Dear Chloe,

Today you are three! You still think you are two, and you insist that five is after three, but only in regards to your age. You also insist that “Chloe” starts with an “E.” We’ll work on it. This is going to be your year. I can feel it.


Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! (HAPPY NEW YEAR!)


We started our New Year’s Celebration on New Year’s Eve with a soba noodle dinner. I’ve been told that it’s a tradition to have soba noodles on New Year’s Eve and udon noodles for New Year’s dinner. The long noodles represent longevity and a long prosperous year to come. Also, soba noodles easily break. This can represent any misfortune you’ve experienced throughout the year, that it can now break and you can let it go.

Continue reading “Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! (HAPPY NEW YEAR!)”

KFC CHRISTMAS! and sushi…


Nothing says Merry Christmas like Kentucky Fried Chicken and tons of sushi.

When I was reading up on Japan before my first visit 12 years ago to meet Aya’s parents, I learned that having KFC for Christmas dinner was a thing. Really? KFC is a thing in Japan!? Yes, it is. Something about a wonderful marketing campaign from 1974, but I won’t bore you with the details here.

Continue reading “KFC CHRISTMAS! and sushi…”


IMG_2611_editThe clouds had parted and the sun was shining. Chloe’s flu quarantine had been lifted and we got the thumbs up to hit the streets. With it being a sunny and crisp 49 degrees, we figured the best place to start our day was to go out for breakfast.

Continue reading “THE BEST PART OF WAKING UP”


IMG_2545_editWith the plague of disease running through our family during our visit to Japan, it has been very disappointing to say the least. I mean, come on. We had to cancel our trip to Tokyo Disneyland and the trip to the hot springs in Izu. Essentially we flew half-way across the world so we could sit and cough on someone else’s couch. Well, actually, they only have a loveseat that sits two, so Aya and I have been coughing at the dining table instead. We came this far for this!? Other than getting a donut from Mister Donut (during our last trip I conquered Mister Donut), and many trips to the grocery store directly across the street, we haven’t done anything or been anywhere since we’ve arrived. Womp womp.

But when I stopped pouting and dropped the whoa-is-me attitude, I realized it really hasn’t been that bad.

Continue reading “BITTERSWEET”