Sunday, November 6, 2011

follow ups are good for happiness

Ella Elaine is updated. I hope you enjoy my follow up thoughts on joining Mommahood.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mt. Fuji

The saying goes, "A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji once, a foolish man climbs Mt. Fuji twice." I would extend that to say, "An even more foolish man drives 2 1/2 hours with a 1 year old for a picnic at Mt. Fuji."

Well, that is what we did! On Ella's first (!!!) birthday we rented a van, packed snacks and drove almost 3 hours to the 5th station on Mt. Fuji. The 5th station is the point where all of the trees dissapear and you feel as if the whole world is below you. We ate lunch as the clouds swirled around us and believe it or not, we did something even more magical - we toasted our sweet little girl's first year of life.

{sweet Ella}

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nagashi Somen

If I had posted about this food adventure when it happened I would have started off with how miserable the heat was that night. Now that some time has passed I can't remember the heat all that much - but I can remember how great it was to have our first bamboo somen noodle eating experience, or "splashing the noodles" as Ayumi calls it. The actual name is nagashi somen and you can read about it here, if you like.

We all sat in front of the Chiba house (Ayumi's family home) on our little yellow crates and watched as Ayumi's Mom and niece splashed somen noodles into the freshly cut bamboo stalk. Little by little they came down the bamboo "slide" and we picked them up with chopsticks. After which, we dumped them into our bowls (pictured above).

It was speed eating at its finest. We thought we'd grown accustom to eating quickly but couldn't begin to keep up with slurping our noodles in enough time to grab the next. We quickly learned, like many eating exeriences in Japan, it wasn't so much about how fast we ate but the time we spent while eating. As the sun set, we splashed noodle after noodle, toasted sake and listened to Ayumi's Mom tell us story after story-understanding every 5 words or so. It was one of the best nights we've had in Japan, thus far.

{Our hosts: Ayumi's Brother, Sister-in-Law, Mom & Niece}

{Ayumi & Ella-chan}

{Something looks farmiliar!}