Friday, July 12, 2019

Just a Few Things!

That was an awesome little family trip. I just wanted to add a few things I forgot to mention. I will also have to go back to each of my trip posts and add video, also taken during the trip...

When we got up early Thursday morning to make the trek back to Kansai Airport, we were early enough that there wasn't many people on the subways. But, we hit a bit of a snag in Bentencho, and almost missed the correct Rapid line to the airport. There was even a bit of a delay and as we sat with the train fill to the brim with people waiting for the train to move. I took this snap. Early morning hours, we saw kids walking to school. Sorry not in the photo. But it was a lovely morning overcast and many still just waking up to start their day in Japan...
 From the slight delay, which is why I was able to get that shot. Of course conductor announced the reason, but it was in Japanese. After about an hour we made it safely to Kansai Airport. Went straight to the United Airlines counter and checked in all of our bags, except our carry-ons. We were light and we wanted to shop prior to TSA, but sadly, there was no time. So instead, we headed straight to our gate, found seats. Then, Taby and I went to check the Family Mart and little shops close by. Sam and Sara stayed at the gate. I bought a few of these chocolate covered strawberries by Franz Japan, some  key chains for the kids, and Peach Kitkat chocolates. Luckily, I had Taby get me more of the Emeboshi snacks from 7/11! I spotted some Gatcha machines by the gate and got a few of them for the kids. Our flight left by 11:15am Japan time and we safely arrived into Guam about 3:30pm, it was raining and at one point the plane had gone through a cloud. All we felt was turbulence and even hit an air pocket and it was like we were falling from the sky for about 3 seconds. Whoosh, I believe I saw the airline stewardess, lift off the ground, Oh my!! Definitely quite the awakening. Eeek!
 The emboshi snack on the left, is basically salted plum with out the seeds or like what we call on Guam, 'Sweet N Sour Seeds'. The Hanko stamp below, I will have to buy a refill for the ink pad. Still it takes practice to allow it to stamp just right...

 I fell in love with this vinyl bag from Seria! A retro design, similar to the vintage children fabric in Japan. There was a purple bag also, which I regret not getting now. Ugh, darn it. Comes with silver ties and little tags with "For You" on them. So kitschy cute!! The tulle hair ties below in rainbow color. I plan to use on one of my Rushton bunnies! I did get two gatchas for myself, one with Koeda-Chan and one Sanrio mini gatcha machine. Recall the Fujiya Peko-Chan spoon from the ice cream cup I got?! Yup, too cute to throw away. Ha!

 I forgot to mention, while Sara and I stayed in the apartment, I took out my travel buddy and took pics of him around the BnB. I simply loved the Cherry blossom decals on the wall, great for background too. The little fake succulent plant and the fake bamboo? The patchwork sofa, was just the cutest in this apt!

 Last, when we checked the mail on the way home. I had one package from Japan. Inside, plastic mini frames with vintage art on them. I ordered four colors. They have replica vintage art on them. I have plans to use these and add vintage art work perhaps or something...

 So glad to be home and I've already opened my Etsy shop back up. Just getting back into the swing of things!

Thank you again for looking! ~ ggsdolls

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Family Vacay in Osaka and Kyoto!! Pt 3

Day Three of our adventures in Japan!! You can read Part One and Part Two here. Our last day, we decided to take Sam to the Osaka Aquarium. We had gone to it back in 2017. So we knew the route and what we had to do. We woke up early, took our time, and Taby did some laundry the night before. By morning it was dry. We left the apartment by about 9:30am. When we arrived at Tempozan Marketplace, many tourists were already in line for their tickets. It was actually hot and the sun was shining, not like the last two days of it being overcast. "Whew, hotsui ne!" Sam kept saying as we walked along the outside of the Marketplace, because it was not opened as yet. He was close to what is actually said, "Atsui desu!" LOL. He's a joker like that.
 When we arrived at the crosswalk for the Tempozan Marketplace, Sam noticed something different, and was like, "Whoa, has that building been there all this time?!" I looked up and said, "That's not a building, that's a cruise ship docked!" We all looked in awe, it was huge, I mean look at the photo of it beside the ferris wheel. It had so many floors and I'm guessing what made Sam think it was a building was because some of the passengers hung their laundry out to dry on their balconies. Haha! It was so hot, I wished I had brought a hat, but we knew we'd be in aircon comfort, whew! After lining up, getting our tickets, we made our way onto the elevator and into the Aquarium. We knew we had to get to the top floor with our escort from the aquarium and then slowly work our way down each level.

