2010年3月25日木曜日

a day out in the big smoke

After a super tiring graduation day of course we planned a nice quiet restful day for the first day of holidays, right?

Well, that's what we planned until we found out there was a family reunion going on in Saitama. A family reunion that if we gatecrashed could perhaps score me a 'get out of trekking up to Fukushima to see the grandparents' free card.

So, out the window with the restful day plan and we dragged our sorry selves out of bed at 5:00am, were out the door at 5:30 and on the 6:20 train. Without breakfast- K set the rice cooker as usual. As usual means set to be ready at 5:30am.... oh well. We took bananas in the car and promised the girls a riceball at the station.

Great idea but the station kiosk opens at 6:30 and our train left at 6:20. Oh well, we'll grab something when we change to the shinkansen at Nagano city.

Oops, the regular train and the shinkansen entrances are separate at Nagano station, no time to stop by the kiosk.

By the time we got on the shinkansen and the overpriced and preservative packed sandwich cart came around Meg was quite sure I was starving her. Very worried the cart wouldn't arrive and wolfed down the '5 variations on mayonnaise' sandwich special like she hadn't eaten in weeks. Poor kid.

On the morning train

Made it to Omiya station and played our superglue game to get through the station to the other train line for the last section of our journey. This involves pretending to stick globs of superglue on our palms and smooshing them together. A cute way of saying 'you must not, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, let go of mummy's hand in the big scary city.' It's weird. I am perfectly fine with the girls climbing trees up above my head height, running through the fields, playing in creeks, being out of my eyesight anywhere around here but having them stand on a train platform- even wayyyy back with their bums to the wall and my heart starts pounding as I imagine having to drag them off the tracks out of the way of a speeding train- gahhhh!

Anyway, surprisingly enough we arrived safely and without incident, had a huge day playing, made a grandma very happy, had the first all-in meeting of the cousins- a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 7 month old and the girls soaked up a huge dose of grandma love. Amy is a live in the moment kind of kid and doesn't get too worked up about the lack of grandparents in our immediate proximity but Meg misses everyone and goes through 'why can't we go to Australia for the weekend?/ 7 hours North to Fukushima for the day?' periods which require lots of empathy and patient explaining. So a whole day hanging out with Grandma was like Christmas in March.

I was blown out by my 2 year old niece. She lives a 1 minute walk from a huge shopping mall on the 9th floor of a very fancy apartment complex complete with reception desk guy. She can swipe the magic key to get in, knows how to run the elevator (not just her floor number but how to hold the door for someone or close the door when we're all in etc etc) she does lunch at restaurants (and not just family oriented ones) and sits in her seat- and stays in her seat- for the entire meal. Wow. Just wow. But I heard that she doesn't like running around outside and at the park likes to be held and have her mum by her side as she plays. I guess we are all products of our environment, huh?

After a big day playing we started the mammoth return journey- the morning's adventure in reverse and finally walked in the door at 8:30pm. 15 hours after we walked out that morning. It was a huge day. A fun-filled marathon of an adventure but boy was it nice to get home!


Last leg of the journey- the slow train home from Nagano city. They were wired and spent the hour trip trying to balance in the aisle without touching anything. It's a pretty rock and rolly kind of ride and they kept bumping into each other. Hilarious. I was sure they would sleep on the train. But nope. Far too excited to sleep on a day out in the big smoke.

6 件のコメント:

Vicky さんのコメント...

What a nice day out! It is important to have contrasting days in your life so you can appreciate your everyday situation!

Nay さんのコメント...

Sounds like you all had a great day in the big smoke :)Visiting is always nice but I have to admit I am really grateful when I get home to my apartment among the rice fields/ocha plants.

I know that there is always advantages/disadvantages of children growing up in the country/city but I am really glad that we aren't in the city. I guess it comes from growing up in the country myself...

Brenda さんのコメント...

Oh lordy, I don't even want to imagine taking Sara through large, croweded stations without her stroller. I'm pretty sure I'd never see her again. Sounds like a great time was had by all, and you've saved yourself a trip to Fukushima for a little while! Nice job!

Midori さんのコメント...

That sounds like a luvverly day out!
I bet Grandma was super chuffed as well to have all of her grandkids in the same place.
I was reading about your two year old niece and thinking "yep, Joey could do all that at her age" and we didn't even live in a proper city in those days! :-) You are right though, I think we are all products of our environment. I grew up in the suburbs of London with lots of green spaces around us and as we live in the same place now, I feel Joey has the best of both worlds but I can definitely see the attraction to bringing kids up in the countryside, it just isn't something I could have handled personally.

Brenda- you might be pleasantly surprised. I actually found it MUCH easier on the underground after we ditched Joey's buggy. YES there are complications with keeping them safe and stopping them running off but you never have to navigate steps with a buggy and that makes such alot of difference to my stress levels!

achan さんのコメント...

Next time can I come too? I'd love to go to the big smoke but hubby doesn't want to. He goes there on business trips a couple of times a month a never sees any other reason to go-not even to visit his sister :(

Looks like the girls had a great time but I am sure they'd be just as happy to stay at home and play on their sledes and poo mountain!

thefukases さんのコメント...

Vicky- yup, best thing about going anywhere is coming home again, right?

Nay- Hey country girl! Me, too. Well I lived in Melbourne for Uni but even then I was one suburb away from cows and sheep!

Brenda- nightmares, huh? strollers certainly have their uses when it comes to keeping kids tied down!

Midori- I really do think you're giving Joey the best of both worlds- he looks so at home in all the pictures you take, whether they be in a park or downtown.

achan- please! I'd love to meet up for a city day out for country folks! (Nay, too?) K hates crowds, public transport, shopping and eating out. Needless to say he's not exactly raring to spend a day in the city!