Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Asakusa Adventure....one more time

So, two weekends ago (yep, despite my best efforts the blog is still running behind), John and I took Sophie to the shrine in Asakusa. We went so that I could pick up a few more pottery items to take home with us and ended up getting yet another kitchen knife for John to play with. This one even says our name on it....fancy, right.

It just seems so strange going places when we know that we'll never be there again. After taking a million and one visitors there this was our last time to walk through all the souvenir stands and pick our way over to Kappabachi, the kitchen area and see all the restaurant wares to be had. We ate at this reportedly famous unagi (eel) restaurant that I discovered on a previous tourist trip. It was really great!

Here a few pictures to capture this, our last trip to Asakusa. Sayonara.

Until next time...Jenn

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hakone It Is

So, last weekend John had a holiday (yes I know he's always getting random holidays) and we decided at the last minute to head to Hakone for an overnight trip. We were extremely lucky to find one hotel with one room available at the last minute. I had been to Hakone once before with my friend Jill, but it rained the entire time we were there, so visibility was dismal. I'm happy to report that I can now say I've seen it properly. The weather was in a cooperative mood and so we set out on Saturday.

I'm happy to report that Sophie was a rock star most of the time. She had to spend a lot of time in the stroller poor kiddo, but thankfully she loves rollin'. I'm attaching pictures, but basically Hakone is to be seen in a loop. You start on the train, switch to a railway, next up is the cable car, onto the pirate ship to cruise Lake Ashi then a bus ride to round out the trip. I was better with the various transportation pictures on my first trip....on this one we were too worried about getting Sophie and the stroller and the diaper bag and ourselves on and off each vehicle. As with my first trip, I think the highlight was the open air museum. It is just full of cool sculptures and given the perfect weather it was just so nice to walk around such beautiful grounds.

As you'll notice in the pictures I feel like we have our own version of "Flat Stanley"....it's Sophie strolling! One day we can show her all these pictures to prove that yes she did get the Japan experience if only for a short while.

Until next time...Jenn

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let the Sayonara's Begin...

So, I have to say the blog has been a bit defunct this past year. After 3 years of life in Tokyo things here don't quite catch us anymore as being all that strange or different like they did when we first arrived. And let's face it, we've been so entrenched in our lives and friends and most of all Sophie that the blog got put on the major back burner. Well, now that most likely no one is still out there reading I'm going to resurrect it for our last months in the land of the rising sun.

The Stanley's are saying sayonara to Japan in December. We're moving back to Dallas, Texas! We both have such mixed emotions, sad to be leaving our friends here and life as we currently know it but excited about the next chapter and going back to the land of English speaking. So for the next little while we're going to share with you some of our favorite things and be on the lookout for the interesting or bizarre in our every day lives that we'll miss.

Sayonara - - -

Nissin, our favorite International Grocery Store - oh how we will miss your home delivery. What will I do now that I have to actually haul my own groceries?

Conveyor Belt Sushi Place - no matter that we've NEVER called this restaurant by name we have loved popping in and grabbing some yummy sushi for both big meals and a friendly afternoon snack

Here are a few other pics of interesting things we're going to miss.

Until next time...Jenn

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More of the cuteness...

Slowly but surely we are getting our new routine down with Miss Sophie. So far we feel super lucky with the fact that she is a pretty good sleeper at night, so just hoping that doesn't change.

Here are some more pictures of our sweet baby girl.

Until next time...Jenn

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss Sophie Jane

Just thought that I would give you guys a few pictures of what's been going on in our lives these days. We are over the moon about the newest addition to our family.....Miss Sophie Jane!

Until next time...Jenn

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby Stanley's Pad

So, by popular demand I've finally gotten around to taking some pictures of Baby Stanley's nursery and bathroom. They aren't the best pics, but it's hard to capture everything. We finally got all our baby loot to Tokyo from the US and got it all set up. Now we're officially ready for this precious blessing to get here! Thanks so much to all our friends and family that so generously gave us so many wonderful gifts to use for our sweet baby. A extra big shout out to my wonderful parents that gave us the fab crib AND helped me ship all this fantastic stuff to Tokyo. It was quite the adventure! Can't wait for him or her to get here and use all the great stuff!

Until next time...Jenn

What's Been Happenin'

So, as you all know we have had a roller coaster month. I'm happy to report that things in Tokyo seem to be slowly getting back to normal and our friends have slowly trickled back into town, which is comforting. We were able to go home for a few weeks right after the earthquake and it was so nice to be with family. I was especially thankful that I was able to see family and friends while I was pregnant so they could be apart of our blessing.

I'm attaching some pictures of what we were up to. First we were able to celebrate the gorgeous wedding of some of our Tokyo friends Rob and Andrea in Chicago. Congratulations you guys, we're so happy for you.

And next I have a few pics from my time home with my mom, dad, and Josh. We spent lots of time hanging out on the porch and just enjoying our time together. I miss them so much! And FYI, this is me around 34 weeks. I'll try and take a few more pictures soon now that we're at 37 as I keep getting bigger!!!

