Mud Bowl

One semi-popular summer event that a lot of people don’t know about is the Mud Bowl! In most
places, a mud bowl is a like a sports day, but you play in a big, muddy field. Usually, a school, church,
or businesses host these competitions in the summer when it’s just too hot to play normally. Most of
the time, people play American football as the main activity. But, if football is too rough for you, you
can also play soccer and volleyball. Like most American sports events, there’s a lot of food and cold
drinks. So, if getting covered in mud doesn’t sound like fun, you can just watch and eat some
barbecue, hamburgers, or hot-dogs!


Stroller Shopping

So just before we did Charlie’s Omiya Mairi, we went shopping for a stroller for him. The store had so
many different types of strollers, which made choosing difficult. Along with a bunch of accessories, there
some baby dolls to test out the strollers. These ‘test’ baby dolls looked like they had been doing their job
for far too long. Maybe it’s time they moved onto a different job. What do you think?


Just in case

さっそくですが、今回は”JUST IN CASE”(念のため・万が一に備えて)です。
I carry a small umbrella in my bag all the time, just in case it starts raining.
I wore my winter coat today, just in case it’s cold when I finish work.
I downloaded a translation app, just in case I need to look up a new word.



Ebigawa Cherry Blossoms

Most people don’t know about the cherry blossoms in Funabashi. If you’re looking for a place to see cherry blossoms that isn’t so crowded, Funabashi is your place. The first time I went there, I was so surprised by the hundreds of cherry blossom trees along the river. It’s beautiful during the day and as you can see in the picture, it’s very beautiful at night too.


お宮参り (Omiya Mairi)

On January 17th Charlie, our baby, had his 100 day Omiya Mairi at a shrine in Yoyogi. Both our parents were able to come (My parents came over from Australia to join the ceremony). We had just bought the stroller for Charlie the day before. I remember that we arrived there just in time. The ceremony was held inside the shrine. When the Kannushi started to play the drums, Charlie got surprised by the sound. The Kannushi then gave his blessings. After that, we all sipped a little Sake from a dish.


Lake Ouachita

This is a nice shot of Lake Ouachita (pronounced WA-shi-ta) from my home state Arkansas.  The most surprising thing about it is, it isn’t a natural lake! It was built so it could power a hydroelectric dam. But, it’s still a beautiful place. In fact, in the summer, it’s one of the most popular places to go swimming, jet skiing, or fishing. It wasn’t that far from my hometown, and you can rent anything you need. One summer, my family and I rented a small cabin and a boat for the weekend, and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken. We just swam, barbecued, and relaxed all day.


Riverfest in U.S.

As many people might know, my hometown is Little Rock, Arkansas. Every year in early spring, the city has a music festival next to the Arkansas River called Riverfest. Each year several thousand people go to the downtown area to eat, drink, take pictures, and listen to music. The lineup includes all types of music, including rock, country, hip-hop, and classical orchestra pieces.

But, the second most important part of any festival is the food. Arkansas is in the southern U.S., and so we love barbecue and deep fried food. Eat it with some iced tea or lemonade and it’s a perfect festival day. My personal favorite is BBQ pork tacos with pink lemonade. But, there are all kinds of options like fried pickles, turkey legs, homemade sausages, and all kinds of food from other countries.

Then, at sunset on Saturday, there’s a big fireworks show that’s set off from the old Arkansas Train Bridge. The bridge itself is a very interesting part of the city, because the city tried to demolish the bridge, however, it is so well built that the explosives didn’t damage it. So, now it’s both a historical landmark, and a nice place to launch fireworks.

Riverfest is one of my favorite memories form growing up in Arkansas, because everyone there can find something to enjoy, and it’s a great atmosphere filled with music, food, and all kinds of people.


Funabashi festival

Last weekend I went to the Funabashi City festival, and had a really great time.

I started out the day by going to a café near my house. I go there pretty often and know the staff. They convinced me to rent a yukata for the festival, and I decided to give it a try since I hadn’t worn one before.

My friends showed up at the café a few minutes later and we all took turns getting our yukatas and kimonos put on. After we were all ready, we took a few pictures with other people going to the festival and with our friends at the café. After that we decided to head to the festival to get some food and see the portable shrines.

Although it wasn’t my first summer festival, it was the first time I had spent the whole day in a yukata, and it was really comfortable. I had such a great time, and got to try some festival food that I hadn’t eaten before. Plus, I really liked the atmosphere of the festival; everyone seemed relaxed and in a good mood. I’m thinking about going to another festival or two in Chiba before the summer ends.