Posts Tagged vacation
The Penpal and I love traveling together! Our destination highlights include numerous places in Japan, Korea (the nice one, not the crazy one), Jamaica, Banff, Niagara Falls, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, San Francisco, and even Fargo, North Dakota.
There is something about being away from work and home that really makes a person feel, how can I put this delicately, energetic? Our previous vacations have always allowed us freedom to spend some “quality spouse time” together. (Yes, even in Fargo)
This trip to Japan is the first out of town vacation that The Penpal and I have taken since we became parents. We found that while the spirit was willing, the opportunities were severely limited due to the presence of our wonderful child.
On previous trips to Japan, a visit to another city would have been a golden opportunity to really enjoy our vacation. This time we had a tiny person sleeping in our room. Making the problem worse is the fact that Japanese hotels have very small bathrooms which are not at all friendly for extracurricular activities.
Vacation just isn’t the same as it used to be.
The time is finally here – we are ready to leave for our 3 year old son’s first trip to Japan to meet the The Penpal’s side of the family.
For those who haven’t been reading the whole mixed up, out of order story, here’s a quick recap: I taught English in Japan from 2003-2006 and returned to Canada with a fiancee who I have referred to in my blog as The Penpal. In the years between 2006 and 2017 we got married and have visited to Japan several times. Our most recent visit was in summer 2013, which some readers might notice is about 9 months before the birth of our son.
Everyone in this blog gets a nickname to protect / obscure their identity. For this story he will be known as TD, the short form of “Tiny Dog” from the Secret Life of Pets, one of his favourite movies.
The Penpal’s parents have not visited Canada since the birth of our son, but we have talked to them every week on a Skype video chat. They are looking forward to meeting their grandson in person for the first time, and we are looking forward to a vacation.
A two week long international trip with a 3 year old is an intimidating idea, but we have several friends from Japan who have done the same trip and survived. We decided to learn as much as possible from them before leaving, and to prepare for every possible scenario.
For the flight we are bringing a change of clothes for everyone, an airplane approved car seat, an Ipad loaded with kids movies, volume limiting headphones, TD’s favourite stuffed animal giraffy, toys, games, colouring books, earplanes (pressure adjusting earplugs), snacks, diapers, wipes, and children’s gravol.
Leading up to the flight we made sure to play “airplane” at home with TD. This is a game I invented where I turn our laundry basket into an airplane and simulate takeoff and landing to get him prepared for the idea. We also watched the Peppa Pig vacation episode about 4 times in a row.
We did everything possible to prepare for our trip, and we have high hopes for everything after the flight. With all of the prep, what could possibly go wrong?
Today was the first day of my week off. Unlike last year where I used my vacation time to host visitors from back home, I will actually get some time to myself. I am planning on going west to see Himeji Castle and Osaka tomorrow, but I spent my first day off being VERY lazy.
How lazy was I? Well, the only way I could have been more lazy would have involved some planning, which would have required effort, which would have disqualified it from being lazy.
In the middle of preparing for the launch of my Japan: 10 years later blog, I find myself in Japan again to visit the inlaws. In the time leading up to my departure, I had the very best intentions to save about a years worth of 2003 blog posts and work on getting them updated and ready to go while on this vacation. However, in the rush to get ready for my trip, I totally forgot about the blog.
Since I am here and have free time, I thought I might as well blog about the trip I am currently on. I will be in Japan for 2 weeks, mainly to visit the in laws with my wife, but also to meet up with some old friends and do some sightseeing. Also, this provides a much needed break from the office.
So please enjoy the mundane tales of a 2 week visit with my Japanese family.