Until next time...Jenn

Sunday, March 6, 2011


So as I mentioned in the prior post, John and I decided to take one last trip as a family of two (and one puppy of course). Since I'm large and in charge these days we decided to go to the beach in Thailand to just rest and relax and enjoy the sunshine. We had the best time and I just thought we'd share some of the fun pictures.

You'll see the police boat in the pictures that was deposited really far inland by the huge tsunami. It's hard to imagine something like that happening. We stayed in Khao Lak, which was the hardest hit in Thailand. So sad to think about, but the town has really bounced back, which was a good thing to see.

We got back yesterday to Tokyo and it snowed this morning.....I want to go back to the sunshine!

Hong Kong Shower of Love

John and I took one more vacation or more commonly known as our babymoon. But we decided to stop in Hong Kong on our way to visit with some very dear friends of ours. And they threw me a very special shower to celebrate Baby Stanley. Here are some pictures of the fun and a few of our outing to Macau while we were in the area.

Thank you so much Allie and Annemarie....love you both so much!

Until next time...Jenn

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Day - O - Luv

I just wanted to send out a little love to you all for Valentine's Day. My true love sadly is leaving for New York tomorrow, so I'll be flying solo with the puppy for the big day. BUT, he planned a super great dinner out last night to celebrate early and today I got some gorgeous flowers. He's such a sweetie!

We decided to go with no gifts or anything this year, but while we were out and about yesterday we broke down and got ourselves a joint present.....a white strawberry. I have been in a massive strawberry craving phase at the moment, so these were too tempting to pass up despite the fact that in order to try this tempting fruit we had to hand over an equivalent of $15 for the one berry. If you're saying that is ridiculous, I will totally agree, but hey....it's Tokyo. It was very tasty, but I have to say I'm just as happy with the slightly cheaper variety that we get in the grocery store. But it was fun.

Oh, and I'm throwing in one more belly pic...Baby Stanley's way of saying Happy Valentine's too.

Until next time...Jenn

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Budda Belly progress

So, just to provide you a little update on the increasing belly here are a few pictures of the progress...

The one on the left was my birthday, so early January and the one on the right was at the end of January. The little peanut is getting bigger and bigger.

Until next time...Jenn

London Times

Right before we came home for Christmas we got to go to London again. While it was absolutely freezing, we had the best time. I love seeing big cities right before Christmas....all the lights and Christmas cheer.

Since we had been there before and hit most of the tourist spots, we got to check out some cool new things that we hadn't seen before. We managed to check off another item on our "sports to do list" by going to see a Chelsea football game. Despite my complete ambivalence toward soccer, I absolutely loved it. We sat in the home team fan section and it was wild. We also took a tour outside of London to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath. Stonehenge was absolutely incredible and such a mystery.

The only crazy thing was the riot over rising tuition fees. If you remember, when Prince Charles' car was attacked.....we were in London for that. Good times.

We had the best time and I hope you enjoy the photos that we took.

Until next time...Jenn

Welcome to Chinatown

So after talking and talking about how we just had to make it to China, we finally took a trip to Beijing. I was so interested to see the differences between Japan and China and there are just so many. We so loved seeing all the cool historical sites.

We had a really great tour guide who helped us out with understanding what we were seeing and getting us around the city. First we went to Tienanmen Square. It's just so strange being in different places where you know so much violence has occurred. Just makes you sad and thankful for all the freedoms that we have experienced in our lifetime. We got to see Chairman Mao. He basically looks like a wax figure...rumors are that it is a wax figure. Sadly, no pictures are allowed in the mausoleum, so no seeing him. Then we moved onto the Forbidden City which was massive.

The next day we went to see the Temple of Heaven where all these cute old people go early each morning to do their morning exercises, which in most cases was Tai Chi. We saw some dancing and other sports going on to though. After that we headed out to my favorite spot, the Great Wall of China. There really just aren't words to describe how amazing it is to see. It just goes on and on as far as you can see. It was fantastic.

We also got to see the terracotta warriors, which we both loved seeing. To even think about how much effort went into creating them. They said there were estimated to be like 7,000 warriors and the sole purpose was for these statues to surround the emperors tomb and protect him in the afterlife. Each warrior was made individually and had it's own features. Wild, right?

All in all, we had the best time. It was a nice little pick me up after our first trimester and a great way to announce to our family and friends that we were going to be increasing our family.
Enjoy the pictures!

Until next time...Jenn

Jill's Experience

So, pre-dating the F1 race and Oktoberfest my friend Jill came to visit us. We had the best time and got to see some very cool stuff that I hadn't seen before. We went to Hakone, which is near Mt. Fuji. Sadly, the weather left much to be desired, so we didn't get to see the great mountain, but we had fun regardless.

Is always so nice to have friends come and see you....like a little bit of home.

Until next time...Jenn

Oktoberfest 2010

While our friends were here we also made our 3rd appearance at Oktoberfest in Yokohama. Hard to believe that we've already been in Japan that long....man how the time flies. It was an interesting experience. This very "over served" Japanese man sat next to me and wanted to chat despite the fact that he clearly didn't really know much English and we all know I don't have the Japanese language mastered, so it was pretty funny.

Hope you enjoy the pics.

Until next time...Jenn