Category Archives: Family
Friday, 22 December, 2017
My sister wanted to take us to her favourite cafe for breakfast, but they didn’t have any sandwiches available because the bread didn’t get delivered (!!), so we went to another place.
For lunch, my sister took us to a Korean BBQ place near her work.
Tendan is a highly popular place that does not take bookings. So you have to turn up and hope for the best. We had to wait half an hour for a table and then when one was available were told that we had one hour to eat. Okay, boss.
After lunch, it was time to head back to my sister’s place, get our bags and go to the airport. My sister got us a cab to Mita station and from there it was a direct line to Narita airport.
It’s been a short but activity-filled trip.
Many thanks to Rachel for hosting us and suggesting places to visit! Looking forward to doing it again!
Tuesday, 19 December, 2017
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo has two Disney parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. The former is the first Disney theme park outside of the United States and is very much modeled after the one in Anaheim. Since, we went to the one in Anaheim last year, we decided to check out Disney Sea. (Unlike the parks in the US, tickets are sold separately in Tokyo.)
We aimed and succeeded in getting there by opening time, 8am. The plan was to stay until closing time, 10pm. Yeah, ‘cos we’re like that. Why go all the way there only to not stay the whole time?
My sister told us one of the MUST RIDES is the Toy Story Mania ride. So, after going through the gate, we made a beeline for the Fast Pass tickets for the Toy Story Mania ride. The line for the Fast Pass itself was really long and it was half an hour before we finally got our Fast Pass tickets! Our allocated time for the ride was 15:10-16:10!
It was a Tuesday, not holidays yet, so the park was not very crowded. Yet, some things did involve a long wait.
A couple of rides weren’t operating — Raging Spirits and Scuttle’s Scooters — and there were some we gave a miss because we had done it in Anaheim. We also did not ride ones which were geared more for young children.
We wanted to try some Japanese food for dinner, but by the time we got to the one we wanted, they were already closed for the night!
So, we lined up for an hour for the gondolas, our last ride for the day.
By the time we got back to our home station, it was late and many places were closing. When all else fails, there’s always McDonalds, so that’s what we did. Pathetic, I know.
(Note: McDonalds in Japan does not sell Quarter Pounders. It was discontinued in April 2017. The closest thing is the Double Cheeseburger.)
10.45pm order at a place that was going to close its doors at 11pm. Asked for a Eat In and promised we would eat quickly. At 11pm, we gathered up our still uneaten french fries and bolted out of there.
Monday, 18 December, 2017
After breakfast, Susannah and I walked around the local streets. The area is very hilly with many small lanes. Public transport is extremely accessible and one does not need a car to get around. Unlike Melbourne. Then again, Tokyo is several centuries older and several million more populous than Melbourne. There are more people living in Greater Tokyo (37 million) than there are in the whole of Australia (24 million).
My sister took us to Ginza to do a bit of clothes shopping. I am not a shopper by nature, and ended up only buying a turtleneck top. I found the prices comparable to those in Melbourne.
Lunch was shabu shabu, a kind of individual hotpot.
Ice skating was next! I last ice skated 35 years ago and Susannah had never ice skated. She took to it quite easily and I wasn’t too bad either. Didn’t fall once. And no, I wasn’t holding on to the rail!
Had a quick snack at McDonalds — McDonalds is everywhere, too — and then Susannah and I braved our way on our own to Shibuya to see the famous crossing and Hachiko, the faithful dog.
When we arrived at the station and came out, we saw an intersection and wondered whether it was the intersection. After all, this is Tokyo and there could be a bigger one. We decided it was the one because there were lots of people standing around with their phones and cameras filming people crossing.
The crossing is crazy huge. When the Green Man came on, all the pedestrians crossed whichever way they wanted. Right, left, up, down, diagonally. Each cycle lasted about three minutes, and each time, the crossing was just as busy.
We walked around the streets of Shibuya, up and down little lanes, while trying to keep our bearings in check. The Shibuya Mark City is near the station, so we tried to keep that in view.
While walking down one of the little lanes, we came across a little noodle shop with cute plastic models of the dishes sold.
With prices ranging from Y300 to Y770, this was definitely something that caught our eye. The instructions on how to order were in English as well as Japanese, so that was also helpful:
- Choose the number from vending machine.
- Pay appropriate amount. Can pay with Suica (the public transport card).
- Take ticket to counter.
- Tell the person whether you want Udon or Soba noodles, and whether you want it Hot or Cold.
We kept this place in mind while walking around more. Other places had more expensive fare, average price was at least Y1000 per person. So, we found our way back to this place and went in.
Y900 for the both of us is an extremely good price. Even my sister was surprised when we told her.
