Sunday, October 30, 2011

Winnie the Pooh pumpkins

Well surprisingly to me at least, after only 4 days, my Phineas and Ferb pumpkins were moldy and starting to collapse.
You can check those out here: Phineas and Ferb. Before they got moldy I mean. Pictures after the fact would be gross.

With a few days still to go before Halloween, the porch was looking empty. So off to the store again to grab some more pumpkins. This time the theme was Winnie the Pooh. After just having gotten back from Japan and riding the most excellent Winnie the Pooh Hunny Hunt ride, we thought this would be a great theme (my Japan trip report will be posted as soon as I get through all the photos).

And of course, I had to have another Mickey to top everything off.

Phineas and Ferb pumpkins

One of my favorite parts of the park at Halloween time is seeing the pumpkin carvers back in Big Thunder Ranch. They always inspire me to carve something each year. Here's what we carved at my house this year.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mickey's Halloween Party - October 28th, 2011

The Beagle Boys invaded Disneyland during Mickey's Halloween Party on Friday October 28th.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Party at Steph and Farman's

Our friends Stephanie and Farman had a Halloween party at their house.  The Incredibles make their appearance. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Time at Tokyo Disneyland

Welcome to Halloween Time at Tokyo Disneyland.  They certainly go all out with their decorations.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Japan - Day 15 - Leaving Japan

Well this is the only day I didn't write down in my journal.  I'll have to wing it from memory.  
We got up late and grabbed breakfast from the store downstairs.  I think I've had more Cup of Noodles while we were here than I have ever had before.  Calpis drinks were a tasty treat that I discovered while we were here.  I think my favorite out of all of them was the carbonated grape flavored Calpis.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ruston and Jacob's last few days in Japan

I figured I'd go ahead and share Ruston and Jacob's adventures too.

Welcome to Tokyo!

Food from Japan

I thought this would be interesting to show.  Here's a quick report showing a lot of the interesting foods and drinks we enjoyed in Japan.
Edamame  Kit Kat (we think)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Japan - Day 14 - Last Day in Japan

Aww... today is our last full day here.

Again we decided to wake up late and just enjoy the day.  The weather was supposed to be pretty bad today so we were looking forward to empty parks.  Looking out the window, sure enough, the wind was really whipping.  All the palm trees leaves were pointed in the same direction, and the water in the bay all had whitecaps on it.  We didn’t eat breakfast and figured we’d find something in the park.  We threw on our rain gear and headed out to the monorail.  Getting on, we knew something was wrong.  This had to have been the most crowded monorail we’d seen since we had been here.  The very next stop was Disney Sea, and sure enough almost the entire monorail emptied to go.  As soon as we got in, we stopped by guest services to change some dollars into yen.  We were down to about 600 yen for the whole day and next.  I’m glad we only had to do that once because it ended up taking 10 minutes with all the paperwork that had to be filled out and copying our passports.  All this for $50? 

Japan - Day 13 - Hanging out at Tokyo Disneyland

Our 2nd to last day at Disneyland started off slowly.  We slept in until 9am hung around the room for a bit and then jumped on the monorail to the park.  We ended up hitting the gates right around 10am.  

Here's the view from our 11th floor room.

After seeing the weather report for Saturday being rainy all day, we decided we’d rather do another Disney day than going out into Tokyo on the subways and going in and out of temples and museums.  Adding a 3rd day to our passes we super easy.  We went through the turnstiles, over to guest services and the cast member was able to upgrade our tickets no problem.

After getting our tickets, we high tailed it over to Winnie the Pooh.  The Disneyland Band was performing in the hub, but we were on a mission.  Off to see Pooh!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Japan - Day 12 - Leaving Ruston and Jacob and going back to Disneyland

Well it was a sad day.  After spending 11 days together, we're finally going to split up.  Theresa and I are going back to Disneyland while Ruston and Jacob are going to explore downtown Tokyo a little more.  

The day started around 8:15am.  After getting everything all packed up, we left the Citadines and went down to the subway.  We could have walked the 1 mile distance to Kyoto station, but decided that a 210 yen ticket was a better idea. Breakfast was another stop at Mister Donut. We had made our reservations for seats on the 9:56 train and went down to the track to wait.  There were a ton of high school kids from Australia with Jazz band collared shirts on and all sorts of instruments.  Of course Ruston was quick to strike up a conversation with them and their leader.  It turns out they were from Frankston, Australia and their sister city was in Japan, and they were up there to perform.  They even got their trip paid for for them to be there.  Kinda makes me wish my town had a sister city to visit.

Japan - Day 11 - Even More Kyoto

The day started off around 7:45am.  We didn't grab breakfast from anywhere the night before, so we stopped by the McDonalds just down the street.  We called Jacob and Ruston and they hadn’t eaten yet either, so we all went together at 8:30am.  On the breakfast menu we found the usual sausage mcmuffin, something called a mega muffin which had 2 pieces of sausage, bacon, cheese, egg and ketchup, and of course McDogs.  Yes, hot dogs are on the breakfast menu.  Oh, and more of those fried apple pies because they’re so tasty.  We ordered and ate upstairs.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Japan - Day 10 - Exploring Kyoto

Today started at 8:30, with a Cup Noodle and gyoza from 7/11 the day before.  We met with Ruston and Jacob at 9:10 and headed out.  First we went down in the subway to one of the ticket booths and bought an all day bus pass for 500 yen.  We then took the bus down to the main JR station, and then out to see the Fushimi Shrine in Kyoto. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Japan - Day 9 - Off to Kyoto

Well it turned out to be an early morning in Hakone.  The phone rang around 6:50 when we weren’t planning on getting up for another 25 minutes.  Theresa eventually found the phone after quite a few rings.  Jacob was letting us know that the skies were pretty clear and Mt. Fuji was visible.  Theresa was still half asleep and tried to hang the phone up on the wall, and then it started beeping at her.  Sure enough, we went out to the balcony and Fuji was there with a really pretty view of the valley with some cloud cover. 

