Monday, April 14, 2008

Jack's First California Sunshine

Jack and I are really enjoying ourselves on our trip to the states to visit family. We started April 4th on the train from Yokosuka to Yokota which took about three hours. We got to the air terminal around 11am, about six hours before departure. The Air Force does roll call in order of priority and we were category 4 so I wanted to be there ahead of anyone else in our category. All of the "hurry-up and wait" is worth it for a free flight home. At 2:40pm they did roll call and we were selected for the flight, no problem. At 4pm they boarded us onto a bus and then drove us 200 yards to the plane on the tarmac. We ended up waiting on the bus for an hour while the airmen loaded fuel, unloaded fuel and then realized they forgot to put seats on the plane. Our plane was a big KC-10 cargo plane, a US Air Force in-flight refueling tanker. It was a little louder than a standard commercial airliner but equally as comfortable. More so in some ways because there were only 40 or so people on the plane and the aisles were huge for walking around with Jack.

I ended up nursing Jack right before take-off so he ended up sleeping through the whole thing. He woke up about an hour later and then we sang songs and played games for the next 4 hours or so. My natural-born traveller slept for the last four hours of the fight and didn't even budge during the decent and landing. My grandparents picked us up at Travis Air Force Base which is in Fairfield, only 45 minutes from where I grew up. You can't beat that for convenience.

We spent the 4th through the 8th with my parents and grandparents. Jack also got to met his cousin William and his Great-Aunt Kathleen and Great-Uncle Michael. On Sunday the 6th he met his cousins, Nathan and Nicholas as well as his Great-Aunt Naomi and Great-Uncle Neil. On the 9th we flew to Los Angeles and Nona Julie met us at the gate. She flew in from Chicago so she could join me in introducing Jack to the Barge family. Straight from the airport we headed to David and Belinda's but just missed them so we visited with Grandma Barbara, Great-Grandma Donna, Baylee and Dalton...more cousins and another honorary Grandma. That evening we headed to Denny and Brynn's to settle into our home away from home. Finally, the 10th, was a day of relaxation and a chance for Jack to meet his cousin Tanner and his Great-Aunt Brynn and Great-Uncle Denny. Thursday was a well deserved break, especially for Jack. I think he has adjusted to the time change and the travelling, he is just not used to so many events back to back. Friday we headed back down to David and Belinda's for dinner with more cousins and aunts...Great-Aunt Kelli, cousins Amanda, Ashlea, Alysha, Baylee and Dalton, Great-Aunt Belinda, Great-Uncle David, Great-Grandpa Larry and Great-Grandma Donna.

Saturday, Brynn hosted an outstanding BBQ at her home to introduce Jack to even more family. Jack got to meet his Great-Great-Grandma Helen, Great-Grandpa Dave, Great-Great-Uncle Gary, Great-Aunt Cherale, Cousins Elyssa and Tessa, Uncle Steve, Cousin Dayle and then he also got to spend more time with Kelli and the girls as well as Denny, Brynn, Tanner, Nona Julie and of course his

Today, Sunday, we had another lazy day. Everyone slept in until 10 or so, followed by a tasty brunch and then we got together for an early dinner at Buca di Beppo...yum! Then Brynn, Dayle, Jack and I stuck around old town Pasadena to do a little shopping followed by a late snack at the Melting Pot. I love Japanese food but I forgot how many incredible places there are to eat in the states.

I will try to keep the updates and the new photos coming while we are on our trip...but if you don't hear from me until we get back to Japan it's because we are having so much fun!


  1. So much family--ao much love. Jack really captured our hearts. He is such a sweet, loving, happy baby. We missed you and Jack as soon as we left your folks' house.

    I'm happy you are having such a good time visiting everyone. Can't wait till you get back here. Guess we have to share you though.

    Remember we love you.

    Gram & Grandpa

  2. I got to spend these wonderful days in sunny Southern California with my gorgeous daughter and her angelic baby son. It all seems like a wonderful dream as they have both left to go back to Oakland before they start their journey back to Japan and hopefully to see Keith. These last few weeks have been wonderful for Steven and I. Thank you Denny and Brynn for being so wonderful and gracious to Jenn and I when we stayed with you. I can't thank you enough for opening your home as well as your hearts to Jenn and Jack.
    Love to all,

  3. One day we are planning on taking the Travis flight as well. Great blog. Another one I'll have to be hooked on!