Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Been Real, It's Been Fun, But it Hasn't Been Real Fun

I've been thinking. I've been asked if I will keep up the blog now that I'm home and I've decided that I will. However, I'm going to start a new one. I thought that perhaps I should move on from the Japan thing and the title doesn't really fit anymore. I know that I could have just changed the title and perhaps the background, but the older posts will always be there, and it feels better to just close that chapter and start a new one. Each new day is fresh, with no mistakes, and a new start just seems right. As of this posting, I haven't written on the new blog, but I will include a link at the bottom, so that you can get to it easily. I hope that you will continue to follow me, even though now I'm a lot easier to get a hold of in person. Thanks for all your support while I was away, but now the real support begins, because you actually have to be there and do stuff for me. Don't worry, it goes both ways, and I promise to get back to baking as soon as I can get my house in a little better order, and re-fill the cupboards. 

Here's that link:

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm On My Way

It's been a while since I last posted and to say that a lot has happened since then is sort of an understatement. For those who aren't aware, Evan and I returned home, home on Friday, the 18th. It was necessary for Scott to remain and work, but I know he's being taken care of and that he will be on his way out of there soon. Let me start from the beginning and try to explain some of the events that lead to early return.

On March 11th at about 2:45pm, there was a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sendai, Japan. This is about 270 miles north of Yokosuka where we were staying. That's about the distance from Tacoma to Cheney, WA, which is just outside of Spokane. So not super close, yet we felt the earthquake in our apartment. Evan and I were enjoying nap at the time. I woke up to the bed shaking some and couldn't quite figure it out at first, once I did, I thought that it would pass quickly and didn't feel that strong at first, so didn't really see a reason to wake up Evan and possibly freak him out. However, the shaking kept going and started to get stronger, so I got up and carried Evan to the doorway, fully expecting it to stop at any second. It didn't and Evan wanted to know what was going on and why the building was shaking. We had a whole conversation about it, while it was happening, while I contemplated moving us under the kitchen table. When it did stop, we had no damage, nothing even fell over and we had power the whole time. Scott, who was on a boat the whole time, didn't even really feel it.

Minutes after that, the coast that was hit by the earthquake, was then hit by a 33 ft. tsunami. As a result of these events a nuclear power plant had a meltdown because they weren't able to cool the nuclear reactors. The meltdown has recently been upgraded from a 4 to a 5 in severity on a scale of 7. Initially, we were not aware that the damage to the plant was going to affect us in such a major way. We were downwind of any of the radioactive material that may have been in the air, and also it seemed as though it was being downplayed. We spent the weekend out around town and even went to a movie.

On Tuesday the wind shifted and the navy began to be concerned. Scott and I discussed Evan and I leaving the island, but nothing was decided then. I was no longer worried about quitting, although, somehow it still felt like that. I was now worried about leaving Scott behind. It wasn't clear when or if he would be able to leave. On Wednesday I started packing, in the event that I needed to leave, even though it wasn't what I wanted to do. None of our plans were shared with family. It was still unclear if Evan and I would leave and where we would go if we did leave. That afternoon Scott was able to change our tickets so that we could fly out on Friday. I let everyone know we were coming back home and continued to pack like a fiend. In two days I managed to get all our stuff packed, with most of it in the suitcases we would be taking with us.

Our area was beginning to be hit by food shortages and there were threats of rolling blackouts to conserve energy, since they were down a plant. Many stores and restaurants were closed. On Thursday, we experienced our first blackout.

Friday morning we left. The airport was totally packed and the lines took forever to get through, luckily I arrived there shortly after ten for my 3:40 flight. In the end I only had about 2 hours to kill before we started boarding.

Were our family and friends somewhat in the dark about what was happening, yes. Part of that was that we didn't really know the severity of the disasters. Yes some of it was deliberate with holding, but it's hard to keep people calm when you are over 4,000 miles away. Besides, y'all would have freaked out regardless, did you really need to know all the details and make it worse on yourselves? We can try to put this all behind us now, and we will always have a personal connection to this disaster. Evan and I are home safe, and I have been told that Scott is out of Yokosuka. No idea where he is headed but I assume that it will be safer than where he was.

