Overseas to Overseas part 2- First Half

Finally arriving in Tucson, Arizona on the 5th of March! We were picked up at the airport by my parents and went to their home to visit and pick up our well missed Mustang to use while in town. I miss that car, is that weird? Maybe so but there it is. They are taking care of it while we are living overseas. Had a nice catch up with the parental units then we were off to check in to the hotel. That evening we met up with my best friend, Jenny, and her life-mate (I call him that cuz they aren’t married but been together for 18 years) and their two kids. It’s always like we just saw each other yesterday with her, can’t explain it.

The next day we did some car maintenance, stopped to get the husband a new cellphone and visited more. That night we met up with my older friend, Julie, and her husband. I have known her since kindergarten, just love her energy and she is another that I feel natural with. Don’t have to be anything but myself around these two women. Love them!

Monday and Tuesday was relaxation, visiting with the parents and we went to see the Deadpool movie. Epic! It was so good to spend some time at what I consider “back home”and the family. They seem to be doing well health wise and keeping busy.

Wednesday we were back in a plane heading to Connecticut to visit friends and spend a fun anniversary week playing in the Northeast. First, we spent two days in the Groton area, exploring Mystic and eating lunch at Mystic Pizza and walking the cute village area. Tended to some errands, and catching up on some rest too. Friday night we went to see Dropkick Murphy’s at the casino and they did not disappoint! Great concert!

Saturday morning we drove to Sandy Hook to meet up with my awesome friend, Shirley, and the three of us sped off to the train station bound for New York City. I had never been and was super excited to go plus to have my friend in on it was a bonus! She is great fun and knows the city well. Big thanks to you my friend, it was wicked epic! The only way it could have been better is if your husband could have made the trip! I may do a post just on the NYC trip since I don’t have easy access to my photos till we get set up in Italy and to share all we saw and experienced – if I can remember it all… (Old phone used as the camera)

Back to her house Sunday so my husband could get snuggle time with their dog…and visit time with Shirley’s husband. He was in such good spirits, it was great to see! Oh and he had quite a meal prepared! Monday was a bonus side trip we didn’t have planned. Figured we would just visit with them all day but she threw out driving to Boston, Mass in there and we couldn’t say no! Neither of us had been to Boston yet and it’s where the Samuel Adams Brewery is. No brainer … We took her up on it and had a GREAT time. Thank you and sorry that ass hit your car on that trip!

Tuesday (15th) we drove back to the Groton area and spent our anniversary at Foxwoods casino, a little underwhelmed by the accommodations but we went to Mystic Pizza 2 for dinner and it was delicious ! On Wednesday we drove to the Submarine museum at the base, very interesting and it was nice to learn more about the husband’s time in the Navy before we met. We walked down at the Groton Longpoint which looks out onto the Long Island Sound. It was pretty and peaceful.

That about wraps up the first half of our trip. It has been packed full but with some relaxing days mixed in. Thanks to everyone who made time to see us, put us up and/or let us use their laundry!

For some reason this WordPress app won’t let me use photos in my gallery so I will just have to do a post later of a photo essay of our trip.

Frantic February

I know it’s been a bit since I last posted, so much has been happening this month with preparing for our move out of Japan.  Plus we have been battling a little bit with admin trying to get our flights figured out.  It’s so hard to push off a big trip till the last minute, family and friends are left sitting and waiting for us to inform them, plus the cost goes up the longer you wait to buy flight tickets doesn’t it.

I’ve been going through our storage boxes and weeding out some of the Coca Cola collection.  Selling some of it to people who collect, which is so much nicer than if it were someone just looking to sell for a profit.  I am quite sure I’m selling for an outrageously low price but it’s more about the weed out for me than how much I can get for everything.

On the 5th we jumped on the train to Tokyo, the husband needed to pick up his new passport at the American Embassy and I needed to apply for a Visa at the Italian Embassy.  I’d never been to either and was fairly underwhelmed.  Too many Hollywood movies had me thinking they would be beautiful and elaborate but both were just regular entries (although the Italian entry was a bit more covert and slightly hidden) and just counters to line up for.  In fact it felt much like going to the dmv in the states.  Slightly disappointing but both were run rather efficiently from my point of view and we were back in Yokosuka after lunch.  We are heading there again this morning to pick up my Visa.  One interesting aspect of the Italian Embassy is the hours of operation.  They are only open 09:30 am to 12:30 pm.  I suppose there isn’t a lot of activity for them in Japan.

I have been doing lunch and dinner with friends which has been really wonderful.  I’ll truly miss the  friends I’ve made here.  I’ve been enjoying time with them so much I haven’t been taking many photos.

Last week I met with the new Ombudsman for the command, she seems a good fit for the “job”.  Really a nice lady and a lot of energy.  Also, we had our main pack out.  This in the military is when the moving company comes in to pack all of our stuff up and load it onto crates to start the move.  We have 3 different pack outs.  The first (last week) was the normal household items which takes the longest to transport.  The second which is this Friday is for items we set aside to go into storage for the next few years.  The last is the expedite which we have scheduled for Monday.  These items are put in a rush to arrive typically a month earlier than the bulk move.

Also, this month I made a sneaky purchase for a final Japanese item to take with us. It was a surprise to my husband and he loved it.  This is a Japanese signature stamp called a Hanko.  They use it often in Japan for official contracts and such and I thought it would be a cool thing for us to have.  The stamp I picked out is made from water buffalo from Holland and I checked to make sure it’s harvested without harming the animal.  Apparently, they shed their tusks so no harm to the animal.  Our stamp reads left to right Dupre’ but really it reads kinda like doo-poo-lay.

Thursday is our Hail and Farewell at the command.  It’s a gathering typically once every month or so to welcome new people and say good bye to those leaving.  It’s a little nerve wracking for me because I know they will call us up and I hate being put up in front of people but I’ll try to enjoy the evening.  Alcohol will help.

Friday is the storage pack out then I’m going to dinner with the ladies from work for one of their birthdays and my final hoo-rah with them.  Will be fun but sad, I’ll miss them.

Saturday I am joining a Japanese friend of mine to go to a Zazen beginners session.  It is basically a Buddhist meditation, click the linky for more info.  This is something I wanted to do when we were getting ready to move here but one of the few things I didn’t really dive in to research.  I’m really thankful my friend mentioned it and can squeeze this in before moving away.   After the meditation we are heading to Yokohama for late lunch or early dinner of Fugu (blow fish).  Not something I have to do before leaving Japan but she mentioned it so why not!  She gifted me this beautiful Sakura Sake as well, love her.

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Sunday is a friend’s baby shower which I am hoping to attend but will see how I feel and hopefully won’t end up poisoned by the fish Saturday. eek!

Monday is the last of the moving and we move to the Navy Lodge for a few days before flying out.

Then March Mayhem begins!  A big trip to the states and bouncing all over the dang country … oh and we are still waiting for word from the detailer before we can finalize the end of the trip…ugh… then towards the end of the month we are off to Italy!

I think I’ll do a post about the nerves of that coming on with the housing situation, driving and such and planning an accomplishment type post on what all was achieved and loved while in Japan.