 The top level had a waterfall, with a large school of fish, salamander, and some other types. We were escorted to the next level, there we could go through each of the glass displays of penguins, seals, sea otters, and a dolphin. It was very crowded and we had to train Sara to squeeze in and make a spot in order for us to get a spot in front of the glass. Many didn't even want to allow my wheelchair through. But there were a few that were kind. Some didn't even flinch and stepped right in front of me. Luckily, this trip, we took our time and enjoyed each level down, almost spending at least 20 to 30 minutes! Ha!

 The most popular, was the Whale sharks! There were two in the larger aquarium. They definitely got a lot of 'Whoa's' from all of us! My favorite was the Great Seahorses!! I made sure to take a few snaps of them. There were three inside this one small aquarium. One was floating away, (not seen), the other, down closer to the bottom and two engaged in a mating ritual, perhaps?! Oh boy, excuse me!

 I took a few snaps of Sara and Taby relaxing and watching the fish and stingrays swim by... Sara even brought her little friend Bendy to enjoy the aquarium with her. It was magical!

 Almost to the bottom level, we went into the jellyfish area, and then into this one new area we had not seen last trip. It featured shadows on the curtains or floor with fish swimming by and even following you. There were also different little Eco systems showcasing how water is filtered and the same water used for the fish, etc. There was even a little Nemo type aquarium with anemones. We turned the corner and there was an area to touch a Manta ray. Sam and Taby really enjoyed that. Sara didn't want too, we begged her to try, no go. As for me, I'm just a spectator, haha! We sat by the elevator and locker area before heading out. All of us looking at our videos and photos taken of the day in the Aquarium. Then, when we finally left, we went to the dock side of the aquarium and saw a shop and sitting area, along with a lot of steps down to the dock. From afar I could see a similar statue of the one from "The Little Mermaid"!! Hans Christian Andersen's version! I could not walk all the way down, so I had Taby take a quick snap from were we stood.

 We decided it was time for lunch and at first wasn't sure were to eat, but I made the suggestion to try Mother Moon Cafe. We were seated and the host spoke English too. There was a buzzer you could press for service. Drinks were self serve too. The sitting area was similar to IHop, and we had a nice spot near the drink station, with a view of the aquarium. I got a melon soda, Taby lemonade, Sam had tea, and Sara her usual, coke. Taby and I ordered a Ceasar salad, Sam ordered a steak with bacon, and katsu chicken entre, and Sara an open quesadilla with fries. The food was delicious and we were very satisfied. We decided to get a vanilla crepe with ice cream dessert to share!

 After we left the restaurant, we decided to do one last look around and shop for gifts for family and ourselves. I made sure to stop by the Seria, a type of 100yen shop. Taby and I browsed the store, while Sam and Sara sat and waited for us. So many cute and practical things to buy. I got many of the toys for my nephews and niece there. A few items for myself as well. Then, Taby wanted to check a shop for a gift for her boyfriend. That's when I found a "Hanko" stamp!!! I've always wanted one. This time I made sure to buy one. Basically, its a stamp that people use to stamp a document or paper as your signature or initials, instead of writing it. It's written in Kanji. I've seen some use it, mostly at the money exchange offices on the receipt you get after changing your money to yen. I found one with my first name, "Cynthia". There was, "Sam", "Sara", but sadly, no "Tabytha" not even the actual spelling of "Tabitha". Darn, I even tried to find "Gigi", but I forgot, there's no "G", but instead "J" used. LOL

 As we began leaving the Marketplace, I treated everyone to Fujiya Ice cream, and also took a pic of Peko-chan. This time she is dressed for summer!! I got vanilla milky ice cream, Taby got a cookie and vanilla, and Sara a strawberry swirl. It was very good and helped keep us cool from the hot afternoon sun. We left Tempozan area, and stopped at one of the side street shops. Sam and Taby wanted to buy some Tshirts. So Sara and I, just watched people walk by, and took in all the street scenery. We went back to our apartment and relaxed. Sam and Taby wanted to ride the bicycles to check out the lowest mountain in Japan. But, sadly the bikes had a flat, and instead they went back to the shirt shop and bought more tees.

 A quick pic of my purchases from Seria and that Hanko stamp. I will share a bit more when I get home. It was definitely quite the adventure and we truly enjoyed our four days in Osaka and Kyoto. To see Sam face at the end of our family vacay, was well worth it! We have to leave Osakako early Thursday morning, like 6am, to take the subway train back to Kansai Airport in order for us to catch our flight back to Guam at 10am. Thank you Japan for another awesome adventure!!
 Thank you for reading! ~ ggsdolls