We celebrated Older Daughter’s birthday last Friday, about a week early, as she was going to be away on her actual birthday.
That’s the Mango Cheesecake I made for her birthday.
The following day, we saw her off at the airport.
She is off to spend three weeks in Shanghai, China for an intensive program of Intermediate Chinese. This program is equivalent to one semester’s worth of study. Very exciting, indeed. After one year of Introductory Chinese at Monash, her Chinese is already better than mine!
Since Older Daughter is in China, she wasn’t able to be here for the Girls’ Brigade Presentation Night.
Younger Daughter received an award for Best Junior.
There are six people in our family and three of them have birthdays within 38 days (inclusive) of each other.
Today is our youngest’s birthday, which also happens to be my younger sister’s birthday. My daughter’s due date was October 31 and I fully expected her to be born a few days before that because all her siblings were born before their due dates. October would have been a good month, too, because then we would all each have our own birth month.
Older daughter was due 3rd December but made her appearance, with some urgency, on the 30th of November. Had she been born on her due date, she would have shared a birth month with her father. When younger daughter missed her due date, and continued to ‘bake’ for another six days, I was beginning to wonder if we had somehow miscalculated her Estimated Time of Arrival. Nope, not only did she want to share a birth month with her older sister, she had to share a birthday with my sister.
The oldest Yewnique child has turned 21. In Australia, a person is legally an adult at age 18; yet, 21 is still seen as a major milestone.
We had a small party with extended family for his 18th, but had a bigger party for his 21st.
The younger son turned 15 today. Fifteen!
Yesterday, I wondered what I should make for breakfast for him and was tossing up between French Toast and pancakes. I had also bought some crumpets that were on special from the supermarket.
“Do you prefer French Toast or pancakes?”
Then I remembered his love for Nasi Lemak.
“Would you like Nasi Lemak for breakfast?” I asked.
“Is that even a question?”
Lamb Vindaloo for dinner. Forgot to take a picture! It was very good!
Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert.
This has been sitting in my Drafts folder for almost a month! Yikes!
As followers of my blog know, we have been involved with our local Little Athletics club for over ten years now. I put my older children in because I am not sporty in any way, shape, or form so I needed to outsource their physical education.
This season, Mark was once again the President of the club, and I was once again the Results Input person. Our older son served as a General Committee member and our older daughter helped out with entering the sprint results electronically.
Our younger son competed in the U15 age group. I think he only missed one week of competition when he was away at a Boys’ Brigade camp, so he had an almost perfect attendance. That, coupled with the fact that when he was present at Little Aths he competed in every single event, earned him the most points for his age group and he was awarded First Place for the U15 Boys.
Our younger daughter decided not to continue with Little Athletics, turning her time, energy, and focus instead to dancing. My husband predicted that the day would come when she would choose to give up Little Athletics but it was still a bittersweet moment for me. Several times over the season I asked whether she was sure, and each time she assured me she was. “No regrets?” I asked. “No regrets,” she said, firmly.
Benjamin is entitled to compete for another year as an U16; he may or may not continue this coming season, he’s not sure yet. Nevertheless, the rest of us have decided to step down from our various positions.
We’ve had a good experience with the club and, as Life Members, it is not good-bye. We will definitely be in touch and be kept in the know with the club’s events and happenings.
We had the opportunity to travel to the US earlier this month with Elizabeth’s dance school. Last November, the dance school put out a request to see how many people were interested in going to LA with the tour group company Dance Around the World.
From February onwards, every Saturday, sixteen dancers worked hard and learned a 25-minute dance routine to perform at Disney California Adventure and Universal Studios City Walk. They also learned the choreography for the Disneyland Main Street Parade.
This happened last month, but I am only now writing about it.
We have been involved with this club for over ten years now. What started out as a way to ‘outsource’ Physical Education for our home-schooled children has turned out to be a full-on family commitment.
Mark is the President, and no, that does not make me the First Lady.
I am the Results Coordinator Manager. I collect all the results sheets at the end of the day’s events and enter them into the system.
Older son Jeremy served as the Chief of Officials.
Older daughter Susannah helped out at the track field, zapping athletes’ barcodes and aligning that with their track results.
Younger son Benjamin completed his ninth year of little athletics and because he went every single week bar one (he was away at a Boys’ Brigade camp that weekend) and took part in every single event, he managed to rack up enough points to get First Place!
Younger daughter Elizabeth received her Five-Year Award. As an U9 athlete, she is one of the youngest recipients of the award.
She also attended every week bar one (Girls’ Brigade camp) and competed in every event, but did not collect enough points to get a placing.
Our Saturday mornings are now a lot quieter and less rushed, that is, until October when the season starts up again!