Not sure if I will continue posting or not. I haven't decided. If I do keep it up, it probably won't be as frequent, and not for a while, since I have the daunting task of getting my house back in order. Till then take care and I will leave you with a song.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Okay Seriously, I Am Not Depressed (it's a long one, just deal with it)

I should just leave it at that, but I'll go on. It has come to my attention that my previous post has some of you concerned about my emotional well being. I would just like to reiterate, I am not depressed. While I appreciate your concern, in this instance it's not necessary. I may have chosen to write on the wrong day. We all have ups and downs. I'm sure on occasion you all wake up and dread going to work, the grocery store, cleaning the kitchen, etc. I'd be more worried if you didn't, it might indicate that you have a brain tumor. No one is super happy, all the time. Am I looking forward to being home at the end of May? Yes. Anyone else looking forward to us being home at the end of May? That's what I thought.

Yes, I'm a little down about the hardships in my current living situation, but I'm sure that you have also committed to things that turn out not to be what you were hoping for too. I'm not about to quit. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I don't give up. I might not even try in the first place, but once committed, I don't give in. Scott told me someone he works with told him the other day, 'My wife's only called twice, crying, and insisting that they go home.' I will not be that wife. Lots of things make me cry these days, it's probably due to the hormones, but I'm not crying over being here. Again, I will not quit. As my mother will tell you, and anyone else who will listen, I was a whiner as a child. But I'm a grown up now, and I'm going to 'put on my big girl panties and deal with it'.

I used to journal a lot as a teenager. You know, all that lower middle class angst. It was helpful to get my thoughts out, I process well on paper. I still write out my lists on paper and prefer to write things down before going to the computer. Perhaps that is why some of my posts don't come across as well as I intend. I tend to use this blog as a way of getting things out there, the only difference is that apparently all my thoughts and feelings are being highly scrutinized. Try not to read so much into what I write. I'm usually not being any more guarded than usual. If it's being said, just take it as that and nothing more. I think that if you put all your thoughts down for everyone to see, you also couldn't stand up to such an extensive critique.

I'm emotional, a worrier, and quite dramatic. Often little, seemingly inconsequential things become the most insurmountable, disastrous, panic inducing trauma ever (see what I mean). So, on occasion, things might sound worse than they really are. They might even sound worse than what I really feel about them. Am I super happy to be here? Probably not, but is it the worst place I've ever lived? Not. Even. Close. Those who remember the dungeon apartment in U.P. will know that those were some dark days, quite literally.

So, I hate to say it, but if you are going to read too much into everything that I write, put more feeling and emotion into it than I ever intended,  than you probably shouldn't read what I write anymore. If I have to consider every word that I post, and wonder how it's going to be perceived, I'm not going to write anymore. That will make it too hard and certainly not worth sharing.  Again, I appreciate your concern. For reasons I would rather not explain, I feel as though I am quite aware of my emotional/mental state, and I'm fairly confident that I would know if what I was feeling was severe enough to be concerned about. It's okay to feel elated, pensive, defeated, optimistic, excited, dejected, enraged, and a million other emotions. It's what you do with those feelings and how you choose to react that is important.

Again, try not to read too much into this, but I love this song and I'm going to take a cue from my friend Jaime and end with some lyrics.

Stand, by Rascal Flatts

You feel like a candle in a hurricane 
Just like a picture with a broken frame 
Alone and helpless, like you’ve lost your fight 
But you’ll be alright, you’ll be alright
‘Cause when push comes to shove 
You taste what you’re made of 
You might bend ‘til you break 
‘Cause it’s all you can take 
On your knees you look up 
Decide you’ve had enough 
You get mad, you get strong 
Wipe your hands, shake it off 
Then you stand, then you stand

Life’s like a novel with the end ripped out 
The edge of a canyon with only one way down 
Take what you’re given before it’s gone 
And start holdin’ on, keep holdin’ on
‘Cause when push comes to shove 
You taste what you’re made of 
You might bend ‘til you break 
‘Cause it’s all you can take 
On your knees you look up 
Decide you’ve had enough 
You get mad, you get strong 
Wipe your hands, shake it off 
Then you stand, then you stand

Every time you get up and get back in the race 
One more small piece of you starts to fall into place – yeah
‘Cause when push comes to shove 
You taste what you’re made of 
You might bend ‘til you break 
‘Cause it’s all you can take 
On your knees you look up 
Decide you’ve had enough 
You get mad, you get strong 
Wipe your hands, shake it off 
Then you stand, then you stand

Yeah then you stand – yeah 
Yeah, baby 
Woo hoo, Woo hoo, Woo hoo 
Then you stand – yeah, yeah

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Life Just Ordinary

I've really wanted to make a post, for about a week now, but for whatever reason, I just can't find the motivation to do so. Part of it is because I am growing tired of everything being so hard over here, and I was going to make a whinny post about hardships of my present life. But then I decided that I didn't want to complain anymore. I chose to be here, so regardless of whatever else is going on, I'm not going to complain about it, no one needs to listen to that and it's not going to make me feel any better.

