a dive camera to borrow and I wasn’t disappointed!
Lots of random appointments filled the gaps that take a bit too long for the normal weekly preschool routine, but aren’t worth booking them into afterschool care to get done.
Now? We’re back to school and the normal routine. Aiden has started back up with karate again on weekends!
And, of course, there’s the pool.
So now on to the near future, hopefully next time I won’t be catching up a few weeks’ worth of events!
So for actual Christmas we escape and flew to the Big Island for 5 days of wonderful family time. Lots of hiking, driving, and sightseeing later, we were sad to leave but had a lot of amazing memories.
Active Volcano viewing? Yes, please!
These kids are amazing. 4.5 miles of hiking including 400 feet down to a crater (and then 400 feet back up).
After a long day hiking we were grateful for our huge rental house with space to lay back and relax.
They managed to get two different Junior Ranger badges while there, and had a blast doing it!
Christmas Eve we made Gingerbread houses and read the Night Before Christmas.
Christmas brought more hiking at the waterfalls.
And on our way off the island we finally managed to get to the lava flow. Thankfully, it had stopped flowing towards the housing, but it also made for less exciting pictures 😉
From there it was back to home sweet
home and our wonderful toys.
So I’ll skip ahead to the fun stuff… The pictures! We had a blast trick or treating even with a little rain. Such a difference from last year when they wouldn’t really go up by themselves.
Aiden also got to go to the pumpkin patch with his class, and had a lot of fun!
The triplets got to have a fun Fall party in class.
I do miss jeans and boots and hot cider in the chilly fall air, but paradise is quite fun too! It’s hard to believe it’s November when it’s 80 degrees out but we’re enjoying wearing costumes without snow jackets and going on field trips without risk of frost bite!
I can’t believe it’s been so long. Life is, well, life. School, homework, gymnastics (for the littles) and boy scouts (for Aiden). We stay pretty busy Mon-Fri and try to sneak in family fun on the weekends!
So far we are loving school. All four are at the same school and I could not be more pleased with their teachers or the community.
Boy Scouts is fun (and exhausting) but we’re enjoying the fun meetings so far and looking forward to campouts and more soon!
The littles are enjoying gymnastics each week (even though it’s hot in the gym!!)
That’s about it here. Hard to believe it’s October already! Can’t wait for another holiday season with them.