Thursday, January 14, 2016

8 is Great in Hawaii

Izzy turned 8 and that means a trip with Grandma and Grandpa J, but living in Japan makes that really difficult.  So lucky me, I got to go with her to Hawaii.
Sad part was leaving the boys at home.  Especially because it ended up that the rest of my family was there.  It was almost a mini family reunion, just without Kevin and the boys.
Izzy and I really missed them!

On October 22 at 7pm we took off out of Misawa Airport, which shares the runway with the air base. It was super convenient. 

On a wall at the entrance of the Misawa Airport shows Misawa's sister city...
Wenatchee, WA. We have some very dear friends that live in Wenatchee. It is fun to think that even though we are an ocean apart, we still have that connection. We miss the Gundersen's! 

The flight into Tokyo was quick and easy.  Finding the bus that takes us from the domestic terminal to the international terminal was not as quick and easy.  Isabel was a great help and very patient as we tried to find our way.  We made it to our next gate and had fun exploring.  
Tokyo airport is so nice and clean.
Ramon for dinner at the Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport)

We landed on Oahu on October 22, at 11:00 am. Hawaii is 19 hours behind Japan. Having just adjusted to our new time in Japan, I was not looking forward to having jet lag all over again.
We got going and all the sun shine was helpful.
Here are the highlights of the trip.

Turtle Bay Resort

Watching the surfers

Swimming with a sea turtle

Waimea Falls

Waimea Bay Beach
Watching crazy huge waves as the winter swells started to roll in.

Ted's Bakery

Castles Beach

Haleiwa and Matsumoto's Shaved Ice

Our backyard beach has a visitor..
Hawaiian Monk Seal!

Polynesian Cultural Center
...trying to make fire.

Dole Plantation

Laie Hawaii Temple

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific,
at Punchbowl Crater

Jet Lag Recovery Runs
To help with the jet lag I would get up and run most of the days we were there.
I started with the sunrise at Laie Point, second was a stop at the temple, and then head back running past BYU Hawaii.  Great way to start the day.

Home took 3 days..
We left Oahu on October 30th at 6pm and landed in Tokyo on October 31st at 10pm. The flight was about 9 hours long.  Then our 10 hour layover begun. Trying to sleep in a busy airport is not easy, but we eventually got some Z's.  On November 1st at 8 am we left Tokyo for Misawa. It was a beautiful clear morning to fly and we could see all the beautiful mountains blanketed in their fall colors.

We were give a warm welcome home...
I think they missed us!

~ October 22 to November 1, 2015 ~

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fall colors in Japan

Oirase Gorge

Fall is a favorite time of year for our family. We love to see the trees as they start to change their colors. Oirase Gorge did not disappoint.  Beautiful trees, waterfalls, and moss covered forest paths.
The strange thing that we noticed near the end of our trip was, no animals.  We've never been to a forest and not seen some kind of critter. I know they have monkeys here, even though we've yet to see one. We were really surprised by the lack of wildlife.

Lake Towada

The waters of the lake run down through Oirase Gorge.
We have never seen clearer water in a lake.  The kids dropped a piece of their granola bar in the water and watched for what seemed like forever before it disappeared into the darkness.
So peaceful and beautiful!

~ October 17, 2015 ~