I also thought about posting about the pregnancy, but that's pretty boring, at least to me, so that was really just a fleeting thought. Honestly, my life is pretty boring. I know that the intention of this blog was to keep all those that I am far away from up to date on what's going on in my life, but really there's nothing. I mean, not so much nothing, as nothing out of the ordinary. Which really is fine. I don't like a lot of drama, and I'm generally okay with ordinary. That just means that nothing is going terribly wrong.

So here it is, what life looks like on a regular basis: Scott works, a lot, 5-6 days a week. He's gone before we get up and if it's a good night he's home around six, although usually it is closer to seven. Evan and I run errands during the day. We have to pick up groceries about 3 times a week. The fridge is small, the freezer is even smaller, and mommy can only carry about two bags of groceries at a time. When it's not raining, we go to the park or on base to the library or to have lunch. I've been watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy, which totally sucks, I'm into the 6th season and it fulfills my need for drama that doesn't affect my life. About once a week we go out to dinner with daddy, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. It's all part of the adventure. On the weekends, when Scott isn't working, we try to find things to do, like go to the movies (super cheap on base, cost about 18 dollars last time and we had snacks.), the science museum as well as a cool science center.

There you have it. A life just ordinary. Which is okay, just looking forward to living my ordinary life back in Tacoma.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Home Again, Home Again (sort of)

Evan and I are back in Japan, after 9 days in Guam. We stayed with Papa and Lola and got to visit with Uncle Greg and Norma a lot. By the way, for whatever reason, Evan could never remember Norma's name. I couldn't tell if he was doing it on purpose, or if it was a true mental block. Either way, I will have to create some relative flash cards and drill Evan everyday before our next visit in May.

We went to the beach every morning we were there, except the last two, when the boy decided that he likes to be in the water and swim with his floaty, but he doesn't like being sandy or the wearing of wet clothes for that short period of time before he can get into dry clothes. I took a ton of photos at the beach but here are a few of my favorites.

One day, instead of going to the beach, we went to a water park. Evan really enjoyed this, no sand and he didn't have to wear shoes.

The next day he got to fly kite and we got to hang out with Uncle Greg and Norma again.

Evan also got to ride in Papa's outside car, and have a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

Oh yeah, and we did sparklers one night.

If you can't tell by his face in these pics, he was totally excited most of the time. Pretty sure I was just there  to deliver Evan and keep him under control, because this was a vacation totally tailored to him. Which is fine. I enjoyed laying on the beach, and the warm weather. It was way better than the pouring rain back in Japan. Also, I got to drive, which I haven't been able to do since we arrived in Japan.

With all the excitement Evan had a few rough nights and also decided that he no longer had to listen to me, but I'm glad to say, after being home for one day, his attitude seems to be improving. Mommy's glad to be back in Japan where she can pass Evan off to Daddy when she's had enough and I'm just proud of her for not leaving Evan at the Narita airport.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I had a few other posts in mind, but they will have to keep till later, this one seemed more important. Hopefully I can keep it short and to the point, but it is what it is and needs to be expressed properly.

My not saying I miss you is purposeful, not because I don't, but because I can't deal with that. Whoever you are reading this, you miss me or us, which is at best 3 people. Stop for just a min. and think about all the people I've left behind, it's way more than three. Plus, I have to deal with Evan asking on a pretty regular basis, 'When are we going home to Tacoma?', and how he misses the dog. Seriously, who needs the guilt of a four year old. I only have two people here that I care about and as you all know, you need more than two people to keep you sane, especially when one of them is actually working to drive you insane. Also, you can probably jump in your car just about any time you want and drive to Red Robin, or The Ram, or Target, or (God forbid) Walmart, or any number of a thousand other places. You can run a load of dishes in the dishwasher or have a really good pizza delivered to you door. The list could go on and on forever.

