Big City Travels– Tokyo

Hello there– On with our saga of travels with Ani & Brian!! We stayed a few days in bustling, efficient Tokyo  –checked in to our Air BnB, a sleek modern small home, just 8 feet wide, but equipped with tech conveniences that made it a great little place to stay.  Here’s our pint sized traveler Lois coming out the front door.

Our first morning we wandered down some shopping streets to a complex of temples crowded with  Japanese visitors enjoying the sunny day out.

     

With the help of the super subway system and Brian’s navigation, we touristed around town– from the city of views of City Hall to the alleys of food stands surrounding the famous fish market and for a Sunday stroll through a huge city park.

     

     

     
bottom 2 photos:  famous “egg on a stick stand” and my favorite– ginger octopus/shrimp on a stick!  –from the food stands by the fish market.

There were a couple favorite shopping stops. Near our Air Bnb was a long street of kitchen/restaurant supply stores!!  Loved that.  And downtown, the nine story Muji store– super designed housewares, clothing, stationery and a stylish cafe.

     

     

To complete the trip, we found a couple of wonderful Ramen places, a department store with a whole floor of food venders and a roof top park to picnic with your purchases,  and an old style  restaurant where you sit on the floor around a large grill and cook seafood pancakes.

     

     

     

From Tokyo, we boarded the bullet train south to Kyoto, passing Mount Fuji out our window along the way.  From amazing Tokyo to beautiful Kyoto…

Loving Hong Kong


Hi friends– more of our traveling adventures– spent a few days in Hong Kong with Ani & Brian, trying out the noodles, markets and tourist destinations.  Loved it all!

Hong Kong is bigger and crazier and more full of people than I had imagined–walking through the streets and passageways was fascinating– here’s a look:

     

The one thing I had seen and really wanted to do was to ride the historic Star Ferry!  We crossed from Kowloon to the Hong Kong Island– Lois sitting with Gr. Larry.

     

We spent a fascinating morning in the well curated Hong Kong History Museum– from prehistoric jungle, through the rise of Chinese culture, the British occupation to the present.

     

     

And we trekked up the mountain in a trolley to Victoria Peak.  Once there, we took a stroll on the path overlooking the city– and met up with some adorable students who were interviewing tourists with questions about their stay in Hong Kong.

     


View of the City as we hurdled down the mountain on a crazy bus ride.

We passed through several markets as we made our way through the city– meat & vegetable stands, a tailor, one street full of plant shops and plenty of places to sit and eat.

     

     

We subwayed and then took a bus up to a hillside area of beautiful shrines and temples.  We visited the place where Brian’s grandfather is interned and enjoyed a morning in the quiet of that place.

     a

And last but not least, we pretty much ate our way across Hong Kong.  Brian & Ani have a talent for finding delicious out of the way places.

     

     

     


(photos: famous noodle and shrimp dumpling place, the cook at work,  a friendly waiter sits down to eat with us!, meatball soup, Thai dinner in a fancy mall, street food lunch, sweet milky Hong Kong tea with breakfast, Larry picks up a purple yam ice cream from McDonalds, pineapple bun and lemon tea.)

So many pictures!!  Thanks for sticking with me. Brian and Ani guided us to these and more interesting corners of Hong Kong– thanks A & B for letting us tag along on this glorious adventure!

photo: stop at the Hong Kong Zoo

China Family


Hello all– More of our recent travels (If you are absolutely bored by other people’s trip photos, you might just want to skip this post!!).  We had an exciting eventful couple weeks traveling with our kids, Ani, Brian and Little Lois to China, Hong Kong and Japan!  We started off in China, visiting our son-in-law Brian’s extended family there.  Such warm, kind people.  Here’s our China stay…

The first morning 18 month old Lois met up with her 100 year old Great Grandmother.
     

And the most fascinating part of the trip for me was wandering into the now mostly abandoned village with Brian’s Dad, Kai and his sister, who had grown up there.  Kai showed us the well, where they drew their water and we peeked through the now empty places that were his home.

     

     

You know we had plenty to eat along the way!  Brian’s family were so generous and we shared some lovely meals together.

     

And our last day together we strolled through the along the river and through the city park.

     

So thankful that we had the chance to meet the Brian and Kai’s warm and welcoming family.  I’m hoping they come to California one day so we can care for them like they took such good care of us.  (photo: Brian’s aunt and Little Lois hit it off!)

Home with Kids In SF

Hello there– Just home from a kid-filled week in San Francisco– Lots of quiet days breaking out the crayons and building blocks and library books.  I’m grateful to have sweet days with the 4 grand-kids up there.

My big occupation was keeping company with Little Lois while her Mom went to work– Here we are around the house.

     

One day Uncle Aaron picked us up for a morning with the cousins– Mae, Eero & baby Otto.
      

There was a park day out with friends.
     

And a morning inspection of the house remodel -almost done!!

     

It was a fine full week– love seeing how those grand-kids are growing and changing!  Thanks thanks Ani & Brian– and Aaron too.  It’s always the best to be together.

Wandering in Wisconsin

Friends— We arrived in in Wisconsin for our John & Laurel’s wedding (more on that later!!) and since then have been taking in fun and food with our other kids winding our way across  the state.  A little “scrapbooking” of some of the best bits…

We crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa to explore the Effigy Mounds National Monument–a series of Native American burial mounds set in a forest overlooking the Mississippi.  A green and leafy afternoon hike.  Loved it!

