We are not going anywhere for the Christmas holidays this year, but staying in Japan and enjoying time together as a family.
Yesterday was our first day off from school and I always find it takes a few days to unwind from work. We do not own a car here, instead we rent a car on the occasional weekend and during the holidays. Since we live only a couple of blocks away from school and with most shops that we need within walking or biking distance, we find that we get along without a car just fine. It causes us to bike and walk more which is a good thing! I always try to live close to our work as in my opinion, commuting cuts down one’s quality of life. I would rather have the extra time to do things I enjoy rather than devoting it to transport.
Ocean and I went to pick up the rental car mid morning. We rode to the Senri Chuo station (10 minute bike ride) and took the train 5 stops (13 minutes) to the Shin-Osaka station. When we got to the rental place, I realized I forgot my international drivers license and so Nadia had to come down with it. She has a severe cold and it was tough for her to get out of bed, but she is always supportive of me. We had some time to kill so we stopped at Family Mart for something to eat. In the ubiquitous convenience stores in Japan, one can pay bills, get cash, buy tickets, make photocopies, passport photos, etc. the list goes on and on, hence the term convenient. It was kind of like a mini-lunch date as we ate underneath the skyscrapers and the bustling street life. Ocean is so beautiful and cute that she always receives gifts from store attendants. This time it was a series of postcards with characters from the popular manga/anime series One Piece.
After picking up the car we stopped at a new supermarket, Oasis, on the way home. Supermarkets here are at the same level of quality as in the US, although they are not as large. I was impressed with the selection of craft beers and wines, and the girls loved the bakery, deli and fruits and vegetables.
In the afternoon the kids and I went to the school gym and played basketball. Owen is totally into the sport after his season and wants to play all the time. We had many laughs and we use creative ways to make the game fun with Oliver and Ocean. In the evening I did some things around the house and finally got around to replacing all the burnt out light bulbs. Nadia was still under the weather so we just spent time watching television. I made mini-pizzas for the kids. Children are up, will write again tomorrow.