I'm not trying to get you to feel sorry for me. I made this choice, I'm a big girl. I may not have known exactly what it entailed, but I did come here willingly. I'm simply trying to explain why it is that I might not return, and certainly not give a spontaneous, 'I miss you'. If I had to think about all the people, experiences and things that I am missing everyday I would be an emotional puddle on the floor. I have to make it through these next almost four months, and I can't become a basket case now.

This post is my 'I miss you'. You probably won't get another one, so take it while you can get it. You can still say it, but know that I know that you miss me even if you don't. While that may seem conceited, I assume that you keep me in your life because you find something about me redeeming, even if we are family. I know you are in my life because I value you. Why else am I saving you from a burning building if I don't value or find some sort of merit in your life? Why is the building on fire you might ask? How should I know, don't try to figure these things out, you'll hurt yourself.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Veggie Delight

The fresh produce here can be slightly baffling. They have some of the same vegetables that I know, as well as some that I wouldn't begin to be able to identify or know how to use. The carrots are huge, not so much long but fat. However, unlike at home where large carrots can tend to be bitter, these are so sweet, like real baby carrots and the skin is really thin, they don't need to be peeled. Cucumbers are different too. Long and skinny, about the width of a pickling cucumber, but longer and the skin also isn't bitter, similar to an English cucumber. There are lots of different mushrooms, as well as the standards that we usually find at home. I've seen purple sweet potatoes and even saw purple sweet potato ice cream when we were out once. 

Most things are reasonably priced, everything is a little more expensive. However some things I don't quite understand why they cost so much. You can't buy a whole bunch of celery, I've only seen it sold by single stalks, and the the cheapest I've seen is 98 yen for one. That's over a dollar for one stalk of celery, and it doesn't even look that good. Also the fresh garlic is a little more than I was willing to pay. Apples are pretty expensive as well. The first time I bought some I thought the price was per pound, 98 yen. Turns out it was per apple. Luckily I only picked up two. There is a small market down the road that sells bags of apples, not quite as good as the single apples, but last time I got six apples for 380 yen. Strawberries must be a real treat, because the lowest price I've seen is 385 yen for 12 strawberries. That's over 4 dollars. They look like they would be amazing, so I might break down and buy Evan some for his birthday. 

The most important thing about the produce here is that it is all amazing. I bought a tomato yesterday and it was so good, I just cut it up and ate it. It wasn't even the most expensive tomato I could have bought and it was great. The best tomato I've had in a while. I've also been buying avocados and I haven't had a bad one yet. Which I don't really understand because they appear to be coming from Mexico, just like home, but the quality is so much better. I've already mentioned the carrots, but I love them too. Usually I can't just eat a raw  carrot, they tend to be bitter, but these are so good, I love eating them all by themselves. It's like they're garden fresh in the middle of winter. I don't really get it and I don't care, just going to continue to enjoy them while we are here. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Eye of Sauron

Maybe you get the reference and maybe not. You can look it up if you want, but it's probably not necessary. Moving on. The heating units in the apartment are located at the top of the wall near the ceiling. We use a remote to change the settings. There are many indicator lights on the front, however I've only seen one illuminated. As far as I can tell this light indicates that the unit is on and is therefore on all the time. This has got to be the brightest, tiny light I have ever seen. In the land where I can't find a single digital clock with a constantly illuminated face, this is bright enough to light up the room and disturb our sleep. It gives everything a ghastly green glow and it's just dim enough to make you wake up fully to figure out what the heck it is, every time you roll over. Seriously, why is this thing so bright. I get it, you are on, go away now.

We currently have the light covered with a sticker that came off of some product or another (we have no tape). Scott is under the belief that this sticker will fall off during the night and due to the air currents created by the heater will fly across the room and hit him in the eye. I really don't see this happening, that air would have to be moving pretty fast, but I'll still laugh super hard when it does.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Base

Saturday we went and picked up my base pass, which allows Evan and I access to the base and certain areas, but only for 60 days. Then we have to reapply and get a new pass. Seems like a hassle but that seems to be a running theme. On base there are several american restaurants, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Sabarro, and apparently a Chili's. There are two movie theaters, and a couple coffee places, as well as the exchange and the commissary. I can go into the exchange with Scott, however I have to stay with him the whole time and I'm not allowed to purchase anything. I cannot go into the commissary. Why, I have no idea. I actually think it's just because the government likes to make arbitrary rules to make life more inconvenient. Moving on. There is also a library, where we can check out books.