     


photos:  forest, pretty lichen, Larry, Brian & Lois on the trail, the Mississippi River, The 3 Heungs by some burial mounds.

Next stop– the Great Wolf Lodge complete with the country’s biggest indoor/outdoor waterpark.  Aside from my first harrowing trip down a water slide, it was a lot of fun splashing with grand-girls in the water.

     

photos: Charlotte, Jobay & Maryann complete with wolf ears,  Jobay– the rope bridge champ!, 3 bathing beauties, in the lobby of the Great Wolf Lodge.

A trip over to Milwaukee, demands a brewery tour. A little beer sampling and an animated tour guide named Winston made it a lively afternoon.

     


photos: Lakefront Brewery building. after tour snacks, Winston, soft pretzels and savory spreads.

Next morning, we walked along Lake Michigan to reach the Milwaukee Art Museum, a monumental structure, by the architect, Santiago Calatrava (Spanish!).

     


Lakeside view of the museum, Ani in the reception hall, Larry by a Chihuly glass work, Lois on the prowl at the museum.

One more stop, at the Pabst Mansion, built in the 1890’s by the brewing family, an elegant look at their sumptuous life.

     


photos:  The Past Mansion, the womens’ salon, bathroom doors, our bright tour guide with Captain Pabst, the servants dining room.

Finally, Larry and I explored the Milwaukee Public Museum–a well done natural history museum–complete with butterfly room!!

     
photos:  Display of the museum exhibits back in the 1800’s. The butterfly room and a couple of it’s residents.

.

It was a fine full week, traveling across the green and glorious state of Wisconsin– thanks to Micah & Jodi & those 3 fun girls, thanks to Ani & Brian and our littlest tourist.  You all made it such a wonderful time together.  I am thankful.

Sweet Times in San Francisco


Bayside in Marin

Hello all– Back from 10 days in San Francisco with our kids– lot of kid cuddling, book reading, house visiting and a lively 4th of July!  Hope you will be so kind as to indulge my little scrapbooking post with some favorite moments…

Celebrated Aaron’s birthday with some cake help from Mae & Eero …
     


Aaron talking through the photos with M & E from his new birthday book.

And then we headed north for a day away from the city–lunch on the deck, making s’mores, looking for ladybugs and Eero on the “porch swing!”

   

Back home Jessica & Mae started by making berry muffins and ended with morning kitchen hugs.
     

Then I moved over to stay with Ani & Brian. First stop– over to see the remodel progress on their house!  Peeking out the back window– and Brian at the future front door!

   

On the 4th of July we crossed the bridge to Sausalito to watch Brian play with the Cal Alumni Band in the 4th of July parade–and Little Lois was a the flag waver with her Grandma Jackie!

     

And we had some great days out & about in the city– having fun in the local library, special lunch at Hook Fish Co., Super Duper Burger picnic in the park, “field trip” to Fort Point.

     

And a highlight was hanging out with Little Lois while her mom went to work for 3 days of our week.  (She’s learning to creep & crawl!!)

Truly so thankful for sweet times with AA & Jessica, Mae & Eero, with Ani & Brian & Lois.  Loved every moment!!

 

San Francisco — Grandma Style!

 

img_3365

Hi friends– Two of our kids and their families live in San Francisco, so we’re often trekking up the Interstate.  Usually our stays are laced with scenic hikes, new restaurants, favorite books shops, and some fun touristing (I’m talking the Delores Mission around the corner from Bi Rite Ice Cream!).

But I’m just home from almost 3 weeks in SF with a whole new agenda– meeting and welcoming new baby Lois!  It was all snuggles on the couch, stroller walks, diaper changes and lots of early firsts–first bath, first visit to her pediatrician, first outing downtown…  I was besotted.  And loved the quieter, gentler version of this SF visit.

So here’s some highlights from those magical days with Little Lois and her newly minted parents, Ani & Brian.

Since our Lois arrived 10 days early, we spent her first few days washing up baby clothes and sheets and blankets and organizing her new room, things we had planned to do before she was born.
img_2684    img_3267

There were some fun “firsts”– Here she is on her first day out to lunch,  her first check up with the pediatrician, after her first bath,  watching her first Cal Berkeley game with her grandma, her first trip down town SF.
img_3340     img_2702

img_3049

14712640_10105843923227813_193101702419918923_o     img_3372

And, happily for me, there are two other grand-kids just across town.  So we there was some more chances to grand-mother away with our Mae and Eero.  Love those 2 bright and spunky kids.  photos: Mae in the box of buddies, out for a walk, story time with Gr. Larry, and Eero and his Dad watch a video of him knocking down the tower of blocks.
img_3441

img_3400     img_3392

img_3391

And the best part of a grandma’s trip to SF?  The sweetest bit for me is watching our kids be such smart and tender parents.  It’s a whole new time of life for them and it’s a joy to watch them take it up so well.
img_2707   img_3496

It was a marvelous memorable time and I’m so thankful that little Lois is here.  So much joy.
14889746_10105882062137133_4191460275016401522_o

Thanks Aaron, Jessica, Mae & Eero for the fun hang-outs!! And thanks too, to Ani & Brian for the sweetest time with the new baby Lois.