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Monday, June 2, 2014

Our Third Trip Leaving Japan {Photo Log}

Last year my sweet mama blogger friend Samantha over at Substance and Soul gave me the idea to do a picture log of our 24 hours of travel. I really loved how it all came together and told our story so I thought I'd do it again this year!

Last Saturday the 24th we woke up, finished packing and cleaning the apartment, gathered our five suitcases, said goodbye to our apartment, turned in the keys and walked over to the train station to grab the Narita Express to the airport. It was a bittersweet morning- so excited to head back to the United States but sad to leave our home in Japan.

Our last beautiful morning. This view will be missed, what a unique and spectacular sight that we have enjoyed for almost 5 months! 

Gabe loved having his booster on the floor- the straps were in the wash. Check out that huge spoonful of yogurt! 

Finishing packing is the worst- so much random stuff everywhere!

Had to get some motivation jams on, which means N'Sync Radio! Hello elementary school. 

Breakfast number 1.

Destroyer heading out. Great watching these ships come in and out of port. 

Breakfast number 2. 

Chris and Gabriel looking up some Thomas the Train videos for the plane which we wound up never needing. 
Pregnancy selfie. Yes, flew on the first day of the third trimester. 

Breakfast number 3. Totally pregnant. 

Gabriel had fun trapping himself in the packed suitcases until he didn't… 

Almost packed up! 

Checking out and saying goodbye to the front desk staff. They dotted on Gabriel so much! Always playing with him when we came though, giving hugs and even presents. 

Getting tickets for our Narita Express train. We opted to take a "fancier" train for the ride to the airport- more room, comfier, and only $15 more! 

Gabriel getting in some last minute reading of Japanese magazines. 

We had 30-45 minutes until our train. My legs were already throbbing so I sat and read keeping an eye on our luggage while Chris took Gabriel to the park to play and burn energy. 

Time to bored!

Yahoo! That's some ride! 

Gabriel was ecstatic that there was a train on both sides of him. I missed the shot where he was pointing to both and happily yelling, "TRAIN!" 

The main reason why we rode this train instead of the JR Green Car like we did last year- there was a luggage storage area! 

We kept encouraging Gabriel to fall asleep across the seats. He tried multiple times but… 

…instead fell asleep on Chris' lap. 

Made it to the airport! 

So SAD! I was totally looking forward to eating at BAGEL & BAGEL since two years ago they got rid of the one in Yokosuka that I loved so much. Of course it was closed two days before we got to the airport. 

We instead ate at Tokyo Stock. Loved this place before but on a hot day for a preggo it was a very poor choice. 

Only in Japan do you walk through the passport counter and see a Hermes. 

And Burberry, and Coach, and… So much high end shopping in the terminal. 

Just some more crazy Kit Kats! I've seen the green tea ones but the red bean and strawberry were new. 

So were the chili pepper KitKats.

Surprisingly found a book a friend recently recommended that on my 'to-read' list. I didn't buy it but thought it was a fun find. 

Gonna miss all this priority seating business. 

He had the bulkhead seating, GREAT leg room and gave Gabriel a place to hang out. 

We flew on one of the newer planes. Instead of window pull-down plastic blinds you pushed a button to lighten or darken the window. 

Taxiing to the take off location. 

Gabe had a lot of fun simply plugging his headphones in to the washers in the "wall." The flight attendants didn't recognize he was just exploring and would keep showing him where he was 'supposed' to plug them in at. 

Goodbye Japan! 

Gabe has only watch a show a couple times, we just don't watch stuff. We thought that because he doesn't watch anything that doing so on the plane would really hold his attention. It did for maybe 10 minutes and that was that. He was more interested in sitting at our feet and playing and that was just fine! 

Chris sitting on the floor with Gabriel as I fed Gabe his dinner. 

Gabriel's dinner. Way tastier than ours was. 

Even though the flight attendants had no problem with Gabriel playing on the floor in the bulk head area (they even played with him down there) they were totally against him sleeping down there. Gabriel wanted to so badly to just curl up on the floor with his blanket and sheep but when they saw him doing that they said it was 'unsafe.' I get that but what we didn't understand was the double standard between sleeping down there and playing down there. Some how he fell asleep and slept for 4 hours on Chris' lap like this. 

They offered us 'morning drink.' Also known as orange juice. 

Breakfast though looking alright wasn't very great. #airplanefood

We got a real kick out of seeing our little area of Bremerton being marked on the in flight map. 

We made it! In order to get Gabriel to smile right now we have to say, "where are your teeth?!" Hence the pointing to his mouth. Love it so much. 

Enjoying the view of home from above. 

First stop was Noah's Ark. Been craving this place for months! 

Double Ark Burger. Totally hit the spot. 

Instead of being excited to see our house my heart sunk at how it looked! So overgrown. 

Chris mowed as soon as we got unloaded and Chris, my mom and I all weeded the front yard once Gabriel went to bed. 

Gabriel got to open a Christmas gift right when we got home that was delivered to our house the day after we left. Our neighbors had been storing it in their garage since January! 

Of course we had to hit Costco to fill up our fridge again. 
My first purchase- have been wanting and waiting to get this for over a year now. #bugeting

YUMMMM!!!! Can actually afford watermelon now. 

Felt so good to just sit at home again. Was also reminded we still need paint the ceiling after installing lighting a year and a half ago… oops. 
Gabriel only cried once on the flight and that was when he used the toilet and when Christopher flushed the sound was so loud that he was terribly startled. We did this time use melatonin to ease the jet lag giving him a half dose the first couple nights, then a quarter dosage for a couple nights and then finished with an eighth dose the following couple. We packed an entire backpack filled with activities such as color book, water paint, puzzles, iPad video and such but the only thing he actually played with were his headphones and a toy train we purchased as a surprise for him for the flight. It's obvious that he enjoys being home but at times he too has been a little overwhelmed with all the activities and people which has been displayed through excessive whining and push back- totally not like him.

The transition back to the states is always a bit hard for me. As mentioned, we packed our first week full of projects, activities and hangouts and by the end of the week it all hit me (like Gabriel). This week we're taking it much, much slower starting off with being intentional by not really going anywhere or doing anything besides the many doctors appointments we have. There have been multiple times where I wish I could just get back on a plane and make our way over to Japan and hideout again but that would be the easy way out. For now we'll focus on taking it day by day (or hour by hour) until our newish normal is found before our life is totally shaken up once more in a couple months when baby arrives!

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  1. I love that you did this with all of the pictures! I don't think I will ever travel on a flight that long, but I'm glad it went so well and that Gabriel was good! Especially being 28 weeks pregnant! And that train looked amazing!!

  2. So glad that you are all back safely & that Gabriel did so well on the flight!

  3. Glad you guys made it back safely and that Gabriel did so good on the flight! Hopefully the next couple of weeks go easy on you. Also, congratulations on being in the third trimester!!

  4. I love all the photos!!! I am SO SUPER DUPER impressed with how Gabriel did on the flight! He slept 4 hours!?! Amazing!!

  5. What a great way to remember the day! I loved seeing all your pictures!

  6. Hi Lena, So glad to see the trip was uneventful. Thank goodness for the small 4 hr naps!! Welcome Home!!! I agree, the best path I have found is to take it one step at a time.

    Be Well, The Lady Kay


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