Japan - Day 8 - Off to Hakone

The day started bright and early at seven fifteen.  We left the Citadines bright and early to get to the station with plenty of time to spare.  Along the way we stopped by a Mister Donut for breakfast.  We were a little sad they didn't have the bear donuts we had seen on some other trip reports.  Theresa got the biggest surprise.  What she thought was a fruit tart turned out to be an onion and maybe seafood tart.  Along the walk to the train station we even saw a cat hotel where they have cats sitting around in a room and people pay by the hour t play with cats and buy them treats and trinkets.  No time to stop though.  We've got reservations for a bullet train.

It may look complicated but it was surprisingly easy to get around on. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Japan - Day 7 - Exploring Tokyo

Today started bright and early at 7:30 so we could get to the Fish Market.  Along the way, we passed a really tasty French pastry place that had chocolate croissants, sausage croissants, and a ham/potato croissant. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Japan - Day 6 - Leaving Disneyland and First Day in Tokyo

This was my first full night of uninterrupted sleep and I slept at the way to 7:15am.  Hopefully I'm adjusted now.  Today we're traveling to Tokyo but we're not checking out of our hotel until 11.  That leaves us with some time to explore the hotels and other things we skipped cause we were so busy in the park.  Breakfast was a bowl of Cup of Noodles and then we were off.  Theresa and I grabbed a one day monorail pass and were off.  The first stop was Disney Sea and the beautiful Hotel Miracosta.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Japan - Day 5 - The Last Day at Disneyland

Today was a sad day.  It is the last (planned) day to go to the Disney parks.  Since we get to go to both parks, we wanted to focus on the stuff we'd missed and things we really liked. 
Surprisingly we were both able to sleep until 7am.  A record so far for this trip.  After a quick breakfast of Cup of Noodles, we met Ruston and Jacob at 8:15 and walked over to the monorail.  Since we knew we were going to finish our day at Disneyland, we started at Disney Sea.  The skies today were so much clearer, so we were hoping for a beautiful day in the parks.

Japan - Day 4 - A Rainy Day at Tokyo Disneyland

Here in Redondo Beach California, we just got a ton of rain today.  Seems appropriate that I should write about our super rainy day at Tokyo Disneyland.

Rain, rain, rain.  The word of the day, is rain. Theresa woke up at 4:30am and couldn't fall back asleep.  I woke up at 6:30am.  The time change is going to take a few more days to get used to.  Breakfast was... can you guess... from the convenience store downstairs in the lobby.  They've got a good selection of foods though.  I decided on a warm Cup of Noodles and Theresa got kimchi and rice.  I opened the door at 8:15am just as Jacob was about to knock.  Pretty good timing.

We put on our rain jackets and took the monorail around the entire loop to reach the gates of Disneyland.  It was 8:40 by the time we got there, but the lines were much shorter than a couple days ago.  We were crossing our fingers that the rain would keep the crowd levels down today. 

At 9am, the gates opened and we all ran to Pooh's Hunny Hunt.  The Disneyland Band was serenading everyone as they walked/ran in.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Japan - Day 3 - Tokyo Disney Sea

Another day of waking up at 5:30am.  Theresa went and grabbed breakfast again from the convenience store in the lobby.  At 8:15am we met up with Jacob and Ruston again and took the monorail over to Disney Sea.  I was really excited to go here!  I've been to a few Disney Parks, but this was like nothing I had ever been to.  Disney Sea was just one stop from the Partner Hotel monorail stop, so by 8:30am we were through security and in line for the park.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Japan - Day 2 - First day at Tokyo Disneyland

Maybe it's the time change, maybe it's the excitement for being at Disneyland the next day, but sleep did not come easy.  After going to sleep at 10:30pm at 1:30am, I was wide awake and ready to go.  Luckily after 30 minutes, I fell back asleep, but then again at 7am, wide awake and ready to go.  Luckily Theresa was awake too, so we went down to the convenience store in the lobby of the Hilton Tokyo Bay and grabbed breakfast.

We then met Jacob and Ruston at 7:45am and headed over to the monorail.
Along the way, we saw the awesome Disney Resort buses.  Even the tail lights had a Mickey design.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Japan - Day 1 - Flight to Japan

Jacob, Ruston, Theresa and I all started planning this trip way back in November of 2010.  We were still in the early stages of planning when in March the terrible earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.  After that, we were constantly watching the reports coming from Japan to see how recovery efforts were going, what the status of the reactor was, and any other news.  After the earthquake there were still good size aftershocks occurring frequently.

In July though, we all decided that we were still going to go.  We made final hotel plans, got our JR Rail passes, and got everything ready for our trip.

Our itinerary
10/1 and 10/2 - crossing the date line, Arrive in Japan
10/3 - Disneyland
10/4 - Disney Sea
10/5 - Disneyland/Disney Sea
10/6 - Disneyland/Disney Sea
10/7 - Train to Tokyo and explore
10/8 - Exploring Tokyo
10/9 - Train to Hakone and exploring Hakone (Mt. Fuji)
10/10 - Train to Kyoto and exploring Kyoto
10/11 - Exploring Kyoto
10/12 - Exploring Kyoto
10/13 - Train to Tokyo and Disney Sea
10/14 - Disneyland
10/15 - Disneyland/Disney Sea
10/16 - Flight Home

On October 1st, Jacob, Theresa and I all met Ruston at the airport.  The day had finally arrived and we were ready to fly to Japan.