Holiday Photos

This week is Golden Week, when a slew of national holidays fall within days of each other and the entire country takes off work en masse. Unfortunately, this year next Saturday and Sunday are two of the four holidays, so the only days I have off are yesterday and next Monday. It’s better than nothing, so I’m not complaining.

Yesterday was a beautiful day and Tony, Andy and I were home. There was no way I was going to let the kids stay inside playing video games (Tony: Monster Hunter for the PSP; Andy: Animal Crossing, Super Mario Brothers, Yoshi’s Island, and Bimoji Training on the DS), so I dragged them kicking and screaming to the local park to play catch and wade barefoot in the little man made stream.

There’s nothing like the smile on Tony’s face when we play catch. I need to put more effort into playing outside with him. It sure beats the zombie-like expression he has on his face when he’s under the hypnotic spell of his PSP, and the guilt I feel for letting him zone out like that for far too long. Andy, like me when I was his age, can’t catch a ball to save his life so he either watches from the sidelines or goes off to do his own thing. It doesn’t bother me in the least that Andy isn’t athletic. He likes to make up his own games and enjoys playing with other kids, as long as whatever they’re doing doesn’t involve ball catching.

While they played together, I foraged through the park for things to take pictures of with my new camera. There aren’t too many flowers in the park this time of year, but I did find a few bushes with bees buzzing about. Up a path through the wooded hills in the middle of the park there’s a restored 17th century house called the “Old Nakayama Family Residence,” designated as a cultural treasure by the Ibaraki Prefectural government. I won’t go into details about its history. Basically, it’s a big, old house that people come to see and there’s some old stuff inside it from that era. I waited with my camera on a tripod for about half an hour for a chance to take an HDR shot with nobody getting in the way.

Before heading home, we stopped off at the little restaurant on the park grounds for some overpriced eats. $1200 yen for two soft ice cream cones and three bottled drinks. My fault for not being able to deny my kids their right to ice cream on a spring day. What a racket they’ve got going there.

We went home and I made the boys a late lunch of their favorite spaghetti (Prego sauce out of an industrial sized jar bought at Costco). Tony, when you put food in front of him, has to be reminded a hundred times to shut up and eat. Man, that kid is skinny. Afterwards I fell asleep until 11pm, then stayed up till 3am messing around with Photoshop and uploading photos to Flickr. The end.

In other news, our washer/dryer is broken and laundry is piling up, but the good thing is Sanyo recently announced a defect in that model so we’re getting it fixed replaced for free. As a homeowner, it feels a bit like winning the lotto.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

6 thoughts to “Holiday Photos”

  1. Enjoy your holidays Rich and family. got to keep em from turing into zombies on the games, and whatever you do, do not let them play world of warcraft ever ever ever!!!

  2. @Darren: Actually, PC games like WoW that you can play together with your kids on a big screen can be a bonding experience. It’s not like watching TV together; you can be engaged in the action together and a lot of communication goes on.

    The reason I won’t play WoW with my kids is because there are plenty of other games we can play together for free, like Tony’s favorite Counter Strike, or Andy’s favorite Gary’s Mod.

    Or, we could be like normal father and sons and, like, build bird houses together. But really, I don’t see much difference. Maybe I’m wrong.

  3. I hope you’re all enjoying the nice spring weather. It’s nice here in the States too where I’m at (Tn) so I know what you mean. πŸ™‚ I don’t know about my allergies though… Heh heh. Don’t worry about Tony being skinny and not eating. My brother was the same way when he was that age. He was more interested in gobbling down his food and going back to his Super Nintendo back in the day. Heh heh. He was very skinny as a little kid and now he’s average for his height (he’s lucky he’s tall). πŸ™‚

  4. Rich I think playing together would be ok becuase you would be there to monitor things, but most people that get addicted to wow play alone. its good that you take interest in your sons game playing.

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