I'm so glad we can finally get books again.  At home we go every couple of weeks, not so much for me, but we read books to Evan a lot, and the four books I brought on the plane were really starting to get old. I mean he'd read the same book for weeks I think but mommy and daddy need little variety. I can only carry a few, so that will mean more frequent trips to the library, but I'm okay with that, mostly means more walking for me and perhaps some decent pizza. The Japanese don't quite make it the way we like it, at least I haven't found a restaurant that does yet.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I So Didn't Need to See That

It's probably actually more horrifying than you think. I know that I've been permanently scarred. We went for a short sanity walk this morning. Turns out in the end it was more needed than I thought. We attempted to get ready to go at about 10:15, but due to much whining, I put that on hold and the boy in his room. I mean really, he's the one who wanted to go. I was leaving the apt. specifically for him, and all he could do was whine about having to get ready. Well since I didn't care about leaving I decided that we wouldn't. Of course he freaked out for a little while, and then decided that he was going to be okay and not whine while he got ready. 30 min. after we were originally going to leave the house, we were out the door.

I just planned on walking around the block, which actually means we walk for a while and then turn around, because where we are located there are one way streets and lots of tunnels,  so to walk around the block takes way more effort than just turning around. I had thought that I might pick something up for dinner on the way back but turns out I wasn't actually motivated to do that, but I did pick up a bag of apples.

Just before the tunnel before the road that our apt. is on there is what appears to be an abandoned house. The windows are broken and there is a run down car out front. Lots of stuff piled inside. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a rather large web. Upon further inspection, there was a really, really big spider hanging from this web. OH THE HORROR! This is probably the largest spider I have ever seen, not at a zoo or on t.v., with the exception of those crazy lake/swamp spiders we used to get at the crisis respite center near Snake Lake. Those suckers were insane. This was a serious spider, bigger than a brown recluse, the legs were much longer, like a daddy long leg, only much more substantial. I think that had I known about these, I may have put a little more thought into this crazy trip of ours. Swear to God, one of those gets in the apt. I'm going to have a heart attack. I nearly had one on the street, and couldn't stop eying every crevice in the tunnel as we went through, hoping that none were lurking near by.

In a place where there is so little crime people leave their bikes on the side of the road, not locked up, just there, and know that they will still be there when they return,  my biggest fear has become these spiders. It leads me to wonder what eats these spiders, what other sorts of crazy bugs or animals are out there? People can be controlled, but nature often has a mind of it's own.

Irrational? Yes, but I will continue to scrunch up on the couch, nervously scanning the corners of the room.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


On Scott's one day off this week, we decided to go to Kamakura and see the Great Buddha. This is not far from where we are staying, just a few train stops away. This is primarily a photo post, so I hope you enjoy.
Evan, not nearly as excited over the McDonald's as I would have thought. Now if it had been a Jack in the Box, we would have been in business. 
We ate here anyway, and he seemed to enjoy his nuggets.

On the way we passed a Starbucks, and also didn't walk very far before we passed another one.
Good to see that you can clog your arteries with a Double Down anywhere.

Not sure if either one of us was feeling very photogenic.
These vending machines are everywhere. This one has cold as well has hot drinks.
Washing our hands before going to see the Great Buddha.

Evan and Scott going inside Buddha's tummy. I stayed out, cause it seemed creepy.

Overall a great day. On our way back to the train station Evan insisted on having green ice cream, which was green tea flavored and tasted almost like a green tea frappuccino. He really enjoyed it. They also had purple sweet potato flavor, we'll save that for a day when we are feeling brave. We stopped at a bakery right outside the train station and got some great treats before heading home, where we made pizza for dinner. I think the pizza was probably Evan's favorite part.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't Screw With Mommy at 6:45am

This post has nothing to do with Japan, so deal with it or don't read it. Time to vent. I believe the boy has officially moved into the stage of his life where he feels that he knows more than I do, and will do whatever he wants instead of what I ask him to do. As a male I know that this is the last stage of his social development.

He actually seems to get great joy from ignoring what mommy and daddy say to do and just doing his own thing as we grow more and more frustrated. Evan missed out on pre-rest stories twice yesterday and it's not the first time this week. He just refuses to stop, regardless of the consequences.

