Mar 20, 2011


We are in Singapore!
It's so nice and warm here!!


Our flight was night flight. The plan was to have kids asleep during the airplane ride so they are good the next day. No time difference (only 1 hour) and no jet lag. That is what we thought...

Our plan completely failed. Flight was delayed and it ended up taking off at 2am. Kids were having too much fun in the airport lounge picking up treats, juice, food, etc. and running around everywhere! I think they were too sugar-high by the time we boarded that they didn't even fall sleep for a long time. It was a horrible flight... So, we were so happy when we arrived!!




We are away from radiation fear and many strong aftershocks! We love and miss Japan. I do feel bad for escaping away since there are so many people working to recover the damage. But with little kids, we are glad to be away form any fear.

The place we are staying is right by Orchard MRT station, next to Hyatt Hotel. It is a very convenience location and should be easy for us to get around.


The week that we just got in, we found out that our dear friend family, Lawries, are in town for a week. They used to live in our neighborhood in Tokyo awhile ago. So we decided to get together.

When they were in Tokyo, Sabrina was just born. Now Sabrina is Ellie's age. Kids played together and had a fun time. It was REALLY nice to see everyone too! Thanks, Cathy, for taking time for us!



This is Children's park at Botanic Garden.

Singapore is so hot that there are a lot of places with splashing water area for kids. Our kids LOVE these places and they won't even want to go home!



Mar 18, 2011

Hard to believe what is happening...

Earthquake. Japan experiences quite a lot since we live on volcanic islands. We have had many destructive earthquakes in the past. However, the one we just experienced on March 11, 2011, was the largest, most devastating ever in Japan. Not only a M9.0 large earthquake, but a large Tsunami swiped almost everything in Tohoku shore. Many died. Many are missing. And add to it, Fukushima nuclear power plant is having an issue that many people who live around the plant are still evacuated... We were in Tohoku a year ago on our Golden Week trip. It was beautiful everywhere we visited. One place that we visited, Matsushima is one of the most beautiful places we've ever visited. People were so nice to us. We love Tohoku. We pray every day and night for a quick recovery.

Many sad stories and devastation. Too many large and scary aftershocks. Too hard to keep the TV on especially for kids...

Japan is strong. We can overcome and will be a better and more beautiful country than before.

With the small children. our little family decided to leave Japan for awhile and stay in Singapore.

Mar 17, 2011

3/11 Earthquake on Our Family

It was Friday, March 11, when it happened.

We dropped off kids at schools and went to the temple in the morning. It was ironic that nice calming moment and total huge chaos were experienced on the same day.

We came back from the temple a little before 1pm. We thought about eating out lunch, but Ellie's school pick-up was 1:45, so we decided to just have lunch at home.

Around 1:40, Mike went to pick up Ellie. I was going to go, but Mike offered and I took it. And I am so glad he did. Mike got home with Ellie around 2:15. If I were to be the person picking up Ellie, she usually wants to play with friends and I would chat with Moms, so we would still be at the park in front of Ellie's school when it happened.

Earthquake hit at 2:45pm. Fortunate that Mike, Ellie, and I were all together at home. Ellie and I were about to leave house for Ellie's music school. I'm glad it was before we left, otherwise, we would be stuck on the train or be at the train station...

When it started shaking, Mike noticed first. We wanted to find out the details and turned the TV on to collect more info. Then, it started shaking stronger. China closet cover opened and dished started to fall. Our plasma TV is shaking really badly and it was about to fall. Many things fell from everywhere. We heard big noise upstairs. We all moved to the open space where nothing would fall onto our head. Mike, Ellie and I are all holding onto each other really tight.

First big quake stopped. We noticed that every TV channel had stopped their show and switched over the news. By then, large Tsunami warning was already out for most of the Pacific coastline in Japan. Tsunami will come.

Then, second quake shortly after the first one. Ellie started crying. I was freaking out. Mike went over trying to hold the china closet, which most of the dishes already broke form the first quake.

Once it stopped shaking, we started to investigate on damages. As I already mentioned, many dishes broke...

This is upstairs kids room. This chest of drawers is the only thing that was not earthquake protected in our house, and it completely fell on Noah's crib and all the stuff like jewery box, stuffed animals, and toys all fell right on his crib. Sooooo glad he was not sleeping on the crib because this would have been right in the middle of his nap time. Scary...

We knew the Palette evacuation plan. We are glad we checked it when we first put them in. We knew Noah and Julia were taken care of nice and safe.

So blessed that lifeline is all safe and no problem on gas, electricity, and water.

We soon learned that epicenter was in northern part of Japan. As it was warned, huge Tsunami hit. It was really devastating what news were all showing to us.

We went to pick up children shortly after. We were really blessed that we were able to get family all together. Train completely stopped and there were so many people who were out and could not get home.

Tokyo is wonderful on public transpiration. Trains are all over. Bus system is quite nice. But the problem is that when this type of disaster happen, public transportation all stops and there were many who are not able to get home. Roads were all jammed and buses didn't even move. Ellie's friend was still at school. He and his Mom took a bus home. It is usually 20 minutes ride, but took them 2 hours to get home by bus. There was a huge line going on for bike shops where people are trying to buy a bike.

Later in the evening, one of our friend came to our house. She has a child about Ellie's age and she worked in Shinjuku near our home. She lives in Hachioji (1 hour away by train from Shinjuku) and she was not able to get home on that night. She has 2 little children waiting near their house to be picked up, but didn't know what to do. So, she came over to get help. She had dinner at our house and we let her use our motorcycle so that she could get home.

Mar 10, 2011

Going to Palette

Here's our children on their way to Palette.


They picked flowers on their way. It is almost spring and we can't wait!!


Mar 3, 2011

Zao Ski Trip

We've been going quite a bit of ski trips this year. We went to Yunomaru, Inawashiro, Hakuba by ourselves, Fujiten with Lisa's family, and Tateshina, and Zao with Folsoms.


It seems that we've been going almost every weekend from January to beginning of March. Ellie is taking lessons this year, and she can ski quite well now. She can turn snow plowing. She is working on parallel right now, we think. (well, we usually drop Ellie off and go up to the top and don't come back until pick-up time. So we really don't know how good she skis...)


Last ski trip of this season was Zao Onsen Ski Resort in Yamagata. This resort was wonderful. It was a huge resort and snow condition was wonderful even it was the beginning of March. We enjoyed so much in powder. We LOVED the resort!!


Zao is famous of Juhyo, also known as snow monsters. It is a snow-covered trees that look like monsters. It only happens when it gets to the certain level of altitude and the temperature drops really low. I think Zao is the only place that we can see Juhyo in Japan.

In Zao, We can go up all the way to the top and ski down between snow monsters. We were lucky that cloud cleared up and we could see all the snow monsters. It was an amazing view. It was really cold, but it is definitely worth seeing them.



We went up with Ellie the next day. We wanted to ski down with her, but it was too cold for her to ski down. So, we all went up together and girls came down by cable car and boys skied down to the bottom.


Here's Ellie being happy on the way up.


When we got there, it was too cold that she didn't even care about snow monsters. She just wanted to get inside...


On the way down, Ellie's hair was all frozen...


We LOVE Zao! This resort became one of our favorites. We definitely want to visit this place again!