Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday, Schmoliday

Tomorrow is Allan's birthday. He'll be as old as me. It's his little joke. My birthday is in March and he has until December 28th to be younger than me. Then he mopes around being crotchety, because he's my age.
His scuba diving trip to Hayama last Saturday was a bust. He enjoyed going, but of the five who went, only two got wet. And that was short lived. The water was choppy and the visibility non-existent. Since he pulled a calf muscle playing paintball a few weeks ago, it's probably just as well he didn't try to swim in heavy currents.
... and I have been published. Well, here in blogworld, I publish myself, but I also have a photo in the Fleet and Family Services newsletter (circulation slightly less than the Miami Herald). A few of the ships in the harbor are decorated, and I photographed the USS Blue Ridge in it's holiday attire.
The Blue Ridge is the flagship of the 7th Fleet, which means that the head guy (that would be Admiral Somebody) is on the ship. Odd that he's not on the George Washington, as it's a nuclear p0wered aircraft carrier, which sounds to me like the 'Top Gun'. Oh, well, that's one more military thing I just don't get.
Like George Carlin, it's my nature to think "Why do we park on the driveway and drive on the parkway?"
I'm sure I've mentioned that the food here is fabulous dahlings. This fellow is the 'Sake Master' at a Yakatori (grilled meat) place in Yokohama. We had dinner with our friends Chris and Jumi on Monday. Just like the states, restaurants come with categories; ramen, sushi, okonomi yaki, shabu shabu, you get the picture. Chris and Allan sampled some premium sakes while we waited for Jumi, who got stuck at work. I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of the silk covered box the Sake Master brought out. He took out a white glass bottle of sake. It was like presenting a gift to the Empress.
The sake was served at room temperature in that wine glass at the bottom. And those green things on the plate next to it are grilled peppers, very mild.
On Christmas eve, it was party time at Commander Paul Brochu's house. Paul and Sheryl arrived here just days before we did, and Allan is enjoying working with him. They have a nine year old, Bailey, who's a very adverturous eater. That's an attribute for living in Japan.
Allan found a pretty girl from Ft. Lauderdale to talk to at the party. Zayra is an Occupational Health Nurse, so her office is in the same building as Allan. She was also on the ski trip we took on the 26th.
CFAY (Command Fleet Activity Yokosuka) is a unit that organizes activities for off-duty times. It's a very large part of the base and there's no end to what they have available. There's an outdoor recreation center, and these guys do it ALL, fishing, surfing, white water rafting, mountain climbing. You remember that Allan went surfing. The same guy who gave him his surfing lesson gave him his skiing lesson.
I started with the lesson, but I was holding them back (falling is soooo time consuming, and it was a 2 hour lesson). The snow wasn't as dry as Wyoming, but there were some good runs. I'd heard that the Japanese were aggressive skiers, but I didn't find that the case. There were alot of snowboarders and they are generally dangerous on any mountain.

Here's Allan inside a gondola. This is a great way to get to the top. In Japan, our tickets are 1000 yen cheaper, because we fit into the senior category. I don't know if I really want to admit that, but what the hell, I'm glad we're still able to ski!
This next little item is my lift ticket. I stuck it in my side pocket, so I had to twist sometimes to get through the gate, but Allan had a little pocket on his left sleeve, which must have been specifically for an E-ticket because it was perfectly placed for the scanner. Some of the boarders and skiers attached bands around their left sleeve for the ticket. At the end of the day, we I got 2000 yen back for returning the tickets.
>&g t;>
Allan snatched this hat from the Massaglia ski lodge in Wyoming. It's former owner, Andrew Massaglia, wouldn't be caught dead in it now, but I'm told when he was 8, it made him easy to find on the slopes. Now it works for my 8 year old.

QUICK LESSON - If you need to use the toilet, don't ask for the ladies' room, bathroom or the restroom. A ladies' room would be a place where men aren't allowed, a bathroom is where you bathe and if you ask for a restroom, an Asian will probably think you want to sleep. So take my advice and just ask for the toilet. This is an English word most people understand.
Here's a sign explaining how to use a western toilet. Don't face the wall and straddle it or stand up on the seat. You might need the instructions for an eastern toilet when you come, but we'll save that for another lesson.

Allan and I send our best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year. Be safe and we hope to see you in March.

No comments:

Post a Comment