This morning at quarter to six he comes in and tells me good morning. Now we all know that Evan is not allowed to bother mommy before 7am. Before you all freak out because I make him stay in his room till 7, you must know that if I let him get up whenever he wanted it would not be 6:45. It would be 6 or 5:30 or whatever other ungodly hour he chooses to roll out of bed. Then as a result of getting up so early, he is crabby all day, there is lots of crying and screaming and no one has a good day, so 7am is a good compromise. Back to this morning at 6:45. I then ask him what the clock says. His response, "which clock?"
 Really? Which clock, "the one in your room."
"I don't have a clock in my room."
Seriously, I bought the stupid thing 3 days ago, do you think I forgot? "Yes you do. Go find it."
"I don't know where it is."
I storm into his room and look in the place where we usually keep the clock. It is indeed not there. After further questioning, he still doesn't know where it is. I search the room, telling him that I will not be buying him a new clock and if he can't tell what time to get up, then he will have to wait until I come to let him out in the morning. He watches me the whole time, doing nothing. As I reach for the drawer on the dresser, he announces that the clock is in the dresser, and low and behold, that is just where it is. He knew the whole time. I was so mad at him, a lesser mom would have slapped him and I would have cheered. Yes that probably doesn't make me that much better than her but at this moment in time I really don't care.

 All I can say is that the next 14 years are going to be practically unbearable and Evan will be spending a whole lot of time in his room, unless he can see fit to stop screwing with mommy. Thank God he goes to half day preschool in the fall and then full day kindergarten the next year, because full time Evan is just not going to work for me anymore

Know this. Everyone always wants intelligent children. I'm not trying to say Evan is a super genius or anything, but he does catch on quick and knows how to push other people's buttons. Perhaps we should all want a child of a slightly dimmer nature. One you can get one over on, who can't deceive you because they lack the knowledge necessary to lie successfully. You can get smart after you leave my house, but until then, don't just play dumb, cause that won't work. Actually be dumb.

There, rant over. If you stuck it out, thanks. If not, I totally understand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Half a Million Stairs Later

So probably not literally, but it certainly felt that way, especially once we got back home. We were told about this really cool park that you have to walk to of course (remember the stairs). It is also next to or part of a plum grove, and I've been told that when the trees bloom the emperor comes to this grove to see them. Evan really wanted to go to a park and I was told that it was about a 20 min walk away and totally worth it. Here's where my pat answer comes in (It sounded like a good idea at the time). Also, I think perhaps I was misled on the actual distance, however the map should have been some indication, since it seemed really far away on the map. I kind of assumed that the map was skewed or something. See what happens when you assume?

After a quick call to Grandma, we headed out to the park, it was just after 10. I knew where the road was that I needed to take to get to the many stairs that would lead us up to the park, it was only a few blocks away. Evan really wanted to walk but I was able to convince him to ride in the stroller to the stairs since I was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to walk the distance to the stairs and then to the park. Turns out I was right. I took me probably about 20 min to get to the base of the stairs, not a bad walk and I was able to find them without any issues. Then we started the climb. Evan was racing up the stairs at a pace I was having trouble matching. He was excited and didn't have a stroller and a bag to carry.
At the base of the stairs
Still more stairs and not nearly all of them
We just kept walking up the hillside. We walked past a few small gardens and passed by part of the plum grove where there were a few trees with blossoms but mostly Jonquils and a small white flower, perhaps Paper Whites, not sure though. When we did make it to the top, it was pretty cool.

We walked up a little further and then we could finally see the tops of some play equipment, it was down on the side of the hillside. It was rather interesting, sort of a large obstacle course. At this point it was 11:10, so it had taken us almost an hour to get here.

As far as I could tell this was a ninja course
As evidence by this sign at the entrance
The various structures, Evan and I did each one.

He played for about 40 min and then I decided it was time to head back, it was 11:50 and nearly time for lunch. I knew the walk back was going to be just as long as the one up. As soon as we started to head back, Evan asked if I could carry him, boy were we in trouble. I managed to get him to come along at a rather slow pace at first, but it gave me opportunity to take a few more pictures along the way. We finally made it back to the bottom, at which point I wished that Evan could push me in the stroller, instead of the other way around. My pace was a little slower than when we came but this was still a relatively quick part of our journey. We walked in the door at 12:50.

Was this a really cool destination, yes, I'm glad that we went. However, it is not going to satisfy our need for a park, it is just too far and a little too much work to get to. We will continue to look for a park a little easier to get to. I hope that I can convince him to go back when all the trees are in bloom, I'm sure it will be amazing.

These flowers smelled amazing. You could smell them in the air as we walked  along. I'm not sure what they are though.